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Seeding and Propagation/Split Leaf Philodendron


Hello Mike. I purchased a split leaf philo from Home Dpot. It looked so healthy and root bound in the plastic pot. Of course I replanted it into a twice-the-size plastic pot. I put a 2" layer of small rocks, broken terracotta,  and gravel at the bottom for drainage. Of course I gave it a thorough watering. Then the leaves started "bleeding" water! I never saw anything like it. Every morning, I had to shake off every leaf to remove the water drops from the leaves. Additionally, some of the stalks at the base of the plant were mushy and practically dissolved in my hand! I removed the water saturated stalks from the plant and threw them out. The next day, more saturated stalks and water coming out of the leaves. I moved the location to a more sunny spot in the house and stopped watering it.
It seems to be a little better now. THe water coming out of the leaves has subsided and thankfully, there are no more mushy stalks.
What happened here? Was this just a case of overwatering or is something else going on? What do you think? Maralle

Maralle, the symptoms you've described do indicate overwatering.  I assume the container you used had a drainage hole in the bottom.  I also recommend elevating the container with either 1X2s or bricks to allow the water to drain more readily.

It sounds like you corrected the issue prior to the plant developing root rot. Once this occurs, the plant can no longer absorb nutrients, causing the leaves to yellow and eventually drop. Always wait until the soil has completely dried 2" inches below the surface before watering. Then water deeply until the water seeps from the drainage hole.  Constant shallow watering causes the roots to reach for the surface, which severely stunts the growth of the plant.

You may want to spray the plant with a diluted foliar fertilizer or epsom salts to increase the magnesium. I normally use 2 tsp. of epsom salts per gallon of water.  This works wonders for almost all plants.

I hope this information helps.  Please write again if I can ever be of assistance.



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Mike Mascio


I have been an avid gardener since 1985 and an AllExpert volunteer since 1998. I specialize in soil preparation, seed starting and plant propagation, flowers, vegetables, and general landscaping. I am a strong advocate of the square foot method of gardening and the use of organic controls for pests and diseases.

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