Struggling Spider Plant - When to water

BronwynHAugust 12, 2013

Thanks in advance to anyone who reads this. I am still struggling with my new spider plant.

Summary of events thus far: I got a variegated spider plant at the beginning of July. It was in good condition and seemed healthy when I got it. Once home it almost immediately began to deteriorate. It was in pretty bright spot which I thought would be ok because it was about 20 feet from the window, but it looked like it was sunburnt. I trimmed the dead leaves and moved it to the shade (still inside) and it continued to deteriorate becoming increasingly brown and starting to wilt. Fearing root rot I replanted into a well draining pot using the same generic potting soil my older and thriving spider plant was last repotted in. The roots were white, full and healthy looking. The plant had been slightly root bound. I also moved it next to my other spider in a full-shade spot on the balcony. In the month and a half I've had it I've watered it four times with the same water I use for my other spider.

In spite of all my best efforts the plant has continued to decline. Today I decided it was kill or cure. I repotted again, dividing out the plants into individual small terracotta pots and using a store bought cactus soil for extra dryness. Much to my dismay there was extensive root rot. I cut off all dead root, leaving only the healthy white roots, but that meant the root ball was only about an inch in diameter on each plant (there were two). I wasn't able to get all the old soil off the roots and didn't want to wash it off (I didn't want to add any more water to the equation). Since the remaining coating of soil was still moist I did NOT water the spider plants so they are sitting in dry soil.

How long should I wait until watering? Any other suggestions? Thanks.

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On the third day before withering to the point of no return the ever restoring waters should arrive.
Flood the pot with this feast of liquids and be done with it

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

"Much to my dismay there was extensive root rot." This is almost certainly because of soil staying constantly too moist, no tiny air pockets for roots to breathe, suffocation.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Pots-Alot: Thanks. I shall do as you say. I just didn't want to add water too soon or add more water than necessary to an already overwatered system.

Purpleinopp: Yeah, I figured there was too much water. I didn't water very often and there was good drainage (I thought), but maybe the soil was really retaining the water? That's why I repotted into cactus soil and chose a terracotta pot so water could drain out the bottom and evaporate through the pot. Thanks for confirming though. Now I know I'm finally on the right track.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:25PM
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