Philodendron mcdowell care infographicPhilodendron McDowell is a stunning plant with rich, dark leaves patterned with white highlighting veins. Its eye-catching looks paired with its manageable height makes it ideal for potted gardens.

Grow it in well-draining soil, perlite, or vermiculite to keep the potting mixture light and airy. 

Our growing guide offers all the information that you need to grow and maintain this lovely specimen of Philodendron.

What Is a Philodendron McDowell?

The Philodendron McDowell is a lovely tropical plant with rich, dark, green foliage. Growing this plant is a treat because of its eye-catching appearance and easy-to-go nature. The lovely hues of the Philodendron McDowell leaves add interest to any garden. It can even thrive outdoors in sheltered spaces and indoors.

Philodendron McDowell Care Philodendron McDowell - A Pot-Perfect Plant

Philodendron McDowell, an easy-to-grow tropical plant, needs basic care. Place it anywhere around the house that gets the right amount of light. The plant grows up to three feet but will spread its long stems and large foliage around and cover six feet of space.

The plant needs a mild outdoor climate. They love moist soil with lots of organic matter and indirect light to thrive. As a potted plant, Philodendron McDowell looks remarkable. You can place it to create an interesting corner where it will grow happily in even less light.

Its easy-to-grow nature makes growing it a rewarding experience for gardeners. Let us look at each requirement in detail:

– Water

Philodendron McDowell does not like overwatered soil. Medium moist soil will help it thrive while overwatering will cause root rot. The key is to get the right potting mixture and maintain a watering pattern based on how fast the soil drains or moisture evaporates. 

Keep in mind that the soil must not go dry in between watering for Philodendron McDowell. Observing soil during each season will help you find the right frequency of watering. You can touch the soil, dig a two-inch deep hole, and test the moisture before watering.

Watering Philodendron McDowell is simple. Spend time monitoring your soil for moisture for the first few weeks. If you master the art of watering, you can save lots of time and also avoid problems. Watering is the key to a healthy Philodendron McDowell plant.

– Light

It is a tropical plant that needs filtered light. Direct exposure to the soil can burn the Philodendron McDowell leaves. The best place to plant it will be where there is semi-shade or filtered light.

If you are planning to plant it outdoors, pick a spot that is sheltered from direct light. An ideal spot could be under a tree or beside the wall, where the light is softened. 

The full shade will make it lose its rich hues, and too much light will scorch the leaves. Find that perfect spot, and you will help your Philodendron McDowell grow well. Here are some points to remember:

  • Zone 9b-11 are suitable for outdoor plantation
  • Plant needs between 70 to 80 percent filtered sunlight
  • In Northern regions, plant it indoors to protect from harsh winter
  • Zone 4b-11 is ideal for patio plantation

– Tips

Philodendron McDowell is grown in 20 to 40 percent shade in a nursery. If you expose it to 80 percent light all of a sudden, it will get leaf burn. First, acclimate the plant to its environment by slowly exposing it to light over a week or more. It will avoid stress, and the plant will adapt to the new light conditions.

– Soil

Philodendron Dean McDowell soil needs to be rich in organic matter but also well-draining. Select a nutrient-dense potting mix and combine it with perlite, peat moss, coconut coir, orchid bark, or other premixed potting soils. Make sure it drains well.

Heavy, waterlogged soil will lead to root rot and eventually kill the plant. Drainage holes also assist in good drainage. Place a tray at the bottom of your pot to collect excess water, which can be used by the plant when needed.

Selecting the right container combined with the right potting mix is the key to success. The container for Philodendron McDowell should be ten to twenty-inch in diameter and 10 inches in depth.

It gives enough room for the roots to grow without collecting too much water around them. Repot only when the roots overgrow the pot.

– Temperature 

Philodendron McDowell grows well in temperatures ranging from 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures in your growing zone drop below 60 degrees, it is best to bring the plant indoors to keep it warm and comfortable.

Philodendron McDowell is not frost-tolerant. It adapts well to indoor growing conditions and will get robust growth if you give it what it needs.

