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PLease help my Philo!

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by Katie on August 31, 2004 06:13 AM
Ok. [wayey] Here's my problem! If any one has any tips please help me out - My father-in-law (who died of lung cancer about 4 yrs ago) gave me this beautiful philodendron [Love] for mother's day about 2 months before he died. This one day last summer my husband (darling that he is [shocked] ) thought the plant looked like it needed a little sun...

Needless to say I have cooed and loved and nurtured several baby cuttings into some decent sized small plants. The initial leaves were big and shiny green and nice and thick. Now there is this white appearing "dust" on the top of the soil and the newest baby leaves are a more browny-green and significantly smaller. I water them gently every day. and the little pot they are in are (I don't think) too small.

I don't want them to die! Please help. I have 3 of them that seem to be having trouble...

Thanks!!!
by Nako on August 31, 2004 06:49 AM
hmmmmmmmm that stuff on top could be mold, but i'm not sure >.< I'm just winging it here, but i'm gonna say try watering it every other day. It could be a case of overwatering causing a mold to grow on top of the soil cuz it'd be too moist on top. My Philodendron is actaully losing a few leaves now cuz i watered it a lil too much the other day lol. Some just kinda got squishy and flopped over, so i had to cut em off.

But ya, *thinks* Bigger leaves might be a result of less sunlight, so by putting it in the sun, it could cause the leaves to be smaller cuz they need to take in less light? Or is it the other way around >.<

Well ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm *thinks* I'll let someone else who knows what they're doing answer ^.^

*hides*

~Phoebe

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by Back Mountain NEPA on August 31, 2004 10:38 PM
I agree that overwatering and too much sun might be a problem. Mine seem happiest in low sun areas. Are you sure that the white deposit on top of the soil isn't just a lime deposit from your water supply? Have you been giving them plant food? Might be they need it, or need less if you have been feeding them. I have one philodendron that has the oddest habit--every year in late winter it starts losing alternate leaves. Every other one turns yellow and falls off. The rest of the leaves are very healthy. None of my others do this, so it seems to be a fluke for just this plant. So, you're not alone--even an extremely hardy plant can have problems!
by Lily789 on September 01, 2004 01:37 AM
Yeah, I agree. Watering everyday may be too much. Try watering every few days. You can also take them out of the pots (gently, careful not to hurt them) and examine their root balls. Rotted roots can be easily defined as "brown, dark, mushy, dead-looking, and rotting". Dryer air and less water can decrease mold attacks. Look closer. Maybe it could be fertilizer remains that "crystallize" on the top of the soil and can look very similar to mold. Too much fertilizer can burn roots and the plant would not grow too well. If you are sure of this, try leaching your plants by running water through the pots until the salt (fertilizer) deposits have been washed away.

There are many possiblities...so it's best to determine to correct cause before you do anything.

Good luck! [thumb]

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~Lily
by catlover on September 01, 2004 04:34 AM
I have several philo's now ....but years ago I did the same thing and toasted one...I cut all the poor, pathetic stems off and kept watering the plant as usual....low and behold that philo came back thicker than ever. [thumb]

Wow you guys water every other day????
I water my houseplants probably once a week....and it is toasty warm in this house....when they just start to look stressed I fill the sink with water and set the whole pot in all the way to the top soil level...let it sit for about an hour...(okay sometimes I forget and they sit there for a couple hours [Roll Eyes] ) then let them drain in the drain rack for about 1/2 hr. and place back on their plastic drain pans. For bigger plants that I can barely lift I heave them into a big metal washbasin and fill as much as possible with water....they will sit for probably 2 hours or more til the water wicks its way to the top and the soil is moist....then when its time to drain....I strain to pull them up far enough to place cups underneath and let them drain ....then place back into their drip pans....for the really, really heavy ones....well they get the water can once a week....but poured very slowly to soak up the moisture and then let the dripping go into the drip pan. After getting fungus gnats I really changed my water schedule.
Am I the only one who waters like this???? [dunno]
[kitty]

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by loz on September 01, 2004 04:57 AM
I have to agree with everyone, sounds like a case of overwatering.....I have quite a few houseplants, including 2 philos and I water a lot like you Karen--about once a week.....I've killed many plants by overwatering when I first started with houseplants. When they looked bad I'd think they needed more water, boy did I ever learn....most common cause of houseplant death is by overwatering......Although watering requirements differ for all plants....it's just important to really read up on them and figure out the best watering pattern for each individual plant.

And Karen, I'm fighting with the dreaded fungus gnats right now, never had them before....think they were in a bag of soil I bought.....man, they're bad....I let most of my plants dry way out and bought river rocks to put in all the pots but they are still everywhere......I filled about 6 plastic cups with lemon joy and water and put them right around the plants and enjoy emptying them everday and seeing about 10 dead ones in each cup.......But as fast as they are dying they are laying new eggs.......I think it's time for some drastic measures...lol Anytime I have a soda I have to cover the top up because I'm scared one will fly in my drink.......
by Nako on September 01, 2004 04:58 AM
Well i have tropical plants, and most of them need to be kept wet. So i water them every day. Mostly, i don't really have a set watering schedual. I go up stairs, and if something looks like it needs to be watered, then i water it. But ya ^.^ I water my ficus probably once every two weeks or so lol.

~Phoebe

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by Sherri on September 06, 2004 04:22 PM
Loz, to help with the battle against the gnats, cover the soil surface of all of your plants with sand. The sharp edges of each sand particle will cut the eggs that the gnats lay thereby killing them. Combine this with your cups of soap to kill off the remaining adults and you should win your battle in no time! [Wink]

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