Houseplants forum→Please help identify and save my plant

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Timsayergmailcom
May 10, 2020 2:10 PM CST
Please help identify my plant (my wife's plant).
It very unhappy and needs help.

Leaves and stems slowly browning and dying off.

Please help!

Many thanks
Tim Sayer
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Blackpool ,Lancashire, united
Nadine1977
May 10, 2020 2:17 PM CST
Possibly a Swiss cheese plant ?

Timsayergmailcom
May 10, 2020 2:51 PM CST
Hi Nadine1977
I don't think it is a Swiss Cheese variety, but I'd happily be proven wrong.

Any advice?

Many thanks

Tim
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
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Frenchy21
May 10, 2020 3:00 PM CST
Hi Tim. It looks like an anthurium to me. Can you tell us more about the plant. How much sun, how often do you water it? Your zone?
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
May 10, 2020 4:19 PM CST
It looks like Anthuriums (Anthurium) to me too, possibly a variety of Flamingo Flower (Anthurium andraeanum)

Anthurium are bright shade loving, high humidity rainforest plants. In nature, they usually grow epiphytically on the trees, or sometimes on rocks so they need really good air circulation around their roots to remain happy and healthy. When grown as a potted plant, Anthurium requires a very airy, well draining soil, one that does not hold water for long periods; the soil should be damp but not soaking wet. In your photo, the soil of your plant appears extremely dry which I am guessing is the cause of it's downfall. You can try watering the plant thoroughly in hopes of recovery. I think @Gina1960 grows a lot of Anthuriums so perhaps she can offer advice.
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 10, 2020 4:55 PM CST
It looks like an andreanum. Its still viable for sure, there is green there. I would take it out of that pot and trim away everything that is dead. I think you only have one viable stem there. Trim any dead roots too. Repot in a very small plastic pot (the ugly kind LOL) in a very well draining mix of potting mix that is souped up with a lot of perlite and some organics like orchid bark, and water we.. Keep evenly moist but not wet. it should come back out.
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Timsayergmailcom
May 11, 2020 3:08 AM CST
Hi Frenchy21, plantladylin and Gina1960.

Thank you for your replies. I really appreciate it.
I live in London, England and so went to bed. Waking up to these replies is great.

@Gina1960
So I understand that i need to trim away all the dead roots and foliage.
Then report in a light well draining soil in a small plastic pot.

I don't have any perlite at the moment, but I do have vermiculite, can I use this or should I wait until I can source perlite?

How often should it be watered?
Should I use a mister/spray on the leaves ?

Thanks a million
Tim

Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 11, 2020 6:28 AM CST
You can use vermiculite, but it holds a lot more water than perlite so be careful watering that it doesn't get soggy. I would avoid a lot of peat moss. Some other things you can use are crushed lava rock, aliflor (leca) --the compressed clay pellets, or aquarium gravel. And ground up cork, like wine corks. Or hard nut shells. Macadamia and wallet work very well.

Some people will dispute this, I don;t care, I am tired of arguing with people who don't even grow aroids themselves about how to care for them. I go by my own personal expxeiences. But Anthurium andreanum can actually be grown as an emersed aquatic. I have put some barefoot into my greenhouse pond and stream and they have rooted in the muck on the bottom and grown like gangbusters. But they don't react as well in a container to wet feet. Instead of addressing the watering habits of the grower, the newer thought is to address the composition of the growing substrate.

Some people water on a schedule (I do this with my sansevierias...one a week, on Friday) Some people water 'when the first inch or 2 of top soil in a pot feels dry' which is an outdated method...the first inch can be dry and the bottom 5 inches waterlogged.

If you have a very freely draining substrate that will not hold extra water but let the plant uptake what it needs then dry, I would say watering perhaps 3 times a week would be sufficient.

