The Philodendron Imbe is a climbing vine native to the tropical forests of South Brazil. The large, glossy leaves of this rare Philodendron plant are deeply lobed and have a charming shine.
Additionally, the leaves can grow up to 18 inches long and 12 inches wide, while the striking red stem of the plant makes it even more attractive. To know more about this stunning plant, keep reading.
- What Is Philodendron Imbe?
- Philodendron Imbe Care
What Is Philodendron Imbe?
The Philodendron Imbe is a fast-growing plant that can grow up to a height of 8 to 16 feet. The Philodendron Imbe variegata can reach 10 feet in one growing season. The Imbe produces small, white blooms throughout the year and can purify the air by removing pollutants like formaldehyde.
Philodendron Imbe Care
The Philodendron Imbe is an easy-to-care-for plant that requires minimum attention. Although the plant is not difficult to parent, it can only maintain its beauty for many years if the right plant care is provided.
– Water Requirements
The Philodendron Imbe extinct species is relatively drought-tolerant. The plant prefers underwatering to overwatering. You should water the Philodendron Imbe once every nine days during its growing season. In summer, there is more sunlight so moisture evaporates quickly and the rate of transpiration is increased due to high temperatures.
Allow the two to three inches of the topsoil to dry before the next watering. Use your finger to test the soil moisture by sticking it in the potting mix. If the finger feels dry, then it’s the right time to water again. You can also use a moisture meter to determine the amount of moisture in the potting mix.
In winter, water the Philodendron Imbe infrequently as the soil remains moist for an extended period. You can water your Philodendron once every month. Use lukewarm water that is free from chlorine when irrigating. Cold water can shock your Philodendron Imbe or cause stunted growth.
– Light Requirements
Too much sunlight can cause the Philodendron Imbe to lose its color. Make sure you place the plant on the right spot, as inadequate light can also cause the Philodendron Imbe to grow leggy. The plant will be trying to reach out where for light. Make sure you rotate your Philodendron Imbe regularly so that the light is distributed evenly to enhance a balanced growth of the plant’s leaves.
An east-facing window would be better as it provides indirect, bright light for an average of six hours a day. You can also get a grow light if there is limited sunlight in your area. The grow light is effective and easy to use. Make sure you follow instructions on how to use it for the best results.
– Soil Requirements
Use a well-draining, airy potting mix that is humus rich. You can make your potting media by mixing equal portions of vermiculite, peat moss, and perlite. You can also get the commercially available potting mix that is meant for houseplants. Make sure the pot has drainage holes so that excess water can flow out through them.
The Philodendron Imbe plant grows well in slightly acidic to neutral soil so you should maintain pH levels of six to seven.
– Temperature Requirements
The Philodendron Imbe thrives well in warm temperatures that are between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures are also favorable to human beings so it may be easy to identify if the plant is not comfortable. When you are feeling too much heat or cold, you also know that your plant is suffering.
The Philodendron Imbe can tolerate high temperatures. The Imbe is not cold hardy, so do not expose it to freezing temperatures and cold drafts. Be sure to avoid temperatures that are below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius) as they can halt the growth of your Philodendron Imbe.
– Humidity Requirements
The Philodendron Imbe thrives in humid conditions. It prefers humidity levels that are between 60 and 80 percent. The plant cannot tolerate dry air so make sure you have a digital hygrometer to test the humidity levels. This Philodendron can survive indoors with lower humidity levels, although the growth and vibrant color of the plant will be negatively affected.
If you are in places that experience very cold winters and hot summers, make sure you get a humidifier to remedy the problem of lower humidity. If you cannot use a humidifier, you can use a pebble tray to increase the humidity levels. You can also move your Philodendron Imbe to a more humid room like the bathroom or kitchen. The spot should also be well-lit and ventilated.
You can also improve humidity levels by misting although it will result in more work. You should mist your beauties at least two times a week. You can also increase the levels of humidity by grouping the plants. When the plants transpire, they increase the amount of water vapor in the air.
– Fertilizing Requirements
The Philodendron Imbe is not a heavy feeder but it may appreciate monthly fertilization. Add a water-soluble fertilizer that is diluted to half-strength, once a month in the spring and summer months.
The Philodendron Imbe requires magnesium and calcium more than other nutrients, so you can use a well-balanced fertilizer with equal ratios like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. With this fertilizer, your plant will not lack any nutrients.
