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Help with neglected plants!!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Wendel04 on March 06, 2004 10:36 PM
Hello All
[wayey] I'm so glad I found this sight!!I have a forest of plants at home that tend to manage themselves for the most part. From me they get TLC [Love] , and the necessities. But right now I'm housesitting and working away from home for the winter and this new house contains 2 poorly treated plants, a Boston Fern and a spindly Umbrella tree.
The boston is so root bound I can't feel the soil, its got some pale foiliage on it but mostly it's dried stems....The umbrella is tall and lanky, pale in color and I noticed last week the leaves are starting to curl and dry up....
I've taken to misting both rather then dump a cup a water a week on them, which is what the owner has been doing.......What can I do to give them a fighting chance.....Besides kidnap them, take them home and start all over!
Should I repot or is it too early in the season...
If anyone has some suggestions.....Please Help!! [dunno]
by Jiffymouse on March 07, 2004 02:34 AM
[wayey] hi wendel [wayey] welcome to the garden helper. i moved your post so that you can get better information. about the fern, if it were me, i would give it a haircut, repot it, and go from there. sounds like it needs lots of tlc. the umbrella tree will depend on what kind of umbrella tree it is. there are more than one kind. if it is a schefflera, i would cut it back a little at the time. if it is one of the other kinds, you'll have to wait for someone else to wander through. good luck.
by Will Creed on March 07, 2004 05:14 AM
I am a professional, but I would never mess with someone else's plant without discussing it with them first. If you follow their instructions and the plants don't do well, its not your responsibility. If you repot and the plant dies, it will be your responsibility.

Here is what I would recommend to the owner of the plants:

The Boston fern has soil. It is just under all of the thatch left over from the dead fronds. Take it to the sink and give it a good soaking. Make sure that it is in front of a window where it can get good light. Don't let it get dried out.

If the Schefflera is lanky, that is because it has not received enough light over a long period of time. Pruning it will shorten it, but will not solve the lankiness problem. Repotting will not help. It needs more light and it will take a long time for it to recover.

Misting is not a substitute for proper watering of the soil of either plant. Water thoroughly until water runs through the drainage holes and then do not water again until the surface of the soil feels dry.

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