Scheffelera Question .. Very odd to me.

(Tracey) Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

I have a nice size Scheffelera Arbicola... Its about 2 foot tall and very full. It used to live on my patio but several weeks ago I moved it to my office where it gets 10+ hours of flourescent light.. It has continued to look healthy and there is alot of new growth. Last week I noticed that some of the new growth is turning a very dark brown color and droops more than normal new growth on this plant. I have been watching, checking it regularly.. I have been meaning to post this problem to see if anyone could help me with it..... and then....

Yesterday I caught a co-worker pouring her leftover Coca-Cola in it.. Hmmm!!! Could this be the culprit? The only changes I see are the ones mentioned, and its only on the new growth.. and not all the new growth.. just the one side. I wish I could post a pic.. but I'm waiting for my new battery for my digitial camera to arrive.

Is this what happens to a Scheffelera on COKE???

(Zone 1)

Hi Tracey,

I think I'd give that co-worker a good talking too ... tell her that your plants don't need a caffeine high and to water her own plants with her drink, and leave yours alone!

I really don't know if the Coke is the reason for your Scheff's problem but I wouldn't be surprised, since you said the plant was fine for a long while before you moved it to the office. I know an ingredient of fertilizer is phosphoric acid and I think it's also an ingredient in cola. I think too much phosphorus could cause foliage and root burn, and possibly kill a plant.

(Tracey) Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

Lin, I gave her a "talking to" the moment I caught her in action.... :) She said she heard coke was good for potted plants.. I told her to drug her own plants.. Which she has none of here... I own every plant in this office and there are several.. The deal was I could bring plants to beautify and make the office more long as I agreed to care for them... : )

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Coke also has a lot of water in it, so if she's dumping cokes in there on a daily basis it could be too much moisture as well, combined with a bit too much of all the other stuff that's in Coke.

(Tracey) Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

Do you think it would be wise to take my baby home and repot in fresh soil? I had been wondering why it still felt moist. I thought it was the tempature and lighting difference from the patio to the office. I have no idea how long she has been doing that. WITCH!! Oh, Sorry for the outburst.

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

You spelled WITCH wrong! How inconsiderate, and ..... and ...... just WRONG - tell her I said so! (Like that carries any weight ......) Lol I'd be angry, too.

The damage may have already have been done, but I would definitely flush the soil thoroughly/repeatedly.

Something similar happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I own a glazing contracting business, and the county engineer was in the shop on his day off. His GD, about 8-9 years old, accompanied him. I saw her messing with the plants on the window sill as I talked to the engineer, but I thought nothing of it at the time. The next day when I went to water, I discovered a number of plants with broken stems, and about a dozen scars where the brat had stuck her thumb into the fleshy leaves of a number of my succulents. I was soo angry! What a destructive little monster. I bet she's a real treat to be around. It HAD to have been intentional!

Really sorry for what happened, Tracey.


(Tracey) Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

Thanks AL.. and you are correct about the spelling.. I originially spelled it correctly but changed it due to censorship...

I guess I will be taking it home tonight to see about saving it. I hope I caught it before its too late.. You think a good flushing will be just as good as new potting medium?

(Zone 1)

LOL Tracey ... I always use the terminology: "She's a witch with a capital B"

I don't think the plant is a total goner if there's still green foliage and live roots, but I really do agree with Al ... flush, flush, flush that potting medium. I don't know if it would cause more stress on the plant to change out the potting medium, but the plant is already stressed I'm sure since you don't really know how long the "Bwitch" was pouring her coke into the container!

Al, so sorry to hear about the little miss witch damaging your succulents! Normally I would have thought a youngster just made a mistake, not knowing anything about plants and not realizing it would hurt them ... but if she is 8 or 9 years old, she certainly is old enough to know better and it sounds like she was bored and meant to do what she did! I know children make mistakes sometimes but they should be taught at a young age to respect others property! I hope your plants recover.

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

"You think a good flushing will be just as good as new potting medium?"

It sorta depends on what you're using & what you'd be changing to. ;o)

Thanks - I'm sure the plants will recover. The one that sustained the most damage was a cutting of a plant (Echeveria) that has a LOT of sentimental meaning to me. It's not that I don't have lots of starts of it, I do, but it's just the thought. That particular plant I only share with the people that I know can/will treat it properly/well because of how special it is to me. When I DO share it, I look it as an opportunity to honor a someone who was very special to me.

Lol - sorry, Tracey. I'm not trying to make the thread about me, I'll shut up now. ;o) Thanks for putting up with me.


(Tracey) Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

Lin, You are too funny and you always seem to have my back.. Thanks!!

Al, You can hijack my thread anytime.. I think I learn something (good or bad) out of every passage you type.. lol. I use a potting medium that was introduced to me by another DG'er who I consider a friend.. YOU MAY KNOW HIM ; ) There are a few items I add/delete to meet the needs of my plants in my area.. but the two are quite similar. I should be able to flush it well. I agree with Lin that it may be more stressful on the plant to repot.. As I mentioned, with the exception of some of the new growth, the plants stilll looks very healthy..

I asked the bwitch, and she said she has only done it a few times.. Hmmm! Well, I supposed its possible. Hmm again.. wonder how the term bewitched originated!?!?!? lol

This message was edited Sep 1, 2010 9:15 AM

(Zone 1)

Oh, I didn't mean it wasn't a good idea to re-pot. From your description of the Scheff's foliage it seems to be showing stress from the "cola fertilizer" diet, but I don't think it would hurt at all to re-pot it and it may be more beneficial than leaving it to suck up whatever amount of that stuff is in the soil.

If it were me, I'd re-pot, but that's just me, LOL. I'm always dumping plants out of their containers to look at the roots to see if perhaps they might need new containers or fresh potting medium. Some folks think if you just leave plants alone, they will recover in their own time, I can't seem to leave them alone. I have a hose out on my deck and I dump plants from their containers and use the hose to totally rinse all (or as much as possible) of any old potting medium from the roots until they are naked roots. :) Then I mix up a batch of new stuff and re-pot, move the plant to a shady spot and let it recover in peace.

Keep us posted on how your Scheff is doing and I sure hope that Bwitch leaves your plants alone!

Saugerties, NY(Zone 5a)

daisylovn, I'm just getting around to reading your post and wanted to add my 2 cents :>)

You are one classy lady, I would not have handled her like you did LOL...
I too hope your Scheff is doing well and the Bwitch knows her place :>)

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