Tea Tree Leaves Drying Up
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Pat Daley
Posted on: February 8, 1999

I started a tea tree plant last summer outdoors in a pot; transplanted to a larger pot in the fall and put it in a south window. In late December, I pruned it. Now, about a month later, the leaves are drying up and falling off. I keep it well watered and spray occasionally. Is this part of the normal cycle or is it dying on me?

The tea tree is an evergreen tree that grows in moist to wet environments in a tropical climate. The leaves will get damaged in even the slightest frost. Also the plants like neutral to slightly acid soil and the more frequent watering required in the dry winter indoor environment may be making the potting soil too alkaline or salty. Coupled with transplant shock and pruning may have been too much for the plant. Also in the dry house it is much easier to occasionally let the pot dry out and the plant would suffer greatly.

I would suggest you water the plant with lots of rainwater, allow to drain a bit and then enclose the pot in a plastic bag. Keep the pot in a bright north window. It might start sprouting again if it is not quite dead yet.

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