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Please help!

Posted by lizifuur Texas (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 14:24

Hello! I am very new to taking care of houseplants. My grandmother gave me this one before she passed and I have been trying my best to care for it, but I'm honestly not sure just what type if ivy (?) it is. Knowing would cut down on a lot of confusion and help me get this lovely plant's leaves back to their normal green. It generally seems happy and perky, but I think it needs to be re-potted. Some of the leaves have started turning yellow and brown around the edges (too much sunlight? not enough humidity? over watering? Maybe there isn't enough iron in the soil, as one site suggested, or maybe the roots are all balled up and it's not getting enough water, the soil is hard...) and knowing just what kind of plant it is could probably help me figure out what kind of care it needs. Please and thank you!

Elizabeth


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please help!

It looks like the "devil" type... I know ... I don't like it whoever named it that.

They don't like a lot of direct sun. Mine does great with sun reaching in through window blinds 5 feet away and also just getting a 40 watt full spectrum light from a lamp beside it. A couple years I had it out on patio and it received a few hours of direct light... that was about 8 years ago... the sun and NASSA etc. f'ing up our protective layers has changed.

Give it a dash of some organic fertilizer and not too light. They are great plants and survivors. buy a 40 watt spectrum light and have it over the plant.


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RE: Please help!

Water it once the soil is dry.... do NOT over water it. They do not need much water. Sure you can soak it every once in awhile like rain would do.... but not all the time. Mind you it doesn't dry out indoors like it would outside with sun and wind.

you don't need to repot it... just give some fertilizer. I've re-potted mine twice and survived.... but it wasn't necessary. Some plants die re-potting.... if the roots and all out going through the bottom holes... eh.. you're risking it. Be careful. If it isn't... I'd just leave it be.


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RE: Please help!

never fertilize a stressed plant.. until you figure out why its stressed .. which is after you find out what it is.. lol ...

once you know what it is ... then go to the houseplant forum ... to learn all aobut such ...

and i cna tell you right now.. w/o even knowing its name... its easily rootable... so the first thing you do.. is get a few more pieces rooted... that is how you insure you have at least one.. for a very long time...

and once those are rooted.. and potted up ...

then you go after the old plant... first noting.. that pot doenst have drainage .... unless there is more that i cant see ...

if you like the decorative pot.. you could do a pot in pot set up ... to add drainage ...

then.. if it were me.. i would cut it way back.. making a couple hundred more pieces for rooting...

then i would unpot it.. roughing it up and getting rid of A LOT of the old media ... thoroughly scrubbing out the old pot to remove salt buildup [all that fert that grandma put in it over the years ....especially if it doesnt drain] ...

and then repotting it in high quality POTTING MEDIA .... ask them about that ... no dirt in pots ...
i would then drench it in.. and having done this in june or so.. i would put it in full shade .. the front of my house... and leave it there thru early fall ...

the extra plants would also be very nice in hanging baskets ...

all that.. and i cant give you the name.. its called.. enabling.. lol .. next thing you know.. you will have a hundred houseplants.. because it was so much fun

good luck.. and have fun

ken


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RE: Please help!

I'm fairly sure it is the Pythos (yes, the Devil's Ivy) after a bit more research. I know that it has been in this pot (the one my grandmother gave me) for years, and the soil has dried out quite a bit. I try to check the moisture of the soil every 4 days to a week, but it's honestly hard to actually dig in the soil and see if it's evenly moist under the surface. I know they aren't supposed to be soaked, that's apparently one pf the fastest ways to kill it. The pot does have drainage holes in the bottom, but no tray, so I take it out on a stand to water it. It does look like the vines are more on either side of the pot rather than in the middle. I cut off a vine and placed in in some water on my window sill to see if it will root. I'll do more when I get some liquid fertilizer, I wouldn't want to keep cutting it back for failed plants if the one I have doesn't root. I think that the mixture of direct sunlight and poor soil might have something to do with the leaves. If all of the roots aren't getting adequate watering, wouldn't that cause some of the leaves to be ill-effected if left in direct sunlight? My grandmother used to tell me they could sunburn. Anyway, this is probably a topic for another post, but I really appreciate all of your help and suggestions. I fully intend to enjoy this plant for a long time, and I want it to be happy is all. :)

Thanks again!
Elizabeth


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RE: Please help!

Pothos (Epipremnum.) Yes, repotting should help.


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RE: Please help!

^^Thanks!! :)


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RE: Please help!

I've had the same plant for 15 years.... I even took it for a carry on .. on a plane 3 thousand miles away. it's nearly died twice only due to getting in cold for a couple hours... in fact last time it was ziltch above soil, but I didn't give up on it.

It was NEVER necessary to re-pot it and I only have since those two instances and many years apart.

Perhaps my plant differs than all other ivy's but I speak from experience.

And giving fertilizer... like I said before... just a little. And I very rarely do it and probably should more.

Buy a full spectrum bulb..... put your plant under a lamp and immediately it will start growing new stems and healthy and green etc.....


