< Back
You are here:

Philodendron

Question:

I have a philodendron that is easily 15 years old or better.  It’s been fairly hardy but recently my secretary let it dry out and now even after putting it in the sink and giving it a thorough watering the plant continues to droop.

After the soaking I left it in the kitchen with access to natural light, however the room was colder than usual due to extreme weather.  It’s still a bit damp after a week so I was concerned about overwatering it.  I did just cut off the bottom 18 inches and put it in a room with fluorescent lights and more regulated temperatures.  I’m concerned that it’s not bouncing back as it has in the past – any suggestions?

Answer:

There are many different types of Philodendrons and even a few that are commonly called Philodendron, but are not. Thus, I cannot be sure just what you have. A photo posted here or emailed to my address below might help me give you better support.

A plant that has been deprived of water may not recover very well if many of the roots have dried up and died. I suspect that is the primary problem for your plant because it has not perked up after you watered it thoroughly. Temperature could be an issue, but only if it fell below 50 degrees F.

Plants with compromised root systems do not use much water so they do take longer to dry to the point of needing water again. You must be patient and resist the urge to water prematurely. There are no quick fixes for damaged roots. Provide as much bright indirect light as possible. Fluorescent lights that are very close to the plant are helpful. Keep it warm. Water only when the top half inch of soil feels dry. Beyond that, there is nothing you can do except be patient.