Scefflera renegade

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by mukkaa, May 27, 2019.

  1. mukkaa

    mukkaa New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Port coquitlam
    Hello,

    I am new to forums and i am very excited to learn from all of you! I bought a scefflera renegade in february. My plant was doing very well until about 3 weeks ago when i noticed the leaves started to turn black and would just fall off in a bunch from the main stem. Nothing as changed since i bought it.
    Today i noticed 2 mushrooms growing in the pot (?).
    I measure when to water it by using a chopstick and only do it when 2/3 of the soil is dry. I also water it all the way until it comes out from the saucer.
    I started misting the plant a while ago but i rea 20190527_135225.jpg 20190527_135330.jpg received_371243890181587.jpeg d it here you arent supposed to do that.. i'm not sure what i'm doing wrong.. i also noticed that while some leaves are black and falling i have new growth!
    I attached some photos, can anyone help me?
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,700
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    I believe bright, indirect light is preferred for this plant. Perhaps insufficient light is the cause of the problem.

    The plant appears to be healthy. Which part of the plant are the leaves being shed from? If they're from the lowest part of the main stem then it could be normal shedding of the oldest leaves.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    6,920
    Likes Received:
    357
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I'll second what jungkekeeper said. Remember that these are compound leaves, so a bunch of leaflets and their stem is really only the loss of one leaf.
     
  4. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan, USA
    They will take a lot more dryness than other houseplants. Water differently: Find a vessel that is about 1/5 to 1/6 of the volume of soil. Give the plant that amount once a week to begin with. Look at the plant before and ~3 or 4 hours after watering. If the plant was really dry you will see it go from droopy before to more erect a few hours latter. That's what you should see in a wet, dry, wet, dry cycle. You need to be able to recognize droopy, and respond accordingly on a schedule that is reflective of the light/temperature/humidity conditions of your home, which should be: water that volume every 5, 6 7, or 8 days, which may vary with season. It sounds complex, but it isn't. The droopiness will be very apparent once you begin to watch for it. Stand back where you can line up the top of the plant with some feature of your house. Droopy is not bad. Constantly turgid is bad. Mushrooms mean constantly damp. Pick the mushrooms and get them out of the house before they go to spore.

    Many people espouse watering until the water flows out the bottom of the pot. It's wrong and just an easy thing to say. In the real world plants have to survive in places where it doesn't have an all day rain period every week. "Just enough" is much better than lots and lots and lots. Feed the plant only in the growing season, April through August, with any liquid once a month at label directions.
     
  5. mukkaa

    mukkaa New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Port coquitlam
    Thank you for your reply! I noticed the leaves starting to fall and get black on the side that was closer to the wall. I thought about light conditions so i turned it around but it just keeps happening.
    They are mainly coming of from the middle part of the stem.
     
  6. mukkaa

    mukkaa New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Port coquitlam
    Thank you so much for your reply!
    I did notice the droopiness before and i used to water once a week or when the 2/3 of the top soil is dry. Do you mean that the droopiness could be because of light and humidity as well? The plant seems to perk up after i water it.
    The plant is away from the window in a northeast room.. i placed it there to be away from drafts.. but maybe i should try a different spot.. i just dont understand why it was fine before and now it isnt..
    I have to read carefully your instructions about watering thank you so much!
     
  7. mukkaa

    mukkaa New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Port coquitlam
    Oh that's really cool! Didnt know that! thank you!
     
  8. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member

    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Marysville, WA USA
    Michigander there is a reason water flowing out the bottom is universally recommended among house plant experts and professional growers alike. Rainwater is not what most people are able to give their plants. Tapwater brings with it all kinds of stuff, and leaves all of it behind (because only the pure water will evaporate) when you don't let it run a little out the bottom. When you get more experience with houseplants, especially under many different sources of water over the years, you'll see the negative effects of salt buildup are real and common. Also, most houseplants are planted in the cheaper potting mixes that differ vastly from native soils and often include way too much "forest products" (wood) . These will "sour" sometimes within less than a year when watered "just enough". Also, cheap mixes like this one with big bark chunks are very poor at transferring water from the bottom to top (peat, coir, compost are much better at this), so that usual advice you've read about 'water when the top third is dry' does not apply to this type of mix. You've got the beginnings of a nasty, stagnant, sour cesspool at the bottom of that pot, from the roots' point of view. That fungus on the top is a tell-tale sign of poor drainage at the bottom of the pot.

    Mukka, I would agree with the first two posters that it looks like you could use more light, and I'll add that you need holes in that pot and an accessible tray underneath it so you can let the water run out of the bottom. Get rid of that basket if it impedes using the tray under the pot to quickly dump water out. Never let your plant sit in water.
     
    Junglekeeper likes this.
  9. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,700
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Not necessarily so. I've noticed they sometimes pop up at certain times of the year when the conditions are just right. However the ones I have are the ones that many people inquire about and are yellow.

    @mukkaa,
    The problem is likely to be a lack of light if the room is in a northeast corner. Try moving the plant to a spot with more light if possible.
     
  10. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan, USA
    Where to begin...
    You seem to be saying that the water that runs out the bottom takes with it the impurities of the water that stays in the soil matrix. Just the opposite might be true: The soil acts as a filter on at least two levels: particulate matter will be trapped in the soil matrix, especially the fibrous organic portion, and, elements and compounds dissolved in the water that have available reactive sites are free to bond to any carbon (et al.) in the soil matrix. The water coming out the bottom, having been stripped of two kinds of constituents, leaves behind at least some of the impurities formerly resident in the water from whatever source. It's not cleansed, but will have less of what it had when it went in the top of the pot. It might carry away some of the solubles in the pot, but at best, it's a trade off, because if the pot is never over-wet, it won't have negative constituents to carry away. Less water passing through means less impurities deposited by the water.

