One of my plants has been sick...

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by florissantti, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. florissantti

    florissantti Member

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    Here is a picture of my plant: DCP_2786.JPG

    I'm not sure what it is called (wish I knew, I've searched...) Here is a brief history of what has been going on.

    I've had this plant for about 4 years now, and it's never really thrived.
    It has spent the past 3 years pressing itself against a small east window in my bathroom, at about 65-70 degrees.
    I repotted it in a bigger pot about 1-1.5 months ago. It was not seriously rootbound, but it did need a bigger pot. Up until this point it was fine, it had put out 2 new leaves in the past 6 months or so.
    During the repotting, due to some advice I read online, I cut a few of the roots that were formed in a circle at the bottom of the pot. Supposedly this would encourage new root growth. I fear that this is what caused my plant harm.
    After I repotted, the leaves started wilting. I thought that it was a bit shocked from repotting and/or a bit overwatered, and so I let it dry out pretty well, but the wilting got worse. I ended up moving it into my living room, where it is warmer (near 70 usually) and gets a LOT more light (south facing). It doesn't get much direct sunlight, but does experience brightness throughout the day. I am keeping it moist.

    Anyways, the leaf tips are starting to brown out, the leaves keep curling more, the plant is tipping, and I'm getting seriously concerned for it's health. I water with tap water that has been sitting out a minimum of 48 hours on my radiator so it's room temp and hopefully chlorine free. My other plants seem OK with this water, even the orchids, so I am fairly confident that is not a big issue. Also, this plant, as with all of my plants, is bug-free.

    Any advice whatsoever would be great; I and my plant thank you.
     
  2. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    the one thing i can think of when you repotted it that mayb not enough dirt got under the plant .like a big air pocket .. try banging the pot on the ground some to knock the dirt in and under the roots and see what happens to it in a few days .. ive had that happen with one of my plants that i repotted .. and i didnt notice it till i went to take some chunks of the plant off to send away and when i dug my hand down in it there was a big hole under the roots .. .. and also by the looks of the dirt it looks awfully dry

    good luck

    Marn
    oh and btw im not sure what the plant is .. try searching under Alocasia's in google .. it looks something along that line ..
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The plant looks like a Strelitzia or Heliconia.
     
  4. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    For just that reason I find a chopstick to be an invaluable tool when repotting plants. Makes it very easy to move soil and roots around in the pot with one hand while holding the plant in the other. Sure this is a little off topic, but it’s a good tip all the same ;)
     
  5. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Have you not been able to keep in a better lit place?
     
  6. florissantti

    florissantti Member

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    It does seem to be very close to strelitzia, the only difference I see is that the base of this is more unified, whereas the base of the strelitzia is a bit more branchy. If it is strelitzia, I'm going to feel like a complete jerk for not ever having had this flower.

    As for the light, I always sort of assumed that it liked low light. My g/f used to take care of all the plants, she left 2 years ago and this plant was in the bathroom, and so it just stayed in the bathroom. A month or so ago, I got seriously interested in plants and making sure mine were very healthy, and so that led to the repotting and the subsequent unhappiness.

    Even if it's not strelitzia, it's close enough that I would imagine the ideal growing conditions are similar. They are supposed to get lots of bright sunlight and some direct sun, so I suppose it's a good move to have it in my living room.

    Oh, and as for the dirt, I'm nearly certain that there is dirt under the rootball, I was terribly careful when repotting (and it was making some pretty bad sqeaking/bending noises while I was doing so).
     
  7. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    It sure does look like a strelitizia. If it is one, they need a well-lit spot with some direct sunlight. They also have very large roots that curl around in the pot. They like to be potbound, and resent being repotted. At some point though, one does have to repot, or topdress if you've maxed on pot size. As they resent being repotted, your trimming the roots may have had something to do with the big pout. Careful watering ie. not overwatering would be a good idea until it forms new root/roothairs. Take a good long look at the source of your potting soil. I have had a problem in the past with some pasteurized soils containing what I suspect was too many salts of some kind, or a pH problem. Plant cannot take up water and nutrients properly with either of those. If you jumped on the fertilizer bandwagon thinking that would fix the plant, then that may have been a no-no. Anyway, depending on where you live, higher light and possibly a stint outdoors for the summer would sure help with blooming, although strelitizia need to be a few years old before blooming. Well I sure hope I've helped somehow.

    Chester
     
  8. florissantti

    florissantti Member

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    Thank you very much. I have it sitting on the floor now near a double south window. It gets very bright sunlight all day (if it's not overcast) and direct for a few hours a day. I've been keeping a careful eye on the watering. I *really* wish that I hadn't trimmed the roots now. I just hope that it comes back...

    Also, I feel incompetent, never knew that the plant could put out those flowers... I figured it at as a foliage-only sort of plant.
     
  9. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    You know, I wouldn't feel incompetent at all. I've had a Strelitizia for 13 years, and it's bloomed twice, with one bloom each time, and I've bent over backwards to give it what it wants. I think that one of their attractions are as an architectural plant, one that has interesting structure, form and leaves. The blooms are a bonus. Mine is quite mature now with about 25 leaves and is in a big honking pot in a very bright corner. It's almost like a piece of statuary. I am so satisfied with its looks that I bought another one called Mandela's Gold that blooms with yellow and purple flowers instead of the orange and purple. It's a young plant though so how knows when that puppy is gonna bloom. Hope yours feels better soon.
     
  10. oscar

    oscar Active Member

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    if it is a strelitzia, it needs to be pot bound to flower well.
     

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