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Need advice with FLF

RA Santos
4 years ago

Hi! I've recently purchased a 6 ft tall FLF from an online seller -- see photo with our dog for reference. It has a sturdy trunk (no support needed) and I've seen 3 new leaf growth in the past 2 weeks.

However, some of the leaves, especially the two bottom and older leaves, are sort of cracking and browning at the edges. The discoloration seems to spread as time goes by. The plant is currently located near east-, north-, and west-facing windows and we live in SoCal (zone 10a). I water approximately once a week, making sure the water flows out of the drainage holes.

Though I do not have a prognosis on what causes the cracking and discoloration, I plan to repot (and root-prune, depending on need) this plant soon. I've been browsing and reading a lot about potting mixes and I have decided to use Tapla's 511 potting mix. I have already mixed my own using 5 parts reptibark, 1 part sphagnum peat moss, and 1 part perlite and it is currently "incubating" for the pH adjustment due to addition of lime. The plant is still in its 14" growing pot but I will transfer it to a slightly bigger 15" plastic pot with drainage holes at the bottom. I want to keep it indoors and I have a saucer caddy to aid with the water overflow. Moving forward, I will also use a sharpened wooden dowel (currently using a chopstickt) to check the soil moisture before I water the plant. The current soil has CRF but I bought Dyna-gro foliage pro 9-3-6 for fertilizing after the repotting.

Few key questions I have in mind:

  1. What could have caused / be causing the cracking and leaf discoloration? Is there a way to solve this?
  2. Is it too late to repot the plant given the season?
  3. What should be the pH level of the soil? Correct me if I'm wrong but I've read that FLF prefers basic but could also do well in an acidic environment.
  4. Should I add like clay pebbles / rocks at the bottom of my pot to make sure that the medium doesn't sit on the water overflow?
  5. Am I missing something or am I misinformed in any way?

Thank you so much in advance to everyone who replies to my thread! :)

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