SuperDroopy Pothos in my office

pothosperplexityFebruary 6, 2014

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my post!

I work for a nonprofit organization, in an office setting and with all the cutbacks on everything they stopped the service that was taking care of the office plants and elected me to the post. Almost all of the plants in the office are Pothos and most of them are very healthy and robust but two of them are extremely droopy and I can't figure out why. I'm going to attempt to upload a photo of one of them.

I've let them dry out completely, I've watered them, I even tried a little bit of fertilizer, but nothing has helped. I took one plant out of the pot and stuck it in a vase with just water. No change.

The most perplexing thing is, they don't seem to be dying. Their colors are good and strong, they're not yellowing or turning brown. They're just droopy - and not growing, there are no new leaves coming in or anything.

Is there anything I can do to help these plants? If not, should I get rid of them lest they 'infect' the other plants?

Any insight is very much appreciated.

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

There's a problem in the mix (or w/ the drainage) would be my guess.

You may wish to read a post here called "Golden Pothos" which discusses some of this & possible remedies.

Pardon me, the thread contains a typos in its title, so pls. search for

"Golden Photos"

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Looks more like they dried out. Usually too much water causes yellowing of the leaves. The leaves on the left look very green, although the ones on the right seem to have some yellowing.

The other option is toxicity. Did someone put something toxic in those pots? In office situations you can get people who will tip things into plant pots because "this shouldn't hurt it".

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 7:38PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If a drink didn't perk it up, I think it's a goner. How long has it been this sad looking? It's not possible to quantify exactly how dry this particular one got by your statement, "let them dry out completely" but it may have been too long. With the exception of some cactus-type plants, potted plants don't ever appreciate going bone dry though this tactic is sometimes used to combat a root rot issue. When wilt is observed, that is taking it a little too far. If plants are rotting while moist, there's not enough oxygen in the soil/pot.

Being in an office, these plants probably never get flushed, (where enough water is given so that a lot flows out of the drain holes, completely away from the pot) so any chemicals in the water stay in the soil and can accumulate to toxic levels. Does that sound accurate? Are the plants in inner pots with holes that are sitting in decorative caché pots that don't have holes in them? Is it practical for them to get rained on in the shade during some warm day in the near future?

Since there are other Pothos plants in the office, it would be easy to replace this one with pieces snipped from the others. If somebody can donate some new soil for the pot, that might be an option. Is that where you were headed with, "I took one plant out of the pot and stuck it in a vase with just water. No change"? Not enough info here. Did you cut the stems away from the old roots? Wilt from either being too dry or from rotted roots isn't something one plant can transmit to another, so unless there's a pest issue, other plants are in no danger from what happened to this one.

The organic ingredients in a pot can decompose over time, making the conditions in the pot less amenable to the roots being able to function well. This is another part of the reason it's difficult to keep plants healthy for extended periods of time without changing the soil occasionally. Do you have any idea how long these plants have been in the same soil?

Are you sure they're the exact same plants this whole time? When there was a "service that was taking care of the office plants," they may have rotated them periodically, or just whenever a particular one was not maintaining a great appearance. What do you think?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 10:15AM
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IMHO - I think the pot looks too big - I would put in new dirt and a smaller pot. Then I'd hope for the best.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 10:03AM
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The pot looks huge. Perhaps it's the photo???

Would you happen to know container size?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 10:26AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

There is no correlation of pot size to plant health without other factors coming into play. If rotting roots are a problem and one doesn't want to use a soil that doesn't allow that to happen, a smaller pot could help. If the soil isn't suffocating roots, the pot size is irrelevant (unless it's too small to allow a plant to grow a sufficient root system.)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:03AM
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I would try to repot it - maybe the soil is bad?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 1:13AM
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