The Philodendron Cream Splash is a rare plant that’s best known for its beautiful cream, light green and dark green variegations against a green leaf background.
It is a hybrid of the Philodendron hederaceum which makes its complete name Philodendron hederaceum Cream Splash.
Some people call it the Sweetheart Plant or the Heart Leaf Philodendron because of the shape of its leaves.
The plant is best known for its long vines that are loaded with its beautiful leaves. It will happily climb up a pole but also looks stunning as a trailing plant in a hanging basket.
This philodendron plant is native to the Caribbean and Central America.
How do you care for the Philodendron Cream Splash? Keep the plant in medium to bright indirect light to maintain its beautiful colors. Avoid low light as well as direct sunlight.
Give the plant a moss pole or something to climb. It will likewise do well trailing down a hanging basket. Keep in a warm location with good humidity. Avoid overwatering.
Different Varieties of Philodendron Hederaceum
Above is an image or illustration that shows you the different varieties, hybrids and sports of the Philodendron hederaceum. These include the:
- Philodendron hederaceum
- Philodendron Brasil
- Philodendron Lemon Lime
- Philodendron Silver Stripe
- Philodendron Cream Splash
- Philodendron Gabby
- Philodendron Rio
You’ll notice that they all look similar in that these have some kind of variegations. But the patterns, colors and amount of varying hues is what sets them apart from one another.
Philodendron Cream Splash Plant Care
The Philodendron Cream Splash does best in medium to bright indirect light. Because its leaves are heavily variegated, good lighting is very important.
This will make sure that the plant maintains its variegations.
I don’t suggest low light despite the fact that the plant can tolerate it. That’s because in low light while the plant won’t experience any harm, its variegations will fade.
The reason is that variegations appear due to lack or absence of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the compound that gives leaves their green color.
Just as importantly, it is also chlorophyll that absorbs light which the plant uses for photosynthesis.
Therefore, while the yellow and white variegations look amazing, they don’t contribute to the plant’s overall well-being because they don’t participate in photosynthesis like the green section of the leaves do.
Therefore, the plant prefers a well-lit location to compensate for the lack of chlorophyll in some parts of its leaves.
That said, you also want to be careful with too much light. Very strong, intense light will blech the leaves and cause its colors to dull. In extreme intensity, the leaves will burn and you’ll see brown spots and marks on them as well.
So, avoid direct sunlight especially during mid-day and summer when the sun is the strongest.
The Philodendron Cream Splash is a tropical plant. This means it enjoys warm weather ranging from 64 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, the environment stays consistently warm throughout the year.
The reason for this is the weather in the tropics is warm to hot all year round with no winters. Thus, it is fairly consistent. You get a similar weather with sunny skiers 12 months of the year.
And this is what the plant likes most.
For this reason it grows well indoors.
Most homes maintain temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit because humans feel most comfortable within this range. And we like consistency as well.
Thus, the Philodendron Cream Splash does well as a houseplant.
What’s important to note is that because there are no winters in the tropics, the plant does not tolerate the cold well. In fact, it is not cold hardy. And it will have problems when the temperature drops under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Therefore, be wary of air conditioners and cold drafts from windows inside the home. Try to keep the plant away from these.
Outdoors, you can bring the plant outside during the summer. But make sure to take it back indoors once the temperature drops to near 50 degrees around fall. Don’t leave it outside in winter as it cannot tolerate frost or freezing conditions.
The only exception to this is if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. Here the plant is happy both indoors and outdoors. It can stay outside all year round because the weather is sunny and warm 365 days a year in these areas.
The Philodendron Cream Splash prefers humidity of 60% to 70%. But it will tolerate 40% humidity and above without any harm.
If you want the plant to produce larger leaves and produce more vibrant colors, try to keep humidity above 50% at least.
The thing you want to watch out for are brown edges and tips. These will get dry, crispy and brittle when the humid is too low.
Thus, this is your warning sign.
Sadly, the brown areas won’t return to the original colors ever. So, you’ll need to prune those sections.
This can happen when the air is too dry indoors for the plant’s liking. It can also happen during winter which is notorious for causing the air to dry up.
This is why I like to keep a hygrometer near my plants as a safety measure. It lets me know what the humidity it at any given time.
If it drops to the low 30s, I’ll start helping the humidity sensitive plants.
You can do this by using a humidifier or misting the plants. A free, hands off method is to create a pebble tray or a humidity tray and put the plant there.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Cream Splash
The Philodendron Cream Splash generally needs watering about once a week.
However, you need to keep track of the weather as the seasons change. This is less of an issue if you live in the southern part of the country including California, Texas, Arizona and Florida.
Because the sun is up all year and the weather is fairly consistent, you can more or less use a similar watering schedule with a few tweaks for summer and late in the year.
But if you live in areas with four seasons, your watering schedule will vary significantly during summer and winter.
In all likelihood, you may end up watering 2 or even 3 times a week during summer. And only once every 2 or 3 weeks during winter.
That’s because soil will dry faster or slower depending on how hot or cold the weather gets.
Therefore, it is not a good idea to stick to a fixed watering schedule. This is a sure fire way to overwater the plant during the cold months.
Instead, wait until the top 2 inches of soil has completely dried before you add water. I like to wait until the soil is about 50% dry before watering.
The former is your minimum threshold to avoid overwatering. On the other hand, the latter is a safer, more conservative approach.
That said, both methods work since you’re able to avoid watering too frequently. And the roots stay in moist soil.
It is very important to avoid overwatering since it not only turns leaves yellow but also increases the risk of root rot. This is why overwatering is the main cause of houseplant death.
Philodendron Cream Splash Potting Soil
The Philodendron Cream Splash needs well-draining soil that is loose and well-aerated. It will also appreciate soil with good organic content.
