What plant is on your mind?

An area of The Sill dedicated to conversations about plants and gardening in the form of posted messages and threads.

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What plant is on your mind?

An area of The Sill dedicated to conversations about plants and gardening in the form of posted messages and threads.

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  • Is my plant dying?
    I am a plant novice.  I received this in January and all has been going well, but I've noticed recently that leaves keep turning yellow.  But I do have some new growth. So not sure if it's just the plant killing off older leaves to make way for new or what.  I will be devastated if this plant is dying. Can anyone help me?
      • 1
      Pei It's common for some leaves to die off as long as there are new growths. Think of it as an aging process, and each leaf goes through its own cycle. Hope this helps :)
      • 1
      Erin Hi Lauren! As long as the new growth is healthy and green, your pothos should be totally fine! It's not uncommon for older mature growth to turn yellow and fall off over time. I usually prune those leaves off of my pothos plants at home. It looks super happy and full in the photo you shared - and love the butterfly btw!
      • 2
      Lauren Here's a picture from further out of the whole plant.
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  • Unknown Plant
    Does anyone know what this plant is? It was given to me, and I have no idea how to care for it, since I don't know what it is! I am very new to gardening, and want to make sure I get it right!
      • 3
      jenna Bromeliad! They like bright light and to dry out between waterings. They are technically epiphytes, like orchids, so don’t naturally grow in soil, and have relatively shallow roots. Don’t let them live in soggy soil. Watering once a week or two while letting the water run out should be good enough. One thing to know is that after they flower, the mom plant usually dies, and will channel the energy into producing a pup. So if that happens, don’t panic. :)
  • Birdsnest fern
    I’ve had this plant since February, has not grown too much in size. Some leaves have brown spots, some leaves have not grown well. I’ve recently repotted it as I thought maybe it was an issue with the soil. Has anyone had similar issues, knows how to make it healthy again? 
      • 2
      Pei [302421,Andrea] it looks to me your fern is not getting enough light actually! Sunlight is the most important food source and energy plants need to put out new growths. How much sun does it get?
  • question about transporting my pothos - will the vines break?
    Hey all. I want to transport my pothos - it's in a closed pot at my office and I want to transport the plant (in an open box, probably on a bus or in a cab) back to my house to put it in the new pot. Then I'll take it back.

    My question: it's started to grow some really nice vines. They're not overly long, but by transporting them do I run the risk of breaking them off?

    It's doing pretty good in the closed pot, I just really prefer something with drainage and have already bought a new pot for it.

    Worth the risk?
      • 1
      Pei Pothos are very resilient. I doubt it will break off, but if it does, it will put out new growths!
      • 1
      Erin Agreed with PlntNrd - they're pretty resilient plants so you should be OK! And you can propagate any stems that do break off :)

      https://www.thesill.com/blogs/diy/plant-propagation-for-beginners
      • 2
      PlntNrd In my experience, pothos have pretty thick sturdy vines. I think, if you’re careful, you should be just fine. My pothos is one of my sturdier plants. Water it a day or two before you transport and you should be good.
  • Black coral taro
    Hi! I got a black coral taro and I’m trying to keep it in a pot indoors, however it’s been getting brown spots since I brought it home. I called the nursery and they said it’s not getting enough sun, but the internet says it could be getting sun burnt?  I’ve got it in an east facing window so it gets full sun for the first half of the day. It’s also the window in my shower so it gets good humidity. The leaves are also curling? I’ve been watering it so that there’s still water in the bottom of the pot it’s in because it’s a pond plant but I worry about root rot? I also haven’t repotted it from its nursery container yet, so because it likes to be in water features are drainage holes a make or break?

