Identification: Office Plant- looking for id & rescue advice

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by starli84, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    Hello,

    I am attaching a couple pictures of a nearly hopeless office plant that I found today. It had been (clearly) abandoned. Although I don't hold high hopes, I do see that it has tried a couple last times to get some new growth.

    So, two questions:

    1) What is it?

    2) What's the best course of action to help it out?

    My guess is this: Take off all brown leaves. Drench the soil so the roots become fully wet. Sit back and wait for some new growth?

    Another note: When I moved one of the stems it completely uprooted. I attached a picture of that as well.

    I am going to wait to see what responses I get before I attempt any rescue methods. My hands are itching to help, but I am figuring that this plant has been abandoned for a while. 12 hours longer won't hurt!!
     

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  2. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    That plant is an Aglonema of some sort. It is an aroid. If one of the stems pulled out, maybe it is overwatered and has root rot...

    Ed
     
  3. riptidefrog

    riptidefrog Active Member

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    I believe it is a chinese evergreen. It looks to me as though it was dry for a very long time but if you think that it was too wet and that caused it to fail then check for rot on the roots and cut away any mushy ones. Id strip off the old leaves and get some new soil and replant the stems.
    One you replant them give them a good watering and sit back and dont overwater until you see new growth.
    An alternative way would be to put the stems in a glass of water and wait for some good roots to grow and then plant them in soil.
     
  4. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Aglaonema and Chinese Evergreen are one and the same. Aglaonema is the scientific genus and Chinese Evergreen is the common name.
     
  5. riptidefrog

    riptidefrog Active Member

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    Yeah these redundant postings happen sometimes. I was typing my response and by the time i was finished edleigh had already posted one.
    I wanted to make a correction to what i said in my earlier post. I said not to overwater until you see new growth but i really should have said to water carefully until you see new growth. overwatering is never a good idea.
     
  6. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Happens to me all the time!
     
  7. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Me too!!
     
  8. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if the first picture (one leaf) is the last of the plant, it looks a little yellow. I hope there is more of it left that looks healthier so you can at least try saving it.
     
  9. L.plant

    L.plant Active Member

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    Aglaonema commutatum. Cultivar is 'Silver King', just in case that one doesn't make it and you need to replace it. If it does pull through, you may want to make a tip-cutting and re-root the plant in order to regain it's intended form.
     
  10. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    Hello, thanks for the quick feedback! I will try rooting them in water and see how it goes (mostly because I like to see the root growth).

    In response to bluewing, there were a couple small green growths at the distal end of the stem. I have no idea of the previous owner, so I don't know what treatment it received prior to being left for dead.

    I will research the chinese evergreen to learn more about it. Since it is an aroid, should I use the same potting mix that I am going to use for my pothos?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2008
  11. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    yes, the same soil will work fine for the chinese evergreen. it'll root well in water (i put mine in water to root and it did so pretty quickly).
     
  12. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    Another question: How much (if any) of the roots should I cut off before putting it into water? Root rot was mentioned, but this thing hasn't seen water in months. Would that still be a problem?

    I'm hoping that this little bit of growth (below) means that there is still hope!!!
     

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2008
  13. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    If the plant is already well rooted just repot it in new soil. Make sure the soil mix is not soggy and can drain quickly. But I suspect you want to remove some of the old cane.

    You can repot by using a "moisture control" type mix with some orchid potting media containing charcoal, gravel and bark mixed in. That will be similar to the type of soil this plant grows in naturally.

    If you are going to save the cut cane then you will need to cause it to produce new roots. That can be done in one of three ways. 1) You can easily "air root" the cane while it is in the existing pot. However, you need to begin watering it more often. Chances are it lost the leaves due to lack of water. To air root the plant, cut a small notch in one of the internodes. You may be able to see small roots begining to grow out the side and the places they are growing are the internodes. That notch should go into the cane about 1/4 of the depth of the cane. Take damp sphagnum moss and pack that moss all over and into the slice then wrap the entire cane and moss with Saran Wrap or anything similar. Don't allow that moss to dry out! In a month or so you'll begin to see new roots growing into the moss. When that happens you can just cut the cane a few inches below the notch and then repot the upper portion. You can do this at places along the cane in order to cause more sections of the cane to begin to produce new root systems and end up with plants you can keep or give away.

    2) Professional growers just take a 6 inch or so length of the cane and lay it on its side on new soil. Cover that cane with about 1/2 in the soil and 1/2 out. Keep the soil damp. It will soon begin to produce roots into the soil and a new plant will begin to grow upright.

    3) You can cut lengths of cane and place them in clean water. Once you see good roots begin to grow then pot the plant in a soil like the one described. Change the water every week or so and don't allow junk to grow in the water! With the large plant I described in the bank, we likely created 20 new plants that were all given away. Most of those were simply placed on their side in new soil.

