book4 600x120 3

by Katie
(Topeka, KS)


I have had this paddle plant for a few years. It had been doing really well right next to my sink in a north facing window (one of my sunniest windows). It was happy enough to have a pup and put new leaves out. Literally what seemed like overnight it developed brown spots and I have no idea what happened. I can’t find any evidence of pests but I did bring in a plant that had been outdoors for a few days and place it next to my paddle plant. I’ve sprayed it with alcohol twice just in case of pests, but the leaves seem to be deteriorating and getting mushy now, just 5 days after noticing her brown spots. My only other thought is I overwatered or over fertilized? I only watered when my meter showed her as dry, but I did start using the happy house plant fertilizer recently. Is she a lost cause?

Comments for Sad paddle plant

Jun 26, 2021

Bright Light
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

These plants are desert plants – I’m totally surprised it would like being in a north window for more than a day or two!

They are also sensitive to too much humidity, which I suspect that’s what’s happening. Beside a kitchen sink would be much higher humidity in the air.

Can you look at the brown spots on the underside of the leaves, and under magnification? I can’t see them closely enough to tell.

What is the soil? It looks like some kind of potting soil, which is definitely not what they prefer, and as well, it’s settled, which indicates that it’s been in that pot for a while.

What I would do (just suggestions); repot into a slightly larger pot (not several sizes bigger) and use well drained soil – ie: cactus soil mixed half and half with potting soil, or add perlite and fine gravel/turkey grit to the potting soil.

Pull off the pup and pot it separately.

Move it into a drier place where it will get more light (outside is perfect, but do it slowly or it will sunburn).

Hopefully that will be enough to halt the brown spots, by using environmental changes. Don’t spray it with chemicals unless you know what the problem is, it might just make it worse.

Get a fern or other jungle plant to take its place by the kitchen sink. It will be much happier than this plant.

Also (for future reference) never fertilize a plant that already has issues.