Philodendron lacerum species make the best houseplants ever because they grow under all types of light and soil conditions. Even their watering requirements are pretty minimal, making it a great choice for beginner hobbyists.
Read our guide below to learn how easy it is to keep them at home.
- What Is Philodendron Lacerum?
- Philodendron Lacerum Care
What Is Philodendron Lacerum?
Philodendron lacerum is a tropical plant that exists as an epiphyte in nature and is known for its deep green, multi-level foliage as well as for being quite low-maintenance as a houseplant.
Philodendron Lacerum Care
Care for Philodendron lacerum by growing them under a light that they are used to and watering them regularly. Philodendron lacerum plants also need high temperatures and humidity levels as well as soil rich in organic matter to grow properly.
– Water Requirements
Water this plant once a week during the summer and once every two weeks during winters. Find out more by continuing to read below.
– When and How Often To Water
You should water the lacerum Philodendron plant whenever the top two to three inches of its soil become dry. It is a rather drought-resistant plant and is quite forgiving of occasional lapses in care.
Always keep a pencil or small stick at hand and insert it to check if the soil is dry before watering. You can also use an instrument called the moisture meter which will tell you the moisture level of the soil pretty accurately.
In most cases, you will need to water this plant only once a week or every two weeks during spring and summer.
During fall and winters, decrease this frequency to once every three or four weeks depending on how quickly or slowly the soil dries up.
– How To Water Philodendron Lacerum
Use copious amounts of water and pour it onto the soil and not the plant each time you water. Keep watering the plant until you see water coming out of the drainage hole of the pot.
Collect this extra water in a pan but don’t let the pot sit on this pan lest it develops a fungal infection called root rot. This plant has aerial roots and you should also mist them each time you water the plant.
– The Right Water
Again, this plant is quite tolerant of all types of water provided to it. We have been giving our plant common tap water for ages and it has been giving us no trouble at all.
On the other hand, the healthiest type of water for any plant is filtered or distilled water. If you can spare it, we always recommend using clean water. Normal rainwater is also pretty healthy unless your area receives dangerous chemical-laden rain.
– Light Requirements
This is a type of plant that will grow under all types of light, making it a really cool plant to have both indoors and outdoors. You can easily grow it indoors in a room with pretty low light, but you can also gradually expose it to lights of higher intensity so that it will be able to tolerate even the harsh southern-side sunshine as well.
Keep in mind that a plant that has been grown in low light should not be put under bright direct light all of a sudden or it will get sunburnt. Similarly, a plant that has been grown under intense light would begin to wilt and weaken when suddenly moved to a more shaded location.
– Temperature Requirements
Philodendron lacerum is a warm-growing plant that needs around 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. It is not frost-hardy and should always be moved indoors during winters.
Also, keep away from open windows and direct air-conditioning when kept inside the house.
– Soil Requirements
Philodendron lacerum soil needs to be rich in organic content, so make sure that your average potting mix has ample peat and sphagnum moss as well as perlite and bark for aeration.
Since this is a creeping plant, you should provide it with something to climb on to. It could be moss or another neighboring plant. A simple pole would work fine too.
An interesting fact about this plant is that it will grow well even in water or 100 percent sphagnum moss. We don’t recommend it, though, as it can get very complicated to maintain.
– Humidity Requirements
More than 60 percent humidity is needed for these plants to grow and thrive well. You can easily increase humidity around them by misting them with distilled water every three days.
– Pruning and Repotting
Repot lacerum each year at a time when temperatures rise above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
When Should Philodendron Be Repotted?
Philodendron lacerum should be repotted whenever its roots begin to outgrow its pot or basket, so you will most probably need to repot Philodendron lacerum at least once per year. This plant hates to be root bound and needs space to grow its roots freely.
The best time to repot Philodendron lacerum is during late spring when the temperatures go up to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. As a general rule of thumb, choose a pot that is at least 2 inches larger than the root ball of the plant at the time of repotting. Alternatively, you can also mount this epiphyte plant in a basket or a piece of cork.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Fertilizing isn’t an absolute must with this plant but would help with growth and foliage.
You can opt to use a liquid fertilizer that is diluted to half its strength. Apply it once a month during the warm growing season and once every two months during winters. Always water the roots abundantly after using liquid fertilizer to prevent chemical burns.
You can also choose pellet fertilizers that can be buried in your soil twice or thrice a year. These are slow-release fertilizers that will work for a long time and also prevent burns.
You can propagate Philodendron lacerum using stem cuttings in water at the beginning of spring.
– Stem Cuttings
Philodendron lacerum can be propagated through stem cuttings in water quite successfully. This is because Philodendron lacerum is an epiphyte in nature that likes to grow and creep on other plants or boulders.
Find out how to propagate stem cuttings properly below.
