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VictoriaL
Mar 27, 2017 11:02 AM CST
Hi! I have three houseplants that really need help. I didn't plant them, and I don't even know what kinds of plants they are, unfortunately. I don't know anything about plants, but even I can tell they aren't doing well. I'm pretty sure all three are dead, but I don't know if I should just compost them or if they might be salvageable somehow.

The plants are currently on a window ledge in an apartment on the 5th floor. The building is on the South East corner of the block, and the window faces North. There's a taller building directly across the street, though, so they don't get that much northern light. If anything, they probably get more western light as the buildings to the west are much lower.

Any advice anyone here might have would be so greatly appreciated. See the three images I've attached. Thank you so much!

Thumb of 2017-03-27/VictoriaL/e52a02
Thumb of 2017-03-27/VictoriaL/5da081
Thumb of 2017-03-27/VictoriaL/c0d16a

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!
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plantladylin
Mar 27, 2017 11:36 AM CST
Hi Victoria, Welcome!
Your plants don't look dead, just a bit unhappy which could be due to too little or too much light or possibly too little or too much water or even cold drafts from the windows.

#1 Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is a pretty hardy plant and is drought tolerant.

#2 is a bromeliad of some sort, possibly Tufted Airplant (Guzmania) which requires partial to dappled shade. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... The brown spike in the center of your plant is the dying/dead flower. The mother plant dies after blooming but produces babies ("pups") at the base of the plant. It may take a long while for the mother plant to die, so keep watch at the base to see if you see new baby plants forming and when they get to be maybe 1/3 size of the mother, they can be removed and potted up for new plants, just be sure to plant them into a well draining soil. Keep a small amount of water in the central cups. Bromeliads like high humidity also so if you can mist/spray it regularly, that will help.

#3 reminds me of a cactus called Madagascar Palm:
Madagascar Palm (Pachypodium lamerei)
Madagascar Palm (Pachypodium geayi)
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 27, 2017 11:42 AM CST
Welcome!

The good news is that none of them are dead. In fact, they don't look all that bad.

#1 might be a Yucca (anyone else have a thought?)
#2 is a Bromeliad
#3 is Pachypodium lameri

The first and third like dry conditions. The second likes to be watered by spraying the whole plant, leaves and all. It looks the worst to me. It could be lack of water or it could be that it is one of the Bromeliads that die after they bloom. In that case, the smaller plant growing at the side will be the new plant.

The light from your window is not as bad as you think as none look like they are stretching for light. How long have you had them?
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

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 27, 2017 11:44 AM CST
Cross posted with Lin.

I ruled out Sansevieria because the leaves seem too thin. We need more info on that plant. Are the leaves bendy or stiff? Rough edge or smooth?
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

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Mar 27, 2017 11:57 AM CST
Hello VictoriaL, they don't look bad at all.

The first one looks a variegated Snake plant to me, so it is a succulent that is just okay for its current location, just got to be mindful of your watering, it takes longer for indoor media to dry out. Whether it is a Snake plant or maybe a Yucca, it is some type of succulent that would prefer to be grown on the dry side with a a very well draining media. If it is a Snake plant, the light right now is just okay. If it is a Yucca, well, it may tolerate the indirect light too, but ideally it loves full, direct sun.

As Lin pointed out the bromeliad's mother plant, (the middle photo), will eventually go, but it will hopefully make new pups on the side. I would just cut off and remove the dried out blooms, so plant can just concentrate on growing other parts. I know with bromeliads, watering is done in the cup of the leaves, but I don't grow them much..will leave it to others input as to proper way to water them.

All of your containers, hopefully have drainage holes, so they are not sitting in water, especially the third one, the Pachypodium. You may have to consider repotting the Pachypodium in a grittier, faster draining media. This plant prefers to be on the dry side, but it actively grows during the warm months, fattening up the trunk, hence it is able to drink up very well, and go drought tolerant. Glazed containers takes just a while longer to dry up the media, so got to make your soil very well draining. I use cacti mix with lots of pumice or perlite for succulents like your Pachypodium. In a more ideal growing situation, your Pachypodium would really love to grow on the sunniest direct sun area you can provide. Typically with this succulent that stores up moisture in its trunk, or caudex I prefer to use shallow but wider containers, rather than the tall and deep ones like you have, cannot overemphasize its need to be on the dry side, having a deeper container makes dry out time far longer. But you sure can keep it in that container, take a bamboo skewer, stick it in the soil. If it comes out wet, delay watering.
[Last edited by tarev - Mar 27, 2017 12:02 PM (+)]
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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
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plantladylin
Mar 27, 2017 12:50 PM CST
If not Sansevieria, Plant #1 could very well be a variety of Yucca; a couple for comparison:
Adam's Needle (Yucca filamentosa 'Bright Edge')
Variegated Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea 'Variegata')
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Debbie
Ventura County, CA
Cat Lover Frugal Gardener Bookworm Region: United States of America Salvias Region: California
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ChefDebbie
Mar 28, 2017 9:19 AM CST
Thumb of 2017-03-28/ChefDebbie/458683