Humidity

If the indoor environment starts to get dry, you will have to add humidity around the plant. You can do it by installing a humidifier, misting the foliage daily, or installing a pebble tray under the pot. Growing plants together usually work, but with their large leaves, it might not be possible. 

– Fertilizer

Philodendron McDowell will need a slow-release fertilizer twice or thrice a year. Buy a liquid fertilizer or the one that dissolves in a water well. Make sure it is high in quality. Follow the instructions on the packet. The fertilizer can be organic too. 

Make sure you apply it six inches away from the base of the plant and do not over-fertilize Philodendron McDowell soil. The plants are not heavy feeders. Remember, little is more when it comes to feeding the plant. Do not fertilize in winters.

Tip: Cheap fertilizers are high in salts which damage the plants. Always buy a good quality fertilizer for the best results.

– Repotting

Philodendron McDowell grows in compact six to 12-inch containers. As the plant begins to grow and roots become pot-bound, it is time to change the pot. The new container should be two inches bigger than the previous one. The plant must be watered well a couple of hours before the transplant.

The best time to repot your plants is in the evening. Repotting helps in the growth of the Philodendron McDowell plant. It may need frequent watering until it reaches maturity. That is when the growth slows down.

Note: Always repot in spring or summer and never in winters when the plant is dormant. Also remember, terracotta pots are better than plastic pots because of having good drainage. If you are using plastic pots, make sure they have enough drainage holes. 

 

Propagation

Philodendron McDowell propagation happens in many ways. You can choose to propagate it through stem cuttings planted in water or soil. The plant is also multiplied using its rhizomes. 

Our step-by-step guide to propagation will help you do it correctly. Remember, always propagate plants in their growing season and never in winters.

– Rhizomes Plantation

Rhizomes of Philodendron McDowell can be separated while repotting the plant. Here is how to do it right.

  1. While repotting, separate the rhizomes from the roots, or divide the roots gently
  2. Plant each section that has a minimum of two shoots in a separate pot
  3. Water and keep it in sheltered light until the roots develop
  4. After a few weeks, it outdoors if you plan to, but plant it in a sheltered location

– Stem Cutting

Stem cutting is a fun way to propagate your plants. Philodendron McDowell responds well to propagation by stem cuttings too. Here is how to do it correctly:

  1. Take sterilized shears and cut the stem that has at least two leaf nodes
  2. You can either place this cutting in a jar of water for a couple of days or plant it directly into the soil
  3. Keep it in a sheltered spot until the new shoots and roots grow 
  4. Using rooting hormone can also work when you are planting it in the soil
  5. If you are rooting it in water, then wait for the roots to emerge before planting it in the soil. You may have to change the water frequently

Problems

Philodendron McDowell is an easy-to-grow plant if its basic needs are matched. It may still show some signs of discomfort. Some signs of an unhappy plant include dull, wilting leaves, burned edges of foliage, rotting roots, and leggy stems. Let us look at some of the symptoms:

Overwatering

The leaves may look pale and weak because the plant is in the shade or the soil is overwatered. You can fix this by inspecting the soil. Overwatered soil can cause root rot. If the damage is beyond control and repotting doesn’t help, take new cuttings and start other plants.

Lack of Light

The stems become legging if the light is too low. The plant begins growing longer stems to search for light. On the other hand, the foliage also loses its rich hues when planted in full shade.

The leaves of Philodendron McDowell burn indirect light. Bring plants in partial shade if that happens. The leaves may look brittle if the air is too dry. To solve this problem, install a mister, or add humidity using one of the methods discussed in the humidity requirement section.

Conclusion

Here is what we learned about it through our care and problem-solving guide:

  • Philodendron McDowell likes well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.
  • It will appreciate slow-release, good quality, liquid fertilizer twice or thrice a year.
  • As a potted plant, it grows well in compact pots and needs occasional repotting as it grows. Eventually, when it reaches maturity, growth slows down.
  • Philodendron McDowell likes temperatures between 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The plant grows up to three feet and can be easily propagated. Propagate in spring or summer through stem cuttings or rhizome division methods.

We hope that the guide above assists you in having a wonderful experience growing your plants at home. Happy Gardening!

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