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Houseplant barrage (questions)

Posted by Mosinau Minnesota (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 4:40

I acquired quite a few plants over the summer and retain a small number from previous years. I have various questions about them and decided to put them all here and let you pick and choose which to answer, instead of making 20 different topics.

I'll try to put the more important ones near the top of the post. Try to remember that while I do have some knowledge of the subject, you probably will need to explain non-basic things instead of just referring to them.

General stuff: I'm in the Twin Cities, the first(my room's) window is on the south side with a couple small trees in front of it, the huge living room window is on the south side, and a north facing window which seems to get light levels in between that of the other two. These are the places where all these plants are. I gave most of these plants bigger pots when I got them because they almost always come thoroughly rootbound. I used what was available: a bag of potting soil. Seemed appropriate. The soil on our property is pretty sandy and not everything grows well in our garden. Come spring I should have some compost ready to use, though. I have had little luck with plant databases since everything from light needs to watering to temperature tolerance for a given plant is different on every site.
Is there a convenient way to monitor a plant's progress? I was unsure if a ring made around the stem made with a marker would damage it. Nowdays I go around the house and water everything at once around two times per week.

Pilea plants. I had one in the past and it died with no progress. I assumed that I had merely neglected to water it, so I decided to try again this year and got aluminum, involcrata, friendship, and 2 moon valleys. I find these plants quite interesting-looking. They're listed as low light, so I put most of them in my room. Unfortunately, despite my paying more attention to them, they're acting the same way. Slowly losing leaves one by one, never seeming to grow anything new(one seems to have stretched a bit vertically, but that's it. The few small leaves I see could have been there when I bought them). My house doesn't get a lot of light, but I've put them in different places and had varying watering habits(I view it as more of a chore now, while earlier I went by the website's instruction- every day). I haven't been able to see any activity at all and I'd be reluctant to give up on these cool plants, but it seems like the only choice unless something changes.

The philodendron/pothos style vine plants as a whole are actually doing quite well and all things considered, are my favorite class, but I do still have questions and a little trouble.
Two have grown quite noticeably.
The philodendron micans has gorgeous velvet leaves(although the new ones are very small) and the solid green pothos has reached an impressive 9-10 feet in the longer of the 3 pieces. The shortest end I placed in a small pot down on my desk without cutting it off, and now a few months later it's hanging a full foot or more out the other end. Does having a nutrient source near the end accelerate the growth? My main question for these two is a general one about propagation. I don't want to start chopping these things up, especially the accomplished pothos, without knowing what I'm doing first. I made that mistake with the micans, thinking it would work just like the Nephthytis, and now I have a few cut vines that aren't growing back. Yet a couple of them are growing, way back at the base in the pot instead of behind the cut. My secondary question is about the micans only- its unusual leaves look like they catch a lot of dust. Is this bad and if so, how do I clean them off?
An unidentified one that looks just like the pothos, but with very light colored leaves with small streaks of green and light brown. Possibly Marble Queen. It fits inside a pot just a few inches across, and hasn't budged this whole time. It's the only plant of this category that's definitely done squat. I decided to not repot it because although several big roots are showing, it's not matted like the others were. I'm going back on that decision, but I'd like to hear what you think first.
Philodendron silver: I don't really know what to make of this. Sometimes it looks like it has new growth and sometimes a leaf or two has turned yellow. Overall I know if there is any progress it's very slow and should be faster, looking at the others. The pattern is exquisite; I must get it growing.
I have another which looks like the silver but with regular colored leaves. Perhaps the "green" species, or grazielae. I can't tell if it's growing since it was already very long when I got it.
P.S. 1. One of the pothos vines is completely bare of leaves for a couple feet. Is a section like that still viable for propagation? 2. Is there a good way to find other varieties of this class of plant, or do I just need to repeatedly visit random Bachman's stores and hope for good luck? 3. I'm just wondering if instructions on care for and propagation of the other varieties will apply to the others too, since I'd like to eventually make up a pot that combines all my plants of this type.

