Houseplants forum: Unhappy philodendron selloum :(

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goldenscruffy
Jan 14, 2018 11:25 AM CST
Hello fantastic plant people!

I am so worried about my beautiful philodendron selloum. I was away for 3 weeks and left it in the care of a friend. I returned to find it in a terrible state. The leaves were wilted, yellowing, and some were crunchy on the edges. I won't go into why she forgot about it. The plant was left in indirect light and now that I know she forgot about it, it may have also endured cold or fluctuating temperatures (heater not on during -25C conditions) :(

It's now living with average room temperatures in diffused light and has been for a week. I watered it and clipped off the crispy leaves. It's photographed by the window for lighting purposes.

Based on my description and the images, does anyone have any advice about what to do to improve its health? The yellowing is slowly turning into brown and invading the leaves from the edges inward. The midribs are still bright green. Do I need to fully prune all the browning leaves? Will fertilizer help?

This makes me so sad. Any help is deeply appreciated.
Thumb of 2018-01-14/goldenscruffy/4d44da


Thumb of 2018-01-14/goldenscruffy/bec0fe


Thumb of 2018-01-14/goldenscruffy/2f24b2

[Last edited by goldenscruffy - Jan 14, 2018 11:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jan 14, 2018 11:36 AM CST
Such a shame! It is possible that your Selloum is suffering from cold damage, but the symptoms look more like excessive dryness and inadequate light.

Discolored leaves will not recover and the discoloration will likely spread further in each leaf. The discoloration can be trimmed off to make it look better. Look for healthy new leaf growth that should stay green. Fertilizer is not medicine and will not help, nor will repotting or replacing the soil.

I suggest that you keep your plant where it is in the photos. This is not a good low light plant. If the soil got completely dried out while you were away, it may be difficult to re-wet now. Take it to a tub or sink and let it sit in several inches of water for an hour or so so that the water wicks up from the bottom. After that, resume normal top watering as soon as the surface of the soil feels barely damp.

Be patient because recovery will be very slow.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

goldenscruffy
Jan 14, 2018 11:57 AM CST
Thanks for the prompt response, Will C. I wish personal healthcare was as efficient!

Okay, I will keep it where it is. I actually described the wrong lighting conditions in the original post. The lighting in both areas are more diffused than low.

Do you then recommend I trim off the browned edges, leaving the midrib intact? Will it help the plant or is it more of an aesthetic option? Would it be any better to trim the leaf off completely or cut the stem at the base?

My conventional approach to plant care was casual/intuitive (I'm not known for a black thumb), but I want to educate myself on how to support this poor plant as best I can.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jan 14, 2018 12:03 PM CST
I hear you about personal healthcare!

"Diffuse light" is a subjective term that folks often over estimate. Your Selloum should be no more than a couple of feet from a completely uncovered window. It should not be across the room or off to the side or in a corner of even a very sunny room.

Removing the discolored leaf tissue is an aesthetic issue and will not affect the health or future of the plant.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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