Transparent Leaves on Syngonium?

cr491January 13, 2013

Hey all,

My fiancee has an Arrowhead Plant that is about a year old. It's still pretty small but it seemed like it was starting to take off recently. Yesterday, I was over at her place and noticed that the leaves now have transparent spots on them. Some parts of the leaves have retained the normal color but most of the leaves are transparent.

Does anyone have a clue what has caused this? I have tried googling it but all I've found is someone else's thread on another board (with no replies!). I also found posts about "bacterial leaf spot" and I'm wondering if that's the culprit. I have a picture below but I don't think it really shows the transparency. Any help is appreciated!

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Wow, purple pot, purple wall. I like your girl already!

I'm sorry, the pic is so blurry, I can't see much of anything. If she's had that plant for a year and there are only 2 leaves, it's not doing so well. Is the soil soggy?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 11:51AM
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cr491

Thanks! I like her too. :)

Perhaps this photo will work better. Sorry they're turning out so blurry.

She isn't always good about watering, so that explains why it has dropped some of its lower leaves. Right now the soil is damp but not soggy. This may have been rash, but since it looked like it was starting a new leaf, it seemed best to cut off the dying stuff. We'll see what it does.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 5:13PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

I like the pot too... purple's my favorite color. :D Sorry I don't know what's causing the transparency though. I've seen transparency on some parts of the leaves on my Pothos before (also a vining plant), but it went away in less than a day.

Planto

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 5:57PM
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cr491

Just an update...

I trimmed off the two leaves to see what the plant would do. It did grow new leaves, but they too are transparent and blotchy (one is yellowing). One of the leaves appears to have some sort of sticky substance on the edges.

Any other thoughts on what could be causing this?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:32PM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

Perhaps its to wet? and not enough sunlight? I have a variegated syng which is what i thought this was by looking at the first picture. I'd take it out of the mix its in and repot (into the same pot) with a lighter potting mixture. add some perlite to give it more airiness to the soil.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 3:17AM
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cr491

Grrr,

Thanks for the input! I just re-potted it into fresh soil. When it was out of the pot I noticed that it seems to be forming another shoot. I think it has a lot of life left! :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:42PM
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tropicbreezent

They grow as epiphytes, up into trees, so they like a lot of air around the roots and some humidity rather than stagnating water. You could grow them in wood or bark chips without any soil, they'd probably be happier.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 10:07PM
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cr491

I have an update! The plant is currently putting out a new leaf and the color seems to be returning to at least one of the leaves.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 6:19PM
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cr491

One more update...I can't believe how well this plant turned around! The new soil and lighting changes really helped. I recently moved (from WV to Arkansas) and my new house has a sunroom. I think the bright light has helped immensely.Thanks to those of you who helped try to figure out what was wrong with it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 8:41AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Thanks for the update, looks fantastic!

FWIW, I try not to leave tree leaves in plant pots since a lot of them have tannins, which can cause chlorosis if there's enough of it (and I'm remembering the right reason why tannin can cause difficulties.)

It absolutely has a lot of life left in it. Look at what it could do 'in the wild!' After establishing a basal rosette, it will send out vine growth, looking for an object to climb, likely via skototropism (growing toward the shadows. Infant skototropic plants can grow faster is less light, probably sensing a greater need to find more light.) Once it is established on a support, the leaf form morphs into multi-part leaves. Most potted plants never reach the mature leaf form stage regardless of age, but still, of course, make fine potted plants. It can dangle, or you can give it a support to climb. Something to consider for the future as it is apparent your plant is going to grow, baby, grow.

Spotted in NOLA in April.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:34AM
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plantomaniac08(8)

cr491,
Wow, that plant took a 180, I can hardly recognize it!

Planto

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:50AM
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cr491

Purple,

Thanks for the advice! Those are actually old bay leaves. My grandma-in-law claims they help repel gnats. It did seem to work with one pretty large invasion, but it's been a mixed record overall. I'm taking them out right now.

I hope mine could get that large someday. The biggest I've ever had (the pictured syngonium was a cutting from it) made it to a 12" pot, but then over a year or so withered away to almost nothing - root rot. However, the cutting I took from it put out a couple roots, survived the trip to Arkansas, and is now trying to catch up with its kid!

Planto,

Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 5:42PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I figured there was an interesting story to the leaves. Gramma advice, IMO, is usually about 80-90% true. Trying to isolate that part from the rest is when the value can be capitalized. So she said to lay the leaves there & the fungus gnats would be repelled. Specifically bay leaves? Fascinating! No idea how to research that one...

"Fungus gnats, made it to a 12" pot, root rot..." and every pic of your plant shows dark, moist soil. All of this in general says to back off on the frequency of watering. This type of vining, creeping plant doesn't need much soil relative to its' size, compared to a lot of other kinds of potted plants, so can take a long time to dry in a same size pot with a similar mass of foliage as compared to many other plants. If drying more is not enough to combat that stuff, like rotting roots and fungus gnats, the soil may just be holding onto water far too long for the roots to ever 'breathe.'

Drying of itself can sometimes fail to get rid of FG's too, though almost always good for plants, but never to the point of wilt. There are some good discussions here about other measures if you find it necessary sometime.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 6:07PM
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cr491

Thank you for the follow-up and diagnosis. I think you're right that I overwatered, at least with the larger (well, now smaller) syngonium. Once I took the cuttings from it and got new roots going, it seems to be taking off. I'm going to try to be more conservative with watering, so hopefully I won't have to do any more emergency operations to keep it going.

I've been growing houseplants since 2007, and it's still a learning process. :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes, I agree! I learn new things constantly. Glad to try to help.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:29AM
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