What plant is on your mind?

An area of The Sill dedicated to conversations about plants and gardening in the form of posted messages and threads.

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What plant is on your mind?

An area of The Sill dedicated to conversations about plants and gardening in the form of posted messages and threads.

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  • What are you actually supposed to do with dying leaves when you overwater?
    I overwatered my Alocasi 'polly' during the heatwave this weekend.

    It's shedding one of it's larger leaves that was actually already a bit damaged when I got it. Literally it's dripping water from the edge of the damaged leaf where it's rotting :( :(

    I'm resting the alocasia on a microfiber towel hoping to pull some of the excess water out of the soil. 

    Should I cut this leaf away or wait for it to die completely. It's a pretty large stem so am worried that will traumatize the plant more. 

    Thanks in advance!
      • 2
      Paris Lalicata Hi [295710,Colin Hart] ! Considering the yellowed leaf will only deteriorate overtime I would recommend simply removing this from the plant by pruning the stem close to the soil. Other than that the rest of your plant seems to be doing well! Just make sure it gets plenty of bright indirect light and you water when the soil has dried out completely :)
  • parlor palm leaning to one side
    I bought a parlor palm about a month ago and since I bought it, it's been kind of leaning to one side. Does anyone know why this might be happening and what I can do to help it thrive? Thanks!
      • 2
      Paris Lalicata Hi [306810,Isha] ! I agree with Erin the plant could be stretching towards the light source. If so, I would move the plant closer and rotate it daily so it's growth pattern can become more even! Also, looking a little closer the leaves appear to be turning a brownish color which could be an indication of moisture stress (either over or under watering). I would make sure the plant is receiving plenty of bright indirect light, and you water once the top 2-3 inches-half the soil has dried out. If it's still in it's plastic nursery container then I would transfer it into a planter that is 1-2 inches larger to ensure it has plenty of room to keep growing!
      • 1
      Erin It might be learning towards the light! You can try rotating it to see if it straightens out over time.
  • Dracaena Dorado -- over watered. Soil not drying out and now infested with fungu...
    Hi, I bought the Dracaena Dorado about four months ago. I made a mistake of over watering the plant a few weeks ago. I decided to let the soil dry out and haven't watered it since, but started noticing that the leaves have become droopy and withering in certain areas. The soil is still wet and now has become infested with fungus gnats. I added some H2O2 to the soil today to deal with the gnats.
    What should I do to save my plant?
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi @Vitb! If you allowed the plant to dry out completely already and it's receiving sufficient bright indirect light it may be time to water the plant. Usually drooping leaves accompanied with browning/crisping is a sign a plant is staying dry for too long. Therefor, if the soil has dried out half way or completely the plant may be ready for a watering! If the planter you paired it with doesn't have a drainage hole it's good to remember to not pour more than 1/3 of the soils volume in water. This ensures a high excess of water isn't accumulating at the bottom and getting to the roots! This is basically imagining you are only pouring enough water to fill about a 1/3 of the containers size. I would remove any dead plant material to enhance the appearance and monitor the plants health moving forward! As for fungal gnats- I personally like to apply a 1-2 inch thick layer of sand as a top dressing for my plants. This prevents fungus gnats from breeding since they usually proliferate when the soil is too wet and generates excess fungus which is what they feed on (mostly caused by over watering plants). Using standard yellow sticky traps will help you capture the adults and monitor the population overtime as you eradicate them. I've also had a lot of success using Mosquito bits which is a natural bacteria that targets mosquito/gnat larvae and this can be incorporated into your soil and activates upon watering. Or you can pre-soak the bits for 20mins in a spray bottle and treat the plants this way! I have heard success with using a H202 solution, but if this doesn't seem to be helpful I would definitely recommend trying the methods above and see what happens :)
      • 1
      Jen Please report back if the H202 works. My birds nest fern recently got gnats and I do not know what to do!
      • 1
      Vitb I have attached some pics if that help address the issue.
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  • Is something wrong with this plant?
    When I bought this plant it was only the leafy bottom part. Over time it started to grow up with these little springs. I’m not sure if that’s what it is suppose to do or it’s telling me it needs something. Help! 04Yp1-e4LgYQACbSIfLgjP2qw
      • 1
      Erin I could be wrong but I think those top soft spikes are the ripple peperomia's flowers? Either way it looks super happy and healthy!

