Why Is My Philodendron Dying?

Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by Stephanie

Its possible to be a bit worried when you discover that your philodendron has become suffering and is dying. Dont be worried - Ill assist you in determining the cause and find the root of the issue.

Learn how to save the dying philodendron, and then nurse it back to health.

The philodendron you have is likely suffering from root rot because of the excessive watering. Take it down and trim off the infected roots, and then treat the rest with fungicides. If the problem is severe, you should consider planting again with new dirt or propagation. Additionally, stress from temperature low humidity, stress on the plant, disease and pest infestation could cause serious problems. The correct steps are required to ensure the health of your Philodendron.

Lets begin by discussing how to recognize the dying philodendron.

How to Know If Your Philodendron Is Dying

Your philodendron will have a greater chance of regaining its health when you can spot the signs of death earlier instead of later.

However, there are some of the most important signs of decline you might be looking for when you inspect your plant.

Sickly Leaves

Philodendrons are adored by their beautiful lush green leaves. This is why its easy to discern when the leaves look unhealthy.

The coloration of the foliage is often the first sign of the dying Philodendron.

If you notice pale or yellowed leaves, its an alarm.

It could also appear in the form of black or brown spots or flecks around the edges, tips, or even the whole leaf.

There are also leaves curling, wilting or turning crisp dry, drooping and falling.

This is particularly evident particularly on older or lower leaves. Based on the reason the leaves may fall and wilt randomly.

Decaying Roots

If you look at your root systems, you will find firm and white roots that have an earthy smelt. It is important to note that the roots can change to a slight yellowish hue as they grow older.

If your philodendron has died, its likely that root rot has snuck in. This is why youll see dark brown or black roots. Additionally, theyre usually soft and mushy. They also emit a smell of decay.

If thats the situation, then the water overflow situation could be very serious and you must begin an immediate rescue mission.

philodendron near hammock

Growth Failure

Growth that is stunted, distorted or, in other words, the inability to flourish are all indicators of declining the philodendron.

They could be caused by other stresses that do not cause plants to the point of death, but.

Any new growth, particularly in warm temperatures, should certainly sound an alarm.

Disease or Pest Infestation

Philodendrons that are unhealthy arent strong enough to ward off diseases and pests.

If you see mealybugs, spider mites, whiteflies, fungus gnus or any other insects swarming around your philodendron on a regular basis the plant could be dying. This is also true for fungal and bacterial infections.

Soggy, Damp, or Moldy Potting Mix

If your soil is moist to soggy, it could indicate root rot or excessive watering. These are the main causes that could cause the death of your precious philodendron.

The nose could also experience an ominous to strong scent emanating from the mix of potting.

Additionally to that, mildew, mold as well as other fungal growths can be visible on the soils surface as a result of the moist conditions.

Causes of Your Philodendron Could Be Dying


Overwatering is by far the most frequent issue that is affecting Philodendrons. Actually your philodendron is much more likely to die and decline due to excessive water consumption than from a lack of it.

The tropical plants are awed by even soil moisture, but dont enjoy being sat in wet feet. When the soil gets too wet or sloppy the roots are unable to breathe and can literally be suffocated.

This is when root rot develops and destroys the plant.

This can affect the absorption of water and nutrients and causes a variety of symptoms.


  • Leaves become yellow and lose their elasticity or limp.
  • Leaves show brown spots that develop with the appearance of a yellow halo.
  • Leaves soften, become tender, and then begin to wilt.
  • The shedding of leaves could be new and old either yellow or green.
  • The presence of soft, mushy black, rusty, or brown roots
  • A distinct smell of rotting that emanates from soil
  • The surface of the moldy layer of the potting mix


  1. Do not water your plant as soon as you notice it. Instead, remove any excess water in the saucer to avoid further soaks and to avoid causing more damage to the problem.
  2. Remove any dead, diseased, or heavily affected areas. Be sure to use the cutting tools that are sterilized.
  3. Remove your plant from the pot to look for root decay. If it is present, cut off affected roots, treat the those that remain, and then repot with new soil.
  4. The soil should be allowed to dry. It is possible to take it to a bright area but stay clear of direct sunlight. Make sure that the air is aerated and humid to aid in the loss of moisture and recover.
  5. The proper watering of your garden is crucial. Be sure that the top two or three inches the soil are dry prior to applying water again.
  6. How do you water your Philodendron? Avoid the use of overhead irrigation and choose the early hours of morning to water. Indoor plants require a self-watering planter or watering from the bottom is recommended. The plant should be watered until the liquid drips out of drainage holes, and then you can get rid of any excess water run-off.
  7. The frequency of watering your philodendron is contingent on a variety of aspects. This includes seasonal variations and growth phases and the dimensions of the pot and so on.



