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Beginner Houseplants: What's this on my fittonia?

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Veridicaldream
SG
Singapore

December 31, 2012
11:38 PM

Post #9371985

I received a small terrarium kit in late Nov from my boss

Its about 10cm across and has two tiny fittonia in it.
The plants were doing pretty well til around beginning to mid-Dec when I noticed a weird brown mark on the plant.

It has gotten a bit bigger since and I thought it might be bacteria infection. It seems to be causing my plant to droop...

Thumbnail by Veridicaldream
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ficuswrangler
St Petersburg, FL

January 4, 2013
3:07 PM

Post #9375580

I can't see any brown spots on your photo; could you try again to show the actual spot? Also, are you letting the soil dry out between waterings, which also should be rather small if it's a small terrarium? Brown spots are most often associated with overly wet soil conditions.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 4, 2013
6:09 PM

Post #9375743

Are you talking about the brown lesion on the main stem? If so, it could possibly be a mechanical injury, but that becomes less likely if it's associated with the wilting you mentioned - especially if the wilting occurs while the soil is still damp or wet. There are many different fungal pathogens that effect roots and stems of plants, and their establishment is aided by wet soil conditions that serve to weaken the plant at the same time the conditions provide a favorable environment for the pathogen.

Does your dish garden have a drain hole?

Al
Veridicaldream
SG
Singapore

January 5, 2013
4:13 AM

Post #9375939

tapla wrote:Are you talking about the brown lesion on the main stem? If so, it could possibly be a mechanical injury, but that becomes less likely if it's associated with the wilting you mentioned - especially if the wilting occurs while the soil is still damp or wet. There are many different fungal pathogens that effect roots and stems of plants, and their establishment is aided by wet soil conditions that serve to weaken the plant at the same time the conditions provide a favorable environment for the pathogen.

Does your dish garden have a drain hole?

Al


Sorry ficuswrangler. I'll try to get a clearer shot.


Hi,Al thanks for the reply.

Yes, that brown lesion.

I leave the container cover off every few days, but the soil always catches me off-guard.As a beginner who tends toward over-watering, I'm not too sure how damp it is supposed to be. Usually, I water it with a spray bottle when the soil feels dry to touch. Recently, I moved the terrarium under a stand lamp and it grew straight for like a day or two. I checked it today and its curving again. I now suspect that there is insufficient light?

No I don't think the terrarium has a drainage hole. The container comes with the kit and is round with a white stand. The area is covered by a white feathery 'skirt'.
Here's a pic of the terrarium container taken from the shop's FB page: http://tinypic.com/r/2r5yyv4/6

I covered the bottom with the kit's gravel and added the terrarium mix on top of that. I covered everything with small stones and placed a piece of charcoal on it.
Veridicaldream
SG
Singapore

January 5, 2013
6:51 AM

Post #9376034

So here is the terrarium.
And the plant which you can see is curving again

Thumbnail by Veridicaldream   Thumbnail by Veridicaldream         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 5, 2013
8:16 AM

Post #9376089

Many root rot and some leaf spot diseases can/will affect stems in the way shown. Rhizctonia, Phytophthera, and Sclerotium would be the most likely to affect stems, but Pythium, and Xanthomonas are other possibilities. Likely, the stem lesion is a symptom of a disease progression from roots to stems.

Some fungal diseases need a set incubation period on wet foliage or where humidity is very high, so your set-up and watering habits are probably contributing factors. I'm not sure if it's too late of not, but you need to be able to determine when the plant actually NEEDS water, and withhold water until that time, and you need to make sure you're getting some air circulation inside the dome. You might also wish to consider watering in small sips, using distilled water so there are no salts to build up from tap water, or melting a drain hole through the bottom with a hot nail/screw/soldering iron ... .

There is a stocky thread at the top of this forum that should help you to avoid those things that most commonly are frequently problematic. You need to get some air exchange going on between the air in and out of the dome.

Al
Veridicaldream
SG
Singapore

January 5, 2013
11:50 PM

Post #9376846

Hey once again thanks for the reply.
I'll see what I can do first

Meanwhile should i leave the fittonia alone?
Or pinch off the affected bit?

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 6, 2013
9:03 AM

Post #9377110

I'm not sure how far you want to go in trying to save the plant. Unless they occur at or immediately above the soil line, lesions like the one on your plant are often symptomatic of what's going on with the roots; so I'm not sure that pinching to remove the affected area would work, but it's worth a try. If it works, the only negative would be that it slows the plant's development just a little. but the plant will take off and start growing in earnest in a couple of months anyway. If I was going to try to treat it, I'd use a systemic fungicide like Tebuconazole, paying close attention to directions on the label.

Al

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