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#145309 - Oct 24th, 2007 at 07:20 PM Help me find the right plants- PLEASE  
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notaplantguy Offline
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hello all,
In the lobby of my building, which is unheated in winter (sometimes getting to 45- 50 degrees) and uncooled in summer (sometimes 80- 85), is what I think to be a happy plant,(from images online). One of them has died, the other looks ok
(not dying) but was neglected, i.e. water, for months. I watered it regularly this summer, and it didn't get real warm at all, but it's leaves are continually brown and pale, looks to be some fertilizer pellets in the soil. It is about 6 feet tall in a 14" pot. They sit in front of a south facing stained glass window with indirect sunlight-
1- should I replace the dead one, or is the other one to receive the same fate eventually?
2-if I should replace both, what is a good type of plant for this environment? The temperature can drop several degrees in just a few days-
3-the second and third floors tend to stay warmer longr and often extremely warm (90) but can get cool (50) also there are no plants there now, any suggestions?
Thanks in advance

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#145316 - Oct 24th, 2007 at 07:44 PM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: notaplantguy]  

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first of all, if you can post a picture of the plant that is alive, or a link or name. that's the first big thing. because if it is still alive, it is your best bet, although, we need to find out what will make it happy.

second, the first thought that comes to mind, is it in a planter that has drainage? also, how long since it has been repotted? (is the soil compacted or is it rootbound?) also, what kind of water are you using to water it? if it is chlorinated, you need to let it sit overnight at least to let the chlorine dissapate. if your area uses chloramine to treat the water, you will need to get a neutralizer. you can get one specifically for plants or one for fish. both work.

first thoughts on plants are draceanas, particularly draceana marginata aka madagascar dragon tree. they are tolerant of temps down to the low 50's or so, and didn't bat an eye at my 100 degree days here in south east georgia.

#145376 - Oct 24th, 2007 at 09:35 PM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: ]  
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thank you- I will try for a photo- I saw a picture of a dracaena massangeana here
http://www.dracaena.com/dracaena-fragrans-massangeana.php
that looks like what I'm talking about, only healthy- they reccommend a comphy 75 degrees though-
as for the rest, there is drainage, I have lived here 18 months so at least that long for repotting. How can you tell if it is rootbound? At first, when watering I tryed to saturate the soil with a quart of water but it appears most of the water would run out- there is no plate under the pot so it runs out on the floor- I'll have to check on the chloramine, I do have an excellent filter for drinking, I can start using that-
should I scrape the little bit of fertilizer, or whatever it is, off the soil and use something we know is for this type of plant?

#145384 - Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:11 AM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: notaplantguy]  
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Gremelin Offline
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I should chime in here since it's a fellow oregonian; our winters can get quite cold; I'm talking like 20f in extreme cases; so if it's an outdoor plant, be prepared ;).


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#145401 - Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:00 AM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: Gremelin]  
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where gloves if you plan on dealing with this plant right? dracaena are the ones with the posionous sap aren't they? I could be way off base.

For checking if it is rootbound if the roots have started to come near the surface that is an easy indicator to see. Also if the roots have tendrils trying to get out of the drainage hole that is another good indicator.

I'm thinking if it is 6 feet tall and in a 14 inch pot a larger pot wouldn't hurt at all anyway. Even plants that like being rootbound would probably be trying to breakout of a pot that small.

definitely get a pot about 16 inches with a hole for drainage and an attached saucer. And probably a heavy pot so someone brushing against it doesn't knock it over. Definitely brush away as much dirt as possible away from the roots and put in all fresh potting soil.

Good luck with your plant.



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#145571 - Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:44 PM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: tkhooper]  

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ok, so your plant is a dracaena. the variety you have is commonly called a corn plant, and i stand by my thoughts of root bound or chlorine.

you can get any plant in that family and it will be fine in those conditions, as long as it doesn't freeze or get below 50 for more than a few hours at a time.

and, tk is right about repotting. you definitely should.


tk, it is diffenbachia that has the poisonous sap. dracaena's generally are ok.

#145639 - Oct 26th, 2007 at 07:25 AM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: ]  
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Oh, thanks for the correction. I get so confused. Those words don't look at all alike I wonder why I confuse the two. Getting older I guess.



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#145849 - Oct 26th, 2007 at 05:53 PM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: tkhooper]  

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nah, probably because they are similar plants in the way they grow and root. i love them both!

#146054 - Oct 27th, 2007 at 06:20 AM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: ]  
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tkhooper Offline
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triangle, virginia
i'm in to the house plants that flower. That's how I ended up with african violets, orchids and kalanchoe or however that is spelled. I always mess up the spelling on that one.

i'm thinking that after the move if I have space I'd like to get one of the crown of thorns.


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#146643 - Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:24 PM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: ]  
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notaplantguy Offline
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I will have to put a thermometer in the entry this winter when the temp outside is in the 30's for a few days to see if it really dips into the 40's- it can be fow several weeks- as for the pot it's actually 17" diameter and 16" deep. I will get a pan for water retention, do I want to soak it and let is dry out a bit, or constantly keep it moist? I noticed the leaves are very dusty, shall I wipe with a moist towel- or mist it with clorine free water- or both- or no mist at all? Last of all, the fertilizer granules, leave or remove?
thanks again-

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#146671 - Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:50 PM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: notaplantguy]  

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i soak mine, then let it dry until it is dusty about an inch below the top (stick your finger in it). then soak/drain it again.

both on the mist/wiping thing. i use 1/2 strenght fert. that disolves in water, every other, or every 3rd watering (sometimes even less frequently)

#147874 - Nov 1st, 2007 at 09:10 PM Re: Help me find the right plants- PLEASE [Re: ]  
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notaplantguy Offline
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thank you-
I had a look at the plant that has very few leaves left, and the stock, or trunk, looks and feels firm, should I try these things to revive it, do the leaves grow back once they're removed, or is it a goner?


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