Houseplants forum→Bird of Paradise browning & wilting can't find Help

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Abratoi
May 29, 2020 5:44 PM CST
For the love of God someone please help. I have been looking for help on a variety of forums and I can't find it. I have a BOP that is hurting and possibly dying slowly. It's made of 4 stalks. I repotted it 2-3 months ago to a 14" large pot. I gently separated the 4 stalks because they were uneven and I felt like they're squished.

The largest stalk is very healthy and believe it or not one of those leaves is only a few months old. The 3 small stalks are wilting, curling and developing brown spots. They also have 3 new leaves. One of the small stalks was growing a whole new leaf and the top dried and died so I cut it.

The pot has two 1" holes at the bottom. I put a layer of hard 1" foam pieces to prevent soil from falling through then I added a mix or potting mix, perlite and clay balls. I water once a week or less, heavily, in the sink and let it drain. Lately it feels like the soil is taking a long time to dry. The temperature inside is 72°F and the plant is next to window.

I also noticed a fly or two around the plant and a tiny fly walking around the dirt. Some forums say brown spots means over-watering some say under-watering... can't freaking figure it out. When I water the plant heavily in the sink and soak it, the water fills to the top then comes out easily at the bottom within seconds so it's obvious that there is no drainage issue.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 30, 2020 9:31 AM CST
Although it may have appeared uncomfortable to you, the plant was quite happy with the crowded roots and stems. Separating them, however, did damage to the tiny roothairs that you probably did not notice. That is what your White Bird is reacting to.

Trim off any of the badly drooping or discolored leaves as they will not recover.

The plant is too far from the window to grow optimally. This is a sun-loving plant.

Because it was repotted, it cannot be watered in the normal way. Allow the top two inches of soil to get dry to your touch before watering it. Give it just enough water so the top two inches of soil gets dry again in about a week.

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Abratoi
May 31, 2020 1:24 AM CST
I also noticed another problem. Little tiny flies, from 2mm and smaller. Are they gnats? Would I have to repot again? I'm letting the soil dry out hopefully they'll die before the plant gets too thirsty. I tried putting raw potatoes. It helps but there's a lot of them. Will pesticide or sticky tape help? When you say to cut the droopy leaves you mean just the discolored ones? There's a few green ones with no spots that are wilting too
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 31, 2020 8:11 AM CST
The fungus gnats were probably introduced with the potting soil you used. Replacing the soil might get rid of the gnat larvae in the soil, but would further damage the plant that is already suffering from root trauma so that s not a good option. Others will advise you on treating the gnats.

Pruning off leaves has no effect on the plant so prune off whatever looks unattractive, regardless of the color.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]om
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Abratoi
Jun 3, 2020 1:23 AM CST
I've caused so much trouble with the roots I wouldn't want them to be uprooted again. The problem is the soil is still wet. Not very but slightly wet enough.. it's been 10 days I think it should have been dry by now. The temp in our apartment is 73°F and sometimes warmer when we keep the windows open. Too hot in Vegas. I don't understand why the soil is still wet. Theres plenty of perlite mixed. Could it be that the miraclegro potting mix is too dense? There's 2 large drainage holes and I can see water clearly coming out yet the soil is still wet... I'm getting worried because the wilting leaves could be because of rot..
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Abratoi
Jun 3, 2020 1:39 AM CST
I was just digging around in the dirt gently and I found a red 1 inch worm.. probably there's more.. sigh this plant is starting to become a nightmare. It was brand new potting mix dirt. Clean pot. Wth. Will the worm/s damage it?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 3, 2020 6:47 AM CST
It is staying wet for a long time because there is a lot of it; because it is too far from the window; and because there are few healthy roots using the moisture in the soil. It also seems that you used garden soil rather than a peat-based soilless potting mix.

The worm is harmless and even beneficial.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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