Schefflera(maybe Luseane). I know this can work in my house because my parents have one already and it is our most magnificent plant. I got one myself, unsure of how it propagates and not wanting to sacrifice any of the main one, but after a while of decent growth, it just sort of rotted away. Like with the Pileas, I had been following the watering instructions on the Exotic Angel Plants website, which called for watering every 2 or 3 days, I believe. I also had it in my room, which has somewhat lower light.

My foxtail fern was just beautiful when I got it, but it didn't take long for its needles to turn hard and fall off, starting at the base. I desperately started watering it more since they seemed dry when they fell, but no dice. It did this nonstop for a month or more and nothing big changed with how we treated it, so I get it got bored of driving me insane. Now I have several slightly scraggly-looking stems whose bottom halves are bare, and it's finally sent up two new ones(though I had a new one early on, and it promptly died without producing any foliage, so I don't know if this is progress or not). What's going on? This is another I opted to not repot(even though I can feel tubers or something deforming the container), though I don't remember exactly why. Could be because the pot is already fairly big to find a place for, and I was afraid splitting it would result in ugly, lopsided plants. This was one of the most interesting ones, and I would love to know how to make it thrive.

My Asparagus Plumosus has such cool looking foliage, but its growth has been very erratic. As soon as I took it home it sent up a new vine that grew at an incredibly satisfying rate, maybe as much as an inch every day. But then it just stopped and sat there for months. It's happened one other time but stopped shorter. How do I get it to start growing again?
Following someone's advice, I have the pot lifted above a wide tray by rocks; excess water collects in there and it's supposed to help the plant with humidity. I can now see roots hanging down into the pool from the bottom of the pot.

The one I got most recently is a red and green polka dot plant. I do believe it's grown taller, but I have two complaints. First, it's not thick, tending to look nice right at the top and drop the rest of its limbs, leaving a long, empty stem. Second, some of its leaves lose color and crumble away, starting at the tips and getting closer and closer to the base. Salt in the water has been suggested as a culprit, but this doesn't happen to any other plants here and I don't know how I would resolve that.

3 hoyas: The two ropes aren't discolored or losing leaves, but they're completely stagnant. Absolutely nothing has happened with them since I got them months ago. I have them at different windows. How do I make them grow, and how do I propagate so it's not just one strand? The big lipstick plant is doing just fine at the north window- in fact, after it was neglected for a while and some parts of it died it not only recovered, but actually split in many places to be thicker than before. What I am wondering is if I can do anything to help the flowers. They only come a few at a time(sticking out like a sore thumb) and I've only seen a handful of them reach that second stage.

Fig vine(Ficus Pumila?)- 1. Will it grow a new tip if I cut one off and plant it? 2. Can I get it to climb, like on a cork board or something?

Unidentified plant which may be a type of Dracaena Marginata: As you will see in the picture, it's quite healthy, but it doesn't look as good as it could since it's just two long, bare stalks most of the way up. I'd like to know about propagation so I can multiply it and get more stems in there to thicken it up, and also what it's called.

Janet Craig Compacta - Has been stuck at about 0.7 feet tall for years. I've seen pictures of these higher up, with visible stems beneath the part I already have now, so either they were mislabeled or I'm doing something wrong.

The first picture shows the polka dot plant's dry & cracking leaves, the friendship pilea's sorry state, and three unidentified plants, none of which seem to be growing- the pothos-like one on the right, the thick cutting(was the source material too old? Do I need to get a soft piece?), and the tiny pot one, both of which have pilea-like patterns on the leaves. What are they and how do I get them to take off?

This post was edited by Mosinau on Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 4:51


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

Second picture. Asparagus, Janet Craig, and to-be-identified. Not to mention a low-priority bamboo-like thing in the back. But it's not very woody, and if it's really bamboo, I believe it should be growing more like a foot a day than an inch over two years. Someone put it in a vase; maybe it needs a pot.