If you allow the potting soil to dry out totally, the philodendron may begin to show indications of dying. First, youll notice dry, crisp, and brown leavesthat could appear like theyve been sunburned.

The leaves will then be limp, droop and then possibly begin to curly before falling off. The leaves that shed are typically older or lower ones.


The most effective solution is to soak-water your plants.

  1. Take the saucer off and place the philodendron into the sink or tub. It should be filled with 3-4 inches water that is room temperature. Dont use hot water.
  2. Let the philodendron soak in moisture in the water basin for at least 45 minutes. After that, ensure that the water has completely soaked the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil.
  3. After the potting mix has become evenly moist, drain the basin. Let the soil rid itself of excess water completely.
  4. Replace the saucer and then move the plant back to the original location. Water only once more until the top 2 inches of soil are dry.

Philodendron Root Rot


The philodendron isnt able to adapt to sitting in damp or sloppy soil. The roots will begin to become suffocated and begin to rot, resulting in the premature death of your Philodendron. The symptoms will be similar to those of excessive watering.

  • The yellow and browning of the leaves are the first signs of root rot.
  • Leaves become limp, fall, and wilt.
  • Brown spots that are surrounded by yellow halos
  • Roots that are brown, mushy and muddy
  • A rotten, unpleasant odor emanating that comes from the soil


  1. The initial step should be to take your Philodendron from the pot
  2. Remove all roots that are affected and leave only those that are healthy. They should be firm and firm. They should also be white. Make sure to clean the trimmer clean with alcohol after each cut.
  3. Healthy roots can be treated by dipping them in an fungicide solution or hydrogen peroxide
  4. Ideally, you should plant in a new container with new soil. If youre using the pot, be sure to thoroughly wash it with an disinfectant.
  5. In the process of repotting, mix in some hydrogen peroxide, activated charcoal or cinnamon powder

Erwinia Blight

A weak philodendron is more prone to a variety of ailments. The most frequent ailment that could kill your philodendron within the next few days Erwinia blight.

It typically attacks your plant beneath your soil, or even at level of the soil. (Source: Pennsylvania State University)


  • New leaves are stunted and yellowed.
  • Lesions soaked in water on stalks and stems
  • Older leaves may develop wet spots, which can be yellow or tan.
  • The lesions can spread quickly when the weather is humid and warm within the temperature range of 70-93degF (21-34degC). They grow and enlarge with the damaged leaves, stems, and even the stems.
  • In cool, dry conditions Lesions break and thin, leaving the lesions with huge holes.


  • It is best to isolate the affected plants
  • Avoid overhead irrigation. Do not splash leaves with water.
  • Clean and eliminate infected plant components. Sterilize cutting tools with alcohol solution in between cuttings.
  • Erwinia blight can be difficult to eliminate by using chemicals. But, you can apply copper-based bactericides that can reduce the spread of pathogens and their reproduction.

Philodendron Leaves Falling Off


The philodendrons leaves may fall off due to a variety of reasons. The first is that old foliage usually is shed naturally to create the space for new growth.

Most of the time the reason for leaf drop is more serious and not natural. It can be caused by the effects of malnutrition and water overflow to the underwatering and diseases.


The best way to proceed is to determine the root cause of the leaves falling off. In this way, you will be able to tackle the issue. For instance If root rot is the reason then youll need follow the steps mentioned above.

Philodendron Leaves Drooping


If your philodendrons leaves become limp and begin to droop its not a good indication. It could mean that your soil is drying out completely.

Insufficient light, excessive watering root rot, overwatering and insufficient humidity could be the cause. Certain leaves can change color from brown to yellow and then drop before falling off.


It is essential to determine the root of the issue before you address the issue.

  1. To make it water-proof, soak your Philodendron until it is uniformly damp.
  2. To treat root rot, use the same way as described in the previous paragraphs.
  3. In case of low humidity, you can increase the relative humidity by misting daily or by using an air humidifier.
  4. Make sure that your plant is placed in an indirect, bright light

Poor Drainage


The reason for poor drainage could result from a the absence of drainage holes, poor-draining pots, or having excessive organic material in soil. In any case your philodendron wont enjoy sitting in wet feet for long.

The most obvious indication is a wet or waterlogged look to the soil. There is a lot of water in the saucer or container. The soil is damp to the feel.


