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dieffenbachia trauma

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by ferroworks on March 25, 2004 09:29 AM
i am a new gardener, and admit to many mistakes.....

i'm a fairly decent researcher, but cannot determine what to do about my damaged dieffenbachia camille.

It was grown in its original plastic pot for about 2 and a half years untill I repotted it in another plastic pot one size larger (5") where it stayed for another year. Most of the time it was overwatered, i think, but i paid just enough careful attention to it, to keep it healthy and growing.

About a month ago, I repotted it again (why did i do that?) into a 6" plastic (why did i do that?) pot, but not before drenching the poor guy in Schultz Expert Gardener Insect Spray, which claims effective on spider mites, my poor camille's pests. I don't think I should have repotted it in the first place, much less after an intense dosage of pesticide. The stuff said it was made from Chrysanthemum flowers, and that it is for foliage plants, so I figured I was good. In addition, I added a half teaspoon of Miracle Grow All Purpose Plant Food (15-30-15) to a gallon of water, and watered it 2 weeks ago, it's second watering in the month since repotting.

Now, the leaves are getting dry, tips yellowing, no new growth, and I'm wondering if it's time to cut the cane way back, get it back to it's last pot (5") and hope for the best, or if there is something else I can do.

Up untill recently, it was my healthiest plant, now I think it's the sickest.

I think there are a variety of causes to the problem that may be going on, but have no idea what to do about it.

Thanks for any advice!

by Jiffymouse on March 25, 2004 04:18 PM
jamie, i am so sorry about your problems with your plant. first of all, pull it out of the pot it is in and inspect the roots. if they are soft, brown, and mushy, then you have rotted the roots and the best you can do is hope for a sprout. if this is the case, trim the mush and follow the directions below. you might can save the plant that way.

if there are any firm, light colored roots, plant it in fresh soil (to rid it of the overdose on food and insecticide) in a pot just slightly larger than the healthy part of the root ball. make sure that the pot you use has good drainage. good luck and keep us posted.
by Will Creed on March 26, 2004 12:22 AM
Follow Jiffy's advice and try to avoid unnecessary repoting inthe future.

The Schultz' insecticide is not very effective against spider mites. And just because it comes from mums does not mean it is harmless. If it still has mites, a thorough drenching of all leaf and stem surfaces with a soap solution is more effective and a lot safer.
by barbi on March 26, 2004 04:55 PM
ferroworks, you've gotten excellent advise from both Jiffymouse and Will Creed.. I would rinse both the leaves and roots gently and thoroughly before repotting...

Good luck!

* * * *

"To cultivate a garden and grow flowers from the sod is to go hand and hand with nature and walk very close to God.
Helen Steiner-Rice
by ferroworks on March 27, 2004 05:32 AM
Not that I don't appreciate all the good advice, but I would like to add one thing.

Is it possible that since I am seeing new growth as of this morning, that things are on the up and up? Maybe the past month in the larger sized container focused all of the plants energy on root development, and that is why the leaves were yellowing (they are not getting any yellower or dryer in the last 2 days)? maybe a thourough drenching of the soil to get rid of all the bad stuff would be enough?

I don't mean to be a bother and revisit the issue, but I wanted to make sure that I updated you guys on the new growth that I am seeing.
by Jiffymouse on March 27, 2004 03:18 PM
ferroworks, you (or any other gardener) are never a bother. AND we like updates. yes, you may have turned the corner and may not need to do anything else. in fact, if you have new growth, you probably have. watch the soil moisture (too dry is better than too wet) and keep us posted, we like good news!!

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