Houseplants forum: New plant owner have some questions

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Suinu
Oct 26, 2017 5:14 PM CST
So my spider plant isn't doing too hot and I've been working really hard in trying to restore it. The soil remains constantly wet yet my plant seems to be on the boarder of over watered and under watered. It is in a pretty large pot for a spider plant, though. Right now the leaves are droopy and becoming pale, so I'm trying to water it delicately. It started to perk up a week ago but then I got over enthusiastic and over watered it a bit and it began to sag again. I'm trying to water lightly and frequently but it's not really responding to that, the leaves are getting paler and drooping again. Any tips on what I can do?

I also have a rose painter prayer plant, I notice that at night its leaves erect and during the day its leaves sag and it fluctuates day to day. I assume that's natural for the plant, but do erect or saggy leaves mean anything? Are overly saggy leaves a problem or overly erect leaves a problem?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Oct 26, 2017 5:21 PM CST
When potted properly, it is hard to give a Spider Plant too much water unless you are watering too frequently. I suspect your Spider is in a pot that is too large and that is why it is not drying out and is causing the roots to suffocate from lack of oxygen.

Can you post a photo?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Suinu
Oct 26, 2017 7:24 PM CST
Thumb of 2017-10-27/Suinu/db3b17


Thumb of 2017-10-27/Suinu/d03093

But if there's water still in the pot why's it acting like it needs water?
[Last edited by Suinu - Oct 26, 2017 7:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Sally
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sallyg
Oct 27, 2017 3:03 PM CST
That's a pretty big pot for the size plant.
Wilting can mean "I cannot drink" which can be because:
1- soil is very dry,
OR
2- roots have drowned, or got rotten, and died.
No roots= can't drink= wilt.
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Name: Deborah
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Deebie
Oct 27, 2017 5:35 PM CST
I agree with Sally. Therefore, it can be difficult to determine if a plant is over or under watered just by looking at it. You really need to examine the plant's roots to see what kind of condition they are in.

Suinu
Oct 27, 2017 7:55 PM CST
So I found a website where someone explained that if you want to keep a plant in a big pot you need soil that doesn't hold a lot of water. Sadly I can't link the website but this fellow was very insightful and I'll probably be switching out soils. I've been using a kind of soil my mother bought and apparently it's super water hold, so I bought something new and repotted it. I removed some of the root rot and I think I'm heading in the right direction. It seems to be drinking the light watering I'm giving it and the soil is drying out. It's very slowly perking up again, I'll keep things updated.

In the mean time, can anyone explain the deal with my rose painter?
[Last edited by Suinu - Oct 27, 2017 7:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Oct 28, 2017 5:28 AM CST
n the spider- It's been one day- If you watered after changing the soil, I doubt it can need water for at least a week. Do not feel as if the soil has to be 'moist' looking on top all the time. Feel down an inch before deciding it is dry.

Prayer plant normally does that with the leaves . Pay no attention.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Oct 28, 2017 5:28 AM CST
Personally, I think it is best to keep a plant in the right sized pot rather than one that is oversized.

An alternative to changing the soil, which is risky, is to simply not add as much water when it is dry enough to water. Water just enough so that the soil dries out appropriately again in about a week.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Oct 28, 2017 5:49 AM CST
I agree with WIll 100% on the right size pot.
But in this case, since you just changed the soil, keep your waterings very small. And not too often. When you did the soil, you should have seen the little tubers they make- they hold water.

I cared for a Pothos at the office in a ridiculously huge pot (someone on sick leave, wanted to keep her plant going but not 'take ownership' by repotting) and the plant did fine, in that dry environment with very small amounts of added water. It's now couple years later, a huge plant, has vines ten feet long.
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Name: Zack
Upstate NY (Zone 5b)
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TheWitchBoy
Nov 3, 2017 8:04 PM CST
Hi! A bit late to the part, but I'm an avid enthusiast of spiderplants (and constantly giving young ones away because they're coming out my ears, haha). It looks like you have an unvariegated spiderplant, here. He actually looks pretty good, in the pictures you posted, barring the dark/wet dirt. He could be a darker green, yes, but he doesn't look on the edge of keeling over.

I usually water spideys when the dirt is dry to the touch, myself. I'll push my finger into the dirt (not much, just enough to feel under the top layer of dirt), and if it's dry: water.

I've had two successful spideys that were planted in containers that were too big, too, and I got around the too-big issue primarily by watering directly on the plant/the plant's roots (one of these plants now fills out his home and has thee shoots, two of which have almost-transplant-age spiderettes on them, and 3 - 5 seed pods) (the other over-potted spidey wasn't getting enough sun, but has matured rather well, regardless). With the over-potted plant, I feel the dirt right next to the plant/roots, because the edges of the pot are dry -- due to my watering method.

I have a question: what direction is your spider plant's window facing? I've found that my north and south windows work best, for spider plants, though my unvariegated adult spidey is sitting relatively far ck from an easterly window (sliding door, actually), and he hasn't complained, yet.

On a final note: if you're especially concerned about losing your plant pal to a misstep, I would suggest putting a few spiderettes in water, so that you have some baby spiderplants, as well as your mature spiderplant.

Either way, best of luck! Group hug
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Name: Laurie b
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lauriebasler
Nov 4, 2017 1:42 PM CST
I am sure when you stop letting the soil dry before watering the plant will perk up.

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