Houseplants forum: Philodendron? Help

Views: 332, Replies: 12 » Jump to the end

AlanAnderson
Dec 31, 2017 3:17 PM CST
I have this plant I inherited from a divorce and it is over 30 years old and I was told it is a Philodendron but I couldn't find photos to confirm this. It has 2 stalks/stems and the taller one is very leggy and tall. I want to know how to improve it's looks and health. Recently we had our house fumigated and so it went through the trauma of being moved twice and being outdoors for a week. It has lost leaves and now had only a few at the top of a very leggy stem. I think the plant got broken in the past and resprouted ok so I think the leggy stem can be cut off, right?
So I want to keep the lower of the 2 stems but if possible have the leggy one regrow/resprout or whatever. I will post pictures for you to tell me what type plant it is and to identify my situation.

And if I cut off the leggy stem can I use it for propagation?
I live in central California with predominantly low humidity year round.
Thumb of 2017-12-31/AlanAnderson/c13de3
Thumb of 2017-12-31/AlanAnderson/4b75e5
Thumb of 2017-12-31/AlanAnderson/d0fa24

Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Dec 31, 2017 5:04 PM CST
Hi AlanAnderson, Welcome!
Your plant is not a Philodendron but looks like maybe a variety of Dieffenbachia to me, which is in the same family of plants as Philodendron (Araceae, commonly called Aroids). We have many Dieffenbachia listed in our database with photos for comparison: https://garden.org/plants/sear...

Yes, you can cut that leggy stem for propagation purposes. Cut sections to desired length and allow the cut ends to dry and callous over for a few days before potting into a well draining soil.

You can raise the humidity around indoor plants by placing them on a tray of moist pebbles; replacing the water in the tray as it evaporates. A lot of people mist their plants with a spray bottle of water but I find pebble trays to work well.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
Orchids Region: Europe Garden Art Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Faridat
Jan 1, 2018 4:02 AM CST
Looks like a Dieffenbachia to me also! Pruning should go well with it, it has quite a long stem and I think that cutting off the top would benefit the plant. Mind to put some cinnamon on the cut stem. You can also propagate from cut pieces like plantladylin suggested!
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jan 1, 2018 10:19 AM CST
Your plant is a Dieffenbachia 'Tropic Snow,' as others have stated. It is a plant that naturally grows very tall and leggy and has to be pruned regularly to keep it from falling over and looking unsightly. Fortunately, the pruning is easy and the plant responds well to pruning.

IMHO, all of the stems are overgrown and in need of being pruned, but that is your choice. New growth will emerge on any stem just below where you make the pruning cut, so select accordingly. Top cuttings with a few leaves and no more than 6 inches of bare stem root most readily in the base of the existing pot or in water or in a small pot of its own.

Improper light and watering can hasten the loss of lower leaves. Keep yours more in front of an uncovered window rather than between the two windows where the light is greatly reduced. Sheers also block out much of the usable light. Keep it tightly potted and water only when the top inch of soil feels dry.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

AlanAnderson
Jan 2, 2018 11:09 PM CST
My thanks to all of you for your help and suggestions. I am constantly amazed and gratified for the support one can find online for all kinds of problems, be they plants, cars, personal or homecare.

AlanAnderson
Jan 2, 2018 11:17 PM CST
A couple questions.
Cinnamon? What does that do and do I just sprinkle it on the cut end?

I have been watering all my indoor plants from the base as I have run into problems with infestations of fruit flies if I water from above. Is that incorrect?
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
Image
lauriebasler
Jan 3, 2018 12:30 AM CST
If you will be cutting stalks that have no leaves, you may want to mark what ever end is up, because it will be hard to tell when they are just pieces, and if the up side ends up down in the dirt, the cutting cannot grow.

This plant is easy to propagate. You will love your improvements. Welcome to the forums.

Laurie B
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
purpleinopp
Jan 3, 2018 9:18 AM CST
The flies would almost surely be fungus gnats, not fruit flies.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jan 3, 2018 10:39 AM CST
Cinnamon powder is used as a natural fungicide and I've read that some people use it when propagating plant cuttings, sprinkling the powder on the cut end to stimulate root growth.

I agree, the "Fruit Flies" are more than likely Fungus Gnats and are usually present when soil is extremely moist. Here's a good article about those pests: https://garden.org/learn/artic...
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jan 3, 2018 3:50 PM CST
Fungus gnat larvae live in the upper portion of the potting soil. They require constant dampness to survive.If you water from the top, make sure you wait until the soil is dry as deep into the pot as the plant can stand. If you water from the bottom use only enough water so that the upper portion of the soil does not stay moist for long and make sure it gets good and dry again before you water from the bottom.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tofi
Sumatera, Indonesia
Vegetable Grower Butterflies Garden Procrastinator Roses Bookworm Tomato Heads
Tropicals Salvias Plays in the sandbox Frogs and Toads Fruit Growers Sempervivums
Image
tofitropic
Jan 4, 2018 3:54 AM CST
A precaution, avoid contact with sap from Dieffenbachias cutting. I found their sap most irritating among all aroid upon contact (off course reaction is personal), but just beware, as it is itchy and painfully burning. Use gloves or just avoid sap. Your leggy specimen shows why they are being called dumb cane plant.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jan 4, 2018 3:44 PM CST
Tofi makes a good point. The oxalic acid in the sap can also cause mucous membranes in the mouth to swell, thereby striking mute anyone who chews this plant. Very hazardous for pets and toddlers!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
purpleinopp
Jan 6, 2018 10:03 AM CST
Yes, the use of the word "dumb" to refer to someone who can't speak has passed from the current lexicon, but that was my understanding of the nickname. Helen Keller was said to be, at the time, "deaf and dumb." This was not used to indicate that she was unintelligent, just that she could not speak.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Houseplants forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by krobra and is called "Lantana Dew Drops"