Curling and Cracking leaves?

SaffireYinSeptember 21, 2012

I am an AV newbie that has been attempting to take care of two varieties (both are noids), which I got from a local florist. I've had one for a month, and another for about 3 weeks.

The first variety I had propagated most of the leaves, but the original crown plant didn't seem to do well, so I decided to throw it away after about 3 weeks. The details for that is here:

I also had a leaf curling down issue but I think it was because the water was too cold. It hasn't happened anymore after I changed it.

But now, with the second variety, ALL the leaves on the main plant (not counting propagated leaves) are curling down, and are more wavy, after repotting. I had repotted this one a day after the soil dried out and started showing signs of drooping (was too busy before, but it bloomed and thrived then), so was this a mistake? This plant looked so healthy when I got it. Here are the before and after pictures:

Before - Store bought version (Sorry for the blurriness!):

After - Repotted:

I only opened the curtains for lighting for the camera, but let the plants get indirect west sunlight. I use part dehumidifier water and part tap water. I have noticed a bad smell coming from around my plants since I started using the dehumidifier water though. However, not all of them smell (mainly my propagated leaves), only the ones with the original crown. I also use Bluebird Greenhouse's AV soil and Fafard Horticultural Perlite.

What do you experienced growers think? I really want to learn how to be a successful AV grower (although not for show...not enough confidence, time, or money for that lol!). Thank you in advance!

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What is your watering routine?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:40PM
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I water from the top a little when the soil feels dry for my leaves. I haven't done that with the plant in the pictures though since I got it kind of recently. I let the original soil from the store dry out before repotting it yesterday for this plant. I repotted with new damp soil (I made sure it was not too wet), and I mist all of my plants with condensate/tap water every 3-4 days.

I'm going to try to water from the bottom for this plant next time though, since it's a full plant and not a leaf.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:43PM
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I think it's just in shock from being transplanted. Many on here would advise you to put it in a clear plastic bag until it adjusts, if that is what is wrong with it. Just make sure the soil isn't too wet if you do that.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:53PM
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nyxx(z7 Virginia)

The bad smell, is it a stagnant water smell? Since it coming only from one plant I would be concerned with too much water and rotting roots.

I'm curious how much trouble did you have getting the old soil off the plant? I, not long ago, got a plant from the store that was completely dry. I would water it and the plant would look worse. I decided to go ahead and repot it. When I removed it from the pot the soil was literally like concrete. I set the root ball in water for a few mins and tried again, the water had only penetrated the very outside layer of the soil. Here is a picture of what the soil looked like after I got to the point of letting it set in the water for an hour and a half.

After a little more time in the water I gave up took it out side ran the hose over the roots ball and as gently as I could got a good deal of the concrete off. Needless to say it took a hit and I lost several of the older leaves. The whole plant was worrisome for awhile to tell the truth. But it is looking pretty good now. I need to remove a few outer leaves so it is more symmetrical but I think it will be beautiful and healthier in the long run. My main point here, after my looong ramble, is that my plant took a much bigger and looked way worse then yours. I think it will be fine. The "cracks" I see in the leaves look to be only in one leaf. It could have been damaged during the repotting. Or possibly at the store and you didn't notice it till after you potted it and started looking at it closely to make sure you did it right =o)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:21AM
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Thank you aviolet6 and nyxx! I am new to gardening so your answers help A LOT.

@aviolet6: Yes, I am now thinking it's transplant shock. I started looking that up and found some pictures that looked similar to mine. Before, I was focusing on "leaves curling down", but didn't think of looking for "droopy" leaves because I wasn't sure if this was considered droopy. When I entered this in search, I found a lot more situations similar to mine. I was worried about bugs before, but glad it isn't the case lol! It hasn't gotten any worse than what it is in the picture too, so I'm glad!

@nyxx: Lol it wasn't a long ramble at all! It was a very informative and reassuring story =) (It sucks you got a plant with concrete soil though O_O! I wonder how that happens.). At first, I was worried about having a hard time removing the old soil when it dried, because it felt rock hard when I finger tested for moisture. I even added a little bit of water from the top, but it wouldn't sink in at all. When I took it out of its pot though, the soil came off easily. Phew! It was rootbound really good though, so I was not sure how much to remove. I think I took out like 80% of it though. As for the leaf, I think you're right. I probably didn't notice it before. I was worried because a few days after I propagated my leaves, I noticed cracks/brown spots that weren't there before. So I was wondering if I had a pest problem. Here's some pictures of the before and after of my first variety:

Before (all green and pretty!):

After (the plants were moved around here because I wanted to clean the tray):

Any idea what happened? It hasn't gotten any worse, so I'm thinking it might not be a pest, but water or sun burn?

Anyway, about the smell, I'm not sure if it's stagnant water. My memory of stagnant water didn't stink THAT bad though. I'm not good at identifying smells, but the first things that came to mind was either rot or mold. I checked my old variety for root rot, but I was not sure. It only had one root at the time lol (a lot of mistakes led to repotting it 3 times to what you see in the Before picture with the leaves). I was thinking it was definitely from my dehumidifier water because all I used was tap water before. At that time, I didn't mix the water. I think the crown really didn't like it? I used mixed water for my second plant, which made it only smell a little bit temporarily. Should I just stop using the dehumidifier water?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 4:16PM
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the only time I get an odd smell is if I keep things too wet for too long and smelly bacteria start to grow. I also use dehumidified water (especially given how I'm on city water and they randomly treat with chloromine).

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:09AM
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Well, I used it the same way as I use to use tap water. I'm thinking maybe it's because the container inside my dehumidifier might be dirty? So there's more bacteria? When I unload the water, I can see tiny particles floating around through a ziploc bag.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 2:51PM
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I generally will either treat the water with Physan20 which will kill the bacteria. The bacteria I had in my water was white and scummy, but goes away after treating the container with a 1/10th clorox solution.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Yes, mine are the same! I don't have Physan20, but I'll try the clorox solution, and see if it gets rid of the smell effect.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Do you have Dettol where you live?
If so you could try a few drops in your water to combat the smell. I use it to combat algae (My wicks go into clear containers) and it works well.
It certainly doesnt hurt the plants.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 5:33PM
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The clorox didn't get rid of the white stuff in the water (which looks like it has built up O_o), and the water now smells very...bleachy? I have been letting it sit in an open bottle for a day so far. Should I still use this water?

@GCTBA: I don't think I have Dettol around here, but I can order it from Amazon. It looks interesting! But would it kill the white stuff in the water?

I don't want to buy anything I don't absolutely NEED, since I'm on a budget, so maybe I should just stick with tap water? xD It seemed to work fine for the first 3 weeks I had AVs lol.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:03PM
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nyxx(z7 Virginia)

Personally I wouldn't use it. Perhaps the white stuff can be cleaned up with white vinegar, wiping the tray of the dehumidifier with it. In the mean time just fill an empty gallon milk carton, not all the way to the top but to the point where the carton starts to narrow with tap water. This leaves more surface area exposed to the air, then filling all the way to the top, to dissipate the chlorine in the water. Then add your fertilizer and you are good to go. This is what I do. I have several cartons that I just keep rotating. If your one plant still smells funky you may want to repot, checking the roots to make sure no rot. The fresh soil should get rid of the smell. And you and the plant will be happier. =o)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:41AM
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Good idea, nyxx! I don't use milk cartons, but I have been saving juice and Gatorade bottles that's about a gallon size (I forget how much) for my future gardening projects.

Also, the smell is gone, so no problem, but I haven't used the bleached dehumidifier water at all either. I think I will just get rid of it, and not use dehumidified water, unless I really need to. I checked my city's local water quality report, and it's not bad at all, so it should be fine for now.

By the way, about the drooping plant, well it's not drooping anymore! The leaves perked up again in about 2-3 days. There was one leaf I was worried about on my plant though, because it didn't recover from the drooping after 5-6 days of being repotted (the leaf didn't feel firm at all, but wasn't wilting either). I didn't have a container or ziploc bag wide enough to put it in, but I recently ordered a 7 inch dome (only had 3 inches before so it couldn't fit) and put my plant inside. Today I checked it, and it's back to normal! The leaf has recovered within 2 days (?) of being put in the dome. I'm so glad x)!

I'm also thinking that my propagated leaves are only experiencing water burn from not being dried enough (I tried!). The brown spots only appear after I wash them and then repot for 2 plants so far. I have bought one more, so I will be more careful with this one.

Thank you everyone for calming a newbie panic, and teaching me more about AVs =)! I hope I can have beautiful, blooming plants within half a year, and I hope everyone else is enjoying their babies too ^_^!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 5:12PM
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somehow I missed this...

definitely dump the bleach-water. I generally dump, scrub, and dump the next batch before using anything from it.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 1:16PM
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