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A few plant problems

Posted by HelloPandaNF Zone Five (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 22, 12 at 14:22

Sorry in advance, I'm kinda second-guessing myself as to if a bunch of problems put into one post is a good idea, but...

First, I recently bought a scented geranium that generated tons of yellow leaves. In the picture I picked some off, though there are still a lot in my opinion. It also has a few flowers, so I should cut them off, right? Oh, and it's a new plant.

Next, there's some type of dracaena, that died, came back with a new leaf, and now is dying again...the leaf is drying out, and the new shoot on the other is browning.

Finally, the bird's nest fern, which had a few dried, brown leaves at the bottom, and at the newer growth some fungus or bacteria is making brown spots. Also, the new growth in the center has stopped growing, though the root system is healthy.

Thank you, and if I do (or have already done) something immature, I am a teenager. I didn't really feel safe before, but who stalks people on a garden forum, right?

Ooh. Now I'm paranoid more information available XD

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: A few plant problems

Oh, shoot. Um... is there a way to post more than one picture at a time?

Might as well put up another...

RE: A few plant problems

Hi & welcome to Gardenweb! Always nice to see a young person interested in plants.

The Geranium (actually a Pelargonium I think) looks like it's had battles with alternating too dry/too wet conditions. The soil might be inappropriate.

Know nothing about bn ferns, but would suspect too much prolonged sogginess or root impairment of some type. You mention looking at the roots. Was there space in the pot, or was it just packed full of roots?

Pic of the Drac?

Being paranoid is a good thing on the www, don't share anything you're not comfortable sharing. Of course most people here seem extremely nice, but you just never know.

Unfortunately, you can only put one pic at a time using the in-house upload facility. It's not unusual for someone to post a few times to show a few pics, no prob. There are free photo hosting sites that allow you to show pictures in a forum, such as photobucket and imageshack if you want to go that route.

RE: A few plant problems

Panda, we are all going to be very interested in the quality of your potting medium. Many plant problems can be traced to what kind of stuff your plant is growing in.

RE: A few plant problems

Both of the plants are in the same soil and containers where they came in, though the fern's used to be soft, I think. Now it is very...squishy and hard (sorry, it's hard to explain.) Basically when the top dries out, it feels rough and dry, but poking it reveals the moisture underneath.

Geranium soil looks dusty , but seems to drain very well (water comes out of the pot almost immediately.)

Here's the dracaenae, thanks for reminding me!
Dracaena 1:

RE: A few plant problems

And the one right next to it...

The medium never dried out in quite a while, so maybe the roots are dead? It's a pretty small container...

(Please don't mind the jade plant, it's kind of an experiment: coconut fibers can't even grow succulents, I guess.)

RE: A few plant problems

Hello, Hello Panda,

Scented Geraniums. Scented Geraniums are fussier than standard types.
They requrie quite a bit of sun, including direct, but acclimated if it's been in shady spot.
Soil should be watered more often during summer, but dried between drinks, never muddy. Well-draining soil is important. Soil that holds moisture will rot roots. Yellow leaves are an indication of rot.
But, the same applies to underwatering. If soil is not getting enough water, leaves yellow.

Remove brown/dead leaves, and yes, it's a good idea snipping blooms. At the time, leaves should be focused on. In the future, once your Geranium resumes health, then concentrate on flowers.

Birds Nest Fern...Asplenium. Never over-pot BNF. They do best when slightly rootbound.
BNF prefer 70-75% temps, and high humiity. Never water in the vase/center of this plant.

Soil should be well-draining with a little added Peat, house plant soil, bark, Perlite and tiny stones.

During dry months, mist daily, and shower in sink once every other week.

BNF needs bright, indirect light. No direct summer sun. An unobstructed, north or east window is fine.

Do you have a picture of the whole plant? Your Dracanea looks similar to D.. Godseffiana, green version of D. Florida Beauty.

This Dracaena is slow-growing, needs humidity and fresh, cirulating air.
Bright light, no full sun is recommended.

During summer, soil should remain moderately moist..winter, gray days, needs to dry between waterings, but again, humidity is important.

I have a small Dracaena similar to yours. During winter, I set the pot in a plastic bag, leave the top opened. After watering, excess water is discarded from the bag.

My Dracaenas are fertilized with Fish Emulsion or any oragnic fertilizer.

I don't see a Jade in the pic. Toni

RE: A few plant problems

I think a 2nd pic of Drac didn't show up? Wonder what kind of Drac that is?

When you browse for a pic, then click preview, the picture info is no longer in the browse box. So if you edit again, then click preview, the pic is no longer there. Do you think that's what happened?

RE: A few plant problems

Purple, Yeah I guess that must've happened, I tend to over-do the editing a little, even if it doesn't show...

The dracaena is just a variegated sanderiana, I think. The leaf turned yellow now, but that new one still stands!

Oh, and the BNF's roots pretty much hold the soil together, so I don't think it is over-potted yet. Perhaps it is humidity.

NOW you can see the jade. ;)

RE: A few plant problems

Nothing wrong with trying to get it right, and I still publish typos too. If you can get in the habit of clicking back to edit, you'll only have to browse your pic once that way. I wish they would fix that, it's kinda new, so hopefully they'll tweak it more soon.

How cute! I love tiny plants. Think you're right about it being D. sanderiana. These plants can be rehabilitated. As soon as you can, I would replace that soil with something new/better. Have you read any of the discussions about soil floating around here?

By replacing old soil and not adding more water until plants have used the previous water, you should have good results. That old brown stem sticking up on the Drac could be trimmed if you want, it won't recover.

I think we have a set of those same plates!

RE: A few plant problems

Okay, so as a recap...

BNF should be repotted and misted

Drac. Should be repotted

And geranium should be watered more

I think I got it. Thank you all for the help!