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

In my opinion, I think it would be better to post your questions in shorter separate posts...TMI for one post, a lot to wade through here.

I will only tackle the bamboo, known often as Lucky Bamboo. It is not bamboo at all, but Dracaena braunii. It can be grown in bright indirect light indefinitely in water, provided the water is change regularly, or it can be transplanted to soil.

Speaking of soil, never use pure garden soil for houseplants, it is not suitable for indoor use. Read up on potting mixes here on the forum, there is a plethora of information available.

Christopher


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

Your plants look so nice grouped together like that, mosinau. It sounds like you're doing a great job of monitoring them and learning about/observing what they need.

Thanks for including the basic information. One other factor: what is the temperature range in your house these days? Is it colder near/on the windowsills? (Sorry if you included that and I missed it.)

One thing I can say, about progress, as someone who gardens in the northern US: many houseplants slow down or stop growing in the darker, colder months. Even if they're inside a warm house, the shorter days/weaker sunlight and (almost always) lower humidity causes them to slow down. So this may not be the best time of year to gauge their progress. I also find that some plants take a little while to "adjust" after being re-potted. So they seem like they're not doing anything, and then, after a while, they really get going. Sometimes it's a matter of waiting, especially at this time of year.

If you scroll down to the bottom o the houseplants forum main page, you can do a search for "propagating pothos." You'll find a wealth of information that I think will help with both your propagation and leafless-vine questions. You might also want to do some reading about soil composition(s) here on the forum.

I think you will have more success with propagation--of all of your plants--if you wait until mid-late spring. I am always more tempted to propagate thing in fall and winter--I'm stuck indoors and I want more green plants around me! I do start things in the colder months, and sometimes I have success. But sometimes the easiest plants just wither away. It's a bit of a crap shoot. By al means try it if you want to experiment, but please don't get discouraged if it doesn't work. SOme plants have very definate frowing seasons/preferences--I'd place your Hindu rope vines in that category--and might just sit there, not rooting or doing a thing, if you try to propagate them now.

The creeping fig makes roots along its stem, so, yes, you can get it to climb cork. I believe it will branch if you cut the tip, but, again, I think you'll have better luck with that in warmer weather.

Foxtail fern: that is a form of Asparagus sprengeri I believe? It will turn yellow and shed like that if the soil dries out. Sometimes, one too-dry period will cause it to shed over a long-ish period--or that's what happens with mine, anyway. In my experience, this is another plant that will take a little while to settle in after re-potting...and then, look out, world. They also don't love very hot weather, I believe. What kinds of temperatures did yours get over the summer? Mine sat and did nothing over the summer, and is growing now that it's cooler. That may also be what's happening with your other asparagus, but I do not know for certain--just a thought. It might have a seasonal growth pattern in your environment.

In my experience, Hoya carnosa and compacta varieties--that is what I believe your 'hindu rope' is--like hot weather. They also take a while to settle after being repotted. I would not expect your plants to put out much if any new growth until the weather warms. But they sound like they're doing just fine. You can chop up the stems and root them in soil or water.

When you say lipstick vine, are you referring to aeschynanthus? If so, that's a gesnariad, not a hoya but in the same family as African violets.

I agree you might get more answers if you divided up your questions. If you decide to do that, it might help to put the name of the plant/s in the subject of the post, like "questions about pileas." That way, members who grow pileas can go straight to your post. Just a thought.

Please keep us posted on what happens ith your plants.

Amanda (back to the forum after a long absence--how great to see new and familiar "faces")

This post was edited by asarumgreenpanda on Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 21:40


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

I'll likely do posts like you say later on if I don't get the answers I need.

Most of these plants I've had since late spring/early summer or longer, so they've had both types of month in which to grow, unless the "adjustment period" is four months long.

Temperatures are 62-68 now and 70-75 in the summer.

The mentioned asparagus vines were indeed sent out in the summer and fall, but there was a long inactive period between them, and again, it was a measly 2 or 3 total.

