help to Identify/save this plant

ladysingsthblusApril 8, 2013

This was given to me several years ago and until recently lived in a tall glass vase full of water. I planted it recently with no knowledge of how to do it, just stuck it in dirt to see what happened. As you can see, some of the leaves are turning brown at the edges.

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ladysingsthblus

Here is a photo of the whole thing.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Tuckamore

A variety of "lucky bean" (Castanospermum australe) perhaps?

Im really stumped on this one, but Im sure someone will know the answer

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:31PM
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ladysingsthblus

I think you're on the right track with Castanospermum australe but I'm still searching for the right type.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Dacocoa(5)

Looks like it could be related to the "Money Tree Plant"? But I've no idea either : / It looks like it's not getting enough light. How often do you water it? Does it stay moist for long periods? Lack of light and prolonged moisture in the soil can cause this, which looks like it's almost rotting away? But, I have no idea the requirement's of this unknown plant, so I can say for certain ??

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

" Lack of light and prolonged moisture in the soil can cause this, which looks like it's almost rotting away?" Absolutely.

Could it be an avocado?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:45PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Can we see the base of the plant? It does look like an Avocado but Castanospermum is similar.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:54PM
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Dacocoa(5)

I just googled avocado, and I absolutely agree with you, purpleinopp. It resembles avocado more so than money tree plant. Avocado looks to grow tall thin stems with leaves at the tip, where-as money tree seems to grow much shorter, and a bit thicker.

This post was edited by Dacocoa on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 16:58

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Avocado pits are often sprouted in water, that may explain why it was in water when you got it, if that's what it is.

In insufficient light, the growth may be artificially stretched out, if that's a factor, which it probably is if that's where the plant lives, by the stairs. That can make it a little harder to ID, comparing to pics of healthy specimens.

So... it was in water for years until how long ago? It's not unusual for any plant making such a transition to lose some leaves. Soggy/mucky soil would be more harmful than helpful although it seems counter-intuitive to suddenly put it in much more dry "soil" doesn't it?

If there isn't some sun shining directly on it for some part of the day, that's probably not enough. If it is an avocado, those grow in southern FL and Mexico with no shade. If you think it needs more light, take it slow, like an hour or so the first week. Not sure it matters though, looks like most of the leaves are dying and new growth could pop out pretty fast, which would not be at all sensitive to sun like the older, used-to-being-inside leaves.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Tuckamore

I was thinking avocado, but would that plant survive several years in water only?

The reason I said Castanospermum is because I know it can live in water.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Tuck and Flora, I wasn't trying to build a case that it's avocado, just concerned about its' condition. Either tropical entity would be starved for light in that location I think. Tried to make sure I said "if" twice, not at all sure and not campaigning for avocado, just more light for this sad little tree. No experience with the other suggestion, but did check to see if it's also a tropical entity before babbling about more light.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:36PM
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ladysingsthblus

I found it! it is indeed an avocado.

"In insufficient light, the growth may be artificially stretched out, if that's a factor, which it probably is if that's where the plant lives, by the stairs. That can make it a little harder to ID, comparing to pics of healthy specimens."

I think you're right. When it was in water, it was in a pretty dark area in the house. When I planted it, I put it in a very light part of the house that gets direct sunlight in the mornings.

However, there was no browning of the leaves before I put it in the pot.

But good news - the mystery has been solved!

My roommate watered it several times without my knowledge since I planted it, which was about 3 weeks ago and I watered it once. When I checked the soil it looked fairly dry on top, but underneath it was soaked to the point of near mushiness. Upon further inspection, I discovered the pot I put it in had a drip plate, but it was a false one with no holes! The water has just been sitting in there this whole time.

Any advice on how to fix it??

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Tuckamore

Drill a hole or change the pot is your best bet.

Just curious, how long would you say this plant was growing in water?

Tuck

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:54PM
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ladysingsthblus

Well, the vase was already full of roots when I inherited it when a friend moved about 4 years ago. I now vaguely recall her mentioning something about it being ready to pot, but I had other things on my mind back then...then once I put it on an end table in the living room, it seemed fine, even sprouted new leaves from time to time.

I admit, I'm still learning how to care for house plants.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 6:13PM
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ladysingsthblus

I just pulled it out of the CEMENT that was that over watered soil and I think I just discovered the problem. Look at the roots!!! They look dead. When I put them in the dirt they were much longer and light in color. Is there any hope?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 6:32PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Awww, poor thing! It's hard to say from a pic, but one way to find out. Pot it back up and see what it does, plenty of sunlight, let it get more dry than before, but not bone dry. Sending good vibes for recovery!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:14AM
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