The Philodendron Deja Vu is a beautiful self-header that features unique-looking dark green serrated leaf edges.
Its ability to do well in low light and fluorescent lighting makes it perfect for indoor spaces like homes and offices.
While it has a very tropical look to it, the plant is actually very easy to care for.
Interestingly, a young Deja Vu philodendron looks very different from its mature form. It starts out with smooth leaf margins.
But over time the jagged edges develop and these serrations get deeper as the plant matures.
That said, it will grow to about 3 feet or so in height. So, while it can start out on tables, countertops or shelves, it will eventually end up on the floor as a medium sized foliage plant.
Philodendron Deja Vu Plant Care
The Philodendron Deja vu are very versatile in that they do well in low, medium and bright light. They also don’t have any problems with fluorescent lighting.
This makes them perfect for indoors growing, including homes and offices (even those with little access to sunlight).
That said, avoid dim, dark and full shade as the plant will stop growing.
Similarly, avoid direct sun and overly bright light as this will turn its leaves brown. In some cases, it can cause burn marks as well.
Indoors, this makes an east or north facing windows great options. You can also keep it anywhere in a room that is reasonably well lit or at least has fluorescent lighting.
You do want to be careful of spots near the west and south facing windows. Ideally keep the plant at least 3 o 6 feet away from these locations so the sun’s rays cannot reach it.
The Philodendron Deja Vu is native to South America which is located right around the equator. As such, the plant is used to tropical conditions.
So, it is best suited to moderate to warm weather that is likewise humid. It also thrives when there is sunlight all year round. And it is not accustomed to seeing snow or experiencing cold climates.
From this, you can already guess that it does best in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. These are the regions of California, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and the like. All of which are in the south near the coast.
They also get sunlight all year round and are warmer that most parts of the country.
If you live in these areas, the Philodendron Deja Vu will be perfect outdoors if you want to keep it there.
However, in regions below Zone 9, it is better off indoors once temperature drop to 55 degrees Fahrenheit late in the year.
The plant does best when climate stays between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Although its ideal conditions are in the lower, middle end of that range (65 to 75 degrees).
Indoors, you’ll also want to avoid sudden temperature fluctuations, cold drafts, vents and air conditioners.
The Philodendron Deja Vu thrives in humid environments. This can make it an issue indoors depending on where you live because the average home humidity tends to stay between 30% and 50%.
While the plant can tolerate some low humidity, it prefers levels stay at 50% or higher.
This means that you want to watch out for hot summers and cold winters where the air tends to get very dry.
Also, if you live in the desert or don’t get a lot of rain where you live, humidity can be a problem.
If this is the case, I do suggest picking up a digital hygrometer. This will let you know what the humidity is at any point in time.
You can also use it to gauge whether the adjustments you made were enough to bring up humidity around the plant.
How Often to Water Philodendron Deja Vu
The Philodendron Deja Vu does better when it is on the dry side. It is among the fewer philodendrons who like this. In contrast, many prefer living is slightly to consistently moist conditions.
As such the plant does not need a lot of water which makes it perfect if you are very busy or tend to forget often.
In fact, it does not mind weeks without water. More importantly, won’t sustain any damage.
On the other hand, it is a lot more susceptible to overwatering. The plant does not like to sit in water and letting it stay in soggy, wet soil will cause problems sooner than later.
Its root system is relatively small compared to other houseplants. This makes it easily overwhelmed by frequently or too much water, which can end up in root rot.
Thus, it is important to prevent this from happening and be aware of the danger signs. When it receives too much water, the Philodendron Deja Vu tends to wilt and look unhealthy (sad, sorry looking). Ideas leaves also lose their green luster and turn dull green before becoming yellow.
The best way to avoid overwatering is to wait until the top 2 to 3 inches of soil completely dries out before watering it again.
When you do, water the plant thoroughly. Add water the soil until the entire root ball is soaked and the liquid starts dripping from the bottom of the pot.
This ensures that the moisture reaches the roots and not just the surface of the soil.
After that, make sure to let it completely drain off.
Philodendron Deja Vu Potting Soil
The Philodendron Deja Vu needs well-draining soil. Since the plant prefers to stay dry, you want to avoid very heavy soils that retain a lot of moisture. Using this kind of soil will cause its roots to sit in water for prolonged periods of time.
In doing so, they end up suffocating because they can’t get oxygen due to all the water. This ultimately causes root rot.
Thus, the best soil for the plant is light, airy and drains excess moisture quickly. You can use any of the following:
- Aroid mix – pick one up from your nursery if they carry one. If not combine equal parts of sphagnum moss, bark, perlite, worm castings and activated charcoal.
- Potting mix combined with perlite or pumice
- Peat and perlite or vermiculite
- Cactus or succulent mix that is part sand
To get the most of our your Philodendron Deja Vu, feed it a balanced fertilizer (15-15-15 or 20-10-10) monthly during its growing season. You can likewise go with an all-purpose product.
Make sure to check the label as well. Ideally, it should contain calcium and magnesium which are two minerals that the plant needs. This ensures that it is not deficient (which can lead to pale colored leaves).
Also, go with organic if you can. It does cost more than synthetics and you get less product per weight as well. But, organic fertilizer leaves much less residual salts. These salts can damage the roots once there’s enough that accumulates in the soil.
The Philodendron Deja Vu can grow to 3 to 4 feet high and span about 2 feet from side to side. As such, you may need to prune it if it takes up too much space.
Also, as the plant gets fuller, some of its leaves may get wayward. While a thicker, bushier Deva vu looks very beautiful excess leaves going in different which ways can make it look untidy.