The reason good drainage and aeration is very important is because the plant is an hemiepiphyte. As such, it begins life as an epiphyte clinging onto trees. But over time, it will send down roots to the ground.
As such, while the roots get wet a lot from the rains in the forest they quickly dry because they are exposed to air.
This is why the Philodendron Cream Splash needs good drainage and aeration.
In contrast, its roots don’t like sitting in water for long periods of time. And this kind of soil will prevent waterlogging.
The best soil I like for this plant is an aroid mix. But you can use anything with good drainage.
You can pick up a package of aroid mix from your local nursery or favorite online plant store.
Or if you’re like me, you can make it yourself at home.
This aroid mix recipe has done very well for my philodendrons. Just combine:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
- ½ part horticultural charcoal
The potting soil holds moisture to keep the roots hydrated. Meanwhile, the perlite, bark and charcoal improve drainage. Also, both the charcoal and orchid bark are chunky. This allows oxygen to easy get through to the roots.
Is the Philodendron Cream Splash a Climber?
Yes. Since the Philodendron Cream Splash is an hemiepiphyte, it likes to climb. Thus, giving it a moss pole, cedar stake, trellis or any kind of vertical structure to go up will make it happy.
In fact, it will grow faster and get bigger if you allow it to climb.
Its leaves will also be larger in size.
To optimize its growth, feed the Philodendron Cream Splash with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a month during its growing season.
Also, dilute the application by half the recommended strength each time. Remember, don’t fertilize the plant if the soil is dry.
Besides the traditional fertilizer, you can use slow-release fertilizer.
This comes in pellet form, so you distribute them to apply. You’ll only need to apply 1-2 times per growing season as the nutrients are released at different intervals.
Another cheaper, organic option is fish emulsion.
It is easy to use and works very well for the plant. But be careful about the fish smell. Don’t apply in a closed room or that room will smell fishy for a while.
Once the formulation dries on the soil, the odor will go away.
If you prefer topdressing instead, you can use worm castings or compost. Apply each spring by adding a layer on the soil.
The Philodendron Cream Splash is a fast growing plant that is easy to care for with low maintenance.
While it grows quickly and will reach 10 to 20 feet tall if you let it climb, the plant does not need a lot of pruning. That’s because it leaves are what make the plant beautiful.
In addition to climbing, you can put it in a hanging pot or basket as well and let its long stems trail. This looks lovely with all the colorful leaves.
So, pruning is only needed if you want to limit its size or its bushiness.
The plant can look a bit messy once it gets very bushy.
But some people like it, others don’t. Thus, it is up to you when to prune.
That said, when pruning, avoid removing more than 30% of the plant in one sitting. This can stress it out and affect it growth. Instead, split the work over several weeks or months.
How to Propagate Philodendron Cream Splash
The Philodendron Cream Splash responds easily to stem cuttings. As such, you can propagate new plants by taking healthy stems and growing them into new plants.
Here’s how to propagate Philodendron Cream Splash from stem cuttings.
Begin by taking healthy stem cuttings. Choose stems or stem tips with at least one node and 2 or more leaves.
Cut the stems just below the node.
You can then decide if you want to propagate the cuttings in water or in soil.
To propagate in water,
- Place the cuttings in a container with water. Dip the cuttings so the nodes are submerged. But remove any leaves that end up in the water. Leave the upper leaves.
- It will take about 3-4 weeks before the roots will grow long enough. But you should see some small roots start growing in about 7-10 days.
- Once the roots reach between 2-4 inches long, you can move the cuttings and pot them into soil.
To propagate the cuttings in soil,
- Prepare a pot and fill it with well-draining soil. Plant the stem cuttings making sure to bury the nodes in the soil.
- Water the soil to keep it moist.
- Leave the pot in a well-lit location with indirect light and good humidity.
- In about 4-6 weeks the roots will take hold and start establishing themselves in the soil.
If you want a bushier plant, take a few cuttings and plant them together in a pot. This will produce more stems and leaves compared to only 1-2 cuttings per pot.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Cream Splash
The Philodendron Cream Splash is a fast grower and it will eventually need to be repot. This usually takes 18 to 24 or so months at least.
It depends on how quickly the plant grows.
And a lot of that depends on how much light, fertilizer, humidity, water and temperature it gets.
However, you only need to repot the Cream Splash Philodendron when it gets root bound. Try not to do so otherwise, except for emergencies.
That’s because the plant does not like being moved often. And it does enjoy being in a slightly tight container.
When repotting, choose a container that is one size larger. Avoid overpotting as this increases the risk of overwatering.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Philodendron Cream Splash is toxic when ingested. That’s because the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals are released. And they will pierce the tissues and internal lining of your mouth, tongue, throat, esophagus and digestive system.
This causes pain, swelling and irritation along with a hose of other side effects.
It is also toxic to people and animals. So keep young children and pets away from the plant to avoid accidental ingestion.
Philodendron Cream Splash Problems & Troubleshooting
The Philodendron Cream Splash does not experience a lot of pests. But it can get them.
The most common of which are mealybugs, spider mites, scale and aphids. All of these are sap suckers which mean they will feed on the sap of the plant.
Thus, as they grow in population they inflict more harm and weaken the plant faster.
This is why you’ll see yellow patches that soon turn into yellow leaves. You’ll also see foliage with brown spots that turn into holes later on.
I like to spray these bugs off with a light stream of water using the showerhead or garden hose. But you can also use neem oil or insecticidal soap.
The plant is quite hardy to diseases as well. However, this is true if you don’t abuse it.
The problem usually occurs when you overwater the plant or wet the leaves and don’t let them dry.
With the former it can cause root rot as well as fungal and bacterial diseases. Wet leaves on the other can lead to leaf spot and other infections.