I'm sure there was no period between bringing the "fern" (Meyeri, by the looks)home and noticing it shed when I neglected it and let it dry out. I was quite excited about it, in fact, so it got watered maybe once every two days at first. I didn't repot it either, though in retrospect maybe I should have.

Yes, you are right. I don't know how I got the impression that the lipstick plant(which might be "Curly Q") was a hoya.

I'm not sure if you misread or something; the compacta I mentioned is(I think) a Janet Craig, not a Hoya.

So far what I gather is I haven't done anything wrong, but these problems persist anyway.


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

Of course your plants are doing OK now...they are practically new...they haven't have a chance of suffering from the care you give them.
Suffer.....yes....you are definitely going to pay the piper in not so distant future the way you water them.

NEVER....water as per a schedule....remember, you are talking about plants....different plants....and so they each have different requirements of sun, heat, watering....
they cant possibly survive by being treated the same way....all the time....watered, the same way all the time....given the same sun...all the time.....
that is a sure-fired way to kill plants in a very short time.

Quit watering them on schedule....water them AS THEY NEED IT....AS THEY NEED IT....NOT WHEN YOU THINK ITS TIME FOR YOU TO WATER THEM.

I suggest you visit your local book store---a used book store will do nicely. There, they have oodles and oodles of books on house plants....HOW TO CARE FOR THEM.
No doubt in the first few pages it will tell the reader how most plant problems are caused from OVER WATERING.
The schedule you have your plants on are a prime example of OVER WATERING.

Especially at the this time....the winter solstice arrives on Sunday....the shortest day of the year. The sun will begin its travel north after that....and by mid February you can begin to water your plants on a basis of WHEN THEY NEED IT.....

Your explanation of how you treat your plants was far too long.....I couldn't possibly read it and make some kind of sense to it all.
I read the first few lines and got the definite impression...
YOU WATER TOO MUCH....TOO OFTEN.

YOU ARE KILLING YOUR PLANTS --albeit with kindness they don't need.


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

Hi & welcome to GW. Taking pics often can help you see the progress of plants. There are some fairly extensive discussions about most of the plants you mentioned. After browsing through those, looking at the pics, many of the questions could probably be answered. If not, you could add your remaining questions to the appropriate discussion to get the attention each deserves. You can add pics, one per post. Adding a pic always gets more responses specific to the particular plant. Scrolling up/down this discussion to find the questions & type answers seems like too much work even for me, stuff I don't mind to a point. Very glad you're here to join in on the fun though! Sounds like you have a coo & interesting l collection started.

The above advice is excellent for dealing with soil that takes forever to dry, though I don't know why Goren feels the need to be so bossy and brusque with the delivery, and an important part of the story is missing.

It's true, most potted plants that meet an early death do so from root rot AKA overwatering. This is caused when the soil has no air between the particles. Tiny particles of peat, sand, clay, silt can lodge so closely together that the soil can't dry out, has no oxygen. If roots are always soggy and have no oxygen, they rot. This makes them unable to deliver moisture to the foliage, which then wilts. This makes people think the plant needs a drink - since it's wilting. When water collects in a drip tray, the rotting of roots can happen then also.

You can cope with this by not watering soil that is not yet dry, or changing to something more chunky, porous, airy, then not packing it tightly in the pot.

I disagree with the book part though, never seen a house plant book that wasn't misleadingly confusing with wildly different care instructions that are totally unnecessary and usually impossible. If your house is like mine, you have one temp and amount of humidity to offer, and can't make more light come through the windows.

They also tend to be full of myths that can help you kill your plant if you believe them and take them too literally into practice. Admittedly, I got rid of the ones I had when the internet came along since I never opened them anyway after that, and they were already old at that time. Even something like my expensive reference book on taxonomy is relegated to a useless waste of space since they've started letting people change the names of plants based on genetic testing.


