Philodendron pedatum is an increasingly popular houseplant that is known for its lush foliage. It looks superb in any home, and growing it yourself is relatively easy.
With this comprehensive care guide, our expert gardeners will reveal all you need to know.
What Is Philodendron Pedatum
Philodendron pedatum, also known as Oak Leaf Philodendron, is a tropical climbing plant native to Brazil, Columbia, and Venezuela. It belongs to the Araceae family, and it has puzzled botanists ever since it was first described in the 1840s. The plant has been renamed and reclassified several times. Some of the names it’s known under include Philodendron laciniatum, P. amazonicum, and P. quercifolium.
In the houseplant trade, Philodendron pedatum is popular due to its unique, evergreen foliage. The name “Oak Leaf Philodendron” comes from the iconic shape that Philodendron pedatum leaves have. With 5 or 7 lobes, a deep green color, and growing up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length, they really stand out. This plant loves climbing, and if you provide it with a moss pole, the leaves can almost double in size.
Philodendron pedatum is a fast grower. When cultivated as an indoor plant, it can easily reach over 3 feet (90 cm) in height. It can grow as tall as 10 feet (3 meters) with the right conditions, especially when provided with a structure to climb on.
– Is Philodendron Pedatum the Same as Philodendron Florida?
Philodendron pedatum and Philodendron Florida look very similar. Unless you buy a variegated hybrid, such as Florida Ghost or Florida Beauty, they will both have green, multi-lobed leaves and the same growth habits. But they are not the same plant. So how do you tell them apart?
The main difference between these two plants is the petiole. Philodendron pedatum has smooth leaf stems that are usually green in color. Meanwhile, the stems on Philodendron Florida have a slightly bumpy texture and are typically dark red or maroon.
– Is Philodendron Pedatum Toxic?
All Philodendron plants are toxic to humans and pets, and the Philodendron pedatum is no exception. The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals. If ingested, they will cause swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat, a burning sensation in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, and even edema. Keep this plant in a place where pets and kids can’t reach.
Philodendron Pedatum Care Guide
– Light Requirements
Philodendron pedatum needs bright indirect light for healthy growth. Pick a part of your home where it can receive at least six hours of light per day. A room with an eastern or western exposure is ideal. Avoid placing your Philodendron in direct sunlight, as this will scorch the leaves. If you’re keeping it on a windowsill, make sure that you use sheer curtains, which will help filter the direct sunlight.
Philodendron pedatum can tolerate some shade like all epiphytes, but it will grow best if provided with plenty of light. Bright indirect light will encourage it to produce abundant foliage and also prevent fungal problems. During the winter months, you can supplement the plant’s lighting needs using LED grow lights.
– Temperature Requirements
The ideal temperature range for Philodendron pedatum is between 60 F and 77 F (16 C to 25 C). This tropical plant is not frost-tolerant and can suffer permanent damage if temperatures drop below 50 F (10 C). Even though it prefers warmer climates, it’s best to note that it will struggle to grow if temperatures exceed 82 F (28 C).
You can grow Philodendron pedatum outdoors if you live in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11. Keep the pot in a part of your garden where the plant will be sheltered from the direct midday sun. If the temperatures drop below 59 F (15 C) during the night, bring the Philodendron back indoors until the weather gets warmer.
– Water Requirements
Philodendron pedatum prefers soils that are kept moist but not soaked. Use your finger to test the surface of the soil, and if the top inch feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water your plant. We recommend using the soak and drain watering method. Pour water evenly over the soil until it starts to drip through the drainage holes, then leave the container to drain until the water stops dripping from the bottom.
The watering needs for Philodendron pedatum will change depending on the season, the temperature, as well as the size of the plant and the container. During the hotter months, check the soil at least once a week and water as needed. In winter, the plant will need less water as its growth rate slows down. You will only need to water it once every 7 to 10 days.
– Humidity Requirements
Philodendron pedatum is a tropical plant that enjoys a humid growing environment. Try to keep the humidity levels in your home around 50 percent to prevent the foliage from drying at the edges and pests such as spider mites. If you can, it’s worth boosting the humidity level to around 70 to 80 percent.
The easiest way to increase humidity around your Philodendron pedatum is using a humidifier. Alternatively, you can place the pot on top of a pebble tray, and the evaporating water will help raise the moisture in the air. You can also mist the leaves, but bear in mind that you will need to do this every day for any noticeable effects.
– Soil Requirements
The best soil mix for Philodendron pedatum should be nutrient-rich, well-draining, with the ability to retain moisture and provide aeration to the roots. Most Philodendron plants are epiphytes, which means that they grow on trees.
They are used to a substrate that is fast draining and can accommodate frequent watering. If you keep this in mind, you can create a substrate that will promote healthy growth, as well as prevent problems caused by overwatering.
