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Monday - October 15, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Transplants, Trees
Title: Newly planted anacacho leaf browning
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have just put my anacacho orchid into the ground and its leaves are turning brown and falling off. Is that normal for this time of year, or have I shocked it? What can I do to ensure its health?


Bauhinia lunarioides (Texasplume) is native in canyons and arroyos in limestone hills in Kinney, Presidio and Gillespie or Llano counties, which means it's pretty much a desert dweller and needs well drained sand loam limestone. However, it should be all right in Austin, particularly if it is given some afternoon shade and moderate moisture. The problem here, though, may be transplant shock. After an often cool, wet summer, we are now making up for it with July weather in October. Ordinarily, woody plants like this are better planted after the weather has cooled more, perhaps in November. Texas natives are pretty tough; otherwise, they'd never have survived this long. Make sure it has some shelter from afternoon sun, and adequate moisture. On a newly planted specimen, sticking the hose down into the soil around the roots and dribbling a slow stream of water into it for an hour or so a few days a week should help. When a plant starts dropping leaves, it is often a sign of stress, but in this case, it could also be a sign of season. The anacacho orchid is deciduous, and may have decided to go ahead and start losing some leaves. With some extra attention, hopefully it will leaf out and be fine when spring comes.


Bauhinia lunarioides



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