Philodendron Bernardopazii Care, Propagation, Problems & Fixes

The Philodendron Bernardopazii is another rare plant that can grow indoors or outdoors. Note that it will get much bigger outdoors and look somewhat different compared to when grown indoors.

On interesting tidbit of knowledge about this philodendron plant is that it used to be thought of as a form of Philodendron Santa Leopoldina. Later on, its was given the name Philodendron superbum.

Now, they’ve finally settled on is current name Philodendron Bernardopazii.

I point this out just so you’re aware that all these names refer to the same plant. This helps avoid confusion since many plants are often confused with one another because of their names.

That said the Philodendron Bernardopazii is a large, climbing variety that’s native to the forests of Brazil in South America.

How do you care for the Philodendron Bernardopazii? This plant enjoys medium to bright, indirect light. Avoid intense direct sunlight as this can burn its leaves.

For best growth, keep it in a warm, humid location and give it moist soil. Use well-draining potting mix and avoid overwatering.

Don’t forget to feed it with a high quality fertilizer, but only when it is actively growing.

Philodendron Bernardopazii Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Philodendron Bernardopazii will grow best in medium to bright, indirect light. It will grow into a big plant with large, beautiful leaves in this environment.

That’s because light provides the plant with the raw material for photosynthesis which is its energy creation factory. As such, the more light you give it, the more energy it can create to sustain good growth.

Indoors, since the walls and ceilings of the home block out the sun, the main light source comes from the window or other openings in the home. This makes those openings the ideal location to keep the plant.

However, it is also important to note that there’s such a thing as too much light.

The reason is that the plant is native to the tropical rainforests of South America. But while that region of the world gets very strong, hot sun, the plant lives under the forest canopy.

Therefore, it benefits from the shade of the large trees, their leaves and branches.

This means that in its native habitat, it does not receive the brunt of the sun’s rays. Instead, the sun has already been filtered by the leaves and branches overhead. So, the plant is used to filtered or dappled sunlight.

The equivalent of this kind of light indoors is indirect or filtered light.

On the other hand, it cannot tolerate strong, harsh direct sunlight especially that between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. (which is the hottest times of the day) for more than 2 or 3 hours daily.

If you leave it there for long periods of time, its leaves will eventually turn yellow or get pale in color. In more extreme conditions, the sun’s rays will burn the leaves giving it brown spots, patches or marks.

This is why an east facing window is ideal. The morning sun is gentle so the plant actually enjoys direct sun from this direction.

But the sun coming from the south and west receive mid-day sun which is too intense for the plant. So, if you want to keep it there, filter the light with blinds or curtains.

Another option is to distance the plant from the window so the sun’s rays never touch the Philodendron Bernardopazii’s leaves.

Another option is the north facing window.

The plant will do well here too because it can tolerate low light without any problems. But depending on where you live, you may want to check how much light that side of your home gets during winter.

If the light gets too low during that time, move the plant to a brighter location during that season of the year.

 

Temperature

The Philodendron Bernardopazii enjoys warm weather, ideally temperatures between 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, this is because it is a tropical plant.

This also means that while its sweet spot is between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it has no issues with temperatures hitting 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is why you’ll see it being grown as a houseplant in Southeast Asia and South America in their homes.

These parts of the world easily experience 90 to 100+ degree Fahrenheit weather during summertime. And the plant does not have any problems with this.

However, the same is not true for the cold.

Since the tropics don’t have winters, the Philodendron Bernardopazii cannot withstand the cold. In fact, once temperature drops under 55 degrees Fahrenheit, it will struggle.

Therefore, avoid leaving it in the cold areas both indoors and outdoors.

While this is less of a problem indoors, there are some sneaking things that can damage the plant in your home. For example, keep it away from rooms with air conditioners.

Also, open windows or doors when cold drafts can negatively affect the plant. And watch out for cold spots in your home where temperature can suddenly drop during night time.

This is prevalent in some places.

One example are desert  regions like Arizona and Nevada which are hot during the day but will get cold and chilly at night.

These things can sneak up on the plant and let you wake up with a nasty surprise in the morning.

The same is true for the outdoors.

If you live somewhere with four seasons, don’t leave the plant outdoors during late fall and winter. It won’t reach to see spring if you do.

Instead, take it indoors and keep it warm throughout the cold season.

 

Humidity

The Philodendron Bernardopazii also prefers high humidity. Ideally, it enjoys 60% to 75% humidity the most. And it will grow the fastest and produce more leaves in this environment.

However, it will also tolerate humidity of 40% and slightly lower than that without any harm as well.

This is good news for many home growers because most homes average between 20% and 50% humidity. And if you have cold winters, the air tends to get dry during that time of year as well.

The true test for the plant if you want to know its humidity tolerance is to monitor it closely.

