Ask a Question forum: Mushy stalk

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Apr 7, 2017 12:34 AM CST
I have been growing a rubber tree from a single leaf for 5+ yrs it has grown into a wonderful tree I went to water few days ago and it was dead. The stalk was mushy and it was wet and spongie it was a blk and brown color inside. My whole tree us dead what happened? It was fine and green a week ago. It sat in my window. I never over watered. I'm crushed it died. I loved that plant. Like I said i had grown it from a single leaf. I'm trying to save a little stem now. Its stalk is hard and still nice green tip. I just don't understand how it just died n a few days and why the trunk was so mushy and just fell apart n my hands.
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 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
Apr 7, 2017 7:14 AM CST
Hi Heidig2017,

So sorry for the loss of your Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)

It sounds like the soil was the issue and not draining properly which caused rot beginning at the roots and working it's way up to the trunk and causing the demise of the plant.

The piece of stem you were able to save can be rooted for a new plant; just be sure to use a potting medium with good drainage. Many people add extra perlite to the soil for that purpose. Rather than perlite, I mix orchid bark in with my soil which allows for good air circulation and drainage at the root level. Be sure the container you use has sufficient drainage holes to allow the excess water to escape and if the pot sits on a tray, always empty the excess water out of the tray after watering.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Apr 8, 2017 2:33 PM CST
The roots have been slowly dying for quite a while. That can be caused by watering too frequently; using a pot without a drain hole; using very dense, non-porous soil; or keeping it in a pot that is too large. Try to learn from the experience so you can avoid similar results in the future.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
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