What happened to my plant?

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Alicja, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Alicja

    Alicja Member

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    I have a plant which I think is called diffenbachia(?). The plant was healthy and beautiful, but I noticed that there were some small flies around it. It seems that I got rid of the flies ;however now the leaves are turning yellow. Do I water it too much OR not enough? Ever since I have the plant (summer '09, it was already big when I got it) I would water it once a week. However during winter my house is a little dry and the temperature is around 68F. I noticed that the soil would go dry pretty fast so I started watering my plant twice a week (or when the soil was dry about 2 inches). Where did I go wrong? What should I do now? Please help, I really care about this plant.Here are some pictures.
    Thank You
     

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  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    overwatering is the most likely reason. what kind of soil mix is it in? when was the last time it was repotted? does the container have drainage holes? is the plant located near a heater vent?
     
  3. Alicja

    Alicja Member

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    Thank you so much for your response joclyn. So what should I do now? I stopped watering it and I removed the damaged leaves, but I am afraid that more leaves are going to turn yellow. I don’t really know when it was repotted last time since I got it last summer and I did not do anything with it except water it once a week. Should I repot it? The container does have holes. The plant is located far from any air blows and in indirect sun light. Also, I noticed that the new buds stopped growing. Does it mean it will die now?
     
  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    removing dead/dieing leaves is a good thing - then the plant can focus on what is healthy rather than trying to make parts that aren't healthy get better.

    i would allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering again - stick your finger in it and see how far down the soil is moist. also check from the bottom drain holes. if the top if just a touch moist and the bottom is still pretty soggy, i'd hold off watering. dieff's generally like to be consistantly moist. not totally soggy and not too dry. it can be hard to adjust when you bring plants inside after the warm weather goes away...

    basically, what you need to do is get back on the watering schedule you had in the summer - since the temps inside are no where near what it gets when it's outside in the summer (and lighting is different, too), it's not going to need as frequent watering.

    if you feel the soil is drying out too quickly, then i'd say you're not giving it enough water when you do give it some. you should water thoroughly every time - add small increments and continue until you just see water coming out the drain holes and then stop adding more water. allow the excess to drain out and then remove it from the drip tray.

    monitor soil moisture every few days - when it's feeling a bit dry at the top and *just* moist at the bottom, do another thorough watering.

    these are pretty hardy and it should recover - not all that much damage done, i don't think. if things haven't improved in a month or so, post again and we'll see about maybe doing a repotting or taking cuttings to start new plants.
     
  5. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    Ya it looks like it has been over watered a bit ... i would hold off on some water .. and it looks like it hasnt been repotted in a long time ..i can see some algae around the pot .. i think it needs to be repotted .. it looks like old dirt and this plant is a Chinese evergreen not a Dieff ..

    good luck with it ..

    Marion
     
  6. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    oops!! didn't look at all the leaves well enough. chinese evergreen is correct.
     
  7. Alicja

    Alicja Member

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    Thank you sooooo much guys! It looks I have been doing it all wrong....can't believe I kept this plant alive at all LOL :)
    From now on I will water according to your instructions.

    Another question: what is "algae around the pot" ? Where is it? Should I repot the plant now or it is better to wait till sping?

    Thanks again for all your help!!! :)
     
  8. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    the algae is the green on the dirt .. plant food + sunlight = algae .. it wont hurt it .. but if you hold off on the water for a lil bit till it dries some .. it should go away ..
    i would wait and see if it starts to look a lil healthier before repotting it .. they are pretty hardy plants ..

    Marion
     

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