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Question about cutting a plant back
#91035 February 1st, 2007 at 08:42 PM
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Hello, please bare with me here I've got almost no experience with houseplants. To further complicate matters I have NO idea what sort of plant I have here and I'm hoping my question is general enough that I can get some kind of response. I aquired this plant through friends who had left it outside for a couple of nights in the fall when it was around the freezing mark. When I got it it didn't look the healthiest - the bottom of all the stems was quite brown and sickly looking but there were still healthy looking green shoots at the top. Since that time I've kept it watered and it continues to grow a few new healthy looking shoots with leaves but they fairly quickly die off, the entire bottom of the plant remains a brown dead looking colour without leaves. I've cut back some of the brown stalks but as I said the ENTIRE bottom of this plant is brown and dead looking even the parts with fresh green stalks growing out of them. Should I cut the dead stuff back more aggressively? At least the parts without fresh growth (most of it has no growth)? Also the pot the plant is in is probably too small for it, is it worth changing the pot? I've made this plant sort of a project now (I've had it several months) and I'd very much like to bring it back to health if I can. Any advice whatsoever is very much appreciated.

Re: Question about cutting a plant back
#91036 February 1st, 2007 at 08:58 PM
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do you have any way to post a pic?

Re: Question about cutting a plant back
#91037 February 2nd, 2007 at 02:37 AM
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welcome to the forum, e!!

a pic would definitely be a good idea!

Re: Question about cutting a plant back
#91038 February 3rd, 2007 at 03:14 AM
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I always like to think that any sign of growth is good. However, you describe your plant as rather unhealthy.

I would say tend to it and see what happens!

Re: Question about cutting a plant back
#91039 February 4th, 2007 at 01:43 PM
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Sounds like you have nothing to lose by cutting off one or more of those new green shoots and trying to root them. Try putting one in some Root Tone and poking it into some soil and put another one in water just to see what happens. Might be your best bet to save your plant.

Re: Question about cutting a plant back
#91040 February 4th, 2007 at 07:33 PM
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mln, not bad advise! some plants need to be rooted in soil rather than water tho and we don't know what type of plant e has!

e, if you can't post a pic, could you at least give us a really good decription of the plant?

describe the leaves - coloring, size, shape, if they are thick/fleshy or thin/flimsy

describe the stalk/trunk also - is it thick and tree-like or thin. is it square or round. is there one stalk/trunk or a grouping

Re: Question about cutting a plant back
#91041 February 6th, 2007 at 05:29 PM
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I'll see if I can get a pic online tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime I've gone ahead and just cut off anything that looked dead which was a very significant part of the plant. There has been no new growth in the past few days but existing shoots (there are 3) are all doing fine it would seem. New growth has slowed, at one point it seemed there was another new shoot each week that would grow rapidly and seem very healthy only to wither and die just as rapidly after a few days. The more recent shoots are not growing leaves anywhere near as large as the earlier ones.

The bottom of the plant is brown and woody, not especially thick to my mind but I have nothing to compare it to. The fresh shoots are green. Leaves are green and flat, the very ends of them seem to curl slightly but that may be a sign of its health more than a natural shaping. I was told when I got the plant that it would produce pink flowers but I have no further information on that - there's been no flowering in the months that I've had it.

I've never rooted anything before.

E

Re: Question about cutting a plant back
#91042 February 6th, 2007 at 10:59 PM
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Looking forward to the pic...Some use rooting powder,some just in wateR?there are different ways to root.

Re: Question about cutting a plant back
#91043 February 7th, 2007 at 05:08 AM
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e, yes, please post a pic smile

i re-read your first post...and your additional one.

it could be that the woody stem is normal for the plant and not an indication of it being in bad shape.

how often are you watering it? hopefully not more than once a week. i say that because it's natural to over-water a plant that doesn't look good. which is fine for some plants as more frequent watering is the answer. for others, tho, more frequent watering can actually cause more problems!

so, first thing is we need to identify what you've got!!!

rooting cuttings is pretty easy - and hardly any work, either! most plants can be put in water (with or without rooting hormone or plant food) and they will readily start producing roots within a week or so. most succulents cuttings prefer being put directly in the soil - they can take a while to start sending out roots, tho. then there are other plants that can be put in either and they will start forming roots.


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