Smoke plant

Smoke plant

Question: smoke plant


I have a smoke plant that was given to me
and to which I hold in a particular way, that it is sick, in fact the leaves as they are yellowed and subsequently have become of
brown in color, it has always been inside the house and I watered it regularly once a week. How can I save it?


Answer: smoke plant


Dear Adriana,
the so-called smoke-eating plant is in nature a real tree, which develops in Mexico, and belongs to the genus Beaucarnea, also called Nolina; it is a particular species of plants, which develop a caudex, or rather a woody-looking stem, which has however the same functions as the fleshy stems of cacti, since during the wet seasons it tends to swell with water, which is used by the nolina during the dry seasons. Given its particular characteristics, the nolina is cultivated as a real succulent, that is, the waterings must be scarce for most of the cold season, and regular only in spring and summer, a period in which the plant also has more development lush. Therefore, we will water only when the ground is well dry, from March to April, until September; in the other months of the year instead we will water only when the soil is really very dry, and therefore less than once a week. Seeing that these plants bear drought very well, generally in the cold months, or characterized by short days, it is watered only sporadically, and rather the leaves are vaporized, so as not to leave it in the dry air of the house. The noline must also be placed in a well-lit area of ​​the house, where they can receive at least a few hours of direct sunlight. Probably the waterings supplied to the plant were excessive; now you should take it off the pot, remove all the earth and dust the roots with an iron-based fungicide; then repot the nolina with fresh soil, without necessarily replacing the vase, which will however be carefully washed and disinfected. After a few days from the repotting, water with water mixed with a systemic fungicide, and in the coming months try to wait until the soil is very dry before watering again. For these plants a very well drained soil is used, which prevents water from standing still and from stagnating; usually a mixture of universal soil is prepared, lightened with expanded clay or pumice stone, which favor drainage. In the coming years, remember to repot the plant every two or three years, replacing all the soil in the pot; these plants produce a very compact root system, consisting of a few large roots, which tend to live better if kept in small containers; therefore it will not be necessary to change the container with each repotting, as is done with many other plants.