Cordyline on the tag, but the care instructions stink

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Jeff L, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. Jeff L

    Jeff L Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Hello everyone! Months ago, I purchased what is, ostensibly, some form of cordyline. Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to nail down whch variant, nor the care instructions for it. Although the plant has grown well, and is constantly putting forth new leaves, it sure doesn't seem happy... leaves begin to brown and dry out before they even manage to unfurl. I am by no means an expert in houseplant husbandry, but I can't seen to do anything to alleviate the issue for this poor thing.
    I've tried low light, bright indirect light, misting the leaves, not misting the leaves, keeping it dryer, more moist, making sure it's got drainage, fertilizing (once, we've only had it for a few months), all kinds of things. At first we thought that it might be the leaves being touched, but absolute diligence in making sure not to touch them didn't help.
    It wasn't an expensive plant, but considering that I usually manage to do alright with houseplants, it's become a matter of pride to get this thing to look healthy!
    I sincerely appreciate any and all help.

    Cheers!
    Jeff

    IMGP4933.jpg

    IMGP4934.jpg
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,069
    Likes Received:
    310
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Try a re-pot with a change of fresh soil. Keep the soil just moist, not bone dry nor soggy.
     
  3. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Do you use tap water on your plant? Could be fluoride overload. Suggest that when you water, put plant in the tub and give it a good, thorough, soaking shower to flush out minerals built up in soil.

    If this were my plant, I'd get it out of the pot and have a look at the roots---repot in good loose well-draining soil, and put it in a spot with fairly bright light and no cold or hot drafts. Also, I'd lay off the fertilizer. Just maintain for a while: do the common-sense things, and then see what happens.
     
  4. Tony O

    Tony O Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jay (NE) Okla, USA
    You might also check for red spider mites.
     
  5. Jeff L

    Jeff L Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Thanks everyone.. I'll switch to R/O water and repot the plant, I see no evidence of any parasites or infestations.
    As I mentioned, I've only fertilized lightly (water soluble, 1/2 recommended strength) one time.. I had no plans to do so again until at least 6 months had passed.
    I'm leaning towards the problem being tap water, which I hadn't considered since none of my other plants were showing ill effects.. however, Calgary does fluoridate, and they do sometimes use a lot of chlorine.. I let the water stand, usually, at least 24 hours in an open container, but inspecting the saucer under the pot shows considerable mineral buildup.. which makes me think Togata is on the right track.. I'll update, and keep checking back for other ideas just in case.
    Thanks everyone!
     
  6. Jeff L

    Jeff L Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Just as a quick update, I took the plant out of the pot it was in, and discovered that it was somewhat rootbound, but only right at the bottom of the pot. It's been moved to a brand new pot with good drainage, all of the old soil discarded (it did smell odd, too) and the roots allowed to lay more loosely in the soil. It's just been done, so we'll see what happens now.
    And of course, as per your advice, I'm not using tap water any longer.
     

Share This Page