Ask a Question forum: I harmed my daughters plant

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Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 25, 2016 9:43 PM CST
Please help
My daughters plants was thriving without isssue and i insisted he needed more water than she was giving him so i watered him 2 days in a row and gave him fertilizer and now he looks as if he is dying.. is there anything i can do to save him????
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These are before and afters. 3 days before i started watering it.
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Wow I feel like an ass but the soil was over dry my mistake was soaking it with far too much water.
I do feel her plants needed more water but she dosent agree. How can we determine this per plant?

[Last edited by PamelaLynn77 - Nov 25, 2016 10:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
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Australis
Nov 25, 2016 10:01 PM CST

Moderator

Hi Pamela,

Does the pot have any drainage holes? If you've overwatered it and there isn't enough drainage, then the plant will be effectively sitting in a bucket of water and drowning. If there's no drainage holes, try carefully tipping the pot on its side to let the water run out (you'll need to hold the dirt/potting mix in whilst you do this).

Can you tell us what fertilised it with and how strong it was?
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Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 25, 2016 10:02 PM CST
Just mircro gtow
Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 25, 2016 10:05 PM CST
There is no water coming out of bottom. Must be micro grow. It was .. make a gallon with a scoop bout 2 table spoons big. i guess.
Any thing else i can do
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator
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Australis
Nov 25, 2016 10:14 PM CST

Moderator

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that fertiliser. If the pot has good drainage, you can try washing out the fertiliser (assuming that's the problem). Water the pot until water comes out the bottom drainage holes and allow to drain completely. Do this a couple of times. If you can, put the pot somewhere where it will get sun and airflow around it to help it dry out after.

If the pot does not have good drainage, then the only other thing I can think of would be to try transplanting it into fresh soil, although this would cause the plant more trauma and damage to its root system.
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Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 25, 2016 10:17 PM CST
The soil is not soaked. Its little more than damp .Its not sitting in water at all at the bottom of the pot. Its got an over flow its dry.
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Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 25, 2016 10:22 PM CST
Thanks, thanks..

What about changing soil and trying to get the old soil out as much as possible with out distriburbing it. Put in new pot. Cut off the few stems that look really bad.. would that help??,?? I do have better soil than it has in it now..
[Last edited by PamelaLynn77 - Nov 25, 2016 10:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Nov 25, 2016 10:25 PM CST
Do you mean Miracle Gro?
Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 25, 2016 10:26 PM CST
Yes thats what i meant.
Name: Sue
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sooby
Nov 25, 2016 10:30 PM CST
PamelaLynn77 said:Yes thats what i meant.


The All Purpose 24-8-16 is a half teaspoon per gallon for potted plants. Where did you get two tablespoons per gallon?

Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 25, 2016 10:32 PM CST
I didnt mean it was 2 table spoons. I meant ot has a scooper looks like about 2 table spoons.... that you add per gallon....
Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 25, 2016 10:35 PM CST
I dont have the box here at my daughters
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Nov 25, 2016 10:39 PM CST
I think it odd that in 2 days over watering would kill it that fast. maybe the ferilizer-I don't know anything about that. But this type of plant, an impatient if I am seeing right? will root and thrive in a vase of water, they don't even need soil. Will fry dead in full sun or in a window where the glass cooks them. They also will not take frost/freeze.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 25, 2016 11:02 PM CST
I think the fertilizer overdose would be much more likely to have hurt the plant than the additional water.

Pamela, I believe the "2 tablespoons per gallon" is for plants growing in the ground; best to use a much weaker solution for house plants. I'm not sure whether there is any hope for the plant at this point, but my inclination would be to remove as much of the soil as possible and re-pot with a good potting mix. Kind of a "what is there to lose" thing... Smiling

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Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 26, 2016 3:26 AM CST
Thanks everyone for your help ...
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Nov 26, 2016 6:03 AM CST
PamelaLynn77 said:I didnt mean it was 2 table spoons. I meant ot has a scooper looks like about 2 table spoons.... that you add per gallon....


OK. I can't see from the packet which Miracle Gro this is so I assume it is the regular 26-8-16 which is 1/2 teaspoon per gallon for a potted plant. Whatever it was and how ever much you actually did use, in the pictures the potting mix still looks dry. If the plant is well-rooted you could take the root-ball out of the pot and soak it in a tub of water to wet it and also flush out some of the fertilizer salts. It may not work, the plant looks pretty bad, but if some of the stems still look alive after soaking but the tips don't stop wilting, then you could cut back to healthy tissue and put it back in a pot.

For future reference, it is not a good idea to fertilize a plant while it is too dry. It needs to get caught up on its watering with plain water first and given a chance to take that up before any fertilizer is given. Also, giving too much fertilizer can damage the roots or at least make it harder for the plant to take up water (because the salts draw moisture away from the roots).

Edited to add, I'm assuming there is no likelihood that this plant somehow got too cold?

[Last edited by sooby - Nov 26, 2016 6:05 AM (+)]
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Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
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madcratebuilder
Nov 26, 2016 10:13 AM CST
I would flush the pot out with a few gallons of water to washout as much fertilizer as possible. This was worked for me in the past with plants that react poorly to being fertilized.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Nov 26, 2016 10:24 AM CST
I hate to be the purveyor of bad news, but from the looks of the photos, the roots of your Impatiens have rotted and are unlikely to recover. If you diluted the fertilizer according to the instructions, then that is not the cause of the problem. I suspect that the roots rotted because they were not give a chance to dry out properly. Roots require oxygen as much as they require water. That means the soil around the roots has to be allowed to dry out some between waterings. The soil may feel very dry on the surface, but still very moist around the roots where it counts. You have to stick your finger an inch deep into the soil to make that determination. Your plant is not likely to have needed water more than about once per week.

Sorry, but I suggest you buy your daughter a new plant and let her take care of it.
Will Creed
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Nov 26, 2016 12:30 PM CST
I agree with Frillylily that it seems odd such a moisture loving plant as Impatiens would go from healthy to death's door in just two days from overwatering. Since the symptoms of over and under-watering are so similar it's hard to diagnose the problem from pictures. The medium in the pots is pulled away from the sides which suggested to me that it was dry rather than too wet. I think in other posts Pamela has mentioned watering maybe only a half a cup at a time?
Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Nov 26, 2016 4:27 PM CST
Honestly the plant was bone dry.. even dusty and i kept telling lizzy to water them but she didnt. So as i was babysitting 2 days at her place so the 1st night i watered each plant. Everyone seemed fine the very next evening and even mostly dry from the watering the evening before. Then I repotted 2 of them for her to plants all very well but none were soaked thur as they all do not have draining trays and i didnt want water sitting in bottom of pots so . I then gave them fertilizer and the next day that inpatient looked more than half dead.
Wouldnt that mean it was the feterlizer?


Update this is the impatient as of nov 27th. . I have yet to try anything.. should i tey to put in new aoil now n cut off bad stems.???
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[Last edited by PamelaLynn77 - Nov 27, 2016 5:07 PM (+)]
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