Houseplants forum: Calthea /Marantas curly yellow leafs

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pjeterschornstein
Jun 3, 2017 4:19 AM CST
Hey all!

It's my first time posting here, I hope to participate more as I seem to be caring for more and more plants lately and it's becoming a big passion of mine :)

I got this Calthea or Marantas (I'm not sure) two weeks a go. It was thrown to the garbage and I'v found it in the bin without a pot. I took it and pot it in a pot with drainage holes. I added more soil (standard flower soil with 5,6 PH) It had a lot of dust and sand on it's leafs and I brushed it of and cleaned with a tissue. I put it on the floor near a west window. theres a large tree outside so theres no direct light.
I live in Germany and temperatures are warm now 20 Celsius.

When I took it it had a few yellow leaves and some leaves with brown edges.
I removed the yellow ones.
Since it was in bad shape I also added a DIY root stimulator from willow tree shoots (I read in some forum that it helps)

The problem is that all the leaves started to curl up, and yellow up faster now.
I thought it lack of humidity (altho I mist daily and it's surrounded by plants) so I added pebbles and a pebbles tray with water.
Today I moved it from the window because I thought it might be to hot or too much light for it.
the I watered it once since I got it. The soil seems to be still moist.
I thought maybe the soil I added wasn't fit. I have bought recently orchid soil and thought of replacing some with it but it might be a big shock to the plant..

What should I do? do you have any advice of how to save this plant?

Thanks a lot for your time and help.
Thumb of 2017-06-03/pjeterschornstein/a4c450

[Last edited by pjeterschornstein - Jun 3, 2017 4:22 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1463314 (1)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jun 3, 2017 9:06 AM CST
The problem is with the roots, which are often overlooked because they are not visible. It is hard to say just what the root problem is because your plant has undergone quite a bit of stress. Perhaps there was serious root damage before you rescued it. There are also some questions about how you potted it. It should be in a porous peat-based, soilless potting mix with a pH in the 5.8 to 6.8 range. An Orchid mix is probably too porous. The pot you are using appears to be unusually deep. What is the purpose of placing pebbles on top? They make it hard to gauge how the soil is drying out and when to water.

I cannot tell for sure from your posted photos, but I suspect there may be or was a spider mite infestation. You mentioned that it was dusty and spider mites do look like dust to the untrained eye. Perhaps that is why it was discarded. Spider mites are spread, but not removed when wiped. If you suspect their presence, then spray all leaf and stem surfaces with a soap solution until they are dripping wet.

Root stimulator or increased humidity will not help. Do keep it close to a window where it will get lots of bright indirect sunlight. But make watering your primary focus. If it takes more than a week for the soil to dry out poroperly, then either the container is to big or the soil is too heavy.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

pjeterschornstein
Jun 4, 2017 5:16 AM CST
Yes, you are right there was some webs in between the branches.
I sprayed it with soapy water and removed the pebbles from the top.
The roots looked Ok to me when I potted it ( I don't know what to look for but there was no rot and they looked strong).
The soil is nearly dry now and it's been a week. Do you think I should replace the soil or would I wait? Could it all be a reaction to the spider mites or is it necessarily a root problem? can you recognize this type of plant for me? how much should I water it- should I let it dry in between?

Thank you very much for your help Smiling !
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jun 4, 2017 10:06 AM CST
It is hard to identify one single cause of its problems, given its unknown history, You cannot change its history and prior damage, but you can provide proper care going forward and you will be rewarded with new foliage that will emerge healthy and stay that way.

Eradicating the spider mites is a good start, although that will not remove the mottled appearance of the already damaged leaves. In general, it is best to disturb a plant's roots as little as possible, so I am reluctant to suggest that you replace the soil. You can keep it as is and be careful to monitor the soil moisture between waterings. Your having removed the top pebbles will help in that regard. Allow the top half-inch of soil to dry before adding just enough water so that it reaches that same level of dryness again in about a week. You will need to experiment a bit to determine just what the right amount is. Proper watering will provide the roots with both the water and the oxygen (from drying) that they need.

If your tap water is hard, use filtered or distilled water. Provide lots of bright, but indirect sunlight.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

pjeterschornstein
Jun 4, 2017 11:00 AM CST
Thank you very much WillC, I will do that.
[Last edited by pjeterschornstein - Jun 4, 2017 11:01 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1464654 (5)
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Jun 5, 2017 7:22 AM CST
I agree with WillC. Your plant may be one of the Never-Never Plant (Ctenanthe oppenheimiana) another relative of the maranthas and calatheas. Does yours have purples undersides on the leaves? I'm sorry we do not have a good photo in our database to date.

pjeterschornstein
Jun 10, 2017 1:14 AM CST
Yes, it does have purple undersides. I think you are right Deebie.
So far not much change, except of three leafs they all gone yellow and folding. Should I cut them all? If all the leafs are gone does it means it's dead or could it grow new ones?
[Last edited by pjeterschornstein - Jun 10, 2017 3:38 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1470107 (7)
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Jun 11, 2017 1:57 PM CST
The plant can still grow new leaves, even if all are gone. Most people don't know that these plants grow from rhizomes. In fact, my prayer plants die down in the winter, when I bring it in. The dormant ones regrow leaves when I place them outdoors for the summer months. If there is sufficient humidity, the leaves may remain.

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