No more Tauwa for SW

SS No. 1 Brown Tips

SS No. 1 Brown Tips

Oh dear, Oh dear. There I was telling you how healthy SS No. 1 is and how well its doing. SS No. 1 has still got many challenging stages to get through to survive. It all started with my observation of the tips of the leaves turning brown, an indication to me that something was going wrong with this little plant. First it was one leaf, then in a span of a few days, I noticed that several leaves started having their tips turn brown too. Concern turned into alarm as I realised that I might have either a spreading infection in this plant or that something was killing it. Turning to my book “What’s wrong with my plant” for advice, I read that in many plants, leaves turning brown gradually but not due to bugs consuming it or sun burn is an indication that there is a remote problem, usually the roots.

Oh no! The roots! How would I be able to tell if it is a root infection or perhaps my own folly of over-watering? I spent a dreamless Saturday night mulling over my possible actions and its consequences. On Sunday morning, I had made my decision and broke the news to SW.

“You’re going to have to help me today,” I said ” the little Tauwa durian plant looks rather ill and we have to dig it up and check its roots.” Before SW could protest, I added ” Go look at it, it really doesn’t look well and I’m not sure what’s wrong”. With that, SW went to have a look at the little durian plant and indeed solemnly agreed that perhaps it wasn’t looking its best. What shall we do about it, he asked.

SS. No. 1 in Troubled Waters

“Hmm, perhaps we could attempt a change of soil environment, I suspect that something’s up with the soil, maybe fungal or bugs or perhaps it is just too wet and the soil isn’t able to drain because of the fancy pot we put it in…”

Well we shook the soil off and attempted a round in water but I think you can tell that it’s going to be a futile rescue. Well SS No. 1 has already had its first near death experience an this is the second so let’ see how it goes.

5 thoughts on “No more Tauwa for SW

  1. Hi, I’m wondering if the book you used is the book written by my wife and I. Our book is called “What’s Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?)” by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth. There are other books in print with the same or similar names. The symptoms you describe, leaf tips turning brown, can be caused by too much water, too little water, too much fertilizer, or by a fungal infection of the root system. Your plant still has a good chance of recovery unless the roots are black and mushy.

    • Hi David!

      It is a nice surprise to hear from you and I am both grateful for the advice and flattered that you are reading my blog. The book that my sister bought for me from the UK was authored by Steven Bradley but I shall look for your book and buy it at the next time that I’m at the bookstore.

      I don’t usually have plants as I think that plants require almost as much love and attention as pets do, and I’m not usually home often enough or consistently to ensure that I can check on them on a day to day basis. Having said that, some of my durian plants and money creepers have been remarkably resistant and my aloe vera is probably the healthiest one of all. As for little Tauwa durian plant (SS No. 1), well the stem still looks fine but all the leaves have fallen off. After the disastrous episode of unearthing it and placing it in water, I realised that I could be doing more damage to the roots and decided to pot it again. This time, I changed the soil and added some stones into the pot so that the soil is able to drain better. SS No. 1 has since lost all its leaves and looking quite sad. I’m not sure what else I should or shouldn’t do at this juncture… fertilize? water daily or water every few days? put into the shade or sun? I don’t suppose anyone offers a real emergency SOP for plants like we have in the human clinical world.

      I feel guilty that it used to be such a vibrant plant but has now only a stem to speak of.

      Will keep you posted on it but I won’t be digging it up again I think, will just watch over it and wait.

      Have you ever tried growing a durian plant? I imagine that the difference in plant needs between a tropical plant and a temperate one must be quite significant and am wondering how small hobbyists like me will be able to figure out what’s best.

      Stinky Sincerely,

      • Root of your durian plant must have been broken. My instinct say it dies a slow death. I have been through it before. It is both a tragedy and a sad case.

  2. Dear Stinky,

    I am trying to plant Durian seed too in Sabah.
    But i wanna share with you on the Fertilizer part.

    Have you try Silicon 23 (H4SiO4) + Microbes NPK fetilizer for your Durian from “seed to plant”?

    If you wanna try it, give me a Massage and i’ll send you some of the fertilizer.

    P/s: Please see my website for the fertilizer.

    Eric Goh.

    • Hi again Eric!
      I am indeed trying a few different tactics for fertilizing my durian plant, and am doing so one at a time to see what works best. Initially, I tried using organic fertilizer pellets (brown color) and this worked well at the beginning. However, there were lots of flies, like little black gnats that seemed to suddenly appear and fly around rather irritatingly all the time. I decided to remove most of it from the top of the soil and bought some inorganic fertilizer for fruit plants instead. If I’m not wrong (unfortunately have thrown away the packet leaflet now), it is a H4SiO4 base and I have a feeling that it has the microbes NPK component as well. The pellets are round and blue and certainly stand out clearly against the soil so that I can see if I’ve added too much. This was difficult with the brown one as it blended in with the soil.
      Since some disastrous attempts at keeping the Stinky Spike family alive, I’ve had to cremate 3 durian plants, including my precious Tauwa, but my D24’s seem to be clinging on rather tenderly. One of the plants lost all its leaves and looks alarming bald. I wasn’t sure it was going to make it but I just spied some new green shoots late last week and I’ve repotted the plants in the hope that more space and an aerated soil environment will help it to survive.

      Another thing that concerned me was the watering situation. I travel a lot and it is hard to always keep a tab on watering my plants. It’s been so hot in KL lately too. I’ve repotted all my plants into these new pots I bought at Ikea (Nektarin RM23) which are self watering pots. It has a nifty device which stores water at the bottom and the plants reach down for it when necessary. I think it does help to remove some of my short term watering headaches, although long term drought if I’m away for more than a few days is an on-going concern.

      Where did you get your fertilizer from? I got mine from Ace Hardware at Ikano Power Center (extensive range). But I’d be happy to try some of yours if you think its the best, and please include the instructions on how much I should apply on what volume of soil. What’s your website?

      Stinky Spikes

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