Ask a Question forum: Peace Lily with stem damage?

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Italy
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Felce
Jun 14, 2017 4:07 PM CST
I read elsewhere on the forum international members/questions were still welcome, I hope this is the case!
I've had peace lilies for several years without any problem (although they'd rarely bloom). But this one I put in my room seems to have something weird going on with the base of it's stems. I can't tell if it's mangled, burnt, or whatnot - but you can basically see inside the stem. Eventually the whole leaf attached to it grows yellow and withers, although it takes some months in total. I can try get a better picture if needed.
I was thinking they might be fruit flies larvae (I'll occasionally find a fly in the room this plant is in) but I never managed to spot them. Today I found a tiny snail in one of the open stems, but I'm not believing that tiny thing ate that much, to be honest.
The plant is pretty healthy otherwise, each stem has a new leaf growing on it, even the damaged ones.
Any advice is super appreciated, thank you!
Thumb of 2017-06-14/Felce/e46929

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
Jun 14, 2017 5:08 PM CST
Hello Felce, how long has that plant been in that container?
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jun 14, 2017 5:17 PM CST
Felce, Yes, this an international site. We welcome all! Welcome!
A tiny snail could do a lot of damage, but that potting medium looks pretty old.
Italy
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Felce
Jun 15, 2017 2:03 AM CST
tarev said:Hello Felce, how long has that plant been in that container?


ctcarol said:Felce, Yes, this an international site. We welcome all! Welcome!
A tiny snail could do a lot of damage, but that potting medium looks pretty old.


Hello, thank you!
The plant's been there for more or less six months, I think. The soil looks pretty bad I think but I don't know why, since it's the same I use for all other plants (and they're okay)
That pot has caused several plants to slowly wilt before, but this lily is so resistant I thought I'd give it a go. Do you think this might be it?
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
Jun 15, 2017 10:18 AM CST
Hello Felce, thanks for your reply.

So 6 months in that soil, not bad, and you are right this plant is quite resilient, mine has stayed in its soil since 2011 and still going strong despite two occasions of near death while we were away, but it quickly bounces back and is actually in blooming mode right now.

So can you tell us further, frequency of watering and did you apply fertilizer? The reason I asked, this plant loves to be on the moist side, but still got to drain properly. Looking at the soil, to me it seems rather compacted. I would improve that by mixing in some perlite or pumice. Now as for the fertilizer, if you did apply fertilizer, sometimes it can also cause fertilizer burn.

As for the snails, you can put a little saucer with beer, they are attracted to it.
Italy
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Felce
Jun 15, 2017 10:42 AM CST
Thank You!
The original plant this little guy is from had been in it's soil a good 6/7 years before we started dividing it to make new ones, as well! Never a single issue. I never applied any kind of fertilizer either, so that's not it.
I'll try looking for perlite/pumice, although I doubt I'll find anything - gardening shops around me seem only to have regular old soil. Perhaps changing it's soil altogether might help anyway?
I water it every 2/3 days. I rarely give it enough water to seep into the saucer, but when it happens the plant sucks it up in a day or so. The soil is never soaked nor dry, and although it is quite compact I can spot some insects crawling their way in and out often, which I take as a good sign (they're common soil bugs, not pests of course)
I'll try the beer thing next time I open a bottle, although I don't think there might be many more (the pot is only so big)

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
Jun 15, 2017 12:37 PM CST
That's good to know there is no fertilizer applied.
Yes, isn't it fascinating how this plant can stay for years in its original soil!
You can surely try and repot with new soil and if you can find perlite or pumice to further aid in drainage. That will also help you see the condition of the roots below soil line and if there are other critters hiding beneath, then it will clean it out.

I find that I have to step up watering with this plant during the summer months. I also water every 3 days and I can readily see how fast evaporation occurs, since some water drains out in my plant's saucer. Mine is positioned inside our bathroom so it gets some humidity, with filtered light from the east/southeast. It did finally start giving me bloomstalks after I made those changes. I used to just put it in low light quite a distance from our window, it survives but no blooms then.

Italy
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Felce
Jun 15, 2017 1:53 PM CST
That's nothing! My parents have had some plants for about 20 years and never changed their soil, used chemical fertilizer probably only once. A lemon, a tangerine, a medlar, an olive tree - and they're still growing some fruit every year! Plants are amazing.

Thank you for your advice! I'll try and repot it tomorrow, hopefully I won't accidentally tear off the mangled stems...
And to be fair, my lily stopped blossoming after the first couple years. It was never in any particoularly dark spots though, I think it gets the light it needs. This one with the stem problem is the one I keep in the darkest room, although right infront of the window. It has grown to face it, but the leaves are still green & growing so I'm not worried about that. :P

Also, last thing... if I do find perlite/pumice, how should I go about it? Do I mix it with the regular soil? Is there a proportion I need to keep in mind, or can a google search help me with what I need to know? I never used any of that. Thank you! Thumbs up
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
Jun 15, 2017 2:10 PM CST
I just mix it in with the soil, sorry I just eyeball it, no precise proportions.

Here is how my plant looked like this May 2017-June 2017: it really needs repot soon, to get more soil Smiling

18May2017
Thumb of 2017-06-15/tarev/b3e209

02Jun2017
Thumb of 2017-06-15/tarev/dfab1c

14Jun2017
Thumb of 2017-06-15/tarev/f94e49

a new bloom is forming
Thumb of 2017-06-15/tarev/a149f0
spathe turning green
Thumb of 2017-06-15/tarev/05adc4

It's dire condition in 2011:
Thumb of 2017-06-15/tarev/1d26e6

Good luck on your plant! As long as it is trying to form new leaves I see a lot of hope for it!

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