Houseplants forum: My houseplants are VERY mad!! Please help.

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Name: Laura
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Lauralovesplants
Nov 21, 2017 1:15 PM CST
A couple of my houseplants have been extremely unhappy recently. My money tree all of a sudden started looking sick about a week ago and it has been progressing rapidly. The leaves are all very lackluster in color and are a splotchy yellow color. There is still new growth at the top but the majority of the leaves are turning yellow or translucent and dying. I do not think this is the natural process of the plant since over 50% of the leaves starting doing this at the same time?

My other plant (a dracaena? I can't figure out what plant this is, please help!) is also getting very sick. The leaves are turning brown and dying. Is this due to a deficiency or something else?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! My plants moved from a beautiful sun room to a cramped room in an attic two months ago. I am trying my best to keep them all alive but I only have so much control over light and temperature. The money tree and the other plant have been doing wonderful up until a week ago.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 21, 2017 4:19 PM CST
Hi Laura,

Plants often have difficulty adjusting to changes in light, especially reductions in light. The reaction is not usually immediate and may take a couple of months. Overall, your Money Tree looks pretty healthy in the photo, but it has a lot of dense growth that can no longer be supported in reduced light. You will have to do some judicious pruning to keep it looking attractive, but it is in no danger of dying - just thinning out.

Your Dracaena massangeana (Corn Plant) is suffering from roots that are staying too moist. Yours is in a large pot that may not have a drain hole. That is a recipe for inadvertently keeping the soil around the roots constantly damp and depriving them of oxygen. I suggest that you remove all of the loose soil you added to the top of the original rootball when you repotted. Any soil that is not in immediate contact with the roots is extraneous and is keeping the soil in the root zone from drying out properly. After you have removed that excess soil, allow the top inch of soil to dry before adding just enough water so that it reaches that same level of dryness again in about a week. Trim off the discolored leaves, as they will not recover.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 22, 2017 5:16 AM CST
Your Tradescantia looks gorgeous! Is there something different about its' care compared to the woody entities?

I don't see any mention about soil having been added but agree that lack of a drain hole can easily lead to a plants' demise.

Lack of control over the temp was mentioned. Is it cold in the attic?


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Name: Laura
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Lauralovesplants
Nov 26, 2017 6:56 AM CST
Will-
Thank you very much for your advice. I did not think about root moisture with my corn plant and will be following your instructions to air it out a bit. I will also prune my money tree. I have owned them for less than a year still, so I am quite a novice! Thank you so much for your guidance and input.

Tiffany-
Thank you! It is one of my favorites but I don't do anything special for it. Yes it is very cold in the attic (avg temp is 57-60 degrees). It is something that I have spoken with my roommate about but he's not budging. I can't move the plants downstairs to the warmth and I am sure the constant cold isn't helping them. I have a space heater that I run about an hour a day, but the air is noticeably drier after those times. I am just trying to keep them all as happy as possible until I can move in the Spring!
Greece (Zone 10b)
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Faridat
Nov 26, 2017 1:31 PM CST
Since your plants are now in different conditions, more cold and less light, perhaps you should treat them all as we would do at low light plants, even if they are not. That is, cut back on the amount of water you used to give them. I think the overwatering thing would be much more unforgiving in these conditions. As for the drying of the atmosphere in the room, perhaps putting them on pebble trays would help? Just my two cents. I'm sorry you have to put up with the waiting and the agony for your plants. I hope your new place will have much light and space to accomodate their needs!
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Nov 27, 2017 9:04 AM CST
Agree, it's unreasonable to expect plants that are basically in storage for winter to continue to resemble pampered specimens in more amenable conditions. Hanging a shop light or something similar could make a huge difference. I've kept plants alive in basement like that a few different winters when I lived up north.

The little shed-posing-as-greenhouse that I keep a wide variety of plants in stays barely above freezing when it gets down to about mid-20's outside. Nothing has been harmed by this the past few winters that I could tell.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
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