  1. First, check the pot of philodendron. It must be of the same dimensions and have drainage holes. If the pot is small, you can repot it with a larger container There should be at least one 1 inch between the plant and the containers wall.
  2. Then, empty the excess water out of the saucer. Turn the pot upside down to let it drain completely.
  3. If needed, make additional holes into the bottom of your pot.
  4. You can add perlite, vermiculite small stones, or gravel to help improve drainage in your soil.

Not Enough Sunlight


Philodendrons hate scorching direct sunlight. However, that doesnt mean that it isnt a good idea to place it in a dark space. If it is placed in a room that is too dark it will show leaves turning yellow, brown and falling.

The discoloration indicates the loss of chlorophyll. If it isnt treated, it will begin to wilt and die.


  1. Simply move your philodendron into an area that receives lots of bright, indirect, or diffused sunlight. It could be a window facing west.
  2. Be sure to inspect the soil for light levels as it reduces the rate of evaporation. This allows you to overwater your plants.

Pathogenic Infection


The spread of pathogens to your philodendron by inadequate aeration, watering pests, poor aeration, or the remains of plants. It could have an older pot, which means that the soil is affected by pathogens that cause disease. They could be fungi, protozoa, bacteria, algae or viruses.

The majority bacteria thrive under moist conditions, which can cause root or stem root rot. The most frequent cause of the root is Phytophthora. The roots are soft, mushy, and brown.

Other indicators are:

  • Yellow leaves that turn brown then droop and drop off
  • Brown spots and the yellow
  • No growth or stunts


  1. Examine the roots for evidence of pathogenic infections.
  2. Cut off the infected roots, trim some of the foliage, as well as treat healthier roots using appropriate chemicals like fungicides, hydrogen peroxide, and so on.
  3. Repot using a new mix of pot soil

Incorrect Soil pH


The soils pH could affect how nutrients are absorbed as well as minerals, which can cause your philodendron to shrink and then die. For instance, leaves that are yellow can be a sign of low iron absorption because of a low pH.


Utilize a soil testing kit to test the soils pH. Utilize agricultural limestone or aluminum/sulfur sulfur sulfate to increase or decrease the soils pH according to. It is best to aim for the optimal interval of 4.5-6.0.

Cold Injury


Philodendrons thrive in temperatures at home. However, they can be stressed and die when exposed to frostbite, cold drafts and other causes of cold-related injuries.

  • The leaves that have been injured by cold usually change color from brown to yellow or even black
  • Leaves dry and curl , or become wrinkled by the constant cold breezes


  1. Create a comfortable environment with optimal temperatures of 65 and 75degF (18-24degC)
  2. Remove your philodendron from cold drafts like cooling vents, windows that are open or doors to entryways.

Pest Infestation


A weak, stressed or unhealthy philodendron can be vulnerable to infestations by pests. Pests that eat sap like thrips mealybugs, scales and spider mites can deplete your philodendron of vital moisture and nutrients.and life.

The philodendron in your garden will start to die as it is overwhelmed by the weight of having to host many insects. Be on the lookout for these indicators of an infestation by insects:

  • Leaflets and fronds change color to yellow.
  • Bugs visible in the leaf, particularly under the leaves.
  • Black or brown spots on the affected foliage
  • Sooty mold or the presence of ants as a result of honeydew
  • Webbing that is delicate in the event of spider mites


  1. Rub the affected areas lightly using cotton swaps containing alcohol. This can be effective against soft-skinned bugs such as thrips.
  2. Get rid of pests with an explosion of water.
  3. Apply horticultural oils and insecticide soap. I strongly recommend neem oil as it is non-toxic and efficient against the majority of bugs.
  4. Repeat this routine of treatment every 7-10 days until the blemishes are gone.

Low Humidity


Philodendrons, as with all tropical plants, thrive in humid conditions. Dry atmosphere, no humidity, and a lack of soil moisture is the recipe for declining.

  • The leaves will begin to droop and then turn brown at the edges or tips
  • As they get older, all leaves will begin to yellow.
  • The leaves will dry out crisp, dry, and then will begin to wilt
  • In the end, the leaves will eventually fall off.


The philodendron in your garden will be grateful for a boost in humidity. It can be done by using an humidifier, put up an humid tray (water tray filled with pebbles) close by or mist the leaves.

As a method of cultivation Try moving your plants closer to create a moist microclimate.

