Philodendronis an evergreen flowering perennial plant in the Aroidae family. The Missouri Botanical Garden has about 900 species of this plant. All of its representatives are not fully understood. Philodendrons are common in the tropical belt of America, in Australia and on the islands of the Pacific. They prefer damp, warm forests, swamps, riverbanks.
The name philodendron from the Greek literally translates as "love tree". In its natural environment, this plant cannot grow without the support of its own tree. Several species of philodendrons are grown in room conditions. Given the huge size of the adult plant, this plant can only afford to be grown by owners of large, spacious rooms. Philodendron has some similarities to monstera.
Filodendrons include epiphytes, semi-epiphytes and chemiepiphytes. But more are found epiphytes, which use aerial roots to anchor themselves to a support. If there isn't a tree near the plant, it will crawl weaving on the ground behind the shade of a tree or fence. Philodendron can have both underground roots and aerial roots. It uses its many shallow, hairy aerial roots for support.
With its thick, long roots it gets its food and absorbs moisture.
This tropical plant has fleshy stems, which are woody at the base. The size of the successive, petiolate leaves in some cases reaches two meters in length. Leaf blades may be oval, pinnately dissected, or arrow-shaped. In some cases, the leaves of the same plant may have different size and shape.
As a rule, the leaves of philodendron are colored in different colors, but the upper ones have a darker shade. The inflorescence is a cob with a waxy, bicolored veil that looks like a hood. The fruit is a small berry.
Most plants that belong to the Aroideae family are grown in greenhouses and conservatories. They will be a decoration for large halls and lobbies.
For a standard city apartment, Philodendron climbing is most suitable. This species does not need a large space for normal growth and development. It is grown in a hanging cachet or basket as an ordinary ampelous plant. In addition, it is shade-tolerant and unpretentious.
The compact species includes Philodendron warty.
It has beautiful decorative leaves. But it will not be able to grow without support. Philodendron sello is considered no less attractive. Its height reaches 1.5 meters, and it can grow even bigger in width, as it has large leaves with a length of 80 cm.
The guitar-shaped Philodendron is very beautiful and its leaves resemble a famous musical instrument.
Home care for Philodendron
The care rules for Philodendrons of different species are the same, despite the external differences and size.
The Philodendron is a heat loving plant. It will adapt very well to the summer heat as long as the room is kept optimally humid. It does not need any special temperature conditions.
It will feel most comfortable at 20-25 ºC. Temperatures above 25 ºC in the summer are not desirable. To philodendron does not overheat, its leaves are sprayed and washed with running water. In winter the room temperature should not drop below 15 ºC. The plant cannot tolerate draughts, so it is best not to take it outside.
For the philodendron to be lush and beautiful, you should choose the right place for it. Almost all species like diffused rays of sunlight. Direct sunlight should be avoided. The variegated forms of the plant need more light than monochromatic plants. Only the climbing philodendron and the red philodendron can tolerate the penumbra.
Philodendron must be watered regularly, especially in the spring and summer. The plant is watered as the top layer of soil dries out. The frequency of watering depends on the temperature in the room where the plant is located. Excess water should not remain in the tray. It is poured out an hour after watering.
In the winter time you should water the plant very carefully. At low indoor temperatures, watering is reduced. Because of excessive watering, philodendron will be sick, its leaves will turn yellow. Over-dry the ground ball, too, is not allowed. Because of the drought philodendron will lose its attractiveness, will drop its leaves.
Water the plant with soft water (rain, boiled, boiled water). It must not contain lime, so well water is not suitable for this purpose. Otherwise, it will leave streaks on the leaves.
Bottle philodendron is watered less frequently. It belongs to succulents that accumulate moisture.
Filodendron naturally grows in the tropics, so it needs high air humidity. The plant should be sprayed regularly, especially during the heating season. If the air in the room is dry, the leaves of the plant will become small. Young specimens will like a shower. To increase humidity, you can wet a stick with coconut fibers, which serves as a support for the philodendron.
Do not forget to wipe the leaves of the plant with a damp cloth. For spraying, use soft, warm water. This hygienic procedure not only improves the appearance of the philodendron, but also increases the moisture content. Leaf polishes are best avoided as they may contain harmful substances.
In their natural environment, philodendrons prefer animal excrement, insect waste products, decomposed tree leaves and rainwater.
