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Plant Diseases/Pachypodium leaf curl


The one pachypodium I have developed a problem with the new leaves turning grey and dying. One other pachypodium I have had the same issue.I think the problem started with yellow mushrooms that had grown in the pot. I completely removed all the soil, washed off the soil from the roots-new pot, new soil and is fine now. I followed the same procedure when the second one exhibited the same issue a year later,but when the new leaves began to grow, same issue. The plant is otherwise healthy with no other visible issues. I have had this plant for many years and it has always produced an impressive crown of leaves and it is sad to see the plant trying to grow but as soon as the leaves get to be about an inch long they turn grey and fall off. Please help!

Dear Nicole, There may be several reasons why your pachypodium is having problems and they are related to issues with light and water.  Undoubtedly since you are in Canada, I assume you are growing your plant indoors.  It it very important for these plants to be kept in as much light as possible to ensure good growth in the leaves.  The other issue is water.  Since these plants are succulents, they prefer to be watered infrequently, as they naturally store water in their tissues.  I would water no more than once a week, probably only once every two weeks, or even less.  Let the pot drain completely, and any saucer that catches water underneath MUST be drained and kept empty.  The biggest cause of plant death in general is overwatering, and succulents have even more problems with overwatering.  Also, your soil choice may be causing you problems.  These plants should be grown in a very sandy soil without a lot of organic matter that keeps the soil moist.  You need a different soil than most of the other houseplants will need.  Sometimes when I pot up cacti or succulents, I plant them in the worst dirt I have around, and they thrive.  Even if all the other factors of light and water are being addressed, it is likely that your plant may have developed a fungus, particularly with the mushrooms growing in the soil, so you might want to spray with a strong fungicide.  I hope this information helps, but write back if you have more questions.  Good luck, Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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