portulacaria (spekboom) help

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portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:00 pm

one of my spekboom began dropping leaves a few weeks ago... at first just a few, then more... and then more and more...

it is kept in the same window as several others and none of them appear to be affected... i was not able to see any signs of insect activity such as scale or anything else visible to my eye...

upon further examination it appeared that i had some drainage issues and so i am now guessing that it has been overwatered...
and A LOT by the looks of it  Rolling Eyes

so, i did some research and it appears i may be correct, but was looking for some corroboration from the IBC along with what i can do and expect from this point forward...

is this normal behavior for an overwatered spekboom ?
should i repot asap ?
should i just leave it be, now that the drainage issue is resolved ?
will it recover ?
should i cut it back at all ?

i do have new growth beginning to show...

a current picture from today:



and how the leaves look as they have fallen:



any help would be greatly appreciated as this tree is particularly dear to me, being one of my first 2 bonsai,
and i have grown it from a little 2" cutting

and yes, i am now relinquishing my crown as king of spekboom...
after such a first year novice mistake, i am no longer fit to wear it  king  Embarassed

(btw - the pot is by AAC potter johnny menzel !)

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  LanceMac10 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:23 pm

Don't sweat it brother. Ol' Nomad Johnny has got about 5 or 6 of these things. And every one dropped almost every leave on them!
Gradually filling back in. Probably a mix of a little too much water and dense growth shading out interior growth.
It'll bounce back.

As an aside, I'm hoping to get out to Breckenridge next month. Probably have a stopover in the "Wauke". Probably not enough time to hook up with ya'.
Dudes at the rental shack better be ready. Cuz' I plan on returning their board disguised as a pile of kindling!!!

Twisted Evil

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:36 pm

LanceMac10 wrote:Don't sweat it brother. Ol' Nomad Johnny has got about 5 or 6 of these things. And every one dropped almost every leave on them!
Gradually filling back in. Probably a mix of a little too much water and dense growth shading out interior growth.
It'll bounce back.

As an aside, I'm hoping to get out to Breckenridge next month. Probably have a stopover in the "Wauke". Probably not enough time to hook up with ya'.
Dudes at the rental shack better be ready. Cuz' I plan on returning their board disguised as a pile of kindling!!!

Twisted Evil

thanks for the re-assurance !

i saw in a diff thread that you were heading out to colorado... and by rental, i hope you mean snowboard !!!

re: a stop in beer city, like every airport, it is non-smoking, so if you have time to duck outside to burn one, i can buzz over and say hey...
i live right by the airport... literally a couple blocks off the east property line... seriously, lemme know and i will bring a couple beers to slam !

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  LanceMac10 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:15 pm

Snowboard, van, you name it, it's coming back in pieces!!!
Still up in the air right now, I'll keep you posted.

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:03 pm

Well Kevin,

you have done much better than me. When a branch loses leaves for me, it stays that way, especially after pruning.
Happy to see your child recovering.
Temperature down here 84 deg F by day for 30 minutes as the high and 70 deg.F after 6.00 p.m. until 8.00 a.m. Rainy and Sunny.
Just to add on something different.

Oh, first 12 repots done, more coming up, rain keeping back play.
Laters.
Khaimraj

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  geo on Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:10 am

Kevin:  Hope your Spekboom is coming back. But it must be a different wicket entirely for them under lights in the winter.
Khaimraj: Highs and lows here are 75F and around 60F. Completely dry. A question.I want to get a Portulacaria afra tomorrow. Can I repot now, or do pruning first and wait on the re pot? Glad to see that you are still posting some.

Regards,geo.
Hope both of your Christmases were bright and that your New Years will be brighter.


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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:46 pm

geo wrote:Kevin:  Hope your Spekboom is coming back. But it must be a different wicket entirely for them under lights in the winter... I want to get a Portulacaria afra tomorrow. Can I repot now, or do pruning first and wait on the re pot?

george - i dont use lights for these... just a huge south facing window in my office...

re: your new acquisition: with those temps, you'd be safe (and better off) repotting now and get it established in your substrate before worrying about the top... the sooner you have it repotted the sooner you won't have to re-pot for quite a while as these ladies like tight shoes...

geo wrote:Hope both of your Christmases were bright and that your New Years will be brighter.

right back atcha !

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:09 pm

Portulacaria needs treating like most succulent plants. Keep it almost dry in winter and allow it to dry out between waterings in summer. I lost mine, after many years, due to harder frosts than normal and a failed thermostatic fan heater. Yours should bounce back fine, so long as there is no rot at the base.

Yours is already more advanced than mine was, but I'm in a cold climate. Have you seen the ones Jim Smith grew in Florida? They are jaw dropping when seen "in person".

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  MKBonsai on Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:03 pm

I had a very large one once once. Th previous owner owner put crocks in the pot but forgot to put any holes in the Pot. When my very helpful staff kept watering it for me without me knowing it soon started to rot from the inside out. First a few leaves fell off, then branches and then it collapsed and died. Fortunately I got some cuttings before its demise So - if it's rotten it's probably had it, if not then there should be every chance of a recovery if the drainage is as it should be.

Good luck!