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RE: Please help!

PS... they do not like Flouresnt (sp) bulbs. They only contain yellow and green rays. Just trust me... buy the full spectrums. Revel which is GE brand sells them for about 8 bucks a 6 pack and you can buy them at Lowes and Home Depot. Avoid grow lights.... total waste of money on everything they claim to use them for.
I speak from experience.

Also I can not rave enough on full spectrum bulbs and how much more healthier they are for plants, animals and us humans,... but this is another topic.


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RE: Please help!

Flo (and Liz!,) periodic repotting is standard procedure for keeping a plant healthy over an extended period of time. This is how they keep bonsai trees alive for hundreds of years in those tiny pots. This kind of finesse isn't necessary for a vine like Pothos, but if the leaves aren't optimal, we know there's an issue with the roots that could be improved.

There can also be issues with an accumulation of tap water chemicals, which is easily remedied by replacing the old soil. Another issue that can affect roots is when organic ingredients decompose into mud (which might be accompanied by the appearance of mushrooms.) This situation would also be improved by replacing the soil.

The info here, and here explains more about this.


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RE: Please help!

You say the soil is hard. Repotting is definitely called for in to good potting soil, not Texas clay, or even good garden soil. After it's repotted, get a tray. So much easier than moving it to water it.
If you're going to do some starts in water, do not use fertilizer. That's for when it has roots to absorb it.
Usually I see the variegated form.
I've seen it growing wild in Hawaii where it can be very vigorous, running around as a groundcover and climbing way up in the trees.
Even though it behaves like Ivy, it's not Ivy. Not even close.
Ken and purpleinopp have given you good information.
Mike


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RE: Please help!

You all have been so much help! Thank you!

I know that when my grandmother put it in this pot, she used good soil, she was very good with her houseplants and had many, many of these in her house all of my life. I think that, as you said Mike, the soil had probably been depleted just because of time and watering. The new pot I have has a tray, but it's not much bigger than the old one so I will have to return it and get a bigger one. I like to take it outside because I heard that helps with the variegation and although it can live in low light, I do want it to be plush and the lighting in my apartment isn't great. I should get it re-potted by the end of the week, but I am nervous because I don't want to stress it out. I may have over watered it last time, some of the leaves at the base are turning yellow, should I wait for it to dry out first? Or would it really matter since the roots aren't getting water like they are supposed to anyway?

Thanks again for all of your help, the internet an be so confusing and full of misinformation, I was getting kind of lost in it all. I think I'm going to go pick up some indoor gardening books....

Elizabeth


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RE: Please help!

You can re-pot it anytime, whether you have just watered it or not. Stress won't be much of an issue in this case.
If you do take it outside once in awhile, don't put it in direct sun, even for a short time. It's basically a shade plant and you've been growing it indoors where the ultraviolet light is low. Outdoors in the sun will give it a sunburn even though it's well watered, especially in Texas.
I spent a year there in the Air Force and have visited several times since. Nice place to visit!
Mike...with a sunroom packed with houseplants.


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RE: Please help!

Thank you! I have it out in the shade and will re-pot it soon! And the only thing I REALLY like about Texas weather is the thunderstorms. Where I am we don't seem much spring. That's part of the reasons I like having pretty plants in my house. :)

Elizabeth


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RE: Please help!

BTW - it isn't an Ivy (Hedera species) of any description. Devil's Ivy is just one of its common names. As Purple said, it's an Epipremnum.


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Sorry if it sounded like grandma was being impuned regarding the soil. I didn't mean to imply that at all. Over time, any soil should be changed, for various reasons, no matter how perfect it might have been on the first day.

Good vibes to your plant!


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RE: Please help!

You DO NOT have to keep re-potting every so often.

I've known people that's had plants for OVER 20 years and never once repotted and remain vibrant healthy plants!!!

It's all about good energy, love and correct lighting. And giving some fertilizer every once in awhile.

And especially if the roots go through the bottom of container... you're risking to kill it big time if you try to re-pot.

I've known this all these many years... listened to some "know it alls" and re-planted my ONLY plant left from my mom a couple years after she died.... freaking killed it and followed all advice from "experts" to a tee.

Ivys are easy to survive re-potting and even keeping in the same container with original soil.

Far too many myths out there.

Also... have any of you heard about plant healers??? There's much in play with this too.


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RE: Please help!

Flo, I've never heard so much B.S. in my life. "Plant healers"? Now you're talkin' Ozone layer.
So, you followed all the 'experts' advice and still killed your mother's plant. It died and you have no idea why. That tells me, right away, you have no idea what's going on. You're the one perpetuating myths based on one example that you haven't a clue as to cause and effect.
"I've known this all these many years." Now you're using the age and experience card. That ain't gonna float in my book. It tells me you haven't learned the basics of plant culture, given many years to do so.
Do you have any other credentials besides age and very limited experience?
Mike

This post was edited by mikebotann on Sun, Feb 23, 14 at 8:33


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