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Melicope Rubra

Posted by Archades Far North Queensland (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 8:11

Hi, I was wondering if anyone had some tips for growing the Melicope Rubra/Little Evodia tree. I bought one from the local nursery but I am having trouble with older leaves going yellow and eventually falling off.

Soil preparation: I dug out a 1m circle about 50cm deep and added soil I bought from the local landscaping supplier, added some perlite and blood and bone, mixed it well and planted the tree with it.

It has been yellowing for about 1-2 months now since I planted it about 3 months ago, I've tried adding trace nutrient fertilizer and Thrive but still the same issues. The new growth looks pretty healthy and green but older growth seems to go yellow and fall off.

It is getting a bit of water daily usually with rain or irrigation.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Melicope Rubra

I've only got the Melicope elleryana. But it sounds to me that you might have over done it with the fertiliser. A lot of the natives don't need much fertiliser, especially when they're first planted out. Once their root system has reestablished then some fertiliser on the surface is okay as it slowly gets washed down into the top soil layer.


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RE: Melicope Rubra

Ah ok. Will it fix itself up? Do I just leave it and let it do it's thing?


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RE: Melicope Rubra

Yeah, the blood and bone would have caused the yellowing, great stuff but NEVER use it with natives. One or two months since you planted it! Probably too late to take it out, wash it off and plant it some where else but I think that's what I'd be doing.
b


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RE: Melicope Rubra

If you're still getting some good new growth out of it then you might just be able to give it a good flush, provided you have soil with reasonably good drainage. Dry season water gets used up or dries up, so mineral salts accumulate. So a good unseasonal downpour could ease the situation for your plant.


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RE: Melicope Rubra

Does anybody know if melicope rubra will grow satisfactorily as far south as Sydney? In particular will it flower?
I'd love to grow one near my front door.


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RE: Melicope Rubra

"Distribution and Ecology: Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 900 m. Grows in and on the margins of drier, more seasonal rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea."

If it grows up to 900 metres altitude then it probably has some cold tolerance. So sheltered in Sydney is probably worth a try.


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RE: Melicope Rubra

Yeah, I figure they probably do grow in a good spot in Sydney too, but I'm still trying to find hard evidence before I try growing them. I searched the web for photos of it in Flickr, and the southernmost I could find a photo of it in flower is at the Botanic Gardens in Coffs Harbour, latitude about 30 degrees south (flowering quite nicely too).
Anybody know of one growing in Sydney?
I saw that Daleys Nursery has them for sale in forestry tubes.
Cheers,
Dave


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RE: Melicope Rubra

A lil update. In the last week or 2, most of the leaves have fallen off, it only has about 8 stems and most are completely bare. There are a few stems with very small leaves which looks like new growth but maybe 10 leaves total, like 5mm wide x 20mm if that? All the proper size leaves fell off. It is watered daily via drip irrigation, it may have gotten wet feet as it's basically in a clay soil bowl with good soil inside. I am planning on making the drainage better.

I'm tempted to pull it completely out of the ground and rehome it or repot it until it sparks back....is that a good idea?


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RE: Melicope Rubra

Moving when it's a bit weak is probably not too good. But if it's in cold waterlogged clay then that is probably worse. In the Distribution and Ecology extract I posted above it says "Grows in and on the margins of drier, more seasonal rain forest." That means when the weather is colder it's also drier. If you only have flat ground it might be better to build a raised garden bed for it.


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