12 secrets to growing philodendrons
Philodendrons are special plants in terms of the beauty of rich green, shiny, most often carved leaves, and in nature. Finding a culture that is so suitable for placement in the rooms is very difficult. Philodendrons love careful care and demonstrate all their qualities only under ideal conditions. And although there are several secrets and rules to growing philodendrons, they will easily become a friendly, persistent addition to the collection, and they will fulfill the function of dividing the space and creating large green accents.
If we put together all the requirements of philodendrons for 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 flower growers who are looking for large plants that combine a very beautiful appearance with resistance, are 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 drying of the soil. But there are rules for avoiding mistakes and preserving the beauty and health of philodendrons for years to come.
Secret number 1. Individual approach
The main, and perhaps the most true advice that you can give (and get) when buying a philodendron - be sure to study all the features of a particular species and even variety. After all, these plants and individual varieties are more hardy than other varieties. And the “scatter” in requirements to the conditions of cultivation and care of different types of philodendrons can even be very large. Some plants are better adapted to the room environment or individual places than others.
So, shade tolerance is an excellent characteristic of a variety. ivy philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) - climbing philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum), which can be used for full landscaping in the back of the room. The company can make him blushing philodendron (Philodendron erubescens), but other species grow better in a diffused bright place and in partial shade.
Philodendron bicopus(Philodendron bipinnatifidum) - with its almost meter long beautifully rugged 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 sizes it can achieve, is it easy to control. With this test, you will save yourself from dozens of problems.
Secret number 2. The shade tolerance of philodendron has boundaries
If your philodendron does not belong to shade-loving species and varieties that can tolerate more poor lighting, consider philodendron a plant that needs good lighting. It is in such places that most species of these plants reveal their beauty best. Direct sunlight is contraindicated in any philodendron, but shading can only be light. When choosing a place in the room for the philodendron, try not to get too far from the window and stay within locations with good lighting.
Secret number 3. Artificial lighting and natural light for philodendron
Philodendrons are unique plants. They can grow in fully artificial lighting as well as on a suitable windowsill. You do not need to be afraid of backlighting. It is better to use this property for landscaping where the light is almost always on, but there is no source of natural light. In the corridor, bathroom, foyer, offices, transitions between rooms, philodendrons will give you good design perspectives.
Secret number 4. Add a couple of degrees to the minimum temperature
In recommendations for the cultivation of philodendrons, one 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 warn most of the problems and difficulties that may arise in the cultivation of philodendrons.
As for air temperature from spring to autumn, room values for philodendrons will be comfortable (from 20 to 25 degrees). But higher rates - no. In order for philodendrons to maintain high decorativeness in the heat, you will have to make efforts to control more abundant irrigation and increase air humidity. But the main thing is to protect plants from temperature extremes. Do not place any heating devices near philodendrons, protect plants from air conditioners, and even ventilate in cold weather.
Just stabilizing the temperature and watching the minimum indicators, you guarantee yourself that the leaves on your philodendron will not be smaller, 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 in the fresh air, do not rush to ascribe philodendron to such crops. Even curly philodendrons do not like moving under the open sky or onto a balcony, let alone 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 of watering philodendrons is as follows: the next watering is carried out after 1-2 cm of substrate at the top of the pot dries. And this rule is relevant for both summer and winter. But since the rate of drying (and consumption by the plant) of moisture will be different, respectively, the frequency of watering will vary significantly.
Make it a rule to make philodendron irrigations less abundant in the cold season, to use less water compared to summer and the phase of active development of the plant. Water is always drained from pallets immediately after watering.
Secret number 7. Humidification of support and air
Most indoor philodendrons are creepers. And for success in growing them, do not forget to moisten the supports (if, of course, you use the support, usual for these plants, covered with moss or synthetic substitute material). The support should never dry completely.
But this is not all moisturizing measures: philodendrons also like high humidity, so additional measures must 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 coasters 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. Do not rush to change philodendron
Philodendrons belong to those indoor cultures that do not need to be transplanted annually, even at a fairly young age. The growth rate of the aerial parts does not always correspond to the growth of the rhizome. An increase in the size of the pot when transplanting by 3-4 cm ensures that the philodendron will need to be transplanted only after a year. And older plants can be transplanted once every 3 years.
The optimal period is not February - the beginning of March, but the end of March - the beginning of April. When transplanting, they carefully monitor that the level of deepening remains the same and establish a new drainage. And for winding philodendrons, any transplant is completed with a very simple procedure - pinching the ends of all elongated or just too long shoots.
In years when a philodendron transplant is not performed, replace about 5 cm of the top of the substrate.
When choosing a substrate for philodendron, give preference to special mixtures for decorative and deciduous crops. Other slightly acidic or neutral, coarse-grained, light, nutritious and loose earth mixtures are suitable.
Secret number 9. Be careful with philodendron fertilizer
Philodendrons fertilize both often and over 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 top dressing is not carried out for another 4-6 weeks after the procedure. The first top dressing is carried out in half the reduced dose and then, until the normal schedule of these procedures is resumed, make another pause in one month. To find the perfect schedule, you need to follow the plant.
With a lack of fertilizers, the philodendron becomes smaller, the leaves turn yellow and dry, the growth is clearly slowed down, the trunk is thinner than usual. When overfeeding - the tips of the leaves turn yellow and brown, the leaves become lethargic and lose their elasticity. Especially dangerous for philodendron is an excess of nitrogen, which causes rapid growth (respectively, and vice versa, if you reduce nitrogen fertilizing, plants can be controlled in growth).
When choosing fertilizers for philodendrons, you should not be deceived by the beauty of their leaves: for this plant, it is better not fertilizers for decorative and deciduous crops, but complex universal fertilizers.
But the main rule of fertilizer application for the philodendron concerns the procedure itself: always feed the philodendron after heavy watering. This is the only way to protect the plant from a high concentration of salts and the only way to feed the philodendron so that it does not perceive the feeding procedure as an excess of fertilizers in the soil.
Secret number 10. Problems are always visible on the leaves of the philodendron.
With improper watering or overfeeding of the philodendron, lack of moisture or improper selection of conditions (including lighting), your misses can lead to plant health problems. They manifest themselves in philodendrons always the same way - on the leaves. Withering, discoloration or other lesions in the form of traces of yellowing or drying out, decay and discoloration are signs that you made a mistake. And it's time to analyze your departure and make adjustments to it.
Secret number 11. Watch out for black spots on philodendron leaves
Inspection of the plant and constant monitoring of its condition should, inter alia, 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. There may be several reasons for the appearance of black spots:
- excess moisture;
- infection by ticks or aphids;
- defeat with soot fungus.
If you have missed with watering philodendron and other measures, just adjust the care, but insecticides and acaricides will help fight pests.
Secret number 12. To propagate the philodendron, select the propagation method.
The rooting of apical cuttings or parts of the stem with lateral shoots is the easiest way to get a new philodendron. In the second method of grafting, make sure that leaves develop on the lateral branches. At the first, cut not short cuttings, but tops 12-15 cm long. Rooting cuttings in any case is best done in wet peat or peat substrate in greenhouse conditions and with very strict temperature control: the permissible range is from 20 to 22 degrees.