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new here

Posted by Lamora none (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 10, 11 at 13:10

I just wanted to say HI to everyone. I am not really a "green thumb" type person, but love plants in the house. It has been a while tho, due to moving around. But I am hoping to be settled in next week. I do have a spider plant tho, real big (for me anyway) and it was so pretty when I got it about a month ago. But right after I got it, the leaves tips started turining brown, it already has some "shoots?" on it and the tips of those are turing brown. Plus for some reason, the soil will not dry out, stays wet and I've only watered it 2x since I got it.I even put it in new soil to see if that would help, the old soil was almost soppy.

the light in this place isnt good-- that I know, but I've heard that direct sunlight isnt good either, would putting it in shade be ok? it has been getting up the the high 80's here, is that too hot? Would cutting off the tips that have turned brown hurt it?

I really would like to keep it nice. Any advice would help and be very appreceiated.

Thanks for letting me in here and asking questions.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: new here

I kept my spider plant in a pretty shady spot for a while and it did just fine, they're very tolerant. It may grow more slowly, but that's all. I hear they can live in pretty sunny places if you ease them into it, but real FULL sun might be too much, not sure.

You say you got your plant a month ago and have watered it twice? That might be too much. I wait until the soil in mine dries out pretty much all the way (it becomes very light when you pick it up) no matter how long it takes. I had another spider plant (baby) and watered it too much and the roots rotted right off pretty quickly, so you have to be careful. It's much better to leave it dry too long than water too often. I hear too much water can cause brown leaf tips, too.


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RE: new here

Hi Lamora, welcome!

Spider plant roots are big, juicy things, kind of like giant bean sprouts. They can store a lot of water. They can also store lots of nutrients, so it's easy to over feed = brown tips. It's OK to trim them off, just don't trim off any live leaf.

Does your pot have drainage holes? If not, your plant will appreciate a new pot ASAP! Terracotta will help the soil dry out faster.

Grab a disposable chopstick from someplace & use it to check the moisture level in the soil by stabbing it in, then waiting for a few minutes: if it comes out wet or damp (or dry!) you'll know if you need to water or not.

Happy growing!

GB

Here is a link that might be useful: this blog has lots of info!


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RE: new here

Truthfully, no one can tell anyone one else how often they need to water their plants. We can only share what works best for US in OUR unique situations.

The timing of watering depends upon (among other things), the time of year, the temperature of the environment, relative humidity, type of potting medium, type of container, amount of light, size of the plant in relation to the pot, plant species, etc.

Spider plants appreciate plenty of good light, but I'd avoid the direct sun (outside). If you've brought your plant from a happy growing environment to a pretty dark home, you can expect some problems.

My advice is to select a good location for your plant inside the home and leave it there. Let it acclimate without moving it all over the place every few weeks.

If you live in a climate where this plant can grow outside all year, just keep it out of the direct sunlight.

Yes, you can cut off the browned tips.


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RE: new here

Oh yeah, and I forgot to say: welcome!
I came here as a noob too, just a little while ago. You will learn a lot here very quickly, but you will also learn that there are decades of learning yet ahead of you. :)


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RE: new here

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 10, 11 at 15:07

The best time to water is just before the plant starts experiencing drought stress. I know that's vague, but with experience you'll be able to tell by looking at the newest foliage whether or not the plant is fully turgid. Leafy plants actually experience the negative effects of drought stress 8-24 hours before you see evidence of wilting or loss of turgidity, but a little drought stress is much preferred to, and the consequences less detrimental than those caused by over-watering.

The lower the light levels, the more important it is to use a soil that is well-aerated and drains well. There is little doubt that your soil is a substantial limiting factor, made worse by low light levels. By far and away, the conditions that most commonly cause the spoiled foliage you describe are over-watering and/or a high level of soluble salts in the soil, the latter occurring as a result of less than ideal fertilizing practices or as a result of watering in small sips (and not flushing the soil when you water) in an attempt to guard against the possibility of root rot.

Soggy soils inhibit water uptake by suppressing root function and metabolism due to a lack of oxygen in the soil, and a high level of soluble salts in the soil suppresses water uptake. The result of both are reduced water uptake to the degree there isn't enough water pressure to move water to the most distal plant parts, like leaf tips and margins, so these parts die and get crispy - even if roots are swimming.

Spider plants, as well as virtually all other houseplants, prefer soils that are fast draining and well-aerated, even immediately after fully saturating the soil. It's much easier, and there is a wider margin for grower error when employing these types of soils as opposed to heavier soils that are excessively water retentive.

"Roots are the heart of the plant. If the roots ain't happy, ain't no part of the plant happy." (C Whitcomb PhD.)

Al


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RE: new here

Thanks everyone~ I think I have an idea of what is going on now~ too wet I guess. The planter does have drainage holes (all my plants do) but the reason I watered 2x is because I repotted it 2x, the first was cuz the roots were comming out of the bottom when I got it, so I put it in a larger pot with new soil. But that wouldnt dry out, so I put new (different brand) soil in it (took off as much of the old as possible) and lightly watered it that time. The top is just now drying out, but not much.

