Ask a Question forum: I think my new Persian Shield died...Help๐Ÿ˜“

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Name: Angela Anderson
Lakeland, FL (central FL) (Zone 9a)
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Angiea
Mar 22, 2018 10:32 AM CST
I purchased this flawless Persian Shield from a big blue box store... (Tuesday afternoon) Not a sign of pest... It had been completely overwatered by the store. I noticed that soil knats were around it that night, they were hanging out in between the pot and soil... (I have already lost several from an infestation, several months back) Im less then a year newbie plant mom... I am overwhelmed because I have over collected many different species of plants and succies... With zero experience... Well, my Persian Shield, wilted, every stem dropped and most of them snapped at the node, that night I brought it home... I sprayed the soil only 70% isopropyl alcohol to maybe a good layer of the soil to kill off knats... The pot was very soaked, it would be to diluted to damage the plant by the time the small amount of alcohol... I think...
This morning I noticed it is dropping wilted leaves now... I am not sure if I killed it or is there something I can try to save it?
(I may have bought it Tuesday evening..)

**The photos are from the morning after I bought it; yesterday morning, and just now... Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Should I bother with it or is it another gonner? ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
Thank everyone!
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 22, 2018 11:29 AM CST
Yikes, Alchol !๐Ÿ˜ฎ!!! It MIGHT ??? Be possible. Flush it with water, till water comes out of bottom. Immediately repeat a couple times.

Then, do what I do for fungus gnats/flies.

Drench with a solution of Neem Oil mix, it's systematic, it will kill larva in roots and soil.

Then, dust top of soil with Diatomasous Earth. It will kill mature gnats, coming to lay eggs on top of soil.

You, may , have to repeat this, untell gnats are all gone.
There life cycle is ten days.

Best of luck ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜€
๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž









Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sasha Wiseman
Fl. (Zone 8b)
I'm quite frond of plants.
Garden Art Multi-Region Gardener Hummingbirder Keeper of Koi Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Fruit Growers Garden Ideas: Level 2
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DaisyRyder
Mar 22, 2018 12:14 PM CST
Yikes Angela!!! ๐Ÿคญ There's nothing like the helpless feeling that one may have inadvertently killed a house plant. Phillip said everything I was going to say. Neem oil and diatomaceous earth could possibly save it. Just keep it out of the sun if you spray the foliage with neem oil. I hope you manage to bring it back to life. ๐Ÿ˜•
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 22, 2018 12:35 PM CST
Hi Angela - This was not a good introduction to plant care for you.

The fungus gnats are not a CAUSE for your plant's woes; they are a SYMPTOM of overwatering and rotting roots. That process no doubt occurred BEFORE you acquired it. You are on solid grounds to ask for an exchange or your money back. Given its condition, it is unlikely that there are enough healthy roots remaining for the plant to ever recover.

I strongly recommend that you return or discard your plant before the gnats start to spread to your other plants. Treating the gnats, in this case, is a waste of energy.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (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
Mar 22, 2018 4:09 PM CST
Hi & welcome!

This lovely purple plant is hardy anywhere in FL. This is a very difficult plant to keep happy in a pot inside, so I would encourage you to use it in the ground in your landscape, and find a less particular specimen to keep in a pot inside.

I'm so sorry this happened but I think it would be completely ridiculous to take a plant that has been doused in alcohol (or any kind of substance besides water) back to a store and ask for a refund. Alcohol has a very low PH and such radical change in the PH in the soil could absolutely cause this damage.

Having been overwatered before purchase could be a contributing factor or the primary one if the pot did not have a hole in the bottom. In the future, do not buy suspicious plants. They are not worth the $. PS is very thirsty, so expect one to be unhappy if the soil dries too much.

You might be able to save what is left by taking cuttings & sticking them in a jar of water.

In the future, know it's not necessary to use any kind of chemicals to stop fungus gnats or prophylactically treat plants so that an infestation never occurs. If using soil with peat in it, gnats will be attracted to it. Putting BTi in your watering can should end the gnats by killing the larvae in the soil. BTi is safe to use inside your home, and is the same stuff used to treat bird baths and large animal water containers so that mosquito larvae can't breed in them. Since gnats can fly, they can come inside any time a door is opened, or through the smallest breaches or gaps around the edges of window screens.
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.
Name: Sasha Wiseman
Fl. (Zone 8b)
I'm quite frond of plants.
Garden Art Multi-Region Gardener Hummingbirder Keeper of Koi Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Fruit Growers Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
DaisyRyder
Mar 22, 2018 4:57 PM CST
@purpleinopp ::bows to thee:: Didn't know they were a preferred landscape plant in FL. ! "The more you know"
Your wisdom never ceases to amaze me. Would you suppose they last as long as the growing season then need to be replaced? As it gets suspiciously cold here in N. FL.
So I don't hijack the thread, taking cuttings is a great idea. Along with returning the plant .... Just don't tell them about the alcohol. ๐Ÿ˜ณ
Name: Angela Anderson
Lakeland, FL (central FL) (Zone 9a)
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Angiea
Mar 22, 2018 11:16 PM CST
I'm all ears! Thank You!
I did a little more research and weather may have been the factor in this. We had a decent cool front lowest of the few days... I refuse to bring anything in until I verified no pest, I just got some control back after many months... The smallest amount of cold temps will cause them to drop over like this... There is new growth underneath and I gave it a drink then I put in the room I run the grow light in gonna see what happens if it doesn't help, it says pinch it off and it should grow back thicker... So it may just be a dramatic action... I'm going to preserve the foliage that fell off and when I make my stepping stones they will be in one... No waste... Crossing Fingers! Confused Crying Smiling
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (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
Image
purpleinopp
Mar 23, 2018 1:50 PM CST
Sasha, TY for the kind comments. :+) I can't speak for your location but this plant is root hardy here, getting zapped by cold above-ground over winter, and growing back from the roots. It's the same herbaceous perennial thing that many other plants do, like Cannas, Brugmansias, and Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis.) In warmer zones, these would be evergreen, but not here.

