At 5:35 PM -0400 7/24/97, winga wrote:
>I don't know what this is or how to treat it. The plant is just a green
>potted plant I picked up somewhere - I don't know what it is, but it has
>big leaves, tapered at each end, attached to stalks that go right into the
>soil (or split off of other stalks). *shrug*
Could be any of a number of species. Maybe an
aroid (eg. Spathiphyllum)
>Anyway, there's this strange thing that seems to be eating it up - it get
>black or "burned" looking on the ends of it's leaves, this spreads, and
>then starts going down the insides of the stalks to the roots. It hasn't
>gotten to the roots yet - I finally started cutting them off to try and
>save the plant, but it definitely goes from the leaves to the roots, not
>the other way around. The plant now has only 4 leaves (out of what used
>to be about 30 or 40), and I have hope because it's been sprouting new
>leaves. However, after a week or so, I've had to cut off the sprouting
>leaves because they get this black crud and start contaminating the rest
>of the plant.
Your idea of a fungus is a possibility. It could
be viral or bacterial too. Is this a new plant or
one you have had for a long time? What are the
growing conditions (water, light, fertilizer, humidity,
>How do I stop this? I don't want to use chemicals, but I will if I have
>to. I'd rather keep the plant alive. It hasn't spread to other plants in
>the vicinity yet. I'm assuming it's a fungus or something.
For most fungus and bacterial diseases the best
treatment is to get the plant into brighter light,
drier air, and be careful to avoid over-watering.
Surgical removal of affected leaves is a good idea,
but if you don't change the growing conditions to
inhibit spread, you are really just avoiding symptoms.
Brown/black tips extending down toward the middle of
leaves is a common sign of too-dry air in winter
indoor plants...but your description seems to involve
spread down the petioles which is NOT observed with
the dry-air problem.
So get your plant to some better light, more air
movement, lower humidity, and be sure your soil is
not too wet.
Good Luck! It is hard/impossible to diagnose diseases
via email, but these are my best guesses without
seeing the problem first-hand.
Ross Koning | koning at ecsu.ctstateu.edu
Biology Department | http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA | fax: 860-465-4479