Ask a Question forum: Need some help with this money plant

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UK - Newcastle Upon Tyne North
datastream
Apr 16, 2015 11:33 AM CST
OK,

Reason i'm here for is I'm struggling to keep this plant healthy.

Been reading about the leaves and if they are like what mine are then it's getting under watered.

I'm leaving it between watering so the soil is dry and I've stopped feeding it. (Think I may have burned the roots) as there's white like stuff on the soil which could be a build up of salt i believe.

I've read about flushing the soil but maybe it's time to replant it with a sand mixture for extra drainage ?

So yeah....looking for tips.

She's looking pretty bad.....

Thumb of 2015-04-16/datastream/2e858d

Thumb of 2015-04-16/datastream/5afaed

Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Apr 16, 2015 11:42 AM CST
Does that pot have a drain hole? If not, the roots could be suffocating.
UK - Newcastle Upon Tyne North
datastream
Apr 16, 2015 11:44 AM CST
Thanks.

Urm, yes it does but i think I've over watered in the past. it's just planted in soil, you think i should replant it and maybe put some small stones etc. in the bottom of the pot to help with drainage....

I'm normally OK with plants but this one seems to have me beat.....


Thanks again.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Apr 16, 2015 11:45 AM CST
That looks like Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) which is a succulent and doesn't need a lot of water ... they do require a well draining potting medium with excellent drainage.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
UK - Newcastle Upon Tyne North
datastream
Apr 16, 2015 11:50 AM CST
Thanks, That's the thing when I've been reading about them it's been saying that if the leaves are wrinkled then it could be a sign of under watering....so that's why I'm struggling with it I Guess.

I think I'll nip to the garden center tomorrow and look for some better potting medium and get it re-potted :)

God some of the photo's that are in that link of them are amazing, no way does mine even come any where near any of them,... hopefully I'll be able to save it
[Last edited by datastream - Apr 16, 2015 11:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
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Zencat
Apr 16, 2015 11:54 AM CST
Loose potting mix would be perfect. It's a goodlooking plant when they're healthy. Good luck with yours. One thing you could try...take a cutting of some of the healthier looking leaves. That way if you lose the plant you may have a back up. I do that with some things and sometimes it works.
UK - Newcastle Upon Tyne North
datastream
Apr 16, 2015 11:57 AM CST
Excellent, thanks for the tips everyone.

I'll go get some more mix for it from a garden center and see how I get on.

Thanks for the tips on the cuttings that sounds like a great back up plan.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Apr 16, 2015 11:59 AM CST
I forgot to say, the white stuff you see on top of the soil could very well be salt buildup: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/plants_and_grass... and if so I'd remove the plant, completely wash off all old soil and re-pot using fresh potting medium. Small stones placed in the bottom of the pot will help with drainage but you should still use a well draining type of soil specifically for cacti and succulents. Cactus potting soil is usually sold at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart etc. and will be labeled as such. Once re-potted, be careful with watering. Depending on where you live and whether the plant remains indoors year round or is moved outside during the summer months will determine how often to water.

@tarev is a grower of many succulents and may be able to offer some advice.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
UK - Newcastle Upon Tyne North
datastream
Apr 16, 2015 12:02 PM CST
great..... :)

I will give that a go.

It's in doors all the time, I'm here in the UK so too risky with our rain and climate to put it out doors for a while.

Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Apr 16, 2015 12:02 PM CST
Good tip from Zencat regarding rooting leaves or cuttings ... just remember to let the ends of the leaves or the stem cuttings lay out somewhere for a few days so that the cut end can dry and callous over a bit before potting up.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
UK - Newcastle Upon Tyne North
datastream
Apr 16, 2015 12:04 PM CST
thanks, I'd just read that as well about the cuttings and leaving them out. I'd have planted straight away so thanks for the heads up on that :)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 16, 2015 12:09 PM CST
So right, Lin, I was going to say it's a Jade Plant too!

It's really not looking all that bad now, the wrinkled leaves are lower down on the stems, so it looks to me as if you're already on the right track. You may have caused the wrinkled leaves by overwatering a while ago, but it's recovering because the newer leaves higher up look ok. They're pretty dark green, though. It might need a little more light. (but not direct sun!)

What I'd do is this: Buy a bag of Cactus Mix. Slide the plant carefully out of the pot and check how the roots look. You really don't need to disturb the root ball unless you see a problem. If it's soggy at the bottom and/or there are rotten looking roots, remove some of the soil and replace it with cactus mix. If it's dry and solid (like a brick) loosen up the soil around the roots with your hands. Fill that big pot half full with the rest of the cactus mix and put the plant back in there on top of that.

