Houseplants forum: My plant is sick, can I save it?

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lavishroot
Apr 10, 2018 12:49 AM CST
I bought a Yucca elephantipes from Ikea 3 weeks ago. It looked like this at purchase:

Thumb of 2018-04-10/lavishroot/eab2de

The last couple of days I noticed a bad odour, sort of fishy like in my home. Narrowed it down to this plant. One of the 3 stems has a sticky discharge coming from it, and it smells awful. It's also the only stem that has these dry worm looking things coming out of it. Some of the leaves are yellowing as well, which I removed. The first photo is of another healthy stem, while the other 2 are of the sick stem. What is this and will my other stems be effected? Is this toxic to me and should I throw it out immediately? I never repotted it, just put the original pot inside a planter. Watered only once after 3 weeks (today). I didn't save my Ikea receipt. Thanks.




Thumb of 2018-04-10/lavishroot/7cf941
Healthy stem.

Thumb of 2018-04-10/lavishroot/5797f8
Thumb of 2018-04-10/lavishroot/9cecd0


[Last edited by lavishroot - Apr 10, 2018 1:05 AM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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purpleinopp
Apr 10, 2018 9:28 AM CST
The wormy things look like roots. Can you tell if the odor is coming from the soil or the plant? Is it placed where the sun can shine right on it for part of the day?
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lavishroot
Apr 10, 2018 9:47 AM CST
purpleinopp said:The wormy things look like roots. Can you tell if the odor is coming from the soil or the plant? Is it placed where the sun can shine right on it for part of the day?


It's not coming from the soil. Definitely the stem (the black sticky discharge in the second last picture is the only thing producing odor). It didn't have direct sunlight no (only indirect), I have since moved it to some direct sunlight.
[Last edited by lavishroot - Apr 10, 2018 9:47 AM (+)]
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lavishroot
Apr 10, 2018 10:17 AM CST
Took a picture of the roots, I'm not sure what I'm looking at. I don't see any black or mushy ones, but there are some white fuzzy ones?
Thumb of 2018-04-10/lavishroot/2b5e38
Thumb of 2018-04-10/lavishroot/21701a

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Apr 10, 2018 10:20 AM CST
The roots look fine. I don't know what they use to "seal" the ends of these cuttings, but it sounds like that could be where the odor is coming from. If so, it's not a discharge but a coating meant to seal the wound when the stem was harvested & prepped to be potted. I've never sealed a wound like that, just let them air-dry.

Hopefully it's not the trunk rotting under there.
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lavishroot
Apr 10, 2018 11:19 AM CST
purpleinopp said:The roots look fine. I don't know what they use to "seal" the ends of these cuttings, but it sounds like that could be where the odor is coming from. If so, it's not a discharge but a coating meant to seal the wound when the stem was harvested & prepped to be potted. I've never sealed a wound like that, just let them air-dry.

Hopefully it's not the trunk rotting under there.


Oh this would actually make sense because I picked at it and some of the black coating came off and the smell got worse, but like you said I'm not sure if it's the trunk underneath causing the smell...but since the roots are healthy I could always just cut off that part?

Actually I looked around some more and there is a part of the trunk that's definitely black, separate from their coating. Here is a picture.


Thumb of 2018-04-10/lavishroot/21aecc

[Last edited by lavishroot - Apr 10, 2018 11:31 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1680419 (6)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Apr 10, 2018 12:16 PM CST
Your Yucca cane stems have a disease, probably bacterial. That is why you are getting that bad odor. There is no cure for it. It was introduced in the nursery where it was grown. Thumbs down That is certainly a valid reason to return it.

You could try to cut off the top infected portions of the two canes, but you will probably need a saw to do that. As an alternative, twist the infected canes in place until the roots break free so you can pull those canes straight up and out without tearing the healthy roots.

Unfortunately, there is a reasonable chance that the third cane may also be infected. This is an unusual problem so it is hard to deal with. If it were mine, I would return it or discard it. Shrug!

Other than the unpleasant odor, the infection will not be a problem for you - not contagious to humans.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
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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
Apr 10, 2018 12:18 PM CST
The pic is fine but beyond my area of experience. I don't know if that is normal for a "sealed" Yucca or not. If that trunk is unhealthy, that could be the impetus behind the aerial roots forming on the new branches.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Apr 10, 2018 12:24 PM CST
Oozing and bad odor are not normal. Definitely an infection.
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 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (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
Apr 10, 2018 1:02 PM CST
Agree, if they are coming from the plant and not the sealing material. I meant that I have no idea if the sealing stuff might be sticky and still appear to be oozing after some period of time has passed, or have an odor that could last for a while. I've never touched that stuff, or more than glanced at a plant with a sealed spot like that because I would not enjoy looking at that kind of spot on a plant. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with it, it seems to be the primary scheme for Yuccas to put 3 sealed trunks in a pot, just my personal preference.

Also never experienced an odor coming from a plant that did not have an intrinsic odor. Not the kind of thing with which I can offer any anecdote but didn't want to not respond at all.

👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Apr 10, 2018 4:41 PM CST
Both Yucca and Dracaena massangeana canes are cut into different length sections before one end is rooted in damp soil. This is done either in tropical countries or in greenhouses where the air is very humid. The top ends are sealed with a substance that is almost like plastic to keep out any infections that are rampant in humid environments. I have cared for hundreds of sealed canes over the years and have never seen one that oozed or produced an odor. Definitely should not happen. Certainly raises questions about Ikea's sourcing of plants!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]p.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

lavishroot
Apr 11, 2018 6:29 PM CST
Got a replacement from Ikea with no issue. Thanks for your help everyone.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Apr 12, 2018 1:19 PM CST
Great that you asked for a replacement and that Ikea did right by you. Retailers need to know when they have sold an inferior product. Others benefit as a result. Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
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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