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my poor plant

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#1 MrsDamonSalvatore

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

my grandfather gave me a beautiful pot plant for christmas, but it didnt come with a info card. it had sturdy stems, beautiful bright red flowers and the the leaves have little zig zag edges.

i have no idea what sort of plant it is, what sort of care it needs etc etc

i had been watering it every couple of days, especially with the heat. i also had it in the coolest part of the house.

however, yesterday afternoon if looked like it does in the pics sad.gif the stems are soft and droopy, and it just looks, well... dead...

i have no idea what ive done to my poor plant sad.gif

i noticed the water in the bottom of the pot it was in smelled rotten? so i cleaned it all out, made sure there was no leaves or dead flowers in the water etc and sat it in the sink to try and give it a big drink of water.

i noticed when it was in the sink, murky white foul smelling stuff was seeping out into the water.

does anyone know what it is? or is i can help my poor plant? or have i officially killed it??


heres the link to the pics:

my poor plant

#2 MrsDamonSalvatore

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

i don think that link worked, hopefully this one will


#3 HRH Countrymel

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:40 AM

What state is the soil in?

You might have over watered it.  The soil shouldn't be wet - it sounds like you left it sitting in a pond in the tray and it's roots are waterlogged.

#4 MrsDamonSalvatore

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

the soil looks and smells fine, its just the bottom of the pot thats smells yuck? how do i fix it???

#5 Rachel70

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

I also think you have overwatered it. It sounds like it has root rot. Maybe allow it to dry out a bit.

#6 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

I don't know what it is, but you might be able to rescue it by repotting into a bigger pot with nice new potting mix, and trimming off any foliage that is dead/rotten.   Then don't leave in a saucer (they are always bad news) but instead sit it up on a stand or some pot feet so it can drain freely.   Then just water when the soil is a bit dry when you stick your finger in.

#7 HRH Countrymel

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:50 AM

#1 Stop watering it!

#2 if it looks thirsty then spray the leaves with a fine mist of water.

#3 is there somewhere outside that it can sit and get some fresh air and sunshine without being frizzled? Do that.

#4 re pot it.

#8 noi'mnot

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

Is it an Impatiens? They're normally pretty hardy, but I agree that you've overwatered it. I'm not sure if it'll survive, I'd try not to disturb it too much but give it dappled light and allow the pot to dry out a bit before giving it any more water. Good luck! original.gif

#9 MrsDamonSalvatore

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

thanks guys,

ill give it a go!

does anyone know what sort of plant it is?


noi'mnot, no, its not that plant sad.gif

Edited by MrsDamonSalvatore, 08 January 2013 - 09:55 AM.

#10 MintyBiscuit

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

It doesn't look quite dead to me, but not healthy. Letting it dry out a bit would be worth a try - as PPs have said, it may have been overwatered. If you stick your finger in the soil it should feel cool and moist but not wet and muddy.

#11 causeway

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:57 AM

Google images for begonia ... Is that what it looked like when you first got it?

#12 Spider Fingers

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:57 AM

Okay going back in time to my childhood in my parents nursery, that looks like an impatien, which from memory in the wet season hated getting wet feet, and also hated direct sun.

The white stuff could be (total guess here) some water saving product a garden centre has used.  Some of these can do weird things if they get too wet (kind of like putting a closet camel thingy in a bucket of water).

I would recommend letting it dry out, and possibly repotting into fresh mix, keep as much of the original potting mix as you can but get rid of anything that doesn't look quite right.  Also if it is an Impatien, I would be very careful to make sure it doesn't 'sit' in water as they can be quite susceptible to overwatering.  On the upside they are quite hardy and grow really well from cuttings so if you like it and manage to rescue it you will be able to reproduce it over and over again.

#13 Kalota

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:01 AM

Is there adequate draining at the bottom of the pot it is in? (I only say this because you mentioned that the water at the bottom of the bot smelt rotten.) If it is an indoor plant and the water is not draining out onto the ground or garden, you will need to clean out the "old" water as frequently as possible, plants don't do well with tepid, rotten water at the bottom of their pots!