Watering in Dormant Period


As autumn approaches the philodendrons slow down their growth dramatically. Some decrease their growth during winter, to the point of inactivity. Therefore, they cant utilize water and nutrients as previously.

This is why the soil will stay moist longer than it does during the growing season. If you water it during the dormant time youre inviting root rot, which can result in the death of your philodendron.

There will be signs of excessive watering, like leaves drooping, wilting, browning, yellowing and then falling off. If it goes for a long time youll see indications of root decay.


It is recommended to cut down on the amount of water you use by at least half once the dormancy time begins. Also, you should follow the watering practices mentioned earlier including not using the overhead irrigation.

Perform a quick test of your fingers every 10 or more days. Make sure to water only when three inches above the soil is dry.

Lack of Nutrients in Soil


The philodendron thrives in soil that is well-drained and rich. If it isnt able to absorb essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium Itll begin to begin to show signs of declining:

  • Leaves change color from yellow to brown, or light
  • Growth that is stunted or deformed
  • Leaves begin to turn brown then drop, droop and fall.


  1. If the soil is depleted nutrients, you can repot it with new potting mix
  2. If not you can give your plant a well-balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer. Be sure to include macronutrients in the amount you require.
  3. The most effective method is to fertilize your garden each month during growing season (spring through the summer). Reduce the frequency of feeding to 6-8 weeks during the low growth seasons (fall and winter)

Root Bound


Once the root ball has filled the container to its fullest and settles into the container, it will be firmly. This causes your philodendron to become root bound. Its ability to retain water capacity and capacity to hold nutrients are affected, leading to signs of death.

  • The roots protrude from the drainage holes
  • The pot begins to expand towards the sides
  • The roots flow over the brim of the pot


There is no other option than to plant your philodendron again in larger pots.

How to Revive Dying Philodendron

Once youve identified the reason for your philodendrons dying and is now time to bring it back. If the problem of watering too much is not severe, you can stop irrigation for a few days and then let the soil dry out. The plant will be able to recover within a short period of time.

In extreme instances, I strongly recommend the repotting or propagation of the degree of the damage.


Step 1: Remove your overwatered Philodendron

Simply tip the philodendron out from the pot. A gentle tap on both sides will suffice. Then, examine your root for indications of root decay.

Step #2: Trim Job

If root rot has erected in a tent, youll discover rusty brown or soft and black soft roots. Its impossible to ignore the unpleasant smell. Cut off these diseased, unhealthy roots and leave the white, firm ones.

Similar to this, you should cut back some of the foliage. This can help to balance the root loss. Choose older, lower or damaged leaves. Make sure to sterilize your razor, scissors or shears with alcohol before every trimming.

Step #3: Treat Root System

Clean as much soil as you can away from your root systems. Be gentle, lest you cause more damage. Treat with a dip in the copper, capstan -, or a sulfur-based fungicide. Hydrogen peroxide is also a good choice.

Step #4: Choose the Right Container

Be sure to install drainage holes that are appropriate. It must be suitable to the size of your plant. If you intend to reuse it the same item, make sure to wash it with a disinfectant solution and let it dry completely.

Step #5: Prepare Soil Mix

Philodendrons are fond of a well-drained potting mix which is acidic (pH 4.5-6) and abundant of organic matter. Make use of 3 parts of organic pots and one part perlite, vermiculite, pumice, or coconut Coir.

Sprinkle in a bit of hydrogen peroxide, and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle fresh soil on three quarters of the way, and then cover by peat moss.

Step #6: Watering after Repotting

The philodendron you repotted should be watered till the ground is uniformly damp. The excess water should drain out of the holes. Do not water for at minimum a week, allowing the root system time to heal.

Step #7: Care after Repotting

Avoid feeding your plants fertilizer for at most 4 weeks, or till you see new growth begins to emerge. Instead, provide filtered sunlight, aeration that is correct and stay clear of direct sunlight.

Propagate to Save Your Dying Philodendron

If the root decay is too severe or fatal the root rot is too severe, propagation is the only option

  1. To propagate a vining philodendron, make use of 6″ cuttings of the stems to help propagate
  2. Apply the rooting hormone and then place the cut in a water container
  3. When you notice a few roots sprouting, plant them in fresh soil.

Final Words

  • Overwatering is the main reason for philodendrons dying. This causes root rot, which causes leaves to change color from yellow to brown and then droop.
  • To save a philodendron that has been overwatered cut off the affected roots, treat it with fungicidesand then repot it in new soil
  • In the event that root decay is severe it is possible to propagate the root by cuttings.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)