The Q&A Archives: Dying Re-Potted House Plants

Question: Help! I recently bought two houseplants, labeled "execum" and "pink splash" and repotted them. They were healthy in the store, but are now wilted and the soil seems to literally suck up the water when I water them (once a day). I did use good quality potting soil especially for houseplants. I can't seem to find any information under these names as to what kind of sun they like and how to care for them. Can you shed some light on this?

Answer: It's possible that your plants are just stressed from being moved into your home and into new pots. By now they've probably perked right up. Exacum affine is a German or Persian Violet. It's a small, rounded plant with egg-shaped, inch-long leaves and blue, sweet scented, star shaped flowers centered with tufts of bright yellow stamens. (There's a white variety, too.) The plant will grow indoors in medium light, planted in rich, moist soil. "Pink Splash" might be a Cattleya orchid. All cattleyas grow best in greenhouses where temperature, humidity and light can be controlled. If your new plant is an orchid, provide warm temperatures (60F at night), relatively high humidity (50-60 percent), bright light, but no midday sun. These plants prefer rich, moist soil, as well. Hope we've found the true identities of your new plants!

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