How to Grow and Care for Spadeleaf Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum) Indoors


Spadeleaf Philodendron, Philodendron domesticum

Botanical name: Philodendron domesticum
Family: Araceae
Common names: Spadeleaf Philodendron, Burgundy Philodendron

Description

Philodendron domesticum commonly called Spadeleaf Philodendron or Burgundy Philodendron is an evergreen climber which bears long, glossy, spade-shaped leaves and reddish-purple stems.

Spadeleaf Philodendron is ideal for a hanging basket or can be grown as a climber on a trellis or moss stick. Firm support for the stems needs to be provided for this plant.

Size

Burgundy Philodendron can grow to a height of 8 ft and 3 ft wide when grown indoors. The mature leaves are about 2 ft long and 1 ft wide.

Origin

Philodendron domesticum is native to the tropical rainforests in South America where it grows as an epiphyte on trees.

Where to Buy

If you would like to acquire this plant, beautiful and healthy Spadeleaf Philodendrons including variegated ones are available online at Etsy. Purchase Spadeleaf Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum) online from Etsy.

Spadeleaf Philodendron, Philodendron domesticum

Photo Credit: The National Gardening Association

Philodendron domesticum Care Indoors

Spadeleaf Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum) thrives in bright indirect light, warm and humid conditions, and moderately moist rich, well-drained soils coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Philodendron domesticum requires annual repotting for the young plants while the large plants need annual replenishment of the soil. Regular pruning is necessary to keep the plant, to encourage a bushy growth and to rejuvenate growth. Continue reading for a detailed account on these conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Spadeleaf Philodendron grows best in bright indirect light away from direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light where natural light is inadequate.

Keep Spadeleaf Philodendron away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. Inadequate light will result in leggy growth and small-sized pale leaves.

Turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.

Watering

Water Spadeleaf Philodendron thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Water the plant with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.


Temperature

Spadeleaf Philodendron prefers average warmth within the range of 15-270C. Temperatures outside this range may harm the plant.

Keep the Burgundy Philodendron away from cold and hot draughts to prevent extreme temperatures. Too high temperatures may cause yellowing and leaf drop while too low temperatures can result in reduced growth, even death of the plant.

Humidity

Spadeleaf Philodendron requires a humid environment inorder to thrive. Low humidity for prolonged periods can result in brown leaf tips and edges.

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and to discourage pest infestation.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Spadeleaf Philodendron every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding can lead to fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.

Repotting

Repot young Spadeleaf Philodendron at the beginning of the growing season. Use a pot that is 1-2 sizes larger and loose, free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.

The Large Spadeleaf Philodendron may be impossible to repot due to their enormous size. Therefore, replenish the top 2-3 in. of soil at the beginning of the growing season or as necessary. Take care not to injure the roots to avoid fungal infestations.

Pruning

Pruning Spadeleaf Philodendron involves removal of yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

To encourage a bushy and compact growth, pinch off the growing tips at a point above the node as new growth emerges from a node. The tips can be used to propagate new plants.

Cut back the leggy stems to the soil level at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.

Propagation

Spadeleaf Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum) propagation can be done during the growing season from stem cuttings. The stem cuttings can be rooted in soil or in water.

How to propagate Spadeleaf Philodendron from stem cuttings in soil

Take a stem cutting of about 4-5 in. long from a healthy Spadeleaf Philodendron by cutting the stem below a leaf node. Strip off the lower leaves.

Insert the cutting in moist, well-drained soil while ensuring that at least one leaf node is below the soil.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges.

Allow the new Spadeleaf Philodendron to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Spadeleaf Philodendron from stem cuttings in water

Take a stem cutting of about 4-5 in. long from a healthy Spadeleaf Philodendron by cutting the stem below a leaf node. Strip off the lower leaves.

Place the cutting in a jar of clean water while ensuring at least one leaf node is below the water surface.

