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Previously, I have posted this question on SE and it was related to Red Sandalwood plant (dead now).

Recently, I have purchased a new White Sandalwood plant. But, I think that the condition of this plant is not good. I am new to gardening and I am trying to grow sandalwood 3rd time.

Location: Bangalore, India

Type: Santalum album (White Sandalwood Plant)

Size: 1 foot

Planted: In full sunlight, inside pot.

Soil: Red soil, Cow dung (for nitrogen).

Host plant: Haven't considered planting yet. Sandalwood plant is just 1 year old.

Following are the pics:

enter image description here

Does this plant look healthy? and how to care for this planet?

Update(20-Jan): I have followed what was suggested to me in the answer.Secondly, I have bought this plant on amazon.in and I read following feedback from a customer:

Received a good plant. however the leaves dropped off. am waiting for new leaves to emerge. the host plant (probably some pulses) packaged along with is doing fine. Have had a good experience with this seller in the past.

Same situation is going with my plant as well. Leaves have started to fall. I hope they regrow.

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    Is the cow dung relatively fresh, or has it been composted? – Jurp Jan 18 at 14:33
  • @Jurp it is dry. Here commonly known as cow dung cake. – Ubi hatt Jan 18 at 19:10
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"Cow dung cake" would be a "cow pattie" here in the northern US. :)

I think that the dung might be the issue. Manure that is too fresh (even dried but not composted), can be too "hot" for the plant; that is, it provides way too much nitrogen and/or dehydrates the plant as it decomposes. You should only use composted manures for your plants. The other issue with hot manures is that you may be causing a chemical imbalance in the soil.

I would try repotting the sandalwood into just plain soil (new soil that's never been in a pot before) - no cow dung. (You could try removing all of the soil from around the root ball, but this risks shocking the plant too much). Water it very well, so that you leach as much of the manure out from around the root ball as possible. Let it drain well. If using a saucer, empty it several times until the plant/pot is not draining any water.

After this, water only when needed. If I'm right, the plant should perk up fairly quickly.

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  • I guess, I will try your suggestion and use only red soil instead of dung cake/pattie. You may be right, dung was the reason why my red sandalwood plant died. If it is success, then I will throw you a cake/pattie party :) – Ubi hatt Jan 18 at 21:58

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