Natal Mahogany Care

Placement

PRO TIP: The Natal Mahogany appreciates a good misting to increase the humidity around it, as it is found near water in its natural environment.

Native to southern Africa, the Forest Natal Mahogany (Trichilia dregeana) is found near riverbeds, shaded by the high trees of the tropical forest.

While Natal Mahoganies definitely appreciate bright indirect light, they are one of the most low-light tolerant large indoor plants. We have found that they are an excellent choice for lower light spaces where you may want a bit of height. They also tend to adjust well to fluorescent light, so they are a great addition to an office. Keep in mind that they will not survive in no light.

If you are unsure of the lighting conditions in your home or office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.

Natal Mahogany Leaf Close-up

With its lusciously leafy appearance and ability to adapt to artificial light, the Natal Mahogany is a versatile tree that can add an impressive pop of verdancy to almost any space.

Routine Maintenance

PRO TIP: When it doubt, let it drought! Because of this plant's love of water and desire for moist soil, overwatering is a common mistake. It'll recover more easily from its soil becoming overly dry than overly wet, so if you're unsure whether to water or not, it's safest to give it another day.

Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface. Also, consider aerating the soil of your plant before the initial watering. We compact the soil to avoid shifting during transit, so aerating can help the soil breathe and allow moisture to be released.

These plants are very easy to care for, however they do require the soil to be evenly and consistently moist at all times. Be sure to aim to keep the soil moist, not soggy, as despite this plant's love of moisture, it is still possible to overwater it. Check the soil at least once a week until you establish a watering routine with your plant. These plants do very well in the self watering containers!

Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides and dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize efficiently. When dusting the leaves, also take the opportunity to inspect the undersides and keep an eye out for pests.

Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. Pay attention to the condition of your Natal Mahogany and its watering needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.

Self Watering Container Instructions

The self-watering planters require a good, solid watering of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir first in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks. Then the reservoir is ready to be tested.

TEST: After four weeks, fill the water reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line. If the indicator goes down over the first few days, it means the plant is ready for regular reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the red indicator goes down, meaning the plant has started drinking from the reservoir.

RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after a drying out period of a few days, be sure to refill it until the indicator reaches the MAX line.

From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Greenery NYC offer only the self watering container option for this plant?

  • Because this plant needs consistent moisture, it thrives in the self watering container. Additionally, most of the planters offered by Greenery NYC do not have drainage holes and because of the higher water levels required with the Natal Mahogany there is a higher risk for root rot.

Help! My plant has brown and yellow leaves that are falling off.

  • This is most likely due to underwatering. Check in with the soil, and consider recent care. If the soil feels slightly dry go ahead and give your plant a nice thorough watering.

Why does my Natal Mahogany have brownish black, crispy scalloped edging on the leaves?

  • If the edges of the leaves look brown with little bites taken out of them, then this is most likely due to over watering. Although uncommon with this plant, it can get waterlogged and acquire root rot. Aerate the soil and allow for some of the moisture to release before the next watering.

How often should I fertilize my plant?

  • In general, house plants will thrive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer, following the package instructions for dilution and administration. Greenery NYC uses an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil, so your plant will not need fertilizer within the first 6 months of receiving it.

How often does my plant need to be repotted?

  • For larger floor plants, we suggest repotting every 18-24 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 2”- 4” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plants roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.

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