"Black Dragon" problem

monet_gJune 19, 2013

I've had pubicalyx "Black Dragon" for about 18 months. It seems every time it gets growing, all of a sudden it begins to decline. This has happened twice in the last year. Right now the plant is dehydrated even though it was watered along with all the others and they're doing fine. I highly suspect it's root loss.

I'm tempted to take a cutting, but since the plant is small, I was wondering if I couldn't try to restart it from the current root area by putting it in a baggie with moss. I was thinking that by leaving it intact, it could jump start the few living roots that remain. Do you see any problems with doing so? Could S/H also be a way to go?


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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Gail,

It's hard to speculate as you're asking. We'd be able to guestimate care better if you shared pix w/ us.

My personal feeling is you should pls. unpot it & check the roots. Knowing what the roots are looking like will help assess the prospect of it rooting further or not & how close it may be to rot.

The mix is key here as well as the condition of the roots. Could the mix have hardened off to the point where the water isn't penetrating the rootball? This can be a common occurrence w/ very peaty mixes & can kill the plant for sure).

W/out actually looking at the roots there's no way to tell.

One could take cuttings to be safe, but I can't tell how small your plant is.

Hydro (or SH) isn't a great idea w/out assessing the roots first either. That can be a quick road to rot if already halfway there (we don't know).

I'm not trying to give you a hard time, rather trying to answer questions relevant to your questions.

A late plant mentor of mine used to tell us that trying to trouble shoot a plant w/out unpotting to see the roots is like trying to see things while wearing a blindfold.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 11:52AM
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Thanks, pg. I just looked at the roots. Fortunately, they weren't nearly as bad as I suspected. In fact, none were dark.

I had the plant in the gritty mix. I think where I went wrong is that I watered it on the same schedule* as my other hoyas including other pubicalyx. However, "Black Dragon" doesn't have as of a thick/succulent like leaf as most of the others, so it needs to watered more frequently. I'm going to move it to a bark based mix (5-1-1). The gritty mix doesn't seem to work that well for me.

*I know I should test each plant for the need of water, but I have bunches and bunches of plants and don't always have the time. In general, I find hoyas pretty easy to grow well, but this Black Dragon.... I'm just going to have to watch him like a hawk until I'm sure of my cultural practices with him.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 12:27PM
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Hi people:


I'm happy to say hello again

I like that you read it the link below. I have the same problem. Apparently appears that the plant is dry but the roots have reached rot from excess of water.

Also I would like (I do not know enough English) your talk about my problem

Thank you very much and best regards

Here is a link that might be useful: Malditas lluvias del mes de Mayo

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 2:27AM
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im going through the exact same problem with my black dragon... it was dehydrating while the roots were rotting so i took it out and got rid of all the dead roots. there were still a few viable roots so what i did was take a cutting of it to try and root and then put it in a new pot with its few viable roots. im hoping that those few roots will stay healthy and will revive this pubicalyx because its so beautiful. i havent gotten it to bloom yet but i LOVE those long lime green leaves!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 8:33AM
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I'm wondering if this is a fussy one. I did take a cutting the last time this happened, but it died. The mother plant is still hanging on after a re-pot and looks slightly better. I've put it outside in the shade where the humidity is high. Seems I did this last year and it rebounded nicely.

Maybe it's the long winter quarters inside. Next winter she'll go under lights to see if it prevents the problem.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Hello people:

I pray to you I apologize for my little English.

In the link below I talk about my Red buttons and how I want to save it.

"Salvar la red buttons"

You will find there many pictures and here's a sampling.

Warm regards

Here is a link that might be useful: Salvar la red buttons

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 11:23AM
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