We have had this Ming aralia plant about 6-7 years. It has always been temperamental when moved, but that is necessary when the temperature drops and it is brought inside for a while. It has not been moved since the last cold spell. Now it is dropping leaves a lot. It is under a carport as it does not like direct sun. It gets watered regularly but not excessively as it does not like a lot of water and rain is not a factor. What do you think could have caused this dropping of the leaves? Almost half of the leaves have dropped. Thank you for your help - we love this plant!
- Cheryl B.
Notice how the plant is drooping and how wilted most of the plant looks. This is the way a Ming aralia looks if you forget to water it. Have you noticed how wilted it looks, like it is really thirsty?
In this case, I’m sure you are providing enough water. I imagine if you stuck your finger in the soil right now it would feel moist. That means that water is available to the roots, but they are not absorbing it. The reason the plant looks wilted, then, is the roots are sick and not functioning properly.
The most common reason for this is a fungal infection of the roots called root rot. It is very difficult to treat for these types of diseases. In the case of your Ming aralia, it is so far gone that treatment will not help at this point.
Whatever you do, don’t keep it constantly wet/moist. Allow the soil to feel dry to the touch when you stick your finger into the upper inch of soil before you water. It’s possible that the trunk, which still looks reasonably good (not so wilted), may survive. The worst looking parts are dead or dying. Unfortunately, I think the chances of recovery are pretty remote. I’m so very sorry.
Consumer Horticulture Specialist
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture