Philodendron Fun Bun Plant Care – How to Grow Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum

The Philodendron Fun Bun is also called Thaumatophyllum spruceanum. This tropical plant will need space indoors as it grows tall. And its stems and leaves open up like a mini tree.

The stems grow upright at angles creating spirals where the leaves grow.

The leaves are likewise unique in that they start out whole but will split as the plant ages. As such, it looks like a Philodendron Super Atom when young or even a Syngonium podophyllum.

The Philodendron Fun Bun is native to the forests of South America.

How do you care for the Philodendron Fun Bun? The plant needs enough space to get taller and spread sideways. It is a fairly fast grower when properly cared for.

Give it medium to bright indirect light to allow its leaves and stems to reach their full potential. Feed it monthly during its growing season. Use well-draining soil and wait for the soil to dry between waterings.

Philodendron Fun Bun Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Philodendron Fun Bun will grow best in medium to bright indirect light. It also does very well in low light which makes it very easy to care for indoors.

Because of this, you get to decide where you want to put the plant in your home.

However, there are still some areas where you don’t want to leave it.

Avoid dark or dim locations. While it can tolerate low light or shaded areas, it needs some light. As such, avoid dark locations as the plant won’t get enough light for photosynthesis.

Similarly, don’t place it in very strong, intense, direct sunlight.

This kind of exposure is too much for the plant. And it will burn its leaves if left in this kind of environment on a regular basis.

So, keep it away from full sun outdoors.

Indoors, avoid the sun’s direct rays especially during the middle of the day which if the hottest time. You also want to keep it from the summer sun which can get scorching hot.

For optimal lighting, leave it near an east facing window. A western exposure likewise works well.

It will also do well near a north facing window. But check how much light comes through there during the winter as this side of the house will get much less light compared to the other directions.

 

Temperature

The Philodendron Fun Bun is a tropical plant. This is why it prefers temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Again, this makes it easy to care for indoors because most homes maintain temperatures within this range.

As such, it is easy to bring home the plant from the nursery and make it feel at home.

You also don’t need to make any special arrangements or adjustments to keep it happy or healthy.

However, there are still some caveats when it comes to growing the plant indoors. It is less of a problem if you live somewhere with generally consistent warm and sunny weather.

But in regions where there are very hot summers or cold winters, you do need to keep track of your home’s indoor temperature.

A digital thermometer is the easiest way to monitor any changes.

The reason this is important is because the plant will struggle if temperatures get overly hot or cold. The former is usually less of a problem as it can tolerate high temperatures.

But it has poor tolerance to the cold.

During summer, try to avoid temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If this happens, look for a cooler place to move the plant to.

Similarly, avoid temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This can easily happen indoors if you live in areas where things freeze over during winter.

It also means you want to avoid certain appliances like air conditioners, heater, stoves, oven and similar temperature changing devices.

Outdoors, the Philodendron Fun Bun will enjoy USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 because these areas have sunny and generally warm weather all year round.

But in colder areas, make sure to bring the plant indoors before the weather gets cold about mid to late fall.

 

Humidity

The Philodendron Fun Bun has a humidity preference of 60% and higher. This is where it will grow faster, bigger and produce more leaves.

However, it will likewise tolerate lower humidity with no problems or harm.

Still, I do suggest keeping the plant in rooms with humidity of at least 40% as much as possible.

In most cases, it won’t have any problems with average room humidity. However, if you live somewhere with dry air this could happen.

Similarly, winters are known for causing the air to dry up as well. So, you do want to watch out for this.

Keep the plant away from air conditioners and heaters since both appliances will cause air to get very dry during and after you run them.

That said, as long as the leaves look good, are growing and maintain their color, then there’s no problem with humidity. And the plant is adjusting quite well to your homes air moisture.

However, if you see the leaf edges and tips turn brown or crispy, these are signs telling you that it needs more humidity.

Should this happens, you can mist the plant regularly.

Just be careful with misting since you don’t want to get the leaves too wet. If they do, pat them down with a towel.

Try to avoid wet leaves or leaving water spots on foliage since if these don’t dry quickly, it can result in fungal infections.

 

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How Often to Water Philodendron Fun Bun

The Philodendron Fun Bun has average watering needs. Indoors, it will usually need watering once every 7 to 10 days.

It enjoys soil that it consistently moist but not soggy or wet.

Unfortunately, watering the plant can be trickier that just following these simple rules. That’s because the term moist seems to be subjective.

This is something I learned by watching many gardeners.

Some understand the term as keeping the soil wet. Or they think that moist means there should be some water on the surface.

Avoid both at all costs.

That’s because the plant is prone to overwatering and root rot.

Therefore, allow the soil to dry between watering.

The other thing that makes watering the Philodendron Fun Bun challenging is the changing weather. While watering every 7-10 days works well, hotter and colder days will mess this schedule up.

In the summer, when things get really hot, the soil will dry up faster. So, you’ll need to water more regularly.

On the other hand winters keep soil wet much longer. As such, it is important to scale back on watering significantly.

Otherwise, you put the plant at risk of overwatering and root rot.

So, a better way to go is to use the soil to know when to water the Philodendron Fun Bun.

I like to wait until the top half of the soil dries out before adding water again.

If you’re an aggressive waterer, you can water the plant once the top 2 inches of soil has dried completely. But never do so before that.

Doing so will put it at risk of overwatering which can lead to root rot.

 

Philodendron Fun Bun Potting Soil

Loose, well-draining potting mix is the best soil for the Philodendron Fun Bun.

Again, this has to do with its being prone to overwatering and root rot.

Soil drainage is the second part of ensuring that the plant does not end up with wet feet.

Why?

