What’s Wrong With My HousePlant & Can You Identify It?

Hi Judy,

I have had this plant for a few years now. It was a gift I’m actually not even sure what it’s called. It has some spotting on the heart shaped leaves. It has always been easy to take care of but recently it seems to be dying and I’ve tried everything… Watering, not watering, trimming, I even repotted it just in case. All the leaves have curled in lengthwise and everyday about 4 or 5 are turning yellow and falling off… They are all limp feeling. I’m even losing a lot of the bigger leaves. I have switched the rooms to give it less sun or more sun and I’m out of ideas, please help!!



You houseplant is a Philodendron Plant that has several names: Satin Pothos, Silver Philodendron, or the scientific name, Scindapsus pictus Argyraeus. It sounds like you might have a couple on things going on. The glittery spots on the leaves sound like your Philodendron may have Leaf Spot Disease. When a plant gets Leaf Spot Disease, the attacking fungus or bacteria leaves spots on the leaves  where it is feeding. These spots may vary in shape, color, and size.  As with all other fungal and bacterial diseases, better air circulation, well-drained soil, dry leaves, and less water help control Leaf Spot Disease on plants. Never mist a plant if Leaf Spot Disease is suspected. You can use a commercial Fungicide to treat Leaf Spot Disease or the homemade remedy of putting a tablespoon or two of baking soda and a teaspoon or two of mineral oil in a spray bottle of water. Shake the solution well and then spray all areas of the plant that are infected. Keep infected plants away from your other houseplants.

The yellowing of the leaves and curling sounds like chemicals are building up in the soil from too much plant food (salt), too much chlorine or fluoride in your water, or your water is passing through a water softener. Let your water sit out over- night before using it so the chemicals can evaporate, always dilute your plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength, and never use water that has passed through a softener. If it were my plant, I’d cut off all infected leaves, prune back the bare stems, repot the plant in fresh soil, spray the Silver Philodendron with the homemade   anti-bacterial recipe, and go back to the way you were caring for it when it was doing well. Here’s a picture of a healthy Scindapsus pictus Argyraeus, Silver or Satin Philodendron.