Once you see brown tips and edges that are crispy or dry, it means the humidity is too low for its needs.

This will allow you to figure out what its humidity threshold is.

Once you get that, all you need to do is keep track of daily humidity by using a hygrometer. Any time humidity drops to near that level, it means you need to help the plant out.

One way to do that is to get a humidifier.

But if you don’t want to spend money, there are free options. Misting is the simplest. Another is moving the plant to the bathroom.

I like to use a humidity tray or pebble tray which you can easily make yourself with simple components.

 

How Often to Water Philodendron Bernardopazii

The Philodendron Bernardopazii can tolerate some periods of dryness. This makes underwatering less of a problem.

That said, avoid letting the soil go completely bone dry as the plant does not like getting dehydrated.

Allowing this to happen regularly or leaving the soil completely dry for long periods of time will eventually damage the roots and the plant.

However, in most cases, it is overwatering that’s the problem.

That’s because many growers get too generous in caring for their plants.

Unfortunately, the Philodendron Bernardopazii does not take well to this because it is susceptible to overwatering which can lead to root rot.

This is why the best way to water the plant is to wait for the top 2 inches of soil to dry between waterings. Allowing part of the soil to dry before adding more water prevents wet, soggy soil.

In doing so, you avoid overwatering and its consequences.

In addition to knowing when to water, it is also important to know how to water.

Luckily, you have a few options here.

The first is the traditional way of watering from above.

Here, pour water directly on the soil not over the leaves. You don’t want to wet the leaves since too much moisture that does not dry quickly can cause fungal disease.

Keep watering until the entire root ball is saturated. Then let the soil completely drain.

The last part is very important so don’t skimp on it just because it take a while to complete.

You can likewise water from below (bottom watering).

Here, place a large container under the pot and fill the container with water up to about a quarter of the pot’s height.

The soil will absorb the water through the drainage holes below. This takes longer as the soil will absorb moisture at its own rate.

Once the top layer of soil feels moist, remove the pot from the water and let it completely drain.

Yet another option is using a water bath.

While not as well known, it works just as well.

 

Related

 

Philodendron Bernardopazii Potting Soil

The Philodendron Bernardopazii needs well-draining soil that is loose and rich in organic matter.

Good drainage is very important because of its susceptibility to overwatering.

Well-draining soil holds some moisture. But more importantly, it quickly drains excess water so the roots don’t end up sitting in water for long periods of time.

This helps prevent overwatering and waterlogging. Both of which can lead to root rot.

On the other hand avoid heavy soils which tend to hold on to too much moisture. Similarly, don’t use very sandy soils or those with excessive drainage.

The latter will drain moisture too quickly that the roots won’t get able to get their drink.

A good potting mix recipe you can use for the Philodendron Bernardopazii consists of:

  • 30% potting soil
  • 40% bark
  • 20% peat
  • 10% perlite

For good measure, also add some handfuls of agricultural charcoal.

The potting soil and the peat will hold onto some moisture. Meanwhile, the perlite, bark and charcoal will provide excellent drainage.

If you prefer to buy your potting soil instead of mixing it yourself, you can pick up a bag of Aroid mix. This is especially designed for Aroids or plants that belong to the Araceae family.

As such, you can use it for philodendrons, monsteras, anthuriums, peace lilies, pothos, zz plants and a few others.

 

Fertilizer

In addition to light, temperature, humidity and water, the Philodendron Bernardopazii also needs nutrients. This is why fertilizer is important.

Note that the plant will survive and do okay without fertilizer in most cases. But it will grow slower, won’t produce as much leaves. And the leaves won’t grow as big as the same plant which gets plant food.

The most important thing to watch out for if you don’t feed the plant is nutrient deficiencies.

Philodendrons needs magnesium, calcium, iron and a few other trace elements. So, without fertilizer, you may see some symptoms like yellow leaves and the like start to appear due to nutrient deficiencies.

This is also why it is important to choose a fertilizer that not only has macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) but also micronutrients.

To feed the Philodendron Bernardopazii, you can use a balanced or all-purpose fertilizer. I like to use a water-soluble one because it is easier to apply.

Additionally, liquid fertilizers make it easy for you to dilute the dose just by adding water.

You can do this in the watering can. Then pour the fertilizer solution on the soil. Avoid pouring directly on the stems and leaves.

Also, only apply fertilizer when the plant is actively growing. This is during the warm months of spring and summer. Don’t feed it during fall and winter.

Finally, the one this you never, ever want to do is over fertilize the plant as this can result in fertilizer burn which will damage the roots, stems and leaves.

In fact, over fertilizing is worse that not feeding the plant at all.

So, just follow the instructions on the product label. Don’t apply more than what it says and don’t apply during times when the plant does not need the nutrients.

