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House Plants/Philodendron bipinnatifidum selloum 'Hope"


Why is my plant not growing?  It's still in the original pot (12 inch), it was full when I bought it.  Now it's very sparse and when new leaves start to grow (they usually grow to about 12-13 inches) they quickly die turn brown and die.

Hi Jacquetta,

Sparse, weak new growth is often caused by a plant's not getting enough light. Philodendron selloums need to be very close to an uncovered window, but also protected from the sun shining directly on its leaves for more than 2-3 hours per day. Too much direct sunlight can cause leaves to burn.

But light may not be the problem. When new leaves come in and are discolored or distorted that is a good indication of a root/watering problem. Improper repotting is often a cause, but you did not repot so that is not an issue.

You are probably either under or over watering. You should wait until the top half-inch of soil feels dry before adding any water. Then, water slowly over the entire surface of the soil until a bit of water trickles through the drain holes and into a saucer. Don't water again until it reaches that level of dryness again.

So, make sure your plant is getting proper light (lots of bright indirect sunlight) and water your plant as needed. Avoid repotting and fertilizer as both of these will aggravate the problem.

I have written detailed a article on Philodendron care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at 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.

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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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