Ask a Question forum: spider plant not doing well

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Jan 1, 2017 9:24 PM CST
About a year ago, my spider plant was attacked by my cat. Most of the green parts were eaten off. I re-potted it in Miracle Grow soil, and initially it did OK. However, the plant reached a point where it stopped growing, so I added some Miracle Grow plant food. This was about a week ago. Now, all the green parts have turned black. Any ideas on how I can save my plant? (see picture).
Thumb of 2017-01-02/laura513614/6943a9

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jan 1, 2017 10:20 PM CST
Crying Its beyond saving.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
Jan 1, 2017 10:40 PM CST
I's a goner.
Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
Jan 2, 2017 8:10 AM CST
If you want another Spider plant send a email. I have 13 cultivars. Most have pups. My cats chew on a spider on occasions, I've read that the plant has a opioid effect on cats.
Spectamur agendo
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Jan 5, 2017 2:45 PM CST
Agree it is done for..when a plant is already in distress, adding fertilizer just makes it worst, possibly had fertilizer burn.

Just start anew. Don't know where you live, if you can wait for Spring, so much the better.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 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
Jan 5, 2017 2:59 PM CST
Thank goodness Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is non-toxic to cats!! I agree, there doesn't appear to be much, if any life left in your plant. The soil looks extremely dry on top, but if the leaves turned black I wonder if the soil was retaining too much water near the roots which may have caused rot? This is the time of year when it's normal for plants to slow down their growth ... a sort of winter rest and they don't need as much water and fertilizer. If it was doing well until you fertilized, perhaps the demise was due to the miracle grow plant food.

You might want to remove whats left of the plant from the soil and take a look at the roots; if there are any plump roots remaining and a bit of stalk, you could try sitting it in a cup or glass of water with the roots just barely touching the water to see if new growth appears as is shown in a photo on this page:
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
Jan 6, 2017 7:15 PM CST
Everything above sounds right.

In a container, it's very desirable to have potting mix drain well enough that water drains OUT the bottom when you water heavily. Usually you would have to add something coarse (like Perlite, #2 chicken grit (granite), pumice, crushed stone or screened bark chips) to "open up" the cheaper commercial potting mixes.

You need water to drain OUT so that air can get back IN. Plants need air as well as water in contact with the roots, or the roots drown and rot.

When your mix "has lots of air in it", there are tiny channels and passages and voids and pores through which air can constantly DIFFUSE. Oxygen diffuses 10,000 times faster through air than through water.

Filling those pores with water is like putting a plastic bag over someone's head. Almost no air can get through it. Bad for living things!

I only bought one bag of MG "seed starting mix" ONCE. It retained FAR too much water and held NO air after the first time I over-watered it. The profe$$ional potting mixe$ are much more "open" than the cheap fine peat mixes.

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