Is this fungus, how do I get rid of it?

dochudson(6 / NYC)November 21, 2013

Since last week, I have been seeing a lot of these in one of the plants, don't remember the name, its a flowering plant. I tried insecticidal soap, no help. It grew instead.

So what is this and how do I get rid of it.

Many thanks in advance.

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I think it's decomposition in the potting soil, having nothing to do with the Anthurium plant, similar to this discussion. Would you be able to add a pic of the whole plant and pot to this discussion?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 11:52AM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

The picture is not that good but will hopefully give an idea.
The plant looks ok (to me).

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes, Anthurium looks great!

Insecticidal soap is not a fungicide.

In a pot that size, it will take a long time, probably 2-4 weeks for that plant to use all of the moisture. Letting it dry before adding more water is healthy for the plant, and can help reduce the decomposition activity in the pot. Keeping that much soil soggy moist can cause roots to rot. If you have some kind of fan, a *gentle* breeze for an hour or so per day can help circulate the air also. Ceiling fans are great for this, I keep one running on low all of the time. In a natural setting, this kind of plant would be in the crook of a tree trunk, without any 'dirt,' just decomposing organic matter. That's not something we want to replicate in a pot but lets us know the roots need plenty of air as well as moisture.

What's hiding to the left? Purple shamrock?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 2:56PM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

Thank you.

I don't think the soil is soggy and right below the plant, there is a wall heater so actually we are more worried about the plant getting too much of warm air. Although we maintain only 60F at night and 65F when we are home, still the outside temperature does not make situation that good. We have single walled windows and I don't know how much really cold windows and hot air breeze from the bottom affects the plant.
So your recommendation is, don't add anything in it, not even water for about a month and see how it goes?

Do you suggest to mix the soil with fork or something and keep a fan on. I have a tower fan, I do keep it running sometimes. Now on, will run a little longer.

I actually don't know the name of the plant. It was gifted to us.

Would love to know the name

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 3:26PM
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Leave it to purple to spot something purple LOL, I know the plant as a wandering jew, why it's called that I dont know but they are a great plant to grow, I love mine. Yours is doing very well, I snip mine to keep it bushy.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 5:10PM
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I can't get a good read on your photos, but my first thought is salt build up on the soil due to fertilizer and tap water. Flushing with pure water should help.

But, then again, purple might be onto something. The soil looks compacted (from what I can see). How long has it been since you re-potted?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Right, Christine, Tradescantia zebrina. It DOES look good.

"So your recommendation is, don't add anything in it, not even water for about a month and see how it goes?" Not really, just to let it get fairly dry before adding more water. That could be tomorrow or next month, and not particular advice to this plant, just to any plant in store-bought potting soil, especially during the cooler, shorter days of winter.

Monet, it could be salt buildup, just looks kind of fuzzy. You raise a good point about allowing water to drip out though, not sit in the saucer, to help avoid that situation.

Sitting by a cool window and/or blasts of hot dry air can be difficult for plants. Something to consider if they start looking poorly.

Stirring things up with a fork might be a little drastic at this point, possibly causing more harm to roots than good from adding a little air. This plant looks fine. If you get the gut feeling to do something like that in the future, a skewer might be less dangerous, kind of stick it in, pry up slightly, maybe a little wiggle. If your plant is drying out in a reasonable amount of time, and looking fine, I wouldn't engage in such unorthodox measures.

It's good that you're not afraid to 'get in there' though. At some point it'll be a good idea to remove the old soil from the pot and around the roots and replace it with new. Trimming a few roots at that time, if they are really long and/or curled around the pot, would be a good idea. When days are longer & warmer, it's easier for plants to recover so this is most often done in late spring/early summer, before it gets too hot.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 6:24PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I can't see what we're supposed to be looking at, either. Could you describe what you see if an improved image is not possible?

And I think that the anthurium looks a bit sad and the zebrina etiolated from insufficient light.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 8:30PM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

Your suggestion was right. I never check with moisture meter for this plant because I don't water it much but I guess, my 5 year old must have 'helped' the plant. I checked with moisture meter today and the top layer is dry but as I go deep, its moist and the bottom is wet. (7 on 1 being dry and 10 being very wet)

Now the temps are below 50F, I am not too sure if this will dry out quickly. Do I still leave it as it is, without stirring up a bit? I don't want the roots to rot and lose the plant. I changed soil in August of this year, mixed some perlite to moisture retaining soil.

If these are salts, they are not in any other pot. I use same water (and fertilizer, Miracle Gro drops) for all of them.

Few more pictures to make better sense of it. I am sorry, they are still blurry. I have been facing with hand tremors for about a year, so very difficult for me to get a better picture in low light.

Thanks in advance for all suggestions.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 8:28AM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

Removed double post

This post was edited by DocHudson on Fri, Nov 22, 13 at 8:39

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 8:29AM
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when temp drops to 60f plants stop absorbing water, roots stop growing, all activity slows down. you need to water much less then. like half of what you do in warmer temps.
when soil remains damp at this temps - white mold starts growing on top of soil. it's mostly harmless. take a paper-towel and rub it off/disturb it. it'll slow it down. you can dilute 1tsp of vinegar to 1 qt and spray the surface. it won't harm the plant.
anthuriums like to be on the moist side, so do tradescantsia. but they also prefer 65F as min and higher humidity. when temps drop higher humidity will encourage mold - not so good.
allow the top half of soil to dry out before watering and don't drench the pot until the water runs out - chances are the bottom of the pot won't ever be drying out at 60F, so you dont' want to add more water. just dampen the top slightly.
you'll need to measure the water and stick a chopstick in soil to see were soil remains damp, at what level.
i keep my thermostat at even 65f in winter when i am away, it gets to 60-62F near windows due to heat loss. one reg watering lasts for 2-3 weeks for me usually instead of 1.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 9:13AM
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