savy4_gw

care on michelia alba

savy4
8 years ago

I have just bought a michelia alba yesterday. It looks like a grafted one. It is about 2ft tall and it is in a 2 gallon pot should I repot it or not. I don't know if I should or not please me some advice. On how to care for my plant. Thanks

Comments (171)

  • Mickey Kwok
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Anyone want to see a giant michelia alba? Here it is!!!! I grow this michelia alba tree in my backyard in San Francisco, Ca. It is about 30 feet tall and about 30 years old. Each year it bloom a lot of very fragrant flowers. Enjoy the picture.

    Featured Answer
  • savy4
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Sam,

    That is great that your in San Francisco. It'll do just fine. I was there back in August of this year. It was beautiful.

    Savy4

  • meyermike_1micha
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I m with Savy, I think it will be ok in your care and in your weather! You are so lucky. Savy and I have to bring ours indoors all winter!:(

    Savy, your trees look great! I wouldn't worry about a thing. Your tree is a beauty and in fact I am jealous. So big and tall and green. Great job!

  • meyermike_1micha
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I m with Savy, I think it will be ok in your care and in your weather! You are so lucky. Savy and I have to bring ours indoors all winter!:(

    Savy, your trees look great! I wouldn't worry about a thing. Your tree is a beauty and in fact I am jealous. So big and tall and green. Great job!

  • sam89
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Savy and Mike, I like your weather in Summer which is much hotter. The Summer in San Francisco is so cold and miserable.
    Mike, Your citrus plants and gardenia were so beautiful in your care.

  • savy4
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your encouragement.

    Savy4

  • sheltiedad
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hello,

    Do you guys know what this is?
    It has shown up on my M Alba since August.
    This happens on some leaves but not all.
    The plant seems to be doing fine.
    But it is sort of unsightly.

  • savy4
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Sheltie,

    I have read about that kind of problem before and maybe it is because of too much water or less water or fertilizer, so I don't know which one is for sure. But I hope you find the answer you're looking for.

    Savy4

  • tes22
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Dear Sheltie:

    Hopefully, this finds you doing well and that you had a nice Christmas and New Years! I had the same problem with my Michelia Abla, and I found out it was the to much water issue. My plant is growing in a room which gets some morning and afternoon sun and I use a humidifier and the room gets some heat but not from a heater fan. I learned that mistake twice, if you try to keep the room warm with heater fan and even if it's not directly near the tree, it tends to dry the leaves out, even if you use a humidifier or cool mist to raise the humidity. That was on two young plants that was shipped bareroot, which is a nono with Albas, as it stresses the plant to much. With a bigger plant, I am not sure if the heater fan would harm it, but Savie's is doing great with that as well, so I guess it depends on the over all health of the Alba. I found when over watered a little, some of my leaves started getting dark marks or brown patches all over, not just in location, but at the same time it was not as bad as yours, but if left to progress, that is what will happen. I have since removed the bad leaves and I have not watered the plant and it seems that all the other leaves left on the plant are doing good and not browning, etc. Also, my leaf buds have all of a sudden started to get longer and bigger and I have little buds popping up all over the place. I do also mist the Alba a few times a day with water, I avoid doing that in the evening, so not to harm the plant. Since the one room is warm/cool, not very hot, the plant does not need much water and the leaves are not wilting and the pot's heavy, so that is a sign to lay off. I did read an important post on here, that some times the top soil can be dry a little, but the bottom soil can still tend to be wet, so some times that can work bad as well for you, but the pot is heavy when you pick it up, its still good. When this happens with the leaves, it's like over night and the very next day you notice the browning that was not there the day before. It could also be that your Alba is being scorched in the sun and I am not sure how young your plant is, but I would first guess the water problem, because that is how mine was. I will post the picture of this plant and later will take pictures of buds that have grown for me since the leaf problem. My Alba is about 3ft tall and air layered, I purchased it off Ebay from a Nursery in CA and it was priced at $88.90 and I thought that was well worth the quality of the plant. As of today, that seller, is still offering nice plants on Ebay. My tree was never staked and was sent as it was, but you can't see in the picture, but the trunk was pretty even and not twisted like some are that are staked. Youger Alba plants in my opinion are easy if you get them at the right time of the year, since so much could go wrong at other times,like what happened to me first. Long time ago I got an Alba from a place in Florida and it was not like the one I got from this grower on Ebay, it was pitful and was shipped bareroot, and had centipeds in the rootball and so, you can guess what happened with that one, lol. I am from NWPA, I live in New Castle, so like Savie, I am zone 5-6, they change it so much every year, it's hard to keep up with latest zone information. How is your Alba doing right now for you? **My Alba is a little darker than what the picture is, due to using a cell phone cam.

