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Ferns/Recovering health of unusual plant


Plant one
Plant one  

Plant 2
Plant 2  
Hello, I hope you can help me.   I have had a plant I have been unable to identify for more than 5 yrs. it is very slow growing and almost never sheds leaves.  It is in a 2 part pot the inner pot is unglazed clay which allows water from the larger pot to seep through.  I was away from home for a few weeks and the container
Dried out, Upon my return the plants leaves looked thin and under watered. So I added water to the soil as well as the outer pot.  I must have over watered.   The bottom 4 to 5 "rows" of leaves have fallen off. The very top of the plant still looks healthy.   I  don't know what this plant is so I don't know what to do to help it recover.  The new leaves have always grown from the top.   The plant is only approximate 10 inches tall.   There are 3 separate plants in this container.  The stems appear woody.   Could you advise me did I ruin my lovely plant I have had for 5 years?

Cindy hi;

To the best of my knowledge, this is a type of curly leaf Croton plant.  I will be able to verify the exact cultivar within a couple of days after I confer with some colleagues.

This plant is extremely tolerant and there is no indication, to me, that you have lost it.

The plant is simply "sacrificing" the bottom (older) leaves for the sake of the new ones.

I would drain away the excess water and resume watering as normal.



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Dan Carmi


I can answer all types of questions regarding ferns: their physiology, life cycle, taxonomy, culture (for both the professional and hobbyist), home and garden application and care, site suitability, and more. I can also answer questions in the fields of greenhouse production, foliage plants, and houseplant care, along with questions in the general field of ornamental horticulture. I may be able to identify fern and foliage plants by photo, but I am unlikely to be able to do it by description (though I will never turn down a challenge). I am not an expert in crop, field, and agronomic production. I am not an expert on annuals, perennials, tree & shrub crops.


I am a horticulturist with a formal education and twelve years experience in commercial fern and tropical foliage production. I also served as Adjunct Professor of Horticulture at Florida Southern College.

Florida's Nursery Growers and Landscape Association: current member and Action Chapter Board Member 2006-2008.

I have a BSc in Environmental Horticulture / Business from Florida Southern College, specializing in Greenhouse Management and Production.

Awards and Honors
FNGLA Action Chapter President's Award 2006-2007, numerous academic awards 2001-2005.

Past/Present Clients
Through my place of employment, I serve hundreds of commercial growers across the country and beyond.

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