Do not overfeed your Philodendron Imbe. Over-fertilizing the plant can be tempting to most plant lovers as they think it can lead to faster growth. Unfortunately, too much fertilizer can result in the build-up of salts that can burn the plant roots.
In winter, do not feed the Philodendron Imbe. The plant will be in its dormancy stage, so there is no need for supplements.
Pruning can be done in summer and spring to encourage vigorous growth. You should cut back any stem that exceeds your desired length. You should also prune the Philodendron Imbe when there are dead, discolored, damaged, or dying leaves, flowers, and stems. Please note that you should not aggressively trim this Philodendron as it may look sparse and bare.
Prune your Philodendron Imbe in spring and summer so that the wounds can recover quickly. A sharp tool also leaves a clean cut that can heal quickly. You should consider watering the Philodendron Imbe after pruning to reduce stress.
Make sure your pruning tools are clean and sharp before using them. You should also wear protective clothing like gloves to avoid reactions to the plant’s sap.
The Philodendron Imbe propagation should be done during the active season which is in spring or summer. The plant can be propagated using cuttings and air layering. These two methods are effective and easy.
– Stem Cuttings
To use the stem cutting method follow these steps:
- Select a healthy plant and take the cuttings from it.
- Your cuttings should have a leaf node where the roots will develop and at least two or three leaves.
- Make sure you cut the cuttings just below the leaf node.
- Place your Philodendron Imbe cuttings in different clear plastic containers or pots if you want to grow many cuttings.
- You can use water only or plant the cutting in a mixture of compost and sand.
- Keep the cutting in a warm place where it will receive bright, indirect light, and cover it with a plastic bag if the spot has lower humidity levels.
Do not expose your Philodendron Imbe cuttings to direct sun as they can suffer sunburn and even die. Open the plastic regularly to allow for air circulation so that excess moisture can evaporate leaving the cutting free from molds.
The cutting may start developing new roots after three to four weeks. Check if your cutting is still green so that you can be sure that it is growing.
If it is brown and dry, it means the cutting is not rooting so you can discard it and prepare another one. Transplant your cutting to a permanent pot when it has a couple of roots that are a few inches long or when you see new shoots developing.
– Air Layering
Air layering is the commonly used method for propagating the Philodendron Imbe:
- Choose a healthy stem with at least one leaf.
- Wrap a moist sphagnum moss around the leaf node and secure it with plastic.
- Leave a small opening at the top for free air circulation so that you prevent the development of fungi.
- Keep the sphagnum moss moist by spraying water regularly through the top opening.
- You will notice the roots developing at the leaf node after a few weeks. Using a disinfected knife or shear, you can now cut the stem just below the point where the roots have developed.
- Plant the stem in a pot with the potting mix and start to care for it the way you would for the old Philodendron Imbe.
Your Philodendron Imbe can be free from pests and diseases if you exercise proper care and good maintenance. Also, be on the lookout for common pests and diseases so that you can treat them as early as possible before they cause any serious damage to your Philodendron Imbe.
– Leaf Spot
Leaf spot is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection due to too much moisture on the plant’s leaves. The affected Philodendron Imbe will develop yellow or brown leaves. You should avoid wetting the leaves when irrigating the Philodendron Imbe. If you mistakenly water the leaves, use a paper towel to dry them gently.
Isolate the infected plant and trim the affected leaves before treating the plant. Use bactericides or fungicides to treat your Philodendron Imbe. Treat the plant until it is free from the infection, mostly for about three weeks.
– Root Rot
Root rot is a common disease when caring for the Philodendron Imbe. Overwatering can be the main cause of root rot. Water your Philodendron Imbe when the two or three inches of the topsoil are dry. Also, make sure you are using the pot with drainage holes so that excess water can flow out. Use a well-draining substrate when planting the Philodendron Imbe.
You should check your plant regularly to see if there are any signs of root rot. The disease can cause stunted growth, odor, and wilting. With time, the disease can spread to the stems of the plants. Once you suspect root rot infection, isolate your plant immediately and uproot it. Trim the affected roots if a few are affected but if heavily infected, discard the whole plant.
Use fungicides to treat your plant after trimming the roots. Allow the roots to dry prior to repotting in a new pot and fresh substrate. If the roots are badly damaged, you can cut a healthy cutting and start growing a new, healthy plant. Preventing the disease is possible if you follow the recommended watering patterns for the Philodendron Imbe.