    :-)

    Thomas

  • savy4
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Thomas,

    Your Alba looks great. I think I have a little problem with my Alba maybe I watered mine too often or what but it seems like the leaves keep on dropping and the leaves also turn brown. So, I try to lay off the water to see what happend and I didn't see the leaves drop any more. But at the top of the pot it seems very dry and I try to feel the soil it seems moist. So, I try to pick the pot and the pot was very heavy, so I didnt water it. But I have a question should I change the location of the plant it gets full sun half of the day and it is also close to the window. But my other alba which is smaller one does fine in the same location. When it gets cold at night I turn on the oil heater for it but I didn't use the humdifier at all yet. So, please give me some advice on how to care for my Alba.
    Thanks Savy4

  • sheltiedad
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hello Thomas,

    I have not been back to this page for a while.
    My poor Alba got clobbered during the prolonged frost spell in January - which is sort of unusual for SF bay area.
    Here is the picture.
    It's cousin (in the background), a Magnolia Liliiflora, has the better sense to shed all its leaves and go dormant during this time.

  • savy4
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi everyone,

    I have a question about my michelia alba that is grafted. Will it ever grow big because the grafted area they wrap a plastic around it. Will the trunk of the plant grow bigger or not. I will try to upload the picture tomorrow.

    Thanks Savy4

  • Bennyooi
    6 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi can any one tell what wrong of my alba leave. please see the photo enclosed.I planted in 7 gal .most of the leave are the some I got about 10 plant. after changing pot 2 to 7 gal.

  • Mickey Kwok
    6 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I think you water the plant too much water. Only water it once every week.

  • Tonia Letzo
    4 years ago

    I bought my first Alba from a Florida nursery. I planted it in a clay pot with a mix of perlite, miracle grow potting soil and peat moss. I ordered it on the mail and live in central Florida I received it in one day. The plant looked great. I am keeping in partial shade and watering daily. One morning I woke to find webs and white particles on leaves and no spider mites however I did find two spiders one light green with a bright orange spot and one smaller white one and little baby green one. The underside of my leaves have brown like stains. Is that normal central Florida is zone 9a I believe.


  • Tonia Letzo
    4 years ago

    Can somebody give me an exact recipe for the mix this plant needs in a clay pot in central FLorida? I am afraid to plant it outside because we do have cold winter nights.

  • Randy Cruz
    4 years ago

    I have an Alba tree that is huge, pushing 16' +, anyone know how to graft it or germinate the seeds. I have a lot of seeds and pods. I'm in Long Beach 90807

  • Randy Cruz
    4 years ago

    Last question, I have had a few Champacas in pots for about 2 years now, just recent 4 of them got this black tip and it moved quickly to the main branch, I trimmed when noticed but it kept on going, is this caused by poor drainage?

  • myermike_1micha
    4 years ago

    These trees have bene known to handle cold spells from time to time. I can't imagine it dying there... As for the under the leaves, I would say pest issues or leaf disease..

  • moolaoyster
    4 years ago

    My Alba is in a 12" pot with good potting mix (Proven Winner). Its leaves are kind of deformed and discolored. Since it is out in the Texas heat I water it about every two days when the pot feels to light. Can any one tell me the reason why the leaves are kind of deformed. Thanks

  • myermike_1micha
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    With mine, I have to watch out for salt deposits in the mix and make sure it gets a good all nutrient fertilizer with Calcium and low doses at a time with Vinegar in my watering solution....Is there any way you can flush out your mix with rain water every other week or so?

