Philodendron Splendid, just like its name, is a splendid Philodendron variety. It is a beautiful hybrid of Philodendron Melanochrysum and Philodendron Verrucosum.
If you have just purchased it or thinking about it and want to learn how to properly take care of it, this complete guide to help you know all about this splendid Philodendron is for you!
What Is Philodendron Splendid?
Philodendron Splendid is a rare and beautiful Philodendron species native to the rainforests of South America and the West Indies. It belongs to the Araceae family. It is also called the Splendid Philodendron and Philodendron Glorious.
The aroid plant was first recorded in 1644 by a German explorer named Georg Macgraff. But a French botanist named Charles Plumier was the first one to collect and classify it under the Philodendron genus.
– Size and Growth
In the wild, Philodendron Splendid can be found growing in swamps, rainforests, and river banks. It has an unusual growth pattern with the plant sending the leaves upward towards the light. Moreover, the plant grows in partial shade under the canopy of large trees of the rainforests.
Philodendron Splendid is a large-sized plant that can reach a height of up to 10 feet. What’s more, the word Philodendron means “tree loving”, so most Philodendrons climb onto large trees.
Clearly, this is an epiphytic plant that grows as a climber. As epiphytes, these plants can go without much nutrition for long periods.
Philodendron Splendid growth rate is moderate to fast which means that if it’s provided with the right care, it can become huge. Moreover, this variety tends to sit still for some time before giving new leaf growths.
Unlike the other Philodendron species, this variety is relatively rare and expensive to get hands-on. So if you get one for yourself, provide it with proper care.
Philodendron Splendid has spear or heart-shaped, large, and glossy leaves that have air-cleaning abilities. What’s more, the large leaves can reach a length of up to two feet.
The velvety leaves have greenish veins that look quite attractive and each leaf is covered in a soft velvet-like fuzz that gives it a glossy look. Furthermore, the undersides of the leaves are a mix of red and green colors. The veins run from the midrib arching out to the edges.
Philodendron Splendid has a large root system that goes deep into the soil. The plant also has aerial roots that help in absorbing nutrients and water from the air. If you spray the aerial roots regularly with water, the plant will grow bigger and glossier foliage.
Since it has an extensive root system, you should use bigger than usual pots to grow the plant. Pots smaller than eight inches will not allow the roots to develop properly and may even suffocate them.
Philodendron Red Emerald Care
Philodendron Splendid is a carefree plant and does not get fussy even when ignored. As we mentioned before, it is a tropical plant and if you live in a similar climate, you would not face any major issues while growing this beauty.
Below we discuss all its growth requirements such as light, water, temperature, humidity, fertilizer, repotting, propagation, and problems.
– Light Requirements
Philodendron Splendid prefers bright, indirect light, so do not place the plant in direct sunlight as it can cause leaf burns. A north or east-facing window would be the perfect spot to keep it. Two to three hours of direct morning and evening sunlight are great but harsh noon sunlight is a big no for this plant.
A north or east-facing window works well for its growth, as it can help the plant in receiving filtered light throughout the day. If your plant is in a south or west-facing window, make sure it gets curtain-filtered sunlight and does not receive harsh sun rays.
Philodendron Splendid can tolerate lower light levels too. But too little light exposure can make your plant leggy. As a result, the plant will not grow larger leaves. If you live in an apartment with no windows and natural light, consider investing in grow lights, as the plant does well under grow lights too.
– Water Requirements
Watering Philodendron Splendid should be abundant and frequent in the summer months as compared to the winters. Moreover, the soil must be moist and not soggy.
Make a rule with all Philodendrons to never water from the top of their leaves; water the soil directly. Watering the leaves causes foliage diseases, fungus, and attracts unwanted pests and insects.
Avoid both overwatering and underwatering, so do not saturate the soil by overwatering it and making it soggy and muddy. Water frequently but before doing so, you should always check that the soil has dried out a bit. As we mentioned, overwatering can cause root rot and fungal diseases, and underwatering can make your plant leggy and pale.
Avoid both these problems by using the finger-knuckle test to see if the soil is moist or dry. Insert your finger in the soil till about two inches, and if the soil sticks to your hand and feels wet, hold back on watering and check back again after a few days. This is an effective way of watering that can help solve the watering problems.
– Soil Mix
Philodendron Splendid soil should be rich and well-draining, so you should prepare loose and fast-draining soil to grow this plant. Notably, it loves moisture but at the same time, it also prefers drainage and ventilation around its roots. Therefore, well-draining soil helps in preventing overwatering while maintaining moisture around the health of its roots.
