Ask a Question forum: Help with a Philodendron please!

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Oct 29, 2017 5:01 AM CST
Hi all,

I bought a Philodendron Hederaceum a few weeks ago and have started to have some trouble with it.

The leaves have started to become blotchy, a couple of newer leaves that were developing at the base of the plant have come away (almost rotted away) and this morning I had to cut out the larger of the new shoots at the center of the plant because it was starting to rot. When I cut it out however the inside of the cutting didn't appear to be affected, it was just the external layer.

I don't know whether I am looking for something that isn't there but there appears to be some white deposit on the surface of the soil (not the white chunks from the soil).

I had it in a quiet shaded North facing room and really haven't watered it much at all since I bought it, maybe 3 times in nearly 6 weeks, so don't feel its because of overwatering.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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Oct 29, 2017 5:50 AM CST
HI & welcome! This kind of Philo is referred to as self-heading. It is not P. hederaceum (one of several synonyms for the heart-leaf vine.)

The rotting may have been just normal senescence of a cataphyll (temporary leaf sheath.) Once a new leaf unfurls, its' cataphyll shrivels and falls off. If the soil is getting too dry between waterings, that would cause repercussions in the foliage. If the roots run out of room to grow, the foliage will show that too. Aim for consistency regarding mosture.

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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Oct 29, 2017 7:03 AM CST
White on soil could be mineral deposits from water. Or mold. Look real close. If like crystals, mineral deposits.
If fuzzy, mold, soil not drying out fast enough, cold or damp room.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Oct 29, 2017 8:54 AM CST
The leaf blotchiness was probably caused by temporary exposure of the roots to excess dryness. It looks like the soil is nearly spilling over the top of the pot. If that is soil you added, then remove it. If it is because the roots have pushed the rootball upward, then it is probably time for a pot one size larger. As Tiffanys indicated, watering consistency is important to pay close attention to that.

The only white stuff I see is perlite and that is not a problem.
Will Creed
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Oct 29, 2017 9:42 AM CST
Hi and thank you for your replies.

I didn't think it was a Philodendron Hederaceum after doing some research but wasn't confident enough to say that previously. I thought it was perhaps a Rojo Congo or Imperial Red? I was also worried after I had cut back the 'rotting' new growth, that it may have also been naturally occurring when I realised the stem of the leaf was not affected...I should have posted in here first, how frustrating.

The white substance is in addition to the perlite, it is slightly fuzzy in texture so I am guessing its because the soil isn't drying out quick enough, as highlighted above.

I haven't added any additional soil, it came slightly raised like that. I will try repotting a size bigger, watering more frequently and moving it to a slightly brighter room to dry the soil a bit quicker and avoid the white buildup.

Thank you for your suggestions.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Oct 29, 2017 10:41 AM CST
Chris : Check lite tolerance for your plant. I belive they dont require alot of lite. A brighter room might be ok, but i believe direct sun through window would burn it up !
Up pot it using something that will drain well so it dries faster.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Oct 29, 2017 10:54 AM CST
Thanks Philip, will do.
Pittsburgh, pa
Oct 29, 2017 5:32 PM CST
Why do the tips of leaves on my philodendron turn brown?

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