Philodendron Esmeraldense Care Infographic
Philodendron Esmeraldense Care Infographic

Philodendron esmeraldense is an exotic plant that needs only the bare minimum attention from you on a daily basis to grow into a gorgeous indoor plant. We have asked Philodendron experts to give us their best care tips regarding this plant.

Continue reading to discover what they are.

What Is Philodendron Esmeraldense?

Philodendron esmeraldense is a rare but low-maintenance species of the Philodendron plant. It has prominent foliage with the dark-green leaves being 20 inches long and only three inches wide. Although it exists as an epiphyte in nature and grows on other trees, you can keep it in a pot indoors.

Philodendron Esmeraldense Care

Philodendron esmeraldense care comprises giving them partial or indirect light, watering three times a week and using airy and well-draining soil. Find out more by jumping down below.

– Light Requirements 

This plant needs only partial or indirect light of mild intensity.

– Growing Esmeraldense Indoors

Philodendron esmeraldense an exotic plantYou can grow Philodendron esmeraldense indoors near windows.

This plant can tolerate direct light of moderate-intensity but not very highly intense light. Find out which windows in the house are the most suitable for keeping this plant near.

– West-Facing Windows

This window is the best for keeping the Philodendron esmeraldense plant near. Only evening light of moderate-intensity passes through this window directly. For the rest of the day, only indirect light comes through. 

– East-Facing Windows

The east-facing window lets in direct light only during the early morning hours. It too is a suitable window for keeping Philodendron nearby.

– North-Facing Windows

The north-facing window receives only indirect light throughout the day. It is the best window for keeping this plant near. 

– South-Facing Windows

This window receives very highly intense midday sunlight. Your plant can get sunburnt near it. If this is the only window in the room, make sure to cover it with a curtain during the afternoon hours.

– Growing Esmeraldense Outdoors

When growing outdoors, place your pot under the shade of a larger plant or tree. Or you can choose a shade in your yard for their resting place.

– Water Requirements 

Water this plant at least three times a week during summer but with only a moderate amount of water. Learn about watering esmeraldense in detail here.

– How Often To Water Each Week?

Water the Philodendron esmeraldense plant about three times a week during the summer. Decrease the frequency of watering to only one time each week in winters.

This is because this plant needs moist soil to grow in. But take care not to cross the thin line between moderately moist and soggy. Overwatering will lead to the development of root rot and other problems pretty quickly.

– The Watering Method for Esmeraldense 

Because this plant needs frequent watering, you need to use slightly less water each time. Direct the beam of water towards the soil at the base of the plant and not on the leaves.

Water slowly until the whole soil becomes moist and excess water starts pouring out of the drainage hole. Also, make sure that the pot and the soil of your Philodendron plant both have adequate drainage.

– Better Use Distilled Water

Distilled water is the safest water for giving the Philodendron plants. This water is free of all toxins, salts, and other harmful chemicals. The second best option is to use filtered water because it is also relatively safe.

If you have no other option than using common tap water, then at least have it checked from a local laboratory. When they give you a thumbs up that your water is safe for the plant, only then go ahead with using it.

– Soil Requirements 

Philodendron esmeraldense soil needs to have a high organic content in it. This is because this plant is quite a heavy feeder and needs organic matter to munch on. Add peat moss or compost to the soil for this purpose.

Your soil should also be able to drain quickly and have space to allow the roots to grow freely. You can add perlite, small-sized pebbles, or bark to the soil to increase its aeration.

– Temperatures 

Maintain temperatures in the range of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit around this plant at all times. This is pretty easy during the warm summer months, but things get a bit tricky during the winters.

When the temperature falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, your plant will begin to undergo cold shock. Its leaves might start dropping and it will begin to die slowly.

Move your plant to a warm room during the winter. Keep the windows closed at night to protect from cold drafts of air. Also, protect it from cold air by air-conditioning units and vents.

– Humidity 

Use a pebble tray or a humidifier to maintain humidity levels at 70 or 80 percent around the Philodendron esmeraldense plant. 

– Repotting

Repot Philodendron esmeraldense every spring as this is the time when the plant has the best chances of adapting to a new pot and establishing its roots well before the rest period.