Use the regular potting mix mixed with some perlite or vermiculite for drainage, as they keep the soil airy and loose. What’s more, you can also add some organic compost to make the soil fertile.
Finally, we advise that you use a moss pole to keep the plant climbing upward since it will help in providing moisture to the aerial roots. When aerial roots get appropriate moisture, the plant grows bigger and healthier leaves.
Like other tropical plants, Philodendron Splendid likes warm temperatures ranging between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so it thrives in moderate to warm temperatures but cannot tolerate cooler temperatures.
Furthermore, it would not die in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit but would show leggy growth. It will begin with lesser and lankier growth and if it stays in cooler temperatures for long, it may even die.
Slightly lower temperatures are fine for this hardy plant but frosty and snowy winters are dangerous for it, as they can kill the plant. In winters, bring the plant inside to a warmer spot to protect it from frost. You can take it outside again when the danger of frost has passed and spring arrives.
Do not keep the plant in very high temperatures. If it is kept in very dry and hot summers, it will become leggy and start losing its leaves. What’s more, very high temperatures cause problems such as yellowing and browning of leaves. A solution could be misting the plant, as that helps to some extent in maintaining moisture and lower temperatures.
Avoid both extremes in temperatures and maintain a tropical rainforest-like environment to keep your plant happy. If temperature fluctuations are frequent, the plant will suffer and will not have healthy-looking leaves.
Philodendron Splendid is a tropical plant and like most other Philodendrons, it is well-suited for humid settings. It can tolerate low humidity levels but high humidity conditions are great for growing larger and shinier leaves.
This is why you should try to keep the humidity levels above 50 to 60 percent if you want your plant to produce bigger and glossier foliage. Do not let it go below 40 percent.
If you live in a dry area, check the humidity level using a digital hygrometer. Without enough humidity, the leaves get browned edges and may begin to crack. Moreover, you should keep the plant away from air conditioners and heaters, as they make the air drier and that can be a problem for your plant.
If you want to increase the humidity levels around your plant, you should use humidifiers and humidity trays. Pebble trays are an inexpensive and maintenance-free way of keeping the humidity levels up.
How to Make a Pebble Tray to Increase Humidity Around Your Philodendron
To make one, fill a shallow tray with some water and pebbles. Let your plant sit on this tray and as the water evaporates, the moisture level will increase around the plant’s air. Make sure the tray is bigger than your plant. Humidity trays work for one or two plants but if there is a room full of plants, using humidifiers is better.
Since the plant grows like a climber, you should use moss poles and climbing sticks to provide it support as we mentioned before. Moss poles help in providing nutrients and moisture to the aerial roots and they also help in increasing humidity to some extent.
If you cannot purchase a moss pole from the garden centers, try making your own with the help of gunny bags or coco coir, as both absorb water and help in providing the plant with moisture.
Philodendron Splendid grows well and produces healthy leaves when fertilized regularly. That’s why you should use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer during the active growing season of spring and summer.
Nitrogen helps in healthy and vigorous leaf growth. You can also use an organic, liquid seaweed fertilizer. Make sure to water your plant before fertilizing and use slow-release fertilizers for best growth results.
Avoid fertilizing the plant in the winter months, as the plant hardly shows any new growth in winters. So fertilization should be the absolute minimum during that time.
If you fertilize the plant when there is no new growth, it will lead to salt accumulation in the soil due to over-fertilization. Over-fertilization causes salt build-up that creates root burn.
Fertilizer burn is a condition that results in the burning or scorching of plant foliage. It is the result of over-fertilizing plants or applying fertilizer to wet foliage. Fertilizer contains salts, which draw moisture out of plants. So, when you apply excess fertilizer to plants, the result is yellow or brown discoloration, root damage, and withering of the plant.
Like other Philodendrons, Philodendron Splendid does not need very frequent repotting. Repot the plant only when it has outgrown the pot.
Repotting every three to four years works well for this plant because once it sits in a big enough plant, it can stay in the same pot for a couple of years. Early spring is the ideal time for shifting the plant to another soil mix and bigger pot.
Before repotting, check if your plant is free of diseases. Remove the plant from the old soil medium and check its roots. If there are any dried and dead roots, cut them off as they will decompose and cause a root rot problem if left attached to the plant.
