How to Care for an Over-watered Houseplant

Some months ago I noticed my philodendron, which I inherited from my grandmother in 1981, was losing leaves at an alarming rate. It was in a huge pot sitting in water. I tried drying it out, but it still appeared sick. I just moved it from a northern window to a southern window, which gets more sun. Now it is near a healthy younger plant on the left. I am afraid to water it and afraid to repot. Please help. Here it is in photo on the right. And another when I just moved it.

Hi Jade,

Sitting in water probably caused the soil to stay wet all of the time and that in turn caused the roots to rot. If it were my plant. I would take it out of its pot, get rid of all of the soggy soil (especially any clinging to the roots), and let it sit out bare root over- night. In the morning, feel the roots and see if they appear wet or dry. Re-pot your plant into a container that is just an inch or two larger than the root ball. There must be drip holes in the bottom of the pot! This will allow the soil to dry out quickly when you do water and prevent further root damage. If the roots were wet when you felt them, do not water for about 2 weeks. If they were dry, you can start watering again. Always allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering. Never allow the plant to sit in water.

These plants are considered poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to poisonous houseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them..

You can read more about philodendrons in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

https://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/philodendron-selloum-how-to-grow-plant-care