JT. MKBonsai

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:09 pm

thanks kev...

and yeah i have seen some of jim smiths trees, but not in person... truly impressive though, even in a photo.

i am surprised at the growth i have been able to get out of mine considering our climate...
that 2 inch cutting was started just 4 years ago (almost to the day !)

but because of where i site them over winter, they really never stop growing...

MK - thanks... i am holding out hope that i caught it in time and the bits of new growth i am seeing seem to support that.

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  Precarious on Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:59 pm

I am finding spekboom to be somewhat finicky as compared to my jades. They have been quick to drop most/all leaves when coming in for winter, and I have also lost leaves from watering, but underwatering rather than over. Ime they don't handle the dry as well as jades.

You can still be the king, Kevin, but now we will think of you as mortal. Surprised

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:46 pm

I have no problems with mine as water goes, just if a branch loses the leaves, the branch dies, no regeneration.
Andre' where are you to fix my tree. Sad  Sad

Kevin is so lucky.
[ see I am still around, just fading awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy ]
Laters/
Khaimraj

* Hey be happy for me, the J.B.pine and this branch episode thingee with Elephant
grass / bush, is all I haven't figured out in Bonsai.
Soon, up, up and away /

I have been here since 98 if memories serve.


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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:17 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote: just if a branch loses the leaves, the branch dies, no regeneration.

i hope that is not the case because as of today every scrap of previous growth is gone pale
i am putting a lot of hope on the bit of, what i am assuming to be, new growth.

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:I have been here since 98 if memories serve.

well, after all that time, its a shame that you decided to leave us...
er... um... or whatever you call leaving us and continuing to post... scratch

(hiatus ? nope... leave-of-absence ? nope... intermission ? nope... suspension ? nope... recess ? nope... respite ? nope... time-out ? nope... vacation ? nope... gee, those all suggest someone leaving for a bit and then coming back; rather than leaving for a bit, going nowhere and then coming back to the place that you never left in the first place... hhhmmm what is that called ?)

geek

whatever it is called, i am glad you are doing it !
or not doing it ?
whichever the case may be...

lol!

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  Andre Beaurain on Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:42 am

Hi Kevin

Sorry for so late, but last year is a complete blurr for me....

I thing the problem lies in not enough air movement and of course you have indoor heating ?

What is your light intensity? Can you show me the window and the light it gets during the day.

Also just check if it doesnt have red spider mite. This is what happens when they have it..

I think you must treat it with a fungicide and also with a systemic insecticide, (koinor) if you have red spider mite. But not at the same time!

Love and Light
Andre

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:07 pm

thanks for chiming in andre...

re: air flow, i do have 2 different fans that i occasionally run (almost daily) and my office is pretty large and not like a dead air closet, but yes it does have indoor heat (not much outdoor heat at this time of year Evil or Very Mad )

i have treated it with a systemic fungicide when i first suspected some type of fungal issue and i still do not see any evidence of a pest... (and as i was typing this i referred to an article on red spider mites http://www.bonsaigarden.net/control_of_red_spider_mites.html and so got out the ol' eye-spy glass and examined the tree and nothing found)

in regards to the light see the below 2 pictures:

before the sun comes up



after the sun comes up (not a B&W photo but still a cloudy day with heavy back lighting)



that window faces south which here in the northern hemisphere is optimal for winter light with the sun's low angle...
the sun (when it is out) tracks across this window all day from left to right (east to west)...
if light were an issue, i think i would see something just as bad in the adjacent spekboom (and other plants)...

even though i believe it was an over watering issue, any thoughts from you would be appreciated !



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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:40 pm

I agree, over watering was the issue. It should be on the way to recovery, you've done all I would do.

Hey Andre, good to see you back. Be sure to check the AAC blog, a few posts there with SA trees.

Leo

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:59 pm

Leo Schordje wrote:few

operative word being "few" Rolling Eyes Razz

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  fredman1 on Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:40 am

Got a link to the AAC blog plz ?

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:05 pm

fred... its right under my signature... at least i hope that works
not much recent activity, but might be worth checking out...

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  fredman1 on Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:43 pm

Cheers Kevin Very Happy

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:10 pm

no sweat man, fred !
btw - last night i watched a new zealand mockumentary called "what we do in the shadows" with your fellow countryman jemaine clement... what a bloody (no pun intended) riot !!! and clever as clever can be...

but i digress Wink

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  fredman1 on Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:38 am

LoL yeah that's a crazy bunch. Hows the spekky doing?

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:54 pm

spitting out new growth... i wish i could get it outside though to help avoid legginess in the new growth, but that is about 6 weeks away... of well, i will be happy enough not to lose the tree.

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

Post  fredman1 on Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:57 am

Lovely. That's good.... Yeah they are natural survivors. Tough as high carbon steel nails....Laughing

Yeah the leggyness on them is a problem in general. I have all mine in full sun all season so far. They also grew some leggyness. I've cut those away a few weeks ago. Now we're having a heatwave and it doesn't bother them none. They are busy splitting in two everywhere I've cut. That's actually good for me, as it gives some movement and taper that cant be created by wiring on them.

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Re: portulacaria (spekboom) help

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