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Thread: Macleania chlorosis

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    anramitaco's Avatar
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    Macleania chlorosis

    I grow three neotropical blueberries: macleania pentaptera, macleania glabra, and disterigma rimbachii. For the past few months, the m. glabra's leaves have been looking a little chlorotic. New growth looks healthy, flushed with pink, but soon begins to yellow. Otherwise, it grows steadily. Like the other blueberries, it grows in a mix of fine-grade orchid bark, perlite, and some peat and LFS. I water with distilled water and it occasionally gets half-strength orchid fertilizer (urea-free 20-14-13).

    Anyone know what might be causing this? bad soil recipe? wrong fertilizer or too little?

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    Take a pic for me but it's most likely to be iron if I had to hazard a guess. You can get iron chelate and apply as a foliar spray. Ericaceous plants are acid-loving, but this essentially means iron-loving. Don't apply it until we're sure though.

    If it is iron the new growth will be affected, while the older growth will be fine. Does this apply here?

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    anramitaco's Avatar
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    Here is some of the older growth:


    Newer growth, already looking chlorotic. Though the two older leaves in the background look green enough...


    Newest growth:

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    You definitely have a nutritional issue there, but it appears to be very early on. You're doing the right thing by catching it early. This is just me staring at a photo, but check for spider mites. The older leaves look like they may have them, which may be causing a false chlorosis.

    There's a chance it's iron; spraying iron chelate regularly once a month or so never hurts anything. A product called Sprint is what I use.

    Based on the interveinal chlorosis it can also be low on magnesium or sulfur, which can both be treated with epsom salt. I would use a rate of 1/2-1tsp per gallon. Apply as a foliar spray, see if you notice a difference, and then maybe give the roots a shot of it if it works.

    Can you give the product name and/or the nutrient analysis on the package?
    Last edited by theplantman; 06-04-2014 at 07:23 PM.

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    anramitaco's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for your help. I can't find any spider mites or further evidence of their presence. I'll try the epsom salt first, since I have some on hand. If things aren't improving, I'll give the iron chelate a shot.

    Can you give the product name and/or the nutrient analysis on the package?
    The fertilizer I use is Better-Gro Orchid Plus, urea-free 20-14-13 + minor elements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anramitaco View Post
    Thanks so much for your help. I can't find any spider mites or further evidence of their presence. I'll try the epsom salt first, since I have some on hand. If things aren't improving, I'll give the iron chelate a shot.



    The fertilizer I use is Better-Gro Orchid Plus, urea-free 20-14-13 + minor elements.
    No problem--hope you're able to narrow down which nutrient is the cause. I can't easily find a photo of the back of your bag of fertilizer. You should look at the micronutrients listed. Whichever is missing out of iron, sulfur, and magnesium will be your clue on whether to add iron or epsom salts.

    I find with most plants that it helps to use at least two different feeds just so you're never missing anything. Unfortunately there's no such thing as a perfect fertilizer blend for every plant.
    Last edited by theplantman; 06-06-2014 at 10:26 AM.

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