Help spider plant is dieing. :(

yasha(6b)July 7, 2014

I have a spider plant that was growing more babies and looked ok but I had to repot it as it was in a bad pot root bound to the point it couldn�t grow more and had little dirt in the pot. Now the babies are dieing the mom seems to be getting a lot of dieing leafs to. I haven�t had the plant more then a few months and repotted it around a week ago.

I took picture as that�s the best way I know of to get your help. There's Pictures as I was re potting and pictures of it now.
I have well draining soil and water it when the top is dry. The top is very lightly wet atm so will be a few days before I normally water them.

Is this because of to little or to much water? If not dose anyone know what�s going on?

Thank you

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Did you damage the roots in any way while repotting ? It looked like there was a plastic thing stuck to the roots. If you didn't take that off, that could be killing the plant. If you did take it off, maybe you damaged the roots or the rootball. Is it in the same place as it was before you repotted it ? If not, try placing it where it used to be. Spider plants tend to be fussy. I have one and I can not keep it happy for more than a few weeks. I move it and it does great! Then it starts doing bad again. So I move it again. And its just a cycle. Good luck though ! Hope it makes it!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 3:28AM
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Thank you for the reply.
I'm sure I did damage the roots a little as I had to try pulling them off from around that plastic think and out of the rows that was cut in it for water to drain out. Yes it's hanging up in the living room in the same place as it was before. I've never seen one like it that gets the brown up the middle of the leafs. It doesn't really have many brown tips tho. I don't really have any other place I can move it to but I have 2 more next to it that are not doing great but are looking good and growing babies.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:04AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Your pics.

Those darn plastic things in the bottom of hanging pots - sorry your plant got stuck in that. It also looks like the kind of pot where the hole is about 1/2 inch above the bottom surface of the pot. So, until you repotted, there was 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the pot whenever it was watered. That's probably why it looks ill.

The stalks of babies are something this plant grows annually in the ground. The babies would arch away from the mama, finding some soil to take root on their own. The 'umbilical cord' then degrades away. So it's natural for the mama plant to throw those babies out of the nest, so to speak, especially upon disturbance. Also looks like a new stalk is coming out, so it's really time for the old ones to be discarded. Once a stalk turns yellow, the babies must fend for themselves, that stalk is dying. I would cut those off.

It's also normal for older leaves to be discarded when repotting spider plants. The deep pot in the pic should be good, to give the giant roots this plants makes plenty of room to grow for a while. As long as it's not kept too moist, it should recover nicely. Just don't let it get so dry that it wilts. If any of the babies have aerial root nubs, you can stick them in the pot with the mama, or in their own pots. Looks like several of them are ready to do that.

Removing the dead leaves and stalks will help this plant look its' best.

Lots of good pics in your link, but frustrating the way it changes pics automatically. By the time I was focusing well on a pic, it would change.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:46AM
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MsGreenFinger GW(8 Ireland)

Agree with Purple, try to root the healthy babies so in case the 'mom' dies you have some of its' offsprings.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:25AM
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Thank you for all the info purple and thank you to everyone that replyed. Sorry for the long post.

I try looking all the stuff up but sometimes its hard to find some info and some times I find info saying two different things and I don't know what to do after that. I'm guessing it's because there my 1st plants. I used to help mom water them when told it was time to. I'm still working on when I should and shouldn't water. Most of what I read says when the top of the soil is dry so that's what I have been doing so far. I used to also cut dead leafs off them for mom but that was about all I really knew so its a little different doing so on my own now. I really like plants tho and want to have some in the house so I'm hoping I get better with them. My BF says he's a plant killer. That knows nothing about them and won't touch them as it would kill them. So all I can do is try to look stuff up/ask people about what I should and shouldn't do and try it. I believe that every house needs a few plants tho. I'm also trying a few tomato's and peppers guess well see how that works out. So far there doing better then my poor little spiders are doing.

I'm sorry about the pictures here's a link to the album.
Yep it's that kind of pot with the hole above the bottom so they put the white thing in there to keep the plant from the bottom. I saw it and all I could think is really? What is the point in that? Not a person that was thinking to much when they made that pot. :/

I didn't know about the stalks dieing. That's good to know. I don't see what I was thinking the root nubs look like on any of the babies but maybe I'm not looking for the right things.