      It might be getting slightly leggy because its search for a little more sunlight. Also looks like it could be repotted into a bigger pot soon - which is great!
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi Abby! The Peperomias' new little springs you've noticed is actually new growth developing on the plant, and what appears to be the plants inflorescent (flower) at the tips! I would say the plant is letting you know that it's healthy and happy to be with you :)
      • 2
      Abby Here’s the plant
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  • Pilea Trouble
    Will post photo this evening!

    I have had my Pilea for about 6-7 months and it just can't seem to stabilize. 

    Currently, I have several leaves with brown/black edges that are dry and then the whole leaf drops off. At the same time I'm getting leaves curling that weren't curling to begin with. It's mid-summer and I've had some new growth, but now I'm afraid whatever condition isn't right is going to catch up to the new growth and kill it off.

    I've been very careful about not overwatering and I always wait until the soil is dry. It's in a room with an East facing window that gets bright light all day and direct sun part of the day. I had the plant in the window for a while but then I was worried about maybe too much sun and moved it about 4 feet from the window. It's in a ceramic pot with drainage in regular indoor plant potting soil.

    On some of the leaves, before the spots turned brown/black I could kind of see them as transparent/yellowish areas on the to-be-afflicted leaf. I'm down to 3-4 healthy leaves now and the ones that are new are not growing nearly as fast as they were earlier in the spring, which makes me think I'm definitely doing something wrong.

    Again, once I'm home tonight I'll post photos for additional info. Thank you!

    Oh, and if it helps at all, I have a Monstera plant in the same room under the same conditions, it sits about a foot from the window and is the happiest plant I have.
      • 1
      Pei Looks like you have great light, Michelle!
      • 1
      Erin Who makes that awesome pot?!
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi Michelle! It looks like the Pilea could've been declining due to moisture stress, and if the soil was moist when you pulled it away from the light source that could've resulted in the yellowing leaves. Once a leaf yellows due to over watering it'll only decline over time which is why you noticed them eventually turning black/brown. I would say the best way to move forward is to place the Pilea back into an area that receives bright indirect light a few inches away from the window. Usually Pilea leaves will cup like how you see here when the light source is becoming too intense or the temperatures are hot! Therefor placing it in front of a window but only a few inches back from it should suffice. From there I would just monitor the plants response and only water once the soil has dried out completely :)
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  • Misting
    Hey y'all! What are the benefits of misting plants? Do you just spray the leaves or the soil, too? I've heard of and seen it done, but I am not sure exactly how it works.
      • 2
      Paris Lalicata Misting is usually more beneficial for humidity loving plants like Ferns and epiphytes like air plants. While it can be safe to mist your other plants it's best to know first if you have the right environmental conditions for the droplets to evaporate. If not- those water droplets can soak into the foliage and create lesions, or even allow room for bacterial/fungal infections to develop. However, as long as you have good air circulation or temperatures there should be no reason for concern! Also, since misting only boosts localized humidity around the plant for lets say 20mins this would require some serious daily misting if your plant is humidity sensitive. Therefor it's usually best to boost humidity by either using a humidifier, placing planters on wet pebble trays, or placing them in a bathroom that receives daily humidity from showers as long as there's a window :)
  • Peace Lily
    Hi!
    I picked up this beauty about a month ago, and for the last two weeks maybe, the flowers have been getting brown spots like this. I've also noticed some browning on the tips of the leaves near the bottom of the plant. I try to water once a week and it it gets indirect sunlight through my blinds and front door for about 3-8 hours a day.
    I just need tips on keeping this beauty healthy and thriving. Thank you 😊
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi [306631,Maranda] ! I agree with Pei the plant looks super happy and healthy despite the one bloom becoming spent (which is perfectly natural). The blooms can last anywhere from 1-2 months before beginning to die back, and since the rest of the plant is still producing blooms and looks perky I'd say she's all good to go :)
      • 1
      Maranda That helped a lot! Thank you so much 💞💞

