Ask a Question forum: Dying houseplant

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Massachusetts
Ldowney730
May 25, 2018 12:28 PM CST
Hello!

I am in desperate need of some help with a plant that was doing great until about two months ago. Now the leaves are turning brown and crispy at the edges, eventually killing the whole stem.

The plant is watered regularly, and I haven't seen any signs of root rot. The stem in the front lost all of its leaves about a week ago, but looks like it is still growing new roots ( I dug It out to check, should I maybe put it water until it grows leaves or just leave it in the dirt? ) I've included photos of the plant, the tips I've trimmed off, and the stem I dug up.

Any help would be so appreciated. The plant belongs to my mom, and she got it from her mother so I know she'll be heartbroken if it dies.

Thank you so much!!

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Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
May 25, 2018 12:45 PM CST
Hello and welcome!

I'm sure someone can help you. We certainly don't want to break your mother's heart!

Do you know the name of the plant?

Was it a lot bigger until the problem started?

I think it might be getting too much water. Also, not sure if you moved it in order to take the picture, but I doubt if it likes being so close to the AC.

Someone else will jump in here to help.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 25, 2018 1:21 PM CST
Realistically, your plant has been slowly deteriorating for a long time and it is now on life support and the prospects are not good. The regular watering has deprived the roots of the oxygen they need and receive only when the soil is allowed to dry out some. The roots are the circulatory, pulmonary and nervous system all in one and when they are in bad shape, so is the plant.

At this late date, it is hard to advise you because there is no obvious or easy remedy. You could choose to leave it in its pot, but allow the top inch of soil to dry before adding just a small amount of water. Another option is to gently remove all of the soil and try rooting it in plain water. A third option would be to remove it from its pot and repot it in a much smaller point filled with a porous potting mix consisting of 4 part peat moss and one part perlite.

Ther are substantial risks with all these alternatives. You decide which you want to try, but understand that it may not work and that you should not look back later and fault yourself for making the wrong choice.

Finally, understand that plants never live forever and it seems that yours has been around or a long time. Perhaps it has just reached the end of its natural life.

Sorry, I don't have better news for you.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 25, 2018 1:37 PM CST
If you are willing to try and just treat it for now as a recovery experiment, you can plant it in a well draining potting soil, in a container much smaller with drain holes. Add pumice or perlite to the soil, so it allows air at the root zone. Water just enough to make the soil damp. Position in a part shade area, just enough that it is kept warm and no direct sun. No fertilizers.

Fingers crossed, good luck...it is surely a long shot, but I often do not give up yet. The presence of that live root shows me some hope, and the absence of any leaf makes it really dicey. But I have encountered some plants on their last leg, and for some reason with very careful and patient nurturing they can try to bounce back. But again, no guarantees. Treat it as an experiment and learn from it.
Massachusetts
Ldowney730
May 25, 2018 1:54 PM CST
Thank you everyone for your help. Since there's three main stems with good roots we're going to put one in water and the other two in a better potting mix.

I appreciate the help so much, keeping my fingers crossed that it works.

We know the plant is old, but it's worth an shot to try and save it Smiling
Name: Tara
NE. FL. (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
May 25, 2018 7:32 PM CST
Welcome!
I completely agree with all of the info that you have received. I'm just wanting to chime in with that I think what you have is a Peace lily. Look in our database for more on the proper care and info for this plant...wishing you the best of luck in reviving it! Thumbs up

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