What's eating my Plectranthus?

ahyomOctober 11, 2012

I've had this indoor swedish ivy for just a month or so, and I started to notice something eating away at its leaves, particularly from the underside, but the tops and stems as well. Almost half the leaves have this dark spotting. Could this be the doings of a slug? Because I think I may have brought one (or more) in with another plant. If not slug, what else could it be?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Nothing. The symptoms are almost certainly those of a physiological problem called oedema, which is the localized bursting of cells in various tissue that leaves water-soaked spots that eventually turn corky and brown. It results from excess turgidity (water pressure) in the plant that becomes so high it actually causes cells to rupture, the primary cause of which is over-watering + lack of oxygen in the root zone. It can be further exacerbated by extended periods of low light and or cool temperatures and/or high humidity.

The blemishes themselves cannot be fixed, but you can take steps to avoid the conditions that cause them, which will undoubtedly result in additional benefits to the plant. If you're interested, we can get into more detail.

See link below for more.


Here is a link that might be useful: Oedema

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 1:23AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

How's your Plec doing, ahyom?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Ahyom, what's the white stuff on your leaves?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 2:37PM
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Thanks for that info Al. Sorry I haven't been on to check this thread sooner, but I'd certainly love more detail on this matter. The link was pretty helpful on its own.

It's progressively worse, some larger leaves wilted off, and more spots continue to develop. But there are many tiny budding leaves. The pot was sitting inside another decorative pot, snugly fit. I've taken it out in hopes to improve air flow to the drainage holes. I'll try cutting back on my watering as well.

Hopeful, do you mean the white around the leaf edges? The plant is variegated as opposed to the full green variety (search up "variegated swedish ivy" for pics)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:29AM
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Ahyom. Not edges..your Plect is obviously variegated.

I see white, powdery ? on center leaves. Maybe it's the lighting?

Is brown protruding or imbedded in foliage?

Good idea removing inner pot from outer. Plects cannot tolerate sitting in water.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Yeah that's just the lighting. The leaves are very "meaty" and have deep pores. The browning is embedded.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:40PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If your plant is small & the pot plastic, it's really easy to develop a FEEL for how much water is in the soil by simply hefting the pot. Another way to check when water is/isn't needed is by feeling the soil at the drain hole. The first or second day it feels dry - the plant needs water. It's best to water on the first day the soil feels dry to the touch at the drain hole. You DO want to let the soil get fairly dry before watering (read the link on the 'basics' for more info). Perched water is your plant's enemy, so you want the soil to be without perched water for as long as possible as often as possible. I'll link you to a thread that can really help you reduce the ill effects of perched water, for which your plants will show their appreciation.

This thread
covers some basics that will help you avoid almost all the pitfalls that bring growers to this forum looking for help related to things cultural (soils, watering habits, light, fertilizing ......)

and this one has the tips I mentioned that will help you reduce the effects of too much water retention in the soil.

Best luck!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:09PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

That kind of plecanthrus tends to do that over winter. They often lose quite a lot of leaves over winter, but if you keep it warm and dry, it will grow new ones in the spring. This kind of plant doesn't like to get cold, chill damage will also cause the brown spots. Put it in a sunny place and don't overwater it and you'll be just fine with it.
One good thing, you can't get these too hot hardly around here in Indiana and outdoors with water and fertilizer they just grow like crazy and its not uncommon for a hanging basket to become 4-5 feet long by fall.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 4:54PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL
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