overwatering or under watering?

bibbus 7b(7b)March 2, 2013

I can't seem to get watering right. In the winter I try to avoid watering until all the soil is dried out. I use a water meter but sometimes I let the plants go too long without water, I think. And I travel for work and turn my house temperature down to 55 when I am gone - right above the temperature that Sans need. So looking at the picture, can you tell what the problem is? I should have removed the dirt so you could see better but there is a line where the bottom of the plant has died. It looks shriveled but the bottoms of the stems were soft. Are the symptoms of over and under watering the same?

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)


I'd guess it's overwatering, sorry to have to say this, but soft tissue on Sans, is generally rotting & can't be saved. What about the plant these leaves came from?

If you wish to save these leaves, you'll need to pls cut off the soft mush, cut back to clean, healthy tissue. Then sprinkle some cinnamon on those cut edges (acts as antifungal) & leave out bare & dry to dry off for a few days. Then you could pot up those leaves if you wish, dry, & wait another week or so before watering.

Hard to know what went wrong, likely overwatering combined w/ perhaps too slow draining mix. Are they in clay or plastic?

As we say in succulents, when in doubt abt watering, don't. These plants can recover much better from under than over watering.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

I had the same problem. Same kind of sans as well. Base rotted and thought the same thing. Too cold and maybe too wet. Well look again. Those white tiny balls are mealy bugs. All thru the soil and into the roots and base of the plant. They are all dead. I couldn't save a signal one. All my 'Moonshine' and the Futura shown above. I also lost two of my Bental sensation. Try as I might, no use. I used Bayer Advanced 3 in 1 Systemic. Well at least the more rear ones are not affected. They were in a different area. Unknown how they got in. They are easily replaced come spring. I will use this product thought the summer months before bring in plants in fall. My need oil concoction didn't have a effect on helping them. I suggest starting over come spring and get rid of what you got so as to not spread it to other plants.
Don't worry Karen. Your Bantal Sensation is not affected. Those I kept in my 55 gal. fish tank.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 12:19PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

I agree with both PG and Stush. I would also take a look at the soil medium. If it holds moisture for too long a time, it could also be a problem. I've switch over to a very fast draining medium for everything at this point.

Oops, just re-read PG's soil comment. Go with her again!!!

Interlaken, NY Z6

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 7:46AM
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bibbus 7b(7b)

I have two plants that I bought at the same time from Home Depot. They are large and in plastic pots and are in the potting medium they came in. They don't get much light either during the winter in my living room. I have now moved them to a sunny room that is also warmer. I raised them up off the tray underneath so there is now air under the pots to hopefully dry out from the bottom up as well as top down. How deep do the roots grow? I only pull out the dead ones but the root ball doesn't come out. I think I've read they are very shallow rooted.

No mealy bugs, bonsaigai. Just the perlite in the mix.

Thanks, all for your responses, I really appreciate any advice you can give me.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:50PM
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bonsaigai(NY Zone 6)

bibbus, I'd consider getting them into a more freely draining soil mixture. The soils in commercially grown Sanses tend to hold too much water, in turn, the plants can be susceptible to rotting. Most of mine are in a desert mixture, too fast draining for trifasciata, but half perlite or pumice is not too much for them.

Interlaken NY Z6

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 7:46AM
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The roots will grow as deep as the pot. Nothing is too fast draining for Sansevieria, The grow out of the holes of pots if there are holes, if not and if they need more room they will break the pot, they can also grow out from asphalt. The rhiziome may travel a distance seeking water, wo don't let them get under the house they may come up in you shower seeking light and water.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:40PM
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