Ask a Question forum: Calathea withering

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London, uk
Anvar
Nov 30, 2017 2:43 AM CST
Hello
My calathea plant isn't doing well at all. It was purchased as a mature plant and had been very well all spring summer and part of the autumn. Late in autumn the leaves started to crisp up and I put it down to seasonal leave drop. However now there is only one healthy(ish leaf) left and I am worried that soon I'll have no calathea plant at all. One thing to mention is that I have three other varieties of this plant scattered around the house and they all are doing just fine.
I live in London, UK where the atmosphere is generally humid (not like in South america), the soil plant lives in is drains very well and very grainy and fibrous, I fertiliser it during spring summer with seaweed fertiliser diluted to a quarter of recommended dilution. In panic I even reported the plant recently and moved it to the bathroom, to increase the humidity. I also raised the pot and filed the bottom of the reservoir of another pot to have some water in it. But nothing seems to be working. Could you please help.
Many thanks
Anvar
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 30, 2017 5:55 AM CST
What has been your watering routine? How do you decide when to water and how much water do you usually provide? How long does it usually go between waterings?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
London, uk
Anvar
Nov 30, 2017 5:59 AM CST
WillC said:What has been your watering routine? How do you decide when to water and how much water do you usually provide? How long does it usually go between waterings?

Hi Willc, when it was hot i would water it twice a week and only when the top soil started to dry up and at least once a day fine misting, the leaves and the the soil.

[Last edited by Anvar - Nov 30, 2017 6:04 AM (+)]
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London, uk
Anvar
Nov 30, 2017 6:01 AM CST
WillC said:What has been your watering routine? How do you decide when to water and how much water do you usually provide? How long does it usually go between waterings?

Hi Willc, when it was hot i would water it twice a week and only the top soil started to dry up and at least once fine misting, the leaves and the the soil. Since the autumn I was watering it less but still misting at least once a day. I regularly check the soil to ensure its damp but not soggy.


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 1, 2017 10:57 AM CST
The leaf symptoms suggest to me that it has experienced drought at some point. A thorough watering once per week should be adequate even in warmer weather unless you have placed it outside or exposed it to direct sunlight indoors.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
London, uk
Anvar
Dec 1, 2017 11:24 AM CST
WillC said:The leaf symptoms suggest to me that it has experienced drought at some point. A thorough watering once per week should be adequate even in warmer weather unless you have placed it outside or exposed it to direct sunlight indoors.

I wish it was simple as that Will! I attend to my plants regularly in the same way as people go to church or eat. I now think, after reading some posts on forums, that the issue is down to high fluoride content in the tap water in the UK.
Do you know if there is a chance that the plant will survive once it has no leaves?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 1, 2017 12:28 PM CST
Fluoridated water is not normally concentrated enough to cause damage to plants. However, hard water is loaded with mineral salts and could cause such damage.

It is possible for a plant to survive after losing all its leaves. However, that will only happen if you are successful in determining and remedying the problem.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
London, uk
Anvar
Dec 1, 2017 1:12 PM CST
WillC said:Fluoridated water is not normally concentrated enough to cause damage to plants. However, hard water is loaded with mineral salts and could cause such damage.

It is possible for a plant to survive after losing all its leaves. However, that will only happen if you are successful in determining and remedying the problem.


I guess I tried it all now. Changed the soil 75%, collecting rain water and in the mean time using bottled spring water. Continuing to mist the plant twice a day. Keeping it in the most humid room, i.e. bathroom with generous amount of indirect light from the window.
Am I missing anything?
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Faridat
Dec 1, 2017 2:22 PM CST
Hi and welcome! I think your plant went through many changes when it was already stressed, I can say at least two, change of pot/repotting, change of place, moved to the bathroom. Now, I would suggest to think about what you did different with the other same plants you have in other rooms and places in the house. Also, the soil looks dry in the images.
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
London, uk
Anvar
Dec 1, 2017 2:35 PM CST
Faridat said:Hi and welcome! I think your plant went through many changes when it was already stressed, I can say at least two, change of pot/repotting, change of place, moved to the bathroom. Now, I would suggest to think about what you did different with the other same plants you have in other rooms and places in the house. Also, the soil looks dry in the images.


Hi
Thanks for the welcome.
All the changes came after the plant started to die Sad
I first moved the plant to the bathroom where it stayed for three weeks before I re potted it in a view that something was wrong with the soil. 're soil looks dry, it must be the quality of the picture, and it is definitely well wet also it gets sprayed with plenty of water twice every day.
Thanks
A
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 1, 2017 2:48 PM CST
Somewhere along the line, the roots were damaged either by improper watering or repotting. The question now is if there is enough life left in the roots to be able to sustain new growth going forward.

BTW, if this plant is watered properly, it will do fine in low humidity. Misting is never a substitute for proper watering as very little water is absorbed through the leaves.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
London, uk
Anvar
Dec 1, 2017 3:26 PM CST
WillC said:Somewhere along the line, the roots were damaged either by improper watering or repotting. The question now is if there is enough life left in the roots to be able to sustain new growth going forward.

BTW, if this plant is watered properly, it will do fine in low humidity. Misting is never a substitute for proper watering as very little water is absorbed through the leaves.


Just to check, how many caltheas have you?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 1, 2017 3:32 PM CST
I have cared for dozens of Calathea in a variety of locations over the years.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
London, uk
Anvar
Dec 1, 2017 3:45 PM CST
WillC said:I have cared for dozens of Calathea in a variety of locations over the years.


Oh good. By the way thanks for your help. I'll try to water it not and hope it'll do the trick.

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