  • Rosanna Smith
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Hello everyone! I am from L.A. California and i have been looking to buy M.A. for the longest time and to no avail. Last Dec. 24,2017, my sister asked me for a favor. Stop by the store and get her some shrimp for the dish she was preparing. I went to a store called "Hong Kong". As i entered the store, i noticed they were selling plants. I stopped and was checking them out. I didn't know the scientific name "Michelia Alba". But the picture of the plant caught my eye. Yes! It's champaca. (it's how we call it-not Michelia A.) i ran for a grocery cart and immediately load it in. Forgeting the shrimp that my sister asked me to buy. Lol. Anyways, I have been reading and watching you guys pictures and excited about my baby M. A. Well, she's about 2 feet tall, and i keep an eye on it. I have no experience with plants. No experience at all. Zip. So if i asked stupid questions, pardon me. Well,here is

    my question. I see small insects that looks like small flies. I can i make them go away?

  • cf03
    2 years ago

    Those are fungus gnats which is a sign that the soil is too wet. Michelia like well-draining soil otherwise the roots will rot. I wait until the top few inches are dry before watering well. Robert's post at the beginning of this thread gives a link to an article with excellent advice for how to care for Michelia. Good luck!

  • Rosanna Smith
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    myermike_1micha

    See the leaves of my Michelia? It is drying on the tip of the leaves and some dryness on the sides too. I also noticed that the leaves a re getting limpy. What do u think is the problem? And what should i do to make it heallthy again? The leaves used to b dark green. Help!!!!


    Thanks cf03. I will check Robert's post.

    We are currently having cold weather and also it has been raining, so i decided to bring my MA inside the house. Now i noticed each end of my MA leaf is showing dryness. Can someone tell me what's happening with my MA.

  • myermike_1micha
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    What do you mean "dryness'? Can you snap a picture a close up?

    Could be the signs of root rot or salt deposits in the mix which burns the tips of the leaves, usually a root issue unless of course you have it in a very drafty cold area with cool winds.

    Congrats by the way. I do know that Greenbox9 sells them that is where mines come from and I live in M.A. and they are located in California..

    Mike

  • Rosanna Smith
    2 years ago

    Hello cf03(8a) and Mike. This is Rosanna. My Michaela Alba survived. Remember i was asking why the leaves was drying and limpy? I was over watering. So i make sure i don't over water. I have good news, my baby has 1 flower and i noticed more buds. I am in heaven!!!!.Thanks for all the advices.

  • Olly Hornsby-sayer
    2 years ago


    Any ideas for care of my m.alba? Bought a week ago from indoor plant market in shanghai. Put outdoors in part sun and shade. Leaves have dropped considerably. It’s very sunny here and about 28 degrees C most days. Added fertiliser to the soil and put in a new pot. Been watering it twice a week as soil is dry. Any help!?

  • savy4
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I think you should put the plant under shade for a week or two before setting it out into the sun because you put into a new pot. And by watering twice a week it would be too much water. After putting into a new pot usually wait until soil drys before watering it again. I hope this help some.

  • cf03
    2 years ago

    Rosanna - great news that your michelia is beginning to flower. Means it's happy with whatever you're doing.

    Olly - if you're in Shanghai then the climate is right for the michelia but the soil looks very clay-like. Can you add something like perlite to lighten it or make it airier? With the repotting, it'll need time to adjust so savy4 is right that it should stay in the shade until it recovers especially with the hot temperatures although the high humidity should help. How is the drainage in your pot?

  • sabut
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Got the Alba a couple of months ago from 9 Green Box. Planted it in a 10" clay pot in some potting mix from Home Depot. Placed in a sunny hall with 2-3 hours of direct sunlight per day. In the first couple of weeks it dropped all newer looking leaves but seems to have recovered and released many new leaves. The problem I face is that even with those 2-3 hours of direct sunlight per day it looks pretty sad until the sun goes away, then it recovers fully until next day. So I moved it in the spot with no direct sunlight. It seems happier now. I want to keep it in that place with some direct sunlight.

