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my Philodendron is sick :(

I have had this philodendron ever since I rooted it from a cutting from a friend's plant 4 years ago. After it had grown some roots, I moved it over to my fish tank where it THRIVED for 2 years. When my fish died, I didn't know what to do with the plant anymore, so I kept it in water. The plant survived for the next year in just water, but then, the leaves nearest the roots began to turn yellow and fall off. Any new leaves that grew had brown spots in them. I tried a few different sunlight locations, but that didn't help.

Recently, I trimmed off the old roots and tried re-rooting closer to where the leaves are. The plant sat in just water (trying to root) for a week and a half. Then I planted it in a mixture of peat moss and sand. But leaves are still yellowing and falling off. I'm not sure what's wrong with my plant.

Here are some pictures of what it looks like now:

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Location: Oregon

I think your plant is exhausted. I would cut the stem below the 3rd set of leaves from the growing tip, strip off the bottom set of leaves, and plant the stem in soil. Use a potting soil that you buy in a bag at the store. You want to make sure there is one node ... the little swelling where the leaves emerge ... below the surface of your potting mix. That node is where new roots will grow from, if the plant is able to produce some.

Peat is too acidic, IMO. Use plain sand to root your plant, or best of all, buy a bag of potting mix at the store. I think your plant will be happiest if you just root it in potting mix, and you won't have to disturb its roots to pot it in soil. Make sure you use a container with drainage holes.

Don't keep it too wet and don't give it any fertilizer until you see new leaves starting to grow at the tip. Without roots, a plant can't absorb a lot of water from the soil, so just keep it slightly moist, not soggy. Since there is no new growth being formed, there is no need for fertilizer. It will only burn the baby roots.

HTH! :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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