– Grooming

Grooming and pruning is not exactly something you must do to look after this plant. But it does add to the aesthetic value of the overall plant. Given below are some of the tips you can use while pruning.

  • Regularly check and remove the old leaves present on the lower side of the stem to make space for air circulation.
  • Also, cut off one to two inches at the ends of the terminal branches when they grow three to six inches long. 
  • Always use sterilized and clean gardening tools when grooming. You don’t want to inadvertently expose your plant to infections or pests from another plant.

Propagation 

You can propagate this plant using both stem and tip cuttings with a couple of leaf nodes during spring using both water and soil as the initial growth medium. Want to find out more? Then carry on reading.

– When Should You Propagate?

The best time to propagate this plant is during springtime. This is when the plant comes out of the rest phase and its growth potential is at its maximum. You can also propagate it during summertime with slightly fewer chances of success.

– How Should You Propagate?

You can propagate this plant through the stem or tip cuttings in both water and soil as growth media. Find out all about this in detail below.

– Taking Cuttings for Propagation 

You can take stem cuttings for propagation that are at least 3 to 6 inches long. These stem cuttings should also have four to five-leaf nodes in them.

Another option is to take 3 to 6 inches long tip cuttings which are also a type of stem cutting but with tip ends. There should be some leaves present on the tip of the cutting.

When taking cuttings for propagating the Philodendron esmeraldense plant, make sure you use clean, disinfected instruments. 

– Propagating in an Appropriate Medium

Both water and soil act as an appropriate growing medium for your propagations.Learn about both processes in detail below.

– Propagation in Water

Take a transparent jar that is larger in size than your cutting and fill half of it with water. Place your cutting upright in the jar such that half the leaf nodes in it are submerged in water and half of them are above it.

Place this jar in a bright and warm location. Direct light shouldn’t fall on this jar. Change the water in the jar every third to the fourth day. Otherwise, you risk developing algae in the jar and ruining the propagation.

When new roots that come out of leaf nodes become 2 to 3 inches long, then you can take this mini plant out and plant it properly in the soil.

– Propagation in Soil

Another option is to take a small-sized pot and fill it with the right type of soil for this plant. Moisten the soil and make a hole in the center of it. Then bury the cuttings halfway into it.

This plant needs very high humidity levels, especially during the initial propagation period. Cover it with a transparent tray or plastic sheet to increase the surrounding humidity levels of the pot. Also, keep the soil moderately moist at all times but take care not to turn it soggy.

Also place it somewhere that is indirectly bright and very, very warm. 

Problems & Diseases

The main problems with this plant are root rot, insects as well as leaves turning brown or yellow. Oh and this plant also happens to be toxic. Learn all the details below.

– Root Rot

This is a fungal disease that occurs when either the plant is being overwatered or its soil is not being drained well enough. It will destroy your Philodendron plant in just a couple of months if not treated on time. 

The classic sign of a root rot infection is when brown rot spots begin to emerge on the leaves and the stem of the affected plant. These spots are wet and will continue to increase in size over time.

– Treat Root Rot Aggressively 

  • First of all, take the plant out of the old soil and the pot. You can never cure this disease as long as the plant remains in its old pot.
  • Wash the soil stuck to the roots off and carefully examine the roots of the plant. You will notice that it too has rot spots on it.
  • Take sharp shears and cut off all the rotten parts. If the majority of the plant is diseased, then it will not survive this aggressive debridement and it is better to simply kill the plant yourself.
  • Now prepare a new pot and make sure that this time the drainage is without fault. Repot the plant in this pot.
  • Continue spraying a strong anti-fungal spray on this plant for several weeks until the germination time for fungal spores is over. Maintain a rigorous but careful watering regime.

– Insects

Aphids and mealybugs are the insects you need to be on the lookout for. Here are some of the most common signs of insect infestation in the Philodendron plant.

  • The leaves of the plant will start developing yellow spots on them. Or they might turn fully yellow. This is because these insects suck sap from your plant and weaken it in the process.
  • These bugs also secrete a sticky substance on the surface of the leaves. This stuff catches on fungal spores and leads to fungal molds forming on the affected leaves.
  • Aphids are very tiny and cannot be seen with the naked eye. But you can see mealybugs hiding below leaf clusters as tiny white round bugs.

