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Hi Darlene, I followed your advice regarding my Stromanthe Burl Marx.  The leaves were vertically curling and the stems drooping.  I had kept it on a bed of pebbles and watered the pebbles only.  I have taken it off the pebbles and have let sit and hopefully dry out.l  However its been a couple of weeks since then and the leaves are still curled up and the stems drooping and some are soft.  Is there no hope for this lovely (once) plant?????


If the stems are getting soft there may be no hope. The soil needs to dry out, did it? Does it feel dry? You can also insert a bamboo shish kabob skewer into the soil and leave it there. If you think it is time to water pull it out. If the skewer is dry water, if it is still wet more than 1/3rd up do not water. Two weeks is not enough to cure the problem. You will need to cut off the stems that become soft and fall over as they have rotted from too much water. As long as 1 stem is firm there is hope.

Like most houseplants, Stromanthe sanguinea craves water and will grow best in moderately moist soil. However, the soil must not be kept too moist since the roots will become oxygen-deprived and the plant will suffer damage. Watering once a week to a depth of 1 inch is adequate for Stromanthe sanguinea plants, but the soil must be allowed to dry out between each watering to maintain a healthy plant.

Stromanthe sanguinea must be provided with bright, diffuse light for at least eight hours each day in order to maintain its intricate, colorful foliage variegation. Placing the plant within 10 feet of a large, south-facing window will provide enough light, but it must be kept away from direct sunlight since the leaves are sensitive and will scorch. If your hand makes a good shadow where your stormanthe is sitting for 8 hours then it is getting enough light.

Because a lot of it's roots have rotted it may take 6 months before it will be healthy again. Like us humans, it doesn't take long for plants to get very sick and it takes a long time for them to get healthy again. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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