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Advice for Yellowing Moringa?  RSS feed

 
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Hello, guys.  I planted a couple of small Moringa trees in pots almost one month ago.  When I received them they looked OK (a little yellow) but not dark green as I see in some pictures.  I believe I damaged part of the root structure when removing them from the hard plastic shipping containers.  Still, I planted them in Smartpots with a mixture of garden soil, compost, coco cuir, vermiculite, and sand.

A month later, they're still alive but don't look much better at all.  I live in Zone 8B and it has been hot, humid, and have had plenty of rain.  I don't know if it's the rain that's keeping them yellow.  I've since tried sprinkling Epsom Salt and calcium, and given them fish emulsion (thinking that the daily afternoon showers may have washed the nutrients away).  It could simply be that they're often in moist soil.  It would be great to keep them alive... can you help?

Here are the pictures:


This one looks a little bit better than the first...


You'll notice that their 'partner' (Mexican Sunflower, I think) isn't doing great either.  Thanks for any help you can provide.
 
pollinator
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I ordered four tiny mulberry trees this summer and they did the same thing.  

All four looked sickly and yellow for over a month.  I just left them alone and waited ten days between waterings.  If we had a good rain I waited an additional ten days.  They have snapped out of it but it took a while, probably transplant shock.  

I would be really careful feeding transplants, but you may know more than I do.

 
pollinator
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Too much water.

The problem of growing plants in pots is that the sun beats on the side of the pot and heats the poor roots up to a million degrees, and dries out the soil daily.  So then you've got to soak the poor things daily to make sure they are getting enough moisture.  That flushes all the nutrients out of the soil, not to mention that the constant moist/dry cycle is hell on the little microbes.

Moringa doesn't need a lot of water, but it needs consistent moisture.  I get my plants into the ground as soon as they are viable (which yours are) and mulch them heavily to maintain consistent moisture.

If you intend to keep them in a pot, check the soil drainage.  Find a way to keep the sun from beating on the side of the pot and super-heating the soil and roots.

Zone 8B --- get them in the ground -- they should over-winter just fine in 8B.
 
Daly Gutierrez
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Thank you both!

I was afraid that it was the water, and the whole heating of the pots doesn't help (even though I'm using fabric smart pots).

I'm going to put them in the ground this weekend, guys.  I wasn't sure that they'd survive the frost in my Zone 8B weather, as the trees are really small... But I'm take the chance.

Thanks for the input.
 
gardener
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At this stage of growth get them into a spot with afternoon shade and let them dry out as the others have mentioned.
When you plant them in the ground is the time to make any nutrient additions.

Redhawk
 
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Location: Senegal, ~600mm rain, 9 mo. dry season
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I suspect an overabundance of water as well.

Moringa is native to areas that receive as little as 2-3 months of rainfall.  That means that they are very acclimated to dry conditions.  In heavy soils, I've seen even larger plants get stressed in wet conditions, although growing in straight sand they never really seem to mind our rainy seasons.
 
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