Prepare a well-draining soil mix and place the plant in it. Make the new soil mix with regular soil and perlite. Insert a moss pole first and then place the plant in the soil around the pole.
To propagate Philodendron Splendid, you have to go through an easy process.
Before propagating, make sure that all your tools are sterilized. You can dip the stem cuttings in a rooting hormone for faster root development, but this is optional. If you do not have rooting hormone, you can dip the cutting in cinnamon powder, as it helps in keeping the fungus away and also aids in root growth.
Moreover, firmly tuck the soil around the roots. Water it thoroughly and keep it in a shaded spot for a few days.
You should also mist the newly planted cuttings daily early in the morning. Keep the humidity levels high around the plant and roots shall form in one to two months. When the plant starts to show some new growth, insert a moss pole or make a trellis to provide support.
Philodendron Splendid is an easy-to-care-for plant, but there are some problems that you might face if you ignore its basic growth requirements. Let us discuss some of them in detail.
Overwatering is one of the major causes of problems such as root rot, foliage diseases, and other fungal infections. In extreme cases, it can kill the plant. To prevent this problem, always check the soil before watering to see if it is dry.
Before watering your plant again, you should use the finger-knuckle test by inserting your finger in the soil. Only if the soil does not stick to your finger you should water the plant. Otherwise, hold back on watering for a few more days.
– Leaf Discoloration
While some leaves getting discolored and shedding is a normal process, if most of the leaves seem pale and discolored, there may be multiple reasons behind it. The most common causes include exposure to cold temperatures, too much light, overwatering, underwatering, and less fertilization.
All these factors can cause stress to your plant and may even kill it. Keep in control of all basic requirements and your plant will not face any major problems.
– Pest Attacks
Pests and insects such as mealybugs and aphids can bother your plant sometimes. Make sure to check your plant for these insects regularly.
However, if the leaves start turning yellow and have a cracked appearance, it might be because of an aphid spread. To get rid of aphids, rinse the plant well and swipe the undersides of the leaf with your fingers. But in case of heavy infestations, use insecticidal soaps.
Moreover, if there are white deposits on the leaves and stems, the plant might be infected by mealybugs. To get rid of mealybugs, rub the leaves with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. You can also pick them up using tweezers.
– Fungal Infections
Like other Philodendron varieties, Philodendron Splendid is prone to fungus. Fungal spores often feed on the plant cells and release new spores on maturity. They also cause root rot and leaf spots.
Getting rid of fungus can be difficult so the sooner you spot it, the easier it will be to control it. In essence, if this occurs, you should remove the affected leaves using a cutter and keep the leaves dry. To prevent the problem, do not water the leaves and just water into the soil as is appropriate.
Root rot is difficult to spot because the roots are buried in the soil. Once the roots are infected by fungus, they become brown and mushy, and they no longer absorb the nutrients that are needed for the plant’s growth.
If the fungus has spread to the entire plant, you should get rid of the plant as it is almost impossible to treat a heavy fungal infestation.
Philodendron Splendid might be expensive to get but once you add it to your houseplant collection, we promise that it will be worth it.
Let us summarize all the crucial points about this beautiful plant below:
- Philodendron Splendid is a tropical plant native to the rainforests of Peru and other parts of South America. It is a cross between Philodendron Melanochrysum and Philodendron Verrucosum.
- It has spear-shaped leaves that can get as long as two feet and more if given the right growing conditions.
- Provide the plant with bright, dappled light instead of direct sunlight. Intense sun rays can cause the plant leaves to burn.
- Use rich and well-draining soil to grow Philodendron Splendid as it does not like heavy soil as it can cause root rot.
- The ideal temperature for its growth is between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid the extremes in temperature to keep the plant healthy.
- Do not let the humidity levels go below 40 percent. In case it gets too dry, use humidifiers and humidity trays to maintain high humidity levels.
- Fertilize your plant monthly with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer during the active growing months of spring and summer. However, do not over-fertilize the plant.
- Repot the plant every three to four years in early spring when it has outgrown the existing pot.
- It can be propagated easily by planting the stem cuttings directly in the soil. You can also put the stem cuttings in a jar full of water.
- It faces problems such as leaf discoloration, pest attacks, and fungal spores which can be treated if detected early. To avoid most of these problems, follow the basic growth requirements of your plant.
Philodendron Splendid is called splendid Philodendron for a reason and even though it can be expensive, it is worth every penny. We hope our guide has helped you with knowing all about this tropical plant and you get one for yourself too!
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