Apartment plants

Philodendron - Philodendron - Philodendron cordifolium

The Philodendron

Houseplant very common in Europe, there are dozens and dozens of species, all of them originating from South America. In cultivation in apartments we find mainly species and varieties of climbing type, with thin fleshy stems, which bear large oval or heart-shaped leaves; the particularity of climbing filodendrons is that of producing roots at each internode, with which they cling to any support. These species are cultivated climbing plants on a guardian, or hanging, placed in hanging baskets. Some species are also grown with erect stems, with long sharp leaves, in particular those of reduced size or with foliage of particular color. However, there are also erect filodendrons, of shrubby type, with large leaves finely engraved, or with a page with irregular edges; these philodendrons are generally used in areas with a mild climate, to be cultivated outdoors, or in a cold greenhouse, since they can reach very large dimensions, "uncomfortable" for a houseplant. The most widespread species are Philodendron scandens, Philodendron "Burgundy", Philodendron andreanum. These plants in nature also produce flowers, which are often present even in specimens inv aso, they are squat inflorescences similar to calla lilies; in plants grown outdoors the flowers are followed by large fruits, edible in most species.

How they are cultivated

The name Philodendron derives from the Greek, and means "who loves trees", this is because in nature the first uncovered philodendrons climb using the trunk of tall trees as a support; to be able to cultivate them in an apartment, or place them high up, letting them fall back, or we must forcibly equip them with a sturdy guardian. Plastic pipes covered with sponge or sphagnum are used, around which the plant produces its roots.
In order to quench the plant's thirst over time, it is good to keep the brace constantly moist all year long; during the summer months we also provide regular watering, avoiding letting the growing substratum dry completely, which will be rich, soft, well-drained, but fresh and moist. During the winter months we can thin out much watering; these plants love a good environmental humidity, which must be supplied by vaporizing the plant, the foliage and its guardian often.
Although there are several species, the cultivation method differs little from species to species. The only discrepancies may concern the greater or lesser tolerance of the shadow and / or low temperatures.

Flowering July August
repotting End of winter
Cleaning End of winter
Talea Spring
Margotta All the year
Vegetative rest October - March

Crop requirements

The philodendrons do not particularly like the repottings, therefore we try to repot them not too often, and in any case we avoid to excessively manipulate the earth bread around the roots. They are placed in a bright place; in nature they live in the undergrowth of tropical forests, where the sun's rays do not reach them directly, but where there is also a good diffused lighting; we avoid therefore to expose them directly to the sun, but also to keep our philodendron in a dark and aeration-free place, or it will tend to produce ever longer internodes, with a distance of several centimeters between the leaves. They are tropical plants, which need minimum temperatures close to 10-12 ° C, so from the beginning of autumn they should be kept at home or in a temperate greenhouse; if we have a huge one philodendron we can leave it outdoors only if we live in a place with very mild winters, and in any case it is good to keep the plant in a sheltered place. The shrub species have similar needs to the climbing relatives: they love semi-shady but bright places, temperatures above 10-12 ° C, regular watering, so as to always keep the soil slightly damp, without drenching it too much.

A whole other story

A plant very similar to some species of philodendron, especially the larger ones, has been included in a species in itself for some years, it is called monstera deliciosa, but it is often still sold as Philodendron pertusum. It is a climber that can reach very large dimensions, with enormous leaves, which show deep incisions and sometimes even large perforations, of a glossy dark green color. The cultivation of the monstera is very similar to that of the philodendron, even if it is a plant that over the years reaches very considerable dimensions, quietly surpassing the two meters of height and amplitude. For this reason, if a "normal" philodendron is recommended for cultivation in any apartment, to cultivate a monstera in a healthy and luxuriant way, it is necessary to have a large living room, a covered terrace, or a real tempered greenhouse. . Otherwise we will be forced to periodically prune the plant, to contain its exuberance.

Climate and exposure philodendron

They are plants that adapt well to apartments, because they are very tolerant. In winter, in general, a temperature above 13 ° C must be guaranteed, while, during the growing season, it will be advisable to stay as long as possible between 20 and 25 ° C.
They like very bright exposures, but, as with all undergrowth plants, the direct sun must be avoided, as this may cause drying out and leaf burns. During the summer it is possible to move the pot outside, in an area protected from too intense light and currents. However, a shaded exposure rarely damages them: it only affects the speed of growth and the spacing of the internodes.