Over-fertilizing can cause tip-curling or browning on the plant’s leaves. Once you notice these signs, flush the excess fertilizer by watering the potting mix thoroughly. You should also reduce the application of fertilizers until you are sure there is a need to supplement the plant’s nutrients again.
– Leaf Burns
If you expose your Philodendron Imbe to direct sun for extended periods, it may suffer leaf burns. This problem can be rectified if the condition is observed early. You can place the plant in a position where there is bright, dappled light. Leaf discoloration is a sign of leaf burn.
– Spider Mites
These pests look like spiders but they are so very small that it can be difficult to identify them with your naked eyes. The spider mites feed on the plant’s sap from the leaves. They hide on the undersides of the leaves while feasting on the plant’s sap. The affected Philodendron Imbe’s leaves can turn brown or yellow and eventually drop off if not controlled early.
If you suspect a spider mite infection, look for brown spots on the leaves. If you identify them know that your Philodendron Imbe is in trouble because the brown spots are the spider mites’ eggs. Immediately isolate the plant and trim the attacked leaves.
Use Neem oil, insecticidal soap, or rubbing alcohol to treat spider mites. You can keep your Philodendron Imbe free from spider mites by ensuring that the potting mix is not dry for long. You should also make sure that the environment is humid.
Aphids are soft-bodied pests that are also very tiny. They also suck the plant’s sap using their mouth parts. The plant’s leaves can turn yellow once affected and show some signs of wilting.
You can control aphids by blasting them with a stream of water using a garden hose. You can also use insecticidal soap or gently dab them with a damp cloth that has been dipped in rubbing alcohol.
These pests also draw the plant’s juice. The spider mites excrete honeydew while feeding, so the sticky substance on the leaves is a sign of their presence. These pests take time to reproduce. The mealybugs take about ten weeks to complete their life cycle until they reach maturity.
If you identify the mealybugs earlier, it can be easy to control them while they are still few. Once you notice that your Philodendron Imbe is affected by mealybugs, quarantine it and commence treatment right away. Mealybugs can also be found in the potting mix, so you can use Neem oil solution to treat them.
The Neem oil can be sprayed on the plant, and some poured into the potting mix to destroy the mealybugs. Insecticidal soap, rubbing alcohol, and a stream of water can be used as well to kill mealybugs.
Keep your Philodendron clean, together with its surrounding area to reduce the risk of thrips infection. Always trim the dead, old, yellow, and unhealthy leaves and remove all the debris to keep the thrips away from your Philodendron Imbe.
The thrips hide and feed on the plant’s petals, flowers, and leaves. The infected plant can die, so always check for these pests as they are dangerous to your Philodendron Imbe. Neem oil and yellow sticky traps can be used to control thrips.
The Philodendron Imbe is toxic to both humans and animals. The plant’s leaves contain calcium oxalate, which can cause irritation to your body when it comes into contact with your naked skin. You can also suffer from diarrhea and vomiting if you consume the leaves. Keep the Philodendron Imbe away from the reach of children and pets.
– Plant Outgrows Container
Consider repotting the Philodendron Imbe when the plant outgrows its container. You will start to see the roots growing out of the pot through the drainage holes. If the potting mix is no longer draining excess water properly, that’s another sign that your Philodendron Imbe needs to be repotted.
You should repot your Philodendron Imbe in spring and early summer so that it can establish quickly because it is the plant’s growing season. The plant can easily heal from transplant shock and root pruning. Use a new pot that is one size larger or two to three inches bigger than the current one. Always use the fresh soil mix when repotting to reduce the risk of spreading diseases.
Repotting should be done every two years. Do not worry if you see that your plant is not growing after repotting. The plant may need two or more weeks to recover and familiarize itself with its new home. Do not apply fertilizer during this period. Rather wait until you see new leaves growing again.
Now you know all the tips you need to keep in mind to grow the Philodendron Imbe successfully.
Before you leave, let’s quickly review the main points again.
- The Philodendron Imbe should be watered every nine days in summer and reduce the watering to maybe once a month in winter.
- The plant thrives well in bright, filtered light.
- The Philodendron prefers high humidity levels between 60 to 80 percent.
- The temperature range between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 27 degrees Celsius) is ideal.
- The common pests and diseases for the Philodendron Imbe are thrips, spider mites, root rot, and leaf spot.
It’s now time to start caring for this stylish plant. Get your cutting today and enjoy the best experience with this amazing vine.
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