    1. Do I understand it correctly that it will be fine with the light when it has recovered from the transplant shock?

    2. I have read more about the Alba and figured it would need a bigger pot, and I mean like a lot bigger pot. I am also concerned that it will have root rot (I almost killed my M. Figo last year) so from what I am reading the best way to avoid the root rot is use Al's gritty mix instead of the soil, so even watering it daily would not hurt it. I found a few places where they sell such mix but it is pretty expensive, and I do not know if I can trust the quality. If I use a big pot I would need a lot of the mix. Anybody know a good source of reasonably priced mix or its components?

  • Rosanna Smith
    2 years ago

    Hi cfo3(8a) thanks for your comment. It's only been 5 month since i had my Michelia Alba and she gave me at least 10 flowers. They are not big though. I got her Dec. 2017. I will re pot soon to a bigger size clay pot. So put perlite is that some type of soil? I never did gardening before and i find it theraputic. Relieving my stress level. What is seaweed and where can i purchase it? Thanks cfo3

  • Rosanna Smith
    2 years ago

    Sabut(7b, RaleighNC) My Michelia A. Is not in direct sun. It has sun but not too much. I water every 2 weeks. i got myself a spray bottle with water. In between 2 weeks, i spray water all over the plant . Somehow i just have a feeling my Michelia is thirsty. It works fine with baby. Hope this helps. Good luck dear

  • cf03
    2 years ago

    Rosanna, seaweed fertilizer can be found as a liquid or in powder form and if you can't find it locally, online places like Amazon have it. Fish emulsion like the Alaska or Neptune's Harvest brands will work too except it's a bit more "fragrant". Whenever I spray with it, all the black flies in the neighborhood come and visit for the rest of the day ;-) Perlite is those little white particles you'll find in the bagged potting soil mixes. It's made from expanded volcanic glass and will provide aeration to your soil.

  • myermike_1micha
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Great news to hear it's flowering!!! I have discovered through trial and error that they are very prone to root rot. I have also discovered they they do awesome with a good mix with lots of aeration and in either a clay or air pot. The roots are much happier that way !

    Also beware of tap water. Use as much rain water as you can . Light fertilizer but frequent and the roots will be thanking you !

    Mike

  • savy4
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I have a question regarding my michelia alba. We have been getting lots of rain here and now the plant sufffered from root rots. So yesterday I decided to pull the plant out from the pot and trim all the dead roots out and put into a new pot and a new soil. Do you think my plant will survive? I place the plant under the shade. Should I cut of the dead branches off? The tree is about 6ft tall and there are dead branches on them. I don't know if I should cut of the dying branches. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.



  • Marie Obrien
    2 years ago

    Hello , my Michael ichampaca is not doing wel

    please ! Help

    my michaela is 1 yr and 7 months and I live in San Francisco,

    thank you

  • sabut
    last year

    Propagator managed to cut off the main trunk. Anybody have an idea how to train it? The top branch on the right is already pretty woody.

  • Rosanna Smith
    last year

    Savy 4

    Since there too much rain in your area, your Michaela Alba suffered from root rot. You did right by putting it in the shaded area. Trim the dead branches and yellow leaves. Healthy leaves should be green in color. Leave it in shade until it recovers from root rot. Once it becomes healthy looking again, it's safe to bring it back outside. Do not put in direct sun. I also bought a plant temperature and stuck it in my Michaela Alba .This help me decide when to water and when to leave it alone.Good luck Savy 4

  • Rosanna Smith
    last year

    Cf03. Thanks for your advise. I appreciate it.

  • andr3ana
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I just purchased my first Michelia Alba online from a nursery in Southern CA, a 4 feet tall plant in 3 gal container. So excited! What size and kind of container should I repot into? I am planning to keep indoor during the winter, and bring out in the summer, since I am in Zone 9b : 25 to 30 (F) and I am not sure if it will survive outdoor in my garden. Any advice appreciated!

