Jun 262016
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Philodendron spp.

How to keep them thriving indoors in Melbourne!

Please Note: The information below is specific to this particular variety. For more detailed notes on the general growing conditions required for all Indoor Plants, check out our ‘Growing Indoor Plants Successfully’ factsheet.

There are two main types of Philodendrons, the vining ones, often seen tied to a post or fern stake, and the non-vining ones, these have a broad, upright spreading habit. Both are equally popular and much loved for good reason. Exuberant shiny large green leaves in wonderful shapes, easy going and tolerant, a happy addition to any home, public space or office. Larger specimens can be very impressive indeed and add a significant wow factor to a space.

Watering

Allow the top 2cm to dry out in between watering. Adjust watering to suit the season. If it is too dry the leaves will tell you by drooping.

In the warmer months it tends to put on growth and needs more water. In winter allow to dry out a bit more between watering, it will need less water.

Never let it sit in water – good drainage is essential.

Light

Bright indirect or filtered light all year round. Can take a bit of direct morning light but avoid afternoon direct sunlight – it can scorch the leaves. Will not tolerate deep shade.

Temperature and humidity

Normal house temperatures suit Philodendrons. They like it a bit cooler at night and warmer in the day. Avoid cold drafts or pressing leaves against cold windows in winter. They do appreciate humidity so misting is beneficial or alternatively, you can put the pot on small stones or blocks to keep it raised, and fill the saucer or slip pot beneath with water. The water evaporates increasing humidity, but keeping the pot raised allows the free drainage essential to a happy indoor plant.

Fertilising

Fertilise fortnightly in spring and summer with half strength liquid indoor plant fertiliser. Monthly in winter and autumn. Once a year, flush out any salts that may have accumulated by watering thoroughly and deeply with clean water.

Maintenance

General maintenance can be done anytime. Old or tatty leaves should be cut back to the base. Any major trimming, rejuvenation pruning or repotting is best done in spring.

Unlike many indoor plants, Philodendrons generally don’t mind being moved around and can benefit from trips outside where you can spray them down, wash the leaves, and flush out the potting mix. You can also move them around the house occasionally, sometimes this is useful when you are trying to find a sunny spot at different times of the year. Other times you are just redecorating!

Repotting

• Use a good quality potting mix and a pot with good drainage.
• Pat down firmly (removes air-pockets) and water in well using a weak seaweed solution.

Problems

Yellow leaves

o Old leaves naturally turn yellow as they age, before turning brown and dying.
o Lack of fertiliser.
o Overwatering can lead to yellowing
o Lack of humidity

Leaf tips turning brown

o Overwatering – reduce watering – allow to dry out more in-between watering
o Chemical burn from fertiliser accumulation – flush out the potting mix thoroughly
o Chemical burn from poor tap water – not a big problem in Melbourne.
o Root rot – commonly from overwatering.
o Dry stagnant air

Mealy Bug

Spray with white or pest oil