Botanical Name — Philodendron 'brasil'
Common Name — Philodendron brasil
Plant Family — Araceae
Philodendron hederaceum 'Brazil' is originally from South America and is an attractive perennial cultivar in the Araceae family. It has heart-shaped glossy green leaves with irregular yellow-gold variegation.This cultivar is attractive as a hanging plant or they can be trained to grow up a moss pole. Philodendrons are generally easy going and will tolerate all kinds of neglect including low light, poor soil, and inconsistent watering. Philodendrons are a large genus with nearly 500 species. Philodendrons are very efficient at removing indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde.
- Prefers 3 to 4 hours of medium to bright indirect light. Avoid the leaves from receiving too much direct light since that can burn the leaves and or turn them a light shade of green. Can be placed on a East or North facing window sill. If you have South or West facing windows, place a couple of feet away from the window and or provide shade with a sheer curtain.
- Philodendrons like room temperatures around 65 to 80 F. They should always be kept above 55 F.
- Though philodendrons like high humidity, they can tolerate and thrive where there is low humidity. If your home is dry, especially during the winter months, your plant can benefit from misting with tepid water or a humidifier.
- Allow the soil to completely dry to 2 inches down between waterings. Water thoroughly when dry and let the excess drain out the bottom of the planter. Water more frequency during the spring and summer months. Reduce watering as often in the fall and winter months.
- If your philodendron receives too little water the leaves will begin to wilt, and older leaves can often turn a bright yellow, while brown leaves mean the plant needs more water.
- Use a well aerated, quick draining potting mix.
- These plants have aerial roots located under each node. These roots can attach to trees or moss poles for climbing or can be planted.
- Mature plants occasionally produce green color spathes with white spadix. The flowers on this plant can appear at any time of the year but mainly in summer but it is common for houseplants not to flower.
- In Spring and summer, fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer.
- Philodendrons are easily propagated by stem tip cuttings. The cutting should have at least two nodes on the stem. Take the leaf off of the lower node and leave a leaf on the upper one. Place the stem in a glass of water making sure no leaves are in the water. Plant in a small pot when the roots are at least two inches long. Regularly water and drain for a couple of weeks until your cutting feels firmly rooted in the soil. The soil should be just barely moist to the touch at all times.
- The most common insect pests for philodendron in homes are scale and mealybugs. Spider mites can occasionally be a problem as well.
- Overwatering can cause root rot.
- Leaf spot diseases can be a problem and are usually caused by improper watering.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- Repot your philodendron once the plant has become root bound. Choose a planter that is two sizes larger than your current planter. Make sure to add fresh soil when repotting.
- Plants can be selectively pruned to keep the vines from getting too long and to also encourage new growth for a fuller look. You can cut back to 2 inches from if necessary. Also trim any dead or discolored leaves.
- Dust or wash leaves frequently to prevent dust from clogging the plant’s pores.
- Philodendron leaves are toxic to pets and humans since they contain calcium oxalate. Swelling of the lips and tongue, and stomach irritation with possible vomiting can occur when ingested.