Angela, happy to suggest food for thought. If your area had temps approaching a frost, that could cause the sudden change, definitely. Don't be too hard on yourself, or stress about it, all gardeners make mistakes, even after decades of plant-having. And sometimes things just happen and we never really know why. Best vibes!
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.
Name: Angela Anderson
Lakeland, FL (central FL) (Zone 9a)
Image
Angiea
Mar 24, 2018 11:00 AM CST
Thank you all for all the responses.. yesterday late afternoon, I put it out for some late afternoon sun. I was just about to prune it down and repot start over, when I inspected it for any growth and life still, when I put each stem in the natural spot it stood at, and the main middle stem at the lowest bent nodule, it gained a little strength and that part stayed upright, with the top nodule still bent over. It gave me a little hope. I gave it maybe an hour or so under no temp LED grow light last night. It doesn't seem to be much better... It did open many of its leaves back up. I'm going to inspect it and if no sign of recovery I will prune down today. The DE, I use it, I tried the neem oil mix on both houseplants and succulents, it helps a little bit on house plants but for the most part it damaged my entire collection of all species and had many losses. I mixed it by the portions the recipe called for with Dyna, 100% neem oil, mixed with a certain amount of mild unscented Dr Bronner castile soap as suggested with water... It was a very bad last couple of months as I watched all of them die or stress that they will never recover... So I am not sure about neem oil now... Terrified to use it... I'm going to repot everything in sterile new soil mixes and I will add a good inch or so of sand... I absolutely can't deal with another soil knats infestation... I was manic fighting it the past couple months. I was on edge of committing plant homicide (๐Ÿคช I am frustrated and confused) of all of them and was going to throw in firepit and burn them all, I am new inexperienced and I can't get to the point where I can enjoy them again... Instead I cried, because I love them... I just don't know what I'm doing. I'm very close to calling it quits. I have no friends or family that grow plants and if they do they don't come around even when I asked for basic help. Feel like it is a pretty decent size investment in all supplies for all different species plus plants and pots... For me to end up killing them all off... Not having a confident attitude today... I shared a photo of yesterday morning then a shot of it in the sun... The other few are angles of today's progress... Can anyone give me their opinion... If you have a sec and zoom in if needed, and let me know if you would cut it back to try to save entire plant, or pic from yesterday then just now, does it seem to look any better or no... Just being wishful... Thanks again everyone! I appreciate it more then you know!
The top two were yesterday, the rest are what I took a few minutes ago...
This! Off to post my newest mystery of my Boston ferns... Lol... See you later in new question!!! ๐Ÿ˜‹
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (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
Mar 24, 2018 1:01 PM CST
Awww, it's not looking very promising. So sorry. Sad

I've always put PS in a spot where it will be in the shade except maybe the first or last few hours of the day. Mid-day sun causes the leaves to droop, even if the soil is moist.

I would encourage you to forego the products for a while and just water plants when thirsty. I don't own any packages of stuff for plants, no 'cides or "treatments," just some fertilizer which I rarely remember to use.

DE and BTi are not the same thing.
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.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 25, 2018 9:48 AM CST
I know it is not what you want to hear, but your Persian Shield is done. When it wilts that much and doesn't perk up after watering, it is clear that the roots are no longer functioning and the roots are EVERYTHING to a plant.

I understand your frustration. Online advise is all over the place. You can research virtually any plant problem online and get many different and conflicting solutions. You have found many of the common home remedies for gnat problems and most of them are ineffective. Trying one after another is a recipe for disaster.

In my experience, most folks get in trouble with their plants because they try to do too much, unnecessarily changing the soil, repotting, fertilizing, misting, expermenting with different locations and watering by the calendar. Most basic houseplants are not complicated and simply need appropriate light and proper watering and not much else. Persian Shields are more challenging than most, especially when they are already suffering from pest problems. Try not to be discouraged.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (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
Image
purpleinopp
Mar 26, 2018 8:39 AM CST
What pest problem does this plant have?
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.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 26, 2018 2:43 PM CST
Fungus gnats.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (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
Image
purpleinopp
Mar 27, 2018 7:30 AM CST
That is an issue of the soil, not the plant.
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.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 27, 2018 8:27 AM CST
Tiffany - I'm not sure of the significance of the distinction you are making here. You are correct that fungus gnats do not feed on plant foliage and stems. But the larvae do feed on plant roots that are decaying from overwatering. They are certainly a plant-related problem.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (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
Image
purpleinopp
Mar 27, 2018 3:01 PM CST
Sure, semantics, but I think it's an important distinction that the soil is infested, not the plant. If one has gnats in a pot to the point where they are noticeable, bothersome, and out of other decomposing organic material to eat besides live plant parts, changing the soil would immediately get rid of the gnats. No treatment of the plant is required. Alternatively, the soil can be treated with BTi if one does not want to replace it.

Since I stopped having any peat in pots, I have seen no more gnats in them. Where I live, gnats are relentless, attacking eyes and nostrils, so they would definitely come inside in some of about 80 pots every fall, if they were making a home in the pots.
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.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 27, 2018 3:13 PM CST
Tiffany - I have found that peat-based potting mixes are gnat free if they are not loaded with bark chips and other organic matter - just peat and perlite. Unfortunately most packaged potting mixes have other ingredients added to the basic peat mix and terin lies the problem. In addition, none of my plants are ever moved outside.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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