When you water the plant, all the liquid is either held or drained by the soil.

Heavy soils will hold on to more water. Very sandy soils will get rid of water quickly. And somewhere slightly below the middle of these two is well-draining soil.

Well-draining soil will retain most moisture (just enough to keep the roots hydrate). But it will quickly drain excess water.

The latter ensures that even if you water a bit too much accidentally, the extra liquid does not keep the roots wet.

Instead, they drain out.

In doing so, it keeps the soil from getting waterlogged. And it prevents overwatering.

This is why you always want to look for well-draining soil for this plant.

I like to use an Aroid mix. And you can buy a bag from online plant stores or some nurseries.

And if you’re like me, you’ll make your own at home. Here’s a recipe that works really well.

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

I also like to add a few handfuls of activated charcoal

The potting soil holds some moisture. then the other ingredients provide very good drainage and make sure that the soil is well-aerated as well.

 

Fertilizer

The Philodendron Fun Bun will grow optimally with fertilizer. But it does not need feeding on a regular basis.

Instead, only feed the plant when it is actively growing.

Otherwise, you run the risk of overfertilizing it.

Like water, fertilizer is best used in moderation. And when the plant needs it. More importantly, too much is a bad thing.

This is where many beginner gardeners trip up.

That’s because they like to give the plant extra fertilizer believing that it will increase or speed up growth. That’s not the case. And doing so will damage the plant instead.

So, avoid overfeeding the plant at all costs.

Instead, apply fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. It will do most of its growing during the warmer months.

Stop by early to mid-fall. And don’t fertilize the plant during winter.

When applying, dilute every dose by 50% to avoid overfertilizing. Similarly, never feed the plant if the soil is dry. It has to be moist.

 

Pruning

The Philodendron Fun Bun will grow from between 3.5 to 9 or so feet high indoors. This is a wonderful plant with very long stems.

In fact, when you let it grow tall, it looks like an indoor tree.

Additionally, its spread can go anywhere from 4 feet wide to over 10 feet wide depending on how you let it grow.

As such, you may need to prune the plant depending on how much space you have indoors.

Note that the plant takes about 10 years to reach its maximum size. So, you do have enough time in between to trim it to keep its size and width under control.

Nevertheless, it is a fairly fast grower.

This means you do need to plan out the space beforehand.

I some know growers who like to keep it short and wide. Whereas some will remove the leaves that extend to the side then let the plant grow tall with less of a spread.

Both look amazing depending on what kind of interior you have.

 

How to Propagate Philodendron Fun Bun

Philodendron Fun Bun propagation can be done in a few ways.

The most common are from stem cuttings, air layering and division. Each has its pros and cons. And they vary in how much work is required to propagate them.

Similarly, the end result of propagating them also differs as one method may give you a semi-grown plant whereas with another method you still need to wait for the new plant to root.

As such, it is really up to you on which method you prefer.

For most home gardeners, stem cuttings is the way to go since it is simple and quite straightforward to do. Additionally, it has very high success rates.

 

Propagating Philodendron Fun Bun from Stem Cuttings.

Stem cuttings are easy to do. And for the most part, these are what you’ll be getting if you buy the plant online from sellers.

Many of them won’t sell you the huge Philodendron Fun Bun plant in its entirety. Instead, they will take a stem tip cutting and sell you that.

Note that when buying a stem cutting, always make sure you get something that is long enough to plant. This way you can propagate it in water or in soil.

The most important part is to make sure that the cutting has at least one node.

Otherwise, you’re just spending your money since the cutting won’t successfully propagate.

Similarly, when taking a cutting from your own Philodendron Fun Bun plant, make sure each stem tip cutting has at least one node with it.

From there, plant the cutting in well-draining soil.

Remove any leaves that end up in the soil. You don’t want them touching the soil.

Then place the pot with the cutting in bright, indirect sunlight.

The cuttings should grow new roots in about 3 to 4 weeks.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Fun Bun

The Philodendron Fun Bun is a fast grower. And it has the potential to get big as well. This means that you’ll need to be ready to repot the plant when it outgrows it container.

However, repotting is usually needed only once every 2 years or so.

The best way to tell is to check the bottom of the pot to see if its roots are coming out of the drainage holes. Once they do, it means it is time to move to a larger container.

Choose one that is 2 or 3 inches larger. Avoid getting any bigger.

It is also good practice to refresh its potting soil every year. This means taking the plant out of its pot and changing the spent soil with fresh, well-draining mix.

You don’t have to move the plant to a larger pot when replacing the soil.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

When consumed, the Philodendron Fun Bun is toxic to humans, dogs and cats. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which makes every part of the plant toxic.

The good news is, the taller the plant gets, the less likely young children and pets will be able to reach its leaves.

Nevertheless, take the precaution to keep the plant away from them.

 

Philodendron Fun Bun Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Philodendron Fun Bun usually stays pest free. But if you’ve been around houseplants for a while, you know that these bugs can strike any time.

So, you still need to stay vigilant and inspect the plant for pests every now and then.

This is the best way to spot them early if they occur. Doing so prevents you from getting surprised by a serious pest infestation problem.

Infestations not only cause more damage to the plant they are also much harder to get rid of.

Aphids, mites and mealybugs are the most common houseplant pests that attack this plant.

 

Diseases

Root rot is the biggest problem to watch out for. And it is often caused by overwatering.

Because it happens underneath the soil, root rot is very hard to spot until the symptoms reach the leaves or stems.

Unfortunately, this means more damage can happen before you notice the symptoms.

As such, try to avoid overwatering.

And look out for yellow or mushy leaves. Feeling the soil regularly will also let you know if you are overwatering the plant.

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