My Spider Plant isnt doing too well-- help pls

Lamora(4)May 9, 2012

Hi all.

I know I am probibly being a pest here, but I am at a loss of what to do. My mama spider plant is so wilty and not growing, leaves are turning brown all over the place. Not just the tips, in the center of the leaves.

This started when I put it outside, then someone put it in the sun-- I didnt know about it untill a good few hours later, too late, it burned. That was about 4 wks ago. I cut all the burned leaves off. (almost gave it a crew cut) :(

Last weekend I re-soiled it with the 5:1:1 mix, it was not root bound or rot, and the old soil was fairly moist. I mist every day. I feed it once a month, low dose w/distilled water. Water when dry- about every 2 weeks. The few babies that are on it look real wilty, and the few shoots that are there, are not getting long. I do not see any new shoots coming in. Havent seen any new ones since about Jan. There were a few dead babies also. I cut them off as well.

I am at a loss-- What can I do to help it? I know it went from a huge East window, humid area, to this dark, dry room, but I am trying to keep it happy. Shaded porch.

I also would like to know how to get rid of "water spots" on my plants? very annoying.. but the spider plant is first in line..

Thanks in advance for any help- advice and imput

Marjie :)

p/s- sorry Al- I know you said to wait til the first of next month to re-soil-- but I couldn't.. maybe I should have?

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

It stinks when you come on here for advice & then don't do what the advice suggests. Then you come back to ask how to remedy your situation from not taking the advice you asked for in the first place. (Why even bother asking in the first place?)

Likely Al is far more diplomatic than I but could you PLEASE stop doing this?

Also, I think that (tho' your intentions are good) you fuss w/ your plants too much; you're going to kill them, w/ kindness & overnurture.

I don't really want an answer, but why did you re-soil them? When I thought you'd done that recently. Why, why, why when the plant was recently burned & then all cut back did you have to stress it further by 're-soiling' them? Each of these stress the plant, all combined it's likely cumulative stress, eventually it'll be more then the plant can overcome.

Stop fertilizing, it's not medicine & won't fix ailing plants.

What can you do to help it? Nothing, just PLEASE LEAVE THE PLANT ALONE; it needs time to recover.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:37PM
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Pirate--I am so sorry-- if you don't want to answer me--then dont. you don't have to get pissed off. I haven't asked about my Spider plant in a long time. Not really, mentioned it once. I thought I was doing what was advised, Just a few weeks early. It hasn't been resoiled in a year.

I am new with this- didnt know I was stresing it out so much. ok- I will leave it alone. Maybe I do fuss over them a lot-- I will try not to from now on.

EXCUSE ME!!for being so stupid.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:40AM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

Lamora, you are definitely not stupid! You have questions that need to be answered. You are unsure of some things and need re-assurance. Yes potting up during a stressful time isn't the greatest but you thought it was. And that's okay. Some tips for you :)

The Spider Plant requires only light watering. Allow the soil to dry completely in between waterings. You only need to water the spider plant once every two weeks. If the foliage begins to show black tips or a yellow halo, you are probably over watering the plant. If the foliage begins to drop, the plant is ready for a drink. If the foliage begins to brown, try watering with distilled water. The Spider Plant has been known to have problems if there are chemicals in the water.

Spider Plants prefer natural light, but do not place them in direct sunlight. If the leaves begin turning brown, try moving the plant out of the direct light. If the plant is kept within 5 to 8 feet of a window it should grow fine.

Information i found is that they like loose airy soil as well. So although you recently repotted the plant check to see if the soil its in is really dense. if it is, unpot it and add some perlite to the mix and pot it back into its pot. Sure the plant is already stressed and yada yada yada but i have a feeling if we can correct what has happened thats wrong we may be able to move this plant into the correct path of gorgeous growth:) Everyone has differing opinions and what works for them with their house plants. as for me for instance. I water my jades once a week even though its frowned upon... it's what they like. I hope i threw some good info your way! goodluck with your spider!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 2:02AM
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Hi, pirate girl, I've been coming here for years as you no doubt know, and I never forget your posts.

I hope everything is going well with the spider plant now, Lamora. I think they are quite hard to kill, although I did manage to do that once a few years ago. I think I was killing them with kindness. As someone once said here, a little benign neglect can be a good thing. Now I don't worry about my plants and they all thrive. Best of luck!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:22AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

From what I know of the situation, I would probably recommend a little more light if you have a spot where that's possible. You may have one that couldn't tolerate that much sun, but I can't imagine a spider plant that wouldn't appreciate at least an hour or so of morning or evening sun.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:28AM
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Thanks grrr-- I honestly thought this is what I was doing. I didn't realize I was stressing it so much. I re-soiled it because I wanted to make sure it wasn't root bound or rot, and it was neither. It has been a year for the re-soil. It just is not growing, it hasn't been since Jan. That to me was strange in itself since I was under the impression that a Spider is a year round grower, it doesn't go dormat in winter. Or did I misunderstand that? It has very little "new" growth, and what it does have doesnt look well either. No new shoots at all. Now with it turning brown all over. I don't know what would cause that. The tips- yes, but this is in the center of the leaves.

I water it every 2 wks, feed once a month (this was before I re-soiled). Now with this new soil, I will have to see how fast it dries. And I won't feed it. Should I still mist it every day? Would some humidity help?

But I will leave it alone for a while. Put it outside when it is warm-- (not today- very cold wind and it prob won't make it to 63F today. but the wind is harsh today)

purple- she don't like sun at anytime of day I am finding out. I just put her in the shade of the porch and take her in when the afternoon sun hits it. Parinoid? OH yeah!!

marguerite-- I have a hard time neglecting them, but I think in this case it may be the best thing-- for now.

Thanks for the advice- makes me feel better.
Marjie :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

There's a cliché about beating a dead horse, but... Imagine a person from Canada going to the beach in the spring. Skin that hasn't been touched by sunlight for half a year is suddenly exposed and burns within a few hours. Of course plants aren't people and don't have skin, but I think the analogy is similar when moving plants outside for "the on season." (Inside is the off season.) In my experience, plants grow so much better and so quickly outside in surprisingly high amounts of light that it's worth the occasional over-exuberant sunburn to make the effort to find the maximum amount of sun each plant can handle. When an "inside" leaf gets burned, it doesn't necessarily mean that a new leaf grown outside will get burned by the same exposure. It's the mid-day hours that you have to watch out for, the strongest rays.

Most of my pots end up kind of crowded at the east end of the porch where the shade hits them at about 11-11:30. I move them around all the time and set them in the lawn if I can before it rains. (Safer down there, too, if it gets windy.) You can see a couple spider plants in these pics. I still haven't gotten around to finding some chain or something to lower them a bit since the shade is getting them so early. I usually hang them on the west end but they got demoted due to the purple Tradescantias (zebrina.)

Yesterday evening:

A few minutes ago:

I love looking at these plants on the other side of the porch when the sun shines through them in the afternoon.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Purple- You have some very nice plants! I was "looking" again for something new, found a few I would love to have, but decided that I need to get the ones I have growing some and learn more about what I am doing.
My prob is, the more I read/learn, the more confused I am. It is a "personal" thing, everyone has their own way of doing things, I just need to find mine. And I will.. someday.

Whatever you're doing, its working for you-- keep it up! :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Thanks for the nice compliments! Hopefully none of these Steves end up on my serial killer list. Smiles!!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 3:42PM
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