Philodendron Warszewiczii Care InfographicPhilodendron Warszewiczii is unlike any other Philodendron in your collection. With its multi-lobed leaves that have the ability to purify the air, what else could you ask for in a plant?

The best part is how easy this rare plant is to look after. Review our in-depth care guide to find out what makes this plant tick.

What Is Philodendron Warszewiczii?

Philodendron warszewiczii is a rather unique type of Philodendron because it has divided, leathery leaves and thick stems. It grows in nature on top of rocks and is extremely hard to find. In its native pacific coast, this plant’s common names are guacamayo and papaya de monte.

Philodendron Warszewiczii Care

This Philodendron species is unique because it constantly needs moist soil. It’s best to use distilled water and place it under filtered bright light. Make the chunkiest, most airy soil and maintain more than 50 percent humidity. 

Warszewiczii plant needs warm temperature during both day and night. It is okay if you don’t fertilize it if the soil has enough nutrients. You can read up more on the care guide for this plant up ahead.

– Water Requirements 

Compared to most other Philodendrons, the warszewiczii plant is tolerant of underwatering. Still, it’s better to have a regular watering timetable in place. Generally, don’t allow the soil to dry beyond the top two inches, especially during hotter months.

When To Water

Water your Philodendron warszewiczii only when you are sure its top two inches have dried up. You can check this by putting a finger or pencil inside the soil’s surface. If the finger and pencil come out with dry and crumbly soil, this is your cue that your soil is ready for watering.

If you own a moisture meter, this makes things so much easier. A moisture meter below 7 means the plant should be watered immediately.

How To Water

Watering plants is an art that differentiates between a good and a great plant caregiver. Here is how philodendrons should be watered:

  • Use a moderate volume of room temperature water that is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Pour water over the soil in a circle, not splashing it over the plant itself.
  • Technically, it would help if you kept watering until you could see the liquid coming out of the holes at the bottom.
  • After watering, you must immediately drain the water that collects in the drip tray.

Best Water for Houseplants

All houseplants should be watered using filtered or distilled water. This will save you from a lot of trouble that tap water causes. Tap water is filled with chemicals and salt complexes that affect the plant adversely.

Sometimes, you will have no option but to use water from your tap. In such a case, one hack is to collect this water in a bucket, then leave it exposed all night before using it the next day. This will help all the chlorine in the tap water to evaporate.

Philodendron Xanadu Plant

– Light Requirements 

The warszewiczii plant needs the brightest light, but it should be filtered. Dappled light works just as well, especially outdoors. The plant will lose its beautiful green color if the proper light requirements are not fulfilled.

You can find out more about light needs here.

Indoor Light Conditions

The perfect indoor light for this plant comes from natural windows. The window with the brightest light comes from the south-facing one. It would be best to mitigate some of this light using a white curtain or by keeping the pot far away from direct light. 

The eastern or the western side windows get direct light for only a few hours a day, and you can cover it only then.

Outdoor Conditions

Outdoors are usually brimming with bright light for most of the day. You might want to provide some shade from such intense direct light. Placing them under a larger tree creates the dappled light under which this plant grows best. Keeping the plant beside a northern-facing wall also keeps direct light out.

Artificial Light Conditions

Do you only have indoor space with poor natural light? No need to worry as specialized plant grow lights are easily available. They emit the light waves your Philodendron needs to grow and thrive. They also consume much less energy as compared to older fluorescent lights.

We suggest you go for LED-based lights as they are effective and eco-friendly. You will have to turn these artificial lights on for 13 or 14 hours daily to be effective.

– Soil Requirements 

The Warszewiczii Philodendron is an epiphyte in nature that grows by climbing on rocks. Hence, a chunky and loose soil is perfect for them. Their roots are accustomed to growing unimpeded in open spaces, so your soil needs to be loamy.

We usually make our soil for this Philodendron starting with a regular potting mix. Then we add loads of chunky ingredients to create spaces within the soil. We recommend using coco coir, perlite balls, charcoal, wood chips, and even gravel in the soil.

Lastly, your plant also needs essential nutrients to live and grow. For this purpose, add some nutritious additives such as peat moss or mulch. If you keep a compost bin, you can add your compost to the soil to make it richer.

– Temperature Requirements 

The warszewiczii plant will survive only under hot, warm temperatures. The average daytime temperature should be more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, the temperature at night should be greater than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Any time this plant experiences a temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it will suffer a sudden cold shock. When under cold shock, the plant either goes through severe growth retardation or begins to die.

