Philodendron Pedatum

Philodendron Pedatum

Philodendron pedatum is a perennial vine that has oak-shaped leaves with multiple lobes. These tropical plants are native to Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guiana and Colombia, and are often confused with other philodendrons when in juvenile form. They are hardy climbers and are easy to care for. You can also propagate them using various methods, which will be discussed later in this article. 

Philodendron Pedatum Features 

These plants are good climbers, as mentioned above, and they thrive indoors. As they mature, the leaves become bigger and more beautiful. Being climbers, these plants produce aerial roots from their stems so they can attach themselves to their host, or moss pole. There are also non-climbing varieties that produce large, lobed leaves well-suited for interior landscaping.

These plants are called aroids because they belong to the Araceae family, and are distinguished by their unique flower structure. They are low-light plants since rainforests are their natural habitat. Their multi-lobed leaves measure around nine inches in length and are usually dark-green with a tinge of brown or maroon. 

Philodendron Pedatum Care 

Water the plants regularly to keep the soil consistently and evenly moist during the spring and summer. These plants can tolerate soggy soil, but it is not encouraged as it could cause root rot. Watering should be little but often for these climbers, which means you should water frequently with small amounts instead of sporadic, heavy watering. During late fall and winter, wait until the soil has almost completely dried before watering again. 

If you notice that the leaves are yellowing, you may be overwatering your plant, while brown and dry leaves indicate that the plant is getting insufficient water.

Expose your philodendron pedatum to at least six to 10 hours per day of bright, indirect light. These plants can tolerate lower light, but are likely to experience stunted growth. Avoid placing the plants under direct sunlight so that the leaves do not get sunburn. 

These plants thrive in high humidity environments with an ambient level of 60 percent or more. However, they can also tolerate drier conditions, which makes them easier to maintain than some other species. Add moisture to their environment with the use of humidity trays. You can also mist the leaves regularly with purified water to keep them healthy and hydrated. 

Temperature is an essential factor when caring for your plants, and you should ensure that it remains above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not place them near single-pane windows during cold weather, and keep them away from heaters or vents. 

Philodendron pedatum prefers fast-draining soil to accommodate frequent watering. The ideal soil mix for them is a blend of peat moss, pumice, worm castings and coir that provides good airflow and moisture retention, as well as fertilizing the plants with organic compounds. Avoid using soil that contains bark, since this can suffocate the roots. For a soilless potting medium, mix equal parts peat and sphagnum moss for optimal aeration and water retention. 

Make sure that the planters you use for your plants have drainage holes. Without these, water may become stagnant which can result in root rot. If you use metal planters with no drainage holes, leave the plants in a nursery pot that fits inside the chosen metal one. You can then easily remove the plants for watering and this will allow proper drainage. 

These plants need to be fertilized regularly, since they are fast growers. Liquid fertilizers derived from organic materials are safer and a more natural alternative. See to it that the fertilizer you use has a balanced nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. You could also opt for DIY fertilizers such as coffee grounds. 

Philodendron pedatum can be prone to pests like mealybugs, which can be kept at bay using insecticidal soap or neem oil. 

These plants contain crystal raphides and calcium oxalate crystals that form fibers similar to asbestos. This means they are toxic, so be sure to keep them away from pets and children.

Philodendron Pedatum Propagation 

These plants can be propagated using the stem cutting method. For successful propagation, take your cuttings below a root node or aerial root. Let the cuttings dry out for two days or become callused before you place them in clean water. Keep the water level just above the root nodes and replace the water weekly to avoid stagnation. You can use a rooting hormone for faster growth.

When the new roots are a few inches long, place a handful of soil into the water and stir gently until the soil sinks to the bottom. Repeat the process until the water is murky; this helps the roots transition from water to soil.

These plants can also be propagated by dividing the plant at the roots. When repotting, pull the base of the plant gently until the sections separate naturally. Untangle stuck roots carefully, and if certain roots are damaged, trim them down so that the remaining roots can still provide the necessary nutrients. 

Conclusion 

Philodendron pedatum is a tropical plant with attractive, multi-lobed leaves. These perennial climbers are native to South America and are fast-growing and easy to care for. They thrive in bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low-light environments, since rainforests are their natural habitat. They also love high humidity environments, and should be fertilized regularly. Provide your plant with these growing conditions and it will add a great aesthetic to your home.

Image: istockphoto.com / Jobrestful