    This species likes bright indirect light and lots of water, just not lots of mud! Don't use a muddy soil or water the pot excessively. But since it is a rain forest species that grows on the margins of the forest it should not be allowed to dry out completely. Overall, it is an easy plant to cause to reproduce.
     
  14. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    Follow-up for this plant. I had it in water for the first few days, but then decided to go ahead and pot it. It has been a week since it was re-potted, but I'm not holding high hopes. The two little sprouts of leaves are still there, but the larger leaf is almost all yellow now. It seems to be holding itself up now- before the three stems were leaning against the pot. Now they are still drooping but are about an inch above the pot.

    I am mostly wondering how long I should wait to see how it does. If it doesn't stand back up on its own in a few weeks, should I count it out? I am enjoying the challenge (much to the consternation of my co-workers), but I don't know how resilient these plants are. Any thoughts?
     

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  15. riptidefrog

    riptidefrog Active Member

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    Well i'm thinking that some of that curve will always be there. It is a good sign that the stems are perking up a bit. I'd take that as an indication that the plant has started forming new roots and is beginning to take up water again. hopefully that last leaf was already on its way out and is not a sign of further trouble.
    From this point you have a few options:
    1. let it grow and eventually the new leves may cover up the stem and the plant may look like you want it to.
    2. let the plant grow for a bit to get its strength up and stabilize and then cut the stem. The plant should put out new growth just below the cut. The top you cut off can be rooted in water or soil as you prefer and then planted in with the original pot or in a new pot.
    3. cut the plant now and follow the advice in #2

    just some thoughts
     
  16. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    You can cut the loinger stems into smaller sections of 4" and use a smaller pot for ALL of them, it's ok that they will be close, you can always go up a pot size when the roots fill the pot. New leaves will sprout above any you cut. (hopefully the plant is still viable "inside" the stems)
    If it doesn't make it, don't feel too bad, you did what you could. It looks like it was neglected for a long time.

    Hope it grows for you, whatever you decide to do!
     
  17. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i agree with the idea of cutting it into numerous pieces. let them start fresh with new roots.
     
  18. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Ditto the above.
    Don't forget where there is green there is hope!!

    Ed
     
  19. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    that type of plant will sprout new shoots from the dirt ..were the main chunk is in the dirt .. so just keep an eye on it for a while ... a plant that has gone through something like this is gonna take a long time to recover ... so just be patient ..

    Marion
     
  20. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    Okay, thanks for the great advice! I will go ahead and cut the stems now... I'm going to put a couple back in the soil and a couple in water (so I can see which way it works best).

    Photopro suggested that I lay the cuttings on their sides. Can I also stick them into the soil? I don't have any growth hormone, either. Any suggestion as to the recommended strength (if I should use it at all)?
     
  21. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i think the usual procedure IS to lay them on their sides on top of the soil. i suppose planting it upright would work also. make sure to leave a few nodes on each piece when you cut it up.

    you can get the growth hormone stuff in powder form at just about any garden center - just dip the ends (or sides) in it. it comes in a small container - i forget the size - 6 oz or so.
     
  22. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, the picture is not all that good, but here it shows a stem that was cut in half and then both pieces were immediately planted back into the soil.
    In about 6-8 weeks I think that's how long it was anyway, new leaves started to grow See (front left stem) the other one is hard to see. You can see how the leaves will grow from just under the cut. It's only an inch tall which is really way too short, it should have been more like 5"-7" sections like Steve (photopro) suggested. I think I was in a hurry or something!
    This plant started out as one cutting, now I there is four rooted stems.

    It's been going down hill though since it was moved last spring and needs to be moved back to better light.

    I hope your plant roots for you!
     

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  23. blackbeauty

    blackbeauty Active Member

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    Guys, is it common for you to plant Aglaonema in just volcanic rough sand for media ?. Serious nursery and gardener do it so here and it works.
     
  24. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    Another update- I cut the stems into 4 inch lengths as suggested. I left the 3 rooted pieces in the soil and added two of the cuttings. I put three of the stem cuttings in the water. NOW, the stem cutting with the leaf in the water is losing its color.. any thoughts?

    I know that this plant is not life or death, and that the odds might be slim. However, sap came out of the stems when I cut them, so I take that as a good sign. Should I forgo the water for these, or do they have the same chance in either media?
     
  25. riptidefrog

    riptidefrog Active Member

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    Id say to be careful with watering the stumps that are in the soil. Watering needs will be low until it starts to bud and send up new leaves. Could be easy at this point to overwater and set up conditions for rot.

    Not sure about that yellowing leaf in the water rooting cuttings but you will know within a week or so if it is making new roots.
     

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