Smithiantha Dale

gmgpk(IL)September 4, 2004

I've had my a Smithiantha Dale since February and I am not sure what is wrong with it. I have it in a 1-1-1 mix and wicked, under flourescent lighting about 6" from the tubes, and our humidity varies from 60 to 75%. The stalks and leaves are limp and the leaves are curled under and faded. What should I do?


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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

I don't know what is wrong. But, it may be getting too much light. Try moving the plant to a window sill for a while to see if it perks up. Limp stems sound like a different problem though. That sounds like the roots are somehow damaged. Or, perhaps the plant is going dormant. In that case it needs care to ensure that it makes decent rhizomes for the next attempt at growth. I don't have luck with smithianthas but many growers find them very satisfactory. As I understand it, other growers will see them resprout at any time of year, generally after a few months.

Jon, just making stabs in the dark...

    Bookmark   September 4, 2004 at 3:26PM
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I was wondering if it was trying to go dormant. Because I have a couple of gloxinias that are going dormant and it kind of looks like they do. Does it matter that it has not produced any blooms? Would moving the Smithiana to the edge of my light garden help? I have a couple of cats that would just love to chew on it if I put it in a window:) How can I help it produce more rhizomes and come back from dormancy? I have several other gessies, and this is one of few that has me puzzled on care.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2004 at 5:24PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

Hmmm, not being able to see the plant in person I can only guess. But, getting the plant to make tubers means letting it go dormant slowly and keep it moist for a while. If it has been fed then it probably doesn't want more feeding. I would just say 'patience" and watchfulness might help. I find that gessies don't make rhizomes when they are either treated poorly or erratically and go dormant in such a weakened state or from total drying out to death such that they don't have time to make rhizomes. You could always take a look-see now. Just be careful and lift the plant from the pot so that the rootball is intact. Most likely you will see rhizomes on the outer edge of the soil. Smithianthas tend to make very large robust rhizomes.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2004 at 2:26PM
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I did as you suggested and knocked the plant out of the pot and checked for rhizomes and there were none. So, I took a couple of the little starts and potted them up in a 1-1-1 mix and I am going to put it in my terrarium to see if they produce any rhizomes. Thanks for your help.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2004 at 2:32PM
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