Table of contents:
Care errors - waterlogging of the soil
Watering indoor plants
Symptoms of waterlogged flowers
How can we understand that we have a plant suffering from waterlogging? Falling leaves is one of the symptoms. In a number of plants, such as citrus fruits, they literally fall off - they darken and fall off. In others, for example, in aroids (aglaonema, dieffenbachia) or arrowroot, they darken, but they still hold on to the stems for a long time. In plants that form rosettes of leaves or pseudo rosettes (yucca, dracaena), the leaves do not darken immediately, but at first they become discolored, becoming pale yellow. But in other cases, the characteristic difference between leaves that die from waterlogging is leaf darkening. The leaf does not just turn yellow, it just darkens, the color turns from a healthy juicy green muddy-bog shade, gradually turns into brown. If overmoistening was preceded by overdrying, then the leaf first turns yellow, then the leaf petiole and the leaf itself darken.
Decayed roots exfoliate, the top layer of the root becomes dirty gray, peels off if you run your fingers, leaving a thin hard core. These roots all died from waterlogging.
And these are healthy living roots - green, yellowish or whitish, some plants have a juicy brown color.
Sudden or gradual flying around leaves, blackening of shoots, damp sour earth …
The trunk still seems alive, green, but the roots have rotted, the plant can no longer be saved.
When there is not enough water for the plant, the leaves always turn yellow, while the leaf tissue may lose elasticity, droop, or may remain dry. After watering, the turgor is restored, the leaves become elastic again. If there is insufficient nutrition, then mezhilkovy chlorosis may appear, the leaves do not droop, continue to grow, but become smaller. When waterlogged, the leaves can lose their elasticity, droop, but after watering the elasticity is not restored, and the darkening of the leaves, on the contrary, increases. Sometimes the leaves can fall off even without darkening - still green. But leaf fall can also occur from watering with cold water. Ideally, the water temperature for irrigation should be 2-3 ° C higher than the room temperature, but not lower than 22 ° C. Cold water is not absorbed by the roots, it causes the death of the suction roots from hypothermia, and, as a result, leaves fall.
As for the hardness of the water, it cannot be the reason for the sudden fall of leaves and the death of the plant. If you water the plants with hard water, even the most capricious ones that are sensitive to excess salts, the plants will not begin to lose leaves en masse. All harm manifests itself gradually: first, chlorosis spots appear, the tips or edges of the leaves turn brown, one or two leaves turn yellow, new leaves grow small and the plant looks depressed, but leaves do not fall off.
In case of massive leaf fall, when the leaves fall off not one by one, but dozens at once, the reasons may be as follows: sudden hypothermia (for example, when transporting home), watering with concentrated fertilizer (burning roots), severe drying out, and only hygrophytes and mesohygrophytes fly around en masse (and there are few of them), and waterlogging. Naturally, the first two reasons can be easily calculated, and it is also possible to distinguish overdrying from waterlogging, but for this the plant must be removed from the pot. It is not always possible to feel the soil with your finger at a depth (for example, the roots have grown a lot), and only after taking the plant out of the pot, you can determine whether the earth is wet inside the root ball.
Some growers pull to the last, not wanting to take out the plant and examine the roots. They are either selflessly sure that there was no waterlogging, or they are afraid that an unscheduled transplant will damage the plant. But if there is even the slightest suspicion of waterlogging, do not even hesitate - remove and examine the roots. Sometimes the root system of plants grows in this way: at the top, the roots are not thick, the soil dries out easily between them, and in the lower part of the pot the roots twist a tight ring, the interlacing of the roots makes it difficult to dry, and in the lower part of the pot the soil dries for a very long time. This is especially aggravated by the fact that the holes at the bottom of the pot are small, clogged with pebbles or grains of earth.
On tangerine, the result of waterlogging and acidification of the earth. Chlorosis is a lack of various trace elements.
Such a deplorable state is the result of hypothermia of the root system: watering with cold water or the plant is left with damp earth on a cold balcony, on the street.
There is also a deplorable symptom, characteristic of the strongest prolonged waterlogging - darkening, blackening and wilting of the tops of the shoots. If a similar picture has occurred, then the case is already very much neglected, often it is simply impossible to save the plant. If the tops of all the shoots have rotted (turned yellow or darkened), there is nothing to save. A similar picture is possible only with strong hypothermia of the roots, and never occurs when overdrying. When dry, wilting begins from old leaves, from the lower shoots, the trunk is bare from below. When waterlogged, the leaves wither in any part of the crown, but more often from above, from the tops of the shoots.
