Houseplants forum: Philodendron yellowing leaves

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Greece (Zone 10b)
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Faridat
Jan 5, 2018 11:15 AM CST
Hello everybody!
I have this Philodendron Super Atom for some months now. The first months everything was ok, but for the last month some of its leaves have started to yellow. This plant's leaves are naturally twisted, but some of them are already slit from the moment they come out. I have heard those are heavy feeders, so it might be a problem of not having fertilized? But it's winter and I have read that it's unecessary to fertilize in winter.
I keep this at bright indirect light. My watering routine is to check the top inch of the soil with my finger and then water. Before I repotted, it was very rootbound and the roots had been pressed against the plastic, that's how I got it from the nursery, so I repotted to this ceramic pot.

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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
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WillC
Jan 5, 2018 11:50 AM CST
Your plant is reacting to the stress of the repotting. If you removed a lot of the original soil or otherwise disturbed the roots, that could add to the stress. In addition, the pot it is now it is larger than it needs to be. That means there is a much greater risk of overwatering. If you added soil to the top of the original rootball, then I suggest you remove it because it is keeping the soil in the root zone from drying out properly and preventing you from properly assessing how dry the soil is.

It certainly does not need fertilizer now that it has been repotted. BTW, plants are usually quite happy when the roots are against the inside of the pot.The light you described is appropriate.

This is an unusual Philo variety that I had not seen before. Take good care of it and be very careful with your watering.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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
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Faridat
Jan 5, 2018 12:40 PM CST
@WillC, thank you for your evaluation! Actually there was no visible soil left on the pot, it was such the condition of the roots. Heavily root bound. I did take care to not put any extra soil on the root ball, it's quite shallow, and that particular soil is one I'm pleased since I got it, airy and well draining.
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 5, 2018 1:38 PM CST
Good that you didn't add soil to the top of the rootball. Most people do that. Photos can be deceptive, but its new pot doesn't look shallow.

In any case, it seems that you plant is just reacting to the stress of the repotting and it should recover nicely as long as you used a good potting mix and water appropriately.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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
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Faridat
Jan 5, 2018 1:42 PM CST
I will be very careful as you suggested WillC, you are right and it's not as shallow as it should be! But that plant is such a grower, I'm sure it will fill this soon too! You should have seen the roots. It's a strange plant indeed, there's a ton of new leaves coming out underneath all the upper foliage, I wonder how it can support them all! Thank You!
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
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!
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plantladylin
Jan 5, 2018 2:00 PM CST
I have a very small Tree Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum 'Super Atom') in a little 6 inch terra cotta pot that was struggling for a few months because it got lost in the shuffle when we moved. My little plant lost every leaf and I thought it might not survive but Philodendron bipinnatifidum are pretty tough plants so when I finally found it, I moved it to a bright light location and watered it well. It did put on new growth and I'm hoping it survives winter. It's currently crammed out on my back porch with tons of other plants to protect them from cold weather. Our past two nights were extremely cold and very windy; temperatures have been 29ºF, 28ºF and 31ºF the past few nights. I can't even get onto the porch because of so many plants out there and it's dark because my husband nailed up a bunch of heavy covers over the screen to keep the cold winds out. It's supposed to warm up by the end of the weekend so I'll be moving everything back outside.
~ 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
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Faridat
Jan 5, 2018 2:32 PM CST
Thank you @plantladylin, it's good to know that they are tough, so maybe my Philodendron will come back also! I know these leaves won't turn green again, but maybe the yellowing will stop at these, I hope.
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
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WillC
Jan 5, 2018 9:01 PM CST
Lin - This extreme cold in the east is crazy! We have had minus temps here, but we expect sub-freezing temps. What you are experiencing in FL is unusual. I will be interested to learn from you how your various tropical plants fare in the sub-freezing temps they are experiencing. Terrible that you have to deal with it, but also an opportunity to learn what happens when your plants are exposed to conditions that are unusual. Something we can all learn from. Crossing Fingers!

Keep us posted.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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 5, 2018 10:01 PM CST
Will, I agree, it is crazy this year! I've been in Fla 50+ years and here in the Daytona Beach area we do occasionally have frosts and freezes and even a hard freeze every once in a while but thankfully they are few and far between! We move all of my container plants into the porch and garage when it's predicted to be really cold for many hours and plants in the ground get covered with old blankets to try to protect them from frost and freezes. I've lost my share of plants over the years when it just stays too cold for too long. Back in the 1970's we were out of town over the holidays and an un-predicted freeze occurred. I had many desert type cacti that I'd grown from seed and they all froze along with many other plants. Winter 2010-2011, we had consecutive hard freezes where temp's dropped into the low 20's and I lost a lot of Codiaeum (Crotons) but the Tree Philodendrons survived! P. bipinnatifidum seem to be very hardy plants; they suffer from extreme cold and look extremely ratty for awhile but once the weather warms they grow new leaves and return to their normal beauty. At a house we owned for 36 years, we had lots of tree philo's along one side of the yard. Winter of 2010/2011 was fairly harsh too and we even had ice one night that year; the plants looked so awful for a month after the cold snap but we eventually removed all the brown, soggy leaves and the plants re-sprouted new growth and were once again beautiful.
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These pictures are from December 2010 when we had ice and extreme cold temperatures.
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~ 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 6, 2018 8:52 AM CST
Thanks for the photos, Lin. The last one is particularly sad.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I often witness what happens to plants when they are exposed to conditions we know or assume are bad for those plants. In some instances, the result is disastrous. But many times I have been surprised to learn that some plants hold up surprisingly well in cold temps or very low humidity or excessive drought, for example. These events have caused me to re-think my previous ideas about what certain plants require. D'Oh!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Gail1960
Sep 4, 2018 4:28 PM CST
I have a hope philo that started turning yellow about a month after I re-potted it. The roots where coming out of the bottom so I assumed it was time for a bigger pot. Is this stress from re-potting or soil to moist. Since it started turning yellow a few weeks ago I haven't watered it and have been monitoring the moisture levels with my moisture meter. It's now almost to the dry area so should I go ahead and water this? Location of the plant is in the screened in porch that has bright filtered light. I live in SE GA so the weather is very humid and hot during the summer. I wish I could say this is a new varigated phase. Please advise what I need to do so it's happy and healthy.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Sep 5, 2018 11:52 AM CST
The presence of roots coming out of drain holes is not a reliable indicator of a plant's needing repotting. Repotting can be quite stressful to a plant when done unnecessarily and/or incorrectly. Fortunately, Monsteras are not as fussy as many plants and yours will probably survive if you adjust your watering appropriately.

The difficulty is that the water requirements vary with the amount of soil added, the porosity of the soil used and whether you removed some or all of the original soil.

If you added soil to the top of the original rootball, remove that as it serves no useful purpose and it keeps oxygen from penetrating readily into the root zone. Then water when the top inch of soil is dry. Add just enough water so that it reaches that level of dryness again in about a week. You will have to experiment a bit to determine the right amount of water to add.

Moisture meters are notoriously inaccurate and very with the types of soil used. I would not rely on it.

Trim off any leaves that start to yellow as they will not recover. Look for healthy new leaf growth.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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