Place the set up in a well-lit place and change the water every 5-7 days until roots have developed.

Transfer the new Spadeleaf Philodendron into individual pots in moist, free-draining soil when the roots are about 4 in. long.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth has emerged on the new Spadeleaf Philodendron cuttings.

Allow the new Spadeleaf Philodendron to be well established before transfering the pots to their permanent position after which you can begin routine.

Spadeleaf Philodendron, Philodendron domesticum

Photo Credit: The Curious Plantaholic

Philodendron domesticum Problems Indoors

The main Spadeleaf Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum) problems indoors include yellow leaves, dropping leaves, brown leaf tips and edges, rotting, pests and diseases among others. Continue reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Yellow leaves

Overwatering Spadeleaf Philodendron is the reason for yellow leaves if many leaves are affected and there are signs of wilting and rotting.

Take care not to overwater the plant. Water the Spadeleaf Philodendron thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce the amount and frequency of watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist.

To avoid getting soggy soil, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining.

If there is no wilting and rotting, underfeeding is the cause of yellow leaves.

Feed the Spadeleaf Philodendron every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer and withhold feeding during the cold season to avoid fertilizer burn.

If only lower leaves are affected and have dark spots and new leaves are dark and small, then underwatering is the cause of the yellow leaves.

To remedy the problem, water the Spadeleaf Philodendron thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

If leaves are pale colored and have straw-colored patches the cause of yellow leaves is exposure to direct sunlight. Protect the Spadeleaf Philodendron or keep it away from direct sunlight.

Dropping leaves

The lower leaves in Spadeleaf Philodendron will drop as they age but if there is an abnormal leaf drop, the reason is sudden change of the growing conditions.

Avoid moving the Spadeleaf Philodendron to a new position before acclimatizing it gradually to prevent leaf drop.

If the leaves turn brown and dry before they drop, then too high temperature is the cause of leaf drop in Spadeleaf Philodendron.

Spadeleaf Philodendron prefers average warmth with a minimum of 180C. Protect it from hot draughts; keep the plant away from hot air vents or near any heat source.

Brown leaf tips and edges

There are two possible causes of brown leaf tips and edges in Spadeleaf Philodendron. One possible cause of brown leaf tips and edges is dry air (low air humidity).

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity for the plant.

The second possible cause of brown leaf tips and edges in Spadeleaf Philodendron is that the plant is root-bound.

Repot the Spadeleaf Philodendron into a pot 1-2 sizes larger. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant. Read on how to treat root-rot in houseplants.

Leggy growth and small pale leaves

Too little light is the cause of leggy growth and small pale leaves as Spadeleaf Philodendron will not thrive in shade as it requires bright indirect light away from direct sunlight.

Move the Burgundy Philodendron to a more brighter spot where it will receive bright indirect light or instal a grow light where natural light is inadequate.

Rotting stems

The reason for rotting stems in Spadeleaf Philodendron is the fungal stem-rot disease which is promoted by high moisture and too little warmth.

To save the plant repot it in fresh dry soil and keep the soil dry and warm for a period of time before watering. Read more on how to treat stem-rot disease in houseplants.

Diseases

Spadeleaf Philodendron is also prone to Powdery Mildew and Leaf Spot Disease which are promoted by overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the rest of the houseplants and spray it with a fungicidal solution. Ensure to cover the entire plant; the leaves and the stems.

To prevent future infestation, avoid wetting the foliage and water from the bottom instead. Also ensure that there is good air circulation for the plant.

Pests

The common pests in Spadeleaf Philodendron are Aphids, Scales and Mealybugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.

Is Spadeleaf Philodendron toxic?

According to National Capital Poison Center, Spadeleaf Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum) like other Philodendrons are toxic to both humans and pets . They contain Calcium oxalate crystals.

If ingested, these crystals can cause burning and swelling in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. Therefore, keep Spadeleaf Philodendron away from the reach of children and pets.

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