Alan Magnus-Bennett

by Alan Magnus-Bennett
(Fife, Scotland )

I have carob seeds from California and down to my last seedling. I live in Scotland and grew the seedlings in my greenhouse. Since bringing it indoors from the cold the leaves have started to drop. Can you help from here on. It is about 5 inches in height.

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Dec 01, 2021
Could it be the humidity and wet soil ?
by: Caroline

Below is an extract from a post I found online which describes your symptoms, and they are due to wetness. Does this fit the bill ?

Disease Problem
Carob trees are strong plants that rarely experience major disease problems. However, due to their drought-tolerance and dislike for wet conditions, waterlogged soil may cause decline. In alkaline soils, leaves begin to lose their color when soil remains wet. Excessive moisture causes plants to take in higher volumes of water than necessary, often too quickly for the plant to process. Wet conditions lead to die back, stunted growth, poorly developed foliage and nutrient deficiencies. In addition, standing water promotes the development of root rot that ultimately ends in plant death.

Here in Cape Town carobs grow as street trees and are never irrigated, and they seem to like this lack of care. I lost all my carob seedlings too, about twenty plants, after planting them out in the garden. Thank you for your question. I will stop watering the survivor today !

But the trouble with having only one is that they can only produce fruit with a male and female tree. Some can be bisexual but you still need cross pollination.

The carobs are saying in their own way, they are unhappy with our watering or climate regime and they want to go. If it interests you, you can do something amazing for species diversity and ecology by cultivating rare species from your immediate locality which are more suited to your climate, perhaps a plant that is threatened with extinction and that is host to an endangered butterfly or wasp ? That should be exciting ! There are plenty of carobs all over California, and Cape Town that are doing just fine, their survival is not threatened. It could be both easier and more worthwhile to put your beautiful green fingered horticultural passion and energy where the tar hits the road in our battle to maintain species diversity on the planet.

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