  • savy4
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    If it were mine I would change into a 12 inch terracotta pot and use a potting soil for cactus and citrus mix add some perlite to the soil. I have 2 michelia champaca one is a 4 ft tall. I change it into a 18 inch ceramic pot and the other one is 2 ft tall I change into 12 inch terracotta pot. The terracotta 12 inch do way better than the `18 inch ceramic pot. And I use the same potting soil the same fertilizer and everything. But I think it like the smaller pot better.


    Savy

  • wakeupsandy28
    last month

    @andr3ana where did you purchase the Michelia Alba and for how much? Looking to purchase one...

  • andr3ana
    last month

    @wakeupsandy28 I bought 2 Michelia Alba ... 1 online from a nursery in Southern California https://www.mimosala.com/ I believe it was $100 ... another 1 in person from a seller at De Anza Flea Market in Cupertino, CA it was $75 a bit smaller than the $100 I purchased online.

  • wakeupsandy28
    last month

    @andr3ana when did you purchase the one from Cupertino?

  • wakeupsandy28
    last month

    @andr3ana just checked mimosala and they are sold out. Hopefully when the lock down is lifted they’ll be back at the flea market. I will try then. Thanks for the fast reply!

  • David Anderson
    last month

    In Sydney Australia with a five year old (expensive) Micelia Alba. It has struggled throughout its life. Loss of leaves, yellow leaves and black spots on leaves causes it to look sad. It was a healthy plant 2m tall on arrival to our garden but not progressed. Tried extra water, less water, fertilizers, lime etc.

  • andr3ana
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @wakeupsandy28 I have the contact info of the De Anza Flea Market vendor. I bought my Michelia/Magnolia Alba from him in early March at the flea market. Flea Market is closed now, but you can call him to ask price and arrange for a time and place to meet to get one.

    I called him last week to inquire about Ylang Ylang tree and ended up meeting him in Sunnyvale to get one from him.



  • andr3ana
    last month

    @David Anderson Sorry to hear that, from my understanding and research this plant needs slightly acidic soil pH 5.6-6.0, is your soil more acidic than 5.6 so that you added lime?

  • sarim chan
    11 days ago

    Hello,

    I live in Zone 6A. I just bought a Michelia Alba from Amazon. The plant suffered stress during shipping. But I do see new growth as it adjust to the new environment. At the moment it is in a 5 gallon pot in my home. Not sure if anyone live in my zone. Wasn't sure the care for Michelia Alba during the winter time. Thank you in advance!

  • savy4
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    I ordered one back in beginning of June too from amazon. It didn’t suffered shipping stress. But the plant was too small for the price. I was really disappointed. So they ship yours in a 5 gallon pot? Are you planning to repot the plant? If you do plan to repot. Plant it not in a pot that’s not too big. That you already have just 2 inches bigger than what you have. I find that Michelia alba likes to stay in a small pot. When I plant mine in a big pot it suffered root rot from over watering in the winter months when I bring it inside the house. Smaller pots easier to manage water the water problem. Winter time place it by a south window and be very careful not to overwater in the winter. Now I have of these plants. I have 2 last year one died from over watering in the winter months it never recover. So I got one left and I ordered 2 more from amazon back in May that I ordered was very good nice and healthy big and tall. But in the beginning of June I decided to placed another order

    from amazon but from a different seller, it was very small and the price cost more. The taller one was my first ordered from amazon and smaller one was from last year. And the other one in June’s ordered not pictured in there.


  • sarim chan
    10 days ago

    Hi Savy,

    The plant did not come in a pot. I was supposed to get a 3 gallon but they gave me a 5 gallon. I was disappointed in the tree for the price I paid. There were a lot of sun damaged to the leaves. I potted in a 14" pot. Is that too big for it? If it is, can I repot in a smaller pot right before winter? It was supposed to arrive on June 17 but because of the delay, I got it on June 20. I have not watered it since that day I potted it. The soil is still moist. I do see new growth so I'm not worried....yet. The weather here has not been good. We are getting Summer thunderstorms. I've placed it NW side of the house near a window with indirect sunlight. There were 6-7 blooms. I lost all but 2 due to the shipping. And I think because of the new environment. Your plants looks so healthy! Do you get flowers during the winter time?