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Calathea (I think?) houseplant problem

stevejkanestevejkane Posts: 5
Hi Im new to the forum and wondering if anyone could help with a problem I have with a potted houseplant. A neighbour was taking it to the dump and I liked the look of the 3 remaining leaves, I think its a Calathea after a hunt around on the internet, anyway I repotted it and its doing quite well, however what I noticed is that whereas the leaves were growing on stems which grew from the soil the plant has now started to grow up out of the earth,,,not so easy to explain but hopefully a photo below, Im thinking about dividing the plant and how do I treat the “arial” clumps,,,bury them and hope for the best? Any advise would be very much appreciated, Agh,,,,not sure how I can turn photos around,,,sorry about that,,
steve.


Posts

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,500
    It looks great Steve, you're caring for it very well.
    Most of the ones I see have crispy brown bits on the leaves, yours looks really healthy.

    You don't have a problem as such, it's just they way they grow.
    It's worth knocking it out of its pot and just have look at the roots to see if it's getting a bit pot bound.
    If you can see more roots than compost, it's time to move it into a bigger pot.
    If you can see root stubs on the lower part of the plant that are coming out of the compost, you could divide it and bury the aerial stems if you want to
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,060
    I agree with @Pete.8, that's just how they grow, nothing to worry about. Well done on recovering it, they're not the easiest of houseplants.
  • stevejkanestevejkane Posts: 5
    Many thanks Jenny and Pete, yes Im very pleased with it, mind you when I first got it I stood it out in the full sun and it didn't like that! Fortunately I did read that they didn't like tapwater and as we have a dehumidifier we have a ready supply of “distilled” water and Ive been using that. It looks like 3 distinct plants in one pot so I might try splitting it into three and see how it then does,,do you think I should plant it so that those thick stems are covered?
    steve.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,500
    It's a long time since I last killed one, but as I recall those long brown stems eventually start to produce roots.
    You could snap one off and plant in it a pot of compost. So long as you keep the green stuff just above the compost it should root.
    I'm pretty sure they will also root just left in a glass of water
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • stevejkanestevejkane Posts: 5
    Interesting Pete, I also wondered if roots would appear in a glass of water,,the thick brown bits have little nodules on them,,and they look like they could develop and shoot out,,,
    I might give it a try,,,
    many thanks once again, 
    steve.
  • stevejkanestevejkane Posts: 5
    Well its been almost 3 weeks and if I can do it I will try to upload a photo in the morning, the cutting has been sitting in a glass of water and very slowly its developing little roots, just little nobbles really but as I said its been very slow. The water is out of a dehumidifier as thats what I water the plant with, I read somewhere that they really didn't like chlorine in regular tap water, but Im a bit concerned that there might not be any nutrients in it? Anyway what do people think, should I get it into a pot with some potting compost and keep it well watered or wait until the roots really develop?
    Steve.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,500
    Congrats that it's started to produce roots!

    If it's growing roots albeit rather slowly I'd keep doing what you're doing.
    I don't think the chlorine in tap water will cause problems, but whatever water you use ensure it's at room temperature, so as not to shock the little roots that are forming.
    Rain water is ideal of course.
    Until you plant has roots it can't take up any nutrients from the water. It's getting all the energy it need from light at the moment, but it will need nutrients when it actually starts growing so that's when it will need to be potted up.
    I've never tried a cutting from one of these plants, but I'd guess you could pot it up once the roots are about 2"
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • stevejkanestevejkane Posts: 5
    Good morning Pete, I think your right, I need to wait a bit longer, Im just going to try and attach some photos,,,which are still coming out sideways? Anyway, they are not very good but on them you can just make out the little beginnings on some roots, less than 1/4ins long and there is also a good number of white bumps which Im fairly certain are more roots forming. So as the leaves still look happy enough I will persevere until they form a bit of a clump and go from there,,,once again many thanks and I will keep you updated. Steve.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,500
    I think it looks fine Steve - just keep doing what you're doing until the roots are about 2" then pot it up being very careful not to damage the fragile roots - so when you pot it up don't press the compost around the plant - just water it in to settle the compost around the roots then add some more compost on top if needed.
    Keep us posted on progress - and fingers x'ed

    It's this site that rotates the photos - it's been happening for a couple of years now, so I don't think it's going to get fixed.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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