large houseplant help needed.

Discussion in 'Plant and Tree Identification' started by woodenfires, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. woodenfires

    woodenfires Well-Known Member

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    Help ..... My sister gave me a beautiful large plant for my bday a couple years ago. Its has huge green varegated leaves, almost like a giant dumbcane kind of look. The first year it just grew beautifully but this winter the new growth from the center started rotting, every new leaf that tried to come out would rot and I cut them off, perhaps they could have been some kind of blossom even, couldn't tell as they died to soon, they were like big spikes and I thought looked different. Even the other leaves now have wilted or are brown around the edges, new growth continues but as fast as it comes it turns crispy brown on the ends and I fear I may lose it. It looks pretty pathetic right now but still growing. My temperature was pretty low for a while maybe that started it on its decline, I was away and kept it about 40 degrees for a few weeks.
    Its a gorgeous plant and I really want to save it .... however... I can't find out what its called, looked thru all my books and nothing. Can anyone please help me? I am giving it new soil today but I fear I am not giving it what it needs, I fertilized and it perked it up a small bit , didn't stop the browning though but I see yet another new leaf coming. The leaves are 15 inches long by 6 wide. The varegation is a lighter green than the leaf colour. Any suggestions, I suspect its common but I cannot find what it is called ....
     
  2. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    ok, my advice is leave it alone for a while. i think the rotting may have started from overwatering, trimming all the new growth off means it has to work harder to put out new leaves, and the leaves are what gathers energy to keep the plants alive. most plants go dormant in the winter, and don't grow much. it's best to just water them lightly during these months. come spring time they will start growing again and it is a better time to repot them. i know this because i have done the same thing. i was loving them to death.:) put it some place "neutral," medium light and let it dry out a bit. even moving a plant sometimes causes stress. see if it doesn't recover. let the leaves grow out for a while and see what happens.
     

  3. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Did the plant look like this?

    http://sarabluesky.home.dixie-net.com/WestHeightsFlowers/images-plants-04/Diffenbachia.jpg

    That's a diffenbachia (also spelled dieffenbachia).

    Or did it look more like this?

    http://plantasdeinterior.com.sapo.pt/janelas/dracena.jpg

    That's a dracena.

    Either way, it does sound like you overwatered the plant. It's really easy to do in the winter time. I second leaving it alone to dry out. The plant will look like it's wilting, but don't water it until the top 2 inches of soil is dry. And then only give it a small amount of water.
     
  4. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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  5. woodenfires

    woodenfires Well-Known Member

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    Jenn h its very much like the first one .....mine isnt bushy like that , its more tree like with braches(leaves) spread out, the pattern on the leaves though looks the same. Thanks. I will try whats suggested although Im not sure it was to wet, its possible though so I will keep an eye on it. As fast as it grows those big beautiful leaves they start to dry and brown around the edges and then turn pale and die, still new growth though but its looking pretty shabby .... thanks for the info everyone, I will hide the watering can for a while, almost dried out now.
     
  6. mzzlisa

    mzzlisa Well-Known Member

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    At 40 degrees, you may have let it get too cold if its a diffenbachia. Its a tropical plant and doesn't like the cold. Do you have a heat source you could put it by such as a heater vent? Warm dry air would actually be good for it, just don't let it get too dry.
    You do know diffenbachia is poisonous, right? If you have animals or small children, make sure they don't chew on the leaves.