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Date: 28 Dec 2020, Entry id: 1609203962-2

Healthy Plants: Q&A from Mr Booster

How to grow a happy Red Jade Vine?

Q: My Red Jade Vine has the leaf tips turning brown. I water this plant four times a week and I am using a half a teaspoon of miracle grow bloom booster 15-30-15 per 2 gallons, every two weeks. In the beginning I had to water this plant off city water in South Fort Myers. Over the last two months I picked up a dechlorinator buggy plus threw that on my hose and I've been watering it with that but it didn't seem to make a difference. I put this plant in the ground last September. It has three shoots that run into the top of the tree, so it is growing but leaves seem to drop off down low at the base of the vine and the brown tipping running into the top of the plant. But not the newest shoot its leaves are solid green all the way at the top. Thanks for any advice.

A: Mucuna benettii - Red Jade vine - is not the easiest plant to grow, and we are glad your vine is growing well. For those who love this plant but not ready to face all challenges, we recommend its cousin - Camptosema grandiflora - Dwarf Red Jade Vine, which is much hardier and easier plant.
We looked at the photos and these are our thoughts.

1) The top of the plant with green fresh leaves definitely indicates that the plant is generally healthy and vigorous.
2) Dry tips of the old leaves may indicate excess salts in soil, in combination with the summer heat that it went through. Based on your feeding program description, that fertilizer may create a problem. Water soluble traditional fertilizers are EDTA-chelated which often causes nutrients lock up in soil and leaf drop. Try to stay away from that fertilizer for a month and let the rains and/or irrigation water flush the soil for a couple of weeks.
3) Red Jade vine is a very sensitive species. Normally, during hot season it is safe to use traditional fertilizers, especially slow-release granulated. However, with this plant we recommend you to switch to more delicate formula and use only liquid fertilizer.
SUNSHINE Megaflor - Bloom Nutrition Booster will be the best. It is safe to use it as frequent as with every watering! It is amino-acid based, and will be totally consumed by the plant without nutrient lockup.
4) Another cause of dry leaf tips may be micro-element deficiency.
Megaflor booster already has all necessary micro-nutrients in it, plus you may apply some extra: SUNSHINE Superfood.
5) You may continue using regular water for watering (including city water) as long as you use amino-acid based plant food and supplements: they improve soil acidity (what tropical plants like is acidic soil, and Florida soils are alkaline). Additionally, to improve soil acidity which can be critical for this Mucuna species, you may add 1" layer of pure peat moss on top of the soil around the plant. Please keep us in loop how the plant is doing. It is pretty rare species in cultivation and we will be happy to help you to keep it thriving.