What can I do to revive my silver philodendron?

Asked March 16, 2015, 9:38 AM EDT

I purchased my silver philodendron almost exactly a year ago. It was doing quite well until about 6 weeks ago. The leaves were all curled in and it seemed almost lifeless - a few leaves turning brown. I took it out of the dirt (because I had thought perhaps the pot was affecting it) and I noticed the roots were quite dry so I began to water it more frequently. I noted little to no change with more watering - the leaves remained turned in. Nearly 4 days ago I moved the plant to a jar of water to see if I could revive it, but still nothing has changed. I keep it in moderate light, indoors - about a foot or 2 from a window. What can I do to revive it? I am really hoping it lives, as I have sentimental attachment to it!

Erie County New York

1 Response

Curling leaves usually indicate a problem with the roots not getting enough water up to the leaves. This can happen because there is not enough water. BUT it can also happen because there is too much water and the roots are drowning (then they tend to rot.) Overwatering is the number one killer of houseplants.

Roots should be white or light colored. If the roots are dark or mushy, they are dying or dead.
If the roots look okay and you think the plant is worth trying to save, replant it in a pot that is not huge. Allow the top of the soil to dry down about 1/4 to 1/2 inches in between waterings. Do not water on a schedule. Plants use different amounts of water at different times of the year. Plants like soil that is about as moist as a wrung-out sponge. Not soggy. The pot must have drainage at the bottom to allow excess water to flow out.

Hope you're able to save your plant.