(Photos) Sick Strelitzia Leaves. What to do?

SummersoffSeptember 2, 2012

Hello again =)

No matter what I do this plant is just cursed. Please have a look at the photos below. There is one leaf where half of it is eaten away, should I just cut it off at the base of the plant of just the leaf itself? And the other is indicative of how the other leaves are doing. They are all just turning brown and curling. The soil is always moist, but it doesn't get much sun (well it used to but I moved it away from the southern window because I thought it was getting burnt.)

How should I deal with this plant? And what do you think is wrong with it?

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the other one.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:44PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It's a drought-tolerant plant. So why are you keeping it constantly moist?

Further, how much sun is it getting? Needs full sun.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 11:12PM
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The plant is too wet! Strelitzia hate to have wet feet. Move it back to getting as much light as you can give it, and let the soil aerate all the way to the bottom of the pot - use some kind of probe or moisture meter to check. The soil in the bottom should have just the smallest trace of moisture before you water again. You can cut the stalks off near the bottom of the plant with a sharp serrated knife.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 11:19PM
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thanks wrangler for the answer. It's weird because the plant went a whole month w/out water and the soil was STILL wet. At first I watered it once every ten days like the tag said but the soil would just NEVER dry.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 5:59AM
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Maybe it needs to be repotted if it's staying that wet!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Are there any roots blocking the draining holes?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:54AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

In addition to the probable over-watering, a high level of soluble salts in the soil (solution) is also likely - especially if you've been providing only small sips of water in order to avoid the extended soggy conditions. Repotting into a soil that drains freely enough that you don't have to worry about root rot solves both issues. Being stingy with the water you apply can fix the over-watering, but often leaves dry spots in the root mass that kill roots. That practice (watering in sips) also ensures a build-up of soluble salts in the soil. A fast-draining, well-aerated soil allows you to flush the soil at every watering w/o worry of root rot - so what's not to like?

Roots are the KEY factor in plant vitality. "As the root system goes, so goes the plant." "If the root system ain't happy, ain't no part of the plant happy." ~ C E Whitcomb, PhD

So, it's a good idea for us to take care of them as best we can. If you want to further explore your options, let me know. Your issue is definitely root-related.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:55AM
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I have the exact same problem with mine (about 10 y.o.) - I had to take it from a super sunny office space to a site where the light is from a huge skylight in the ceiling. I believe that summer will bring the sun overhead in here but I haven't been watering it too generously over the winter b/c I didn't want water to run on the carpet.

In re: Fast draining well aerated soil - is the objective to dampen (soak?) the soil right through so it runs out the bottom and then let dry completely or nearly completely? Has anyone tried using one of those self-watering containers - but set it up so that an inner pot is lifted up from the bottom so I protect my floors but allow the inner pot to drain?

If I water it thoroughly like I've described will this wash those salts from the soil or should I repot and replace the soil?

I did buy a new larger pot and some nice soil but then I read these guys like being potbound and hate being disturbed.

Also, (almost done, LOL) there are 3 babies around the bottom - can I take them off to be repotted? How likely is that to be successful? They look much better than "mom" does at the moment.

TIA for any and all help! Brynne

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:13PM
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