Philodendron crassinervium is a tropical plant that makes a great houseplant. It is slightly drought-resistant and is quite forgiving of minor lapses in care. We have contacted expert Philodendron carers and asked them to give us their most useful tips and tricks on caring for and propagating this plant at home.
- What Is Philodendron Crassinervium?
What Is Philodendron Crassinervium?
Philodendron crassinervium is a plant species endemic to Southeast Brazil that has long, thin and tapering leaves with a prominent midvein running through the center. Because of these characteristics, this plant doesn’t look like a classic Philodendron at all. It is also quite an easy plant to look after and propagate.
Care for the Philodendron crassinervium plant by providing it with adequate light and watering it once every month. This Philodendron plant needs 60 percent humidity, high temperatures, and occasional fertilizing.
– Water Requirements
Philodendron crassinervium needs to be watered deeply once every week, but the actual frequency of watering the Philodendron crassinervium plant depends on the weather conditions of your area and the house. Your soil is the best indicator of when to water this plant. If the top 2 to 3 inches have become dry, then this is the right time to give it water.
On average, you will need to water once every week or once every two weeks during the hot summer months. During winters, the watering frequency will drop even further.
– Watering Methods
You can water this plant both from the top as well as from the bottom. We have tried both methods and learned that each works equally effectively.
– Watering From Above
This is your typical method of providing water to plants. Simply direct the beam of water towards the base of the stem and the soil and slowly pour a generous amount of water into your plant.
One sign that the water has soaked through the soil is when it starts coming out of the drainage hole at the bottom. Collect this water in a dish, which should be promptly removed after it has become filled.
– Watering From Below
In this method, we take the pot and submerge it in a bucket of water. You can also use your sink instead of the bucket. Take care that only the lower half of the pot is underwater.
The water will be absorbed from the drainage hole into the soil over a period of half an hour to one hour. Touch the soil at the top of the pan. If it is moist, then this means that your plant has been provided with adequate water and it is now time to take the pot out of the bucket.
– Types of Water
The Philodendron plant is a tough one. It is salt-resistant so you don’t need to worry about providing distilled or filtered water to it. Unless, of course, the local municipal water in your area is too hard that you actually see salt deposits on the leaves.
Generally, plants do grow best when given clean, pure water that is free of chemicals and toxins. Rainwater also works but have your local rainwater cleared from a lab for chemicals first.
– Light Requirements
This plant can thrive in both low and intense light depending on the conditions under which it was grown. Learn more about this in detail below.
– Indoor Light Needs
Since this plant needs bright indirect light to grow and flower, placing them indoors is your best bet. Choose a room in the house that is brightly-lit through windows. Don’t place them right beside the windows where direct sunlight will scorch them.
– Outdoor Light Needs
The Philodendron crassinervium can also be placed outdoors in a lawn or a garden. Just make sure they are placed strategically under the shade of a larger tree or plant. These days, you can also purchase special shades for outdoor plants.
Philodendron crassinervium needs quite a high level of humidity of around 60 percent to grow into its healthiest version. Learn how to increase the humidity around your plant below.
Place this plant in the most humid rooms of your house. Yes, we’re talking about the washroom and the kitchen. Alternatively, you can make a DIY humidity tray at home by simply grabbing some pebbles and filling a tray with them and water. Place your pot on top of these pebbles and the evaporating water will increase humidity around the plant.
Keep all of your plants close together. But do make sure there is adequate air circulation around them.
– Temperature Requirements
You will need high temperatures for growing the crassinervium plant at home. Ideal average daytime temperatures are 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, while ideal average nighttime temperatures are between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a tropical species, this plant is not frost-hardy at all. When exposed to temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it will suffer from cold damage and its leaves will start turning yellow and dying.
– Fertilizing Requirements
This plant doesn’t need too much fertilizer. It would be beneficial to fertilize it once every month during the warmer months and then decrease the frequency to once every two months during winter.
Use liquid fertilizer and then dilute it to half its original strength. Our secret to fertilizing successfully is to water the roots immediately afterward. This will make sure that the roots don’t get burned by the fertilizer.
– Soil Requirements
The Philodendron crassinervium plant needs well-draining soil. As with most Philodendrons, soil that is too compact can be detrimental to its health and may even lead to root rot.
