This 35-yr-old plant fell over a few days ago, what should I do?

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I noticed at the first of the summer that in the middle, where it's folded over, it was very soft -- nearly mushy. But it still stood up so I forgot about figuring out what to do. So now that I need to administer first aid, what should I do?

q this 35 yr old plant fell over a few days ago
q this 35 yr old plant fell over a few days ago
  10 answers
  • Jeanette Jeanette on Oct 15, 2018

    Get a large pot, transplant with a sturdy stake to tie it to. It lacked support and needed more root space, from what I can see. Good luck with this! I love my older plants, too!

    • DORLIS DORLIS on Oct 16, 2018

      I agree, a pot maybe 2 times as large with fast draining soil. Looks like it may have been overwatered at one time. that is when it started to rot. These plants grow in rain forest where they get heavy rainfall that drains away fast. Not too much soil, mostly leaf litter. My experience is that we love our plants to death. We think they need lots of water. I have put in a humidifier to give them more humidity which is what they need more than water logged soil.

  • Wow! Isn't it nice to have plants that old? If the stem is almost mushy it might be on its way out. Plus the pot is too small. If I doesn't recover after repotting all is not lost, just trim off the mushy part and do a) stick in a vase with water and reroot, then when it has a great root system, pot with fresh potting soil, or b) cut off the mushy part and dip in rooting hormone and place in a clean pot with fresh potting soil.

  • Rozmund Rozmund on Oct 16, 2018

    Could also be diseased where it has become mush....cut off above the mush, and check to make sure there are no signs of stem rot inside the stem..if there is, continue cutting until the stem looks clear of anything foreign, i,e, parasites or bacterial infection..after each cut, sterilize and wipe your tool clean...you will know what to save of this old girl in order to start over...in completely new soil...do not over water...forcing the new cutting to form deep roots ...having a few green leaves on your new cutting would be nice but not even necessary...when the saved stem is happy again it will send out a bud to let you know all is going to be fine....even plants have a life span....sometimes saying a quick good bye is easier for both of you..


    I have done this successfully many times, and don't laugh ... with each cut I lovingly apologized to my old plant friend for inflicting pain ..and then proceeded to do such that...plants don't feel pain the way we do...but they do have a frequency that can pick up our thoughts....read the book that Baxster wrote noting his laboratory experiment where he hooked his plants up to electrical diodes and a machine that was similar to a lie detector...his plants responded to his thoughts and words by transmitting their frequencies of fear and love to the machine...amazing really...people say plants love music...and they do..musical notes have frequencies as well...that's it for me, have fun...Roz

  • John John on Oct 16, 2018

    I didn't fall over 'till I was 85,maybe I need repotting too.

  • Poor thing! It need a much larger pot. Fill with soil up above those ariel roots then put a few rocks on top of the soil till the roots can grab hold

  • Itll Keep it from tipping again, just till the roots get anchored in their new home. Its a good thing to do for tall, topheavy plants

  • Oberlinmom Oberlinmom on Oct 17, 2018

    I wish I knew where you live. If you are in a warm climate like FL. You could plant this guy in your yard. If this is a house plant I'd divide the plant in your picture the stalk that is to the rear has an obvious node that has sprouted and has several roots. You could cut this stalk off as close to the dirt as possible leaving as many roots as you can. After you cut check to make sure there is not rot. I recommend that you coat the wound with rooting compound. Another step is to allow it to dry a bit. Before sticking a cutting into the soil it is a good idea to allow the stem to "seal" the end that gives the stalk a fighting chance against bacteria in the soil. It won't prevent it from rooting. Now plant this piece in a new pot with new soil.


    The other part still needs a bigger pot but now you can opt not to cut it if that scares you and just plant it deeper, although what ever caused the mushy part may still be in the plant. If it was me, I would cut above the mush and take all the same steps listed above.


    What you maybe able to do is remove the mush part from the older base of the plant. It's very possible that if the roots are still viable below that area it will sprout again too. This kind of plant with the right conditions grows easily and can sprout from several parts. As some one mentioned it roots well in water too. I have had trouble shifting water rooted plants to soil probably something I'm doing wrong so I rarely recommend it.



    • Louise Louise on Oct 18, 2018

      I'm in metro Atlanta, so not warm enough in winter to plant it outside. I stood the plant back up with the help of a metal prop but will follow the directions I've been given and help this nice old plant survive a few more decades. 😊

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Oct 18, 2018

    Be very careful when you repot this one. The new leaves coming from the soil tell me this one is still very alive, so be extra careful with the roots. Give the healthy ones TLC as you replant and remove any diseased ones. If they smell 'funny' you can give them a shower of regular old 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to dry them and kill any bacteria build-up. Give them a rinse with regular water once the bubbling has stopped. Heck, with those new leaves, you may even end up with two plants. (FUN!) Just be sure to wash this old pot in HOT soapy water if you plan to use it again.

    FYI, any time the firm part of a plant gets soft, it is giving a big red flag that something is amiss. It's usually a bacterial infection or an insect problem and needs to be treated ASAP. Cheers!

  • Rozmund Rozmund on Oct 23, 2018

    Just for all of the folks that assisted with their wise comments I include this link on the unseen world of plant existence.https://www.nytimes.com/news/the-lives-they-lived/2013/12/21/cleve-backster/

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