Here are some of our best time-tested advice regarding the temperature requirements of the warszewiczii plant.

  • If you live somewhere that experiences cold nights, keeping this plant indoors is best.
  • Even inside the house, keep the windows closed at night to save it from cold drafts from the air.
  • If you keep your indoor environment chilled all the time, this plant needs to be moved to a warmer room.
  • Many people have found that this plant grows best in kitchens and greenhouses.
  • Never allow this plant to be kept right under a vent of cold air. Also, don’t keep it outdoors during fall and winter frost.

– Humidity Requirements 

The Philodendron warszewiczii mature plant loves high humidity the best. You need to maintain more than 50 percent humidity at the minimum. The more humidity, the better. Still, it is relatively more tolerant to humidity drops than other philodendron family members.

Want to know how to improve the air humidity inside your home? We have you covered.

How To Mist

This plant takes quite well to being misted about twice a week. The right time to mist any plant is before noon each day. This is so that all the water droplets will evaporate before afternoon. 

Pour water into a spray nozzle with a small nozzle so that only a small amount of water comes out. Spray very lightly and only from a distance.

Other Methods of Increasing Humidity

Other methods of maintaining humidity for the long-term include using a DIY pebble tray. Place it under the pot so that water doesn’t directly touch the pot.

You can also install a humidifier in your room. It will ensure that humidity remains above 50 percent all the time. You will be relieved of all your humidity troubles henceforth.

– Fertilizing Requirements 

The Philodendron Warscewiczii variegated plant doesn’t need regular fertilizing if you have incorporated enough nutritious elements into its soil. So if you have added adequate mulch or compost to your soil, it should be enough for this plant.

Still, adding a bit of fertilizer once a month during the growth period from spring to fall doesn’t hurt. The fertilizer we suggest is a nitrogen-rich one. You can also go for a well-balanced fertilizer instead, then dilute it by mixing an equal quantity of water with it.

Chemical fertilizers often produce burns to the roots. You can prevent this by watering them first. Never put fertilizer on the surface of the plant.

– Pruning 

Keep a keen eye on your plant. Plant parts, especially the old and yellow leaves, must be removed regularly. This will redirect nutrition towards the younger and more healthy leaves.

It would help if you also habitually pruned the stem branches every spring. This will maintain your plant in proper shape. Strategically cutting off stem parts has also been known to promote further growth.

Just don’t get carried away with pruning during grooming. Never cut more than one-third of your plant off, and always make an oblique incision while cutting a stem part.


Philodendron warszewiczii propagation can be a bit tricky. Many people find it easy to propagate this plant using stem or leaf cuttings, air layering, or seedlings. Others find it to be an overall difficult plant to propagate.

Here are the easiest ways of propagating these plants using three different techniques.

– Air Layering

In the air layering technique, you don’t cut any plant parts. Instead, a new plant is propagated while remaining attached to the parent plant. Here is how this technique is carried out.

  • Choose a mature stem branch and make an oblique incision one-third of the way in.
  • This incision should be under or near the node of a leaf. This is where your new plant’s roots will come out.
  • Take a certain amount of moistened sphagnum moss and put it over the cut.
  • Then, to ensure it stays there, wrap a piece of plastic over it using gardening tape.
  • Unwrap this plastic and replace the dampened moss every second or third week.
  • Notice when you see roots emerging from the cut end grow about two inches long. 
  • Cut off this air-layered stem two inches away from your incision then insert it within the soil so the roots go into it.

– Stem or Leaf Cutting

Cuttings are the most commonly-used methods of propagation of a plant. Here are the steps you need to go through.

  • Choose whether you want to go for a leaf or a stem cutting. A leaf-cutting is easy as you only need a fresh, large leaf.
  • Take a five to six inches long stem piece with one or two leaf nodes for a stem cutting. 
  • Apply rooting hormones to the cut end of the cutting and the leaf.
  • Make sure you have prepared the right soil within the right pot.
  • Insert your chosen cutting into the pot, then place it under the right cultural conditions of light, water, temperature, etc.
  • If your propagation has been successful, your plant will produce roots and shoots within four to six weeks.

– Seeds

We saved the most difficult method for the last. This method needs time, effort, and patience more than anything.