Unfortunately, under room conditions, it can not provide it. During the period of intensive growth, philodendron will not refuse fertilizers. Fertilizers provide it with a set of nutrients. They are applied from March to September. In other months it is also possible to feed the plants, but less frequently.
Once a month will be enough if the plant is in a warm room. For feeding you can use a complex mineral fertilizer. Fertilizer for ornamental deciduous plants will also be suitable. To philodendron elongate in height, use fertilizers with a high nitrogen content. If it is important that the plant was compact, it is limited to nitrogen fertilization.
Do not forget that too much fertilizer can cause the philodendron's leaves to turn yellow.
The philodendron is transplanted in the same way as other plants. Young specimens should be transplanted every year, older specimens as needed, approximately every 2-3 years. The signal for transplanting is a tight pot. Each time it should be a little more spacious than the previous one.
Because of the cramped pot philodendron will stunt. Rather mature plants can simply be transplanted and the top layer of soil replaced. The tropical plant prefers nutritious, light, porous, slightly acidic, breathable soil. To grow philodendrons you can use earth substrate for orchids, which includes charcoal, sphagnum moss, peat and bark. A soil mixture consisting of two parts of sod soil, one part of peat soil and humus, half of the sand will do.
Older plants are grown in a different soil, prepared from equal parts of coniferous, leaf soil, sand and peat.
Phyllodendron transfer. My flowers. My experience.
New offspring of philodendron can be obtained in several ways.
It is propagated by seeds, cuttings, aerial branches, apexes, leaves, trunk fragments.
The propagation by apex cuttings gives the best results. Even beginner growers can use this method. The optimum temperature for propagation is 25 to 30 degrees. The process is accelerated with high humidity.
To provide it, use a polyethylene bag or a glass cover. Planted cuttings are carefully ventilated. At first every other day, and then more often. It is also necessary to remove condensation that accumulates on the walls of the greenhouse. For rooting, it is best to use wet sand.
Periodically rejuvenate the philodendron for rejuvenation purposes, so that it branches, is lush and beautiful.
If the plant is cared for properly, insect pests will not be a problem for it. If not cared for properly, philodendron is threatened by scales, thrips, spider mites.
Pests. Actually, this plant, if all the rules of maintenance are followed and with proper care, is rarely subject to pest raids.
But it is quite realistic to expect scabs, spider mites and thrips. I have already written about how to deal with them here, here and here.
Phyllodendron is a poisonous plant. Its sap causes irritation of the mucous membranes and skin. Precautions must be taken when caring for it.
It should not be touched with bare hands and the use of gloves is advisable. And you should wash your tools and hands well after caring for it. Those who have small children and animals at home are better off not having this flower.
CARING AND GROWING PHILODENDRON. My flowers.
Philodendron species with photos and names
Since there are too many philodendrons in both nature and culture, we will try to introduce you to the best known and most popular species and forms.
Philodendron golden-black Andre
Highly decorative species due to its heterophyllia (variegated leaves): Young leaves are small (5-7 cm long) - heart-shaped, copper-red, while adult leaves reach 40 to 80 cm in length (in nature, of course), more oblong in shape, color is bronze-green with whitish veins and a narrow light border around the edge. In the home it is demanding with regard to humidity.
Small and compact liana.
Stems slender, leaves up to 10cm long and up to 5cm wide, velvety, young ones are reddish in color, adult ones are brownish-green. Very easy to care for.
It is very popular with florists as it is incredibly beautiful: its heart-shaped, velvety leaves are 15-20 cm long and 10 cm wide and grow on petioles densely lined with warty bristles. The problem with the species is that it has a poor tolerance for dry air.
Also in demand in culture.
Its leaves, shaped like a famous musical instrument, reach 40-50 cm in length. The plant is undemanding and has already produced several hybrids of high ornamentality.
Despite the outward similarities that confuse many, these are two different species. They are large lianas with a single, powerful trunk. The double-flowered philodendron is very rare, while the Sello philodendron is widely cultivated.
The most famous species among florists, serving as a base for breeders who have successfully bred many varieties with it. The trunk of the liana is red-green in color, turning to a grayish-golden with age, when it becomes woody. Leaf petioles at the base are dark red, the leaves are 25-30 cm long and 15-20 cm wide. The veil covering the fragrant white cob is 15 cm long, dark purple. The plant is completely unpretentious, tolerating both infrequent watering, poor light and insufficient humidity.
Philodendron, transplanting and care at home