Category: plant help

pierrebellec: @los-plantalones i realized lik…


@los-plantalones i realized like really belatedly that the photo i submitted last night (?) about my rescued echerivia was really bad, so i got some better ones today. 

Soil was very dry and compacted, most of the roots crumbled with the soil. Stem looks pretty alright, no obvious signs of rot (to my inexperienced eye at least). a lot of the leaves are very limp and wrinkled, which I’m guessing is from overwatering?

anything else you notice about plant, or tips on getting it back in shape? 


I don’t think it has rot at all, but it IS incredibly dehydrated and suffering from some serious lack of light.

The limp, wrinkled leaves are signs of thirst. Notice how it starts at the bottom – succulents will consume the moisture from their lower leaves first. What probably happened is the soil compaction blocked the roots from soaking up water, so they dried up. Without roots the plant had no way of taking up water, so it started to essentially drink itself. Also why it sent out roots along the stem… they’re looking for water in the air!

Best thing you could do is trim away any dead or crumbled roots, and repot it in some gritty soil with a lot of perlite or pumice. Let it sit for a few days as it gets used to its new home, and then start to water it as normal.

Hi, thank you for your previous response to my…

Hi, thank you for your previous response to my question on my mum’s dracaena. I have now a problem with my little fittonia, her leaves are turning yellow on the edges. I bought it three weeks ago and repotted it the same day into a terracotta pot. I have watered it only when the soil was dry and always kept a high level of humidity. Maybe some sort of nutrient deficiencies? Thank you


I should warn you that fittonias come to me to die! 😅 The yellow could be from water stress – terracotta might not be the best choice because it wicks water out of the soil. For a plant that likes to stay lightly moist you’re better off with plastic or glazed ceramic pots.

It could also be a nutrient deficiency, for sure. You shouldn’t fertilize plants with any water soluble fertilizers for a month or two after repotting, but it would be okay to mix an all-purpose granular fertilizer into the top inch or two of soil.


hello again!!! i was the anon with the pachyveria hybrid ask. i unpotted it like you said and got as much of the soil off as i could. heres what it looks like

are the brown parts of the stem rot? corking? what am i looking at here? is it still salvageable?


The roots look okay, which is annoying – because the brown on the stem looks very much like the beginnings of stem rot. You could take a chance and leave the plant out in open air for a week or so and see if the brown spreads or not, or you can take the more cautious route and cut the stem above the brown area and re-root the plant.

So last January a sansevieria leaf snapped off…

So last January a sansevieria leaf snapped off of a friend’s plant when she was moving it, so she gave it to me to try and grow some new ones from. Fast forward to this August, and the cuttings finally started to put up new growth (they had already rooted by March but didn’t do much after that). Personally I think the new growth is really beautiful and the color difference in the patterns is striking, but it is a lot lighter colored than the mother plant. I knew that the yellow stripe wouldn’t come through from a leaf cutting, but I didn’t think the green would change. I don’t know if something is wrong, this is just because it’s still young growth, or it’s because they get much brighter light than the original plant (they are on a shelf about a foot away from a southern window, though I am at around 47 degrees north so sunlight hours are fading fast). I just want to make sure these little guys are doing alright. Thanks!


It’s because they’re young! Por ejemplo: I have this sansevieria zeylanica and the mature leaves are so dark they’re almost black, but the tiny shoots that grow are bright green! It could certainly also be the light difference. But rest easy because these babes look healthy and happy. You seem to be doing a fine job!

Hi! It’s me again. I’m wondering if these succ…

Hi! It’s me again. I’m wondering if these succulents can survive a cold and likely snowy winter outside. I am thinking about making a little soil bed for them. What do you think? Thank you!


Sorry, friend — the answer is no! =( These guys here are from desert regions of Mexico and Africa, and will die very quickly if left out in the snow and freezing temps.

If you really want succulents that can survive cold and snow, look into sempervivum, opuntia, and stonecrops!

I have a pothos and i was wondering if you kno…

I have a pothos and i was wondering if you know some tips on keeping gnats away? And how do I know how much water til he’s got plenty, and how do you know if the drainage is good?!

A good way to prevent gnats is to water from the bottom! Gnats are drawn to moist soil, but watering from the bottom keeps the top fairly dry while the the roots still soak up the water they need. You can tell the drainage is good if water soaks into the soil quickly and easily, and flows out of all the drainage holes. There should be about 20% perlite or other gritty medium mixed into the soil.

To check if a plant needs water, stick a finger into the top of the soil. If it’s dry two inches down or more, it’s watering time! Fill a container with a few inches of water and sit your plant inside it. Leave it in for about 10 minutes. Check the soil with your finger again. If it’s moist, you’re done. If it’s still dry, leave it in a few more minutes. Don’t leave it in more than ½ an hour. Once a month, flush the soil with water from the top to get rid of excess salt and minerals.



hey there! i was wondering if you could tell me what’s wrong with my geraniums? there are a lot of yellowing/browning existing leaves, and a lot of the new growth seems to be dying off and turning brown as well. they were recently repotted after being rootbound for a bit, but they only seem to be getting worse now. ive only watered them once since the repotting (about a week ago) and the soil still seems to be damp. about 2/3 of the plant is healthy, but the rest looks like this? what should i do? are they still salvageable? thanks in advance! 🙂


It looks like leaf blight, but since I don’t grow geraniums I’m not entirely sure! Hopefully my followers can help you find an answer. 😀

Powdery mildew on (pretty large & old) jad…

Powdery mildew on (pretty large & old) jade plant: is it curable without cutting most of the plant? The visibly affected leaves are quite evenly distributed, so I'm assuming it's a lot more widespread than currently obvious… :/ /my plants have always been disease-free so far and I feel like a parent when their child has the first runny nose – death is clearly imminent… Also: SECONDED ON THE CUTE 😛

Unfortunately it’s probably the best course of action to cut the plant back. =( In my experience jades don’t do well with organic fungal treatments like horticultural oil or baking soda, and if you buy a quality fungicide you’re going to be spending some cash.

Don’t despair, tho — I cut back my jade this past winter due to powdery mildew (not enough drainage, too little light!). It was sad because it had a nice tree shape going on, but the thing about plants is… they grow back!! I took a bunch of cuttings from the healthy parts of the plant, and repotted them in new, faster-draining soil. I now keep the pot right in front of the window in a room with the fan always going. And they bounced back FAST and look better than ever!

Also: thank you so much! you guys make me squeak and throw my phone across the room with your compliments 😊

Hi! I can’t seem to find out what’s wrong with…

Hi! I can’t seem to find out what’s wrong with my donkeys tail, the leaves are all shriveling up and a few have fallen off, the stem is looking a bit strange too and I’ve got no clue what to do!


It looks dehydrated. What’s probably happening is the soil has become compacted around the roots. This means water goes AROUND the soil/roots instead of soaking into them. Unpot this guy and give him some fresh soil with more perlite or pumice to help prevent soil compaction.

sorry to bother but do you know this plant spe…

sorry to bother but do you know this plant species? I heard he dies off for most of the year and you aren’t supposed to water him AT ALL when he dies off,,,, hMM…. curious I think he’s totally unique though 👀👀👀 he’s a succulent aswell and has pink blooms


It’s… some kind of caudiciform! I don’t really know much about them, but I’m sure some of my followers do!