– Choose the Right Cutting
Choose a stem that is neither too old nor too fresh but is healthy and without any diseases. Cut off at least a few inches of this stem. Each cutting should have at least one leaf node and one complete leaf. If your cutting also has a couple of aerial roots then that would be even better.
Take care that the gardening shears or scissors that you use are always clean and completely disinfected. You don’t want to spread infections to your cuttings and make the propagation a failure.
– Propagate Initially in Water
Philodendron plants can simply and easily be propagated in water. Take a transparent container and fill it with water, then add your stem cutting to it. Place this container in a warm and bright spot in your house.
Don’t forget to replace the old water in this container every week with clean water. In a couple of weeks, new roots will begin to grow out of the cutting, which you will be able to see with your own eyes.
– Gradually Add Soil
Once the new roots emerging from the stem cutting become a couple of inches long, you can also transplant them in fresh soil. But we have a better, more effective alternative. In this new method, keep adding spoonfuls of soil to the water every couple of days.
This would gradually accustom your plant to getting used to living in a rather dark, oxygen-deprived environment in the future. Do this until the water becomes completely replaced by soil in the container.
– Transfer to a Pot
Now it’s time to finally transfer the new plant into a pot. Take a rather larger-sized pot and fill it with fresh soil. Moisten this soil first and dig a hole in the middle.
Place the new plant in this hole and pat some soil around it carefully. Keep the soil moistened for the first week to prevent the plant from developing transplant shock. Keep it in a brightly-lit room.
– The Best Time To Propagate
The best time to propagate the Philodendron lacerum is during early to late spring. This is the time when the growth of this plant is at its peak. It also allows your plant to sprout and establish its roots well enough before the end of the year to survive the winter frost.
This plant is quite unproblematic most of the time, but you might have to deal with a pest infestation here or there. The most dangerous problem would be the Erwinia blight infection that kills a plant within weeks. Learn more about these problems in detail here.
– Erwinia Blight
Erwinia blight is an almost fatal bacterial disease that afflicts the Philodendron species. It occurs when the plant is kept in unusually hot and humid conditions with poor air circulation.
Random and irregular black-colored patches appear on the stem first and then spread to the leaves. Within weeks, the whole plant rots and dies.
If you catch this disease in an early stage, then simply cut off the rotten plant parts and treat them with a strong bacterial agent.
In most cases, though, you will have to discard and burn the plant. Never use an infected plant for composting as it will infect the entire pile as well.
Mealybugs and spider mites are the pests that attack and destroy Philodendron lacerum leaves by sucking nutrients from them.
Spider-mites are spider-like little bugs that are a bit difficult to get rid of. They also spread from one plant to another at an alarming rate.
You will be able to see puncture marks on the leaves of the affected Philodendron plant. The most tell-tale sign of a spider mite attack is the presence of fine webbing on the underside of the leaves.
Mealybugs are also sap-sucking insects that often attack and feed on the lacerum plant. They are small, white-colored bugs that look like tiny cotton balls. You will find colonies of these hiding under the leaves and around leaf nodes.
Your plant will exhibit signs of a mealybug infestation by its leaves turning yellow. Eventually, they will also start falling off.
– How To Get Rid of Pests
You can get rid of Philodendron bugs by washing them off and using alcohol, neem oil and insecticides. Find out the details here.
– Isolate the Plant
A plant under attack by insects should be quarantined from the rest of the plant population as soon as possible.
– Wash Your Plant Thoroughly
Always wash your plant thoroughly with a potent insecticide spray and water abundantly. Take a soft toothbrush and scrub off all parts of the plant to manually get rid of as many pests as you can.
– Apply Neem Oil
Yes, neem oil will get rid of mealybugs and spider mites very easily. Dab a piece of cotton in neem oil and apply it to all the bugs that you see.
– Apply Alcohol
Alcohol is another great DIY remedy for getting rid of all types of bugs. Dip a Q-tip in alcohol and then carefully apply it to the bugs. Take care not to apply too much alcohol on your plant though.
– Insecticide Spray
Of course an insecticide spray is usually the most effective and rapid-action method of getting rid of pests and bugs. However, we always use it as a last resort because of the harsh chemicals involved.
After reading this guide, you now know how to properly care for your Philodendron lacerum plant. Read our brief summary below to review all that we have learned so far.
- Philodendron lacerum will grow well under all types of light depending on the conditions under which it was initially grown.
- Water whenever the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil become dry. During the summer, you will need to water only once per week.
- The lacerum plant is easily propagated using stem cuttings that are placed in water until new roots grow a couple of inches long. Repot them in soil when this happens.
- Grow this plant under high temperatures and humidity levels. Make sure that the soil has a high organic content.
- Mealybugs and spider mites are common bugs and should be treated with insecticidal soap, alcohol or neem oil.
This tropical plant will liven up your living space with only the bare minimum of care provided to it. Why don’t you grab a few bulbs today and give it a try yourself?
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