enter image description hereThank you so much for your time. My grandmother passed away last year and her plants were the first of her things we wanted to preserve. I've been horrible at raising plants, giving them to granny to resurrect over the years; now her beloved baby is hanging on by a thread and I have to do something.

I gave the plant to my neighbor to care for because she has a luscious stoop, but we had rain a few weeks ago that carried a lot of wind with the storm. I brought the plant inside because it really didn't look good after about 3-days of rain and 2 really cold nights. The plant has been inside for about 2.5 weeks and looks a little better, but I'm starting to think it needs some love to be brought back to its former health.

Things I've done: I try not to over-water I keep my living room around 75° I've put chopsticks in the dirt with string to hold it up I've kept it in the brightest area of the room Pruned away the dead, dry foliage Sometimes I talk to it (Granny used to and I thought it couldn't hurt).

I'm willing to do WHATEVER it takes to save my sweet Granny's plant; please PLEASE help me out. I know this plant needs a certain kind of soil and a tropical, humid environment... I live in Pleasanton, CA. I don't know the first thing about re-potting or anything like that so please advise in Laymen's terms.

Also, I don't know if you can see from the photos but there are these tiny white bugs that I think are mealybugs? I don't have any other plants in my home, but they may have come from my neighbor's plants. I've only seen 3 of them but from the looks of it, they're pretty present.

I really want to fix this so any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Throwing the plant away is absolutely NOT an option, and based on what I've read online you're likely to induce unnecessary trauma to me by suggesting it, so please posi-vibes only.

Anxiously awaiting instructions.

Best, GG

4/2/2020 UPDATE: April 1, 2020 was the first day it prayed!!! I've been trying to baby it for 3 weeks now. I didn't believe talking to it would work; since it's been "praying" I make sure to speak to it every morning and throughout the day! I must be going crazy...

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    I can;t quite see what the little white things might be, although I can see a small white speck on a leaf. Can you add a photo taken closer (but still in focus) so that it might be possible to see what the white speck is....
    – Bamboo
    Mar 29, 2020 at 18:43
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    Ill try to get better pictures uploaded this weekend. Thank you so much for responding!
    – GG94566
    Apr 4, 2020 at 4:48

2 Answers 2


I can try giving another suggestion in the mean time, try to snip one or two healthy stems and try to propagate them in water using a rooting hormone.

For mealybugs use a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol and rub them away. The alcohol removes the waxy coating leaving the mealybugs exposed. After you clean your plant, spray it with alcohol. dnt worry alcohol evaporates at a faster rate.

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    Got it! I've been alcohol swabbing it everyday. I wait until when I have the most sunlight so that I don't have to touch it too much. But I'm almost positive its the MB's, they look like the pictures I found on google, and they seem to turn like a pinkics orange color when the alcohol gets on them. I've literally been unable to find spray bottles because of COVID-19 :(
    – GG94566
    Apr 4, 2020 at 4:51

Not sure if you are checking this still, but I also inherited plants when my dad passed away. It was very important to me that I keep them alive and it's the reason that I now have a fairly green thumb and lovely plant collection. I found A LOT of info online and on YouTube. I really like planterina on YouTube.

I have a couple suggestions for overall health that you might not find easily online. Maranta's can be a little tricky until you get them down and if you are fighting off pests you want to set him up for success.

HUMIDITY: Maranta's love 50-60% humidity which is higher than most houses normally have. Ideally a humidifier would do the trick wonderfully, but since this is your only plant I'm not sure if the investment (and hassle) is worth it. But you could easily fill a large shallow dish with pebbles and water and set the plant on top (not in). As the water evaporates it raises the humidity slightly around the plant.

WATER: These guys are sensitive to tap water. Using distilled water is the best way to ensure it's happy. You could also leave your tap water sit out for a day to let the chlorine dissipate, but be aware this doesn't work if your city uses chloramide as it's much harder to filter out.

LIGHT: Don't set it in a window that gets more than 3-5 hours of direct sunlight. Best to set it farther back in the room or use a sheer window curtain. They like bright indirect light.

I also second the idea of water propagating some healthy leaves. You can create a second plant or simply replant them back into the original. It might sound intense, but it's really very easy and enjoyable to watch the roots grow in water.

Well wishes to you and your beloved plant!

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