Very leggy pothos- pinch or stake?

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by starli84, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Therion

    Therion Member

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    Excuse me for butting into your conversation, but I'd like to ask a quick question about my pothos: is it normal for it to lose its oldest leaves? As the vine is getting longer, the leaves closest to the soil are turning yellow and dying. If I pinch it, will it start growing new shoots near the base?
     
  2. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Very normal. I have them drop naturally all the time on my adult plant. It is just a normal age progression of the plant.
     
  3. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    K, so I haven't started with the stake yet, but I did give her a haircut. A lot of the new growth has been dying- it looks like it starts, but then turns brown. At least 30% of the leaves have started to get brown tips, and some leaves are getting brown patches. I am clipping of the bad leaves, trimming the black tips off, and hoping for the best! I have quite a few clippings now, too, so I have a back-up plan as well!

    I received the stakes, but now I am not sure if I should put the plant through the repotting trauma yet since it is still having difficulties adjusting. I'm attaching some pictures now.
     

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  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    since you just repotted it a short time ago, i wouldn't do so again so soon. it's still getting adjusted to the new digs :)

    i would get the stake in there, though!! give it six months (approximately) and then repot it. going with a floor-plant is a good idea! next repot go with a 10 inch diameter and go with a deeper container so there's more room for roots. that should be good for a couple of years.
     
  5. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Pothos is one of those plants that will lose a few leaves, not many though, to the seasons changing. They can look like yours with the brown and yellow spots and then either dry up, of just wilt over the side of the pot.
    Mine will lose maybe 5 leaves in the fall when the daylight hours become less, and then again in the spring when the light is longer.
    Always let the soil get close to dry before watering, they hate wet feet, and dried out feet as well.
     
  6. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Each grower has methods that work for them. So use what you are comfortable with. But in my case I water it thoroughly on almost a daily basis during the heat of the year, less in winter. I've never found the plant needs to be in near dry soil and most of you have seen the size of my specimen. It recently began to produce the fully adult leaves which are pinnate so it must like something I do for it. The plant currently has a total of 8 spathe and spadices in various stages of development. Most are quite large. I've always found the big trick is to make sure the soil is porous and drains quickly, not necessarily dry. It is afterall a rain forest species.

    I'd certainly consider giving it the totem even if you don't repot it now. The totem will transfer quite easily with the vines attached. The information about leaves dropping naturally is quite correct. We have them fall off the vine all the time but the plant produces new ones just as quickly.

    The leaf in the photo is the first fully adult leaf we have ever produced and measures well over 20 inches. You can see the pinnate edges which are indicative of a fully mature leaf. This one is located at about the 15 foot level. The plant is only 6 years old.
     

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  7. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    cool!! i've only got 5 years to go for mine to have leaves that size!!
     
  8. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    And likely a taller totem!

    Many people grow this plant successfully in a variety of ways. There is certainly no "certain" way you have to grow it. I just happen to like to see my plants morph into the adult form and do everything possible to help them along. I've begun to add totems up to 80 inches long to many of the one's that have grown well in order to watch them change from the juvenile leaves most of us see into the mid adult and finally to the adult leaf forms they are capable of growing. But if any grower is pleased with the juvenile leaves, enjoy them! I just like to see what the plants are capable of becoming so I stack the totems in order to give them the chance to morph. As a result, I do all I can to duplicate the conditions the plant experiences in a rain forest.

    What I find interesting is most people have no idea they are even capable of morphing. An atrium like the one I grow in allows my plants to change to the unusual forms almost any aroid species is capable of obtaining.
     
  9. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    to get them to adult form, do they have to go straight up for all the growth or can you do 10 or so feet upwards and then to the side?

    i have 10 foot ceilings - no atrium, no cathedral ceiling (old house) - so i'd only have that amount to go upwards...
     
  10. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I have talked to several growers in Florida who have allowed their specimens to grow as tall as possible and morph as much as possible then cut the specimen and reroot it. Apparently the height does matter. But if the specimen begins to morph then is rerooted so it can continue to grow upwards it will continue the morphing cycle and begin to change to the next phase.

    As I said, I've begun to allow some to grow up double totems to a height of 80 inches and plan to cut them when they reach the top of the 80 inch totem so I can try from there to continue the cycle up another 80 inch totem. I only have the one post that is 15 feet tall and once they get that tall I just can't go any higher. But the plants that have grown that high change dramatically.