What really bugs me is how the brown is up the middle of the leafs as I'm not fully sure how to cut them. It wouldn't be like just cutting the tips off as its over half way up the leaf. There's also the fact that there was a few new babies that just started that r dead. :( If you look at the one of the pictures on the left side you can see a few really small just started babies that are dead. Maybe it was my re-potting it or maybe just they started to late on a older stalk?

I also hadn't cut anything die from the plant yet as I wanted you guys to fully see how bad it started to look as that would be more helpful then a plant that's cut down to what still looks good. I didn't want it to be a problem that would start again after I cut the dead ones off and it get the point that it would be to late to save.

I have taken 4 babies off to try and root. 2 of them already had a baby or 2 starting to grow on them so I'm guessing they were ready to be pulled.(I added a picture of a few of them) If you saw the half water bottles on the 1 of the pictures I was trying to let them root before cutting them off but it didn't end up working as I had to take it down to replant it and ended up bending the stalk at the baby. It looks like that was the only place it happen.

Also if anyone is questioning my having the stalks tied up its because I have cats that won't leave them along if I don't keep them out of reach and we have a low ceiling.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:34AM
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MsGreenFinger GW(8 Ireland)

Just wondering if cutting the babies' stems off would do any good. So the mother plant could use energy on healing herself? Most of them babies are already dead anyway.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:19PM
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I'm guessing it would help. I'll wait to see if more people also think so before cutting them all off but I have cut the dead ones off.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If a stalk gets bent, that can ruin the circulation through it, possible that happened at some time in the past.

Roots can rot so easily in a pot with dense soils, like ground dirt, or bagged mixes of predominantly tiny particles of peat. A more porous, chunky soil (like cactus/palm, if one is buying bagged,) can have air in it even when it is moist. Roots need oxygen and moisture at the same time to function. When there are tiny particles of any kind in a pot, such as peat, sand, silt, clay, they filter into all of the tiny spaces in a pot, eliminating the air. "Overwatering" is the label and manifestation when roots have suffocated and/or rotted, combo of both. There is no one thing folks can put IN to make soil better, but removing tiny particles of any type will definitely help. Over time, organic bits decompose into smaller bits, so even the "best" soil, if it has organic components, will need to be replaced when this happens. The speed at which this happens depends on many variables, but on average, about 1-3 years.

Instead of feeling the surface, try picking your plant up, to see how heavy it feels. Don't water again until it feels significantly lighter, especially right now while it's recovering from a trauma. Doing this has helped me a lot before I finally got away from potting soil, and even since. After switching to something less likely to rot the roots, I still don't have time to water plants that aren't yet thirsty. (I have over 100 pots, and take each one to a sink to water while they are inside for winter, and I don't constantly unpot plants to check the degree of decomposition of the soil particles.)

If you are able to catch some rain water to give your plants, that can help. Spider plants are somewhat sensitive to tap water, though not as offended by it as some other plants. The sensitivity for spider plant is strong enough to be worth giving it some rain water, at least occasionally, to flush the other stuff out of the pot. Condensate from a dehumidifier or A/C are also free of chemical impurities.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:49PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

As to learning when to water, other than Purple's suggestion to learn the weight of the pot dry compared to the weight of the pot when watered, there's another way too until you learn that part & feel confident about it.

Take a stick, pencil or chopstick & insert into the soil ALL THE WAY DOWN as far as it will go. When you remove the stick from the soil, if there's soil sticking to it, or feels damp to your touch, then there's still moisture way down below (where the roots are), in which case wait a couple days more BEFORE watering.

These can be tricky, 'cause if one waters while there's still moisture down below, it can rot the roots (that MAY be why your leaves are coming up black in the center), just so you know.

Also FYI: If you don't now this already, Spider roots can grow quite thick (like the thickness of an Earthworm). Should you find that in the future, it's perfectly normal, no cause for alarm.

Just wanted to say how great it is, all the effort you're putting towards learning to care for these plants properly. Down the road, they'll thank you for it!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:35PM
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Photo Synthesis

Hello there, you've been given some excellent advice already. I just had to chime in and say that you don't have to apologize for any lengthy posts. Ask as many questions as you might have and post as many pics as you think will help. That's what this forum and its members are here for, to help in any way possible. :)

There have been numerous times where I've pruned off every single branch, healthy or not, leaving only the mother plant. This doesn't bother them one bit. Once the plant is strong enough, it'll send out many more branches to replace them.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:24PM
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Thank you guys SO MUCH.

