ready to throw in the towel on houseplants :(

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by jpasquini, May 19, 2014.

  1. jpasquini

    jpasquini Active Member 10 Years

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    Springfield, Illinois
    Well three weeks in to my new attempt to have houseplants for a 'cleaner indoor air environment' and I'm beat.

    My thriving-on-the-store-shelf 24" high sago palm plant with the Lowe's label boasting "Plants of Steel" now has all of its new shoots coming in yellowed, wilted and shriveled. This after a repotting, careful watering, miracle-gro feeding on suggestion of the Lowe's plant specialist......sunlight, and buying a moisture monitor to make sure nothing was overwatered. The plant may be steel, but it has met its match with my TLC.

    In the other room, my 3' high rubber plant fared better, and put out several new leaves. As NASA says, rubber plants rank among the highest as air purifiers, highly recommended and extremely hardy.
    Until today when I suddenly noticed a mealybug? on one leaf.
    Further examination revealed its infested- one big one I can see and the undersides of the leaves, little ones everywhere. They seem to have exploded all over the plant overnight.

    Do I get Neem oil and do battle, or give it up? I've read online that sometimes its easier with mealybugs to just get a new plant.
    Can't say its not discouraging to have all this happen so early in the game. I like the idea of clean air, but I'm really kind of grossed out by the potential of parasite infestations in my living room.
    I may be looking at plug in air purifier at this point :(
  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Maybe the other plant has some bugs as well? Me, I would ditch the plant with the mealy bugs, or since you did not have any other plants, maybe Lowe's would take them back, as clearly not infested by anything you had.

    The trick is to find something you can grow and then grow lots of it. You might do better to go to a place that specializes in plants, which is more likely to sell healthy plants, and check with them about what to plant in the situations where you will have the pots. A place like Lowe's is fine if you're on top of your game and know what you're dealing with and how to inspect what you're buying. For a newbie, I'd suggest giving yourself a better chance by getting your plants from a better source.
  3. Sunset Cycads

    Sunset Cycads Active Member 10 Years

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    Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada
    It is hard on plants being moved from the nursery where they were grown, to a store, and then again to their new home in your house. It's not you, it's just the trauma the plants have been through.

    I know more about cycads than other plants, so I will just talk about the sago palm. Cut the leaves off, reduce watering to once a month, and wait for new leaves to emerge. This could take several months but be patient. It is hard to kill a cycad, so it is most likely not dead, just trying to adjust to its new environment.
  4. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Anacortes, Washington, USA
    High on NOAH's list of good air cleaners and very easy to grow is the Chlorophytum comosum aka Spider plant. A great plant for a beginner. Comes with solid green leaves, white edged ones and there is even one with pink tinges running down the leaves.

    Try any of the Dracaenas. Massangeana - corn plant or the red edged D. marginata.

    There are many types of Philodendrons that are on the list and even the ever faithful Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant or Mother-in-law-tongue.

    All of the above are mentioned in the article, and quite easy to grow. Don't give up. All of us have killed our fair share of plants. Just go and try. Hope this helps. ;) barb

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