The Philodendron Fibrosum is a beautiful aroid that features large, heart-shaped green leaves. These are stunning to look at especially if your philodendron plant has several of these leaves.
It is native of South America, particularly Colombia and Ecuador.
What’s great is that the plant is easy to care for and fairly low maintenance.
This is something not all lovely looking plants share with it. In fact, many pretty plants are quite fussy.
How do you care for Philodendron Fibrosum? Medium to bright indirect light is ideal to support its growth and leaf development.
It grows best in warm, humid conditions. And it likes moist soil. But avoid leaving the soil wet as it is susceptible to overwatering. Feed with a balanced fertilizer during its growing season.
Philodendron Fibrosum Plant Care
The Philodendron Fibrosum needs medium to bright indirect light to support the growth and development of its large leaves.
The plant also needs plenty of light to maintain its beautiful foliage colors.
That said, this is not always the case.
You do need to temper how much light your plant gets depending on the growth stage it is in. If you got the plant when it is young or still a juvenile, give it low to medium indirect sunlight.
This will be optimal for its growth then.
As it gets bigger and matures, supply it with bright sunlight.
It is also worth noting that it can tolerate low light. However, I don’t suggest it since this would prevent the plant from reaching its true potential.
That’s because the plant’s growth depends on light.
It uses light as the raw material for photosynthesis. In turn, photosynthesis is what produces the sugars the plant will use for energy.
So, the more light it receives, the more energy it can produce for growth and development.
This means, sufficient light is needed for the plant to reach its optimal size, produce lots of leaves and allow these leaves to get big.
However, note that there is such a thing as too much light as well.
Like other philodendron varieties, the Fibrosum lives under the forest canopy in the wild. Therefore, it benefits from the shade of the larger trees.
The leaves, branches and trunks block out the direct rays of the sun.
As such, the Philodendron Fibrosum is not used to strong or intense direct sunlight for long hours. And exposure to this will turn its leaves yellow and later brown. They can also get scorched if the intensity or duration is too much.
This is why indirect light is ideal indoors while partial or slight shade is best outdoors.
The Philodendron Fibrosum enjoys warm climates as its is native to the tropical forests of South America.
This is why it prefers temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In this temperature range, the plant can grow optimally.
Luckily, this also happens to be around the same range that people are more comfortable with. Therefore, in most cases you don’t have to do anything in terms of temperature if you plan on growing the plant indoors.
However, the outdoors is another story.
Here, a lot depends on where you live.
If your locale has tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean weather, then you’re good. The Philodendron Fibrosum likes USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 because the sun is always up and the weather is always warm in these areas.
Therefore, you can keep the plant outdoors in a container or in the ground all year round.
However, if you live below USDA Hardiness Zone 9 or anywhere with cold weather and winters, this does not apply.
The plant cannot tolerant the cold. In fact, it is not cold hardy.
Instead, avoid leaving it anywhere with temperature that’s below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the threshold where the plant starts to struggle.
And you’ll see its growth slow.
If you keep it in the cold longer or allow the temperature to decrease even further, its leaves can turn yellow or even drop its leaves.
At worse, the plant can likewise die.
Therefore, don’t leave it outdoors during winter.
The Philodendron Fibrosum likes high humidity. Ideally, maintain humidity between 60% to 70%. This is the plant’s sweet spot.
And it will allow it to produce more vibrant looking leaves.
That said, the Philodendron Fibrosum can tolerate lower humidity without any issues. But I do suggest keeping it at 40% humidity as much as possible.
While the plant can withstand levels below this, especially if its is well-hydrated, there’s still a risk here.
The risk is that when humidity gets too low, you’ll see its leaves turn brown at the edges and tips.
The lower humidity drops or the longer it stays in dry air, the more leaves will turn brown. And when they do, they won’t become green again ever.
So, your best bet then is to either prune the affected leaves if most of the foliage is discolored. Or trim off just the brown areas and reshape the leaves.
Either way, this messes up the beautiful look of the plant.
I like to avoid this issue by leaving a hygrometer near my plants. This lets me know what the humidity is at any given time.
