The Secret Tip for Keeping Geo Healthy

The Secret Tip for Keeping Geo Healthy

This sturdy leafed plant has a care quirk: It’s thirstier than it looks.
If you’ve been around the block with houseplants, you may have a second sense about which species need a lot of water and which ones don’t.

For example, generally plants with thick, rigid leaves are more drought tolerant than thinner-leafed plants. Think succulents. Think snake plant.

But this doesn’t hold true for one of the coolest new plants: Geogenanthus (aka Geo). Horticulturist Justin Hancock says that Geo may fool you. “Geo is a very thirsty houseplant,” he says. You may think that because it has thick, fleshy leaves that it is drought tolerant. “It’s not,” he says.

Geo is a swooner
If you forget to water Geo, its leaves just fold. “You want to treat it like a Spath,” Justin says about the watering requirements of Spathiphyllum (aka Peace Lily), a notoriously dramatic plant when it gets too dry. Geo is also very dramatic when it dries. The large leaves droop. It may look hopeless. But here’s the good news: Geo can dramatically recover after watering. Watch this video.

Does drying out hurt Geo?
You know the adage, "if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated"? The same can be applied to Geo. If you’ve let the plant show signs of dryness, it’s already dehydrated. “There’s zones of dryness,” says Justin. “If you let it stay dry for too long, it may bounce back, but there’s damage, such as the leaf edges may turn brown,” he says. And if you let it stay dry for way too long, there may be no coming back.

Keep soil moist, not wet
Justin recommends checking your Geo’s soil moisture often until you get an idea of how much it drinks. He says that Geo is a perfect candidate for self-watering systems. As in all things, moderation is recommended. “You won’t want to keep Geo’s soil too wet,” he says. “You can overwater it.”

Written by Karen Weir-Jimerson