– How To Remove Insects

Wash the plant with insecticidal spray and water to remove as many of these bugs as possible. Then apply some neem oil with a Q-tip on the affected areas because it is quite an effective and natural insecticide. Spray regularly with an insecticidal spray to kill these bugs.

– Leaves Turning Brown

Unfortunately, once the Philodendron esmeraldense leaves turn brown, there is little you can do. However, you can prevent more leaves from turning brown while the ones that are already brown will eventually fall off and be replaced by new ones. Learn the top three reasons why these leaves turn brown.

– Fertilizer Toxicity 

Fertilizing more than once per month or using a fertilizer that is too strong will give your plant fertilizer burn and turn its leaves brown. This is more common in winter time when you should ideally stop fertilizing your plant. Also, don’t forget to always dilute the fertilizer before use.

– Low Humidity 

Since this plant needs very high humidity at all times, dry air will cause leaf tips to start turning brown. 

– Sunburn

Sometimes the very first sign of a plant suffering from sunburn is that its leaf edges will turn brown and crisp. Move the plant to a shaded location as soon as possible.

– Leaves Turning Yellow

The leaves on your Philodendron plant might turn yellow due to a number of reasons. Find out the potential reasons and how to deal with them below.

– Sunburn

This plant can tolerate direct sunlight of small to moderate intensity. But you still must acclimatize it first by gradually exposing it to lights of higher intensity. Otherwise you risk turning the leaves of the plant yellow.

– Nutrient Deficiency 

If your plant is not being fertilized every month nor have you repotted it in fresh soil in a while, then the yellowing leaves most probably indicate a severe deficiency of essential nutrients.

Repot the plant in new soil with significant organic matter. Also, start fertilizing at least once per month.

– Bugs

As is mentioned above, sap-sucking insects will deprive your plant of food, weaken it and turn its leaves yellow. If you see them lurking under the leaves, treat them promptly.

– Toxicity

All parts of the Philodendron esmeraldense plant are toxic for both humans and pets. 

  • Don’t touch this plant without wearing gloves or full-sleeved clothes. Touching this plant has been known to produce rashes and skin allergies in susceptible individuals.
  • If a child or a pet accidentally ends up eating some part of this plant, then take them to the emergency department for imminent medical care.
  • Eating esmeraldense can cause symptoms that vary from mild to severe in intensity. Common symptoms of Philodendron toxicity are nausea, diarrhea, and severe vomiting. Cases of airway blockage have also been reported.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let us answer some most frequently asked questions about fertilizing this plant.

– When Should Philodendron Esmeraldense Be Fertilized?

Philodendron esmeraldense is a plant that needs fertilizing very regularly. As a heavy feeder, it should be fertilized at least once a week during the growing period from spring till fall. 

During the fall and winter months, when the plant goes through a period of rest, you can fertilize only once every three months.

– How Should You Fertilize Philodendron Esmeraldense?

We personally prefer liquid fertilizer over other types. Also, dilute it to half or one-third of its actual strength. Water the plant first prior to applying fertilizer. This practice goes a long way in having the roots from developing the commonly occurring fertilizer burn.

It is also a good practice to wash the soil with copious water two weeks after fertilizing to flush away the built-up toxins and chemicals in it.

Conclusion 

Let us very briefly summarise all that we have learned so far.

  • Put the Philodendron esmeraldense plant in a shaded location where only partial or indirect light interacts with them.
  • During summer, give a moderate amount of water at least three times a week. During the winter months, you should water only one time each week.
  • It is advisable and safe to use distilled or filtered water for this plant. Common tap water often contains minerals or toxins that are only healthy for your plant.
  • In order to propagate this plant, spring is the best time. You can use stem or tip cuttings and then put them in water or soil.
  • Philodendrons grow best in very high temperatures and humidity levels.

The Philodendron esmeraldense is super easy to look after. You only need to provide it with partial light and water it frequently in the summertime for it to grow healthily. 

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