Philodendron & Norfolk Island Pine HELP!

AbbiCapMay 10, 2014

Hello All-

I have two house plants, i've had more in the past and just can't seem to keep them alive.
First off I live in a subterrain home, half of my space is above ground and features three windows. One facing east, this one gets the MOST sun, and two facing west, but blocked by a giant bush.
Now it was a hard winter for my house plants, the sit next to a pretty cold window, and just seemed a little "down" so i let them sit outside for a few days. I had done this with one of my successful house plants, a bonsai/palm (not sure which) that now has a new home, but LOVED the sun and grew huge.
Well I brought my phil back in quickly because it looked brown, maybe 2 days outside, and it's been 2 weeks and it still hasn't recovered. I'm watering regularly, and misting the leaves every night. I'm really desperate to keep this one a live, it was a gift from my father (it was his).
The Norfolk pine is now just ummm not sure how to describe, so "dry" that the pines and needles fall off with the slightest touch, but don't fall off on their own. I've repotted it (it was in a decorate Christmas pot with no drainage holes). I would of course love to save this one as well but I'm at a loss, because unlike the phil it doesn't seem to be responding to anything I do.

I'm worried I've killed them for good, but I've got them both now in front of the warm window, with about 4-6 hours of good sun, misting nightly just the leaves and watering when the soil isn't moist.
Thanks in advance!!

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Bad news first: If it seems totally crispy, I would be concerned that your Norfolk Island Pine may have died. Are any of the branches moist and flexible, or do the branches all seem dry and easily broken? It might help if you post a photo of it.

Good news:
The plant in your picture looks to me like what is often called a "Golden Pothos" (aka Epipremnum aurea). They are relatives of philodendrons but actually are not philos. Check this link to confirm its identity. The good news is that pothos are very tough plants that can survive a lot.

Your pothos doesn't look to me like it is dying. I think it was just sunburned because its leaves were not adapted to such intense light when you put it outside. Sunburn is ugly to us but it doesn't really hurt the plant.

The soil it is in looks a bit heavy and moist, so you want to be careful not to overwater it. The risk is that it might develop root rot if it is in a heavy soil that stays soggy too long.

I personally do not put my houseplants outside because there is a risk that insect pests may find the plant outside. However, I'm not sure that is such a big deal when you only have a couple of plants, since it is easier to get rid of pest problems on plants when you only have one or two than if you have a lot like I do.
Many people do find their plants grow better if they get a summer vacation, and they just spray the plant with a pesticide before they bring the plants inside during the fall to prevent insects from coming in with the plant.

If you do decide to summer your plant outside, many indoor plants will do better if you start them off in a shady place outside, because even a shady spot outside is brighter than the level of light they received indoors. Once they are used to being in the shade you can move them somewhere sunny.

The brown parts (the burned parts) will not turn green again, but over time it will grow more leaves to replace the brown ones.

One nice thing about pothos is that it is extremely easy to propagate. You can clip off one of the longer vines on it (make sure you get a piece that has at least one brown nubbin on the stem - the brown nubbins are where roots forms). Put the vine in a glass of water, and put it in front of the window. Eventually the vine will grow some roots.

I would recommend taking some cuttings so that, no matter what happens to the original plant, you'll still have some of it. Pothos cuttings can actually live in plain water for a pretty long time, so you don't have to be in a rush to pot them.

This post was edited by summersunshine on Sat, May 10, 14 at 12:17

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 12:14PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Well said, I'd say all the same things except I do put plants outside for summer. Definitely a Pothos (Epipremnum) in the pic. I also managed to let some of my plants get sunburn even though I supposedly know better. Outside doesn't necessarily mean having the sun shine directly on them. That's not something that most house plants can handle, let alone appreciate. If you have a place outside that's shady except maybe the first or last hours of the day, your Pothos should love that.

I can't keep a NIP alive either, but wish you luck!!

If you would like to add your sunburned Pothos pic to the sunburn thread I linked above, that would be much appreciated, and helpful to others!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:18AM
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