The Q&A Archives: Philodendra

Question: Hello, I have a couple philodendra plants that are over ten years old. In the past couple of weeks they have been what I call

Answer: This is called guttation when water droplets form and drip off the leaves, sort of like a person sweating. It happens sometimes where there is an imbalance of moisture uptake vs. its transpiration or use and dispersion by the plant -- typically if the growing location is very humid. Usually it is temporary and related to environmental conditions and not something to worry about. Since you have had them for a long time, they are probably fine. If you have recently moved them to a new location or made a change in their care, make sure you are not overwatering or overfertilizing your plants, and they should have some air circulation. If it is actually coming out of the stems or you can feel it as a fine mist, you might check very carefully for signs of scale insect infestation. These would look like waxy discs along the stem, and can be treated by physically removing as many as possible (use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol) and then spraying with commercially formulated insecticidal soap per the label instructions. I hope this helps.

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