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Avatar for Keithhope
May 22, 2020 11:53 AM CST
New Rochelle, New York
Help with old Philodendron,
This plant is 10-15 years old. For the past year it has gone into a cycle : new leaf, small brown spots within a couple of weeks, spots extending down then leaf and within 2-3 months the leaf is dead. The 2nd and 3rd pictures (front and back) are of the worst effected /oldest leaf. It has a week or two before it falls off. The 4th and 5th pictures are of a leaf that has about a month to go. The main stork is no longer connected to the soil. The plant is being fed by its extended roots /tendrils that come out of the stork. Does anyone have an idea what the problem might be? Is it a disease? A nutritional issue? Too much not enough water.? Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Keith
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May 22, 2020 12:11 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
Hi Keithhope, Welcome!

Tree Philodendron (Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum) is a common landscape plant here in Florida but I don't have experience with growing them as indoor container plants so I can't offer much advice. The pot that your plant is growing in appears quite small for the size of the plant and I wonder if perhaps it could use a bit larger pot and some fresh soil? I do still see the main stem growing from the soil and those adventitious/aerial roots are common, they act as an anchor for the tree.

@Gina1960 is familiar with Philodendrons and other plants in the Aroid family, perhaps she will be able to offer suggestions and advice.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Avatar for Keithhope
May 22, 2020 12:22 PM CST
New Rochelle, New York
Hi Lin,
Thanks for getting back to me. It is hard to see from the picture but the main stem is dead at the soil level. I just mentioned it to see people might think it had a connection to the leaf issue.
If people don't think that its a disease issue I might try a larger pot but we love the container that the pot sits in so I am hesitant to get a larger pot.
Thanks again,
Keith
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May 22, 2020 5:57 PM CST
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 38 years
Aroids Region: Florida Tropicals
I agree with Lin, if this ha never been repotted, Its probably about time. The soil is probably long depleted of nutrients. It is completely NORMAL for those adventitious roots to be there...they are what anchors the plant and allows it to stand upright. They also uptake water and nutrients where they are under the soil. I would repot this into a larger (but not TOO large) container. Preserve ALL the roots.
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Avatar for Keithhope
May 22, 2020 6:42 PM CST
New Rochelle, New York
Gina,
You don't think its some kind of disease or nutritional deficiency. Just needs a repotting?
I realize that the "adventurous roots" a normal. They are supporting the plant since the main stem is not connected to the soil.
Thanks for your advice,
Keith
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May 22, 2020 7:03 PM CST
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 38 years
Aroids Region: Florida Tropicals
I am not sure why you are saying that the main stem is not connected to the soil. It is buried in the soil from what your photos show. If you have never repotted this plant in 15 years, the soil it is in has been depleted so yes, there is a nutritional deficiency most likely. Do you ever fertilize it? This is a terrestrial philodendron. It needs soil. It needs a bigger container. I don;t see anything that looks like a disease to me personally.

Like Lin, I don;t have experience growing this as a houseplant. These are common landscape plants in Florida, almost every yard has at least one. They can get massive over time, and are pretty much carefree here outdoors.
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Avatar for Keithhope
May 22, 2020 11:31 PM CST
New Rochelle, New York
Thanks
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May 23, 2020 8:21 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
How do you determine when to water it and how much do you then give it? About how often is that?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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May 23, 2020 9:41 AM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
When you water, does the water drain out rather quickly? It's possible that the current pot contains a mass of roots with only a little soil remaining near the top of the pot, in which case you will need to water more often to be certain that the roots are taking in enough moisture.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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May 23, 2020 11:59 AM CST
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 38 years
Aroids Region: Florida Tropicals
Yeah...over time the soil can get 'used up' and there will be pockets of air around the roots with no appreciable soil...so they are not getting enough water. If this were my plant I would repot it
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Avatar for Keithhope
May 23, 2020 2:39 PM CST
New Rochelle, New York
Thanks Everyone,
As far as watering goes I have some glass bulbs that I fill with water and place in the soil. Theoretically when the soil is dry the water will comes out of the bulb. I removed them to take the pictures. Every once in a while I water the plant with desolved miracle-gro all purposes plant food.

I am going to try and repot it. I am sure there is not much soil left
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May 23, 2020 3:53 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
I doubt the plant is receiving a thorough enough watering from the globes/bulbs. Those watering globes are pretty to look at but it's better to completely soak the soil thoroughly and then allow it to drain.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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