Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I'm really, really good with plants, indoors and out.  When I was younger I used to pick up "dead" plants from dumpsters and bring them back to full and luscious beauty.  Sure some didn't make it but I never got upset over failures - a failed plant is just an open space to try something new!

Now I buy nice looking plants from the get go and expect high performance - growth, bloom, both.  And when something doesn't work I still usually shrug it off - I'm always finding news stuff I want to try and a plant that isn't looking good provides me with an open slot for something new.

Sometimes, though...

A few weeks ago I was in a garden center and spotted this gorgeous beauty!

Big, lush, bicolor foliage with a background of my favorite chartreuse green, accented by a darker green.  Yum!

I bought it (even though it was kind of on the big size and I didn't really have a good spot for it), brought it home, and watched it begin to loose leaf after leaf after leaf.


So I went looking for answers - Google here I come. 

First off, it was labeled an Aglaonema but the more looking I did the more I became convinced it's a Dieffenbachia.  Aglaonema are nearly indestructible, Dieffenbachia can be problematic (some strains seem to be easy, others difficult).

I tried moving it to a different spot, away from the radiator, with different light conditions, and tried different watering conditions.  Still loosing leaves.  So I took a good hard look under those leaves and found - BUGS!

[as a biologist I know that they aren't in the True Bug Family but you know what I mean]

Double Damn.

So now it's decision time.  Do I try to salvage a plant that's already lost half of it's leaves (in less than a month!), that I don't have a good location for and is infected or do I chuck it in the compost bin?  Most times the answer is easy - compost bin - but this is one of the most gorgeous plants I've ever seen and when I've tried to get a firm ID (to buy a new healthy one, maybe?) my Google-Fu has failed.

Where's my Logee's catalog - surely they have a good replacement plant so I don't feel so...  so...  disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. 1) It's definitely a Dieffenbachia. Probably 'Neptune.' I've seen them for sale, but only very occasionally, so it would probably be somewhat difficult to replace.

    2) Dieffenbachias tend to drop leaves anyway; I don't think I've ever had one look as good for me in the house as it did in the store. And if there are bugs -- well, it'd depend on which bugs, but that seems to me like unnecessary aggravation, pretty plant or not.