Last Updated on June 9, 2022 by Admin
The Philodendron Balaoanum is a rare, epiphytic plants that’s endemic to Ecuador.
It is best known for its uniquely shaped green leaves which change in form as the plant matures. This makes it stunning and gorgeous at the same time.
How do you care for the Philodendron Balaoanum? Give the plant plenty of indirect or filtered sunlight to support its leaf growth and color. But avoid direct sunlight.
Moderate to warm temperatures is best along with good humidity. It is not frost hardy. Never overwater the plant. Instead, allow the soil to partially dry between waterings.
Philodendron Balaoanum Plant Care
The Philodendron Balaoanum is a beautiful plant that requires specific lighting. It thrives in medium to bright indirect light.
This will allow it to develop its stunning leaves with gorgeous green color.
However, too much or too little light will quickly make a difference. So, you do need to plan out where you want to put the plant.
The Philodendron Balaoanum does well indoors provided it stays in a well-lit location.
Make sure the light source is indirect, dappled, filtered or diffused.
Avoid very strong light or harsh direct sunlight. This is the kind of sun that comes from the south facing window during mid-day or summer.
Similarly, avoid full sun outdoors.
Excessive exposure to this kind of intensity will turn the leaves yellow. More importantly it could burn the leaves as well.
Therefore, be careful with leaving the plant in the path of the sun’s rays.
In contrast, you also want to avoid low light.
While the plant will survive this, its leaves won’t look anywhere as amazing as they should. Lack of light will slow or stunt its growth. Additionally, it will also affect the size and color of the leaves.
For best growth and leaf color, keep the plant in medium to bright indirect light indoors.
Outdoors, place it in partial sun or partial shade. Don’t leave it under full shade or full sun.
The Philodendron Balaoanum grows best when temperature is kept between 60 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It can likewise tolerate hotter conditions up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit without any issues.
On the other hand, the plant is no frost hardy. Nor does it like the cold.
It has a hard time with temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. So, try to keep things at 55 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
The good news is that its temperatures preference is perfect for indoor gardening.
This makes it easy to care for the plant at home.
Still, you need to watch out for a few things including air conditioners, heaters, cold drafts, fireplaces, stoves and ovens.
Anything that can make temperature drop or make its surroundings quite hot are no-no’s.
Outdoors, the plant becomes more vulnerable.
It does like USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 because the weather is perfect for it. These locations stay sunny and moderate to warm throughout the year.
So, you can leave the plan outdoors at all times if you live in these places.
However, make sure to bring it indoors if you have winter weather. It won’t make it past the cold or freezing temperatures if you leave it outside.
Even indoors, make sure you keep it in a warm, cozy spot.
If your home gets hold during this time of year, try using a heating mat or heating pad and place it under the pot. This will keep the soil temperature warm.
The Philodendron Balaoanum prefers humid conditions. Ideally, keep humidity at 60% and higher as much as possible.
This is where the plant will thrive and grow bigger. Its leaves also get larger and have more vibrancy to them.
That said, the Philodendron Balaoanum can tolerate low humidity as well.
But try to keep humidity at 40% and above. It can tolerate slightly lower than this through. But you want to be careful and monitor the leaves more.
As with its light and temperature preference, the plant likes high humidity because this is what it is used to in its native habitat.
And if you keep it on lower humidity, always keep an eye on its leaves.
They will tell you if it is getting too low.
The farther you get from its ideal humidity range, the more you’ll see the differences in its leaves.
But the biggest thing to look out for are dry, brown or crispy leaf edges and tips. These are signs that the air is too dry for the plant’s liking.
As such, it needs help with humidity.
The most obvious way to increase humidity is to get a humidifier. However, this is not free. And there’s some maintenance involved with it.
So, if you have a budget for it, you can go get a humidifier.
If you prefer something free, you can mist the plant a few times a week. Misting is more temporary. So, you do need to repeat every few days.
Also, be careful not to wet the leaves too much or leave wet spots on foliage.
These can cause fungal disease later on.
Other options are to use a pebble tray, humidity tray or group your houseplants together.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Balaoanum
The Philodendron Balaoanum needs moderate watering. It enjoys evenly moist soil. But never water it too much such that the soil is soggy or mucky.
This is too much for the plant and it will hate you.
The plant does not like wet feet. And when its roots are left sitting in water for long periods of time, they will suffocate.
Overwatering will usually show up in the leaves and soil.
So, monitor the leaves and feel the soil every few days or once a week.
When overwatered, the leaves will turn yellow and soft. The plant will also wilt. Meanwhile, the soil will feel wet, mucky or soggy.
If the soil surface stays wet even after its been a few days since you last watered, that’s usually a bad sign.
That said, underwatering is also something the plant dislikes.
But it has more tolerance to dryness. The key is to avoid letting the soil go completely dry.
You’ll know when the plant is underwatered by looking at the leaves. If they turn brown, dry or crispy, it lacks water.
The soil surface will also feel very dry.
That said, the Philodendron Balaoanum will bounce back faster from dryness then wet.
Additionally, too much watering can lead to root rot.
As such, avoid overwatering as much as possible.
Philodendron Balaoanum Potting Soil
The Philodendron Balaoanum needs the right potting soil to thrive.
Soil is very important because it provides two important things for the plant.
