rescue attempt

grubby_AZJuly 17, 2014

I stole these two dying plants from a friend a week ago. They don't look like they're long for this world, but there's a chance! One thing she does is she waters everything to death, so before she gets these back I'll be repotting them in something that drains very well.

My question is should I wait until they start to get new growth (and I expect them to) before doing the dirt, or do it now while the plants are catching their breath?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If the roots show signs of rot, do it now, trimming the failing roots back to sound tissue. If the roots are sound, you can wait if you want, but there is little point in that. In my estimation, timing sort of trumps most considerations other than a plant so weak you can be sure it won't survive a repot. You want to get the repot done in time for the plant to recover and regain some energy reserves before the onset of winter. A very high % of houseplant repots are best done just before the days start growing shorter - around Father's Day.

Al

This post was edited by tapla on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 13:48

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 4:32PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I'm not even sure what plants those are -- Al, are they Dracena? Philodendron?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:26PM
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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

I'm sure she didn't out and out steal them, maybe they were just surrendered into her care?

Anyway, they look like young Streliztia nicolai or white bird of paradise to me. I would take them out and put them into a gritty cacti mix. trim off dead roots etc and put them in a warm, shaded spot and let them recuperate. They love water, but only if the soil drains well. Once they perk up, move them into bright filtered light. Then give them back to your friend.

Maybe you should talk to her about plants grown in LECa in self-watering pots?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:05PM
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christine1950

grubby me, I think its very kind of you to think enough of your friend to try and save her plants for her, maybe she doesnt have good drainage holes in her pots, that could be part of the problem. Al gives great advice, good luck.
Christine

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:19AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Im pretty shure they are agalomnea of some kind..

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:43PM
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tropicbreezent

They're in very bad shape so not easy to pick a "sure" ID. Strelitzia is an option. But also Canna, Heliconia, or even a ginger. Definitely not Aglaonema. Whatever they are, they need a repot to get them out of what they're in.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:33PM
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MsGreenFinger GW(8 Ireland)

It reminds me of a Calathea.. shape of leaves and how they join.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:41PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Maybe so...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:48PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Has anyone even seen grubby me

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:29AM
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christine1950

no, I wonder why?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:16PM
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cooljjay(Page, AZ)

As was said, these are baby Streliztia nicolai or white bird of paradise.

Your best bet is to remove them out of those small pots, which probably don't have drainage. Hints the horrible looking leaves, to much water. Shake off all the old soil.

Plant them together in a generic plastic grow pot with some nice new soil. Water them thoroughly, then set them in a sunny location or on a covered porch. Let them dry before the next watering.

These guys can handle going bone dry for awhile, they absolutely hate wet soggy feet.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:00PM
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grubby_AZ

Sorry, I got lost! That was a bad original post: not enough info, but I was looking at two plants in deathshock but they're growing slowly. She'll get them back when they have enough leaves to snip off the "bad" ones. Also, thanks for the ID. I had no idea at all.

I don't know what's normal root mass for this plant but there wasn't much. Nothing that looked like rot or slime. The pots do have holes. I repotted them in the same pots in old salvaged cactus soil (I hope) and have them in bright light being watered every single day. There's a spot on my kitchen counter where things just will not die. I don't understand it; I just go with it! Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 5:15PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You should probably consider NOT watering every day. Odds are good it was overwatering that damaged the foliage in the first place. Try using a wood dowel sharpened in a pencil sharpener or a wood skewer stuck deep into the pot to check for moisture. If the stick comes out cool on your wrist, wet, or dirty, withhold water until it comes out with only the slightest hint of moisture. When the soil first feels dry to your touch, the plant can still extract another 10-15% of the moisture still remaining in the soil. You don't WANT to rely on that cush, but it's a good thing to know it's there. Damp or barely moist is your friend. Wet or soggy is a limitation you don't want or need.

Al

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:31PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Is this a plant that would benefit from some direct sun? IDK, pretty sure they grow outside in (at least some) sun in FL, HI, but hard to find 'landscape' pics of them, they're all flower macros. Those of our group from those kinds of areas should know.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:10AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Back when I had a couple of these I had them in full sun and they didn't seem to mind a bit.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:44PM
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grubby_AZ

Update: Finally, after repotting twice, enough new growth to start snipping the old. One went from half a leaf to two and a half leaves; you might call that a lucky plant. I think these will live. Leaves come out very pale and then darken; had me worried.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 12:56PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Very cool! Love a happy update!

Just focused on the fact that you're in AZ. I wonder how much humidity (or lack thereof) affects these plants. Looks like it can handle it if the roots aren't suffering conditions they don't prefer. Hope the new foliage continues unblemished!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 5:02PM
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