Keep on watering sparingly. When you do fertilize, mix the fertilizer with the water at half the strength it says on the package. If you do break off any leaves or pieces in the process, you can just stick them in some potting medium and they'll root. As Celia says, this is always a good idea, for insurance.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Apr 16, 2015 12:30 PM CST
I forgot to mention letting the cuttings/broken callus over.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 16, 2015 1:16 PM CST
Hello datastream!

Looking at your plant, and based on what you said already..it may have been overwatered before, and it seems the color of the leaves is too deep green too. This tells me the plant was in a very shaded area. Although it can tolerate that, it will add more vigor to the plant to get more light. It may also be adjusting to the seasonal change, sometimes as the light lengthens and temperatures improve with the seasonal transition, the plant will naturally drop the older leaves below. As long as the stems and branches are firm to your touch, I would not be too worried. It is just a phase most succulents do, dropping the older leaves and redirecting their energy to newer growth either at the center of a leaf cluster or could be up and down the stem or branches.

I do not recommend adding sand to the soil, since it later clumps up and makes it hard, better to add perlite or pumice to keep the mix airy and well draining.

Typically, water less and sparingly when conditions are cold or cooler and water more when it is warm and dry. That is what I try to remember, especially if my succulents are outdoors. Indoors, it takes much longer for the soil below to dry up. Better to water once with water draining out of the pot, then leave it alone for awhile, feel the soil after a week or two. I usually put a big rock inside the container to help me determine if the soil below is still damp. If I remove the rock and it shows damp soil, then I don't water. If it looks dry, then okay to water. Crassula ovata does not have a big root ball, so you really have to be careful with watering. It is quite excellent in conserving its water through the stem and leaves.

Your plant still has a fighting chance. Lots of green..lots of hope! Green Grin! You can also get some good cuttings as suggested as a back-up. Let them callus and dry, lay the leaf cuttings on top of the soil, and it will either form new roots or leaves first.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 16, 2015 1:43 PM CST
datastream said:
you think i should replant it and maybe put some small stones etc. in the bottom of the pot to help with drainage....


I know it's counter-intuitive, but stones or other coarse material in the bottom of a pot actually impede drainage rather than help it. That's because water doesn't move from finer to coarser material until the finer material is saturated, so it creates what is called a "perched water table". I actually tested this myself once years ago and a pot filled only with potting mix retained 105 ml of water per cup of mix whereas a pot the same size and with the same mix over a drainage layer (of polystyrene packing peanuts) retained 135 ml per cup of mix. So it's better for drainage to have the same mix throughout the pot.

See also:
The Myth of Drainage Material in Container Plantings
http://puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20chalker-scott/horticultural...

UK - Newcastle Upon Tyne North
datastream
Apr 17, 2015 4:03 AM CST
wow, thank you to all that have responded, Very much appreciated and thanks for the support.

Going to to the garden center and should be back soon, I'll get some pictures of the roots and i'll follow your advice to the T.....be great to turn this around, took some cuttings yesterday and I'll put them aside for a little while and then get them potted.

I think i now realise where I've been going wrong, I've been treating this plant as a house hold plant and not a cacti as it should have been.

Had this plant for about 2 years or so, so time to treat it right :)

Thanks again
UK - Newcastle Upon Tyne North
datastream
Apr 17, 2015 8:00 AM CST
OK I'm back.

Went to one of the biggest garden centers there is around here, Not a supermarket one but an outdoor one only to be told they didn't stock the cacti compost...lol

found some in a smaller garden center though.. :)

Thumb of 2015-04-17/datastream/4159c3

OK took the plant out the pot and the soil is wet and quite compact..... there's really not too many roots what so ever.....

Not sure what to do with the ball of compact soil around it, do i wash it off or just replant as i one or two of you have suggested things.....

Thanks :)

Thumb of 2015-04-17/datastream/b2f28e

Thumb of 2015-04-17/datastream/3df77f


took a few cuttings as well.....

Thumb of 2015-04-17/datastream/06a9c1

Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hummingbirder Plant Identifier
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Zencat
Apr 17, 2015 8:04 AM CST
Yes. Wash off the old soil. Are the roots firm? Snip any that are spongy or smell funny. Replant at the same depth and water.

Looking great so far!
UK - Newcastle Upon Tyne North
datastream
Apr 17, 2015 8:22 AM CST
Cheers, all done and replanted. Lets see how she gets on...

oh and the roots....too be honest there wasn't hardly any.....after looking at it, i'd be surprised how a plant could function with the amount of roots it has.... that's of course had an effect on it's growth etc.

Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hummingbirder Plant Identifier
Image
Zencat
Apr 17, 2015 9:15 AM CST
Please keep us posted. We'd like to know how it gets on.

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