Philodendron, the plant that loves trees. This is how his own name explains, Philodendron, which derives from the Greek and expresses how its instinctive nature is to climb trees so as to hug them in an almost suffocating way. In an affectionate sense, of course, because it is not an annoying plant, it sticks to the trunks and uses them as a support but in the apartment we can safely provide him with pipes or structures in replacement or let the Philodendron falls cascade becoming a beautiful entrance plant.
It is one of the most common house plants in Europe and in Italy itself, however, there are hundreds of species that differ in color, size and climate preferences. However, all come from South America and most of them are climbers.
The Philodendron of this type it therefore has thin and fleshy stems from which large oval or heart-shaped leaves are born. Another peculiar feature of these climbing varieties concerns the roots with many internodes and which wrap around the support they find available.
The less common species with erect stems show more elongated and sharp-shaped leaves, often with much more original colors and small size.
Get to know all the existing species of Philodendrons it would be impossible given that there are at least half a thousand of them, but we can begin to know some, those that are more easily available on the market or that in any case struck us most with their shapes.
The Philodendron hederaceum (or Scandens or Oxycardium) is one of the most common varieties in our area and is generally grown indoors. It has consistent, dark green, monochrome leaves, except for some cultivars such as Brazil which also shows a yellow band in the center. They are plants that adapt well even to not too bright apartments. It has a stem with many visible roots and to make it feel at ease we have to vaporize very often also passing the leaves every now and then with a green cloth. It grows quite quickly so it is better to intervene every now and then by pruning it to avoid it taking up too much space.
The Philodendron hastatum, or Domesticum, is native to Brazil and develops very large leaves, at least 40 centimeters, fleshy and bright green. This strain is robust and resilient, and on top of that it also grows very quickly, reaching almost two meters in height. The species that we find on the market have leaves that grow quite erect hanging from petioles so much that they seem to want to tiptoe to get more light. When grown indoors, this plant tends to grow horizontally.
The Philodendron bipinnatifidum, or Selloum, is another rather common variety of Philodendron and has a considerable size. The leaf petioles can be up to 60 centimeters long and 45 centimeters wide, just to give you an idea. With this bulky size it is difficult to arrange it in the apartment but luckily there is a more compact hybrid, Philodendron var. 'Xanadu' more suitable for growing at home and easily available on the market.
In addition to these three main varieties, we can also find the following:
- Philodendron Speciosum, similar to bipinnatifidum with whole leaves with serrated edges
- Philodendron Erubescens, climber, up to 2 meters high, easy to care for and originally from Colombia,
- Philodendron tuxtlanum, also called Elephant Ears, is small, slowly growing climbers.
- Philodendron x evansii, hybrid between several species, very ornamental with large leaves
- Philodendron Glorosium, Slow-growing, native to Colombia, with heart-shaped leaves, with a velvety surface, pinkish margins and light veins (pale green, white or pink).
- Philodendron Bipennifolium, climber, not suitable for indoor cultivation
- Philodendron Melanochrysum, or Andreanum, a creeper that loves the shade originally from Colombia, reaches 2 meters in height.
- Philodendron goeldii It has very beautiful green leaves arranged in a circular shape. They are very different from other Philodendron species, which almost resemble a Schefflera
- Philodendron corcovadense, does not exceed one meter, gives life to many hybrids suitable for small houses
- Philodendron radiatum, climber with strongly lobed folia
- Philodendron x wilsonii, climber with large lobed leaves even one meter large
- Philodendron wendlandii, native to Costa Rica with oval and green leaves that form rosette bushes
Philodendron: edible fruit
Not all but some varieties of this plant, fortunately even the most widespread, also produce flowers and consequently, fruits. THE flowers we can imagine them similar in appearance tocalle. When the Philodendron it is grown outdoors by diligent green thumbs, so it gives us too large fruits and in almost all cases edible. Of course, it is difficult to get them from the specimens living in the apartment.
A property common to all or most of the numerous varieties of Philodendron is the ability to adapt to our apartments by creating a very pleasant and easy to care for green corner. The most common Philodendrons are among all, in Italy, the scadens and the hastatum.
The first, also called cuspidatum, is used both in the climbing version and in the hanging version, in both cases it has heart-shaped leaves that are not very large and which can have very different colors, whether they are single-colored or variegated. For the Philodendron Hastatum, the leaves become sagittate and then oblong and wavy, have a more fleshy consistency and grow quickly, in some cases they even show variegations or original colors like carmine.
The larger varieties of this plant are those with erect stems, shrubby type, also characterized by leaves larger and sometimes with irregular edges. They are less common than the others in our area, and are usually grown outdoors or in greenhouses, so that they can reach the size of a couple of meters. This is the case, for example, of Philodendron erubescens which exceeds one and a half meters with beautiful shiny leaves, pink when young and then more coppery, even 30 cm long.
We can also meet a plant that is very similar to some species of philodendroma that does not belong, strictly speaking, to this type. This is the Monstera deliciosa, a creeper that I mention now because it becomes huge if left to grow, with equally extended leaves, glossy dark green, often decorated with even deep incisions.
In addition to being attractive, decorative and easy to grow, the Philodendron it is also a rather affordable plant as a price, you can find examples for apartments for around ten euros, both online and in specialized shops and nurseries. Those creepers must then be able to rely on supports and plastic tubes covered with sponge, better if we then water them regularly in the summer while in the winter months we can do it every now and then. The optimal position is the bright one but without direct sun that it could annoy the Philodendron, used to living in the undergrowth of tropical forests.
Philodendron with yellow leaves: remedies
The yellow leaves or other "ailments" that can afflict the Philodendron sThey are in most cases a consequence of human cultivation errors since we are dealing with a plant that is generally healthy and robust. When the leaves are yellow and withered, either we have made a mistake in dosing the watering or we have subjected our plant to too low temperatures.
It can also happen that the leaves have some dark patches, in this case it is the “fault” of the gray mold. In this case we can intervene by carrying out a repotting in order to eliminate even the compromised parts. The parasites most "attached" to the Philodendron are the mealybugs and the red spider, specific products are needed to hunt them.
You may also be interested in our related articles:
- Climbing plants
- Indoor plants that grow even in low light
- Plants in the house
- Dieffenbachia indoor plant