    Honestly any tips on this guy would be amazing! 
      • 1
      Pei I killed my Colociasa too. They are so beautiful, but SO difficult. Mind lived happily in an east facing window for a good couple of months, but infested with spider mites (those suckers!!) later that I was not able to save it :(

      From my experience, I would say east facing window is definitely fine. As it still gets the energy (sun), but won't get burn as afternoon sun does to plants. Good luck [302009,Lauren swan]! Keep us posted :)
      • 1
      Erin These plants are beautiful but difficult to keep happy indoors. I've actually had trouble keeping any type of Colocasia alive inside unfortunately. It sounds like you have it in the perfect spot - bright light and high humidity - so might just be acclimating to it's new home still. Good to keep in mind though that the brightest light indoors is usually equivalent to the shadiest spot outdoors! Might be worth testing it in brighter light if possible.
  • Baby jade succulent
    Hi how can I help this poor plant? It looks like it's thirsty but I've been giving it good amount of water. It also has some white spots on it. I don't know what these spots are. Help!!
      • 1
      Erin Is it possible to get a close up photo of the white spots? They could be mealy bugs which might be the cause of it's unhappiness - https://www.thesill.com/blogs/pests/bug-off-mealybugs

      Overall it looks OK from the photo you shared though! It's definitely wrinkly but you mentioned you've been watering it thoroughly so I'd be cautious about watering it more. For now, I'd recommend pruning off any dying foliage and letting the potting mix dry out completely in bright direct light.
    • 2 more comments
  • Ivy help!
    I bought this ivy online and it came in a small nursery pot healthy. I left it in the nursery pot for about 2 weeks to acclimate. It started to wilt shortly after getting her. I monitored my watering cause it looked to me like it was a watering issue. Then I decided to repot it to a 4" pot and check for any root rot, nothing bad there. It's been another week and no signs of change. It also only has one brown leaf and isn't getting worse but isn't getting better. I'm a little stumped. I've also checked for pests and haven't seen anything of concern there. Could this be a light or humidity issue?
      • 1
      Pei Agreed with [278933,Erin]! Ivy requires indirect bright light (a few hours of direct sun will do too!). How much water do you give it each time, btw?
      • 1
      Erin Hi Stephanie! How much light is it receiving? I've found most ivies to require brighter light then you'd think when grown indoors.
  • Snake plant - please halp!
    This snake plant is turning yellow for some reason. Does anyone have any care tips or suggestions? It is typically kept in the shade in my bedroom. 

    Do I just need to repot this? 
      • 2
      Nicole It looks like it may have been over-watered....I'd take it out of the pot and see if the roots are rotted. Pull off any mushy, unhealthy roots and put it in a new pot. Then fingers crossed!
      Snake plants like to be dry- Water maybe every 2-3 weeks, even less in the winter. They can tolerate low light but will grow better in bright indirect light.
  • Pilea help please
    Trying to figure out why my leaves are curling. It gets moderate sun and I water only when the soil is dry. Could it use more sun? More water?
      • 1
      Erin Agree with below! For new, immature foliage- the curling can be natural. If it continues are the leaves mature, I'd give it more bright direct light and more frequent waterings to match.
      • 3
      dekadaye That's how they look when first blooming, but it could be not enough water. Pilea's love bright light and to be watered weekly in the sunny months.
  • Silver Philodendron Yellow Spots
    I am a new plant owner and bought this cutie about a month ago. After a week or so, it started getting tan spots on 2 of the older(large) leaves. I assumed it was burn from the sun from where it was before I bought it, but they’ve yellowed more. Is it burn marks or is it something else that I should be concerned about (fungus/bacteria)? 
      • 1
      Pei How much water and sun does it get? Sometimes it's normal to loose one or two leaves for a new plant acclimating into its new home (your home!). [301633,Kate Beckmann]
  • Yellowing Monstera
    Just a few of my Monstera leaves are turning yellow. I recently changed the soil, have been careful about watering and tried to give it some plant food. It’s been about 2 weeks without improvement! Help!
      • 1
      Pei Do not give plant food when a plant is struggling! Fertilizer only works when a plant is healthy and happy. Think of it as a vitamin versus a medication. And [289177,Selena S] is right about do not use fertilizer after you repot a plant. you will run the risk of burning the roots.

      How much water and sun does it get btw?
      • 1
      Selena S I'm not sure if this is the answer but I've read that when you repot in new soil, you shouldn't add any fertilizer/plant food for at least a few months because the new soil already has enough nutrients.

      Another theory: I repotted my Monstera recently and did not add fertilizer and some of my leaves also turned yellow at the bottom - I suspect it could have been transplantation shock or maybe I wasn't gently enough with the roots during the repotting processes. After 1.5 months no new leaves turned yellow and I think it's stabilizing from the transplant shock.

