Philodendrons are special plants both in terms of the beauty of rich green, shiny, most often carved leaves, and in nature. Finding a culture so suitable for room placement is very difficult. Philodendrons love careful care and demonstrate all their qualities only under the ideal selection of conditions. And although there are several secrets and rules to growing philodendrons, they can easily become a friendly, durable addition to the collection, serve as a division of space and create large green accents.
Ivy philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)
If we collect together all the requirements of philodendrons to care and conditions, then it would be more correct to attribute them not to plants that are easy to grow, but to crops of medium complexity of agricultural technology. But for growers looking for large plants that combine a very beautiful appearance with durability, able to be content with standard care and do not require vigilant care, philodendrons are one of the leaders among indoor giants.
Growing philodendrons is easy. The main thing is to remember the minimum permissible requirements and preferences of the plant, constantly monitor its condition, the degree of soil drying. But there are also rules that will allow you to avoid mistakes and preserve the beauty and health of philodendrons for many years.
Secret number 1. Individual approach
The main, and, perhaps, the most correct advice that can only be given (and received) when buying a philodendron is to study all the features of a particular species and even a variety. Indeed, these plants and individual varieties are more hardy than other varieties. And the “spread” in terms of requirements for growing conditions and care for different types of philodendrons can be very large. Some plants are better adapted to indoor environments or specific locations than others.
So, shade tolerance is an excellent characteristic of the variety. philodendron ivy (Philodendron hederaceum) – climbing philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum there. hederaceum), which can be used for full-fledged landscaping in the back of the room. He can be accompanied by philodendron blushing (philodendron red), but other species grow better in a diffused light place and in partial shade.
Philodendron bipinnate (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) – with its almost meter-long beautifully cut leaves – not the best candidate for small rooms and apartments. In any case, when buying, it is worth checking how demanding your philodendron is for air humidity, what maximum size it can reach, and whether it is easy to control. With such a check, you will save yourself from dozens of problems.
Secret number 2. Philodendron’s shade tolerance has limits
If your philodendron is not a shade-loving species and varieties that can tolerate less light, consider a philodendron a plant that needs good lighting. It is in such places that most of the species of these plants reveal their beauty best. Direct sunlight is contraindicated for any philodendron, but shading can only be light. When choosing a place in the room for the philodendron, try not to move too far from the window and stay within locations with good lighting.
Secret number 3. Artificial supplementary lighting and natural light for philodendron
Philodendrons are unique plants. They can grow in completely artificial light as well as on a suitable windowsill. There is no need to be afraid of additional lighting. It is better to use this property for landscaping where the light is almost always on, but there is no natural light source. In the corridor, bathroom, foyer, offices, transitions between rooms, philodendrons will open up good design prospects for you.
Secret number 4. Add a couple of degrees to the minimum temperature
In the recommendations for growing philodendrons, you can often find the minimum allowable temperature of 13 degrees. It is better not to bring the situation to such a decrease. Limit the temperature range in winter to just 16 degrees. And then you will prevent most of the problems and difficulties that can arise in the cultivation of philodendrons.
As for the air temperature from spring to autumn, the room values for philodendrons will be comfortable (from 20 to 25 degrees). Higher rates are not. In order for philodendrons to maintain a high decorative effect in the heat, you will have to make efforts to control more abundant watering and an increase in air humidity. But the main thing is to protect plants from temperature extremes. Do not place any heating devices near the philodendrons, protect the plants from air conditioners and even ventilation in cold weather.
Just by stabilizing the temperature and observing the minimum indicators, you guarantee yourself that the leaves on your philodendron will not shrink, and growth and development will occur evenly.
Secret number 5. “No” fly on the balcony
Despite the fact that many indoor vines become even more beautiful after a summer spent outdoors, do not rush to attribute the philodendron to such crops. Even curly philodendrons do not like moving under the open sky or onto the balcony, to say nothing of the giants. The thing is that philodendrons do not tolerate drafts at all. And in the fresh air, they will be permanent even in the most protected places.
Secret number 6. Stable soil moisture for philodendron at any time of the year
The substrate for any philodendron, regardless of species, should always be slightly moist. Stable, constant soil moisture is the main guarantee that the plant will not present you with any unpleasant surprises. The main rule for watering philodendrons is: the next watering is carried out after 1-2 cm of the substrate at the top of the pot dries out. And this rule is true for both summer and winter. But since the rates of drying (and consumption by the plant) of moisture will be different, accordingly, the frequency of watering will change significantly.
