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#393674 - Sep 14th, 2016 at 11:31 PM Dying Aspidistra  
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LasVegan Offline
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About a year and a half ago, I foolishly repotted my beloved Aspidistra thinking it needed a new pot (it didn't). I damaged it in the process and ever since it has been losing leaves one by one. Usually, but not always, it begins with the leaf turning yellow (sometimes pale or brown) at the tip, gradually spreading to the rest of the leaf until it goes completely dead. The entire process takes several weeks. Every time after this happens I keep hoping it's the last time, but then it starts again. While it does put out 1-2 new leaves every growing season, the rate at which it is losing leaves is faster than the rate at which it is putting out new leaves. At this rate, I am worried I will lose the plant in a matter of time. Is there anything I can do to save it? The plant belonged to my late fiancee and it is very dear to me, please help.

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#393678 - Sep 15th, 2016 at 10:19 AM Re: Dying Aspidistra [Re: LasVegan]  
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Hello and welcome !!

First let me ask....are you watering more then previously, or did you change the type of water you are using? Bottled water or rain water is best as clorine or floride will not do your plant any favors. Does the new pot have drainage?? that is also important.
Next, did you check for spider mites? if you do not see anything on the underside (they are tiny) feel the underside of the leaves--if they feel gritty you might have mites. You could also dampen a paper towel and squirt a little liquid-soap on it and rub it in lightly. Firmly wipe the underside of the affected leaves and if the tissue is discolored yellow, then spider mites are present.

let us know the answers to those questions first.


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#393679 - Sep 15th, 2016 at 10:25 AM Re: Dying Aspidistra [Re: LasVegan]  
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Welcome LasVegan. It sounds like the re-potting didn't affect your plant as much as some environmental thing. Are you keeping it in low light? Slightly damp soil? Feeding it monthly on half strength plant food?
Aspidistras are called a cast iron plant because they are tough. But they grow slowly no matter the care. I'd look more at the pot's placement out of any direct sunlight as a first fix.
Good luck!


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#393688 - Sep 15th, 2016 at 09:24 PM Re: Dying Aspidistra [Re: LasVegan]  
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Thank you both for the replies. The plant is in a north facing window, so it doesn't get direct sunlight. I give it about two glasses of water every two weeks, as I know aspidistras don't like to be overwatered. I check the soil anyway before watering. There are no mites or any parasites that I can see. I haven't fed the plant, at least in the last 3 years. Would feeding it help? I am leery of feeding because I lost several roses to feeding a while back.

The reason I think the leaf loss is due to repotting is that right after I repotted it, in April 2015, 4 leaves turned yellow and died immediately. Then in June another leaf died, but it put out 2 new ones in July, so I thought it was over. Then in January 2016 it started again. It lost a leaf, then another one in June (but it put out another one), and now it looks like its going to lose another one as well. There is no pattern as far as I can see, but it hasn't really stopped since it started, either. It goes like this:

April 2015 -4 leaves
June 2015 -1 leaf
July 2015 +2 leaves
January 2016 -1 leaf
June 2016 -1 leaf
July 2016 +1 leaf
Sept. 2016 -1 leaf

If I can't stop the leaf loss, I could try to increase leaf growth, so feeding is worth a try. But would feeding it at this point help? Because it seems it's kind of late in the season. I've noticed it puts out new leaves in July, by september the new leaves have usually matured. So maybe I should feed it when the next growing season comes around?

I should also note that from memory, the root system is fairly small. The pot is rather big for it. But the reason I repotted back in 2015 was that I noticed the soil was very fine and extremely dense (apparently aspidistras do that to their soil).

Last edited by LasVegan; Sep 15th, 2016 at 09:34 PM.
#393689 - Sep 15th, 2016 at 10:26 PM Re: Dying Aspidistra [Re: LasVegan]  
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I would move it away from the window a bit. And feed it at the next watering. Even if you don't after that.


~Tina
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What every gardener loves the most, Begins and ends in rich compost. (Tina)
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#393693 - Sep 16th, 2016 at 09:19 AM Re: Dying Aspidistra [Re: Tina]  
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I would add....Does the new pot have a drainage hole ??


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#393701 - Sep 16th, 2016 at 11:40 PM Re: Dying Aspidistra [Re: LasVegan]  
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The pot has a drainage hole, but maybe i should check it. I water it sparingly anyway.

The old soil was looked bad but that it why I repotted it in the first place, and it did all this damage. I have read aspidistras hate having their roots disturbed, and this would seem to confirm it. What about just feeding it, would that help it grow roots, even at this point in the season? If yes, what food do you recommend?

I wish there was like a plant doctor I could take it to or something like that. Any ideas?

#393711 - Sep 17th, 2016 at 01:48 PM Re: Dying Aspidistra [Re: LasVegan]  
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Tina Online content
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I don't know of anyone you would get a definite answer from right now. You could try your local extension and someone might help. https://www.unce.unr.edu/programs/horticulture/ They might have someone available to answer your questions.


~Tina
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What every gardener loves the most, Begins and ends in rich compost. (Tina)

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