Oh, uh's a little embarrassing, but that...isn't a plate under the pot. It's a yogurt container X)

RE: A few plant problems

Howdy Panda and Purple....

Panda, would you happen to know the scent of your Geranium? Eg, lemon, rose, etc.

Back in early July, before I got sick, I placed a few orders from different nurseries. I remember ordering from one place, but forgot the others.

Yesterday, a box arrived from Taylor's Greenhouses. Inside were two, little scented Geraniums. One is Gooseberry the other Rachael Marie..can't recognize RM's scent.
I just thought it funny since you started this thread.
Think I ordered Rachael Marie for leaf colors.

Purple, would you happen to know the name of the scented Geranium that's suppose to keep mosquitoes away? Can't recall name..They make candles that smell like the me the fragrance is exactly like Raid! lol. Darn, what's its name. Anyway, it's the only scented Geranium I dislike. The smell is irritating..think I'm allergic to it.

Panda...I grow various Dracaenas. Don't know how many times I tried D. Sanderiana. I'd see them in offices growing under artificial light, doing great.

Small, 4" potted Sands are sometimes sold at Jewel's Grocer's for 1.00. A few years ago I decided to try one last time..went home, potted a few days started dwindling within a weeks time.
I thought, what the heck???

Then, a new concept popped in my would it do in water?
I cleaned out a glass container, removed all soil from roots, then placed in glass container w/water, held roots with marbles..That was 3 yrs ago..It hasn't grown much, but it's alive.
Well, not doing too good now. When I was sick, the last thing I worrieda about was watering plants..The water in the glass container evaporated..don't know how long my poor Dracaena was w/o water. I filled it immediately..a few upper leaves browned, but thankfully still alive.

Wonder if cutting the top would help or kill this plant??

Panda, I'm not suggesting you grow your Dracaena in water..just mentioning it in passing.

Can't wait to see your Geranium next spring. And other plants, too. Good luck, Toni

RE: A few plant problems

Thanks for the help um, author? Somehow I still can't feel comfortable with shortening the user names, sorry. And not just thanks for this time, for all my other posts you were helpful! I appreciate it a lot

The geranium is supposedly lime, but I really don't smell anything from it right now. When it recovers, perhaps...

I did grow "lucky bamboo" in water, it grew so fast!...then rotted at the base, so I am really not to keen on hydroponics. ;)

RE: A few plant problems

Toni, that's citronella. That's the one I have. It's a scent people either really like or really hate, nobody's ambivalent about that odor! Don't know how many plants one would need for them to actually repel mosquitoes... definitely more than 1!

Not to put too fine of a point on things, but a plant in a cup or bottle of water is not really hydroponics. But I'm not bringing it up to be picky. It's a fun thing to do sometimes and if you'd like to try it again, just make sure nothing dead gets in the water. If something falls in, rinse everything and replace with fresh water. It's not normal for plants to rot when growing in water. They usually just don't do much though. This is how I keep Coleus, Persian shield, Perilla for winter.

No reason at all to be embarrassed about a yogurt container. I call that thrifty and conserving/making the most of available resources. I've got plants growing in things that were not originally pots. If it's the right shape, won't fall apart when wet, and I can put a hole in the bottom, there's probably a plant growing in it.

RE: A few plant problems

Panda, my name is Toni..female, not Tony male. :)
Sometimes screen names are too long to type, I haven't any qualms using part of a name or plant. lol.

Lime, umm..I'm sure after your Geranium recovers you'll smell the scented leaves..but truthfully, not all Scented Geraniums emit strong fragrances..sometimes, in order to get a whiff, you have to rub a finger and thumb against the leaf.

I've never smelled Lime Geranium, so don't know how strong the scent is.

Wonder why your LB rotted?? Mine has been in water for years..don't do anything special. How often did you change water?
Ironically, I kill LB potted in soil, which is the reason
it ended up in water. lol.

Technically, keeping a couple plants in water would be considered hydroponcically, but there's a lot more involved than placing a plant in water for those serious hydroponic growers. I don't know all the specifics though.

Purple, Thank You..Why can I not remember Citronella? Not the first time its name was blocked out. Duh.

Do you know the reason Citronella kills mosquitoes? Is it the smell or something else? Something to research.

Oh, just noticed you mentioned hydroponic.

Purple, as I said, I don't know the specifics, but what did you mean when you said, 'they really don't do much though.'
Plants grown hydroponically do not grow? Flower? Another subject I need to research.

Lol, I save anything and everything that can be used as a pot or saucer. TV dinner trays are wonderful for small-potted plants. Ready-made roasted chickens make great terrariums. Plastic top that snaps in place with a 2-3" tray. Yogurt containers are perfect for rooting AV leaves and avacados pits. Very economical. Recyling is a great idea. We need to do something to save our planet. Toni

RE: A few plant problems

..."what did you mean when you said, 'they really don't do much though.'"

I just meant that plants in water don't grow as fast, generally. If you take 2 identical cuttings and put one in water and one in soil, the soil one will almost always be bigger. If you ask about this kind of thing on the hydro forum, they don't appreciate it and say that's not hydro. That's cool, it is what it is no matter what folks want to call it, no sweat to me either way.

I don't think citronella kills skeeters, just confuses their ability to sniff, or makes an area smell like there's no people, or they just find it offensive. Read all kinds of theories. I don't think anything will deter a hungry skeeter except a really strong wind. Fans are about the most effective thing, like rich people who used to have their servants fan them with big leaves to keep the skeeters off of them. Where's my cabana boy?

Some recent repurposes: Bought a little tray of frozen cocktail shrimp and the clear lid looks like a "pot" to me. The lid to an already-baked cake. I like a frozen Stouffer's side dish once in a while and those little trays make great cooler ice, big and flat.

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