I have a philodendron which I am having trouble with. It is large, the from...

Asked November 4, 2014, 2:07 PM EST

I have a philodendron which I am having trouble with. It is large, the from base to leaf tips is around 3-4 feet. The plant continues to produce new leaves but the tips of the leaves turn brown. I keep it in part sun in my living room and water it about every 1.5 to 2 weeks when it is dry. The base of the plant keeps getting taller but continues to decrease in diameter. I'm afraid I am killing it slowly. I have read that cutting it off at the base near the soil could help, but really don't know anything about it. The plant came from my great grandmother so it's very old, but I was never told how to care for it. Thank you for you help!

Polk County Iowa

1 Response

These are what a philodendron needs for good growth:
Light - bright! but not direct sun.
Temperatures - normal room temperature (never below 55 degrees).
Water - only allow the top 1/2" of soil to dry out between watering during the active growing periods. Water thoroughly until water comes out of the bottom of the pot and all the soil is wet. (The plant takes a rest in mid-winter. At that time, water only enough to keep the entire potting mixture from drying out.)
Fertilizer - fertilize every two weeks with a liquid houseplant fertilizer during the growing periods
The biggest problem may be related to the roots, which seem to be searching for more soil. The soil level is very low and needs to be raised. If you cannot repot this plant into a pot one size bigger when the roots fill up the pot, then you need to "topdress", i.e. apply a layer of new soil, to the surface of the soil every year. You can repot each year until you get to the biggest size pot you want. Do not repot the plant during the rest period in midwinter, but you can do it any other time.