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Sick Calathea

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Sick Calathea

Postby Treefrog » Jan 05, 2013 10:50 pm

Hello!

I'm a plant rookie and could use some help. I have a sick Calathea Makoyana, while on vacation the plant became infested with spider mites. I got rid of the mites (and they haven't come back) but the majority of the plant's leaves have suffered and died on me. That said, the plant is still shooting up new leaves! Now, it's the middle of winter and I'm not sure if it should be growing as much as it is...? I'd like to take the plant out of the pot and strip away any of the dead bits to give the new leaves more room and light, but I don't want to stress out an already fragile plant. Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Re: Sick Calathea

Postby Peggy2296 » Jan 06, 2013 12:36 pm

Just cut off all dead leaves at the soil surface. Spider mites love dryness, so use a spray bottle filled with medium hot water and give the plant a misting every day, being careful to spray the undersides of leaves. Mist from about 1 1/2 feet away and the water will just be slightly warm by the time it hits the leaves.

Since this is a plant that loves and needs humidity, you might want to use a water-filled pebble tray to set the pot on. The pebbles keeps the pot bottom from touching the water.
Many plant novices are tempted to give fertilizer to ailing plants. Never do this, especially in the winter when plant growth normally slows way down.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Sick Calathea

Postby Treefrog » Jan 06, 2013 5:55 pm

Thanks Peggy! That definitely helps. I have a few pebble trays in my indoor garden but I'll move one directly underneath the plant.

Thanks again :)
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Re: Sick Calathea

Postby orchidguy » Jan 07, 2013 12:12 am

Treefrog
Your Calathea Makoyana, is a challenge in the home. Everything that Peggy has said, is spot on. The one thing about calathea's, is also a very low tolerance for flouride and chlorine, which is in most city water. To counteract this, let the water stand for about 24 hours before using, and it should be fine.

The only time I was successful with these, is when they were grown in the greenhouse, under tropical "trees" (ficus, citrus, bauhinia...) so they did very well in dappled shade, and constant moisture, but noticed they like a bit of a dry spell in the midst of winter, when they seem to go into a semi-dormancy, or slowed growth

Good luck
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