Houseplants forum: Dying Plant

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aspaluba
Dec 18, 2014 9:18 AM CST
I would appreciate some help with an issue I am having with a potted plant I have in my apartment in New York City. I got the plant about a year ago and it was growing lots of new leaves and thriving. Since the end of the summer its leaves have been blanching, yellowing then dying. It is also not growing new leaves to replace the dying leaves which concerns me. I have attached a photo as a reference.

I have tried more water and less. Misting and letting it dry out completely. Nothing seems to work. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Thumb of 2014-12-18/aspaluba/9adf22

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 18, 2014 11:06 AM CST
Take the plant out of the pot and examine the root-ball/potting soil. Is the soil saturated with water? If the soil is very wet, even "mushy-wet", you have a watering problem. Be sure the soil is extremely well-draining and that the water-saucer does not retain water after you water/fertilize. Always empty that saucer. Is the plant root-bound?

Regardless, it is time to change out your potting soil. IF the plant is root-bound, you'll need a slightly larger pot, perhaps 2-3" wider/deeper. Also, make sure that you water twice between fertilization, so that the salts from the fertilizer won't build up. I like to water my houseplants frequently, but I dilute the fertilizer by 1/2. If the fertilizer rate is 1 tsp. per gallon, I use 1/2 tsp. Fertilize weakly, weekly. I always amend my potting soil (in fact, I custom-make all of mine). Bagged potting soil is OK but I would add a cup of coarse perlite to every 4 qt. and/or add a couple of handfuls of orchid mix to every 4 qt. for better draining.

This plant typically will do fine in reduced-light environments, so I don't think this is a light problem. I also wouldn't think it is a cold/draft problem, since the plant apparently has done well where it is. But do keep in mind that this is a tropical plant and does best when it has good indirect light and mild temperatures, preferably above 50 F.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Dec 18, 2014 3:05 PM CST
Hi aspaluba, Welcome! to All Things Plants!

Your plant in question looks to be Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema 'Silver Bay') and I agree with drdawg that light is not an issue. Aglaonema's do very well in low light situations as well as bright, indirect light but should never be left in direct sun which can burn the foliage.

I have a few Aglaonema plants and I'm like a some other folks in that I don't use plain potting soil; I mix regular potting soil with a lot of orchid bark mix and sometimes add more perlite to help with drainage. This mixture creates a lightweight, chunky and well draining potting medium which works well for my humid environment. My Chinese Evergreen's have at times done the same thing you are describing with lower leaves turning yellow and dying and when that happened I found that indeed they were staying too wet but yellowing and dropping leaves can also be from the roots drying out from too little moisture. I think no new leaf growth would be normal at this time of year. During the winter months the plants slow down in growth and require a lot less water also. I'd also suggest removing the plant from it's container, shake or rinse off all the soil and take a look at the root system to be sure there aren't any soggy, rotted roots. The amount of roots should determine the size of pot for planting; you don't want a pot too much larger than the root system or the plant will spend it's time trying to fill the pot with roots rather than sprouting new branches and growth above the soil line. But, you don't want a pot that is way too small either which could cause moisture to run off and not get to the roots.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Dec 19, 2014 6:37 AM CST
Since this started at the end of summer, and I see your plant is on the floor, that might be too cold while it's really cold outside. Aglaonemas are not interested in getting chilled at all, and the air near the floor is usually quite a bit colder. I try to keep plants on some kind of riser, even if it's only a few inches.

From the angle of the leaves, it does look like it could use a bit more light. When light is sufficient, leaf tips point up, which is their natural, healthy angle, as all of the pics in the DB entry for 'Silver Bay' show. I'm not sure that's your exact cultivar, but a diff name wouldn't have a diff growth habit.
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Dec 21, 2014 8:58 AM CST
Others have given good advise here maybe it has a disease or viris
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 21, 2014 9:02 AM CST
I just don't think so. This is one tough cookie of a plant and I simply think it is a growing-conditions issue, not a disease or pest issue.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Dec 21, 2014 10:46 AM CST
oKay.., just wondering
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 21, 2014 10:52 AM CST
Understand, I am no expert and no longer even grow this particular plant. I just grow lots and lots of tropical plants.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 6, 2015 12:10 PM CST
I find that some of my tropicals slow down in growth as the seasons change, especially transitioning from summer going towards and during the colder months, even if they are indoors. So I just water them to keep those roots alive, but not too wet. I do not give them fertilizer either at this time, I wait for mid to late Spring to do that. They will perk up once more by then, and grow newer leaves. It has taught me to remember that these plants are after all tropicals, and cold season is not their cup of tea. So keep that plant suitably warm and moist, in bright light but not direct sun, and it should hang on till the warmer weather returns.
[Last edited by tarev - Jan 6, 2015 12:10 PM (+)]
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