beloved plant isn't looking too good

nanpinnJuly 24, 2014

Hi all.

I have a beloved hanging plant (I think it is a phioldendron but it could be something similar) that has been healthy for many years with little attention. About two months ago the leaves started turning yellow and falling off. I did a little reading and saw that it could be over watering so I cut way back. In the past I had usually watered it about every 3-4 weeks but in the month before it started looking bad I had gone up to around every week or two. After it started turning yellow I also repotted it to a slightly larger pot with fresh dirt because it was still in the original small pot with very old dirt. The leaves have continued to turn yellow even with minimal watering. Last time I checked it I could stick the length of my finger in without it being wet. The leaves turn kind of blotchy and they fade to yellow in patches. I tried to show that in my photo.

I would really appreciate any advice you have. I love this plant and have had it for many years through many moves. I even brought it with me on the airplane when I moved cross country.

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How much lighting is it getting? Is there an air vent blowing on it? How'd the roots look when you repotted? When I moved my philodendron to a more lighted area some of the leaves took on a yellow color. Did you see any bugs when you repotted?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:04PM
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It is in a room with moderate to low light not near a window. It doesn't get direct sunlight. No air vents. I did not inspect the roots super well when I repotted (I wouldn't really know what to look for) but they didn't look terrible. I don't remember seeing any bugs but that does mean there weren't any. I didn't look that closely. I've thinking of moving it to better draining soil. If I do that what should I look for in the roots?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:34PM
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You should look for black slimy roots that would mean root rot. You can also check for bugs again some mealie bugs go after roots. Any chance the leaves feel powdery?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:03PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That may be damage from thrips.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Neem oil or horticultural oil are good natural insecticides. I would take a good look at your soil for insects and on your plant look on the bottoms of leaves EVERYWHERE see if you can see anything

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:37PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

When you water, are you giving the plant just enough to moisten the soil, or are you flushing the soil thoroughly? The later insures the soil gets flushed of accumulating salts, something that increases in importance if the fertilizer you're using isn't the same ratio as that at which the plant actually uses the nutrients. The former ensures that all the salts from the unused fraction of fertilizer and the salts from tap water remain in your soil. As these salts build, it becomes more and more difficult for the plant to take up water. The plant's response to a lack of water is to shed parts (leaves and branches) to reduce the demand for water. Unfortunately, the response to over-watering, under-watering, and a high concentration of salts in the soil are the same, so to determine what the actual cause is, you might need to go through the process of elimination.

Alternately, you could review the link below, which will go a long way toward helping you identify and eliminate those things that are limiting your plant's vitality and appearance. If you put into practice the things you read at the link, you'll discover that maintaining healthy plants just got a LOT easier. A huge % of the issues people come here seeking resolution for are directly related to that triangle formed by soil choice, watering habits, and the ability to maintain an appropriate level of each of the nutrients in the soil solution and available for uptake.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:33PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Opps - musta contracted a bad case o' the dumba$$. 4got the link.


Here is a link that might be useful: .... an overview of the basics if you click me ....

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:22PM
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