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What in the world are these? This is my plum seedling and he is pretty small, but all of his other leaves are large and green. However, he hasn't grown any proper leaves in a while, and all he's putting out are these white ones all clumped up. It looks like a flower but it isn't (and also it makes no sense given his age). What's going on?

He is on a south-facing window, so I think he get enough sun. I have other plants on that window and they don't seem to be suffering. I water it when it gets dry to the touch. Could that be the issue? Do plums need more water? Is the soil type wrong maybe? This is just generic indoor plant soil.

I live in Canada.

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  • What part of the world are you in? Has it been cold outdoors lately? How many of these white areas have you seen so far,and are they always where you'd expect new leaves to appear? – Bamboo Nov 5 '16 at 16:07
  • @Bamboo, I'm in Canada, but it's been unseasonably warm lately. This is the only white area I see, and it seems like they're tiny little white almost transparent leaves. – Catsunami Nov 5 '16 at 16:22
  • I'll do an answer... – Bamboo Nov 5 '16 at 16:55
  • This is a plum? My first impression was impatiens...hummmm. – stormy Nov 5 '16 at 19:53
  • Hi @stormy, it's a plum, I'm growing it from a pit :) – Catsunami Nov 5 '16 at 21:31
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White leaves on plants usually occurs because of cold - you say its been unseasonably warm, but have you had no cold nights at all? A windowsill can be a chilly place to be overnight...

Otherwise, get a magnifying glass and uncurl the leaves as gently as possible, inspecting closely, in case it's been invaded by plum aphid - they're smaller than other aphids and thus, harder to see. That would explain the curling.

If there's no insect invasion, it could be some fasciation occuring on the new leaves - this is sometimes just a genetic blip, or a result of injury of some sort (insects, extremes of temperature, physical damage and so on). Were it fasciation, I'd normally suggest you remove that growth, but in this case, its at the growing tip... even so, I think it will need to be nipped off. The other possibility is virus, but you'd see increasing problems with growth, particularly new growth, as time goes by.

I'm guessing its indoors because its a small seedling, but, as you know, plum trees do much better outdoors - indoors,it won't be able to go through the usual dormant phase in winter, post losing its leaves. I'm not sure how bad your winters get,but hardening it off and keeping outdoors in something like a cold frame to stop the pot freezing would be better for it.

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  • Thanks! I suppose it could be cold on that window. I'm going to move it to another area in the house (it's a plant shelf with lights that I'm building today) and hopefully it gets better. I don't see any parasites on/in it. It is indoors because it sprouted so late and I wasn't sure if I wanted to risk putting it outside. Is it okay do you think if I grow it indoors this winter and start hardening it off in the spring and plant it outside? – Catsunami Nov 5 '16 at 21:35
  • It would be best to get it outside somehow - I realise its difficult because it might freeze solid in the pot, which should be prevented, but if you keep it inside, it won't get its winter dormancy. Maybe a cool area, like a lobby at your entrance or anywhere else you can think of - cool enough so it drops its leaves, not cold enough to freeze solid. – Bamboo Nov 5 '16 at 21:37
  • Okay, thanks! I think the window in the basement gets cold, I will see what happens there. – Catsunami Nov 5 '16 at 21:39
  • You'll need to harden it off first, which means acclimatize it gradually to cooler temperatures over a period of days till its there all night. – Bamboo Nov 5 '16 at 21:46

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