 

Pruning

The Philodendron Bernardopazii will eventually grow into a big plant with large leaves. While it is a slow grower, it will consistently get bigger over time with proper care.

This is what makes it stunning once the leaves get long and large.

In fact, after a while, the plant will be wider than it is tall. That’s because the long leaves will kind of flop over to different sides.

Their size will eventually make the plant look a bit crowded. And in some cases, a bit messy looking.

Some growers like this look while others don’t.

If you don’t like it, you can prune a bit at a time to try and shape the way it looks. Of course, this only applies once the plant has more than a few leaves and the leaves have gotten bigger.

Before that, it won’t be a problem.

Therefore, pruning is a low maintenance task that you may want to do every few months.

Also, don’t forget to immediately remove any diseased or infected leaves (if they appear) as these will spread.

 

How to Propagate Philodendron Bernardopazii

The most common ways to propagate the Philodendron Bernardopazii are from stem cuttings and air layering.

Stem cuttings is by far more popular due to its simplicity. Home growers also like it because it has a very high success rate.

Additionally, with this method, you can choose the propagate the Philodendron Bernardopazii in water or directly in soil.

Here’s how to propagate Philodendron Bernardopazii from stem cuttings.

  • The first step is to choose healthy stems. Your plant also needs to be healthy otherwise don’t propagate yet. Note that the best time to propagate is spring to early summer.
  • When choosing the stems to cut, make sure that each candidate you select has at least one node and a 2-3 leaves.
  • Once you’ve picked out the stems, it is time to cut. Use a sterile pair or scissors or pruning shears. You can sterilize the blades using rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Cut each stem you want to get just under the node.
  • Now, it is time to choose whether you want to propagate in water or in soil.

To propagate the stem cutting in water,

  • Place the stem cuttings in a glass jar with water. Submerge the nodes underwater. But remove any leaves that end up wet. Keep the upper leaves for photosynthesis.
  • Place the jar in bright, indirect light and good humidity.
  • You’ll also need to change the water every 1-2 weeks.
  • In about 3-4 weeks you should see quite a few roots developing from the stem cuttings.
  • Once the roots reach at least 2 inches or longer, you can move the cuttings into a pot with soil.

To propagate the stem cuttings in soil,

  • Prepare a pot and fill it with well-draining soil.
  • Then dip the ends of the stem cuttings in rooting hormone.
  • Plant the cuttings into the soil with the nodes buried under.
  • Then water the soil until moist. You’ll need to do this once the soil dries up a bit. But don’t overwater it or let the soil stay wet.
  • Keep the pot in a well-lit spot with indirect light and good humidity.
  • In about 4 weeks, the roots will begin establishing themselves in the soil.

Since the cutting is already in soil, there’s no need to move it until it needs repotting.

Of course, you can also move the cuttings and separate them into individual pots if you wish.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Bernardopazii

Repotting is not a regular task you need to do once the plant has matured. Its slow growth often means that you’ll only need to repot once every 2 or years.

However, there are a few instances when you’ll want to repot.

The most common is when the plant gets root bound. You can easily tell when this happens by looking at the bottom of the pot.

If you see quite a few roots coming out from the drainage holes, it is time to repot.

Another one that’s more specific to the Philodendron Bernardopazii is when the plant gets top heavy.

Its large leaves can cause the plant to become harder to balance with a smaller or lighter pot. As such, you’ll need to repot.

Finally, there are cases of emergencies.

This is one that plant owners don’t want to experience. But you need to be ready.

If the plant has root rot, is overwatered, has uncontrollable pest infestation or disease, then repotting is sometimes the only option.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Yes, the Philodendron Bernardopazii is toxic to humans and animals. But it only becomes poisonous when ingested. Therefore, touching or carrying the plant is safe.

Because of its toxicity, it is a good idea to keep the plant out of reach or away from where young children, dogs and cats tend to stay or play.

 

Philodendron Bernardopazii Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Philodendron Bernardopazii is quite resistant to pests. So, you may enjoy the plant without ever having to deal with pests.

The best way to prevent bugs from coming around, is to keep the plant healthy.

Cleaning the leaves also keeps pests away since they are attracted to dust.

If you really want to avoid these insects, you can apply neem oil or insecticidal soap once every month. From experience, this really helps keep the bugs away.

That said, a weak, sick or stressed plant will be prone to these bugs. So, the preventive measures only work effectively if the plant is healthy.

Otherwise, you may seem mealybugs, spider mites and aphids come around.

 

Diseases

Root rot is still the biggest problem when it comes to diseases. That’s because it can kill the plant if not treated early enough.

As such, the best thing you can do is prevent root rot before it even happens.

Luckily, you can do so by not overwatering the plant. Another preventive measure is to use well-draining soil.

That’s because excess watering or watering too frequently along with waterlogged soil are the main reasons for root rot.

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