So, you can trim off some of these.
If you plant on making major pruning, save that for the spring and early summer. You can do minor trimming any time of the year.
How to Propagate Philodendron Deja Vu
The Philodendron Deja Vu can be propagated in many different ways:
- Stem cuttings
- Air layering
Which one you choose will depend on what you’re most comfortable with.
Of these, the simplest is division or stem cuttings.
Both are somewhat similar when it comes to this plant but with division you end up with roots. This means the new plant can quickly grow whereas the stem cutting will take some time.
Philodendron Deja Vu Propagation Through Division
Division lets you split up the plant into 2 or more new plants. You will need to dig up the plant in order to see where all the roots are in relation to the stem or stems you want to separate from the parent plant.
- Start by preparing a spot where you can work. You can do outside (because of the mess) or indoors with some news paper or on some kind of potting bench.
- Take the plant out of the container and remove the excess soil.
- Look for healthy stems with leaves that look like good candidates for propagation.
- Then trace the stems down and look for their corresponding roots.
- Use a sterile knife and separate that section of roots with the stem you want to propagate. You can take one stem or a group of stems. You can likewise divide a bigger plant into 2, 3 or 4 smaller plants if its size allows for it.
- Pot up each of the sections in their own containers with fresh potting soil.
Philodendron Deja Vu Propagation Using Stem Cuttings
Stem cuttings is a bit trickier because the Philodendron Deja Vu does not have any nodes. Thus, you cannot just cut the stem with a node and let that root in water or soil.
Instead, you’ll need to look for aerial roots or cut the stem along with its roots.
- Pick the stem or stem you want to use to start the new plant. Ideally, choose a stem with aerial roots. This will let you plant the cutting in soil. From there, the plant will grow quickly.
- Once you’ve found a healthy stem with at least one leaf and aerial roots, take a knife or pruning shears and snip off the stem below the aerial roots.
- You can propagate the cutting in water and the aerial roots will produce underground roots. Or, you can pot up the stem in sphagnum moss. Make sure to keep the moss light so there’s a lot of air. Also, keep it moist. This will prevent the aerial root from rotting or dehydration.
- Then leave it in a bright place that is warm and humid (but with no direct light).
Alternatively, if your plant does not have any aerial roots, you’ll need to use a knife to cut out the stem along with its roots.
You can use the knife to separate the that stem’s roots from the parent plant if they are attached. Take your time here as it can get tricky because of the angle you’re working from.
Once you’ve gotten the stem and its roots out, you can pot it up.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Deja Vu
The Philodendron Deja Vu needs to be repot once every 2 to 3 years. But I prefer looking at the plant and listening to what it is telling me.
Since the plant only needs to be repot when it is root bound, you’re looking for roots coming out from the bottom of the container. This is the number one sign you want to look for.
If you regularly carry the pot, you’ll also realize that a root bound plant is much heavier (even when dry). The plastic pot will likewise feel firmer since the root ball is pushing against the container.
The best time to repot is during spring and early summer.
And you want to move the plant to a container that is one size larger (2 inches bigger).
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Avoid ingesting any part of the plant because it is toxic to humans and animals. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which will cause gastrointestinal issues.
This makes it something you want to keep way from young children and pets at home.
Problems & Troubleshooting
Brown Leaves and Tips
Too much bright light or direct sun will cause its leaves to turn brown. Additionally, some leaves can also suffer burn marks on the edges.
Since the plant tolerates low light well, you can leave it in partial shade or medium light. It also does not mind bright light as long as it is indirect and not overly strong.
Old leaves will turn yellow and this is part of the natural aging cycle. If this happens, you don’t have to worry. But lack of water can turn older leaves yellow much faster.
Unfortunately, moisture problems can cause brown and yellow leaves. So, the best way to verify what the cause is to check the soil.
Wet, mucky soil means the plant is getting too much water. Dry soil means it needs more water.
From there adjust your watering schedule.
Drooping & Wilting
Wilting is another problematic issue that can happen due to too much or too little water.
When the plant lacks water, it will look sad, weak and wilt. Here, the wilting is a sign of being tired, weak and dehydrated.
In the same way, a sick plant suffering from too much water can also wilt. In this case wilting happens later after the leaf colors have changes. Here, wilting is a sign of a sick, potentially dying plant.
So, there’s a difference once you’ve seen enough of them.
Again, the best way to verify is to feel the soil.
Wet, soggy soil means it is getting too much water. If this is the case, you want to cut back on water frequency. It is also a good idea to unpot the plant and check the roots for any rotting.
Dry soil means the plant needs more water. Thus, increase watering frequency a bit. Once you give it water, it will quickly bounce back (usually within the next 24 to 48 hours).
Philodendron Deja Vu can experience pests just like other houseplants. Mealybugs, thrips, scales and aphids are its most common enemies.
These can be handled by spraying them with water, which is what I do. I try to be thorough to get all the bugs. You can do this in the shower, in a sink or use a hose outside depending on how big the plant is.
Root rot and leaf diseases are likewise issues. Bacterial and fungal infections usually are the cause. Although these happen because of moisture issues.
This is why you don’t want to wet the plant’s leaves and let they stay wet for extended periods. Sunlight and good air circulation will help quickly dry this.
Also, avoid watering late in the day since there’s no sunlight and it is cooler at night.
With roots, avoid overwatering. Watering too often or waterlogged soil are the most common causes. So, check your watering schedule and make sure you’re using the right kind of soil that drains quickly enough.