Big Leaf (Selloum) Philodendron

cohouserSeptember 11, 2009

I've had this plant for maybe three years and it has never done well. It usually has only two leaves at a time; now it's down to one. Its pattern has been that one of the leaves turns brown and dies, and then a new one comes out.

But now the one leaf is just languishing, brown on the edges and dull-looking, a little gritty-feeling on the surface. No new leaf is in the pipeline.

I did keep the plant in a low-light spot that has some indirect sun coming through a skylight. When it started to look really pathetic, I moved it to a south window, but it still gets only indirect light.

I repotted it a couple of years ago, which didn't seem to make any difference.

I've checked it for bugs and don't see any.

Any suggestions as to how I can make this plant happier?

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greattigerdane(z5NY)

Either yours is staying too wet, maybe too dry. Pots too large for the roots? Maybe the soil is too heavy, not well draining? over-potted? Over feeding?

I have a small one, five leaves (over a foot tall) that's nice and green and healthy. No browning dry leaves, or brown edges.
I keep it snug in it's pot, giving the roots about an inch of room inside the pot, giving it bright indirect light but, it could use more direct I think.
Re-potting won't do any good unless you need to change the soil to a more well draining soil using the right size pot.
Mine gets watered really well when the soil is dry, usually that's once a week.
It gets a little dilute fertilizer in the spring and summer months now and then.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 8:58PM
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karen715(z5 IL)

I think your main problem is not enough light. Skylights don't provide as much light as one might think. I've had my selloum for five years, and the first couple of years I kept in indirect light (some distance from an east window.) It hung on, but didn't thrive, until I put it close to a west-facing french door, where it gets afternoon sun all year. It took off like gangbusters.

I find that once it is in a good light situation (and nice, well draining soil), it does require consistent fertilizing to keep it happy.

The link is to a picture of my plant, which I bought 5 years ago in a six inch pot. It is now in a 16-inch pot (I think the pot in the picture was an odd size: 14 inches across, but 12 inches deep.) Most of the growth has taken place in the past two years, since I started giving it lots of light. The picture is not where I keep it, just a convenient spot to take a photograph.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 3:03PM
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cohouser

Thanks, Billy Rae and Karen. I think between the two of you, you may have identified several things that are combining to just about kill my plant. I want it to get well and grow up to be like yours, Karen -- it's spectacular!

Mine is probably in too big a pot, the soil probably doesn't drain well enough, I need to pay more attention to how much I'm fertilizing it, and it sounds like it needs more light. Not sure how much more light I can find for it, but I'll work on it. Thanks again to both of you.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 5:20PM
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greattigerdane(z5NY)

Very nice Selloum Karen!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 8:28PM
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cohouser

I just repotted my selloum -- there was plenty of room around the roots in the old pot, so I put it in one considerably smaller, with fresh soil. The roots were pretty small compared to the size of even just the one leaf.

Why is it that some plants don't do well if the roots have lots of room?? It seems counterintuitive.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 6:18PM
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