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a plant of incredible sentimental value to me is very unhappy

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2002
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by Lassy on November 16, 2002 07:22 PM
Hello all,

thankyou for taking the time to consider this post and my troubling problem

a bit longer than a ago my boyfriend gave me a pot plant to keep indoors. i dont believe that it came with an id card, but if in fact it did then i have no idea where it is - very clumsy of me. anyway when it was given to me it was in full flower and really pretty and then for a long time (4-6 months) it was continuously changing - one week or so it would be looking really bad and then bouncing back the following week with new flowers. for the last 8 - 9 months however there have been no flowers at all and the stems were very dark and dry in colour. i was worried that i had been watering it too much and that the plant was in fact rotting although there were a few new stalks growing, which looked really healthy. anyway as i was checking it out one day i decided to pull out the dead central part of the plant, the stems all being squishy and gross. the newer stalks looked good and i thought that i had done a good thing but the stalks has problems staying vertical. so i sort of supported the stalks gently but then one started to lean again and as i went to help it it came lose out of the soil. there is now one stalk left. its looking good but im worried and (its pretty clear i guess) i know nothing about taking care of plants.

the soil is not too moist but i give it water most mornings and the plant gets good sun during the day and fresh air all the time, despite being indoors. i give it plenty of love - i sing and talk to it..but it seems it may almost be too late.

like i said, im not sure of the plants name but i will give a description. above the soil the height of the plant when it was in good con. was about 15cm's id say. the flowers were yellow and the healthy leaves feel sort of thick and leathery. ive changed the soil when it started to look bad in the beginning and even took it outside but then these weird sort of brown dots grew on it and i brought it inside. i would take these dots off and they would grow back.

i must save this plant, i feel like an irresponsible parent not knowing the right way to treat it, but i have a feeling this is the right place to learn about my plant and hopefully rescue it.

by MM on November 17, 2002 05:38 AM
Ok, NO IDEA what plant this could be. (initally I thought African Violet, but you said yellow that was ruled out)
Anyway, it sounds as if you are giving it a bit TOO much care. (I could be wrong, its been known to happen)
Too much water, and possibly disturbing the plants roots.
Unless the plant is very large, and the container very small watering every day is too much.
Most houseplants like to be moist, not soggy or wet all the time. In summer here, I water maybe once a week in summer, unless its very hot, and then it may be twice a week.
Dont let the plant sit in water collected in a saucer either. No wet feet.

These are general answers, that I would think may help. Try going to a local nursery or florist shop. Maybe they could help with plant ID, and care for your area/situation.
Hope I helped a bit.

by Will Creed on November 17, 2002 01:17 PM
Hi there,

Unforunately, plants don't thrive on good intentions alone. They need proper care based on some plantcare fundamentals. You cannot properly care for a plant if you don't know what it is because different plants have widely varying requirements in terms of light, water, temperature, etc.

If you can email a photo to me at, I can probably ID the plant for you and send you proper care instructions. Otherwise do some research in a plant book or on the internet or provide us with a very detailed description so you can get a proper ID.

That said, I would speculate that your plant is dying from stem rot brought on by watering too frequently and encouraged by the repotting.

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