My Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora is ill. Can you help me?
by Bela Nick
(Rio de Janeiro, Brasil)
First I'd like to thank you VERY, VERY much for this website, it is great!
Well, now to my problem. I have a Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora, Which I love and care about very much. This past summer (I live in Brazil, so this means end of December and January this year) I traveled away and my parents moved the Thyrsiflora to another place in the house, along with an Aeonium Haworthii Variegata and another one I thought I had identified (as an abromeitiella scapigera), but now I'm unsure (I thought it looks like a few haworthias). When I got back, my house was absolutely infested with aphids. A lot of plants were dead or dying when I got back.
About that trio, the Aeonium Haworthii was dead, infested with aphids, the a.k.a. Abromeitiella was intact (and is still doing very well), but what happened to the Thrysiflora was weird. It had absolutely no aphid in it. I transplanted it to a vase a bit larger, and there were none on the soil either, but the leaves had their edges brown and dry, and it had very few bloom (the white powder).
When I got home and found her like that I was worried, so I transplanted to see if there were aphids on the soil (as it happened with several other plants), and brought it back to it's original spot. This was about 2 months ago. The edges are still brown, and I want to know what caused that.
Yesterday I went to check it and noticed it was leaning. I am afraid the roots could be rotted, but right now I went to check it again and it just rained a lot, and the leaves that were all pending have straightened up! They turned upward.
So now I am not sure how to deal with it, because if the brownish/dry edges are signs of any disease, I don't want to let it pass unnoticed because of the good sign of the leaves. Can you help me?
I'm really sorry about the huge e-mail! I'm awful at being concise!
Drought Smart Plants reply: first of all Bela, thank your for all the detail, this helps me come up with some advice for you (thank you also for the nice comment about the site!)
For the edges of the leaves, there is nothing that can be done about that, as these are adult leaves and have finished growing. It could be caused by being too cold, such as if it was near an air conditioner perhaps?
It certainly does look sad. I don't know if it's possible to salvage a plant that is this far gone, but it's worth a try.
My only suggestion would be to try and get a cutting, with as much non-damaged parts as possible, and re-root it. Don't water it! Just set it on the top of some dry potting soil, and see what happens. The roots will hopefully emerge in a few weeks, and then you can carefully put it into the potting soil, and water it with lukewarm water, only a small amount.
If there are bacteria or fungi in the soil of the main plant, you're safer to just get it outside so it can't spread, if this is what caused the problem.
The fact that the drooping leaves have now turned upwards indicates that it's in distress but there is hope for it - it's a fighter!
Good luck with your plant!