This plant needs soil that has one part peat mixed with one part orchid bark in an equal amount of potting mix. Orchid bark provides the Philodendron crassinervium roots a surface to climb on since they are creepers in nature, while peat increases the moisture retention of the soil.
It is always good to prune your Philodendron crassinervium to prevent it from becoming too long and leggy. Make sure to do this process during the months of spring or fall. Pruning these plants will also make them look neater and healthier.
You can easily propagate Philodendron crassinervium in water using stem cuttings before transferring to an appropriate potting medium.
– When To Propagate
The best time to propagate crassinervium is during late spring or the beginning of summer. This is the growth period of these plants, and propagation will be quick to form roots during this time.
– Stem Cuttings
Learn the correct way to propagate through stem cuttings below.
Choose a Stem With Leaves and Nodes
The choice of your stem cuttings is very important. Select a healthy stem that is neither too young nor too old. It should have a couple of leaves and at least one leaf node in it.
Propagate in Water
This plant is best suited for water propagation. Take a clear transparent container and fill it with clean water, then submerge your stem cutting in it.
Keep it somewhere bright and warm until you begin to see tiny roots emerge.
Gradually Add Spoonfuls of Soil
When the new Philodendron crassinervium roots growing from the stem cuttings grow up to a couple of inches long, then it’s time to start introducing soil to the container. Add spoonfuls of soil to the water every other day until the water is completely replaced by the soil.
You can also plant the whole cutting directly in fresh soil, but this poses the risk of giving transplant shock to the plant. Adding spoonfuls of soil makes sure that the plant gradually acclimatizes to the dark, oxygen-poor conditions of the soil.
Repot In a Pot
Finally, it’s time to repot the plant in a pot. Fill an appropriately-sized pot with the right soil for Philodendron and moisten it. Dig a hole in the center and place your stem cutting in it, taking care that the roots remain unaffected.
Choose a warm, humid and bright spot in the house for placing this pot in. For the first couple of weeks, your freshly-propagated plant will need more care and love than usual.
– Propagation Through Seeds
Here is a step-by-step guide to propagate your plant through seeds.
- Buy good quality Philodendron seeds from the market along with an appropriate nutrition medium.
- Take a medium-sized tray and fill it with this nutrition medium.
- Bury the seeds one-third of an inch into the tray. There is no need to pre-moisten the medium prior to planting seeds.
- Lightly cover the tray using a transparent plastic sheet. This will improve the humidity around the seeds. Maintain temperatures within a range of 68 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Within two to eight weeks, these seeds will germinate and sprout roots and shoots. Once they grow some more, then you can transfer them to a pot.
Some problems you might face with this plant are toxicity due to accidental ingestion, a bacterial infection called Erwinia blight, and pest infestations.
All parts of the Philodendron crassinervium plant are toxic when ingested. This is because this plant produces calcium oxalate crystals, which irritate the skin and the esophagus.
Keep this plant away from the reach of children and pets. Accidental ingestion of crassinervium leaves and flowers has been known to produce diarrhea and vomiting.
Even while handling and taking care of it, we advise you to always wear gloves and full-sleeved clothes. It is also possible to develop contact dermatitis from repeated contact with it.
– Erwinia Blight
Erwinia blight is a serious bacterial infection common to Philodendrons that can destroy a whole plant within weeks.
– Signs of Erwinia Blight
The first and most telling sign of Erwinia blight infection is a nasty, fishy smell emanating from the leaves. This will be followed by the appearance of irregularly-shaped black spots on the leaves. Eventually, these black spots will develop into petioles. The leaves will look sick and then fall off.
– Predisposing Factors
The bacteria responsible for causing Erwinia blight multiples in hot and humid weather conditions. You should be especially careful during summers or if your plant is growing in a greenhouse environment.
Overwatering and over-fertilizing are also major predisposing factors for this infection.
Move your plant to a location that is less humid and has proper air circulation. Also, make sure it is well separated from the rest of your plant population. Cut off all the infected plant parts and dispose of them properly. Make sure not to add these parts to your compost or recycle pile.
Use a copper-containing bactericide to spray on the plant according to manufacturers’ instructions and improve your watering schedule.
If the plant isn’t too severely damaged, it will survive and recover in due time. Otherwise, you will have to discard it and burn it to prevent the spread of infection further on. Also, discard the soil because it is most likely infected as well.
