what kind of plant its this and what's wrong with it?

StackyFebruary 6, 2013

Does anyone know what kind of plant this is? I got it at a wedding and it was just a tiny thing with 2 small leaves and it was in a dixi cup. They were the gifts for the guests(cute idea!) and the paper just said to plant the whole thing, but i took it out of the cup. Anyways, i have had it for probably 6 months now and it was doing really well but now it is curling a bunch. They said it was a friendship plant, but when i googled that, i didnt get pictures of plants that look like this, they looked different. So i was just wondering if anyone knew what kind of plant it is or could help me with whats wrong with it and how to make it better. I live in illinois, i have it by a window. I water it sometimes, maybe once a week or so. Its green and sprouts 2 leaves at a time from the top. The leaves are kind of jagged on the sides. I think that was all that you asked of the description, but i dont know what the kinds of plants are so i dont know what it is, i just know that it is a house plant that i get from a friend that lived in illinois too. She says its suppose to get things on the leaves so that i can replant it. If you have any other questions about it, just ask and i will answer them if i can. Thanks for any help! I really appreciate it!!

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I believe it is a Kalanchoe daigremontiana, also called Mother of Millions because of the baby plants that grow on the leaves and root easily. They are succulent and need little water. I did a quick search for leaf curl and it mentions pests such as thrips, cyclamen mites and leaf rollers. No experience with these pests, however. Good luck with your plant. They are fun!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:05PM
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I, too, believe it is a Kalanchoe. Being a succulent, it doesn't need much water. From your photo, I can see that you have it in a moisture retaining soil, so you'll need to remedy that. I suggest a mix of at least 50% perlite with 50% of your soil. If you can throw in some gravel or small stones to aid in drainage, that would help as well. You want a porous, fast-draining mix. Does the pot have a drainage hole? If not, you'll want to get the plant into one that does.
See those white stringy things hanging off your plant? Those are aerial roots. I suspect the plant is making those because you've suffocated the buried roots, and they no longer serve the plant. Your plant looks like it needs more light, as well. Put it in the window that gets the most light, and if that isn't possible, at least set it under a lamp that can be turned on for several hours. Others will chime in soon....


    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:53PM
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So how do i replant it or fix the soil without killing the plant? Do you have any tips? I really want to try keeping the plant alive. THANKS!!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:45AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi & welcome to Gardenweb!

Agree with the above. If this was mine, I would scoop it out and leave the root ball sitting loosely on the surface to dry more quickly, maybe even laying it on some newspaper if it's very moist. Then snip the stem below the concentration of aerial roots and sit it atop another pot with a more chunky, porous mix that is barely moist, burying the aerial roots just enough so they don't spring back up, without packing them down at all. That looks like it will leave about 4 leaves and a couple aerial roots on the original plant. See if you can get those aerial roots to make contact with the soil and stay that way.

Put both in the sunniest spot you have and let them dry out. Then go very lightly with the water for the removed top part, until the roots have a chance to go throughout the pot, just moisten the surface the first few times.

If/when the original part perks back up, gently knock the old soil off of its' roots and put in the chunkier mix that dries out quickly, then finally give it more water.

If the soil for these types of plants does not dry quickly, they can rot. Even just after watering, having tiny air pockets throughout the pot is good so the roots can get some air as well as moisture. So avoiding fine particles like peat and sand, and actual soil is best since these small particles fill up all of those spaces, suffocating roots and harboring too much moisture.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:25PM
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Don't try to keep this tortured plant alive. Instead, take a healthy leaf and put it on top of some gritty mixture. In a week, you will see new plants forming along the edge of the leaf. They will grow fast, and when they have roots about 1/8inch long, detach them and plant them on the surface of your pot and water them. You can also cut the top and plant that.

If the plant is cared for well, it will grow big and floppy in a year, then next winter (or maybe the winter after that) it will make an umbrella-like flower head (kinda cute), then that stem dies. Not too worry, every leaf will make 25 new plants for you.

To make your plant as full as it can be (it doesn't really get bushy), and to get big dark green leaves, give it all the sun it can get. These leaves have a tendency to curl anyways, and your plant has this taken to extreme, probably because of the dirt. They really don't like organic soils. A well draining soil means you can water it often, if you have a peat mixture it never gets as nice because the soil stays wet between waterings.

If the plant is less than happy, it will take longer to bloom.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:40PM
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It looks to me like the pot is also too big. This means that there is too much soil, and when it gets wet, it stays wet for too long and the plant can't use all of that water. This causes the roots to rot, leaving the leaves droopy and thirsty-looking. The plant is thirsty because its roots are rotten and it can't take up water any more. I would do as purple said and snip off the stem above the currently buried roots. The cut part of them stem should be left to dry for a day or two before inserting in new, lighter mix and leaving to grow new roots.

This post was edited by FrugalFanny on Tue, Feb 12, 13 at 18:29

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:27PM
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