Help!! Peperomia Wilting?

fluoJanuary 9, 2013

My Grandpa has had a Peperomia plant for 2-3 years. He grew it from a small plant, and is very fond of it. It's always been stiff and perky, but these last couple days it's begun to get droopy, and is loosing its new leaves. The entire plant is sort of wilted and soft to the touch, but he says he has not done anything different or moved the plant..
It is planted in regular potting soil, in a Southeast window (medium light levels as we are in Vancouver, Canada) and he waters it in small amounts once/twice a week. Does anyone know why it might be going downhill? ANY help/ speculation is appreciated!

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birdsnblooms

Flu..your grandpa's Peperomia looks fine.. Nicely variegated..however, a few leaves on the left side look a little wilty.

Has the Pep been in the same pot for 2-years?

Also, you said he waters twice a week. Is soil drying between drinks? Is it possible he's adding more water per watering than before?

Peps will rot when soil is constantly wet.

Would you happen to know if he measures water? Toni

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 3:44PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi & welcome to Gardenweb! It looks like this plant has been getting excellent care.

The layers of saucers make me wonder if this plant ever gets a good flush of water at the sink, but the healthy foliage to the soil line makes me think it probably does.

After that amount of time, I think the roots have filled the pot so much that it's staying too dry. In combination with the soil being mostly peat, which is really hard to get wet again once it completely dries. Imagine if you have an old dry sponge. If you pour water over it, it will still be dry on most of the bottom, in the middle, anywhere on the side where water didn't flow, water can't completely moisten it that fast. Peat is just like a sponge in a pot.

Mike's soaking method would be especially helpful to this plant I think since it looks like it's becoming extremely wilted. A "stiff" plant like that is in extreme distress if you can notice wilt, especially if it's being watered that often and still dry.

That's going by the assumption that it's as dry as it looks, but can't see much soil. I touched the pic and it feels dry too but could just be my monitor. OK, J/K, seeing if you're still awake. But if the soil is moist in the pot AND the plant is wilty, the roots are probably rotting from too much moisture as Toni mentioned.

Either way, a repot is the best thing for a plant that's been in a pot that long, and/or having issues with its' roots.

Is that a Dracaena next to it, on the right?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 4:33PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

"...waters in small amounts once or twice a week...."

That statement is the most telling clue, in my opinion. All plants, even succulents, need to be watered thoroughly when they need it. Then, the drying process begins. Some plants should dry out quite a bit in between those drenchings.

Slip the plant out of its pot and examine the root/soil mass for severe dryness or sogginess. Either condition can lead to wilting.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 5:22PM
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fluo

Thank you to everyone for your help! The dry theory was right, we unpotted the plant and for the most part the soil was dry. My grandpa gave it a thorough watering and the entire plant has perked up. Purpleinopp, I'm unsure if the plant beside it is a dracenea.! I'll provide the best picture I have currently of it. Maybe some variegated form of D. Compacta?

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    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 7:43PM
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Drock(Z5 Boulder, CO)

I believe that the Dracaena is D. reflexa, 'Song of India'.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 8:50PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Wow that's a beautiful Drac! I don't have one like that. Looks like Grandpa's doing a pretty good job!

When it's "repotting season," maybe the Pep could get a repot.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 10:26AM
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