Philodendrons, Elephant Ears, and Other Aroids forum→Conflicting advice/information in a Youtube Video

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Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
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emmapb
May 17, 2020 1:01 AM CST
Hi growers,

I stumbled upon this video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?... and the host recommends leaving the plant in water to root (specifically for philodendron, monstera & alocasia) for a few weeks or until there is a visible root system growing. However, I have read time and time again that water roots do not equal soil roots, and that pre-rooting in water can actually set back the plants growth and stunt it temporarily when it is potted up. She says that by doing this method it "massively increases the chance of survival". I am quite the novice so I am highly confused now.

I also read elsewhere that there is a different between the dicot and monocot plants, and that one or the other has roots that can act as both water roots and soil roots, therefore no need for conversion when moved from water to soil.

Also, in the video she has some kind of philodendron growing up a totem and I thought that this specie in particular was a creeper, not a climber. Can they be grown vertically too? Does that affect the plants growth in any way? Hurray!

Thanks for the help! Just trying to understand some things more clearly.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 17, 2020 6:15 AM CST
I never watch stuff like this. I hate to say this because it makes me sound pompous but these things are geared toward houseplant growers and 'newbie' growers and I am not a houseplant grower or a newbie. I learned everything I do by the school of hard knocks in the past about 38 years now. One of those things is that many more things rot in water than root in water. That is just my opinion. The philodendron growing up the pole is a climber, it is probably melanochrysum. It is still an infant. You are thinking it is gloriosum maybe? Which is a creeper. My advice to you is to research each specific plant you want to grow and see how it grows IN HABITAT. In NATURE. Find out what it is and what it wants. Is it an epiphyte? A hemi-epiphyte? A lithophyte? A rheophyte? A terrestrial? Is it lowland? High elevation? There is a difference in heat tolerance between those two. Is it mainly found in dry forest or rainforest? There are scientific articles and data out there from real research botanists, not from Youtube plant 'influencers' that can be much much more informative.

The only thing I will say about water rooting that I have not already said before is this. There are probably no NON-AQUATIC aroids that root themselves as cuttings in water in nature. (Of course there are aquatic aroids that do...the Lasias, Urospathas, Anubias, Cryptocornes etc). They all start out as seeds, distributed by birds and other animals, either in soil or in the canopy of the forest up in trees and crevices of rock. If a plant does not do something naturally in habitat, I refuse to ask it to do it at my house.
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Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
May 19, 2020 10:05 PM CST
I watched this video a couple of weeks ago and I know this isn't the first time that water rooting based on this particular video has come up on the forums. I can't remember when or where, just remember that it's happened.
I do agree with Gina that it's absolutely geared toward houseplant growers and people new to plants. I happen to be a houseplant grower with handful+ of years growing indoors because I love plants and fate has placed me in tippy-top northern Ohio where things have to grow indoors most of the time.
Anyway, as for the actual video, I do not find her advice to be true for me or my environment. I don't often seek out reasons to root in water, but sometimes things happen...a kid or cat knocks a plant down, and I've put the severed limb in water. I have ended up throwing away gooey plants most of the time. There are a few exceptions. IME, soil that is the proper fit for the plant, kept just a tad bit more moist than you would for an established plant is what has worked for me. A warm spot and bright indirect lighting have been really key for me also. I think Gina is 100% right about the natural environment of the plant factoring into how you treat it and propagate it.
I really don't know about the water roots vs soil roots because if you consider the "how would it work in nature" system, why would a plant have a need for water roots when it's (likely) an epiphyte in a tree? I think Gina might have touched on that in her comment.
As for the exceptions I mentioned, string of hearts root like crazy for me in water. I have to trim my plants constantly and replant into the pots because otherwise it grows until it coils up on my kitchen counter. Hoya Linearis roots in water for me, and basically nothing else. So as for her statement about it "massively" improving chances for survival, I just haven't found that to be true.
Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
May 19, 2020 10:16 PM CST
Forgot to ask: Gina, where do you find the articles and data from the research botanists? Can you recommend any pages where they can be found or books? I have a few plants I'm researching now to make sure I have them as close as possible (given my limitations) to nature.
Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
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emmapb
May 19, 2020 10:56 PM CST
Thank you Gina and Adrienne! I appreciate this gardening forum itself for it is a wealth of knowledge and advice from experienced growers like yourselves. Thank You!

Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 20, 2020 5:02 AM CST
Adrienne a lot of them are from JStorr, there are also articles on the IAS website, they have archived things like the papers of Dr Peter Boyce and others, many articles by Dr Thomas Croat can be found on various anthuriums and other aroids...there is a ton of data out there and it isn't all Wikipedia
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Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
May 20, 2020 8:29 AM CST
Thank you. I will check those out.

I haven't found Wikipedia to be very helpful, at least for what I need. I suppose I should say that it's helpful but inconsistent. Outside of the plant world I find it very helpful, but (so far) I haven't found the plant info I need there.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
May 20, 2020 8:49 AM CST
When you Google a plant, look for articles that tell the origins and cultural information of the plants, particularly those in which the plant you are looking for info about was described to science, and who did it and when, if it was reclassified in the literature into a different genera, etc. Look for the field notes published by botanists when they collect specimens. Often they will give extremely detailed notes about exactly where a specimen was located (something like 'growing up the wall of a ravine as a hemi-epiphyte in full shade on the west side of the (made up Sierra Santos) mountainside in (whatever country) 3 miles from (a town)...habitat (dry forest/wet forest/ montagne forest/etc) at elevation of (5000 meters)'. That tells you a surprising lot of data about the growing conditions of a plant
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Denver, Co
GreenBee01
May 20, 2020 10:47 AM CST
Great tip on finding info from academics. No need to question if the info is of good quality. Don't geat me wrong one can find good quality info on plants from places like this. But I have run into a lot of questionable information on the web. That's one reason I like this forum so much. It's got good info from seasoned Growers.
Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
May 26, 2020 8:41 PM CST
Just a story to share on this topic...I don't want to muddy the waters even further, but get this...

I ordered some plants from a very reputable source, all is clear on the sourcing of plants and the growing. BUT as I was emailing with the grower about how to root the cuttings I purchased, he and she (husband and wife) recommended water!

Just to be clear, these are not aroids. They're Hoya, but I thought it'd mention it here since we were having this conversation recently. Now I'm feeling really conflicted even though I don't want to put my cuttings in water!
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
May 27, 2020 5:51 AM CST
I would never put hoya in water. My tried and true method is the 'Carol' method...just lay the cutting on top of the soil and weight it down with small stones. Works every time.

The problem with water rooting in these Monstera and other small aroid cuttings is that the cuttings you are getting are just too small most of the time..when all you get is a single node (with or without a root) and one leaf (which may or may not be cut off) and only about 1/2-1 inch of meristem tissue on either side there is nowhere for rot to go. It will encompass the root and the node. Because the new roots will not form quickly enough to beat the onset of the rot.
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Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
May 27, 2020 9:29 AM CST
How moist do you keep the soil with the carol method? Do you allow it to dry or keep a constant moisture?
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
May 27, 2020 9:52 AM CST
Welllllll that is the thing...in the growing season I water almost daily. So I would say that they probably have stayed pretty moist. I have not actually rooted any new hoya in a very long time. We are back into the 90-95F daily get here so I water a lot to stave off heat stress in the epiphytes
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Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
May 27, 2020 10:57 AM CST
I could put them outside to root, I suppose. There are still a couple of nights in the 40s here, so I can wait until those have passed.

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