Natal Mahogany Care


PRO TIP: The Natal Mahogany appreciates a good misting to increase humidity.

Native to southern Africa, the Trichilia dregeana or Forest Natal-Mahogany, prefers high levels of moisture. In its natural habitat it can be found near the riverbed, shaded by the high trees of the tropical forest. Natal Mahoganies are one of the most low-light tolerant large indoor plants. While they will definitely appreciate bright indirect light, 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 of office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.

Natal Mahogany Leaf Close-up

Routine Maintenance

PRO TIP: When it doubt, let it drought! The most common mistake made with these plants is overwatering.

Always be sure to assess your plants watering needs upon receiving it.  Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first. Most likely, your Natal Mahogany will need to be watered when you first receive it. As moisture loving plants, keep the soil evenly and consistently moist at all times. These plants are very easy to care for however they do require consistent moisture. The most common way they are miscared for is by under watering. Check in with the soil at least once a week until you establish a watering routine with your plant. Please note, it is possible to over water this plant so be sure to keep the soil moist, not soggy. 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 breath and allow for moisture to be released.

For regular upkeep, dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize properly. When dusting, take the opportunity to inspect the underside of leaves and keep an eye out for pests. Using fertilizer spring through fall will enhance your plants foliage and promote new growth. Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides.

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.

Nursery Pot Instructions

For plants in a nursery pot, water until it begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray. Empty the catch tray before returning the plant back to its location.

Always be sure to assess your plants watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for moisture requirements.

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 in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks until the reservoir is ready to be tested.

TEST: After four weeks, fill the 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 reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the plant starts 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.  Most plants need to dry out between waterings, so once the reservoir is empty wait a few days before you refill. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after the drying out period, be sure to fill 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?

  • The Natal Mahogany thrives in the self watering container! Because this plant needs consistent moisture, it is the safest bet to ensure the plant will thrive. Additionally most of the planters offered by greenery do not have drainage holes, and because of the higher water levels required, 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 like little bites have been taken out of them, then this is a cause 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. Repotting in the spring or summer is ideal.

Additional Care Guides