And of course, any softening of the stems or leaves of plants with fleshy parts of the body, and these are yuccas, dracaena, dieffenbachia, any succulents (fat women, adeniums, etc.), cacti are a sure sign of excess moisture.
Another symptom, which is not entirely correct and does not always indicate a specific plant, but still makes you think, is the presence of mushroom mosquitoes. If a swarm of midges flies up from the pot, it means that you watered the flowers too abundantly, perhaps it was once or twice, or perhaps it has become a habit of over-watering. Unlike mosquitoes, podura (colemboli) are white or dirty gray insects, about 1-2 mm, jumping on the surface of the earth in a pot - a sure sign that the flower is flooded more than once.
Rescue measures for flooded plants
When you nevertheless establish that the plant has been flooded, you need to urgently take action. If you have established the fact of waterlogging after removing the plant from the pot, then you have to transplant. If the fact of waterlogging has been determined by indirect signs (leaf fall, damp earth to the touch), then the need for a transplant depends on the severity of the situation.
- If the plant has lost one or two leaves, or one branch has wilted in the mighty crown, and the soil in the pot is light enough, then you can not replant the plant, but only loosen the soil. After watering, especially plentiful, the soil spreads, and after drying, a dense crust forms on its surface. If this crust is not destroyed, then the roots suffer from lack of air. If the seedlings are watered, the seedlings may not come to the surface of the earth and die from hypoxia.
- If the pot has small drainage holes, you can widen them or increase their number without removing the plant from the pot, using a knife heated on the stove.
- Personally, I never try to just loosen the ground, it is not too reliable and justified in cases where a flooded plant in a very large pot, transplanting is difficult, or when the plant is transferred from a cold room to a warm one, and the very rise in temperature will accelerate the drying of the earth.
- In all other cases, it is better to transplant the plant.
Signs of a bay in orchids - the leaves of the phalaenopsis turn yellow, they are lethargic, wrinkled. The bark dries for a very long time, the roots rot from constant contact with a damp surface.
Rotten roots must be pruned. In some cases, the new pot will have to be smaller than it was.
So, you take the plant out of the pot and you need to determine the condition of the soil and roots. Still, is the earth damp and how much? Count when you last watered and how much it dried. Sometimes a person is convinced that the soil is dry for a long time, say, a week has passed after watering, and upon examination it turns out that the soil inside the pot is still very damp. Then try to remember what the weather was like, how it happened that the soil did not have time to dry out! It is important to at least try to analyze in order to prevent this, or calculate which plants could still be flooded. For some people, bays happen systematically over and over again. This suggests that it is necessary to radically revise the system of care: perhaps, change the soil in the pots to a more structured, loose one, increase the drainage holes, add more drainage to the bottom of the pot;water with less water; move the plants to a warmer room or water less often when the ground dries out more. Sometimes you have to literally slap yourself on the hands so that you do not rise with a watering can above the plant ahead of time …
Examine the roots. Rotten can be seen right away - they exfoliate, if you grab the root with two fingers and pull, the skin slides off it - it is brown or dark gray, under it there is a bundle of vessels that looks like a wire, a hard rod. If such a stratification occurs, the root is rotten. Healthy roots do not delaminate; if you run your fingers over the surface, the top layer will not come off. In some cases, the roots do not exfoliate, the fleshy succulent roots rot completely, and this can also be seen immediately - they are dark, dirty gray or brown, sometimes softened. Often, healthy roots and rotten ones can be identified by the contrast in appearance, some are light, white, light brown, others are dark, not only outside, but also on fractures or cliffs.
There are times when rotten roots easily break off and, when the plant is removed from the pot, fall off along with the ground. If you did not find definitely rotten roots, but the earth and root ball are damp, you need to dry them. To do this, we blot the bark ball in any hygroscopic material: in a heap of old newspapers, in a roll of toilet paper. You can even put a plant with an open root system (without a pot) to dry for several hours.
Having found rotten roots, you need to cut them off, no matter how many of them. This is a source of infection, there is nothing to regret. We cut everything to healthy tissue. If the roots are fleshy, juicy, watery, then it is advisable to sprinkle the cuts with charcoal (wood, birch) or sulfur powder (sold in pet stores). If neither is available, crush an activated charcoal tablet. If there are very few roots left, much less than it was, you need to transplant the plant into a smaller pot.
I have already said that a pot that is too spacious, not filled with roots, does not contribute to the rapid growth of plants, and in some cases even hurts. In a spacious pot, the plant is easier to pour. And even if watered carefully, the plant seeks to build up the root system, develop a large surface of the earth, and only then enhances the growth of the ground part.
Substrate for aroid, bromeliad and other plants. Instead of a pot, a basket, a substrate: earth, coconut fiber, coconut substrate, wine cork, pine bark and moss (its very small). The decaying anthurium transplanted into this mixture bloomed in a month and releases a third bud.