And once it drops to certain levels, you can help out the more humidity sensitive plants.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Fibrosum
Water is the one thing you want to pay more attention to when caring for the Philodendron Fibrosum.
That’s because this is something that can mess up the plant.
It is susceptible to overwatering and root rot.
As such, be careful about watering too often.
But this can get tricky because of a few things.
One is the plant likes moist soil. Secondly, it dislikes going completely dry. Therefore, both these features will guide you to try to give it more water than less.
But too much water will get the soil wet, mucky and soggy. And this is when the worst happens.
That’s because the plant’s roots hate sitting in water for very long periods of time. Instead, they like a balance of air and water.
This means that while they like moist soil, too much moisture prevents them from breathing in oxygen. This is similar when you submerge your head underwater in the swimming pool.
If you don’t come up for air after a while, you’ll suffocate.
And too much water in the soil will cause the roots to suffocate as well.
Unfortunately, when this occurs the roots die and you end up with root rot. Both of which are not reversible. So, after a while, they plant cannot absorb as much water or nutrients from the soil.
That’s because some or many of the roots are rotten and not functioning.
If too many roots rot, you plant will eventually die.
Therefore, only water after the top 2 inches of soil has dried, never before that.
Note that this is not an exact science either. So, you don’t need to be precise. And you can be late without any harm.
In fact, you can wait until half the soil has dried before watering.
This gives you a lot of leeway in case you forget. So, there’s no need to stress if you’re busy or happen to miss watering by a few days.
Philodendron Fibrosum Potting Soil
The best soil for the Philodendron Fibrosum is loose, well-draining soil that is chunky. This follows from above in that the plant enjoys moist soil but needs good drainage and aeration.
Additionally, it will benefit most from soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
This will allow the plant to absorb the nutrients from the soil efficiently. Avoid very high or very low soil pH for this plant as it can lead to nutrients excess or deficiencies even if you put enough minerals in the soil.
Because the Philodendron Fibrosum does not like wet feet, good drainage is essential. This will allow excess moisture to quickly drain for the roots don’t end up sitting in water for long.
So how do you get the perfect soil for this plant?
Luckily, there are many options to choose from.
If you don’t like getting your hands dirty and prefer buying potting soil from the store, ask for an Aroid mix. This has all the features the plant needs.
On the other hand, you can make your own DIY potting mix at home as well. And it is easy.
Plus, there are so many ways you can do it. So, don’t think you’re stuck with just one or two soil mix recipes.
Here’s a potting mix recipe that works really well for the plant.
- 1 part potting mix
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
- ½ part horticultural charcoal
Here, the potting mix provides moisture retention, while the other ingredients increase drainage. Additionally, the bark and charcoal are chunky which allow good airflow to the roots.
To make sure the reaches it full potential and produces impressive foliage, it is important to supply it with enough nutrients.
Therefore, I do suggest using fertilizer.
Here, you have tons of options.
And the most common way of doing this is to use commercial fertilizer. In this case, choose a balanced, liquid fertilizer and dilute to half strength each time you apply.
You only need to apply this once a month during spring and summer.
Stop feeding once a fall arrives and skip the winter. Then restart come next spring.
The reason for this is you don’t want to over fertilize the plant which is worse than not feeding it at all. That’s because the salts in fertilizer become toxic as they build up in the soil.
Since the Philodendron Fibrosum does not grow much during the cold season, the chances of overfeeding dramatically increases as the plant won’t be consuming much of the food.
Therefore, only feed it during its growing season which are the warmer months.
Of course, you have other options as well.
You can go with a slow-release fertilizer or choose fish emulsion. Both work really well.
You can likewise just skip the fertilizer and add compost or worm castings to the soil to incorporate slow-releasing nutrients that the roots will absorb in time.
Just be sure to replenish these nutrients once they get depleted.
The Philodendron Fibrosum will grow into a good sized plant with matching huge leaves. Indoors, it can reach 6 to 8 feet as its long upright stems and leaves develop.
Note that the plant is a climber.
So, if you want it to produce stunning, large foliage, giving it a moss pole or stake to go up on helps a lot.
