NOTE: In this article, Kentucky coffee tree and Gymnocladus dioicus may be used interchangeably; in fact, Gymnocladus dioicus is the botanical name for Kentucky coffee tree.
The small brown fruits that emerge from the long cylindrical seedpods of the Kentucky coffee tree look like coffee beans when they are dry. Native Americans and early settlers in the Kentucky Territory used to roast the beans to make a hot beverage. The raw seedpods are toxic and should not be eaten. The wildlife don’t eat the seeds.
Large prehistoric mammals such as sloths and mammoths are thought to have dispersed the seeds over a wider area. The wood of this tree was once used to build railway cars. It is found throughout the central United States, from Pennsylvania to Kentucky and further north to Michigan and Minnesota.
Why does my Gymnocladus dioicus roots have rot?
Root rot on your Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioicus) can be fatal if not treated with care. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you follow our guide to keep your plant alive if the symptoms occur: Root soft and blackened.
Why does my Kentucky coffee tree have gray mold spots?
Gray mold spots are a type of fungus that is found a lot in flowers, and spreads quite rapidly. If you notice brown (or gray) spots, it is probably this fungus. Don’t ignore these symptoms, as they may end up killing your plant.
The solution is quite logical when you know the cause of the problem. Most of the time, it is due to overwater of the Gymnocladus dioicus. We advise you to remove the infected parts of the plant, cut off the infected roots and leaves, then repot your plant using sterile potting soil and a clean pot.
Why does my Kentucky coffee tree have leaf spots?
If your plants exhibit symptoms like rapid color changes in the leaves or leaves that wilt or droop, we give you all the information you need to recognize them and rescue your plants. For owners of Kentucky coffee tree, this kind of illness is among the most distressing.
Why are my Kentucky coffee tree leaves turning yellow?
Yellowing leaves are arguably the most prevalent issue in the gardening world. Overwatering or a lack of nutrients are the 2 main causes of this issue.
When it’s overwatering, simply reduce your watering frequency, and if you think it’s a nutrient deficiency, here’s how to check it:
Here are some signs of yellowing caused by the many deficiencies on the Gymnocladus dioicus in question:
- The first symptom of a magnesium deficiency is yellow patches between leaf veins on elder leaves. The leaf’s core turns yellow while the veins stay green. The edges of the leaf yellow last.
- Yellowing between leaf veins is another sign of iron shortage, but young leaves on plant tops and branch tips are initially affected.
- The newest leaves are first affected by sulfur deficiency, rendering them completely yellow.
- Leaf edges turning bright yellow but inside leaf remaining green are signs of potassium insufficiency. The symptoms first appear on older leaves, and the leaf edges quickly become dark.
- A broad yellowing indicates a nitrogen deficiency. Yellowing starts with older, inner leaves. Yellowing spreads as it advances, eventually touching new leaves as well.
You only need to respond to the signs mentioned above. A gardening store expert will be able to provide you advice on how to purchase a specific soil to treat a potassium or nitrogen deficiency. Additionally, you can reduce how often you water your plants.
Is my Kentucky coffee tree sunburned?
It is simple to determine whether your Kentucky coffee tree (your Gymnocladus dioicus) has sunburn. Your plant will change color in this instance, beginning to turn yellow or white, much like it does on us.
The leaves of your Kentucky coffee tree can also change color in case it gets too much water or not enough light, as we saw above.
However, there is a way to tell if it is sunburn; look at the bottom of the yellow leaves, the ones that have a shaded area closer to the root, if this area stays greener, it is probably sunburned, not something else.
Why are my Kentucky coffee tree leaves turning brown?
A plant’s browning leaves are typically a symptom that it has been sunburned and has been exposed to excessive amounts of direct sunlight. Don’t worry; your plant probably won’t perish as a result, but its growth will be negatively impacted.
Should I leave my Gymnocladus dioicus in direct sunlight?
No! Don’t leave your Gymnocladus dioicus (or Kentucky coffee tree) in the sun if it displays the symptoms mentioned above; that’s why it’s in such a bad situation.
As stated in the paragraph above, the cure is straightforward: simply position your plant’s Kentucky coffee tree so that it is out of direct sunlight. With proper watering and this method, your plant should quickly come back to life.
Why are my Gymnocladus dioicus leaves drooping or wilting ?
In most cases, this happens when your Gymnocladus dioicus lacks water. This is especially the case for large plants, naturally they need more water than others.
Whether your Gymnocladus dioicus plant’s pot appears light, the soil and roots are likely fairly dry and need water, so you can readily tell if it needs to be hydrated.
If the soil in your plant’s pot is completely dry, you will need to start by moistening it so that the roots will also benefit from the water. A common mistake is to drown the Kentucky coffee tree right after a dry period thinking that it needs a lot of water.
This is the case, but giving too much water at once is the best way to finish it off, you should actually water the soil normally, resuming a quiet watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Gymnocladus dioicus
Your plant needs water to survive, but it’s crucial to balance the amount and timing of watering. As we previously mentioned, overwatering could be catastrophic for your Gymnocladus dioicus.
The best way to know if your plant needs water or not is to touch the soil, if you feel it is still wet, it is probably a good idea to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
It’s also a good idea to keep your Gymnocladus dioicus at a constant temperature, especially if it’s kept indoors. In general, at GreenShack, we suggest booking a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees F. Of course, keep your Gymnocladus dioicus away from radiators, air conditioners, and other sources of hot or cold air.
Keep your Kentucky coffee tree Dust-Free
This one concerns indoor plants, just like on your furniture, dust is also deposited on the leaves of your indoor plants, the problem is that it can prevent them from receiving the necessary light, this would slow down (or even stop) the photosynthesis process, and eventually, they would lose their colors.
This would also make the pests happy, a real descent into hell for your Kentucky coffee tree.
To remove the dust, gently rub the plant’s leaves with a microfiber cloth. Dust can be removed more easily with a damp cloth, but stay away from corrosive substances like rubbing alcohol!
Keep drainage in mind
If you have a tendency to overwater, you need to keep an eye on your drainage, we advise you to opt for a pot with drainage holes if it is not already the case and a saucer.
You can add volcanic rocks (or any other pebbles with holes) to the bottom of your pot in the interim if your pots don’t already have holes in them. This will help to form a channel so that the water doesn’t pool there for too long (preventing the rot of the roots!).