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Posted:  04 Oct 2012 01:59  
I have a couple Balfour aralia at one of my clients. The leaves on two of them are lush and green. The other one has a yelow halo on a lot of its leaves. I care for them all in the same manner. One however is planted in a terra cotta pot the others in fiberglass not sure if this has anything to do with it. Any thoughts on why this is occurring?
Posted:  04 Oct 2012 03:50  
You don't say which ones are in clay vs. fiberglass, so I'll assume the yellowing one is in the clay.

Clay pots are great at circulating air through the walls of the pot into the root zone, and also great at quick dry-down that helps prevent root rot due to overwatering.  However, they also accumulate a lot of the salts present in fertilizers and irrigation water and keep those salts in close proximity to the roots.  That can cause toxicity issues and excess salinity in the soil.

That being said, there are two other possibilities to consider:

1. Mites: take a sheet of white paper and hold it under the leaves while you shake/tap the foliage and see if there are any tiny moving dots on the paper.  These are two-spotted or spider mites.  They suck the chlorophyll out of the foliage, resulting in yellowing that can be mottled or even across the leaf.

2. Overwatering: yellow foliage in aralias is typically caused by the medium remaining wet too long or being re-wet too soon between waterings.  Unpot and check the roots for mushy areas and foul smells that indicate rot.

Clem

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