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Please help me save (and identify) my houseplant

I got this plant about 5 months ago. I've had no problems with it, until two weeks ago when I found mealybugs(?) on it. I got a soap water solution from a greenhouse, sprayed it on and they are gone. However, after being gone for the weekend, I came home to find my plant half dead! This is a month after the bugs, so I don't think that is the problem. The plant appears to be dying from the root up, it turns yellow and it looks like it is dry, but its not. I've continued to keep the soil moist (added a little more water as the heat is on and drying out the air a bit) I also have no idea what this plant is, so I can't really look up any information on it! Thanks in advance!




hi Jessie, it is a bit hard to tell from this picture what your plant is, will take a wild guess that it is either a Caladium (which dies down to base anyway) a Philodendron or a Scindapsus (Pothos) well all i can say Jessie is there is only one bit of good news, if it is the first saggestion a Caladium then as i said before they do die back this time of year, in which case you should stop watering all together and keep the tubers at about 60f in pot or in peat, and then you replant the tubers in spring. however from what you have discribed it sounds as if your plant is rotting at the base - never a good sign i'm affraid. both of the other two plants that i said do not like to be over watered but they do like humidity, so it is best to water sparingly this time of year and either keep them in the bathroom or kichen where the air will contain some moisture or mist the leaves - it sound to me that you have over watered. does the pot it is in have good drainage? the only thing i can saggest that you try is to cut off all of the dead bits and repot it into a free draining pot in new compost that is not overly wet, and rather than watering extra to compesate for central heating and dry air, mist the leaves. but to be honest Jessie i think you will be lucky to bring it back form this, good luck though!

7 Dec, 2007


Ok, I looked up the three suggestions you provided and I am almost positive it is a Caladium. I do remember something about it being a "tropical" plant when I purchased it. It is not a vine plant and the leaves are more wide and heart shaped then the pictures I've seen of Philodendron or Scindapsus. As you probably guessed, I am not much of a gardner, I just like how they look... What are tubers? And do I just cut the leaves off?

7 Dec, 2007


Jessie I found a website that might help you.
It will tell you exactly how to overwinter this plant. Good luck

7 Dec, 2007


tubers are a bit like bulbs but look nothing like them - if that makes sense at all! they don't look like onions like most bulb do, more like potatoes, stones or carrots usally fleshy - depending on the plant - as i have never grown a Caladium myself, i'm not exactly sure what they will look like, they can vary in size and shape but will be below the serface of the soil, basically main part of the root system. if you do not have them and your plant has a single stem root, (like a tree) or a fibourous root (like grass) then you do not have a Caladium. if this is the case then treat it as i have recommended for Philodendron and Scindapsus. i am a florist, and this is general information that i would give to customers which will apply to most tropical house plants - there are always aceptions to the rules of course and it is hard to know without a proper id but repotting and misting would proberly still be your best option. good luck would be good to know how you get on.

9 Dec, 2007

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