How to Grow and Care for Philodendron sagittifolium Indoors


Philodendron sagittifolium

Botanical name: Philodendron sagittifolium
Family: Araceae

Description

Philodendron sagittifolium is an easy-care, vigorously-growing climber whose arrow-shaped leaves are pale green on top and the undersides are dark-green with light green spots.

It has a variegated cultivar which has yellow and green variegated leaves.

Philodendron sagittifolium can be grown as a climber on a trellis or moss stick. The stems require a firm support to prevent the plant from toppling over.

Size

Philodendron sagittifolium is a drought tolerant plant which can grow to a height of 10 ft in a few months. The leaves are about 24 in. long by 12 in. wide.

Flower

The flower is an erect, flat, green spathe tinged with red on the inside.

Origin

Philodendron sagittifolium is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil, Mexico and Peru where is grows as an epiphyte on trees.

Where to buy

Philodendron sagittifolium is readily available online in various sizes at Etsy. Purchase Philodendron sagittifolium from Etsy.

Philodendron sagittifolium

Photo Credit: Kens Philodendrons

Philodendron sagittifolium Care Indoors

Philodendron sagittifolium thrives in bright indirect light away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soils coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Philodendron sagittifolium requires regular pruning to keep the plant neat, encourage a compact, bushy growth and rejuvenate growth. Repotting of the young plant is needed when it becomes pot-bound while the large plants require annual replenishment of the soil. Read on for a detailed account on these conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

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

Keep the Philodendron sagittifolium away from direct sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves. Inadequate light will result in leggy growth and small-sized pale leaves.

For even growth, turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides.

Watering

Water Philodendron sagittifolium liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

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

To avoid soggy soil, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole. Soggy soil can lead to root-rot disease and eventual loss of the plant.


Temperature

Philodendron sagittifolium thrives in average warmth within the range of 18-250C. Temperatures outside this range may harm the plant.

Protect the plant 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 or even death of the plant.

Humidity

Philodendron sagittifolium needs a humid environment to thrive. Low humidity for prolonged periods can result in curled leaves and brown leaf tips and edges.

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

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

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Philodendron sagittifolium 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 at this time can result to fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.

Repotting

Repot young Philodendron sagittifolium annuallly 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 that 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.

Large Philodendron sagittifolium 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 Philodendron sagittifolium involves removal of yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

To encourage a bushy and compact growth, regularly 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

Philodendron sagittifolium 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 Philodendron sagittifolium from stem cuttings in soil

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

Insert the cutting in moist, free-draining soil while ensuring that at least one leaf node is below the soil surface.

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

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

How to propagate Philodendron sagittifolium from stem cuttings in water

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

Place the cutting in a jar of clean water while ensuring that 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 develop.

Transfer the new plants 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 cuttings.

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

Philodendron sagittifolium

Photo Credit: Rob's Rare Plants

Philodendron sagittifolium Problems Indoors

The main problems in Philodendron sagittifolium are 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

If many leaves are affected and there are signs of wilting and rotting, overwatering is the cause of yellow leaves in Philodendron sagittifolium.

Be cautious in watering. Water the plant liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

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

To avoid soggy soil, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining (drains easily).

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

Feed the plant every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer but do not feed 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 fix the problem, water the Philodendron sagittifolium liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold season 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 or keep the Philodendron sagittifolium away from direct sunlight.

Dropping leaves

As the plant ages, the lower leaves in Philodendron sagittifolium will drop but if there is an abnormal leaf drop, the cause is sudden change of the growing conditions.

Avoid moving the Philodendron sagittifolium suddenly to a new growing position before acclimating it. Move the plant gradually to a little brighter conditions over a period of time.

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

Philodendron sagittifolium prefers average warmth within the range of 18-250C. Protect it from hot draughts like hot air vents, heat source and others.

Brown leaf tips and edges

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

To remedy the problem, 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 Philodendron sagittifolium is that the plant is root-bound.

Repot the plant 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.

Leggy growth and small pale leaves

Too little light is the cause of leggy growth and small pale leaves as Philodendron sagittifolium will not thrive in shade.

Move the Philodendron sagittifolium 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 Philodendron sagittifolium 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

Apart from stem-rot disease, Philodendron sagittifolium 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 Philodendron sagittifolium are Mealybugs, Scales and Aphids. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.

Is Philodendron sagittifolium toxic?

The National Capital Poison Center, indicates that Philodendron sagittifolium like other Philodendrons is toxic to both humans and pets. The plants 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 the Philodendron sagittifolium away from the reach of children and pets.

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