Identification: Unknown Plant That Is Sick

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by mollykemp, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. mollykemp

    mollykemp Member

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    So my sister-in-law gave me this plant last week. I don't know what it is or what to do with it.

    It was green and purple when I first got it, but now it looks almost dead (mostly a dark purple except the leaves in the center have a little dark green) and covered with white fuzz. I think it is infected with something. She got one for herself and it is doing fine.

    So, my questions are as follows:
    1. What kind of plant is this?
    2. Is it dying?
    3. If yes, what can I do for it, if anything?
    4. If it isn't dying, then what is going on?
    5. Is this contagious to my other plants?

    I am a newbie when it come to plants so I am at a loss for what to do with this. I am worried that it is going to kill all my other plants that I just got.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     

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  2. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    It used to be an African Violet. The soil looks a very dry? I might suggest that its demise is a cultural issue (rather than disease). Factors such as too much water, not enough water, extreme temperatures, could all lead to the current state of the plant. IMHO, I think attempting to save it at this point would be quite involved even for an experienced African Violet grower.
     
  3. mollykemp

    mollykemp Member

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    The soil is dry. I water it little bits at a time (because the water runs right through it) but it never seemed to get damp. Since it was a gift out of the blue, I don't have a pot for it at all and didn't get paid until yesterday. Would that be the difference between hers and mine? She was able to repot and I wasn't? The soil is strange in the fact that it is hard and doesn't seem to soak up water.
     
  4. mollykemp

    mollykemp Member

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    Also, what things could I do to try to save it. Since it was a gift and all. That way I could say I did everything.
     
  5. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Soil is so dry that it's not able to absorb the water....that's why it runs straight through. Place the pot in a large container, fill the container until the water is 1/3 the way up the pot. Leave it like that for 2-3 hours, refilling to maintain the level as needed. The soil should be re-hydrated by that time. From that point on, water it well when the soil is barely moist (if you water too often, the plant will rot) and don't let it sit in water (except for this time).

    I think your description confirms the problem....African Violets are not suited to be so dry.
     
  6. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't know where your sister got this plant, but it had been neglected long before it arrived on your hearth. See all that white and crusty yellow on the top of the soil? That's accumulated salts from a long time. It was probably nearly dead when you got it.

    I don't mean to discourage you, but it's not very likely that you'll get any recovery at all.
     
  7. mollykemp

    mollykemp Member

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    I was thinking that it didn't look very well when I got it. I am glad that I didn't kill this one. I seem to have a knack for that. I have already got the soil moist in the soaking so I will see how it goes here. It is rainy and miserable here and will be for a few days. Should I put this under a light during the time the sun should be out or is next to the window ok? Should I attempt to repot it today? Or would that shock it too much (even though I am sure it is going to die)?
     
  8. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    1. A dead one.
    2. Not anymore.
    3. Bid it farewell.
    4. Decomposition.
    5. Possibly. Another excellent reason to relegate it to a trash can far away from any other plants.

    I applaud your desire to help this plant, but this one is beyond it.

    Hey--we've all been through similar experiences, and we know how you feel. Why not read up on African violet care, and go out and get yourself a good healthy one?
     
  9. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    no no no no! don't give up just yet!!!!! i'm certainly no expert on african violets, but i've still managed to save african violets as far gone as yours.

    -don't repot it at this time
    -gently remove all dead matter
    -allow the top of the soil to dry between waterings
    -never let the soil get dry and hard
    -no fertilizer until the plant is quite healthy
    -keep the plant in bright, indirect light (direct sun will scorch it)

    it's quite possible that your african violet has had it, but i really do think we owe our plants all the love and hope and proper care we can possibly give them. you can do it! :D don't give up!
     
  10. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    lol, togata!!! i needed a chuckle, thx!

    although i do agree with togata's take on the situation, i too, like lk, like to try to save something if it's at all possible...the leaves aren't completely crispy yet and the roots may still be viable.

    although it's not likely this is the case, i'd still give it a go.

    you already did the deep soak to thoroughly remoisten the soil. now what's left is to put the african violet (yes, that id is correct) in a warm and fairly sunny spot and wait.

    if it's going to make it, within a day or so, you'll see the leaves at the very center of the cluster looking better. they'll perk up a bit and get a bit greener. if they haven't done that by wednesday, then the assessment that it's a goner is accurate.

    doesn't hurt to try. you might get lucky and have caught it just before it became terminal. let us know!

    oh, if it does rebound, definitely let us know...we can walk you through what is the best care for it as well as repotting it (definitely not a good idea to do that at this time).
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  11. mollykemp

    mollykemp Member

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    Ok. So it has been a few days and the plant doesn't seem to have become any worse. In fact, I think it is starting to become a tad more green and perky! The leaves are softening up! Here are a few pictures I took this morning. So, now what do I wait for to repot?
    SDC10462.JPG SDC10464.JPG SDC10463.JPG
     
  12. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I wish you good luck on your project, although dubious that the plant can recover or will ever be vigorous. You may want to consider asking your sister-in-law for a couple of starts from her healthy plant. Saintpaulia (African violets) are very easy to propagate from leaf cuttings.

    Cut a couple of healthy leaves with stalk, dip in rooting hormone if you have it (readily available at garden centres), insert each in a small pot of moist,sterile rooting medium, then enclose these in a zip lock bag and wait. In a few weeks roots will form and you will have new plants. Keep them in small pots. African violets bloom more with confined root space. That's how I do it anyway. Others may have different methods.
     
  13. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    After re-hydrating your dry african violet, the second photo out of the three looks like the leaves have some sort of fungus. If it were mine, I'd toss it and get another healthy one since they are relatively inexpensive at places like Lowe's, Home depot and Walmart.
     
  14. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    it does look like it has some fungus going on, there. :( african violet leaves seem to rot pretty quickly once they're dead; i'd remove the dead matter gently. you should also be careful not to overwater.

    give your plant a few weeks to decide whether it's going to recover or give up the ghost. and certainly don't repot the plant until (if?) it recovers. someone once gave me an african violet that looked about as bad as yours and it recovered. but that may have been a once-in-a-lifetime miracle.
     

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