Make it a rule to water the philodendron less abundant in the cold season, use less water compared to summer and the phase of active plant development. The water from the pallets is always drained immediately after watering.
Secret number 7. Support and air humidification
Most indoor philodendrons are vines. And for success in growing them, do not forget to moisturize the supports (if, of course, you use a support, which is common for these plants, covered with moss or synthetic substitute material). The support should never dry out completely.
But this is not all the measures for moisturizing: philodendrons also love high humidity, so additional measures need to be taken for the plant. Spraying is not the best option. For philodendrons, it is better to choose a simple method with a “handicraft” or home humidifier – placing stands or pallets with moisture-retaining materials.
Do not forget to wipe the leaves from dust – any philodendron responds to such care with a brighter color.
Secret number 8. Take your time with a philodendron transplant
Philodendrons belong to those indoor crops that do not need to be replanted annually, even at a fairly young age. The growth rates of the aerial parts do not always correspond to the growth of the rhizome. Increasing the pot size by 3-4 cm during transplanting ensures that the philodendron will need to be transplanted only after a year. And more mature plants can be transplanted once every 1 years.
The optimal period is not February – early March, but late March – early April. When transplanting, carefully monitor that the level of penetration remains the same and lay a new drainage. And for climbing philodendrons, any transplant is completed with a very simple procedure – pinching the ends of all elongated or simply too long shoots.
In years when no philodendron transplant is carried out, replace about 5 cm of the top of the substrate.
When choosing a substrate for a philodendron, give preference to special mixtures for decorative leafy crops. Other slightly acidic or neutral, coarse-grained, light, nutritious and loose soil mixtures are also suitable.
Secret number 9. Be gentle with philodendron fertilization
Philodendrons fertilize frequently and for an extended period. Top dressing for this plant is carried out every 2 weeks, from March to September. But if the philodendrons are transplanted, then feeding is not carried out for another 4-6 weeks after the procedure. The first feeding is carried out with a halved dose and then, until the normal schedule of these procedures resumes, another pause of one month is made. To find the perfect schedule, you need to keep an eye on the plant.
With a lack of fertilizers, the philodendron becomes smaller, the leaves turn yellow and dry, growth is clearly slowed down, the trunk is thinner than usual. When overfeeding, the tips of the leaves turn yellow and turn brown, the leaves become lethargic and lose their elasticity. An excess of nitrogen, which causes rapid growth, is especially dangerous for the philodendron (respectively, and vice versa, if you reduce the feeding with nitrogen, the plants can be controlled in growth).
When choosing fertilizers for philodendrons, you should not be fooled by the beauty of their leaves: for this plant, it is better not fertilizers for decorative deciduous crops, but complex universal fertilizers.
But the main rule of fertilization for the philodendron concerns the procedure itself: always feed the philodendron after abundant watering. This is the only way to protect the plant from high salt concentration and the only way to feed the philodendron so that it does not perceive the feeding procedure as an excess of fertilizer in the soil.
Secret number 10. Problems are always visible on philodendron leaves
With improper watering or overfeeding of the philodendron, lack of moisture measures or improper selection of conditions (including lighting), your mistakes can lead to plant health problems. They always manifest themselves in philodendrons in the same way – on the leaves. Withering, discoloration or other lesions in the form of traces of yellowing or drying, rotting and discoloration are signs that you have made a mistake. And it’s time to analyze your departure and make adjustments to it.
Secret number 11. Beware of black spots on philodendron leaves
Inspection of the plant and constant monitoring of its condition should, among other things, be manifested in the constant examination of the reverse side of the leaves of the philodendron. And if during monitoring you find black spots, try to immediately analyze the possible cause and take action. Several reasons can lead to the appearance of black spots:
- excess moisture;
- infestation with ticks or aphids;
- defeat by a sooty fungus.
If you made mistakes with watering the philodendron and other measures, just adjust the care, but insecticides and acaricides will help fight pests.
Secret number 12. To propagate a philodendron, choose a cuttings method
It is the rooting of apical cuttings or parts of the stem with lateral shoots that is the easiest way to get a new philodendron. With the second method of cuttings, make sure that leaves develop on the side branches. At the first – cut not short cuttings, but the tops 12-15 cm long. In any case, it is better to root cuttings in wet peat or peat substrate in greenhouse conditions and with very strict temperature control: the permissible range is from 20 to 22 degrees.