Tropicals forum: Philodendron Selloum / bipinnatifidum droopy

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Oakland, California (Zone 10a)
travelany1
Jun 10, 2020 6:40 PM CST
Hi everyone!

I've had my Selloum for about a year now and it's been putting out new growth like CRAZY in the past 3-4 months, probably like 10-15 leaves. However, a lot of them have been getting really leggy and the plant is getting droopy. I know it is normally a forest floor plant, but in other photos i've seen from others, the leaves are growing up and not drooping.

It's getting decent light exposure how indirect light and I don't want to move it to an area that has direct sunlight.

Any thoughts/comments?
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jun 10, 2020 7:24 PM CST
This plant is a common landscape plant here in Florida. Almost everyone has at least one. They grow UP because they grow by making a trunk, and as the trunk forms, very large ropey adventitious roots exit the trunk at different levels and go down into the ground as an anchor. This allows the trunk to grow upright like a tree, which is the common name of this plant, the 'tree philodendron'.

Your plant has no way to grow in this manner. There is only the container, which will not allow it to form the structural root system it needs to grow upright and support itself. So it will, as you term it, droop.
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Oakland, California (Zone 10a)
travelany1
Jun 10, 2020 10:25 PM CST
Thanks! This is helpful! Would repotting it in a bigger pot help it grow more upward?

Gina1960 said:This plant is a common landscape plant here in Florida. Almost everyone has at least one. They grow UP because they grow by making a trunk, and as the trunk forms, very large ropey adventitious roots exit the trunk at different levels and go down into the ground as an anchor. This allows the trunk to grow upright like a tree, which is the common name of this plant, the 'tree philodendron'.

Your plant has no way to grow in this manner. There is only the container, which will not allow it to form the structural root system it needs to grow upright and support itself. So it will, as you term it, droop.


Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jun 11, 2020 6:31 AM CST
Your plant is of a sufficient spread that if it were mine and I was trying to keep it as a houseplant I would definitely place it in a larger container.

I know that there will be someone on here who will jump in to this convo at some point and sat that repotting is the worst thing you can do because they almost always do. But repotting your plant is not a sin.

What size container is it in now? 3 gal, 5 gal?

Before repotting what you might want to do it direct any adventitious roots that may be hanging out in space back down into the soil of the existing pot and let them root in well. Please don;t be tempted to follow advice that tells you you can just cut them off. That is not the correct thing to do.
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jun 11, 2020 7:08 AM CST
I thought you might like to see what your plant will eventually do. This is one of mine. It is over 20 years old. I don't take care of it, never fertilize it, the only water it gets is rain. Its in full sun all day every day by the pool.
You can see the diameter of the roots it has.
These are what anchor the plant upright as the trunk grows.
These roots will also attach to things if there is something to attach to, like a tree, or a wall.
Selloum is one of the Meconostigma philodendrons. There are 2 basic divisions of the Genus Philodendron, Philodendron and the sub-genus Meconostigma. The Meconostigmas have been reclassified into a new genus of their own, Thaumatophyllum. But this is controversial. If you would like to know more google Thaumatophyllum or Meconostigma.

The Thaumatophyllums all have as their most distinguishing feature the trunk and the eyes on the trunk where the old leaves fall off and leave eye scars. They are also usually pinnate as opposed to entire-leaf plants. Xanadu is one, EVansii is another there are 7-8 and there are hybrids like African Fantasy, Atom etc

If my plant was a houseplant, it would have to be in nothing less than a 35 gallon container. Possibly even a 50 gallon tub.

It will take yours a while to get this big, and it will be slower because it is containerized inside a house. But these can live for decades. Older neighborhoods here have them that are at least 50-60 years old. Some houses have then as 8-9 ft privacy hedges.
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