House Plants/Stromanthe


Hi Will:

I read a previous Q&A regarding the above subject plant which gave me a lot of insight since I've never had this type of plant before. My question to you is this. The plant I bought seems to be very crowded though I've read that's not a bad thing. I counted roughly just over 40 leaves. The pot is about 8" high and about 5" in diameter. Should I have a bigger pot? Should I repot some of the plants? (Plants are roughly 6 inches from dirt to leaf, some longer.) If so, how many? And what is the best way to repot the plants? Also, I have noticed that 2 of its leaves seem to be slightly yellow. Do I just cut them off? I am really attracted to this plant. Too bad it's the only one the store had. Would love to have 3 or 4 more. Your advice would be well appreciated.  Darryl

Hi Darryl,

Keeping plants moderately potbound is not only not a bad thing, it is a good thing! That is why when you purchase healthy, good quality plants they are nearly always moderately potbound and they should stay that way. The number of leaves is not a reliable way to determine if a plant needs a larger pot. Give the soil a good soaking and if it is very dry 2-3 days later, then it may be time for a pot one size larger. Otherwise leave it alone.

I am not sure what you mean by repotting SOME of the plants. If you are thinking about trying to divide or separate the individual stems in the pot, that is not a good idea. Multiple stems were planted together in order to create a fuller, more compact plants. The nursery growers know what they are doing. The roots are completely intertwined, so dividing the stems requires cutting a lot of roots and that can be quite traumatic for the plant. Unless there is a compelling reason to divide the plant, I do not recommend it.

If propagating more plants is your goal, then it is best to take cuttings from some of the taller stems, root them in water and put them in their own pots.

A few yellow leaves is normal. Older leaves die back as new ones are added. Trim off any discolored leaves right where the leaf stems attach to the plant stems.

I have written articles on repotting and propagation that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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