I'm new to plant-owning. My father, a prolific plant-lover, recently passed away, leaving about 30 houseplants. Most of these were given to plant-loving friends with green thumbs and I'm sure they have great homes.
I wanted to keep a couple to remember him, so took two of what looked to be the same plant, but neglected to ask anyone what they were.
During the moving of the plants, one fell to the side, and some of its soil was knocked loose. I had to repack the pot with a bit more potting soil. I then had this plant upstairs in my house, and one downstairs. The plants didn't like direct sunlight, and didn't seem to like being watered often. After a few months of experimentation, both were doing very well and I was proud of myself!
A few weeks ago, however (about half a year since I brought the plants home), I noticed the upstairs plant (the one whose soil was knocked around) was very wilted. In my house the heating is a bit wacky, and the 2nd floor is about 20 degrees warmer than the ground floor. Since the downstairs plant seemed to be doing very well, I thought maybe upstairs was too hot and moved it down. But this didn't seem to help.
I'm watering about once every two weeks. I don't know if this is correct, but as you can see from the pictures the left plant is green and its stems are firm and springy. The right one is wilted and dying, and is growing very strangely, with seemingly too many stems and leaves in erratic growth patterns when compared to the left. I'm hoping trimming/clipping it might help, but since I don't know what I'm doing I haven't tried this yet.
Long story short, please help me with IDing these plants, and if possible point me in the direction of how to care for them!
I would start looking up
There are several color varieties. The most common is Golden Pothos. I think you have a less common one that has white to cream variegation, not so yellow.
Care is as you have found out:
Not in direct sun, but good light.
Allow the soil to dry some between watering, but not bone dry. Somewhat drier than 'constantly moist'.
This is not because they cannot handle water, but because they need good oxygen in the roots. I keep the Golden Pothos variety growing out of the top of several aquariums, and it is fine. Good water circulation assures high oxygen level in the water.
If the wilted one just wilted once because it dried out too much when the heat went up, then it could come back. Deep soak, then let it drain.
If it wilted for some other reason (like being too wet) then root rot has probably killed it.
The Golden Pothos tends to be OK in a house with the variable conditions, and dry air. The silver or white variegated one is a bit more picky.
You can grow new plants from cuttings. At the base of each leaf is a node where new roots can grow. The easiest way is to cut off a stem with several nodes, remove the lower 2 leaves and put that much stem (where the 2 leaves were) in a glass of water. Change the water often (daily) so it stays well oxygenated. When the roots start growing white tips you can pot the cuttings.
It's like a before and after picture of the same plant. The wilted plant may have dead or rotten roots. It may also have a dry central root zone. You might want to take it to the kitchen sink and thoroughly soak it. Let it drain in the sink for some time. I have almost killed my plant so many times, I can't count how many. It is a survivor. Maybe add a bit of soil if you see roots on the top.
Thanks so much for your quick replies! I like this community already :)
@Diana_K: I think you're right about the variety! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Epipremnum_aureum_vine.jpg looks exactly like it, though you're right that the variegations are white rather than gold. I've made three cuttings as per your instructions, in case I can't save the main plant. May be difficult to see from the pictures but there should be as much stem in the water as you said. Do these pictures look okay?
For a deep soak/drain, should I keep it in the soil? Just fill the entire pot with water and drain?
@growin: I tried to get a better look at the stem bases, and I attached a picture here. I can certainly see roots at the top. This is likely my fault from when the plant was knocked over. I've tried to label how many stems there are but am probably missing some. There are quite a few. I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of what look like very new sprouts, as well, so maybe the plant can be saved? As you can see though, there isn't enough room to add any more soil. Should I completely remove the plant and soak it in water? And then completely re-pot it? If so, should I get new soil?
Thank you again for your help! It is greatly appreciated :)
Don't remove the plant. Just the pot and plant in the kitchen sink. Fill the sink with tepid water until it is the same level as the soil. When you do this leave the tray out of the sink. Give it about 20 minutes or so. Drain the sink and allow the pot to drain naturally for atleast an hour. Make sure you give it enough time to dry out between the next watering and in good light, which it looks like it gets in its current spot.
Thanks so much for the help! Plant's looking a bit better already. Will mark this closed since you've helped me ID it, but will post again with updates :)
That's perfectly acceptable but you might get a more lively discussion going at the house plant forum. Your post here will fly off the page about daily, and being marked solved, may not get any further views.
I'm a bit concerned about the size of your cuttings, but understand the material you had to work with was not optimal. In the future if you're propagating leisurely and not just attempting survival, I would recommend something more similar in size to this. The 2 leaves nearest the cut end have been removed and would both nodes where leaves were removed would be placed in water (with the removed leaves discarded.)
This message was edited Jan 25, 2013 9:56 AM