Irrigation and environmental humidity

From April to September irrigation must be frequent, compatibly with temperatures and always waiting for the surface to dry. In winter, on the contrary, it is better to be more careful and wait for the substrate to be rather dry before repeating the operation.
In every season (and especially in winter, if we heat a lot using radiators) it is important to keep the ambient humidity high with special appliances or through frequent leaf vaporisations and on aerial roots.
We preferably use non-calcareous water.

Substrate and fertilization

The suitable substrate must not overheat, but must always be able to maintain a slight humidity. A mixture of earth with leaves, peat and a bit of sand is fine. A small percentage of clay garden soil can be useful.
During the warm season (and even in winter if we warm up the room) we give a fairly balanced liquid fertilizer for green plants every 15 days. Granular fertilizers or stick or foliar administration are also good.
If we repot every year and want to limit growth, we can also skip this practice.

Pruning, cleaning and topping of philodendron

These operations are carried out at the end of winter. We remove old or damaged branches or leaves from the philodendron. In the decombing varieties it is useful to trim the stems in order to stimulate the emission of new ones obtaining a well-filled specimen both at the bottom and at the top.

Pests and diseases

The philodendrons are rather healthy, but incur from time to time in physiopathies, due mainly to cultural errors: we will see the withered or dried leaves. The most common problems are poor or excessive watering or too low temperatures. If on the other hand dark spots appear the probable cause is gray mold. We extract the plant and re-pot it eliminating the compromised parts and completely replacing the substrate. We do some administration of fosetil-aluminum.
The most frequent parasites are cochineals and red spider mites, to be fought with specific products.

Filodendro - Philodendron: Species and variety of Philodendron

The philodendron, for its ease of cultivation and for its beautiful foliage, is one of the most widespread plants in our apartments. For this reason, many species and varieties are available in nurseries, which differ in size, growth habit and also in the foliage coloring.
Here are the most widespread.
Philodendron Scadens (or cuspidatum)
The most widespread and known of all is certainly the philodendron scadens, characterized by a climbing or hanging cloister. It has small sized heart-shaped leaves, along the entire stem, carried on long and elegant petioles. If used as a climber it needs strong braces. It tolerates low temperatures well (up to 8 ° C). There are different varieties with different colored or variegated leaves.
Philodendron Pertusum
Also known with the most correct name of Monstera. It comes from the rainforests of Mexico and under the right conditions can reach large dimensions. Particularly decorative for large leaves. Once opened they are heart-shaped and compact, light green. As time goes by they become darker and really amazing carvings and tunnels form.
Many varieties are available, including the 'Borsigiana', which is small and 'Variegated', characterized by white spots.
Philodendron Hastatum
Also very widespread, it has first leaves sagittate then oblong and wavy. They have a thick and fleshy consistency. In the right conditions it grows very fast. The most widespread varieties are characterized by variegation or from the back of the carmine colored leaf.
Philodendron erubescens
It can reach 2 meters in height and has beautiful glossy, sagittate leaves, up to 30 cm long, pink when young and then with coppery reflections.
  • Philodendron

    The philodendron includes numerous species with an ascending stem, generally from 50 cm up to 3 m, sometimes rampican

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  • Philodendron

    The name Philodendron, derives from the Greek "Philo", love, and from "dendron", tree. It is a genus composed of 275 species, for

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  • Plant philodendron

    The philodendron is also known as Monstera, but in reality it is a different plant and is widespread in all the apparatuses.

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Family, genus, species Araceae, gen. Philodendron, about 275 species
Type of plant Evergreen herbaceous plants
Habit Climbing, decumbent or erect
Use Indoor potted plant
Height at maturity More than 2 meters (the highest species)
Flower color White
Growth rate From medium to very fast
Maintenance low
Water needs Medium-high
Minimum temperature 13 ° C
Ideal temperature in the vegetative period 20-25 ° C
Exposure Very bright, no direct sun; tolerate the shadow
Ground Light but fresh (peat + sand + little clay)
Fertilizer For green plants, every 15 days
soil pH Acid to neutral
Soil moisture drained
Environmental humidity high
Propagation Talea or layering