House Plan Help

Asked October 8, 2016, 4:11 PM EDT

My mother has had this houseplant for twenty-five years. It's likely root-bound, but she doesn't want to transfer it into a larger pot. She has the following questions: • What type of houseplant is this? • What are the white "shoots" coming out of it? Should she be snipping them off? Thanks so much for your help.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

The plant looks like a type of Philodendron. We cannot identify to species but may be P. selloum or bipinnatifidum.
The plant looks like it is growing pretty well. You are noticing aerial roots coming from the root system. They do not require pruning. Sometimes the plants are more attractive if they can be tied to a supportive structure that they can cling to with their aerial roots. One way is to tie sphagnum moss to a stake, building the moss up around the stake until it forms a 2-3 inch thick covering over the full length of the stake above potting mixture level. Aerial roots will not grip dry wood. So it needs to be sprayed with water at least once a day. You do not have to do this.
In the spring you can top dress with potting soil. See the publication on phiodendron