I received this plant (I'm sorry, I'm not entirely sure what it is) a few years back when it was on death's door and only had a few living leaves left. I managed to bring it back to health but that left me with another issue: all the new growth increased the weight of the plant and the existing stem could no longer support its weight.

In a bid to keep the whole thing from falling over and snapping, I staked it. It kept growing and growing and now it's to the point where the top is much heavier and larger than the poor, sickly original stem can support.

Is there a way I can train this plant to eventually support itself without the stakes or am I past the point of no return? If not, is there anything I can do to help ensure that the tiny little stem does not snap, say while moving, etc.?

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  • Ryan, your plant looks healthy. A bit more light would help. Have you fertilized? I love clay pots as they breathe and help the soil maintain lots of air. Your pot, however is telling me you are using tap water with lots of salts. The white stuff on the clay are salts. Later you will find burned tips and margins on the leaves. I don't see any of that happening as yet. I would change out the potting soil once a year at least, scrub the salts off the clay. Or get non fluoridated bottled water or get a big container of well water from a friend. Don't drink your tap water yourself.
    – stormy
    Oct 11, 2017 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


You did a great job resurrecting this plant! I think you have a Philodendron here, maybe 'Imperial Red' type?

There are different options.

  1. You can leave it as it is, maybe find a nicer stake. Often climbing types of Philodendron are hold up with these stakes covered with some kind of light brown cloth.

  2. You can try to lay the original stem flat, I am not sure if it is kind of flexible? Then try to keep the healthy part straight up, again with stake first, hopefully in time it can hold it's own weight.

  3. You can cut the top off (from the small stem) and try to make a new plant from it, so put it in the ground and hope for it to root. Of course this approach is tricky, since there is a chance it won't work.

I think with a nice stake option 1 is most safe, your first picture, where we don't see the original stem looks like a very nice plant to me!!

  • Instead of option 3 you can also try air layering
    – benn
    Oct 11, 2017 at 11:15

No way you can train this plant to hold itself upright. In nature, philodendrons are crawling on the jungle's floor and climbing onto other trees...

What you could try is to plant it around another supportive plant. But for this you will need a bigger pot for both plants.

The stake option is good. you could even have some place where the stake goes all the way up to the ceiling. I saw this by a friend: she uses her philodendron as a kind of wall to separate the room in two smaller spaces.

  • Yup, J. Philodendron is primarily a viney plant. Using trees and other plants for support.
    – stormy
    Oct 11, 2017 at 19:47

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