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Oh no!!! Another sickly plant!

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by rozy221 on February 05, 2005 03:30 AM
I went over my friend's house who is away, and I found her ivy plant suffering (her husband's been trying, but...) There's white over the top of the soil, and 2 of the stems, which were very dry, just fell out of the soil on me. There are still 2 good healthy stems and 1 that's just barely hanging in there. I'll probably trim and root the good ones to make a fuller plant, but in the meantime, what is this white stuff and how do i get rid of it? It's not fuzzy like a mold. It's almost crystal-like, as if the soil just turned white. This plant has been through a lot already-I previously soaked it in a bowl of water because it had become so dried out. I forgot to remove it before I left, and her husband then refilled the bowl and let it sit for about a week, on the counter with no natural light. Is there any hope? Thank you!
by Amy R. on February 05, 2005 04:29 AM
hi rozy,
sorry to hear about your friend's plant. =(
i think the crystallized white stuff on top of the soil is simply excess fertilizer salts. while i think it's great to bottom water certain plants in certain circumstances, top watering can help to flush the excess salts away.
as for your ivy, i'm sorry, i dunno! boo hoo. i want to say that ivy is typically quite hardy, but i have read a few sad stories here about them. mine seem to live despite my attempts to kill them, LOL! here is a link that might help:

http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC1506.htm

good luck, and let us know how it goes!
by rozy221 on February 07, 2005 06:21 AM
Thanks Amy! That put my mind to rest! I was just looking at the plant and scraping away the white stuff for appearance sake, and I realized that this is a really terrible plant. Or rather, whoever sold this plant is really terrible. It has 2 good stems, and 1 that was dried up. It previously had 2 other stems but they dried up also. I decided to rip out the last dead one and I noticed that it barely had any roots! I may be wrong, but it looks like they just stuck some cuttings with rooting hormone (I saw a little bit of white stuff on the stem as i've seen with my own cuttings) and stuck 'em to make the plant look fuller. I guess considering what the plant has been through lately, poorly rooted cuttings really didn't stand a chance. I've got to find out where she got it so I know to never buy anything from there! But anyway, I snipped 2 new cuttings that i'll add back to the plant once they have well established roots-wish me luck!
by Amy R. on February 07, 2005 05:25 PM
Good luck! [Big Grin]
The first houseplant I ever bought was a philodendron, and a gorgeous one at that, or so I thought. It was so full and healthy, I couldn't believe it when the plant started drooping, and little sections with no roots started falling out. It was just as you said with the ivy; someone stuck some cuttings in root hormone to make a "full" plant, I fell for it, and then it died. [perplexed]
What can you do except learn from the experience? [dunno]
Anyway, I hope you're cuttings take root. If your friend got her ivy at a big box store, she might be able to return it. I do it all the time. Hmm, why do my plants keep dying? [Frown]
Take care,
Amy

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