Please help!

sunshine_mom(6)November 12, 2013

Hi everyone. I had this plant for a few years now. It's been in this shape for all this time and does not seem to thrive. The leaves on the top are all bunched up and don't open up. I just took it out of the soil it has been in for years, which wasn't airy but looked more like garden soil. The roots don't seem to be healthy, as it never developed root ball. What is wrong with the way I've been taking care of this plant? I really want it to survive and grow healthy. What are your suggestions? Thank you in advance.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Is there a wire or something wrapped around the stem near the top?

Lol, that poor plant is so sad looking that I'm not sure what the heck it is! We can't answer your question about what you've been doing wrong until you share (confess) how youve taken care of it.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 4:42PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i know what i would do ...

get an ID ... NAME THAT PLANT FORUM ... if no one here answers ...

then research propagation .. i bet it would root in a glass of water ..

meanwhile.. repot the 2 inch stump and ROOT.. lol ... in some FRESH potting soil ... and put it in a window ...

and when the rest roots.. based on your research ...

then pot that up separately ...


    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Thanks for your replies! I actually did post in name that plant forum and was told this is some sort of philodendron because of the types of leaves. So, today I cut off the bottom section, took off couple of bottom leaves and will keep it in water (per your suggestion and from many videos on youtube) for a week or so, see what happens. Hope it will root. I have viewed some propagation videos on youtube and such. Hope I'm doing this right.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 8:25PM
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I also put the stump :) into soil to see if that will also root. I'll keep you posted on what will happen. Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 9:47PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You may find some great suggestions and friends in the Houseplant Forum. Be sure to use a good potting mix for your rooting attempts!

Good luck, I have high hopes for you.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 6:03AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Yes, the stump should grow. Just let it dry out well before you water again. It didn't look that bad, or abnormal to me, but there's no reason to not do what you did, I do that all the time, to share plants, to have a more full pot, just because I got bored...

Vines don't make woody root balls like other plants, so not a concern there either. The little bumps along the stem are root nubs, and can eventually elongate into aerial roots (those above soil.) In water, they should soften, turn white, elongate. When you see that, that's when I put them in a pot. Could take 5 days, could take 20. Make sure the water is clean, change if it turns any color or has any odor.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:28AM
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Thanks for your advice. My little stump was completely hidden in the soil horizontally. It's been around two weeks and started to sprout :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 10:12PM
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If that is a Philodendron it may be simply that, as happened quite often when I was at the MSU Cooperative Extension Service office answering questions, we would find the media these plants were growing in were simply too wet which will cause root rot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Philodendrons

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 6:46AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Yes, that's quite common with any house plant, the soil holds too much moisture (and not enough air.) When watered before becoming quite dry, the roots can rot. On the other hand, at a point, potting soil that is comprised of mostly peat, like the pictured soil looks, can become so dry that water will not readily re-penetrate (hydrophobic.) In that case, it's usually necessary to water several times within an hour or two to thoroughly remoisten the soil significantly. If you're having either of these issues, I would start considering replacing it.

Philodendrons are generally pretty slow-growing plants, so keep that in mind as well. With such a small plant/amount of roots in a much larger amount of soil, it may take weeks to dry until more water is needed, just keep an eye on it, how heavy the pot is. That's a good-looking stump. It's growing 3 new tips, which will elongate into individual vines eventually. They can dangle over the edges or be given some kind of support pole or trellis.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 3:50PM
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It's amazing, but this stump has no new roots at all, only nodes and it's still producing those tips. :)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 12:26AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

it is doing all that on stored energy ...

but do stop picking it up.. and do let it grow roots ... it needs soil contact for that ...

i recall the first time i did such.. who knew .. what a thrill ...

a good thing to remember ... is that one reason houseplants are rather cheap ... is that it is easy to replicate them.. aka propagate them ...

meaning... you could probably cut your little piece.. in the pic .... into 3 pieces ... and have 3 plants.. lol ...

but the caveat there.. is that it is working on stored energy ... and you have to time it to new roots ....

each section there.. is what i call a node ... and i am sure i will be mocked and corrected if that is the wrong word ... its were old leaves fell off ...

and the roots will most likely.. pop out of there .... so you could cut it.. in between nodes ... and you will have a 3 plantlets .. and some roots ...

experimenting is fun.. and now that you have spares .... why not ...

if it were me.. i would put that thing in a small pot.. with fresh, well wetted.. but not soggy .... fluffy media.. and cover it with a sandwich bag ... i would also.. half bury the trunk ... soil contact .... in you pic above.. the soil looks relatively hard.. and real dry ... which is proper for a plant with roots.. but a bit lacking for something trying to root ....

again.. many houseplants are what i think of as rain forest.. under canopy plants.. that thrive on humidity ... but well drained soil ... there are two kinds of wet.. wet soil.. and wet air ... most indoor houseplants lack vigor .. as the house is usually much dryer than outside.. especially in winter ... and w/o roots.. it needs to suck moisture out of the air.. hence the baggie.. aka mini greenhouse .... place it in bright light.. but not sun ... we dont want the greenhouse hot ...

i am sure you can bone up on all this int he houseplant forum.. of which i do not visit.. so good luck..and have fun learning ...


    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 11:07AM
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