Need help to revive a cryptanthus

susan_kc(7b)March 9, 2007

Hello all! First post here. IÂve been a plant fanatic for years, but just discovered this forum. ItÂs been very helpful and enjoyable!

I recently purchased a cryptanthus from WalMart, and to be honest, it is in pretty bad shape. When I bought it, it still had color in the center, but the leaf tips and bottom leaves were brown and shriveled. It was a mercy buy. IÂm hoping I can revive it, but donÂt know if there is anything special I can do. I know the basics of humidity, good soil drainage, and not keeping them too cold or too wet, but was hoping there is some extra TLC I can give this plant to revive it. ItÂs holding its own so far, but no new growth yet. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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Mine always look sad coming out of winter..washed out look...I get them into very bright filtered light and they perk up in 2 weeks..also I feed them a good dose of super thrive

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 7:30PM
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bob740(zone 6 ,NY)

Some possibilities: (mealy bugs hidden in the stem/leaves/roots,or just plain dehydrated)
Remove it from its soil,wash/soak or rinse the whole plant,roots too, in an diluted plant insecticide,or,a diluted mix of water and dish-washer soap,and after 10 minutes or so,rinse in clean water.Remove dead lower leaves,and replant in new soil,with a small dash of plant fertilizer mixed in,water,and place in warm area with high light,or morning/late afternoon sun,keep slightly moist,not soggy.
If in a few weeks,it does not improve,plant outdoors (if temp.allows) in a bright shaded area,directly in the soil,no pot.Mother Nature will revive it,if its at all possible. This usually works for me. Worst case,you may still get it to send offsets to replant.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 2:22PM
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Thanks so much for the good suggestions. I'll try the washing and replanting this week, and let you know how it goes.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 10:01AM
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Good news!! There is new growth on my cryptanthus. It looks like there are 2 crowns coming up from the middle. Are these "pups" or is this the normal form the plant takes?

Thanks again for the suggestions!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 9:31AM
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bob740(zone 6 ,NY)

Yes,KC,these are 'pups',also called 'offsets'.Just leave them on the 'mother plant',and they will eventually fall off,or can be taken off with a gentle tug when about a third the size of the mama. Then you can replant them,and they will be your new plants.
Sounds like things are improving.Good.
[a pic of two cryptanthus examples with some pups.On the left,too small to plant yet, on the right,the size is ok to remove and plant]


    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 9:19PM
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