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can anyone tell me how to revive this plant please? I'm unsure of the species. I'm pretty sure I over-watered it. The bottom leaves started turning yellow. I repotted and removed as much as the water logged soil as possible before putting the roots back in to fresh compost. Since then however the leaves have gone very dark. Please help![enter image description here]1

  • has that pot got drainage holes, or is the plant inside in a pot with drainage holes? If there are none, was it previously in a pot that did have drainage holes? – Bamboo Mar 17 at 16:00
  • It was previously in a pot with drainage holes but I had stones on top of the soil without realising it would mean the extra water couldn't evaporate. This new pot though doesn't have any. – Helena Johnson Mar 17 at 16:17
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If the pot you've moved it to doesn't have drainage holes, I'm afraid you need to repot into something which does. Do it carefully in an attempt to cause as little disruption to the plant's roots as possible. These plants like high humidity, so standing the pot on a wide tray full of pebbles kept half topped up with water will help with that, but the bottom of the pot should not be sitting in the water. If you use an ordinary tray or outer pot without pebbles for the plant, be sure to empty out any excess water 30 minutes after watering.

The soil it's growing in should never be allowed to dry out completely - they prefer slightly damp roots, but not waterlogged. Bright diffuse daylight means no direct sun, but bright daylight, by the way...

These aren't particularly easy houseplants to keep, in my own experience; mine was still reasonably healthy after the red bracts had died back, but I never managed to get it to produce those (with the spike of flowers) again. Yours may have been waterlogged in its previous pot or possibly too close to a draughty window and it got cold. Note they should not be placed near a heat source, such as a radiator; heated rooms during winter often means dry air, which they also dislike. Your plant may or may not recover; you can remove the leaf and stem of any leaves that go yellow as they fade.

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  • It was definitely waterlogged, almost clay like, when I removed the soil to repot. I might have been too rough with the roots too as I was trying to get rid of the sodden soil. – Helena Johnson Mar 17 at 21:19
  • Should I remove any of the leaves now? I feel if I do there will be none left. – Helena Johnson Mar 17 at 21:19
  • I meant when they start to look a lot worse - you're right though, there won't be many (possibly any) left behind, but as they die off,there's no point leaving dead growth in place. Thing is, once they go all yellow, they will shrivel and die anyway...so you might decide it'd look better without them either now or later. – Bamboo Mar 17 at 23:04
  • Repotted and hoping for the best. I haven't watered it since the initial repotting as the compost seems quite moist anyway. Thanks for your help. – Helena Johnson Mar 18 at 16:36
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This plant is an anthurium and is described in more detail here. I find they are quite happy in a small pot and even flower a little more. From the picture it looks like

  • the pot is too big
  • the soil looks like pure peat
  • the brown spots on the leaves remind me of damage due to low temperatures but are also likely to be overwatering

I recommend putting the plant in bright diffuse light. Do not fertilize until you see new growth. At this stage more repotting is not advisable so you need to water when the top half inch to inch of soil has dried out. Be sure the plant is not sitting in water.

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  • Sorry to ask what may seem like an obvious question but could you give an example of bright diffused light? At the moment it's by the window but doesn't get direct sunlight. – Helena Johnson Mar 17 at 16:29
  • Do you think it will survive? It has put up with so much neglect, I feel terrible that I might have undone all it's survival efforts. – Helena Johnson Mar 17 at 16:30
  • @HelenaJohnson Bright diffuse light would be a few feet back from a south window with a light drapery treatment or next to an east facing window. Sometimes, depending on exposure and presence of artificial light a north facing window can work. – kevinsky Mar 17 at 16:41
  • It's in a north facing window in the kitchen and seemed to quite like it until the over-watering. Damnit! – Helena Johnson Mar 17 at 21:15

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