I am so hoping that when we move into the other apt next week, get it some real light, it will be ok. What bothers me is that the "babies" that are just starting out are turing brown. Not sure what to do with those (now 4)but will see what happens.

Anyway- thanks everyone for the welcome! and the advice :)


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RE: new here

Hi. Welcome to the forums! Feel free to ask any questions you have... the folks here love to babble about plants - especially other people's plants since it's hard to think of new things to babble about your own plants after a while.

the light in this place isnt good-- that I know, but I've heard that direct sunlight isnt good either, would putting it in shade be ok? Yes, I would put it in the brightest spot you can find that doesn't get direct sun except early in the morning or late afternoon. They can take full sun but the existing leaves can get sunburned if they are suddenly put outside at noon. New leaves would love it.

it has been getting up the the high 80's here, is that too hot? Would cutting off the tips that have turned brown hurt it? Cutting the brown parts off won't hurt your spider plant at all. I also remove leaves that fold. Tropical storm Lee bent some of the leaves on one of my spiders last weekend and I will cut those off. Once they fold, they hardly ever stand up straight again. A robust spider plant has upright leaves. I have one spider plant on the west end, and one on the east end of my south-facing front porch. I just took those pics 5 minutes ago. The one on the west end is in direct sun from about 1 pm until it gets dark. It got over 100 many days this summer. I also have many of these growing in the ground in shade and full sun. They are perennial here, very drought-tolerant but the potted plants need to be watered almost every day. Sunlight, wind, and heat are all factors that cause a plant to use water more quickly.

I think I have an idea of what is going on now~ too wet I guess. Anywhere outside would be more windy, helping the plant use up the water more quickly. If it must be inside, try putting a fan on it for a few days to help it dry out.

The planter does have drainage holes (all my plants do) but the reason I watered 2x is because I repotted it 2x, the first was cuz the roots were comming out of the bottom when I got it, so I put it in a larger pot with new soil. But that wouldnt dry out, so I put new (different brand) soil in it (took off as much of the old as possible) and lightly watered it that time. The top is just now drying out, but not much. When you increase the size of the pot a plant is in, it takes the roots some time to grow into the new soil. In the meantime, that soil will stay wet until the roots have used the water from the rootball portion of the pot. So when increasing pot size, it's best to choose a pot that's not too much bigger than the old one. Often, pruning the roots can allow a plant to fit back into the same pot with plenty of fresh soil. With a spider plant in particular, I usually trim off a few of the "carrots" and most of the smaller roots.

If the soil you are using has a lot of peat, it's not good stuff, and especially not for spider plants that like to be mostly dry with thorough watering when thoroughly dry. Once you get to know your plant better, you will see what Al is talking about - about watering just before it wilts. That's a toughie to learn with a spider plant, though, since wilt usually causes leaves to flop and fold. Al and I tend to put different stuff in our pots but I think I've read enough of him to know that he would also advise you to not have a lot of peat (percentage-wise in relation to other components of the "soil") in your pots, and that your soil should be fast-draining.

This is one of the reasons peat can be so devastating to a potted plant. Its' particles stays moist too long and inhabit too many small spaces, eliminating most if not all of the air in the pot, until suddenly, it is bone dry. When you water, it runs right out making people think it is fast-draining when it's exactly the opposite, so dense and hydrophobic (resistant to water, like the surface of the desert) that it may need to stand in water to return to be able to return to a moist state.

You can find your gardening zone here. Just put your ZIP code in the text box and hit enter. Including your state and zone (8b AL means I'm in zone 8b in Alabama) will enable people to know more about your climate so they are able to give you more specific advice.


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RE: new here

You have some beautiful plants purpleinopp! Hope mine gets there someday. Thanks for all the info, maybe the pot i did put it in was a bit large, but it "looks" like it fits, lol. I trimmed the brown tips off yesterday, left it in shade for a few hours, wasnt too hot then, it looks better than it did. Was wondering something about water tho. Somewhere I read that the sodium and clorine could hurt plants, city water. Does that matter? I have been using distilled. And I was wondering also if misting the leaves would help too. Yes-- i do have questions- I really want to learn. (something i havent done for a while- lol)


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RE: new here

You're welcome.

When inside, misting can be helpful to plants that need high humidity, but spider plants are not so fussy.

If 98531 is your ZIP code, you are in zone 8. I'm in zone 8, also, but your latitude is approx 46.5 and mine is 31.2. So the sun rays are significantly weaker there. A plant in my east window would get a lot more rays than the same plant in the same window where you are. I think this is more evidence that your plant needs more light, some direct early morning sun would be very good.

Distilled water is not necessary, IMO. The sodium content in tap water should be negligible and the chlorine can be evaporated by allowing the water to sit before using. Most people use the "overnight" plan.

...maybe the pot i did put it in was a bit large, but it "looks" like it fits... Sounds fine, looking at something that pleases you is most of the reason to have a houseplant. SP's grow roots quickly, so as long as you don't overwater, the roots will fill into the pot.

If you have an interest, you could try planting some of your SP's future babies in the ground. It would be interesting to hear what happens, to see if latitude is a factor in overwintering for SP's in zone 8.


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