Thrips and mealybugs are two bugs that will suck the nutrients from your plant and weaken it.
Thrips are one of the most common bugs to affect the Philodendron plant. They are tiny black insects that can fly from one plant to another. That is why they are a big nuisance and notoriously difficult to get rid of.
These insects are suckers, which means they will suck the sap out of your plant. As a result, your plant will be robbed of important nutrients and begin to die.
Signs of a Thrips Infestation
Here are the signs and symptoms you should look out for:
- Thrips produce yellowing of the leaves.
- If you look closely enough, you can see tiny holes in the leaves that are puncture marks caused by thrips.
- Thoroughly inspect under the leaves and stem sheaths of your plant. This is where you will find colonies of thrips thriving and multiplying.
- In advanced cases, your plant will start experiencing severe leaf drops.
Start by washing your plant with an insecticidal soap and water. Gently scrub the plant to rub their eggs off. Buy a neem oil spray and use it every other day.
Remember that most of the adult thrips will fly away during washing and will return later on. So you need to continue this treatment every other day for at least a whole month to make absolutely sure that your plant is free from these annoying insects.
Mealybugs are another type of insect that might attack your Philodendron plant pretty often. They are white in color and are much larger in size as compared to thrips.
Although they also suck the sap out of the plant, they are not as dangerous as thrips because they are easy to spot and cannot fly.
– Signs of a Mealybug Infestation
Here are some things you should look out for:
- A wax with a cotton-like texture appearing on the leaves will be the first sign of a mealybug infestation.
- The underside of the leaves will exhibit a web-like texture.
- You will also be able to spot them moving about under the leaves and stem sheaths.
Treat the infestation by scrubbing the insects off and using alcohol and water mixed milk.
– Manually Scrub Them Off
Wash the plant with water and soap. Scrape these bugs off using a soft bristle toothbrush or a Q-tip. Physically removing them will get rid of a large chunk of these insects.
– Use Alcohol
Alcohol is also an effective DIY remedy against mealybugs. Buy concentrated spirit and dip Q-tips in it, then apply these Q-tips to the bugs wherever you see them lurking on the plant. They will begin dying and you can now scrape them off.
– Water and Milk
Did you know that using a mixture of milk and water also kills mealybugs? Mix water and milk in a ratio of 80:20 and apply it to the colonies of mealybugs using a Q-tip or a cotton roll.
This method takes some time and you will need to repeat it after some days but trust us when we say that it really works.
The Philodendron crassinervium plant cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Its leaves are very sensitive and will get sunburnt pretty easily. Sunburnt leaves will appear brownish and crispy. In severe cases, they might even start falling off.
Move your plant to a shaded place as soon as you start noticing these signs. Also, prune the leaves that are totally destroyed and cannot be saved. Your plant will begin to recover soon enough.
Find answers to some important questions regarding Philodendron in this section.
– What Do the Leaves of Philodendron Crassinervium Look Like?
The Philodendron crassinervium leaves are elongated and lance-shaped, meaning they taper from their nodes until the ends.
Their defining feature is a prominent mid-vein running through their center, which has the ability to store water during conditions of drought.
Given below is a brief summary of all that we have learned so far.
- The Philodendron crassinervium plant can grow in low light as well as bright direct light depending on the conditions under which it was grown.
- Water this plant once every week during the warmer months and once every two weeks during fall and winter. Make sure to water it deeply so that the excess water comes out of the drainage hole. Also, mist the aerial roots each time you water.
- Propagate crassinervium through stem cuttings. The stem cutting should have at least one leaf and one lead node. Propagate in the water until new roots emerge, after which you can transfer them to a pot.
- All parts of this plant are toxic and should not be ingested. In fact, it shouldn’t even be touched with bare hands. This plant might suffer from a thrips or mealybugs infestation. Wash it with soap and water and spray with neem oil.
- Plant it in a soil that is equal parts peat, bark and potting mix. It grows in warm weather conditions and needs at least 60 percent humidity to thrive.
In short, the Philodendron crassinervium plant needs only the bare minimum when it comes to time and attention to grow and propagate it successfully at home. The result is an evergreen houseplant with exuberant foliage and seriously, who doesn’t want that?
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