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by Andrew S.
(West Henrietta, NY)

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A while ago you helped me identify my Split Leaf Philodendron. But it’s not looking too good.

I’ve had it in a window that gets some decent sun in the morning. I’m not sure if it has been getting too much sun, or too little/much water or what, but it’s certainly unhappy.

I wasn’t sure if I should try and prune off the parts with root nodes and try to replant them or what.

Please advise šŸ™‚

Hi Andrew, oh that poor thing – it doesn’t look happy, you’re right.

What is the type of soil that you have it planted in? These plants don’t like or require manure based soils, although as jungle plants they do like thoroughly rotted down leaf mold or something similar (peat based soil), so if you have it in some kind of potting soil that could have a high concentrate of nitrogen, this could certainly cause this type of issue.

I advise that you carefully take it out of the soil, and inspect the roots. Healthy roots will be plump and white or pale yellow. Dead or rotted roots will be darker colored and shriveled. Prune off any that look like that.

Carefully inspect the leaves too, in case of spider mites – look for the webbing or rasped looking surfaces, top and bottom – spray with insecticidal soap according to the directions on the concentrate.

Replant into a lighter mix of peat based soil – I use Sunshine Mix #4 all the time – it’s got a polymer to absorb moisture, and it’s sterile and pathogen free.

If this treatment doesn’t kill your plant, it might recover within the next few months, and hopefully start to make some growth. That will be the sign that it’s on the road to recovery.

Best of luck,
Jacki