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

Sorry Mosinau,

But that is an OVERWHELMING AMOUNT OF INFO TO POST AT ONCE.

I've scrolled thru several times looking for the actual problems & I don't see them. I don't have the time (or patience, sorry) to read this thru several times.

You need to please ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, so as to help us to help you.

I grow Hoyas among other things (there's also a Hoya forum nearby, pls. see top of this page). Hoya compacta is known to be a rather slow growing Hoya, nothing to be done about that; that's the nature of that particular plant. Also not an easy one to propagate, I'd hold off on that too until Spring.

FYI: compacta is the botanical name for the Hoya you're calling rope (or Hindu or Indian rope) that's formally known as Hoya compacta. The responder was not mistaken, they were just using the botanical name rather than the common name.

Also watering twice a week is too much water & too frequent. You need to learn to check how dry they are. One can:

(1) Observe how heavy the pots feel when you lift them up when newly watered vs. when dry, that's usually a BIG difference.

&/OR

(2) get a pencil or chopstick & push it ALL they way down in the mix. If mix sticks to its end when you remove it, there's still some moisture down below.

Pardon me Goren, but the poster clearly doesn't know HOW to tell when to water. I don't think reprimanding a person is helpful, how about just EXPLAINING several ways to ascertain this, as I just did.

Also, pls. do not add compost in the Spring for these potted plants indoors, it's a bad idea; it may cause harm & bring insects to your Indoors. Potted plants (in containers) do not behave at all like outdoor planted in the ground plants.

Seems like you've got lots of reading you can do btwn now & Spring while waiting before adjusting mix & pot size (if needed).


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

WOW........this is a lot of reading...................


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

Hey Mosinau: where'd you go?

I took the time last night to read thru the whole thread twice. It really does need to be broken out into more SPECIFIC QUESTIONS PLS, to HELP US HELP YOU.


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

So after all that, you're really gone?


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

Well, no, I'm not gone. I thought the thread had died and started checking it less often. I was just waiting a while before posting smaller chunks of it over again one at a time, hopefully catching the attention of people with longer attention spans.
I also got less excited about this thread since none of the posts have given me significantly useful information, save yours(and only one piece even then). Most tell me to do my own research, as if I didn't already try the solution that DOESN'T require me both to wait and to deal with people, and the others say things that aren't really relevant to the plants.
Note that the reasons posts have not been especially helpful aren't limited to people not trying to be helpful(although that is certainly happening). Some stuff I've just already covered or I know isn't the issue. A couple questions have been answered too; they're just the less important ones.

This post was edited by Mosinau on Wed, Dec 25, 13 at 5:23


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

Mosinau, you many not even realize, but the entire opening post is about plants being killed by not drying quickly enough, and more water being added before they have dried. Roots need oxygen as well as moisture. Without both, they can rot and can't perform their job well, or at all once rot sets in. It may seem like a separate issue for each plant, but it sounds like one same issue to me. That is what the responses so far have been addressing.

"varying watering habits(I view it as more of a chore now, while earlier I went by the website's instruction- every day)."
That's way too often. When plants are dry, they need water. The amount of time it takes a particular pot to dry can vary, so a set schedule often does more harm than good.

"Does having a nutrient source near the end accelerate the growth?"
If this is all connected as one plant, nutrients obtained by one part will be shared with the whole plant.

" My secondary question is about the micans only- its unusual leaves look like they catch a lot of dust. Is this bad and if so, how do I clean them off?"
I put my plants outside in the rain when it's warm enough in the spring to clean off the winter dust.

In general your focus seems to be making plants grow faster. To do that, the focus needs to start at the roots. No part of a plant can be healthy without healthy roots. In nature, there are many different types of soil and climate environments. In a house, there's usually one climate. As far as the soil part goes, the best thing we can do is offer something that provides moisture without rotting roots.