    I'm an old man. I've been a serious gardener for 40 years. I have about a hundred finished bonsai, and a lot more in-process, about half are tropical. All are in pots. I'm familiar with water. Most of the serious water problems involving salts are from wells. Most municipal water systems draw from lakes and rivers where the only problematic components are calcium and chlorine. In either case, people have to live with what they have. If they live in the middle of Saskatchewan they already know what they have. If they live in downtown Victoria, they know what they have. If the water is drinkable by people, it's good enough for their plants. This part of your answer misdirects the attention into a complex area that doesn't need to be addressed unless and until the poster complains about their water.

    While we agree these materials are of very low quality for the reasons you state, the only connection between "nasty, stagnant, sour cesspool at the bottom of that pot" and water is the volume of water added exceeds the needs of the plant. That kind of "potting mix" should never be allowed to become sodden. The solution is to regularly add less water, and only as the plant needs it so the mix goes from moderately dry to moderately moist. Adding a specific volume of water, less than all that the pot will hold after it stops dripping from the hole in the bottom, will cause the water to disperse into the matrix fairly evenly with no sodden portions, especially not collecting at the bottom. The 'basket" that the pot is in probably is counter-productive in any event.

    The north-west exposure is marginally too little light, but rotating the plant is not helpful. The plant will adjust to what it has with the light side always doing better than the other side. Forcing the plant to re-adjust will only serve to help the dark side very little at the expense of hurting the other side.
     
  11. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member

    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Marysville, WA USA
    Well, one way to verify if you are right but all the books and experts are wrong, is to take some clean, clear, delicious drinking water and pour it thru your biggest tropical plant's soil until you get a drinking glass full out the bottom. Then hold it up to the light before you take a nice big swig and tell me if it has less or more than when you poured it in. Everyone in the industry knows that more watering takes away minerals, not adds them.

    So first remember that nearly 100%of the water going in is evaporated, either at the soil surface or the leaf surface, so if you're only just-enough watering, then 100% of the calcium, magnesium, trace minerals, and salts that came with the water stay in the soil. Your plant likely didn't need any extra from the water at all, it's preference is pure water. If you let it drain out the bottom there is substantial interchange (i.e. that dirty glass of drinking water), but if you just-enough water, then there is zero interchange. All the extras stay in the soil to throw it's balance out of whack. Over the days and weeks and months you're just adding and adding and adding imbalance to your soil. It's simple math, what goes in must come out or it is changing the balance in your soil.

    So if your drinking water is say 400 ppm TDS, think of adding an extra 400 again next week and the week after that. In a year you may have put in 50 times or more the safe level for humans. Poison for us, and plants don't like those levels either. You may personally get them to grow with enough sun and nitrogen, but you're poisoning your mycorrhizal connections and losing out on optimal conditions, hence the correct advise from experts and books to water until it runs. Another way you could see real-world proof is by growing plants with the most sensitive roots, where this effect is exaggerated. It's well known among orchid growers that just-enough watering is lethal to many orchids. This effect carries over to a lesser extent in hardier plants. It may not be lethal, but you are certainly losing optimum conditions.
     
  12. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan, USA
    You are still assuming that all drinking water is of the worst sort. And, that the exchange is taking out what you want it to take out. And, that the world doesn't know the difference between drinking water and ground water. How is it that we can process your 400 ppm but the plant can't? The experts' advice on watering until the water passes out the bottom is intended to wet the contents, not to filter the water as you infer. That 1900's advice predates water quality concerns and I'm going to help it exit, stage left. Commercial growing operations recycle water that drains out over & over, and many if not most draw from wells where the water is questionable or not fit for drinking. Plants are a lot more tolerant of water quality than you are asserting. You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

    The nexus between the poor performance of houseplants and water is the manufactured soil mix, not the quality of the water. The recycling of paper products not fit to manufacture cardboard boxes into growing medium to replace what should be the humus bearing portion of a predominantly mineral mix is the culprit. The recycled material is cheaper than the mineral content, so accountants have increased its percentage of the mix to now untenable proportions. People buy the "recycled" label, but are really only getting garbage with modest fertilizer content, temporary in nature, and without the proper mineral content. Dirt is better than potting mixes.
     
  13. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,700
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
  14. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan, USA
    Conventional wisdom. Where do the Saskatchewan wheat farm's salt deposits present themselves? On the surface. I suppose that they could rectify the situation by just turning on the pumps for a few days... I didn't see any science in your academic paper. In fact, most plants need the wet, dry, wet, dry cycle. NOT wet, moist, wet, moist, wet, moist. Very few plants die from underwatering. Most die from insertion in conditions inappropriate for the plant such as low light or a finicky plant in a household of a person with no plant knowledge. Many people fall in love with a plant that is difficult and buy it on a whim. The second place ribbon goes to overwatering. Waaaay back in the pack is underwatering.

    I have seen many plants with crusts at the perimeter and bottoms of pots of plants that had years and years of happy service. I don't remember seeing any that dropped dead after a substantial life as a houseplant of something mysterious, like your salts. You can postulate any level of contamination by any compound and use it to scare the uninitiated, but this conventional wisdom is not applicable in 99% of houseplant postmortems.
     
  15. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,700
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    I consider what the article suggests as best practice. The outcome of doing otherwise will of course depend on personal circumstances; if the water is relatively mineral free and the plant is never fertilized then salt buildup will likely take a long long time. Even then the plant may not be immediately affected but it is not the ideal situation. As the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention...".

    I think enough has been said on this point on all sides. Let's give it a rest. The OP will decide on what is appropriate.
     

Share This Page