I have a Stapelia variegata whose leaves are turning yellow and
shriveling away to nothing at the tips. Only the last half-inch or so
of each leaf is affected, the remainder of the leaves are still green
and turgid. Does anyone know what the problem is?
On Sat, 24 Feb 2007 01:31:11 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"
Municipal water, not softened, varies in quality but tends to be on
the hard side. It's winter, I'm watering it lightly once a week, it's
potted in a mixture of about 50% commercial potting soil and 50% sand.
Some plants are sensitive to levels of chlorine that you and I don't notice.
The best thing for house plants is to age the water in an open container for
a couple of days before using it. Chlorine will dissipate by then.
This site's got some interesting tips about avoiding fungal issues around
the stems, but not much about how to recognize the problem.
I'm betting first on the water.
All leaves or just younger or older ones?
First thought for me when I see leaf tip death is usually salt burn.
How long has it been in the pot? Have you leached the soil? Use much
fertilizer? If you let some dry, does it make a nice white or yellowish
crust on top? Cu deficiency is another possibility, but a real long
shot -- and Cu is toxic enough I would rule everything else out first,
and then supply it as compost or well-rotted manure.
There is a small amount of crust. I have some crust on a lot of my
indoor plants, I think it's from the water supply which, as I've said,
tends to be on the hard side. I've never had it result in leaf burn
in a plant so young though (I only got the Stapelia last year), and
usually repot before it becomes a problem. I've also never had leaf
burn on succulents, but I suppose there's a first time for everything.
The site I pointed out earlier said that in winter (short days), water less,
or maybe not at all. If it's winter where you live, wait this situation out.
When the plant seems to be making new growth, collect some rain water and
and pour LOTS of it through the soil. Do it over the sink so the water can
drain out thoroughly. Or, if you don't want to wait, repot with fresh soil,
melt some clean snow, and use that to water the plant.
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