Ask a Question forum: URGENT help with Sanseviera // snakeplant

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toronto
amelija
Jan 26, 2018 7:56 AM CST
Hello all!

I recently (5 days ago to be exact) purchased a long-time dream - sanseviera.
It's been on my mind for a really long time but I finally found a decent one I liked.
Anyways, 5 days have passed and it seems like the plant is dying. It doesn't have too much water, it doesn't have too hot or too cold temperature, not seeing direct sunlight at all but definitely stays in the daylight close to the window (my apartment is facing North).
Does anyone here have any suggestions or advice what to do?
I don't want it to die.
As you can see one of the leaves is completely falling and collapsing ;(
Thumb of 2018-01-26/amelija/31f07c

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 26, 2018 7:58 AM CST
Sorry, but if you purchased this plant only 5 days ago, take it back to the store and get a refund. I would also not buy anything more plants from that store.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
toronto
amelija
Jan 26, 2018 8:16 AM CST
I don't think I have a receipt... ;(
but hey, that's not a solution, I want to revive the plant but I need to know how and what caused the problem
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 26, 2018 9:22 AM CST
Your question was:
"Does anyone here have any suggestions or advice what to do?"

There was something wrong with the plant before you purchased it. The leaves are very pale. It is my observation from the photo and the information you provided that was not healthy when you selected it. That type of plant is one of the most carefree and does not die on only 5 days.

I gave you my best advice; sorry you did not care for my answer.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 26, 2018 10:21 AM CST
Hello amelija, this plant really hates the cold. So the timing when you bought it is not quite good for it. From the time it was moved from the store to your home, it will have experienced cold temps. So to me it seems to be reacting to the cold conditions.

Although it is now in your house, still it is not getting the sustained warm conditions it likes. Ideally it likes to have 70F to 80F sustained warm temps all day long. Can get even higher temps and by then it will not mind getting rained on. But once it is 65F and below, it slows down in growth so it waits for the conditions to improve. Best to be kept dry in winter, soil takes longer to dry out and it will not like feeling cold and wet for a long duration.

It is a low light plant but it likes to be kept warm. Give it time to adjust to your growing conditions there, be patient, do not be tempted to overwater. It hates feeling cold and wet.

Personally I would have delayed buying new plants from mid to late Spring. Winter time is really tough growing time to most plants.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 26, 2018 10:40 AM CST
I think you may be worrying too soon. Both advisers above have given you good advice. I would return the plant, myself but if you can't or don't want to, your option is to wait and RESIST the urge to water! At all! As Tarev said, this plant is most likely not growing right now so it doesn't need water or fertilizer. If more leaves show signs of browning, I would turn it out of the pot on some newspaper, and inspect the root ball to see if maybe there's a problem with drainage. They like to be crowded in their pots, so not nearly time to re-pot this plant.

Move the plant closer to the window, though. A north-facing window will barely give enough light for most plants, and frankly, here in Florida these plants grow outside with sometimes quite a lot of direct, bright sunlight. They also withstand an amazing range of temperatures which just lately included a couple of hours below freezing on 3 separate occasions, and in summer, 90's and high humidity.

So they're very adaptable plants, and you need to give this one some time to adapt. One dying leaf doesn't mean the whole plant is dying. See if you can ignore it for a few weeks. I'll bet it will perk up just fine as the weather warms and the light becomes stronger.
Elaine

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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Jan 26, 2018 10:48 AM CST
Tarev raises a good question; was it exposed at all to cold when you purchased it. If it was properly wrapped and taken immediately to a heated vehicle, it should be fine. Otherwise, the symptoms are consistent with cold damage. If so, it will probably recover slowly.

If it was not exposed to cold then the symptoms are the result of how it was cared for at the store, not by anything you did. So, Greene may have a valid point. I understand his annoyance at stores that sell plants that are not properly cared for.

Remove the dead leaves. Keep it warm and allow the soil to dry halfway deep into the pot before watering it very very lightly. This is a plant that can withstand drought, but not soil that is constantly damp.
Will Creed
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
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needrain
Jan 26, 2018 11:21 AM CST
That is the reaction I've seen when I move my sanseviera outside in the spring after being inside for the winter and then it gets subjected to a cold spell. Doesn't have to be freezing, just below 50F. In the autumn when the cool down is gradual, it does fine being subjected to the same temps, but the change is too abrupt for it to adjust in the spring. They are now about the last plants I move back outside because of the unstable temps.

Just don't water it for a while. It doesn't take much water anytime for them to get too much and get root rot, but especially in the winter months with short days while they aren't actively growing. If the collapsing is occurring at the soil line, watch the other leaves and if they do it also you might consider unpotting it and shaking off the soil and just let it dry for a week or so before you repot it again. I've salvaged one or two by doing that. If the collapse is more in the middle of the leaf, as it appears in the photo, then it's probably a reaction to cold temps. At least those have been my experiences.

You could cut off the leaf and cut it into a couple of sections and root them, but the new growth will lose the yellow edge on the leaves. I had an heirloom plant that got over watered and was afraid I was going to lose it altogether and cut the leaves and rooted them. I now have one that's all green, and since I salvaged some of the original ones with roots also retained the yellow edge on those. Win/win for me
Donald
toronto
amelija
Jan 26, 2018 12:11 PM CST
Wow, you're so kind with your answers. Thank you all for taking the time. I really appreciate it.
As some of you suggested - the plant was out in the cold while I walked back home from the store. It might've been anywhere from 20 to 40 mins in +3 degrees.
I'll do my best to keep it warm and wait until it gets back to being alive.

Fingers crossed for the best! Crossing Fingers!
Name: Sue Taylor
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kniphofia
Jan 26, 2018 12:18 PM CST
Cut off all the brown and wilting leaves. Keep it in good light and reasonable warm and don't overwater. They are very tough plants but cold and wet will usually kill them.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jan 27, 2018 7:18 AM CST
"20 to 40 mins in +3 degrees" Yes, this would cause cold damage. They look just like my excess Sans plants that didn't fit inside in pots, a few days after the first frost hit.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
[Last edited by purpleinopp - Jan 28, 2018 9:10 AM (+)]
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Faridat
Jan 27, 2018 10:19 AM CST
You can always take leaf cuttings and propagate the plant if it cannot be saved. Which I hope it will. Good luck with it!
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jan 27, 2018 10:59 AM CST
Healthy leaves can be propagated, but if the leaves are the part that is damaged, that option is irrelevant to this particular plant. The roots would have suffered the least damage, with some soil and the pot as some barrier against the exposure to cold. Keeping the roots warm and letting them dry out, putting the pot near a window, is what I believe would be the best way to try to rehabilitate this lovely plant. Cutting off the damaged parts is an OK thing to do if you would enjoy looking at it more that way. The damaged leaves can not heal.

These cultivars with unusual variegation are usually impossible to replicate via leaf cuttings. Virtually all anecdotes about this kind of leaf props that people have posted to discussions I've seen have have shown the resulting new pups to be the plain species without the enhanced variegation.

The gold-edged ones are known to produce albino (yelbino?) pups that don't live long if detached from the clump.
Thumb of 2018-01-27/purpleinopp/bac5e5

'Moonshine'
Thumb of 2018-01-27/purpleinopp/e6b92b

The few 'Whitney' leaves I've done have all produced cute little dark green pups with virtually no variegation.
Thumb of 2018-01-27/purpleinopp/5a1856
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.

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