Here’s a great potting soil recipe you can use for Philodendron pedatum:
- 2 parts peat moss
- 1 part bark
- 1 part perlite
- A bit of horticultural charcoal
You can also grow Philodendron pedatum in just sphagnum moss. This organic material is excellent for tropical epiphytes because it can hold up to 18 times its weight in water, providing the roots with plenty of moisture.
If you want to grow your Philodendron in just moss, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Always check that the sphagnum moss comes from a supplier that harvests it using sustainable methods.
- Use a terracotta pot rather than a plastic pot. This allows the water from the substrate to evaporate quicker, preventing any dampness-related problems, such as rot.
- Sphagnum moss tends to compact and decompose over time, so you will need to repot your Philodendron and change the substrate once every six to eight months.
- Add a bit of perlite and horticultural charcoal to your moss mix. The perlite will prevent the substrate from becoming too compacted, while the charcoal has antifungal and antibacterial properties.
- Sphagnum moss is poor in nutrients, so you will need to apply a fertilizer solution more often.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Philodendron pedatum is a heavy feeder and will need regular fertilizer applications throughout the growing season. In the spring and summer months, apply a diluted fertilizer solution once every two to three weeks. You can use any universal fertilizer that has a nutrient ratio of 10-10-10.
In autumn, the Philodendron pedatum’s growth rate starts to slow down, so you will need to reduce the fertilizer applications gradually. Do not feed the plant again until early spring. This prevents problems such as leggy growth, attracting pests and fungal infections, as well as fertilizer salts building up in the soil.
– Pruning and Maintenance
Philodendron pedatum does not require much pruning. Every now and then, you will need to remove some of the older leaves from the bottom when they start turning brown. You can also trim your Philodendron if you notice that it’s growing too big or if you want to propagate it through cuttings.
– Repotting Philodendron Pedatum
Philodendron pedatum has a fast growth rate, so you will need to repot it once a year. The best time to do this is in spring or summer, the plant’s growing season. Use a pot that’s one size larger than the previous one, and make sure that the container has drainage holes at the bottom. Do not apply any fertilizers in the first month after repotting the plant.
Philodendron Pedatum Propagation Guide
Here’s our step-by-step guide for propagating Philodendron pedatum:
- Find a section of the stem that’s at least 6 inches (15 cm) long, with at least one aerial root, one growth node, and one leaf.
- Use a sharp, sterilized blade and cut the stem half an inch below the growth node.
- You can root the cutting in either water, soil, or mediums such as perlite or sphagnum moss. Rooting in water is the easiest method, and it also allows you to keep an eye on the new roots as they develop.
- Keep the cutting in bright indirect light, and provide it with plenty of humidity.
- The cutting should start growing roots after about two weeks. Wait until the roots are at least 4 inches (10 cm) long, which should take another 5 weeks or so.
- Once the roots are long enough, you can plant your new Philodendron pedatum plant in its own pot. Monitor it for the next month to make sure it has become established.
Common Pests and Problems
Philodendron pedatum is resistant to most pests and diseases. But like most houseplants, it can suffer from overwatering, incorrect lighting, and common house pests such as spider mites. Let’s take a closer look at some common problems and how to fix them.
– Drooping or Curling Leaves
The leaves on Philodendron pedatum will start to droop and curl if the plant is thirsty, if the air is too dry, or if the temperatures are too low. Keep the soil moist but not soaked, and raise the humidity around the plant by placing it on a pebble tray or using a humidifier.
– Leaves Turning Yellow or Brown
This is a common symptom of overwatering and even root rot. If the leaves on Philodendron pedatum are turning yellow, check the soil and cut back on watering if needed. If a lot of leaves are turning brown, remove the plant from the pot and inspect the roots for any signs of rot. Trim any black and soft roots, and repot the plant in a well-draining potting mix.
– Spider Mites and Mealybugs
These are the two most common pests for houseplants, and they may also attack your Philodendron pedatum. Signs of an infestation include discolored leaves, stunted growth, and wilting. Spray the leaves with a neem oil solution once a week until the pests are gone.
Philodendron pedatum is a fast-growing, low-maintenance plant admired for its showy foliage. It looks fantastic, and when you know a few tricks, it’s easy to grow.
Let’s go over the essential information we’ve discussed:
- It grows best in bright indirect light, well-draining soils, and medium humidity.
- Providing this Philodendron with something to climb on will help it produce larger leaves and reach almost 10 feet in height.
- Propagation can be done through stem cuttings in spring and summer.
- This plant is toxic to both humans and animals due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals.
Isn’t that simple? Now all you need to do is grab your own Philodendron pedatum and get planting!
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