The plant on top of the bookcase is the only plant I have inside my house. I want to get a plant that fills in the area- something I can put on top (in the middle) & have it cascading down the sides as it grows. I would also like it to be easy to care for. Does anyone have any recommendations?
A transplanted New Yorker now living in Southern California..... Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Mar 28, 2017 9:28 AM CST
Hi Debbie, you can try hoyas, pothos...one question though, I see cat accessories there..will your pet tolerate cascading viny plants?
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
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plantmanager
Mar 28, 2017 9:42 AM CST
I was also going to say Pothos. They don't need a lot of light, and can vine rapidly. The plant you have there now looks like it might need more water.
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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
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tarev
Mar 28, 2017 9:51 AM CST
You can also put there Chlorophytum comosum - spider plants, when it makes babies it can seem like it is vining. You can grow it in potting soil or by semi-hydro (clay rocks with water reservoir), so it will not attract fungus gnats.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Mar 28, 2017 9:55 AM CST
I'd forgotten about the spider plants. Great idea, Tarev. They do get large quickly, and could hang down on both sides. They'd be high enough that Tigger shouldn't be able to bother them.
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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
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tarev
Mar 28, 2017 9:57 AM CST
Debbie, how is your pet with ribbon-like, blade- like plant leaves? Some kitties seems fond with it..my Tikoy is fortunately not into plants, so he does not bother my plants indoors.
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
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plantladylin
Mar 28, 2017 11:32 AM CST
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Toxic to both cats and dogs: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/...

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/...

Krimson Princess Hoya (Hoya carnosa 'Rubra')
Non-toxic to cats and dogs: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/...

Here's the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic plant list for cats: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/...
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Debbie
Ventura County, CA
Cat Lover Frugal Gardener Bookworm Region: United States of America Salvias Region: California
Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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ChefDebbie
Mar 28, 2017 1:04 PM CST
Thank you all... Tarev, to tell the truth, I have no idea if Tigger would play with the cascading vines. But, to play it safe, I'd keep them trimmed to go down far enough where he couldn't. I don't think he would, because he'd much rather be on my lap.
Karen, you are correct, it does need more water. I keep forgetting, and think if something more visible there would help me remember to water. Recently, I saw a real pretty plant at home depot and for the life of me, couldn't remember the name of the plant, which was the pothos. All I remembered it was some Greek sounding word that started with the letter 'P'. What kind of plant food does it need? Can I put some of the blue miracle gro in a watering can & use that? And should I want to start another plant, can it be propagated?
A transplanted New Yorker now living in Southern California..... Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength.
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
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tarev
Mar 28, 2017 2:03 PM CST
I grow my pothos on water gel beads, so it does not need constant watering, and no fungus gnats as well. I think I got mine cuttings from my husband's office. I do not give them any fertilizer either, and it still grows. They are perking up now that Spring is here, more indirect light coming in.

Hopefully your pet does not jump very high. I know my Tikoy can and will jump high if he wants to. But so far he is thankfully well behaved, and quite used to plants being around him.

Thumb of 2017-03-28/tarev/067134 Thumb of 2017-03-28/tarev/08543c
Thumb of 2017-03-28/tarev/5b8eb2 Thumb of 2017-03-28/tarev/2f20af

Name: Debbie
Ventura County, CA
Cat Lover Frugal Gardener Bookworm Region: United States of America Salvias Region: California
Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener Garden Procrastinator
Image
ChefDebbie
Mar 28, 2017 9:38 PM CST
How are they propagated? How do you know where to cut without damaging the plant & the part that was cut?
A transplanted New Yorker now living in Southern California..... Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 28, 2017 10:41 PM CST
This thread took a left turn someplace. It is supposed to be about helping VistoriaL with her houseplants.

Victoria, I'm sorry your thread was hijacked. Do you feel your questions were answered?
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

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Mar 28, 2017 11:44 PM CST
VictoriaL said:Hi! I have three houseplants that really need help. I didn't plant them, and I don't even know what kinds of plants they are, unfortunately. I don't know anything about plants, but even I can tell they aren't doing well. I'm pretty sure all three are dead, but I don't know if I should just compost them or if they might be salvageable somehow.

The plants are currently on a window ledge in an apartment on the 5th floor. The building is on the South East corner of the block, and the window faces North. There's a taller building directly across the street, though, so they don't get that much northern light. If anything, they probably get more western light as the buildings to the west are much lower.

Any advice anyone here might have would be so greatly appreciated. See the three images I've attached. Thank you so much!

Thumb of 2017-03-27/VictoriaL/e52a02
Thumb of 2017-03-27/VictoriaL/5da081
Thumb of 2017-03-27/VictoriaL/c0d16a



I don't want to sound simple here, but give them more light and see if they improve. I mention light first because there can be other problems but light exposure is usually the most important..

If different light doesn't help, consider the watering. Too much or too little are both bad. For most plants, stick a finger 1/2:" down. If it feels dry, water.

Name: Debbie
Ventura County, CA
Cat Lover Frugal Gardener Bookworm Region: United States of America Salvias Region: California
Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener Garden Procrastinator
Image
ChefDebbie
Mar 31, 2017 11:17 AM CST
Thumb of 2017-03-31/ChefDebbie/211dae

Just came home with these 2 beauties! I think that putting these 2 plants inside makes all the difference and the room looks way better!
A transplanted New Yorker now living in Southern California..... Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
Image
plantmanager
Mar 31, 2017 11:36 AM CST
They look great, Debbie! You can just take short clippings and either root them in water, or do what I do. I just pot them up directly and they root very quickly. It's an easy plant to have a lot of and to give away to everyone!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!

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