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Hyacinth Plant

Q.variegated philodendron OR a pothos

Zone East Bay of SanFrancisco. | larrybird33 added on January 25, 2014 | Answered

I have a variegated Philodendron or a Pothos. It has been in the family for a lot of years. I am having problems keeping the plant alive. I have taken cuttings and allowed them to root in water. A process for which I have had great success in the past. But I have had no success in the past few years.

How do I tell if it is a philodendron or a pothos? What do you recommend for successful planting from water to soil? The cuttings now have been in water for a few months. Can you recommend a plant doctor in the San Francisco Bay Area?

Plants are not in direct light but they are not really in the shadows of bright light either, try not to overwater. Replanted in both clay pots and plastic. They seem to attract bugs easily and I have countered with “Bonide garden dust or Garden Safe Fungicide. I have used Schultz’s liquid food or solid sticks. All to no avail.

Thank you. Ron Mazur

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 27, 2014

Chances are that you have a pothos. For a very long time these plants were commonly called philodendron, but they are actually pothos and pothos are far more common as houseplants.

Plants that are rooted in water can become addicted to water, in a sense, if they stay in the water too long. So that when you transfer them to soil, they have a very hard time surviving. Try to transfer the plants to soil as soon as you see them start to develop roots. As for the ones you currently have growing in water, they are likely acclimated to that and it will be difficult to moved them. That being said, there is no real reason you have to move them. They will grow happily in water indefinitely. Some people even throw a beta fish or gold fish in the container of water for interest and natural fertilizer.

If you would like to speak to a plant expert in person (which is always a great idea), you can go to your local extension service. They are located in every county in the US. You can find your closest one by using this tool:

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