Help with identifying/saving a houseplant

ladysingsthblusApril 7, 2013

Hi,
I've had this plant for several years. It's lived in both a basement apartment and a well-lit house. It has always grown nice and full. However, in the last six months or so it's begun to look like it's dying. The stalks were never this long or pale and as you can see, some of them are actually keeling over. I haven't changed it's placement in the house or the watering schedule in 4 years. (i put it outside to photograph it, since I have a guest sleeping on my couch and there is no light.)

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asleep_in_the_garden

Pretty sure it's an aroid of some type.

possibly an alocasia or even an anthurium.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:29PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Is it growing in the room where it was too dark to photograph it? Regardless, it assuredly wants more light. If you haven't repotted, which includes bare-rooting, root pruning, and a change of soil (preferably to one you can water copiously to beyond saturation), you should do that in Jun. It also wants to be on a regular nutritional supplementation program.

Most plants can be grown well with minimal effort if you focus on getting the following 4 basics right - appropriate light, a soil you can water properly - which also makes fertilizing much easier, a good fertilizer program, and basic attention to the condition of the roots, which includes but isn't limited to bare rooting, regular root maintenance (pruning), and a change of soil.

I'll leave a link that will definitely help you avoid the most common pitfalls if you practically apply the information it contains. See below.

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: Click me! Click me!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:33PM
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ladysingsthblus

Actually, The room it lives in is filled with windows and skylights, we just have it dark for our guest. In the mornings we usually open blinds etc.

Thanks for the info, it proved to be very helpful!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:40PM
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ladysingsthblus

P.S,
It's not a alocasia or an anthurium. Any other guesses?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:43PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Hmmmm...
Kinda hard to make it out in the photo but let me ask you this...right along the edge of the leaves is there like a cinching that runs all the way around the leaf?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:35PM
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ladysingsthblus

Yep.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:07PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

More & clearer pix might help w/ the ID, w/ a close up of a whole leaf perhaps?

May I pls ask, if you don't know what the plant is, how can you be certain what it's not?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:29PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

...Xanthosoma then perhaps...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:34PM
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ladysingsthblus

I googled alocasia and anthurium and they looked nothing like my plant. I've determined that it is some kind of philodendron but the leaves grow each on their own stalk or stem.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:38PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

A philo then...
any little knobs(starts of aerial roots)at the nodes?

Wait a minute...now that I think about it...are there any recognizable nodes?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:00AM
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Leafhead

Homalomena, perhaps?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:37AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Maybe look at Anthuriums again, they can have all kinds of different leaf shapes, I still think that's what it is. I don't think the growth habit is right for a Philo.

There is an Aroid forum, maybe post it there to be sure.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

"I haven't changed it's placement in the house or the watering schedule in 4 years."

In 4 years, the roots have likely filled the soil, lessening the amount of water that is able to be stored in the soil, and possibly preventing water and air from being able to penetrate well at all. When roots are packed in a solid ball, they can't do their job well. If your plant is an epiphyte, which many Aroids are, it would be especially resentful of this. Regardless of the ID of your plant, more room for roots to grow would almost certainly be helpful. Sometimes that requires a bigger pot, sometimes pruning the roots can enable a plant to go back in the same pot. If you put your hand on the soil surface and turn the pot upside down, you should be able to pull the pot off to see what's going on in there. It would be much easier to specifically advise you about that if there was a pic of the roots here. Ask someone to help if you're afraid of dropping it. If it looks anything like the pic below, the roots have run out of room to grow. The link Al posted above goes into this much more in-depth.

It does look Anthurium-ish. According to Wiki, there are over 600 different ones. If you could add a pic to this discussion showing the veins on the leaves, that should help with the ID.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Wish they'd fix that, lost the pic, sorry.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:24PM
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