Mass Cane Rehab Help

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by yhm2, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. yhm2

    yhm2 New Member

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    Hi all,

    I've had two mass canes (same pot) for about 5 years. I re-potted once and had no other issues. About 6 weeks ago the leaves on both were green but droopy so I took the plants to another apartment. They did OK but leaves were still droopy. After a few weeks I re-potted both. They were pretty pot-bound and I had to untangle roots to separate the plants. I planted each in its own new pot with new Miracle-Gro indoor plant potting mix. I did lose some small roots on both plants but overall system looked OK if a little damp. I then watered thoroughly. Each of the pots has 4 drain holes.

    Unfortunately the plants are both declining (the tall one much more than the small one). Photos 1 and 2 are from 10/11/2020 the day after re-potting and the rest from 10/26/2020. That's a pretty fast decline. I think they are getting good sunlight that isn't direct, no strong air currents, and the temperature is always in the low to mid 70s. It's been in the low 70s outside so I don't think it's the window and the plants have always been near windows. I live in a humid area so that's not an issue.

    I can't tell if my plants are overwatered, underwatered, or diseased.

    Signs of underwatering: I have always always thoroughly watered every 2 weeks. This time I haven't watered for just over 2 weeks due to my concerns for over-watering. Signs: wavy leaves (improving), noticed dirt pulling away from edges of pot, soil feels mostly dry if I stick my entire index finger all the way down.

    Signs of overwatering: brown leaf tips that I since cut, presence of fungus gnats which is new since the re-pot (although declining in number since I stopped watering), never saw water pool below the pot after watering thoroughly after repotting despite the 4 drain holes I made.

    Signs of possible disease: some leaves on the big plant got little patchy brown areas or sometimes brown spots circled by yellow. I got rid of a lot of dead or diseased leaves and cut away some brown areas but more keep coming. Mostly affecting older bottom leaves on both plants but some newer leaves on the tall one as well. I just sprayed those areas with a mix of distilled water with a little mineral oil and baking soda because I read that could work for fungus.

    So - please help tell me what to do next since nothing seems to be working. I don't want to over/under water if my problem is the opposite thing. I also plan on watering with distilled water instead of sink water from now on. I don't want to kill these plants I've had for so long.

    Note: the small one is actually a shoot from what used to be a second taller one that died off maybe two years ago.

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  2. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Marysville, WA USA
    Overwatering usually goes hand-in-hand with under-lighting. There's a connection: when plants have less light they use less water, when they have more water they need more light to use it up. Look close at the trunk on both plants. Notice on the shorter plant that the internodal spacing, the trunk length between leaves, is shorter? That shows it has been getting more light and is one reason why it looks better overall. So they could both use more light than they've had in the past when those leaves were developed. Maybe the light is fine now. If so, you'll see the newest leaves looking better and a little lighter in color.
    There is a big concern there about the pot and soil. When you say "never saw water pool below the pot after watering thoroughly", it's actually not thorough watering if the water doesn't run out the bottom of the pot. But since you likely have soggy soil and the pots are both too big for those plants, you can't really risk a thorough watering or it will make your overwatering concerns worse. Or perhaps it's underwatering if you are not watering thoroughly and only every 2 weeks. The problem is that it's really hard to get the sweet spot in the middle (if one even exists) with that soil/pot-size. It's the worst time of year to repot, but if they were mine I would still repot now into a smaller pot with better draining soil which can dry quicker. I personally like the look of them combined into 1 pot, personal preference.
    You can cut off all the yellow leaves, and trim away with scissors all the partial parts that are yellow and brown. Don't bother with the mineral oil and baking soda, just cut out the bad spots and the new growth will be perfect shortly after you fix the conditions. Droopy leaves will not raise back up and damaged areas will not heal, but it does grow new leaves fairly quickly when it's happy.
    wcutler likes this.

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