Philodendron Pt.1 & Pt. 2- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#14 & Ep#40
Updated: Oct 10, 2021
The genus Philodendron has some of the most diverse, unique & spectacular plants, most of which make perfect houseplants. In my experience, these are some of the easiest houseplants I've owned!
There are hundreds of different Philodendron varieties out there, but I've listed the most common plants you can purchase, and all of the ones collectors love!
Philodendron brandtianum: Brandi
Philodendron erubescens: Pink Princess, White Knight, White Wizard, White Princess, Prince of Orange
Philodendron hederaceum: Lemon Lime, Brasil, Rio, Silver Stripe
Philodendron hederaceum var. hedaraceum
Philodendron hastatum: Silver Sword
Philodendron mayoi: Tahiti
Philodendron melanochrysum Black Gold Philodendron
Philodendron tatei ssp. melanochlorum: Rojo Congo, Congo
The following are all different Philodendron hybrids. No matter how much research I do, I can't find a straight answer on their botanical names or a straightforward botanical name. But here are some of the most popular Philodendron hybrid varieties:
Micans, Burle Marx, Burle Marx Fantasy, Thai Sunrise, Painted Lady, Jose Bueno, Paraiso Verde, Golden Goddess, Birkin( bright indirect, low-med, hum low, stem cuttings, trailing max 3ft), Imperial Green, Black Cardinal, Dark Lord, Majesty, Moonlight, Mia, Tangerine, Ring of Fire, Pink Crocodile, Florida Ghost, Bob Cee
These are still commonly called Philodendron but they have been reclassified: Thaumatophyllum xanadu, Thaumatophyllum selloum, Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum
Most varieties do best in bright, indirect light but a lot of varieties can handle medium light as well. I have mine in mostly medium to bright, indirect light and they all are doing well!
Most of the Philodendron varieties need medium to low moisture. There are a few exceptions that need higher moisture like Philodendron gloriosum, Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum, and Philodendron tortum just to name a few. I don't have any of those varieties and all of my Philodendron are fairly drought tolerant. I only water when the soil is dry.
If you are unsure on how to read the amount of moisture your plant has, you can find a moisture meter reader on Amazon for pretty cheap!
Most varieties of Philodendron request medium humidity but many varieties can survive in low humidity as well. I actually do not place any of my Philodendrons near my humidifier and I do not mist them often. On the contrary, the high moisture varieties also require high humidity so it would be a requirement for those few.
As I always say, there are LOTS of ways to fertilize plants. Unless you are extremely over fertilizing your plant, there isn't necessarily a wrong way to do this. I currently use Espoma Indoor! Liquid Plant Food and I fertilize every 2 weeks when I water my plants, starting around the end of February through October. I honestly probably only fertilize once or twice in winter because the plant isn't as active! I use about 1/2 to 3/4 the recommended amount of fertilizer because I would rather under fertilize than over fertilize my plants.
Here is what another source said...
Practical Houseplant Book, in reference to the Heartleaf Philodendron, says, "apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month from spring to early fall."
Practical Houseplant Book, in reference to the Xanadu Philo, says, "apply a high nitrogen balanced liquid fertilizer monthly in spring and summer, then every other month in fall."
As you can see, there are MANY ways to do fertilizing and it is completely up to you! There are tons of products out there you can try but an overall rule of thumb for houseplants is that it is best to under fertilize, rather than over fertilize. Always use the recommended amount, or less, when applying your fertilizer to houseplants.
Propagation really depends on the variety of Philodendron but there are only three ways of doing it; taking stem cuttings, air layering, or dividing the plants. Here are a list of varieties and how to propagate them:
Stem Cutting: Philodendron billietiae, Philodendron bipennifolium, Philodendron brandtianum, Philodendron erubescens, Philodendron esmeraldense, Philodendron giganteum, Philodendron gloriosum, Philodendron goeldii, Philodendron grazielae, Philodendron hederaceum, Philodendron hederaceum var. hedaraceum, Philodendron hastatum,Philodendron mamei, Philodendron mayoi, Philodendron melanochrysum, Philodendron pedatum, Philodendron plowmanii, Philodendron rugosum, Philodendron squamiferum, Philodendron sodiroi, Philodendron tatei ssp. melanochlorum, Philodendron tortum, Philodendron verrucosum, Philodendron warszewiczii
Air Layering: Philodendron billietiae, Philodendron bipennifolium, Philodendron goeldii, Philodendron grazielae, Philodendron melanochrysum, Philodendron rugosum
Division: Philodendron elegans, Philodendron rugosum
I've propagated my trailing Philodendron several times but my Philodendron erubescens and related hybrids aren't large enough to warrant a good propagation yet in my eyes.
Part of the Araceae Family.
Other plants in this family are Dieffenbachia, Monstera, Anthurium.
Native habitat of South America and Caribbean.
Philodendron loosely translates to ‘tree loving’ even though not all Philodendron vine.
They do flower but don’t expect it to indoors.
Some people are allergic to to the sap - it can cause irritation.
Toxic to pets and humans. Check out Podcast Ep#31 for more info or the corresponding blog post!
I asked followers if they had any specific plant questions I could address in this podcast and blog. Here are the questions and answers for Philodendron:
"Can you fertilize a cutting in water?"
Some people like to use a rooting hormone to stimulate root growth so I would recommend this. If you are rooting your plants in water, the goal is grow strong roots, not a strong foliage. Most of the time, fertilizers are focused on the top growth so this would slow down the water rooting process if you decided to add fertilizer to the water your plant is rooting in.
"How many different varieties of Philodendron are there and which are the lowest maintenance?"
There are hundreds varieties of Philodendron and many of them people love to collect as houseplants. The lowest maintenance Philodendron in my experience are Philodendron hederaceum (Brasil, Lemon Lime, Rio), Philodendron erubescens (Pink Princess, White Knight), and some hybrids like Imperial Red, Mia, and Moonlight to name a few. I'm sure there are several that are pretty low maintenance but those varieties are ones I've experienced.
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