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My cacao relative herrania umbraticais burning on the leaves

Midwestfruitjungle
3 months ago

My herrania umbratica seedling is not doing very well. It seems to be putting out new growth but the other leaves are declining in health quickly. i bought the plant A few months ago and use distilled water to water it and it is under plant lights but is far from them so too much light is not an issue. I kept it very close to plant lights in the first week or so of having it and I saw it damaged the leaves a bit so I moved it and now it has slowly been drying out any advice is appreciated.


Comments (9)

  • Midwestfruitjungle
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    I try to water it closely although the soil has dried a bit a few times. I’ll definitely watch out for that. I am not fertilizing it right now although I might with an organic, non chemical fertilizer soon when I repot it. Thanks for the advice I’ll try to move it to a sunny spot

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    3 months ago

    Organic ferts are not at all efficient in a container situation unless fully water soluble or in a liquid form. And few are and those that are tend not have much in the way of any micronutrients.

    You would be better served by using a prepared synthetic fert like one of the Dyna Gro products (Foliage Pro or Liquid Grow) with a full range of all necessary plant nutrients. The plants do not care how their nutrients are sourced. (btw, ALL fertilizers are chemical in derivation....as is everything else we come into contact with)

  • Midwestfruitjungle
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    I am just very cautious to fertilize this plant in general as high salt concentration can kill the plant easily. I appreciate organic, non salt fertilizer because it is broken down into non-organic compounds and salts at a slow rate.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    3 months ago

    Since ALL plants absorb nutrients in the form of soluble salts, they are hard to get away from, even with organics :-) The issue with organics in any container culture is that there are insufficient populations of soil microorganisms present in standard potting soil to effectively breakdown organically sourced fertilizers to convert them into soluble salts. Much more is wasted than can be absorbed.

    Concerns of salt build up can be alleviated by fully flushing the plant container with water periodically. If not done with every watering, do at least monthly.

  • morpheuspa (6B/7A, E. PA)
    3 months ago

    Now mind you, and with all that (previously predicted) unpleasantness out of the way, I don't want to lead you wrong, here. Are solid organics going to work? Yep, and you can find plenty that work fine in containers. Some want to, some don't, and that's OK. Misused, they can smell a bit, so that's why some don't.

    Most online sources will point the neophyte toward more liquid organics as simpler solutions, like liquid kelp or the like. I'm fine with that. I'm also fine with a combo of MiracleGro and a liquid kelp (or a crystallized kelp added a bit to your MG to add a bit of organic kick to the MG).

    Every little bit helps. In that case, you can get around the (dubious) argument of lack of penetration into the soil, and directly to bacterial decay, which certainly has no issues occurring as it also must on the urea nitrogen in most plant foods (which has to hydrolize via bacterial processes).

    Nitrogen available via organic methods works the same way, is less likely to burn as it's available more slowly and generally diluted in much greater mass--but still can burn in some forms or if applied too much at once. On the up side, the feeding tends to be very sustained and much more rounded overall without making a special effort.

    And sensitive plants can still have a problem with salts and leaf markings from them using any methods. My corn plant certainly does!

  • Midwestfruitjungle
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Thank you for your clarity and credibility morpheuspa I am definitely sticking to organic natural fertilizers! Perhaps some liquid kelp or fish emulsion too

  • morpheuspa (6B/7A, E. PA)
    3 months ago

    Both of those are totally boss. Note for the Really Cheap: You can get soluble kelp from a place that sells it (cough) "for less" (I dislike naming specific company names) and mix your own for far cheaper than purchasing liquid kelp. Half a pound of the crystals will last your houseplants approximately ten years as 4 ounces of crystals makes one gallon of concentrate.


    Fish emulsion is wonderful as well but...I haven't found a cheap source of that. I cheat and dissolve blood meal in water, but it's kind of icky and some people object to 1) blood, and 2) icky. I completely understand the negativity on that one, plus it is pretty strong stuff in terms of feeding.

  • christine 5b
    2 months ago

    I'd advice you NOT to re-pot until spring, they growth rate slows down during the winter months, and the plant is already showing signs of stress. I would just leave her be, water when needed without fertilizer IMHO.