If you have a tendency to flood your plants, use clay pots to plant your plants. But there is one important point: the inside of the pot should not be glazed. If the walls of a clay pot are covered with glaze from the inside, it is no better than a plastic one.
So, you need to pick up a pot for the root ball remaining after removing the rot. In this case, the rule will be effective: a smaller pot is better than a larger one. It's okay if the pot is small, healthy roots will grow, they will notify you with their appearance from the drainage holes, and you just transfer the plant into a larger pot and that's it. During the growing season, plants can be transplanted at any time and more than once. Most plants, if they get sick after transplantation, stop growing, then this is most often due to improper care after transplantation, and not from root injuries.
After transplanting, you cannot put the plants in the sun, even the most light-loving ones, they should be shaded for a week. You cannot water the plants on the same day, especially those reanimated from overflow - these are generally watered for the first time in 2-3 days. Do not fertilize transplanted plants for 1-1.5 months. And when transplanting patients (including flooded ones), you can not add dry fertilizers (no manure, no dung, no granular fertilizers). Do not seal the transplanted plant in a plastic bag. This very package sometimes becomes a real evil. The fact is that transplanted plants, deprived of watering, must be placed in conditions of high humidity in the first days. And many tend to shove the plant into a bag and tie it tighter. In this case, the importance, of course, increases. But oxygen access is reduced. As we rememberthe plant breathes with roots and leaves, if the plant was flooded, it especially needs fresh air, and if pathogenic microorganisms have developed on it - various spots of fungal or bacterial origin, then it simply needs fresh air!
Here you can do this: place the plant in a transparent bag, straighten its edges, but do not tie it. If the weather is very hot, then you can spray it 1-2 times a day, if the plants do not tolerate water getting on the leaves, then simply place the pot on a wide tray of water on an inverted saucer.
If the plant has rotten tops, the ends of the shoots, they must be cut to healthy tissues. If there is an opportunity, at the same time, draw the plant - cut off healthy branches for rooting in order to be able to save at least something, if the bay has already led to irreversible consequences. Sometimes it happens that the roots rot completely, but some of the shoots are still vigorous until they wither (this is temporary) and cuttings can still be cut from them. In some cases, when the roots rot, toxins (the aforementioned swamp gases, products of the activity of bacteria and fungi) enter the vascular system of plants and cut cuttings, even those that look healthy do not take root, they are already doomed …
After transplanting, the flooded plant can be sprayed with growth stimulants (epin or amulet), only in the dark (most stimulants decompose in the light). If there are dark spots on the leaves that have rotted tops of the shoots, then it is advisable to spray the plant with a fungicide, or add the fungicide to the water for irrigation. Suitable fungicides: Fundazol, Maxim, Hom, Oxyhom (and other copper-containing preparations). 3-4 days after transplanting into fresh dry soil, the plant can be watered with zircon solution.
If a plant with a wide rosette of leaves, in the form of a funnel, like in bromeliads, is flooded, then it is necessary to dry the base of the leaves. To do this, you first need to turn the plant upside down with its leaves. When the water drains, pour 2-3 tablets of crushed activated carbon into the outlet. After 3-5 minutes, gently remove it with a soft fluffy brush. Many bromeliads rot when watered through a rosette of leaves in winter. Read carefully the recommendations for growing a particular plant, and especially care in the winter.
Another important point: after the flooding, the soil in the pot turns sour: the roots of plants continue to emit carbon dioxide, humus renewal slows down, and humic acids accumulate, which increases the acidity of the soil, many nutrients pass into a form indigestible to plants. For example, iron goes into an oxidized form (F3 +), which forms a rusty brown crust on the surface of the earth. Oxidized iron is not absorbed, as a result, the plant shows all the signs of its deficiency - severe chlorosis. This is especially noticeable on fruit plants: there are signs of deficiency of calcium, iron, nitrogen. At this stage, some growers do not pay attention to the condition of the soil, and are in a hurry to treat the effect, not the cause. As a result, the plant continues to suffer, turn yellow. At times he gets better (for example, after spraying with ferovit),and after fertilizing the soil, it is even worse.
In such a situation, the only way out is to completely replace the land. And if you are in a hurry to apply fertilizers, then it is advisable to rinse the roots when transplanting under a stream of warm water. Then dry, remove rotten ones, sprinkle with charcoal and plant in fresh dry soil.
If a white or red salt crust forms on the surface of the earth, this is a signal: the earth dries for a long time! Such a salt crust must be removed, the top layer of the earth must be replaced with a fresh one.