Re: house plant questions

wrote:

<snip>
2nd answer: Is this a Pelargonium citrosum (Geranium like plant) or Cymbopogon nardus (a large grass)? In any case, I'd just plant it and see what happens. The "gooeyness" is probably (not expert opinion) a result of the way stuff begins to decay with a lot of moisture. If it has roots, give it a chance.
1st answer: It is more fruitful to post one question per message. Inevitably, some will pick up on a single part of the query, and you'll have to re-post your other question anyhow. :-)
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Growing "houseplants" is not gardening? What is it then? Ballroom dancing?
It is very difficult to overwater a Diffenbachia since they like to have wet feet and will even grow in standing water. Your problem is probably that the soil has become rancid. Replace ALL the soil and treat with a fungicide.
If by "citronella plant", you are referring to a scented pelargonium cultivar, you have a real problem. They prefer bright light and to go dry between watering. If the cutting are rotting, you have been overwatering them. Remove the rotting part of the stems. Treat the wound with rootone and try rooting them in moist sand (not soil). Keep the sand moist but not wet.
Bottom line is that you should stop overwatering your plants.
Be sure all your pots have drainage holes in the bottom.

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plant
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Growing "houseplants" is not gardening? What is it then? Ballroom dancing?
well i appreciate your responses regarding the plants, as they are helpful, but let me expain that i went to a newsgroup with plants in the title and was redirected to present my questions somewhere else, so i was merely trying to be respectful of the topic and i saw only *outdoor* gardening issues here and thought my questions were to be relegated to outdoor gardening and not houseplants.
"It is very difficult to overwater a Diffenbachia since they like to have wet

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ok. . . if they grow in standing water and if it is dificult to overwater them how did my soil become rancid? did i or did i not overwater this plant?
regarding the citronella--or possibly pelargonium cultivar--i haven't overwatered it in the traditional sense of the word. i never took it out of water. i forgot about it. i will try the sand as you said.
thanks. ginger

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The bottom line to both questions is that she waters her far too much and that is why all her plants are rotting.
Also it is likely that she lets her plants stand in water or the pots have no drainage holes so that the soil becomes rancid and moldy.

finally
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> "The bottom line to both questions is that she waters her far too much and that is why all her plants are rotting"
this "she" sounds awful.
a plant murderess: slow death by drowning. woe is me.
"all" of her plants are not rotting. only two out of seventeen are. lets give her a light sentence please.

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thank you. i realize that about posting the messages, but i wasn't sure if my questions applied because they didnt involve outdoor gardening so i didnt want to post too many semi-off topic things. i know thats silly.

finally
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wrote:

Not silly. You have to have a thick skin in newsgroups. In some more so than others. Yes, rec.gardens *does* deal with houseplants, as you've seen. People will also post replies to questions that more properly belong in rec.gardens.edible, .roses, .orchids, etc. To test the (newsgroup, not tap) water, you can check Google groups and look at topics discussed.
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ivan and i both watered a decorator urn ( with no drainage ) full of rabbit ear meandering Christian or wandering jew and it is drowning i noticed yesterday... what i did and usually do when this happens is insert a long rolled up bunch of paper towels into the soil allowing it to drape over the side and allow the water to siphon out. usually works.
love..granny lee
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that is a very good idea. thank you.
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gingerobyn wrote:

Yes, this is bad for a plant. If they aren't in pots with drainage holes, you should transplant them. [If you have decorative pots that you'd like to display that don't have drainage holes, transplant the plants to plastic pots with drainage holes that will fit inside the decorative ones.] If you then accidentally overwater a plant, you can set it in a sink or tub and let it drain thoroughally before rot sets in. You shouldn't be watering your plants until the top layer of soil is dry to the touch. Some plants, like cactus, need even less water; you need to set up a calendar schedule for watering them.

Go ahead and plant the stalks; they may survive. Generally, when I'm trying to root stems, I put them in sharp sand which I keep evenly moist by placing the container in a saucer of water the level of which is lower than the bottom of the stem in the sharp sand.
Chris Owens
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