And despite what other people say, Anthuriums do prefer high humidity. Misting doesn;t hurt, fogging is even better. It all depends on the lengths you want to go to have your plants. Misting does only provide humidity for the amount of time it takes the water on the leaves to evaporate, so keeping a mister close and just giving it a spritz whenever you think about it doesn;t hurt
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
May 11, 2020 9:39 AM CST
You can find some great information regarding Anthurium on this web page of the Exotic Rainforest: https://www.exoticrainforest.c... Steve Lucas was an extremely knowledgeable Aroid grower who passed away about nine years ago and he is greatly missed by many. I still enjoy reading and learning from his web pages. You will notice that his text states that there is no such thing as an Aquatic Anthurium but there are theophytic species that grow attached to rocks in fast moving streams ... i.e. water that is constantly moving.

I agree with Gina, Anthuriums do require high humidity to do well. If you can't mist or fog, you can sit the plant atop a tray of moist pebbles; always keeping a small amount of water in the tray. As the water evaporates, it raises the humidity around the plant.

I am one of those who has advised to water a plant thoroughly, saturating the soil until water is exiting the drainage holes and then not watering again until the first inch or two of soil is dry but I really need to refrain from that advice because how often to water a plant will always depend on the type of soil that is being used and bagged soils are not all created equal; some are extremely heavy and water retentive and best used only for outdoor garden plants where water can freely drain into the surrounding soil, away from the plants roots. A good soil for indoor plants is one that is a light and airy mixture, allowing for aeration at root level and adequate drainage. Using a heavy, water retentive soil for growing indoor plants is detrimental to the health and vitality of the plants, especially if one has a specific "schedule" of watering. Quite often I hear people say "I water once a week or, "I water every week and a half to two weeks" but depending on the plant and the type of soil being used, that may be too little or too much water. Continually adding water to a heavy soil that is not being allowed to dry sufficiently will deplete oxygen levels at the plants roots, leading to rot and the demise of the plant. On the other hand, lightly sprinkling water onto the soil does not supply sufficient moisture that will reach the root system and the plant will slowly wither and die. It's all a learning experience that we each encounter as we become interested in gardening, whether outdoors, or growing indoor container plants.

Some plants can grow happily in water but just like plants growing in soil, the roots require oxygen so the water must be moving to provide the necessary oxygen for the plant to survive. I've had a few philodendron plants growing in glass jars of water for a few years now and I have to remember to change the water out and refill with clean water every week or the water will get stagnant the roots will rot. I have a Peace Lily plant that's been sitting in a fountain for three years now, with it's roots growing out the bottom of the pot into the water but the water in the fountain is constantly circulating and the plant is very happy and healthy.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Texas
Sirch
May 11, 2020 3:46 PM CST
Hi Gina,
Your post above states "Some people water 'when the first inch or 2 of top soil in a pot feels dry' which is an outdated method". What is a more modern method to figure out when to water? Moisture meter?
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 11, 2020 4:00 PM CST
No, the method being used by people who grow a lot of aroids now (as houseplants) is to address the potting substrate not the watering frequency. Many aroids (whether they are Philodendrons, Anthuriums, Monsteras or other genera) are epiphytes or primary or secondary hemi-epiphytes. Some are also lithophytes. And some are terrestrial. How you grow what you have depends on the type of growth habit your plant has. Epiphytes and hemi- epiphytes tend to do better in a loose porous mix that allows their roots to expand and even leave the potting container if they want to. I either mount my epiphytes,(I grow some on cork mounts, tree fern mounts) or grow them in open baskets lined with coir fiber mat and filled with a highly loose porous mix. I grow my lithophytes in crushed lava rock, aliflor and coarse perlite. And my terrestrials either in the ground or in regular potting mix amended with perlite, orchid bark and chopped coconut husk. When the potting substrate is geared toward epiphytes, you can water more often and generally not be in danger of overwatering because the excess water will just drain quickly out.

Some epiphytic aroids can never be allowed to get too dry. These I pot in nothing but damp sphagnum moss. An example of these would be the King and Queen anthuriums, veitchii and warocqueanum.

ANdreanums have been growing as terrestrials for a long time and are mostly grown for the cut flower industry. Home growers have success with them but still have to meet their needs
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Blackpool ,Lancashire, united
Nadine1977
May 17, 2020 7:53 AM CST
I am sorry i am very new to gardening, it was the large leaves and spiney...but i am wrong its not a swiss cheese plant ...kind regards

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