Help with identification of my vine and repotting

tzobellFebruary 9, 2012

I have 2 vines that i bought about a year and a half ago from lowes that grow quite vigorously (they need trimming every month or so). I have kept them in the original container and then have placed them in slightly wider deeper pots (while still being in the original) so as to provide drainage (the two pots together stack like cups). Recently i have noticed some yellowing at the top of the vine, however they are still growing. I have noticed recently in the past few months that there are a few roots that are growing out of the drainage hole of the containers, the roots are white at the tips so i do not believe root rot is an issue here. I believe that the vines are becoming pot bound and need to either have their roots trimmed and re-potted in the same container, or be moved to a larger container. I am not exactly sure what kind of vine it is. I *think* it may be a Philodendron, but am not sure as I have not seen this plant in stock at lowes or other stores with house plants sense buying it. I have not been able to find a picture of a vine that looks like mine online. The leaves are heart shaped like Philodendron, but they don't have that waxy coating that i see on most. The leaves on mine have a velvet texture and they are a much darker green than most other Philodendron i have seen in stores or in pictures. Further, my vine has tiny spots of lighter shades of green that i have not seen in any pictures of Philodendrons. I would like help with identifying what kind vine I have, and would like information on the best course of action to take, to either re pot the plant, and/or trim the roots. I would also like to experiment with growing cuttings from this vine and would like to know the best method of doing so. Ill try to post pictures to give a better idea of what the vine may be.

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I think there are varieties of Hoyas and Pothos (Epipremnum) that might fit that description. The Pothos might get called "Philodendron".

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 11:37AM
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here are some pictures:

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 11:46AM
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Scindapsus pictus, aka Scindapsus argyraeus. What makes it a Scindapsus and not a Philodendron is completely beyond me, but I don't get into arguments with taxonomists. :) I have one in a 4" pot that I'm planning on repotting sometime this Summer, but I don't have any specific experiences with it beyond that... Though, I'll note that those yellow leaves probably indicate overwatering (that one I've run into). It also gets pretty leggy in low light, when I repot it I'm going to also prune it back and move it to a brighter position.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Tzobell..That is the largest Scindapsus I've ever seen. :)

Do you know the container size?

Here's a picture of mine, planted in a 5" pot.

I doubt the problem is root rot, too.

Since your Scindapsus has been in the same pot 1.5 years, it's probably root-bound.

Yellow leaves occur when a plant is over AND under-watered. If your Scindapsus is all roots, watering is slipping through roots without reserving liquid.

Your photo is semi-blurry...are bottom leaves smaller than upper?

Are you willing to trim, then root cuttings? Toni

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:02PM
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I believe your pot is the same size as mine. and the leaves do get smaller about 2/3 down towards the floor... part of that i think may just be due to the increasing lower levels of light towards the floor and 2/3 down is also where i usually trim it. Do you suggest keeping it in the same container and just trimming the roots? or should i keep the roots and transplant to a bigger pot? Or do both? The leaves may be yellowing due to under watering. Sense they are high up on the ledge i usually don't water them until i start to see the leaves shrivel a bit, and once i water them, the leaves perk back up with in a hour or two.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:53PM
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Dave's Garden gives synonyms:

From their entry for the plant:

Synonym:Epipremnum pictum
Synonym:Scindapsus pictus
Synonym:Scindapsus argyraeum

That is an awfully nice looking plant.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 4:17PM
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TZ, you and I water the same..:)

Your plant is so beautiful I'd hate giving you advice then something goes

If it were my plant I'd first remove yellow foliage.

BTW, I'd do the following the end of Feb through March.

I'd trim the tips by a foot or so. More, so ends are the same length.
Root cuttings using the tips.

I have a feel whether or not a plant needs repotting, lol, so whether or not to repot is done by a 6th sense. :)

Are roots growing out of drainage holes? How fast/slow does soil dry? Are roots present on top soil?

If roots are growing out of drainage holes, I'd remove from pot, clip dead roots, shake off excess soil, then compare rootball to current pot. If there's more than 2" between soil ball and inner pot, I'd just add fresh medium/soil, and keep in the same container.

If roots fill pot, I'd go up a size or two. Scindapsus do not like over-potting. Notice their shallow roots? Shallow rooted plants, when being repotted, need shallow, wider containers..not deeper.

Afterwards, I'd give the plant a hearty drink and/or a nice, warm shower. Keep bathroom door closed while plant sits in the tub to absorb humidity. An hour or so is sufficient.

The next thing I do, 'I do,' is apply SuperThrive.

I do not want to start a war, so please let me explain. Some people feel Supethrive is nothing more than snake oil. This is their opinion and I respect it.

Others, like myself feel my plants do better when ST is applied to soil.
ST contains vitamins and hormones...whether you agree or disagree is up to you, Steph..

After the container dries, I'd set back where it's lived the last 1.5 years.

Soil/mixes. If you use potting soils, fertiilzer isn't needed. Yet. Someone who uses gritty mix will need to explain when and if fertilizer is required after potting.

That's it, Steph. :) I would like to add, you've done a marvelous job with your plant.
Scindapsus is fussier than most Philodendrons.
Scindapsus used to be considered Philodedron, or a close relative, but that could have changed..that's the reason I compared your Scindapsus to Philos.

Hope this help, Toni

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 4:57PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You might want to consider that some of the primary symptoms associated with root congestion are decreasing leaf size, shedding of the older foliage (which would account for the yellowing leaves), and reduced vitality. I wouldn't, however, be in a big rush to prune just yet - or repot. If you prune now, what grows between now and May is going to have rather long internodes due to the low light. If you wait until the end of May to prune, everything that grows after that (until fall) will have shorter internodes, due to the longer photo-period and more intense photo-exposure. If you get into the habit of pruning off the winter growth around Memorial Day each year, and doing your repotting around Father's Day or a little later, you'll be giving your plant the chance to be at it's fullest.

I'm not sure how important the full cascading effect is to you, but I would cut the plant back to about a foot long this year, bare-root, and root prune; then get into the habit of doing the root work every 2-3 years. It's much better than potting up and truly does rejuvenate the plant.

Also, Using a fertilizer that gets its N from nitrate sources instead of urea, would promote more compact and finer growth and increase the eye appeal of your already lovely plants. Foliage-Pro 9-3-6 is an excellent fertilizer because it supplies all the essential nutrients at the same ratio all plants use (when averaged together). This allows you to fertilize at the lowest concentrations possible w/o nutritional deficiencies, which is a very big plus when it comes to keeping foliage unspoiled by burned tips & margins. It also doesn't use urea as a N source, and supplies more than 2/3 of its N in nitrate form.

The yellow leaves could be due to under-watering, over-watering, a high level of soluble salts in the soil, natural senescence, nutritional deficiency, the plant salvaging and translocating nutrients as it prepares to shed the leaves - due to tight roots. It would take some added input & detective work to figure out the cause(s), but I think you'd be better served by concentrating on getting your plant repotted into an appropriate soil, and getting it on a good nutritional supplementation program. If you do that, and water correctly, you can be pretty certain your plant will respond very favorably.

The best growers are those who are most able at eliminating or reducing the effects of those things that limit a plant's growth. Every single plant you're able to do that for, unless it's genetically compromised, will shine.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 5:28PM
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