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Posted 2M ago by @wolfwoman

Why no new growth?
My philodendron squamiferum is one of my most treasured plants. I found this beautiful large plant in Walmart, of all places. However, we have gone through the whole growing season, and I have seen absolutely no new growth. All I see are these weird spikes that do nothing. Is this normal? She's near an East-facing window and is watered when the top two inches are dry. Why isn't she growing?
1ft to light, indirect
8” pot with drainage
Last watered 4 days ago
At this point in time she is probably getting ready for her winter sleep @wolfwoman She is a beautiful plant and the spikey things are really interesting. What king of plant is this. I'd be happy to help you research this.
I think this is similar to my Florida ghost. I wrapped an eye close to a new sprout in moist spagnum moss and it started growing shortly after.
The spikes look like terminated growth points. The plant tried to (or is still trying to!) start growing again, but for some reason, it doesn’t quite have enough energy and is stopping. The cause of this is most likely a combination of a few smaller problems that are adding up to create enough stress on the plant that it is preventing new growth.

I don’t personally own this exact type of plant, and I’m not aware if this behavior is common with this species. However, in general, terminated growth is caused by some issue, or some combination of issues, that is creating a less-than-ideal growing environment for the plant. This could commonly be due to things like:
- the plant doesn’t have enough airflow (needed for the healthy transportation of things like calcium),
- not enough light and/or watering too often (roots can’t get enough oxygen and/or get damaged and can’t uptake nutrients properly.. which could also lead to root rot or other bacterial/fungal issues),
- pests like different types of mites (possibly ‘two spotted spider mites’ if you see any webbing on the plant leaves/stems, or it could also be something like ‘false spider mites’ even if you don’t see any webbing),
- or possibly also because the soil/watering ph is too low to absorb nutrients like calcium properly.

Of course, those are just some of the most common potential issues I’d suspect first in cases like this, so keep in mind it could be other small issues too that are causing stress in your plant.

Also, if you are watering with tap water, be sure to always let the water sit out overnight before using it to water your plants, if you aren’t doing this already. This allows some of the bad-for-plants chemicals to dissipate. Just an FYI - If you can collect rain water, plants tend to love this water best! And even better if you can filter the rainwater!

If I were you, I’d try adding some indirect gentle airflow (if you don’t already have a fan running in the area), and also backing off on watering quite as frequently as you currently are, to see if that helps at all.

What’s your humidity like? These kind of plants can usually survive in lower humidity, but they really thrive in humidity at or above 50%-60%, as long as the environment is still well ventilated (to prevent other issues)!

You could also try to slowly increase the amount of light this plant is getting (either by supplementing with a grow light, moving closer to the window, or moving to a different room).

You may also eventually want to experiment by repotting in new soil if other things aren’t working to improve the plant health. If you choose to repot at some point, I would consider adding more material that allows the roots to breathe easier into your soil mix - something like using around 30% perlite or pumice can work well for this purpose.
@Stall54Jo, it's similar to the Florida ghost, so I thought it would grow similarly. I'll have to see what I can do to improve this. Thanks.
@ZenLove, I'll check the soil to see what's going on. She's right next to a humidifier and a window, and I haven't seen any pests, so maybe it's something to do with the substrate she's in. Thanks!

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