One of my Snake Plant 'blades' withered...

geologist_chris(9)November 14, 2009

I don't know what happened. All the other blades look pretty healthy but this one just faded. It happened pretty suddenly, maybe in the last couple of days or so. What went wrong?

They've been watered about once every 3 weeks and the last watering was on 10/27. On that day, both Selina (as in Catwoman) and Tim (as in Robin), were given plant spikes appropriate to their pot size. Tim is perfectly fine, but Selina is not.

These (3 Snakes, 1 Golden Pothos) are my first plants I've really made an effort to take care of and I'm really bummed that Selina took a turn for the worse.

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Chris, other than the one leaf, your Sans look very healthy.
Rid the fert stakes. Since Sans are slow-growing, they need little fertilizer..The best time to fert is in spring and summer. Feeding Sans twice a year is adequate.

Remove the dead leaf. Don't worry, your Sans looks great. Toni

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 3:24PM
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Chris, it is obvious to me, from your photos, and the size of the leaf that this is an older leaf. Because of the size. Your newest leaves are much taller, right?

Sans are a group unto themselves. I've been met with much resistance on this form (years ago, I've been 'away') about the sans tip spike.

Your plants are beautifully healthy and you have nothing to worry about. Plants have a finite life, somewhere between puppies and fish. So, older leaves fail first. It is a circle-of-life thing and easily explained when looking at a plant that is more than a few months old. Hoyas have leaves that fail around the same time leaving you with a plant full of yellowing, failing leaves... leading to freak out and 'WHAT did I DO?!' Nothing, they just all grew around the same time, hit old age around the same time, and left you in that plant parent place.

Because everything else about this plant looks spectacular, I think this is just an 'age' thing. The white spots on the leaf can be a wax thing, or a water spot 'calcium' deposit best solved with a vinegar wash. White or cider vinegar, on a cotton ball or paper towel tested on an out-of-the-way spot. I've used vinegar on all from orchids to crotons... Softer leaved plants do NOT benefit. T'will make your babies look like they JUST stepped out of the salon.

Now, my controvertial statement about tip spikes is this:
Once the spike is broken, the leaf stops growing.
If you allow the spikes protection and space, you can specifically control size by snapping the spike where you want the leaf to stop. (Yes, I have photographic evidence, but this post is about your plant, your issues.)

Your plant looks wonderful to me.
Listen to Toni, she is an HP expert! I ALWAYS ask her citrus questions!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 12:06AM
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Phew, thanks for calming me down everyone. I'm not sure how old my plants are, I got them 2-3 months ago and this is the only hiccup that has occurred.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 4:53AM
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nanw_4wi(4/SW WI)

The remaining blades do look pretty good as both Toni and Cena pointed out....but the second photo makes me ask a question.

What is the 'white stuff' on the leaves that shows in the second photo?

The photo is just a bit blurry, so it's hard to tell.
Are those just water spots, or might this plant have mealy bugs? Or maybe both?

If it's mealy bugs....that's likely your plant's problem.

I agree w/Toni to get rid of the spike.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 1:06PM
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They are just water spots. A week or two ago I tried cleaning off water spots using tissue and water. Mistake.

Thanks for the concern though! :) I pulled the sticks out. Maybe the one watering it got gave it enough food to last through spring?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 2:43AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

It doesn't really need food now, if anything it would need it after Spring, when it goes into more active growth.

Out in nature, these plants often grow in crappy soil, w/ little or no nutrients, so fertilizer (especially non-succulent specific fertilizer) will likely be too much & too rich for these plants. Best to skip it altogether, til you know a bit more abt the plants.

Pls don't worry, these are pretty sturdy & rugged plants.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 4:58PM
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nanw_4wi(4/SW WI)

Good to hear those were water spots and NOT mealybugs.

I know Sans. are not often affected by mealybugs...but it does happen.

A little lemon juice on a tissue works really well to remove water might want to test it on a small area first, as I've never tried it with Sansevierias, but it's never harmed any other plants I've used it on.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 3:51PM
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My snake plant...NOT Mother-in-law plant, is 5 feet tall. What is the proper way to contain it. I also have problems with the top portions of the stalks drooping.
I'd really appreciate advise. THANKS

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 5:17PM
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MojaveLove(5 - IL)

Ann, divide the plant. Unpot, chop the rhizomes and put different pieces in new pots.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 9:52PM
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