    Dr. Croat has explained that some species can contineu to morph until they reach very tall heights. As an example, many variations of Philodendron hederaceum (P. scandens, P. miduhoi, P. micans, and other synonym names) can grow up to 16 inchblades instead of the small blade size we all often grow. If you log on to TROPICOS, which is the Missouri Botanical Garden site, you can see specimens of adult species for many plants. Some do some really wild changes as they become adults and look nothing like the plants we know as the species.
     
  11. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    ahh!! i'd not thought about doing a cutting below the point of where it starts to morph!! it DOES make sense that the morphing factor would continue if you did cut it and let it continue to grow upwards.

    oh, this is good news!!

    there are 8 vines in the pot - they were all just 2 inches when i got it...one of them is now 2 feet or so with another one a bit shorter and the rest are only 8 inches or so...must have been some unrooted cuttings in there when i purchased it. anyhoo, only 5-6 feet to go until i should see some morphing starting on that one vine! and that should only take a couple years...i moved it to a better spot, so it should start growing a bit faster now...
     
  12. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    That's great! Do you have some pictures? I'm curious to see the different layouts with stakes... with Steve's, you can't even see the stake! :)
     
  13. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    That's because there are no stakes! The plant is naturally attached to the wood as it does in nature. These plants are epiphytes which means they climb naturaly.
     
  14. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, gotcha... no wonder why I couldn't see them! :)

    I said stakes when I meant to say 'totem'... but I'm assuming your answer is the same.

    Your adult leaves are beautiful!!
     
  15. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    Okay, so it hasn't been a month, but I wanted to show you what it looks like so far... thanks for the suggestions!

    So... I hadn't really known what a 36" totem would look like in an 8.5" pot... and I found out the hard way- the prongs on the bottom didn't even fit!! LOL, the moss didn't start for about 4 inches above the pot! Although I was told that I should probably wait a little longer before I went up another pot size I didn't want to wait. I kept all of the soil pretty much intact during the swap. So we'll see!

    I didn't have any pins so I cut paper clips in half. It worked pretty well until I moistened the moss then the clips fell out. What else could I use instead?

    So I guess I'll have to wait a month or so before I see the vine take hold of the moss... I'm excited!
     

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  16. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    By the end of summer don't be surprised if the totem is filled with plant. You should have received a bag of clips with the totem, but your paper clip idea works just as well.

    In nature these plants naturally climb any and every tree (epiphytically) so clips are not something they need. I didn't use any on my center post once the plant had climbed up past one meter (3 feet) and the thing is almost 6 meters tall (17 feet). The plants produce a natural root specially designed for climbing. You'll soon see them attach themselves to the totem.
     
  17. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Star just make sure that as the stems become bigger/wider that the attaching metal does not cut into the stems, as the plant won't like that too much. I usually use stockings (pantyhose) to attach mine as they are flexible.
    Nice totem!!

    Ed
     
  18. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Ed is absolutely right. In fact, once the plant clings on its own just remove the metal pins! And Ed, you're supposed to be at work! Or is it Saturday yet?
     
  19. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Just a quick surf before I start!! Its 7:30 am on Friday morning...

    Ed
     
  20. starli84

    starli84 Active Member

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    lol, I seem to find myself attracted to this site during work WAYYYY more than I should, too!! At this point I am living vicariously through others until I have a garden I can call my own (although I am told that my cubicle now resembles a jungle more than office space)...

    The paper clips are barely hanging in the moss right now so I am sure that they'll fall off before they would impede growth, but I'll keep an eye out for that!
     
  21. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I was blessed to be self employeed before the internet became super popular. And today I am retired so I can do this anytime I get the urge. As a former employer, I would be concerned about my help!! But as long as you get your work done, plants are great for the soul and spirit! My work took me into the rain forest all the time so I had the best of both worlds! But ain't it fun to work in your jungle?
     
  22. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    If the leaves continue to get brown patches and turn black, it's over-potted and the soil is water logged. Leaves should turn black, even after it's re-potted. Pothos hate wet feet. You might need to down size the pot if the roots survive, or take stem cuttings.
    Hope it starts to look better!
     

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