"I'd like to eventually make up a pot that combines all my plants of this type."
That sounds cool, I do that too. Plants with similar light and moisture requirements should do well together in the same pot. Eventually one might crowd the others out, at which time you could trim the bigger one, or redo the whole thing and kind of start over.

"Schefflera(maybe Luseane). I know this can work in my house because my parents have one already and it is our most magnificent plant. I got one myself, unsure of how it propagates and not wanting to sacrifice any of the main one, but after a while of decent growth, it just sort of rotted away."
The roots likely rotted.

"Like with the Pileas, I had been following the watering instructions on the Exotic Angel Plants website, which called for watering every 2 or 3 days, I believe. I also had it in my room, which has somewhat lower light."
They will tell you what they think you want to hear. Everyone wants some magic plant that can look great and even grow in some dark boring corner. Sure, there are a few of these out there, but the 'low light' designation on EA website shouldn't be given much weight, especially by someone like yourself who wants plants to grow at a visible pace as fast as they can. I put Scheff outside in the sun, all day (when plants aren't in the house hiding from winter.) While inside for winter, I water this pot about every 2 weeks.

EA is a perfect example of having success while still lacking specific knowledge. Their site has awful care instructions, and they don't use the correct name of many of the plants they sell, yet manage to produce millions of beautiful specimens yearly. I also have many plants of which I'm sure of their specific ID, but knowing what exposure of light they appreciate is all that is needed to keep them looking great. Plants that can't survive conditions beyond my control can't be kept alive here. I've found just a few of these.

"My foxtail fern was just beautiful when I got it, but it didn't take long for its needles to turn hard and fall off, starting at the base. I desperately started watering it more"
When roots rot, they can no longer deliver moisture to the plant, so it wilts.

There is also tap water chemicals to consider. When you water, if excess water can't escape completely away (not to sit in a drip saucer,) the chemicals in tap water can stay in the pot/soil, building up to toxic levels (for plants that are sensitive to them.)

"The one I got most recently is a red and green polka dot plant."
Hypoestes?
These plants grow tall, bloom stems. Trimming them often will keep the most amount of new growth coming up from the base.

People don't usually measure house plant growth in terms of months. Most house plants grow incredibly slowly.

"The big lipstick plant is doing just fine at the north window- in fact, after it was neglected for a while and some parts of it died it not only recovered, but actually split in many places to be thicker than before."
By neglected, do you mean allowed to dry out?

"Dracaena Marginata: As you will see in the picture, it's quite healthy, but it doesn't look as good as it could since it's just two long, bare stalks most of the way up."
That's what these plants do.

"I'd like to know about propagation so I can multiply it and get more stems in there to thicken it up, and also what it's called."
There are many discussions with pictures about this. You can cut off a trunk and stuck the cut piece in the pot. The forget all about it.

This info should be helpful.

"Janet Craig Compacta"
When people discuss 'slowest growing plants' this is always mentioned.

For every one of these plants, the info given sounds like they need a more chunky, porous soil, and to be allowed be breathe, not sitting in soggy soupy stuff. Also, during the shorter days of winter when the sun is farther away (so the rays are weaker,) most plants need a much more sunny spot than they could tolerate during the hot, long days of summer. It may seem like there's some special instruction for each plant, but very few people have separate conditions available, (aside from varying amounts of light,) so must find a way for whatever plants they have to survive in the captivity of a pot. Aside from light, all of my plants get the same care. Sure, some are going to like it more than others, but any plant that's not dying is a success. It doesn't need to be any more complicated than that.

As far as propagation goes, that is usually discussed on a plant-by-plant basis. Philos & Pothos have many discussions with pics.

Like the last time I attempted to share some info in this discussion, I've just spent about an hour searching for links, pasting stuff, and trying to find a new way to say some stuff that's already been said, in a different way so it feels relevant to you. The comment about people's attention spans was somewhat insulting to me, and I'm sure to others who did take some time to attempt to share what they thought would be helpful info for you. Participation in this free forum is completely voluntary, for anyone who has an interest and some time to do it. Most people say thank you for the responses, though solicitation of a TY is not at all why any of these responses were offered.

