Howea forsteriana browning leaves

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Keoni8888, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Keoni8888

    Keoni8888 Member

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    Location:
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    Hi all -

    I am looking for a little advice. This plant is new to my house and in its old location (an office) it seemed to be thriving. Since it arrived here three weeks ago, the beautiful green leaves are starting to spot and turn brown. I am not sure what to do to keep it healthy. It gets water once per week (not a lot), the soil's moisture is at about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, it is by a window with a shade so it gets filtered light.

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated - thank you!

    John
     

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  2. togata57

    togata57 Contributor

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    Pot looks small for the size of the plant.

    Usual Suspects: light; temperature; moisture; bugs.
    Comparing your plant's previous surroundings with its new ones, what are the differences? Is it getting toasted next to the window? Is there more or less light now? Is it receiving more or less water? Ambient humidity/temperature higher/lower? Does the water contain chemicals which the plant is not used to having? Have you checked it over for unwanted guests?

    My guess is moisture issues. If this were my plant, I'd consider getting it out of the pot---and having a close look at the roots---relocating it to a larger one with well-draining soil, and watering thoroughly (so that water drains through but does not collect and remain, making soil soggy).
     
  3. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member

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    Howeas do awesome with a little natural light supplemented with heavy fluorescent light, like in an office. So it might have had perfect conditions before. They are also famous for hanging tough even when rootbound and underwatered. In that slightly smaller pot though, like Tagata mentioned, just the change in location is could be enough to make it decide it should really only have half as many leaves there. Looks like it's just shedding the old ones.
    I'd be most worried about the new growth only. Make sure it doesn't sit in water. Underwatered will show wrinkles or brown tips on the new growth, and the new growth tips will be very slow to separate at just the tips. Too much sun in that new location will show white or light-colored patches on the leaves closer to the window & less away from the window.
    If you have any way to raise the humidity in the room, the real beauty of the leaves will come out. They get very heavy and long, almost dripping. One of the most beautiful IMO. :)
     
  4. Keoni8888

    Keoni8888 Member

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    Thank you togata57 and Tom. The pot that this plant was in was about 2.5 gallons. I got a pot that is about 7.5 gallons and placed it in its new container this morning (with good drainage).

    Tom - I think you might have something there. The plant was in an office where the light switch was broken and the fluorescents were on 24 hours a day. The plant must be in a bit of shock going from that environment to one with only subdued natural light from a window for about 9 hours per day. I do not have the option of giving it too much more light but can definitely try to get a humidifier for the room - I wanted one anyway for my parrot. Do you think that some of the older leaves will brown and shed but the plant in general will survive (and hopefully eventually thrive)? Of do you think I need to take another path to try to save it?

    Appreciate the help!

    John
     
  5. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member

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    I think it will be fine. These are perhaps in the top 1 or 2 of all palms in the world that can tough out the miserable, dry, poorly lit environment inside our houses. I wouldn't be suprised if you lost several lower leaves. Just keep an eye on the new ones, and try to keep those as big & happy as you can. :)
     
  6. Rafi

    Rafi New Member

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    Hi I am having some similar problems with my plant (which I think is a howea forsteriana?) and wondered if anyone could help?!

    Please see pictures, any advice would be much appreciated!

    I would also like to remove the dead leaves and stems but not sure how to go about this, I don’t want to upset the plant even more.. can the dying stems simply be cut or is it best to leave them? Thank you !
     

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