One is it regulates moisture. And secondly, it provides slow-release nutrients.
This is why the best soil for the Philodendron Balaoanum is loose, well-draining and high in organic matter content. It also does best when soil pH stays between 5.0 to 6.5.
Drainage is very important because it plays a secondary role to watering.
Once you water the soil, it will depend on the kind of soil you use to retain that moisture or to drain it.
If it retains too much water, the roots will ultimately end up in too much moisture. Thus, putting the plant at risk of overwatering and root rot again.
This will negate your proper watering technique altogether.
On the other hand, if you use soil that drains too much moisture, the soil will dry up very quickly. This leaves the roots underwatered.
So, well-draining potting mix is very important.
It holds just enough moisture to keep the roots hydrated. But will quickly drain excess liquid.
Nutrient rich soil also helps keep the plant healthy by providing it with organic minerals. The soil pH will let the plant efficient absorb the nutrients.
The best soil I’ve found for this plant is an Aroid mix. You can get a bag online or from some nurseries.
Or you can make you own Aroid mix at home as well. This one works really well for me.
- 30% potting soil
- 20% peat
- 40% bark
- 10% Perlite
- Plus, a few handfuls of horticultural charcoal
If you use rich, fertile soil, then you won’t need to use as much fertilizer.
However, I do suggest using fertilizer even if the plant will turn out okay without it.
That’s because you’ll easily see the difference in a year or so.
One that’s fed with fertilizer will not only be bigger but also have more foliage that are larger with better color compared to the unfertilized plant.
But be careful not to overfeed the plant.
This can damage the leaves and the roots due to the excess salts in commercial fertilizer mixes.
Instead, only feed the plant once a month during spring and summer.
Use a balanced fertilizer. A 15-15-15 or 20-20-20 blend works quite well. Also, dilute each dose by 50%.
If the plant is not growing as expected, you can increase the frequency to once every 2 weeks.
On the other hand, if the leaves turn pale, check to make sure that the produce you’re using contains magnesium and calcium.
Deficiency in both minerals will cause pale colored foliage.
The Philodendron Balaoanum will grow into a good sized plant with large, beautiful leaves.
The leaves are the most attractive part of the plant.
And they will grow best if you allow it to climb.
That said, because the leaves make up majority of the Philodendron Balaoanum’s size above the soil, there’s very little reason for pruning.
Prune only if you want to control the size and shape of the plant.
Other than that, pruning is usually done to remove damaged, old, diseased, brown or yellow foliage.
How to Propagate Philodendron Balaoanum
Philodendron Balaoanum propagation is fairly easy as you can do so from stem cuttings.
The most important thing to make sure with stem propagation is to ensure that each cutting has at least 1-2 nodes with it.
Otherwise, it will not propagate successfully.
Choose only healthy stems with several leaves on it as well. The leaves will help with photosynthesis to let the new plant grow well.
Once you’ve chosen the stems you want to propagate, sterilize a pair of pruning shears can cut it about half an inch below a node.
Remove any lower leaves to expose more nodes as well.
You also don’t want any leaves to end up in the water or soil.
Place the cutting aside for a few hours to let the oozing dry and callous. In the meantime, prepare a pot and fill it with well-draining soil.
When the cut end of the stems have dried, apply rooting hormone. Then plant the cuttings into the soil.
Water the soil until moist. Then place the pot in bright, indirect light.
Keep the new plant warm and away from direct sunlight.
It will take about 4 weeks or so for new roots to grow from the stem cutting. And they will establish themselves in the soil afterwards.
Once the plant has outgrown the pot, you can repot it to a larger one.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Balaoanum
The Philodendron Balaoanum will develop deep roots which allows it to anchor itself to the soil. Additionally, this allows it to get water and nutrients to support he plant.
But as it grows, you’ll eventually need to repot the plant to give its root system more space to grow.
However, don’t repot unless there’s a reason to.
That’s because each time you replace the soil and move the plant to another pot, the roots will have to re-establish themselves in their new home.
This affects the foundation and strength of the root system.
So, only repot when the plant is root bound. Then move it to a new container that is one size larger.
You also want to replace the soil to ensure it has the right texture and drainage.
Finally, take your time when unpotting and repotting. Make sure all the roots are intact and in good shape. Don’t just tug them out of the current container or squish them into the new pot.
This will damage the roots.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the Philodendron Balaoanum is toxic when ingested. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic to humans, cats and dogs.
Therefore, avoid place it within reach of children and pets as they can accidentally eat part of the plant and experience poisoning.
Philodendron Balaoanum Problems & Troubleshooting
Aphids, spider mites and mealybugs are common pests that like to attack the Philodendron Balaoanum.
While these bugs are small, they will populate very rapidly.
And because they feed on the sap of the plant, they become very dangerous once they turn into an infestation.
This means that it is important to regular inspect the plant.
This way, you can spot any of these pests early and get rid of them when there are only few.
Root rot from overwatering or waterlogging is one of the most common problems with philodendron plants.
This happens when the roots end up in too much water for long periods of time.
Therefore, avoid watering the plant too often or using soils that retain too much water. These will keep the roots wet which can result in root rot.
Checking the soil every few days or once a week is a good way to avoid this.
Similarly, when you see yellow leaves, it usually means overwatering. So, check your watering schedule and make sure the soil is well-draining.