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PatrickA_FL wrote: I believe that the pot is an appropriate size. The pot I am using is made of bamboo, 14" across at top, approx 9" across at bottom and 11" high.
The attached photo is of the root system when I switched form Miracle Grow to Jungle Growth. For reference, from where the roots start at the trunk to the bottom of what you see in the photo is approximately 8".
I switched from the Jungle Growth to a quasi version of Al's recommended soil mix. It's mostly large particle fir bark, and I watered about a week ago, and it drained like a sieve. I watered with a wick hanging out of the bottom of the pot for good measure and it drained very well I think. Just today it's starting to feel mostly dry down to about 4". (I bottomed out my index finger checking). The soil is hard to penetrate with my 3 in 1 meter due to the amount of coarse material in the soil medium, but with a little finagling and a bit of pressure, I managed to get the probes down to about 5" and the meter reads just barely above dry in the moist zone. I was planning to water tomorrow, with a couple of mosquito dunks dissolved in the water. The general consensus is that drying out the soil only makes them stop hatching, and when you re-water, they start hatching again, so I want to apply a definitive treatment. I have read where they do not cause foliage damage, but the larvae attack the roots and steal nutrition from the plant.
Thanks for the heads up about the sand. I will implement that step also.
I have a bad feeling though, that I will be starting out a new seed very soon. Last time I planted 23 seeds and was rewarded with 10 growers, but due to a move and lack of room to continue caring for 10, I gave all but 1 plant away to my neighbors at the time. In hindsight, I should have kept a few, but then again, I would likely have the same results. My tree is alive, but I simply cannot get ahead of the eight ball, it seems. It's gone from being root bound a bit, to spider mites and now, fungus gnats. Hate to think what's next. I realize Al is right about "Plant Time" and not being able to rush things, but I have attempted to get the culture conditions right based on the knowledge I have received and after a week, instead of it looking better, it looks worse and all new growth has stopped dead in its tracks. Perhaps it's just stressed. Very frustrating to want this beautiful tree for my den and to find I only have black thumbs.
Guess I will try the dunks in water and the sand tomorrow and see what happens. Perhaps the sand prevents the critters from coming up for air, and essentially smothers them and prevents other adults from burrowing down to deposit eggs?
Anyway, I appreciate your time, Trackinsand. Many thanks.