Plants are our favorite subject. We hang air plants in the shower and on walls. We plant indoor gardens and outdoor gardens and we also use plants to keep mosquitoes away.
We’ve talked before about the many ways that bouquets and houseplants are good for you. I’ve also mentioned the challenges of living with a husband that doesn’t love big, overflowing houseplants as much as me. Today I’m back with another houseplant post, because they really are good for you, and because this is another easy compromise for plant lovers living with the plant “eh”-ers.
The plant in the crosshairs this time? A split-leaf philodendron.
We had a beautiful split-leaf that came from my parents’ house last summer; it was outgrowing its welcome there, but looked fantastic on our porch. When it was time to bring the plant in for winter, Calder put his foot down (truthfully, with a 4-foot diameter, the plant was too big for our house too). I started looking for other options, and ended up taking the plant to work. The moment I walked in with the plant, a co-worker asked if we could put it in our common suite. The suite has no windows, but plenty of florescent light. I wasn’t sure how well it would do, since I had read that they need plenty of direct sunlight, but over the past six months, the plant has thrived. Has it found its forever home?!
About a month after moving the plant, I saw an online photo of a bedroom that had two split-leaf stalks in a vase. The homeowner said she bought the leaves at her florist and that they would last for at least a few weeks in water. I never thought of putting just foliage in a vase, yet the large split-leaf stalks looked so dramatic and neat, having lost their unruly character that Calder doesn’t appreciate.
That was a long-winded introduction to tell you that I cut some leaves, stuck them in a vase, and had a wonderful piece of the split-leaf decorating our bedroom!
Of course I couldn’t stop there. The biologist in me thought it would be fun to try rooting the plant. Propagation requires a stem that is cut just below an aerial root. *A QUICK UPDATE – we received a comment that the aerial root doesn’t have to be present. You just have to cute below a node (where the new roots will start to grow) for successful propagation.*
I’ve read that you can plant this cutting directly in potting soil, but I put my cutting in a vase and watched the roots grow! Once I had the healthy root mass you see in these photographs, I planted the cutting in potting soil. In the photo below, you see the single stalk on the left, a freshly cut stalk with an aerial root for propagation in the middle, and on the right is a large cutting that had multiple aerial roots and grew that fresh greenish-white root system over a the past couple of months.
So, I think this is it, we’re splitting up. I’m moving, and the split-leaf is staying in PA, but with these cuttings I’ll always have a little Phil (adendron) in my life.