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Aralia losing leaves/branch joints. Help.

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by dima on March 09, 2006 03:51 PM
Hello. I have an Aralia (the stick says Aralia sp.) plant that I thought looked healthy, but realized is losing leaves and branches at the slightest tug, pulling apart at the joints. I have had the plant for two months, bought at a garden center. It is about two and a half feet tall by two feet wide. I don't water it too often, about once every week, or whenever the soil feels dry to about an inch under the surface, and let the soil drain freely without pooling at the base. I spray it every other day. It gets at least four hours (usually much more) of indirect sunlight (in front of an east-facing window) per day. It is winter, so the temperature is in the 60s most of the day, 50s at night. I am alarmed at this sudden change and would like help. Thanks very much.
by Frisha on March 09, 2006 11:23 PM
Did a quick search and came up with this info on this plant.

Temperature: Never below 60F for the Aralia species listed. 50F is the minimum for Polyscias, although it prefers a winter temperature of between 59-80F. One of the few plants that actually grows better indoors as it does not appreciate direct sun and is very intolerant of wind.

Watering: Needs a lot of water, and constantly moist soil, but can develop root rot if water is allowed to stagnate around the roots. Misting is essential.

got that from here
by Will Creed on March 10, 2006 06:19 AM
I agree that cool temps are the likely cause of the leaf drop because your light and watering seem to be on target, unless you moved it into a larger pot recently.

The reference to keeping the soil constantly moist can be misleading as it is easy to overwater Aralias. Do allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out in between waterings.

If any of the stems have developed a very leggy look as a result of lower leaf drop, then you can remedy this by pruning the leggy stems back. New growth will emerge just below the point of the pruning cut.

Let me know if any of this is unclear.

Will Creed
Indoor landscaper
by dima on March 11, 2006 08:34 AM
Thanks for the advice. It is warming up as it's Spring, so I'll see if it does better.
by Cricket on March 15, 2006 11:34 AM
Dima, I will be interested to learn if warmer weather resolves the leaf drop. My Aralias are exposed to similar temperatures all winter but haven't dropped leaves -yet.

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