Thank you for all the info on how to tell when I should water them. I do have a bucket outside for rain water but its only been sprinkling now and then so I can’t really even water 1 plant with it and I have 3 Spiders, 1 Aloe, and 1 Janet Craig Cane I believe. Then there’s the pot of Yellow Pear Tomatoes and Ghost Pepper outside. The Tomatoes keep telling me “I’m thirsty” as the rain just isn’t there. They get the leafs that start to curl and open up after they get more water so I’m sure it’s a problem with to little water. The pepper doesn’t care about how dry it is and seems really happy. My Aloe also doesn’t seem to care much guessing I’m watering it right without knowing LMAO. The Craig hasn’t been right from day one so just have to see with that one. Anyway back on topic sorry. So far I’ve been doing the best I can and giving them water I’ve had sitting out for a few days as I read that cuts down on some of the stuff in the water they don’t like. Is that true or would it be better to give them water right out of the tap when I don’t get rain? I also have an A/C making a lot of water noise ATM that I’ve been meaning to drain so I’ll save that for the next watering then. : )

Would you guys mind posting a link to a forum or site on how you make your dirt for indoor and outdoor plants? Or post it here what ever works best. I don’t want to repot them so soon but it would be good to know so if I get anymore I can start right with them or any babies I get. My mom used to just use Miracle Grow Potting Mix and hers always looked very healthy and happy.

I didn’t see anything wrong with the roots when I repotted it and no one here said that it looks like it had root rot in the picture but with the roots so tightly compacted… How likely is it that it dose have root rot in the middle where we can’t see? If it dose have root rot well it get better now that it’s repotted or is it going to kill it? Is it better to just leave it and wait or should I pull it our and try to pull some of the roots apart? I read they can be cut in two to make more plants so I’m guessing I could do that. I’m sure that would kill some of it and unless I have to I’d like it to stay as one big plant. I did however after buying it find out that it’s really 3 plants. I of my others that is next to it in one of my pictures has 2 in one put and it’s also starting to put off babies now, again I didn’t know till after I got it. It seems I like the looks of multiples in 1 pot. The 3rd spider my BF picked and it’s a single plant in a pot and is doing fine but still yet to put of any stalks.
Thank you about the root fact I didn’t know that. I did have to try to pull a pretty thick one out from between that white thing. It was the 1st time I saw one that looked like that it’s like it was a little potato starting or something LOL.

Off topic but have to share.
I’m sad about my little Spider but I’m so happy with my Ghost and Pear ATM. Just when to check on them and the Pear Tomato now had to really little tomatoes started. : ) The Ghost has had 2 for a week or so now. Both plants look very happy today. I added a few picture of them to in there own albums. I added a Link for anyone that wants to look.

Again think you guys.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:20PM
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Photo Synthesis

Any water is better than no water at all. Leave some water sitting out for a day or two. That will work fine. Your spider plant may not be thrilled with it, but it'll manage. Just try and collect any rainwater whenever you can, and as much as you can.

Where I live gets bombarded with thunderstorms. It's one of the positive aspects of living in Tornado Alley, lol. In fact, it's thundering and lightning as I type...

I doubt your plant has any root rot. It's pretty hard to not notice the foul smell and mushy roots. So don't concern yourself too much over that. When you water your plants, if the water flows thru it fairly fast, then it should do fine.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:25PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry Tommy,

But I must respectfully disagree. Root rot can be there far before it is visible or can be smelled. If not, it wouldn't sometimes happen to VERY experienced growers which it does (even those lots more experienced then my 15+ yrs.).

It's not always actual rot, sometimes it's more like their gradual disintegration (which can happen w/ Haworthias too).

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:46PM
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Photo Synthesis

Sure, root rot can set in before it has become noticeable. However, I was referencing only in regards to Yasha's plant, I was suggesting that this was most likely not the case. The rest of the roots looked healthy. Plus, if the center of the root mass was rotting away, then the rest of the plant's health would have quickly deteriorated, due to the inability to take up any water or nutrients to sustain itself. That doesn't look like the case here, so I was just trying to calm Yasha's concerns for this being a potential problem. Do we rule it out 100%? Of course not. Sure, I'm only going by some photos and what info was given, but what more can we do over the internet, short of making video conference calls? lol

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Yasha, while somewhat daunting and long, this thread from the container gardening forum has excellent information on what makes a good growing medium and why, and some recipes to try. I am sure many folks here in House Plants can make simpler suggestions for you as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: click me for thread about container soils

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:09AM
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Ok thank you and thank you everyone

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 6:14PM
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