      I havent ran the ac or heat since I got the plant, but I'll keep that in mind for when I do! 😊
      • 2
      Pei Hey [306631,Maranda] do you have photos of the whole plant? It's a bit difficult to tell the health of the plant now.
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  • Black spots philodendron
    Hi all! 
    I’m hoping someone can help advise me on what to do. I recently planted my heart leaf philodendron from being in water to dirt. It’s grown a new leaf since and it’s also starting to  form new buds. However!...the three original leaves now have black spots on them. I was thinking about making a straight cut to get rid of those spots so they don’t keep growing. I’m not sure what else to do. Thank you for helping!!
      • 1
      Pei Do you have a photo of the whole plant?
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi [306628,BK] - this plant actually looks like a Pothos jade rather then a Philodendron green! Was this a cutting you had in water? How long were the roots before you made the transfer? What kind of medium did you transfer it into, and what has care been like since? Providing a little more detailed information can better help come up with a solution!:)
  • Plant identification?
    Need to identify this plant for a friend. The leaves are soft to the touch and seems to be underwatered
      • 1
      Colin Hart I would guess some variety of Hoya
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      Pei hmmmm.... it looks like a type of peperomia to me!!
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      Erin I'm not one hundred percent certain but my guess would be a silver dollar plant! (Xerosicyos danguyi)
  • Hope Philodendron half yellow and translucent
    I inherited a neglected Hope Philodendron with one leaf. I was super happy when it rallied and put out three new leaves. But then suddenly the main leaf turned yellow, drooped, and died off. I thought perhaps I had overwatered so I let it sit for longer and the plant seemed fine -- until a few days ago when one of the leaves very suddenly went half yellow. 

    I had a look at the roots and there's no root rot but it did seem like the roots needed more space, so I repotted it. I also looked at nutrient deficiency charts since the way the leaf was yellowing was sort of an odd pattern, and deduced it might be nitrogen or phosphate, so I put a bit of coffee and also citrus rinds in the soil as suggested. 

    The leaf is still yellowing (and looking oddly translucent?!), but it's not drooping so far... and the very tiny yellow circles/tip on one of the other leaves don't seem to be spreading, or at least not quickly, so that's good... 

    I'm just curious if anyone knows what's actually wrong with the plant (since it's not the usual under/overwatering suspects), and if I did the right thing? 

    Thanks!
      • 1
      Julia Barry Thanks [286271,Paris Lalicata], so much good advice in there! [278958,Pei] I don't think it's mushy.

