What is Stalled Growth?

Lamora(4)August 4, 2012

Hi Everyone.

A while back, when I was in a panic about my Spider plant, and everyone helped me out of it, Thank you very much, by the way :) Someone mentioned something about it may be "stalled".

She looks healthy and happy, but she doesn't seem to be getting any bigger, tho she does have new leaves forming on top. As far as shoots go, she hasn't had any new ones since I got her just over a year ago. She had some when I got her, but when they broke off, no new ones formed and I was just wanting to know why and what I can do to help her along. If anything. I am not overly conserned about it, since she is healthy.. just wanting to know is all.

Was she stalled somewhere along the line and that is why she isn't forming any new shoots? What exactly does stalled mean and what are the signs and what can one do about it?

I tried looking it up before asking, but didn't find any real answers that would help.

Thanks in advance for any input.

Marjie :)

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

When your car stalls, it stops moving. When a plant stalls, it stops moving, too. Elongatioon of branches or stems might slow to a near stop, and show no obvious signs of extension. The true measure of growth is the rate of increase in the living mass of the plant. Some "growth" isn't growth at all. For instance, if a plant is horribly root bound or has severe nutritional deficiencies, it can still APPEAR to grow, as branches extend, but if the plant is robbing nutrients from older/interior leaves and shedding branches in order to fuel the new growth, it's really not growing. A plant needs to be increasing its mass or it is dying, dormant plants excepted.

The biggest causes of stalled growth are tight roots and nutritional deficiencies, but mainly nitrogen. I have a Nematanthus wettsteinii (goldfish plant) at work. I did a full repot in early summer of 2010. It grew very well until several months ago, when it noticed it had started to stall out. I used to have to pinch it regularly to keep it ship shape - about every 2-3 months. I don't know for sure how long it's been since I last pinched it, but I know it's been more than 6 months, a sure sign the plant is badly root bound and is asking to have its roots worked on.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:55PM
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Thank You Al, for your quick response.

I resoiled late April, took off some roots, not a whole lot tho, was not really root bound then. I put it back in the old pot with new soil. So I don't think it would be root bound by now. But I will check the best I can on that.
I haven't been really feeding it until now, so maybe that is what is needed.

How often does a healthy Spider Plant produce shoots? Right now there is only one shoot, that was there when I got it, only one left.

Only once did it give me a "new" shoot shortly after I got it, but it died very quickly, almost as soon as the starters developed. It just died, and nothing since. There are no dead, wilted or dry leaves. Even the tips of the few new leaves are still green.

I will keep feeding it like I have been these last 2 wks and see what happens, if it is starving for nutritions, hopefully that will do the trick. Not to over feed tho. :)

Would it help to maybe, "thin" it out some? She is getting really thick in some areas. Maybe take out some of the old leaves, even tho they are still good... pls let me know if this would help.

May I keep you updated and let you know how she is doing in a few weeks? Or how ever long it takes for shoots to develope..That one I do not know, I thought it would be continuing, but maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway~~ Thanks again
Marjie :)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 10:17PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The shoots you're asking about are called 'scapes' and they bear both the blooms and the little 'plantlets' at the end of the scape. Once the plant has reached the sexually mature growth phase, it will start producing the scapes and associated parts, so if everything else is OK culturally, you might just need to wait a little while longer for the plant to finish its arrival into adulthood.

When you fertilize, use low doses more frequently. Need help with that or do you have it covered? Over-fertilizing is going to show up as burned leaf tips and margins, so be judicious about how much fertilizer the plant gets.

Plants move through their growth cycles base on a different kind of aging than we use for humans. Plants age according to the number of times their cells have divided (ontogenetically), so not thinning the plant means the plant produces more energy (food) means more growth means the plant ages faster means blooms and plantlets arrive sooner.

Sure, you can keep me updated. I've been sort of keeping an eye on you anyway, but don't forget all the other valuable input you get from all your other friends, too. Everyone here has the potential to be a valued part of the gardening community as it relates to dissemination of information. I don't think it's necessarily how much KNOWLEDGE we have that ultimately determines our value; instead, I think the largest part of our value is determined in how well we manage staying within the confines of the limits of that knowledge.

Take care.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Thanks Al, I think I have the fertilizing covered pretty much. So far, so good, with that part. So I just need to be a little patient with it, wait a bit longer. Got it. That, I can do.

As far as other members advice~~ OH YES~ very much valued by me. This fourm is like FAMILY to me, I hope I made some real friends here.
I try to take in as much as I can and do with what I've got. Go with what I think will work for me. Everyone here has been so patient with me. Even if I don't get it the first few times~~ (information overload) But I think I am starting to understand a lot more than I did before.

Like it has been said time and time again, find what works for you. Go with that. And everything is a personal choice. I am just still trying to find out what works for me ;)

So I won't worry so much about My Momma Spider~~ my DH thinks she is still recovering from the move from WA to here, then she got sunburned, was not too healthy then, so maybe he is right.

Thanks again
Marjie :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Hi Marjie..Stalled/halted growth happens for different reasons.

1. Most plants go dormant/asleep during winter months, when daylight is shorter.

2. In some cases, a newly repotted plant will slow down.

3. Very hot weather. This summer has been an extremely hot, '100-104F' season. Many plants/perennials halted growth, even though water was given daily.

4. When a pot is too big, plant can halt growth until roots fill in.

5. When roots fill a pot to a point water runs through without actually soaking roots.

With the Spider Plant/Chlorophytum, off-shoots start growing from mid-summer until winter. With proper care, off-shoots will continue growing, and produce many pups/cuttings.

As long as your plants look healthy, there's no need to worry. Toni

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Hi Toni~ She does look healthy. I have her in a hanging basket now, so when the scapes/shoots do start coming in, they wont be knocked around so much like before. And I think the pot is the right size for her.

Thanks for telling me when they should start showing up. I didn't know they were "seasonal". (yes~still learining) And it has been very hot this summer. All my other plants don't seem to mind tho. They are all growing all over the place!

I just want her to be happy~~ ummmm maybe she is one of those that don't want to have children? lol
So I won't worry so much about her right now. She has been thru a lot these past few months. Thought I was going to loose her at one point. Boy, did she show me what she was made of! :)

Thank you for the info tho.. Learn something every day!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 2:38PM
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Marjie. Have any recent pics?

Actually, my Spiders produce shoots from summer on. Perhaps location varies..
I notice green Spiders shoot earlier han variegated. I guess it depends on type.

LOL, an infertile Spider..
Don't worry...your spider will produce. Sometimes it takes time, then, before you know it, they'll have a million babies..lol.
Larger Spiders usually have numerous off-shoots.

Have you ever been to 6-Flags, Great America?

They keep Spiders in full sun..their plants are green and beautiful!!!! Shoots galore.

You'll see....Toni

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Hi Toni, You wanted a resent pic of my Momma Spider? here she is!!

that one shoot on the left, is the only one she has, that was there when I got her, only one that survived. No new ones at all. But other than that,,how do you think she looks? The brown tips were because of the burn she got earlier this year.... :(

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:14PM
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