Water Plonker...

Discussion in 'Other Plants' started by TaraMaiden, Jun 11, 2019 at 12:58 PM.

  1. TaraMaiden

    TaraMaiden Gardener

    May 31, 2018
    Sales assistant, dog behaviourist.
    Grab a drink, this is long...

    I have a large pot with three stem cuttings of indoor Yucca... I snipped two of them from a huge plant growing in my Doctor's surgery waiting room (don't worry, I had permission!), and the third came from a plant my daughter has. Hers is a variegated form. Very nice.
    Nice large pot, good root system on all three, exactly the right soil and growing conditions, plenty of bright light (not too strong or direct)... but something was definitely amiss... the new emerging crowns of leaves were very short, and formed a rosette... the plants looked for all the world like Echeverias, rather than yuccas... the original lower leaves were curling inwards, and going yellow... funny, I thought... maybe it's because they just need to establish...

    Come the warmer weather, I tend to put a good number of my houseplants outside, in shaded sheltered positions, let them get used to being outside, then place them appropriately... The Yuccas went outside, with some others...

    Well, recently, (if you're in the UK, you'll know all about this!) we have been experiencing torrential rain. I mean, it's truly relentless! The reputation for being a cold, wet, soggy island is currently justified! we had one month's rain in a day, and there's no let up. So yesterday, it being rather chilly, I decided to bring all my little green children back in.

    And there it was. The Problem.

    All the pots were very wet, and well-watered, but have drained successfully. None of the plants suffered in any meaningful way from their rather dampened exposure to the British climate & elements, but I think they're glad to be back inside...

    The Yuccas.
    Ah yes....

    Their pot was absolutely sodden and the compost totally saturated and submerged in rainwater. Soaking, muddy utterly, totally waterlogged.

    And it was then, that I realised what had happened, and why the new growth was so stunted, the older leaves in such a dire condition.

    It's a hydroponic pot. It's designed to HOLD water.... :uh-oh:

    There's a rubber plug in the main drain hole, in the base, which you can remove, to drain off the old water, and then re-plug to add fresh. The plug was still in to retain any water.
    Well, of course, Yuccas don't need that.
    But they had it anyway.


    I shall wait for the pot to thoroughly drain (it's still on the edge of my draining board, drip-drip-dripping away) and once that's done, I will let it dry out, take it from the pot, shake off the compost and see what has happened to the roots.

    I cut back the cuttings even more, and have salvaged the tops, which show signs of roots from the stem (I think that's what's known in some horticultural areas as 'a cry for help!') but really... an experienced (NOT expert!) gardener like me, making a mistake like that? Yup! It happens!

    Hey ho!
    Turns out 'overwatering' is a major clue in plant problems and he first issue to look at.

    Lesson learnt!

    "Mothers, tell your children, not to do as I have done...
    Watch you water, care for your plants
    And give them air, and sun!"
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