That said, since most of its growth and size are from its leaves and stems, pruning is a low-maintenance, low priority task for this plant.
You don’t really want to prune large leaves unless there is a reason to.
For one, it leaves a big blank space where it used to be.
And secondly, it takes quite a while for new foliage to grow that big again.
However, if there is discoloration, damage or infection, then make sure to remove the leaves. This will allow the plant to focus its energy on the healthy foliage and produce new ones as well.
On the other hand, if you want to promote growth, pruning also helps.
This will encourage new growth at the tips since the plant will push growth hormones to the ends where you cut it.
This is a good strategy if you want to make the plant bushier or feel it does not have enough leaves.
How to Propagate Philodendron Fibrosum
Philodendron Fibrosum propagation is fairly straightforward since it responds well to stem cuttings.
This makes it easy to reproduce the plant at home for free.
Better yet, the large stems have quite a few nodes that are spaced out well. This lets you take stem tip cuttings if you wish. Or get a longer stem and split that up into multiple cuttings.
The most important thing to make sure of is that each stem cutting you take has at least one node. Ideally, it has a few leaves on it as well.
Without any nodes, the cutting will fail to propagate.
Here’s how to propagate the Philodendron Fibrosum from stem cuttings.
To take the cutting, sterilize the blade of your pruning shears and cut just below a node.
You’ll also need to prepare a pot that’s big enough to prevent the cutting or cuttings from tipping over when you plant them in.
Of course, the size of the pot will depend on the size of your cuttings and the leaves that come with it.
Once you have the pot ready fill it with well-draining potting mix. You can use the recipe in the Potting Soil Section above.
If you have rooting hormone, apply that to the cut end of the stem cutting. But don’t stress it if you don’t have rooting hormone. Just skip this step in that case.
Now, plant the cutting into the soil with the nodes buried under the surface.
Water the soil. You’ll need to do this as the soil dries up every few days. But never overwater it.
Keep the pot in a well-lit space with no direct sunlight.
In about 4 to 6 weeks, the cutting should develop enough roots to start getting established in the soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Fibrosum
The Philodendron Fibrosum does not need repotting every year. And avoid repotting the plant unless there is a need to.
That’s because the process is stressful to the plant. And it can even cause shock.
This is why you sometimes see plants deteriorate or even drop leaves soon after they were repotted.
As such, only repot your Philodendron Fibrosum when it has outgrown its container. And this will be when it gets root bound.
The simplest sign to look for is when there are roots peeking out from the bottom of the drainage holes.
Once you see these roots, you can wait until spring to repot. That’s the ideal time to do so since it is when the plant will grow fastest.
This will allow it to recover quickly from repotting. Then start growing again.
Don’t forget to replace the soil when you do so as well. This way you get rid of the spend, depleted soil mix and replace with fresh one.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the Philodendron Fibrosum is toxic. Therefore, be careful where you position it in your home, backyard or garden.
Try to avoid leaving it in places where your kids, dogs or cats tend to run or play in. This will decrease the likelihood of accidental consumption which can cause pain, irritation and swelling.
Philodendron Fibrosum Problems & Troubleshooting
While the Philodendron Fibrosum is not overly prone to pests, the bugs like its large, lush leaves.
Thus, the most common pests that will attack the plant are sap suckers. And they will target its leaves and feed on them.
The most common pest problems for the plant include mealybugs, aphids and spider mites.
All of these populate very quickly. So, you want to catch them when there’s only few. Otherwise, as they grow in number, they not only inflict more damage to the plant but are also harder to eradicate.
This is why regular inspection is important. Also, clean dust from its large leaves as dust tends to attract insects.
If you see any pests, immediately treat them with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Overwatering is the most common cause of diseases in this plant. So, while it is fairly resistant to them, the issues are usually man-made.
This involves watering the soil too much, too often. Or wetting the leaves without allowing them to quickly dry.
What’s bad is overwatering can lead to root rot which can eventually destroy the plant.
It can also cause bacterial and fungal infections. Some of these are easy to treat but others don’t have any cure so they can kill your plant as well.
So, avoid too much water to prevent all these headaches.