Gardening Terms Used In Phoenix Tropicals

Hibiscus with chlorosis Chlorosis
Chlorosis is a symptom of a plant being nutrient deficient, and therefore unable to produce adequate amounts of chlorophyll. The photo on the right shows a plant which has chlorosis caused by iron deficiency. The plants newest leaves become more yellow than normal, with the veins on the leaves being the last part to turn yellow. A plants inability to take up iron is usually the result of one of two causes. 1) Soil is deficient in iron. 2) Chemistry of the soil prohibits the uptake of iron. Many plants cannot properly absorb iron from the soil when it is too alkaline for them or if the soil is too wet. Severe chlorosis can kill a plant.

Root Rot
Root rot happens when a plants roots are attacked by micro organisms such as bacteria and fungi. The most common cause of root rot is overwatering. Severe root rot can kill a plant.

Mango with salt burn Salt Burn
Salt burn is caused by excess salts in the soil. The best way to prevent salt burn in Phoenix soils is to deep soak the soil. Early evidence of salt burn is leaf curl, followed by the perimeter of leaves everywhere on the plant turning brown and drying out. The drying/burning will start at the tip and procede along the edges to the base. Severely burned leaves will fall off. Many plants can withstand salty soil and persist for years while other plants will sicken and eventually die. Excess fertilizer adds salt to the soil, so one should be very careful when fertilizing salt sensitive plants. Below is a listing of particularly salt sensitive exotic plants.

Banana (fruit are more sensitive than the plant itself)
Orchid Tree
Star Fruit
White Sapote