      Someone else told me that the fact that it's going translucent means it has bugs that are sucking the life out of it, but I don't see anything under the leaves...
      • 1
      Pei does it feel mushy or dry to the touch?
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi [291378,Julia Barry] ! How long did you have the plant before the oldest leaf passed? I don't think the main leaf dying back is a concern as it's perfectly natural for older leaves to die back overtime, especially considering it was neglected for so long and then had the energy to put out 3 new leaves! It seems like it simply ran its course. However, one of the newer leaves yellowing does sound concerning. As long as the plant is receiving plenty of bright indirect light, and you only water once the soil has dried out completely then it shouldn't be an indication of over watering. Especially if the leaf has only chlorotic damage and isn't actually dying back (I myself have had a pinstripe Calathea display this). Did you replenish the plant with fresh soil since it arrived, or when you re-potted? If not, or if the plant has not been fertilized in quite awhile then this could be a nutrient deficiency. Nitrogen and Phosphorus are the two elements that are most likely to become deficient and symptoms for each both occur in older leaves first. However, Phosphorus deficiency displays a more purpling/reddening hue which doesn't seem to be the case here. I would say moving forward, if you haven't given the plant new soil, which already has some of the macro-nutrients plants need then I would go ahead and do so! Every time you water the plant these nutrients will dissolve into soluble salts (basically a form easier for the plant to absorb) and "feed" the plant. I would monitor the yellowing leaf in the road ahead, but there is a chance it will either remain this color or die back. As long as it's not continuing to spread to the other leaves it should be good to go! Once you believe the plant is more stable and growth isn't stunted I would fertilize the plant but would cut the recommended ratio in half diluted in the water you water the plant with. This way you're giving the plant a little nutrient boost as it's actively growing during the Spring/Summer. I hope this helps!:)
  • Sunburn or fungus?
    my lemon scented geranium was sitting about 15-20ft from large east window (2-3 hrs direct light, indirect rest of the day) and one foot from a large south facing window (morning and afternoon indirect light) Can’t tell if this is sun damage or a fungus. Watering is about every week (its not being over watered). Has since been moved to a apot with no direct light.
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi [306459,M.P.]! When you started noticing these symptoms was it gradually spreading, or were the damaged leaves affected at the same time and continued to decline? Geraniums indoors will be happy with at least 4 hours of direct sun daily with the rest of the day being bright indirect light. Considering the suns intensity is stronger in the summer and SF windows emit that strong afternoon sun I would just make sure the plant isn't receiving too much direct light during the day! That being said, if you don't believe the intensity of the sun to be the issue then you may need to up the frequency of waterings if it's receiving a lot of light daily, and taking up water often. Plants can brown and crisp up fast when not given enough water. Therefor I would just try monitoring your light and waterings, and prune the damaged material so you can monitor the plants health moving forward. If you start to see these symptoms reoccurring and spreading then there's a chance if the plant was overwatered at some point a bacterial/fungal infection developed. If so then you can treat the plant with a standard fungicide and follow the label provided- I hope this helps :)
  • Sanseveria cylindrica
    Hello all! I purchased this mama at the sill in NYC this past February and she’s been growing like crazy! As you can see there’s a baby trying to poke through and live it’s best life but the mama plant won’t let it. Should I cut the far right leaf off the mother plant so the baby can grow wild and free? Thanks in advance!!! 
      • 1
      Pei I agree with Paris. Snake plants like to be in a snug pot also!
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi Jarilisse! I would recommend allowing the new growth to take it's course rather then removing the stalk above it. Overtime as the new shoot matures it should grow around the mother plant rather then remaining stunted. If you'd like, you can certainly re-position the plant a little so it's not hovering right over it but I truly don't see this as a problem :)
  • Orchid plant
    Hello plant enthusiasts and experts,
    i have a beautiful orchid plant that I have loved and cared for and it’s been re-blooming every year since I bought it a few years ago. This year, like always it did grow new stems and buds but the buds didn’t bloom. I see it is growing a new leaf right now. FYI I live in San Francisco, and keep my orchid indoors and it does get morning sun through the closed windows. I feel the top soil every time before I water it. What else... I have some miss on top soil to keep it moist
      • 1
      Pei looking at the photo, i suspect you underwater it. It looks very dry to me. In addition, I will definitely move it closer to the window (light source). For plants to rebloom, other than temperature control, light is definitely the deciding factor. Indoor environment often looks to human's naked eyes, but it's actually considered low light for plants, unfortunately.
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi Katie! Considering you've had this orchid for some time- is there something that you changed within its care routine recently? Have you moved it around changing the light levels, or amped or decreased the waterings?
  • Monstera - Aerial Roots
    My Monstera is growing aerial roots- is it best to remove them or what do I do?
      • 1
      Pei it's best to leave it be! Plants shoot out aerial roots are normal cuz in their natural environment use it to detach themselves off the ground OR hang on to the tress. Hope this helps :)
      • 2
      Paris Lalicata Hi Jessica! Aerial roots are commonly found on Epiphytes (plants that grow on the body of other plants or supports) and help the plant cling to these hosts and can even help absorb moisture in the air. Since the Monstera deliciosa is an epiphyte in the wild- indoors their aerial roots can insert themselves into the soil for more support, or climb up fixtures. Training your Monstera to climb up a damp sphagnum moss pole can help encourage the plant to grow faster and larger as this is how they grow in their native habitat! This will also help give the plant more support as it grows and overtime the aerial roots will start climbing up it. Therefor these are a natural characteristic of the plant so they shouldn't be removed :)
  • Cat Likes Parlor Palm as Snack
    Seeking advice to prevent my cat from eating the little parlor palm I got from The Sill a couple weeks ago. By now, virtually all leaves have been eaten off (the palm is the one on the left on photo, but this was taken when it first arrived). I have tried spraying the palm with a vinegar and water mixture, but this only works while still wet. I have had to move the palm to a high-up shelf, which is not ideal for the plant or us.
    Thanks for your help!
      • 1
      Colin Hart A couple thoughts!

      I have two cats and have just approached training them the same way I would dogs. Sometimes I think the myth that cat's are "untrainable" is a little self perpetuating. That being said I know my cats are up to no good when I'm not watching them or if I leave for the weekend haha.

      Point being would say don't shy away from trying to train them out of playing with it.

      All that being said.... Cats are cats and they do what they want haha.

      A big life saver for us in terms of training as well as just keeping cats away from or off places we don't want them is using the "ssst cat" https://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-PDT00-13914-SSSCAT-Spray-Deterrent/dp/B000RIA95G

      It's essentially a can of pressurized air with a motion sensor so when they get in range of where they shouldn't be it let's out a quick burst. You can direct the nozzle so it doesn't actually hit them.

      It's not perfect. I feel like it scares my roommates more often than my cats thus the air runs out faster than I'd like. But it has trained the cats to stay off counters and tables and better yet away from the plants! Added bonus is now they associate the canister with the hissing sound so even if it's out of air or battery the cats see it and stay away.
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      Jen Best of luck- my cat is especially fond of my parlor palm and has pulled it out of the pot repeatedly. I am at a loss.
      • 1
      Erin Such a great window! I'd test putting some cat grass on the sill next to the parlor.
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