"none of the posts have given me significantly useful information"
The info given has been all that I needed to know to stop killing my plants. Thanks to the info I've learned here over the years, I now have hundreds of plants, and rarely does one die. I hope we will be hearing some great updates about your plants in the near future as well!


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

Hiya Purple, Happy Day After XMas (here at work, it feels like Monday morning).

"Like the last time I attempted to share some info in this discussion, I've just spent about an hour searching for links, pasting stuff, and trying to find a new way to say some stuff that's already been said, in a different way so it feels relevant to you. The comment about people's attention spans was somewhat insulting to me, and I'm sure to others who did take some time to attempt to share what they thought would be helpful info for you. Participation in this free forum is completely voluntary, for anyone who has an interest and some time to do it. Most people say thank you for the responses, though solicitation of a TY is not at all why any of these responses were offered."

Seems to me you've gone way above & beyond the call of duty here. Clearly we've both tried to help her.

Unfortunately, she seems to feel it wasn't very helpful; I sure can't divine what else the thinks we've yet to tell her that she thinks WOULD be helpful.

I've asked at least TWICE for SPECIFIC QUESTIONS. They have not come back w/ any, so as I see it, I'm done on this thread.

Maybe it's worth mentioning to her (don't think I did) that the EA recommendations abt watering every several days would be great for peat based mixes growing in greenhouses. HOWEVER, since almost none of us have those as OUR growing conditions, it's useless advice & is best to be ignored.


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

I have specific questions at the end of every paragraph, even listed in order of importance; I did this so people who didn't want to read the whole thing needed only look through the first couple sections of browse the beginnings for plants they know about. I certainly would have been criticized for not providing enough information judging by other threads, which is what the general information section was for.
I am very familiar with the experience of asking questions on a forum and then being berated for not already knowing the answer(by people who flay you with their knowledge, presumably in an attempt to display superiority, instead of sharing it). It was because of this frustration that most of the negative in my recent post, mild though it was, was said with people like Goren in mind. As for the others, I say again that the posts not being helpful doesn't mean that they weren't trying to be or that I'm offended that they weren't. You need not be offended either(you two are the ones whose posts were most helpful anyway). It's also odd to make a judgement on my opinion of Purple's only post before I've even replied to it.

The information about watering I will take into account.
Yes, by neglected I meant it hadn't been watered in about one and a half weeks, and the soil was all hydrophobic.
The answers about the marginata, the link, and the polka dot plant sound helpful, but I won't know until I try it(this is assuming I've actually identified the "marginata" correctly, making your suggestion relevant), read it, and find out what trimming entails in this context.
I will also see if I can find chunky, porous, etc soil at Bachman's.


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

OK then, you've shared the key to these posts, ** see end of paragraphs for Questions **, ok, got it. Also, being Fri. nite, I've got the luxury of more time to write here.

Sorry, no fast/convenient way to monitor plants' progress. What's required is time, patience & observation. Purple's suggestion of frequent photos is helpful as well.

Pothos: those bare vines, the few ft. of them? I suppose one COULD try those, but personally, I wouldn't bother, I'd toss those. All Pothos types plants DO propagate similarly, take cuttings a few nodes long (nodes are those knuckle-like joints the plants have) & either pot up in mix, or in place in water to root.

I believe that light colored looking Pothos is just that, maybe MQ as you suggested. I expect they'd take similar care as the regular ones. These are not high light plants, personally I wouldn't keep them under lights. I don't here at my home, but I've got lots of bright, indirect light for them.

Those 2 no ID pattern-leafed plants on the left are Peperomias: the upper a P. obtusifolia, the lower an P. argerya (maybe), aka watermelon Peperomia.

They too are med / lower light plants, I wouldn't keep 'em under lights, but those plants look good & healthy.

Sorry, there's no taking off like that, they just have to settle in & you learn what they need in your particular conditions. But knowing they're Peps will allow you to learn their care.

