Maybe a month or more ago when I was drumming up the plan, of sorts, to extend our kitchen, I got it in my head that I needed a philodendron plant. Its toxic (to pets) greenness would sit upon the top shelf among our orange-y coppers, our warm wood butcher block browns, softening our contrasting blacks/whites, cleaning the air and only desiring of an occasional drink and indirect light. I could see it there. It was settled. As overstated as it sounds, no other plant could take its place. That's the madness of my method. So on a city market Saturday where all I set out for were tomatoes, we met a gardener with philos aplenty and came home with this healthy guy, too. But it doesn't end there... I want more. Did you know philodendrons propagate well in pain ole water? They re-root and stem new parts like an earthworm or a starfish. My uncle used to keep a handful of them growing in old glass battery jars. That kook has flair. I'm craving my own roots, spindly and flowing around the apartment, and as I've said before- sometimes the stems are just as stunning.It can't be that hard, right? Right. Below, I've listed a few ultra simple steps to get yours growin'. 1. Pick a jar you like, and make sure it's clear so you can monitor the water and gawk at root growth. Duh. I'm using a cider jar from our trip to the Louisburg Cider Mill. Tap water is fine, with 1 inch of room below the rim, just leave it to sit overnight so chlorine and other impurities can dissipate. 2. Snip 6 inches of stem, just below a leaf node.
3. Pinch off a set or so of leaves, leaving the bottom few inches bare.
4. Create a mini-greenhouse by tucking the jar, water, and stem within a plastic bag and place in a warm area away from direct light. Our fridge worked perfectly, well off the daily path of our plastic-licking cat. Change the water every few days. After ten, move to a brighter space. Lucky for us, philos love north and west facing windows! 5. Use a touch of liquid indoor plant fertilizer, if you feel like it. I don't love the one shown above. I was expecting it to be clear like flower food, but this one is brown... and smells bad.This stem has sloooooowly sprouted a few inches from different nodes in a couple weeks. After rooting in water, most houseplants are transferred to potting soil, but hey- philodendrons can continue to thrive in water. I love that! So, we'll see on this one... wish me luck!