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House Plants/Dead-Dying Philodendron?


A philodendron is dying. It was a cutting from another, larger philodendron plant in our other house that we took before we moved. Could a move from south to north Florida shock it into dying? It has been an unusually cold winter up here, and we really want this plant to survive.
  It is in a pot about a foot an a half across, and it has been put outside until it revives; however, it seems to be completely dead, with only a few yellow leaves growing on it and around it. This is the brown trunk part of it, not the green stem and leaf part of it, because the stems all turned brown and dropped dead within the first week. There are a few tiny gray fuzzy caterpillars on it. I may have been a bit negligent, as it was in a shadowy place without much sunlight. It was last repotted summer last year. The soil is very wet. I am new at gardening, so could you please tell me what is wrong and how to fix it?

Hi Angelina,

I need more specific information. There are dozens of different Philodendron species and they have different requirements. If you don't know what yours is, then post a photo of it here or email one to me at my email address below.

Was it kept indoors or outdoors in south FL?

Was it well rooted before you moved or had the cutting been put in the pot just before the move?

Has your plant been outside in the unusually cold weather? If so, how cold did it get?

How long ago did you move and when did you first notice distressing symptoms?

A move will not harm a plant, but exposure to cold or a big change in light will. My guess is that you attempted to root it in a pot that is way too large and that has caused the stem to rot and die before any roots could get established. If it pulls up easily from the soil and there are no roots, then you have your answer.

I have written articles on propagating plants and on Philodendron care 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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