      Since it looks like its just the bottom leaves turning yellow, I think I would just try to water normally, give it good light, not add any fertilizer since its in new soil, and see if it improves. I think yellowing newer leaves/bigger leaves would be more cause for concern
    • 1 more comment
  • Struggling Ficus Rubber Tree
    I got myself a rubber tree 2 months ago for my birthday, Ruby <3 She started off happy and thriving, even opening a few new leaves, but then it seems like she took a turn for the worse. She started dropping leaves rapidly, and then I noticed that the new leaves stayed curled and don't lay flat like the others. Then I noticed a few of the leaves had yellow/brown spots on them before falling off. 

    At first I thought I was underwatering, so then gave it more water, then realized that maybe I was overwatering, so I stopped. Then read that rubber trees enjoy humidity and since my apartment is quite dry I started misting her daily. However, she's still dropping leaves. 

    I am at a loss, not sure what is causing her unhappiness or why this is happening, but I really want to save her! She is in a south facing window that has a decent amount of light, but it's slightly obstructed by the neighboring building. 

      • 1
      Selena S Have you checked for mealybugs? This was the issue with my rubber tree that had a similar story as yours!
      • 1
      Latoya Hi Teneka, I had the same issue with you as well. Unfortunately, I never figured out why my rubber plant was off to a bad start (I'm assuming travel stress), but after realizing that my pot had multiple baby rubber plants in it, I inspected the roots and moved the portion that was doing worse to it's own pot. That smaller plant eventually died, but my larger original pot no longer has discolored leaves and is growing well. Good luck!
      • 0
      Teneka Plant overview
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    • 9 more comments
  • Ivy not looking great
    My Ivy plant is looking not so happy lately. Leaves are getting crinkly, shriveled, and less vibrant. Any thoughts on the possible cause of this? I have it next to a window and water it every two weeks(ish?)— whenever I feel like the soil has gotten dry. 
      • 1
      Pei It looks to me your ivy is infested with spider mites. do you see any fine webbing and minute white spots on the leaves?
      • 1
      Sarah You should definitely be watering these more!

      I would water at least once a week and mist them about halfway through the week!
    • 1 more comment
  • Curling Pilea
    My Pilea's top leaves are curling/cupping. I have her under a grow light 12 hours a day. Is it too much light?
      • 1
      Pei It's quite normal for new growth to curling like that with Pilea! Other than that, I'd say you want to bump up the water (either frequency or amount) a bit. Hope that helps :)
      • 3
      Enid Hernandez Thanks. I always water her from the top every 7 days. What I did this time was water her from the bottom. Let her sit in a bowl of water until she was done drinking. The leaves are perking up again and uncurling. Yay!
      • 1
      Sarah How much are you watering it currently? When you do water it are you testing the soil to see how dry it is?
    • 1 more comment
  • Fruit flies
    hi guys! I’ve been having a hard time with getting rid of fruit flies? Do I need to change the soil? 
      • 3
      Plants_Armstrong Safer brand makes a sticky strip that you attach to a stake and put in the pot. I got those and it certainly seems to be helping. It also helps make it clear which plants they are going after. The apple cider vinegar trick works, too, but the sticky strips are collecting way more gnats than the vinegar did when I tried it.

      I've read that changing out your soil is technically the best thing to do; however, you may be like me and have 40+ plants so its not an option OR it just might not be the right time to change out soil on your plants due to existing stress, etc.

      You can also do soil drenches with different natural solutions that will kill the larvae. For example, you can do soil drenches with a hydrogen peroxide mix:

      https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/how-to-control-fungus-gnats-organically

      I'm no expert but I do think the best approach is to try and deal with both the adults and the larvae simultaneously.
      • 2
      Sarah First I would try to identify which plants the fruit flies are congregating in the most.



      The best thing I've found to do with fruit flies is to leave a few glass jars of apple cider vinegar (definitely don't have to fill it up - just maybe an inch or two of vinegar within the jar) and place it near the plants that have flies. Within about three days you should notice the jars filling up with dead flies.

      Gross but it works!