Mushy leaf bases

ahelaumakaniFebruary 16, 2014

I got a 'Whitney' for Christmas. When I got ready to repot it, I noticed that parts of the leaf bases were soft. I've got 3 clumps of it and I've just had them sitting indoors on top of some substrate in a bucket until I could post here. I'm worried that it'll spread. I've already had to pull off some leaves that were too far gone and it also seems like some of the inner new leaves are completely dried out (I've never watered it.) I've taken a few leaf cuttings but I know those won't come true. How can I save the plant?

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Some more pictures:

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:19PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

You've never watered it, since Xmas? That's somewhat of a problem. Why not? It may be a succulent, but still in approx. 6 wks time it needed at least one drink.

But right now, mushy growth is the problem. Am sorry to tell you but mushy growth indicates rot & is not usually salvageable.

If you bought it, I'd return it to the Vendor & show them the soft spot of mush at the base of the plant; that's rot in the making & likely to spread.

The only save I can offer is to cut the base of the plant off, root too, cut it back to healthy green growth. Pls. use a sterile knife & sterilize it AGAIN after cutting off the rot. Sprinkle the newly cut bottom of the plant w/ cinnamon & shake off the excess (acts as an antifungal & hopefully to slow down the spread of the rot).

These can be re-rooted if the rot stops. No telling if it's too late or not, one can only try, so sorry.

Best of luck, it seems an otherwise nice plant.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:35PM
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Actually now that I think about it I take that back about not watering it. The original mix wasn't soggy but the plant was pretty crowded in the pot and there were a few leaves that looked similar to the 2nd pictures mrjoss posted on "HELP!!! My snake plant is dying"

When I was cleaning it up for the repot I put the plants in water for a bit so I could swish the old potting mix off the roots. Once I saw the bases of some of the leaves I figured I'd better wait to pot it and hold off on anymore watering until I could get some answers.

Unfortunately, I didn't buy it, it was given as a gift. It was the only one of its kind at a local garden center.

I'm going to see what I can do to salvage it.

Here is a link that might be useful: HELP!!! My snake plant is dying

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:11PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Oh, so sorry, I'd say putting it in water was a bad idea. Introduced the rot into the base of the plant. Next time, you can just leave the plant out dry, root open to the air, does no harm to the plant, where as this seems to have been awful for it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:50PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Had this happen to me. Got only a 50-50 chance here. Take some bleach, 50/50 with water. Soak the bottom section and let dry. Plant in pure perlite potting mix. It may help to sprinkle with Root-Tone or other power type of root hormone. Water after a week and every week there after. Any excess water will freely drain. Also do you have a bright sunny spot for this? Helps to keep warm, above 70 degrees. Let us know what happens. I was lucky to save one out of 5 plants last year. This year I am doing excellent. Watch those cold drafts.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 3:10PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Stush,

Are you suggesting she NOT cut off the rotting bottom? If so I think we're giving her conflicting advice.

Pls clarify what you mean by 'pure perlite potting mix'? Does such a thing even exist? I know of re-rooting in pure perlite but that means ALL perlite, no soil or mix.

So I'm confused by you saying "pure perlite potting mix". Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

With out actually feeling this rhizome, I think cutting it apart at this time is going to kill the plant. Bleach will quickly kill the fungus and root tone to give the new roots a chance to collect water.
Perlite mix is pure perlite. Or mostly perlite at 90% or over.
Your advice is good and is also valuable and sound. I am just giving another option.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:15AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

OK thanks Stush, but please, let's try to be less confusing.

Pure perlite is just that pure perlite, no mix, no potting soil; just perlite.

Well, she's welcome to try your way, but given the mush at the very base of the plant, it's toast if she doesn't cut it. I'd love to be wrong, but I'm abt 95% sure.

While I haven't had mush personally, when I've seen seen rot starting that low, it's pretty much a goner. Sorry.

Then again it will make lovely new plants when restarted from leaves, that IS the bright side as we all know.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:47PM
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Thanks for the advice, both of you. I may try some offsets 1 way and some the other. It's weird that the rhizome itself isn't mushy, it's like the leaves got bruised.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:29PM
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