House Plants/Philodendron

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Question
I have a philodendron that is easily 15 years old or better.  It's been fairly hardy but recently my secretary let it dry out and now even after putting it in the sink and giving it a thorough watering the plant continues to droop.  

After the soaking I left it in the kitchen with access to natural light, however the room was colder than usual due to extreme weather.  It's still a bit damp after a week so I was concerned about overwatering it.  I did just cut off the bottom 18 inches and put it in a room with fluorescent lights and more regulated temperatures.  I'm concerned that it's not bouncing back as it has in the past - any suggestions?

Answer
Hi Alice,

There are many different types of Philodendrons and even a few that are commonly called Philodendron, but are not. Thus, I cannot be sure just what you have. A photo posted here or emailed to my address below might help me give you better support.

A plant that has been deprived of water may not recover very well if many of the roots have dried up and died. I suspect that is the primary problem for your plant because it has not perked up after you watered it thoroughly. Temperature could be an issue, but only if it fell below 50 degrees F.

Plants with compromised root systems do not use much water so they do take longer to dry to the point of needing water again. You must be patient and resist the urge to water prematurely. There are no quick fixes for damaged roots. Provide as much bright indirect light as possible. Fluorescent lights that are very close to the plant are helpful. Keep it warm. Water only when the top half inch of soil feels dry. Beyond that, there is nothing you can do except be patient.

I have written detailed articles on watering and on Philodendron care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

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

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and NOMINATION for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

Need more information? Visit my website at:
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or email me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com or call me at 917-887-8601 (EST)
 
Regards,
Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

Visit my website at: A link to HorticulturalHelp.com  

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Will Creed

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
BA, Amherst College

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