The Garden Helper

Helping Gardeners Grow Their Dreams since 1997.

No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997

Philodendron question

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
« Prev thread: Philodendron name?| Next thread: Philodendron seeds?? »
Back to Thread index
by CFHutton on September 30, 2005 01:38 PM
I have a philodendron that's struggling. I think it's because of erratic watering, because it looks like it's exhibiting the signs of both over and under watering.

Some of the leaves have brown tips. Those are mostly the leaves that were already large when I bought the plant.

Most of the newer looking or smaller leaves are yellow colored, though even one of the larger ones was similarly discolored.

Some leaves, mostly smaller ones, basically died and shriveled up.

Could this plant be suffering from both over and under watering at the same time? If so, where do I go from here? Is there an organized way I can go about figuring out what the watering needs of this plant are without killing it in the process?

What about pruning? I've cut some of the worst leaves away for aesthetic purposes. Should I cut away anything that's obviously dead? Do I cut as close to the soil as I can?

As you can see from my questions, I'm just learning about house plants. I've had some limited success with other plants in my home, but I've had a few die on me as well. I don't want to lose this one and I'd like to add a few more, but need to keep this one alive for now.

Any help would be appreciated. If necessary, I could probably get a picture of the plant posted online if that would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

* * * *
by tkhooper on September 30, 2005 09:25 PM
Pictures always help. I'm a new gardener just started in March. With this sites help I now have healthy plants inside and out and am having loads of fun with them.

I don't have any experience with the plant you have but I hope you have every success with it and others that you get.
by RugbyHukr on September 30, 2005 10:18 PM
overwatering can exhibit effects that may look like underwatering. I water my philidendron when the top one inch of soil is completely dry.

watering with tap water can give brown tips due to mineral content. I use filtered water & have no brown tips.

* * * *
I love the sweet scents wafting in the breeze. I stop to admire the vibrant colors of all living things. And people think me odd. Then ODD I am!!!
by CFHutton on September 30, 2005 11:27 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Here's a snapshot of a portion of the plant.


I'll have to investigate the filter matter. I assume you are talking about a filter attachment to your sink?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

* * * *
by margaret e. pell on October 01, 2005 04:26 AM
Yes, plants can have symptoms of over and under watering at the same time. If they get overwatered, after a while the roots rot and then they can't get enough water into the plant. Anyway, your plant's beautiful, and doesn't look to be in nearly the trouble it sounded like. I'd cut off anything obviously dead right up to but not including living tissue, and water like RugbyHukr says, when the top of the soil is dry. I use my hard tap water on most of my plants and buy distilled water for the few who don't want it. This works for me, but everybody's water has different minerals. MEP

* * * *

may God bless the WHOLE world!
by Spider Lady on October 06, 2005 08:21 AM
Hi CF--I've never seen a philodendron like that. What type is it? Mine has heart-shaped leaves.
And mine are hanging in pots that they sell in
Wal-Mart that you water from the bottom. I love these as you don't have to wait for them to drain. The plants also seem to really like them because the roots take the water as they need them. I've read where a lot of houseplants are tropical & need humidity. Since I've been misting them every morning I haven't had any brown tips.
Lynne [flower]
by Jiffymouse on October 06, 2005 11:30 PM
an easy way to handle the humidity is to put a tray of water under each plant. just make sure the plant is supported by rocks, stones or what ever to keep the bottom of te pot out of the water. then you just water the tray when you water the plant, or when you notice the try is dry. that will increase the humitiy in the immediate area around the plant, but will not affect things like furnishings and pictures that might get misted with the plant. it also provides a more even amount of humidity.
by Will Creed on October 07, 2005 07:48 AM
Hi CF,

Your plant is a Philodendron selloum, and a nice one. The problem doesn't look too serious, but then not all of the plant is visible.

The tipping could be caused by either under or over watering or erratic watering, as you described it.

Selloums do best in tight pots with lots of bright indirect light. It is best to let the top inch or two of soil dry out in between thorough waterings.

Rugby's point about water quality is a good one. If your local tap water is on the hard side, then switch to filtered, distilled or rainwater. Otherwise, tap water is fine.

Raising humidity is fine, but unnecessary. Selloums do very well in very dry air as long as they are watered properly.

Trim off the dead tips and any leaves that are mostly or all discolored. Get a handle on your watering technique and I think you will see little if any tipping in the future. [Smile]

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: Philodendron name?| Next thread: Philodendron seeds?? »
Back to Thread index

Search The Garden Helper: