Questions on hypoestes phyllostachya.

NastydaveMay 14, 2013

This is one of my houseplants. The leaves are always turning brown and falling off. I water it every other day and mist it a couple times daily. Could the pot be too small? The leaf tops turn brown then the whole leaf. Normally only the big leaves fall off. There is plenty of new growth. Is this normal?

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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

It looks like too much sun. I would move it to a shadier area. It could also be a humidity problem. Hrer are ways to adjust humidity

Here is a link that might be useful: Humidity solutions

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 2:21PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Your plant looks amazing! You've been doing a great job.

The amount of light looks fine to me. As summer gets deeper, the angle of the sun will change, temporarily providing less to any window in the northern hemispere, so may be insufficient for a few months if kept inside. These plants like plenty of light, just not during the hot part of the day.

Please don't consult about.com for anything regarding plants without confirming the veracity of the info found there independently - the necessity of which is the sign of an inferior, unreliable, worthless source.

Watering so often is likely the cause of this plants' health issues, in conjunction with what looks like an attached drain saucer about an inch deep on that pot. Constantly soggy roots in a pot can/will rot. I would encourage you to snap that off, and consider replacing the soil if your plant has been in the same stuff for a while. Then when you water, do it at a sink until water runs out of the holes in the bottom. When it's finished dripping, it can rest back on the drip tray, no need to snap it back on. Wait until the soil has dried significantly before watering it again.

The buildup of excess water over time also means the buildup of tap water chemicals. Changing the soil for plants that have been in their pots for a long time usually results in a great growth spurt in those plants that are sensitive to these chemicals. I don't know if Hypoestes is or not, but operate under the assumption that any plants would prefer to avoid that, or to at least have it fixed/"re-set" periodically.

This particular plant is much better at growing great-looking new foliage than maintaining old foliage. If it were mine, I'd trim the worst looking 2-3 stems back to the soil level. That should inspire it to send up some new stems. When those have grown to something pleasing to look at, trim another few stems, or the rest of them, depending on how many new ones come up the first time.

Removing the yellowed leaves but leaving the stems in place could inspire those stems to make side branches where the leaves were, preferably fairly close to the bottom, where they will be more sturdy. Pinching the growth tip from each stem is another technique for inspiring side branches to form. As tall as those stems are, I wouldn't recommend that since tip pinches are quite likely to inspire new branches toward the tip, where they will make stems top-heavy.

Misting leaves can cause more problems than it's worth for the (debatable) temporary increase in humidity... which is from evaporation of the fallen droplets unless you really do have a mister, which could possibly increase the ambient humidity slightly for 60 seconds or so. Any kind of movement of air within the room will nullify that. More likely a bacteria or fungus could find the proper conditions to take up residence on your plants' leaves.

My time's up, sorry, not proof-read...

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 6:03PM
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Nastydave

Thanks a lot for the advice!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 8:21PM
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