A Plant newbie with some questions

LondonKSeptember 7, 2013

I've just been bought two lovely plants, I have no idea what they are called but I seem to think one is something along the lines of a banana leaf plant ?

The plants have been in my apartment for a week, my mum initially sorted out the soil for them and has now left me with these two babies that I have no idea how to care for them... help?!

First off one of the plants with lots of leaves on has a few leaves that are really drying out on the ends... could anyone explain why this might happen and how I can solve it ?

Other than that to me it looks healthy, it's not drooping in any way as far as I can see.

The banana leaf plant, the leaves have started to split and I'm not sure if this is normal or there's an issue somewhere ? The split leaves seem to be a bit droopy, the new leaf that has opened is still upright but seems to have a few cuts on the top of it.

I've attached photos, perhaps someone would be so kind as to give advice on how to care for my plants and if there are any issues ?

Many Thanks

p.s I live in California and the temperature has been between 90-105 this week, I've had air con on and the plants are not in direct sunlight but do get light through from patio doors.

Also just another add in here, the plants have plenty of room around them so there's no one knocking them as they're walking past etc.


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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Your pics:

The first may be a bird of paradise, second is some kind of palm.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 8:12AM
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Ok, its a lovely floor its sitting on....looks just like mine; and I sense the pot is a sleeve...i.e. the pot holding the plant is sitting In another pot so that drainage doesn't harm the floor....a great idea......IF THE DRAINAGE WATER DOESN'T SIT UNDER THE DRAINAGE HOLES AND ALLOWS THE WATER TO BE SUCKED BACK UP AROUND THE ROOTS.

If this might be the case, then simply put something under the pot to bring it higher, yet allow good drainage.
Then, inspect the sleeve regularly and dump the excess so it doesn't build up.

Its difficult to say whether an open door that keeps 100+ degrees out and air conditioned temperatures in, can cause damage to a plant sittng in the air movement.
Considering the temperatures are not constant....around the plant, the temps graduate from the low allowed by your A./C to the high which comes through the glass.

So, I'd say YES, air movement around your plant can cause a wide discrepancy of temperatures which can affect how your plant's leaves and soil dry out....and, in effect, how much you feel the need to water your plant.

If you feel this might be a cause for some of the pain of your plant, then let's move it....away from the door to a place that doesn't let air hit it directly. That speaks too of heat/air vents that might be at floor level.
Also, don't let the sun's rays hit the plant directly.
Window glass can increase the sun's power to some degree that can also dry out the soil.

If you don't wish to water your plant to compensate for any drying, how about misting your plant on a regular basis.
Misting can take the place of the extra watering you feel might be necessary and can also be a benefit to
discourage pest damage.....such as spider mites.
The second picture I'm guessing is "chamaerops humilis"...the Mediterranean fan palm.
The leaves would be green to blueish green, very spiny...and should be kept out of traffic patterns. So that suggests no placing near doorways.
Likes at least 4 hours of sun with standard potting mix and average house temperatures. Its a heavy water user in summer to promte growth and should be fertilized in spring and summer.
Given a protected area---this plant can go out doors where temperatures allow.
The heavy use of water though, increases the need to manage how it drains to see it doesn't sit in its drainage water.
The 1st picture might be --what I'm guessing at too--is either of two..."Musa"...the banana plant--cavendishii--
"philodendron" majesty or "Aspidistra" elatior...the cast-iron plant.
These suggestions you can verify for yourself by looking up pictures to compare.

I'm guessing too that you still have the plants in the pots they were bought in. Might I recommend you buy a clay pot of size to place them in. Do not go up in size of pot....increased pot size should be with the size of the plant in mind. You should read further about this need and the danger of too big of pot.
Fresh potting soil contains sufficient fertilizer to feed a young plant for many weeks. Buy good potting soil. (there's bad p.s. out there)

The brown leaf tips is a direct cause from over/underwatering, too much sun, or heat through a window. Too much fertilizer, watering with water that is too high in salt concentration. If you happen to be on a softening system, do not use this water for your plants; always use water from some other source....such as the tap outside off the system or buy bottled water.
Not enough humidity---try putting it near a saucer of water or regular misting; if its in drafts,
or a combination of any or all of the possibilities.

Move the plant....and if this doesn't correct the problem, then think of the other possibilities.

Over watering though, is the one biggest cause of problems with house plants.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:54AM
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