I don't know Pileas, so I'll leave that for someone else.

So now that I look at paragraph ends, I DO see your questions, you're right about that.


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

I really can't tolerate the rudeness of the OP...Uncalled for.

Some people have gone out of their way, having more patience than I, and you say, "none of the posts have given me significantly useful information, save yours(and only one piece even then)." What is that? You are lucky some even bothered to answer your overly verbose post in the first place. Honestly, you need to learn humility.

Christopher


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

As far as I recall, I have not been rude once. I thought these things had already been explained and settled, but you do remind me of one thing I wished- but forgot- to reiterate. My statement you quoted was said for two reasons: I was letting everyone know that the issues were mostly still unresolved, and more to the point, I was explaining to PG why I had mistakenly written the thread off and stopped checking it regularly. It was, however, not a complaint. I wish you would not jump to conclusions, least of all unfavorable ones.

Now then, Pirate Girl.
The marble queen has been in the same location as the regular pothos. I guess for now I'll have to assume it's the inferior number of leaves and try watering it less, as with the other plants.
The bare part of the pothos vine I wouldn't cut off if I didn't think I could start new plants with it. It's between green-filled sections and so contributes nicely to the overall length of the plant. I figured if I'm going to risk part of the plant on a propagation attempt, I should risk the least valuable sections. I am interested; why are they to be thrown away?

The identification of watermelon was incorrect, but as luck would have it, googling the term did let me come across the real picture and name of the plant: Peperomia verschaffeltii. Cheers.
Unfortunately the other I was asking about was not the obtusifolia in the background, but the individual cutting that can be seen lying across the polka dot plant's pot(taken out of a vase for the sake of the picture), its one leaf on the bottom left corner of the image. After a more recent examination of the parent plant I've hypothesized that the stem grows more like a marginata's and maybe I should chop it up, but the leaves look nothing alike.

Now assuming it isn't an involved topic that opens a whole new can of worms, would watering the pilea and polka dot plant(the ones whose leaf tips are crumbling) with pure snow water help? My father suggested that salts & chemicals are building up too quickly and the plant can't expel them safely. Yet, the article linked helpfully said this results from watering habits like mine(as in, doing it too often). Am I off base, or should I try both?

This post was edited by Mosinau on Sat, Dec 28, 13 at 0:16


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

"individual cutting that can be seen lying across the polka dot plant's pot(taken out of a vase for the sake of the picture), its one leaf on the bottom left corner of the image"

If that's it at the base of the Watermelon Pep, tho' hard to see clearly, looks like an Aglaonema, aka Chinese Evergreen, another LOW light plant. I keep a cutting of this in water in a darker corner of my apmt.

Worrying about excess mineral salt accumulation before eestablishing appropriate mix & more constructive watering practices is putting the cart before the horse.

Best to learn basic first. Also, seems to be making this all unnecessarily complicated. I have too many plants to keep it too complicated (& work full time).

You seem too leary of making mistakes water rooting the most basic of Pothos. Super common, easy to do, a child could do it. I thought the bare vines weren't connected to green areas (needs a pic, come on). I thought plain, bare vines, which tend not to grow or grow badly that's why I wouldn't bother. As opposed to the easy & vigorous results one gets using good, established growth to begin with maximizing the odds of good results.


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RE: Houseplant barrage (questions)

It is indeed a Aglaonema, and apparently of the Mary Ann variety. Looks like it's supposed to have grown roots, the way I have it. I guess I'll cut it in half and try a rooting hormone & my new perlite.

Oh yes, I bought perlite yesterday and plan to mix it with my potting soil, as well as cut down on my watering of all plants. Except maybe the asparagus vine.

Don't worry; you don't need a picture of the pothos. What I meant was that it's one section( the middle) from which the leaves have fallen. There are still leaves near the pot and there are many leaves at the growing end of the same vine. So it's not dead, no.


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