  • You will need a seedling tray that is not too deep. A nutritious medium should be spread evenly over this tray and moistened with water.
  • The seeds you use should be of the highest possible quality. Always go for a trusted and experienced gardener for buying warszewiczii seeds.
  • One by one, put seeds within the nutritious medium. Then move your tray to a bright, warm place.
  • Covering the tray with a plastic transparent or semi-transparent covering is beneficial. This will increase its humidity to that is ideal for the germination of these seeds.
  • Not all seeds will germinate. For the ones that do, take these tiny plantlets out and pot them within their pots.


The problems you face with Philodendron warszewiczii might be overwatering, fungal attack, and accidental cold shock. You must learn how to tackle all these common problems like a pro.

Read on as we bring our time-tested solutions to your knowledge.

– Overwatering

This plant is easy to overwater, and you need to be wary of this. You will notice that the plant leaves will begin to wilt and droop down. If you touch them, these leaves will feel squishy and swollen.

Overwatering might occur when the soil is watered without being allowed to dry first. This could also occur when the soil is too compact and not loose enough. Remember, this plant needs the chunkiest, most free soil ever.

Your pot could also be contributing to water retention within the soil. There should be several tiny drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. It is best if the pot is made of clay because clay has some inherent porosity that helps evaporate water.

– Leaves Turning Black Due to Cold Shock

This plant cannot tolerate temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit, wherein it will start suffering from cold shock. Exposure to cold temperatures for even short periods will lead to this.

Large patches of leaves will become necrotic and die, and black patches will cover the entire foliage. You must immediately relocate the plant to a consistently warm place.

The parts that have died will need to be cut off. Unfortunately, they will not get better. You can save the rest of your plant from dying, though.

– Fungal Root Rot

Whenever the roots of this Philodendron are allowed to remain wet, it leads to a rapid fungal attack. Many species of fungi are responsible for causing rot in the plant. The symptoms of all these are more or less the same.

Here are some facts about root rot you must be cognizant of.

Recognizing Symptoms of Rot

First, the leaves of your plant will develop moist spots that will be yellow or brown at the start. Later on, these irregularly-shaped spots will turn black. Leaves themselves will be seen drooping down instead of being upright.

If you are someone with a keen sense of smell, this will come in handy too. A very particular smell associated with root rot can be hard to miss. You must take the plant out of the pot to make a definitive diagnosis. You will only see how your plant’s roots have turned mushy, brown, and rotten.

Treating Rot Before Its Too Late

Even though root rot can be treated in a few simple steps, not all plants will survive.

  • The soil and the pot of your Philodendron are infected. Take the plant out and discard them according to your local municipal guidelines.
  • Lay the overwatered and rotten plant on a piece of newspaper. 
  • You will notice that the newspaper will begin to absorb moisture from the plant and get wet. Keep changing the newspaper until the plant is thoroughly dry.
  • All plant parts that have turned black due to roots must be cut off. Discard them as infectious waste as well.
  • Spray with a strong liquid-copper anti-fungal spray on the whole plant.
  • Now you must report the plant in brand new soil and pot. The anti-fungal spray will have to be applied every week for two months at least.
  • From now on, you need to be very careful about your watering habits and drainage.

– Toxicity

This philodendron plant is not pet-friendly at all. It contains crystals of a toxic chemical called calcium oxalate that irritate the digestive tract when eaten. 

Even accidentally chewing their leaves will make your pets suffer severe mouth burns. Immediately give your pet dairy products and take them to a vet after accidental ingestion.

Frequently Asked Questions

– Is Philodendron Warszewiczii Rare?

Yes, this plant is considered to be among the rarest philodendrons. It isn’t easy to find this one in nature and even more so in commercial nurseries. No wonder it is considered a collector’s edition plant.

You will not find a lot of Philodendron warszewiczii plants for sale. That is why we push for home-based propagation to increase the number of this plant.

– Does Philodendron Purify Air?

Yes, this plant is very good at purifying the air within your house. Its leaves take in carbon dioxide and other common toxins from the air and secrete oxygen. Some studies have shown it even removes chemicals like formaldehyde from the air.


Give yourself a pat on the back for making it to the end of this guide. That is why a congratulatory recap is a must.

  • Keep the soil of this Philodendron slightly moist but never let the soil run with water.
  • This plant likes filtered light and high humidity and temperatures all year round.
  • Propagating this rare species can be tricky. You can use air layering, seedlings, or leaf and stem cutting propagation techniques.

Philodendron warszewiczii is not an easy plant to get hold of, so use this golden opportunity by taking good enough care of it using our expert guide.

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