View Full Version : All my plants are dying!

09-08-2004, 08:56 AM
Aww, man. I've been buying houseplants this past summer. Right now, only the pothos is still growing. (And the bamboo sticks are still alive, but it's tough to kill that one). My chia plant (baby's tears) is half-alive (or half-dying). This is because I over-watered it (I know that because there was an inch thick water in the container underneath). The ivy I bought for these cute little pots shaped like Wellington boots look burnt out. My peperomia (?) has even started wilting and a couple of leaves came off in my hand this morning. For a while, I had thought it was growing. Aaarrrggghh. These are all supposedly shade plants, and my place has next to no natural light. I put them on the sundeck sometimes if I think they might need some sunshine. Maybe I should just buy fake ones and pretend they're real.

09-08-2004, 06:41 PM
I feel for you. Personally I've given up on in-the-house plants. Actually, I don't do pots at all. In the ground, native or heat resistant, and able to survive on sporadic watering and thunderstorms. That's my rules!

Decorate with wine bottles instead. :)


09-08-2004, 10:40 PM
House plants actually do best when you water them the least. That's what I've found anyway. Another little trick (I know, it sounds weird) is adding a little old milk to the soil. Vic told me his grandmother used to do this, and when one of my plants was looking particularly pathetic, I added a little. The plant was back to its healthy state within 2 days. I'm assuming its due to the vitamins in the milk. My best growing plant has recently been growing inward, the leaves. It has enough water, not too much either, so first I made sure it was receiving enough sun. Next, I added some fertilizer to the soil. It's looking a lot better now. I used to kill house plants all the time, but I've noticed that they can live with a few interventions. Good luck with yours :)


09-09-2004, 10:53 AM
Okay,Dianne. I put a bit of milk on the soil -- it felt strange doing it, but I figure the plants were dying so there's not much to lose. The Chia plant has only a few leaves that are healthy. Otherwise, it's completely flat -- I consider that one a write-off. I'll cross my fingers and hope for the best. If it works, who knows, maybe I'll add a little cottage cheese and sour cream:D

09-10-2004, 02:27 PM
Yeah, I thought my husband was nuts when he suggested the milk, so I know what you mean. But it worked for me, so....I guess it depends on how far your plants are gone. Milk has vitamin D in it, which is why the plants like it. I wouldn't use it on a regular basis, though, just when they look like they need it.


09-10-2004, 08:22 PM

Did u get your plants up and growing? I am British and we grow everything(green fingers u know....nail technician hates me:D ) so let me know how u got on.........dont despair on the real thing and buy fake...fake ones dont respond to conversation and a hug....maybe if you didnt do that to them daily its why they died?????????


09-13-2004, 05:01 PM
I used to have a book about houseplants which I really liked, published back in the seventies, when I believe it was illegal NOT to have houseplants. It's a silly book, but helpful-- if your library happens to have Mother Earth's Hassle-Free Indoor Plant Book, by Lynn and Joel Rapp (plant gurus of the '70's) have a look at it.

I've gotten a copy out of our library (stupidly, I gave my books away in the 1980's) and want to read you a part about plants and light:

If there is no natural light available and you're a plant love, don't dispair. Artificial light will get the job done. (Growing plants under lights is becoming increasingly popular. Some peple are even growing plants in their closets, although I often wonder what kind of plants a person whould want to grown in a closet, and why.)
Incandescent Light
Amazingly enough, many plants will respond to ordinary incandescent light (that's the kind you have in ordinary light bulbs.) As long as the plant is fairly close to the light (but not too close, of course--at least 12 inches away from the bulb), and the light remains on at least 12 to 16 hours a day, most indoor plants will do okay (with the same exceptions listed below for fluorescent light). However, while fluorescent lamps provide cool light that does not dry out the air, incandescent bulbs give off heat, which does dry out teh air, so plants must be kept on moist pebbles or dry wells and sprayed daily if possible.

Among the plants which were listed as doing well in fluorescent lights are dwarf palms, dracaena, Chinese Evergreen, philodendron, sansevieria and nepthytis.

So. Do you keep your lights on?

09-13-2004, 11:19 PM
Nope. I think it would be a waste of energy (though I recently bought some energy-saver bulbs that give off 60W but uses only 10W per hour) That's the reason I've been trying to buy shade plants -- because I know my place just doesn't have enough light, natural or unnatural.
BTW, it doesn't look like the milk did the trick. I've got dead ivy and a dead chia.

09-13-2004, 11:38 PM
Lily, sorry about your plants. It may just have been too late for them. If you get new ones, don't water them too much. I have found that this is very important and makes the difference between a healthy, flourishing plant and a dead one. I agree with Gail's advice, about sun or artificial light. 2 of my plants are in the kitchen window and get plenty of sun, and another is in the dining room and gets a good amount of sun too. Good luck with future plants!