Should I buy this Sans?

nischaAugust 9, 2014

Hi All,

Today, at Whole Foods, I saw a Sans (in a 6" pot). This particular Sans appealed to me for its shape, size, density and colour. But it has 3 strikes against it. I will describe them, and ask you if you think I should go ahead.

1. Most of leaf tips were broken. :(

2. A few inches up on one of the mature leaves there was a hole (about the diameter of a pencil) with brown edges. (these were not soft or mushy). Near it, at the very edge of the leaf, was another hole (well, half a hole since it was at the edge). They really look like something ate through it (thick though it is). Mechanical damage at the edge I can understand, but a hole in the middle of a leaf? Could that be anything other than a bug?

3. Two thirds up on one of the mature leaves there was a dark gray patch about the size of two 25 cent pieces. It wasn't mushy and didn't scrape off. Is this a fungus? Impending rot?

Apart from that, the plant looked fine. The leaves felt firm and thick.

I know that if the tips are broken, those leaves won't grow anymore, but I don't know what problems #2 and #3 are about, despite hunting around online (and here) when I should be sleeping. ;)

In my rational mind I think I should leave it and wait for a plant that has no suspicious issues. I've had bad luck with trying to buy a Sans in the past, so I'd probably be better off starting with a healthier plant. A couple of months ago I bought one in a 10" pot and when I watered it a few caterpillar-like worms (larvae?) came out from the bottom holes so I took it back. Three weeks ago I bought one in a 6" pot and when I lifted it out of the foil wrapper, there were larvae/worms around the drainage holes -- again! And a few years before, I bought 3 little guys in 4" pots and a few days after I got them home (I hadn't ever watered them) the leaves developed brown patches that expanded quickly, and became increasingly soggy. They were doomed before I even bought them, since the little greengrocer would hose down all the plants indiscriminately every day (I saw this later).

I'm generally good with plants, have revived many that were near death, and I am very careful not to over-water. But I've had bad luck with buying Sans. Still, I want one! I keep thinking about this one. There's just something about it that I like.

What do you think? Any ideas what problems #2 and #3 might be? Would you buy this plant? (if I go back, I'll snap some photos)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments!

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Id say shop around I found two nice sans at walmart for $2.00 each on clearance.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:30AM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Agreed, That plant should have been put on clearance. That way if it dies, little loss. Most sans are very strong and can take a lot of abuse. Moonshine is one that has leaf issues. The dark green ones are not brothered by such. Need photos.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Thanks for your posts. So that's two votes for leaving it. I guess I'm going to have to go with rational approach. ;)

Sorry I don't have photos, but if/when I'm back there I'll snap some. This was a more common medum-dark green variety, with narrow yellow margins iirc.

Any thoughts on what the hole or gray patch could be? Though I imagine it's hard to say for sure without pics.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:28AM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

Nischa, if I could get a plant past American/Canadian postal customs, I would gladly send you a beautiful Sansevieria! I'd like to issue a challenge to any Canadian reader here to contact Nischa privately and send her a nice healthy Sans. Meanwhile, Nischa, I would not look at your Whole Foods store again for any plant. Your choice of nearby stores might be limited, but in the absence of a plant nursery store, maybe you have a nearby Walmart or Home Depot you can check.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 3:17PM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

As hardy and strong as Sans. trifasciata is, go buy the plant and in a few years, it will reward you with nice new growth and babies. As long as it's under $5, what's the big deal. If those spots get worse or bigger, take the leaf off. Just cut close to the base. New ones should spring up and take over.
And show us a picture!!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:43PM
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