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I received this pot plant as a gift, but I don't know what it is, and consequently, how to properly care for it. The size is approximately 20 cm from the base of the pot to the top of the plant. It's from, and presumably native to, southeastern China.

These pictures were taken in a relatively poorly lit room with the camera flash, so the colour is a little washed out.

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These pictures were taken without the camera flash. Sadly, my camera seems to have difficulty focusing without it for some reason.

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  • Try asking the folks who gifted it? Or try to find out where they got it? – J. Musser Jan 29 '15 at 21:44
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    @J.Musser I have done so, and the responses were unfortunately not helpful. – Esoteric Screen Name Jan 30 '15 at 3:41
  • @Stephie I've added more pictures. Please let me know if I didn't get what you were looking for. – Esoteric Screen Name Jan 30 '15 at 13:06
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Thanks for the new pictures, I must retract my previous answer: You have a pachira galabra (often labeled as pachira aquatica).

Another name is "Money Tree" and Wikipedia states

They are symbolically associated with good financial fortune and are typically seen in businesses, sometimes with red ribbons or other auspicious ornamentation attached.

Regarding care:
Bright light, but no direct sun, water generously, but in longer intervals, let the top 1-2 in. of soil dry between waterings. Fertilize in spring & summer. The plant loves medium to high humidity. Be especially careful with the trunk, as it bruises easily and then is susceptible to rotting. Do not wet the stem, rather water from below.

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Stephie could be right...what I see as your main problem from your photograph is POWDERY MILDEW. All those whitish blobs across veins. Very common on a lot of different species of plants and easy to control/treat.

You need more ventilation/aeration and lower humidity. Free water on the leaves is helpful. Continuously damp soil and little air movement provides ideal environment for this fungus. Powdery mildew is not good for plants!

A mix of 1 part milk to 9 parts water sprayed once per week regularly helps tremendously. I just learned this from 'Bamboo' last summer off this site. Neem works very well. Just read the label very closely and spray in isolation from bees and birds and pets.

Fix the problem. Get a little fan to keep air moving and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Pay attention to this trunk! Get all gravel, moss pulled away from the base. Make SURE that the bark of the upright trunk is never covered. Moisture on the bark will allow bacteria to kill the cambium just beneath the bark. This is the vital vascular conduit system to transport food produced by the plant down to the roots and minerals/chemicals/water conduits upward to support the food making factories in the leaves. Find the fine line where bark stops and roots begin. Keep the bark dry! All woody plants indoors as well as outdoors need this care.

After soaking your plant, allowing it to drain (try not to use our tap water unless on private wells), keep the saucer emptied...allow to dry before watering again. Never water a little everyday. Place this plant in your tub and water with non-softened water. Soak this plant and wash off leaves. Again, allow soil to dry before watering again.

Your problem is too much humidity. Your plant is still very healthy if bark has no soft spots. What are you doing for adding important nutrient/chemicals back to soil? Fertilizers? What are the lighting conditions? Might not need a fan if you reduce waterings...only fill your pots for plants with sterilized potting soil. Never garden soil. And gravel/rocks below the soil only worsen drainage!!!!

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  • Looks more like residue than mildew to me. – J. Musser Jan 30 '15 at 3:38
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    I'm a little confused about your fifth paragraph. What do you mean by "soaking"; is this part of the bath you recommend? Softened water is a non-issue, since I don't have any; my choice is between tap water (which may contain larger quantities of salts and heavy minerals than tap water in America or Europe would, as well as not being sanitised nearly as much) or distilled. But I'm having difficulty making sense of your remarks about which water to use, could you explain a little more please? @J.Musser same here; I thought it looked like water spots. I drip some on the leaves when watering. – Esoteric Screen Name Jan 30 '15 at 3:54
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    @EsotericScreenName Would be a good idea to clean that off the leaves now and then. – J. Musser Jan 30 '15 at 3:57
  • After OP posted addtl. photos: Seems to be rather mineral deposit than mildew, as the undersides are clean. – Stephie Jan 30 '15 at 13:14
  • I agree, this is not powdery mildew. It is pesticide residue or mineral deposits from overhead misting. Both should wipe off easily with a damp cloth. – kevinsky Jan 30 '15 at 17:42

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