Houseplants forum: houseplant wilting

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Name: Anthony
Phoenix
argtactical
May 7, 2016 8:42 AM CST
We received this plant when our daughter passed away...its very important to us. We have had it 7 years...recently it started looking like this: I repotted it this morning. I could tell the main roots are fine, but all the little tiny offshoots were mushy. Please let me know what else to do besides repot it. I really want this to live.
Thumb of 2016-05-07/argtactical/085411

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
May 7, 2016 9:25 AM CST
That's a Peace Lily, @argtactical. I can understand its significance to you.

The leaves show signs that the root-ball dried out and thus the leaf-wilt. Though you want the potting soil to retain moisture, you also want to make sure the soil drains well. This plant does not like soggy soil but does like for its root-ball to have available moisture. There is a fine line between moist and wet. Keep that potting soil slightly moist, mist the leaves twice a day if you can, keep it in fairly bright light but not direct sun (though early morning sun is great), and keep it warm, above 60F. It should be fine.

If you grow this plant outside some/much of the time, it is important to know your location. Please take a moment to update your public profile so we know where you are.

Oh, Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
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: Anthony
Phoenix
argtactical
May 7, 2016 9:44 AM CST
How long will it take for it to recover now that I repotted it?
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
May 7, 2016 11:25 AM CST
All plants that are re-potted, unless they are at their prime (no wilting, etc.), will go through a period of stress. The roots have to acclimate. Because your plant was already wilted, I would think that you'll see some improvement within a week if you can do that misting. It should look good again within 2-4 wks. That just depends on how "happy" it is in its surroundings and how the care is.

One thing to keep in mind is that wilting is always a sign of stress, and with Peace Lilies, that is generally a sign of drought. Train your eyes to pick up on this since it will be constant with this plant. At the first sign of wilt, get that watering straight. Also, Peace Lilies are vigorous growers and form a dense root-ball pretty quickly. As they become root-bound, they need more frequent watering. For a four-year old plant, your plant is awfully small. Perhaps it has been root-bound for some time. You might know the answer to this. I am simply going by a single picture. Do you think your plant was root-bound when you re-potted?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Anthony
Phoenix
argtactical
May 7, 2016 12:26 PM CST
I'm not really sure what any of that means...its actually about 7 years old...and yest, its never gotten bigger than that. I repotted it in the same plant. I think it was over watered for a few weeks. I normally travel 45 weeks a year. My wife was watering it and while I was home for a few weeks, I too was watering it. I think that happened. Now it just has the bigger roots and all the tiny roots are gone. I moved it outside to repot it as there is more light and its about 72 today. I'll move it back and start misting the leaves this week. Hopefully it comes back. I love the flowers it produces.

Any need for food or fertilizer?
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
May 7, 2016 1:11 PM CST
No fertilizer until you are sure it is fully recovered. It can't use fertilizer right now.

Now the story is clearer. I should have picked up on the feeder roots being mushy, with only leader roots remaining. My oversight. Sticking tongue out Too much water means that the potting media remained soggy, not simply moist. In that case, keep the potting soil a little on the dry side but you still want it slightly moist. You might want to lightly water it if you did not do so when you re-potted it and then wait perhaps seven days. Then stick a finger deep into the soil and see if it remains moist. Without those feeder roots, the plant cannot take up much moisture. Be sure not to leave water in the cache saucer after watering. Dump that water out.

All of us tend to overwater our houseplants thinking "more is better". I deal mainly in orchids and I would guess that 90% of all the orchids killed are killed by drowning, aka overwatering.
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: 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
May 7, 2016 9:38 PM CST
Hi Anthony, Welcome to garden.org. My condolences regarding the loss of your daughter; I know your Peace Lily plant must mean a lot to you in memory of her. Group hug

I agree with dr.dawg/Ken about the care of the plant. There are many varieties of Peace Lilies, one gets very large while others are more dwarf types. I've seen the larger types growing in shopping mall areas but smaller ones are generally sold by florists and nurseries/garden centers for the house plant trade. We have a few Peace Lilies listed in our database with photos and growing information: http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=Spathiphyllum&but...

I have a large 'Domino' Peace Lily, the one with variegated foliage that I've had for quite a few years and also a few of the more petite green leaf type. I've grown a few Peace Lilies in water alone over the years ... no soil whatsoever and they've done well, I just change the water every three to four weeks to keep it from becoming stagnant.

I must admit, I am pretty bad about watering my container plants on a regular basis and my Peace Lilies will completely flop over and flatten out when they need water but they seem to be fairly hardy plants and once watered will perk right back up. I do live in an area with lots of year-round humidity though, which helps. I have quite a few container house plants, both indoors and out but I'm lazy when it comes to remembering to fertilize so my plants rarely get fed but do just fine. I'd suggest that if you do fertilize, go with a very light solution. I always dilute by half or more what the directions on the container say.

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
May 7, 2016 10:04 PM CST
Hello Anthony, there is still hope for your Peace Lily. I have had it worst but it bounced back slowly with careful nurturing. I almost gave up, but I still saw some green then..

Grow it indoors by your window, and water often, it is Spring now so it is growing season. I don't bring my plant outdoors, it cannot stand our dry and hot summer condttions. Watering often does not mean making it swim in water, it still needs to drain properly.

See how bad mine went before and the recovery time it took. Your plant definetely looks much better than mine.

Thumb of 2016-05-08/tarev/8517b0

It is Spring now, so your plant will have faster recovery time. Mine suffered during late summer and then I had to attempt recovery going into Fall, just when most houseplants are slowing down due to light duration changes. Thankfully it came back well and good. I did not feed it fertilizer then, it is under too much stress, got to concentrate on helping it recover. Actually I am really bad with fertilizers, so far it still grows nicely indoors.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional interior landscaper
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WillC
May 8, 2016 8:41 AM CST
When the soil around the roots pf a Peace Lily becomes too dry, the plant wilts quickly and pathetically. However, it will perk up within several hours of a thorough watering.

When the soil around a Peace Lily stays wet for too long, then the tiny root hairs rot and are no longer able to absorb water, even though water is available. If a wilted Peace Lily does not perk up when the soil is wet or damp, then that is a clear indication that the roots have been severely damaged and may not recover.

In either case, repotting it is not going to help because it is not a substitute for proper watering. Dry soil needs to be watered more often not a larger pot. Rotted roots need a chance to dry out and adding more or fresh soil works against the drying process.

The tiny root hairs do most of the work and are easily damaged by improper watering and also by repotting and removing soil.

Peace Lilies do not do well outdoors. They must be protected from direct sun at all times; they need temps above 60 degrees F. and their leaves are easily damaged by wind and hard rain. They do best indoors on a north windowsill.

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
[url=www.HorticulturalHelp.com]www.HorticulturalHelp.com[/url]
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
May 8, 2016 8:57 AM CST
Actually, Peace Lilies do great outdoors, Will. But as you point out, great shade, moist potting media, and moderate temperatures are the key elements in growing them, inside or outside.
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: 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!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
May 8, 2016 5:22 PM CST
They do fine outdoors ... in some climates. I've seen a few grown as shade landscape plants here in Florida.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
May 8, 2016 5:41 PM CST
Anthony's location shows Phoenix, so it is best to grow his plant indoors.

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