Houseplants forum: Sad Calathea leaves

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mirimirimiri
May 10, 2018 9:41 AM CST
Hi All,

I'd love your tips and opinions on what has been going on with my Calathea plant in the last few weeks. My plant was happily growing for the last 2-3 years, with beautiful big leaves, always sitting in the same spot in the living room with indirect light. But after feeding it plant food the leaves started to droop. I repotted the plant replaced some of the soil and cut back a few roots that showed root rot. No improvements since and leaves are starting to turn brown at the tips.

Any help appreciated! (Photo of the plant attached is not in it's usually spot — just put it there to show the leaves. It usually sits in indirect light).


Thumb of 2018-05-10/mirimirimiri/4a7c4c

[Last edited by mirimirimiri - May 11, 2018 10:00 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1704930 (1)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 12, 2018 8:14 AM CST
Potted Calatheas do not tolerate dry soil at all. They need water as soon as the surface of the soil feels almost, but not quite dry. That may have been the problem initially.

If you keep your plant more than 3 or 4 feet from a window, then it is not getting enough light. If the window faces north, it should be very close to the window. Inadequate light may also have been part of the initial problem. The location in the photo looks like it may be just about right.

In any case, the plant food was not the cause of the problem and was just coincidental. However, the repotting was not a good idea. Replacing soil does more harm than good as many tiny root hairs get damaged in the process and they do most of the work. It may take a while for the plant to recover from the repotting trauma. Repotting also makes proper watering more difficult because there is a greater risk of overwatering.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

mirimirimiri
May 15, 2018 4:01 AM CST
Hi WillC,
Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. Will keep watching the plant and focusing in on water levels. It looks like the leaves have somewhat recovered and are looking a bit perkier again. Do you think this is a good time to reintroduce a bit of plant food? Or is it too early?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 15, 2018 7:31 AM CST
You recently added fresh potting soil so there should be plenty of nutrients for your Calathea to last for at least 6 months. No need to worry about or bother with plant food.
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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