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Help with sick false aralia

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by jdiehler on March 07, 2005 03:47 AM
I bought a false aralia about a year ago and followed the watering instructions (about once a week) and kept it by a window where it gets partial sun throughout the day. After a couple of months it became infested with what someone told me were fungus flies. I was told to dry out the plant and they would go away which I did and the flies went away.

I began watering it normally again and the flies did not come back, however, the leaves have been slowly dropping off over the last 8 to 9 months. New sprouts try to grow, but they wither after a couple of weeks. I cut he stalks back but it is still dying. What do I do? See photos.

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by Will Creed on March 07, 2005 04:02 AM
The photos did not come through, so I am flying a bit blind here.

Fungus gnats are often a sign of overwatering. When you reduced the soil moisture to get rid of the gnats, apparently your false aralia did not suffer. Now you have resumed watering it "normally" and you are having problems. It may be that overwatering is the problem. Hopefully, the roots have not started to rot.

Another consideration: False aralias do best in very bright indirect sunlight with a few hours of early or late day direct sun. You may be filtering the light too much. An unfiltered north or east window is a good location.
by rozy221 on March 07, 2005 04:10 AM
I got a small false aralia a few months ago...I read that they like it on the dryer side-let it almost wilt before watering...I've followed this, and, so far, my little guy is doing OK. Good luck!
by jdiehler on March 07, 2005 04:35 AM
I can't seem to figure out how to post my photos. ???

Anyway...

Okay, so I actually did try not watering it for about a month about 2 months ago and it is still losing its leaves. I now water it about once every 2 to 3 weeks.

Some suggestions I've heard are:

Submerging the whole pot in a tub of water to make sure that the roots are in fact absorbing water.

Pulling the plant out of the pot, washing the roots off completely, and repotting in a smaller pot. (I now have it in a 15" dia. by 12" deep pot. The plant intself is about 6 ft. tall)

Or, bringing the plant outside in a shaded area of my yard.

Any thoughts?
by Will Creed on March 08, 2005 04:37 AM
You can e-mail a photo to me directly at my e-mail listed below.

Your false aralia should be watered when the top two inches of soil feel dry to the touch. Unless the soil is completely dried out, then submerging it is not good idea. Removing all of the soil and rinsing the roots is never a good idea. Moving it outside is a good idea only if temps are above 55 degrees and you are not getting adequate light indoors.

I suspect your aralia is reacting to the rather extreme chances it has been through, especially in regard to watering. With luck it is simply adjusting to the changes and will gradually recover once the environment is stable for a while; plants dislike change. In a less-fortunate scenario, the roots have been severely damaged by the drought or the overwatering and the plant is on its way out. Let's hope for the former.

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