I've "inherited" a house plant and it's not doing so well - Starting to look
decidedly "droopy". I'm wondering if you experts can let me know what this
plant is and what kind of care it needs.
I've posted some pictures here:
Thanks in advance.
I'm too comfortable to check the genus & species name, but in stores,
they're usually labeled "Chinese evergreens", and they're really easy to
take care of (your pictures notwithstanding). When grown well, they're
really pretty, they make a flower or two now and then, and will tolerate
everything from very low light to moderate sunlight. The leaves are shiny
(when healthy), so in good weather, put them out in the rain now and then to
get the dust off.
Your plant is probably "pot bound", meaning that its roots are terribly
crowded. Two ways to deal with it. Before doing either, take the pot out of
the basket, put it outside or in the bath tub, and slowly pour a gallon of
water into the pot. Let it drain completely, and then wait a day to take one
of the next steps. The plants will be easier to work with if it's moist, but
1) Can't tell from your pictures, but it's likely that you'll find more than
one "crown", or point from which the leaves are growing (at the soil line).
If you were to remove the whole thing from the pot, you may be able to
GENTLY separate the two crowns and put each in its own pot. If the roots are
terribly tangled, though, you're better off taking your biggest, sharpest
kitchen knife and cutting straight down between the two (or more) crowns).
Then, plant each in its own pot. Separated from their partners, the pots
will look bare for a short time, but the plants will fill out within a month
or two or three.
2) If you like the looks of several plants together, remove the entire bunch
from the pot and move them to a pot that's four to six inches larger in
diameter AND DEPTH. That's going to be a big pot, so your choice of methods
may depend on how much muscle you have when the beast needs to be moved for
a shower, or to clean the floor.
Either way, when you buy new pots, buy the kind whose saucers DO NOT ATTACH
to the pots with stupid plastic snaps. You want separate saucers. These
plants like to be constantly moist, but not soggy. With the snap-on saucers,
you can't see if there's water in them, which means the soil's going to be
soggy. You also can't tell when the water's about to overflow onto the
Give these plants some diluted liquid plant food every couple of months.
And by the way, if the repotted plants look lopsided, don't try and tilt
them when planting, in order to correct that condition. Once they're exposed
to even lighting, they'll become symmetrical. Mine adjusted within a few
weeks. If all your room light comes from one side, rotate the plants
whenever you remember to. A friend of mine spent 3 months in therapy due to
anxiety about remembering which way she rotated her plants the last time. I
suggest either clockwise or counterclockwise, and make a habit of one or the
Spathiphyllum Wallisii. Also known as "peace lily" or "white sails."
From S.America, prefers peat-moss based soil, bright light but NO SUN,
60-70 degrees, likes to be misted, keep soil moist during growing
season but allow the soil to dry before watering. Top-dress or repot
in spring, feed with a balanced liquid fertilizer in spring through
summer. My spathiphyllum is 14 years old, in a 20" pot, a cycle of
white flowers and huge. There are several hybrid varieties.
Its a Spathiphyllum.
They like plenty of water and can even stand in water for lengths of time.
If they are too dry, they quickly droop.
Also fertilize with foliage house plant fertilizer and give plenty of light
but not direct sunlight.
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