We have a few indoor plants that obviously don't have drainage holes at the bottom (otherwise water would go all over our floor) so I tip out the old water on a daily basis.

ETA: It is also important to note that plants can die or wilt from having TOO MUCH water at the bottom of their pot, or if they are constantly sitting in water. And they will display the same symptoms than if they are not getting ENOUGH water as well! (Wilted leaves, droopy, etc).

Edited by Kalota, 08 January 2013 - 10:02 AM.

#14 Dylan's Mummy

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

If you aren't sure what type of plant it is you could take it to a nursery and ask them what it is. There aren't many nurseries around any more so you could try Bunnigs too.

#15 *LucyE*

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

It looks like a sad impatiens to me too. Or it could be a begonia but I don't remember mine having such red stems.

It sounds like you've over watered it and allowed it to sit in a puddle of water causing the roots to be water logged.

Find somewhere with filtered light (under a big jacarander tree or similar is good) for it to recuperate. Take away the saucer so that the water can drain away. Only water when the soil is feeling dry below the surface. I'm in SE QLD where it is fairly cool right now. I would only give it a drink every few days if it were here.

They are kinda hardy plants and have a tendency to become invasive weeds. They dislike too much heat, cool, dry or water but propogate so easily that even if one plant dies, there are others to take over. They strike easily from cuttings just by shoving a broken of bit into some moist soil. The old ones used to seed prolifically too but if yours is a double, then the seeds should be sterile. If you have any healthy stems, break one off as a cutting incase the main plant dies.

#16 Spider Fingers

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:04 AM

One of the hundreds of Impatiens there are out there, did it once kinda look like this?

#17 wallofdodo

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

I thought impatien too. They are pretty hardy, droop when they don't like what is happening.  So let it dry a bit.

#18 MrsDamonSalvatore

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

after closer inspection to google, i think it is an impatiens

i have taken it out of the plastic pot it was in and also removed the "plug" that was in the bottom of the terracotta pot it was in. i have squeezed a bit of water from the soil and its now sitting in the terracotta pot so it can drain.

its too hot outside atm, so ill take it put tonight when it cools a bit so it can have some fresh air and sunlight.

i dont have high hopes for my plant. but ill try and rescue it!

i cant believe i over watered it unsure.gif

#19 MrsDamonSalvatore

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

Sharlie, thats exactly what it looked like!

#20 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

Deep watering once or twice a week beats frequent shallow watering. And plant roots need to breathe too, can't be submerged or soaked with water all the time or roots will rot.

#21 *LucyE*

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:21 AM

i have squeezed a bit of water from the soil and its now sitting in the terracotta pot so it can drain.

I giggled at this.

I'm sorry OP but if you squeezed the root ball, you would have damaged a lot of the tender roots causing the plant more stress.

Best thing to do is leave it alone in an appropriate place (outdoors) original.gif

In the next few days, get some 'Seasol' seaweed tonic and add dilute amounts of that go the water. Follow the directions and don't over do it. I think it was Colin Campbell who said that he's seen more plants did from too much love than neglect. Don't use any fertilizers or be up sold to the Powerfeed types. Stick to plain old Seasol that will help to encourage new root growth.

#22 Spider Fingers

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:25 AM

They can be irritating things, I remember in the nursery we use to have to keep a really close eye on them in the wet season (in Darwin) because with the combination of the automatic irrigation and rain, they would topple really quickly.  If my Mum swears at them and glares at them after 30 years in horticulture, you can be forgiven for making one fall over once!  

If you are going to keep it in a pot, I would suggest using one without a tray if you can, instead put it in a nice big terracotta pot with little feet under it.  The perfect spot would be on a deck/verandah in the shade, or under a big tree with at most filtered light.  If you are in a temperate zone, stick your finger in the soil down to the middle knuckle, if it is still damp no water, if not water.  They are also probably better suited to a shower from overhead than a puddle in the pot type of watering too.

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