The Philodendron Furcatum is a beautiful houseplant that features large stunning leaves. Because of the appearance of its leaves, it is often confused with the Philodendron Lynnhannoniae.
However, the two are different philodendron plants.
It may be difficult to tell the difference from looking at their foliage. But it is instantly clear once you check their petioles.
The Philodendron Furcatum has petioles with small hairs making it look fuzzy. In contrast the Philodendron Lynnhannoniae has smooth petioles.
That said, the Philodendron Furcatum is a finicky plant that requires high maintenance. As such, it is not ideal for beginner gardeners.
This is also why you don’t see it sold in many shops. Instead, if you want it, you’ll need to find an owner or a boutique exotic plant shop.
The Philodendron Furcatum is native to South America.
How do you care for the Philodendron Furcatum? Give the plant bright, indirect light to help its leaves grow big and maintain their lovely color. But avoid direct sunlight.
It likes tropical weather so consistently warm, sunny climate is best. Moderate to high humidity is needed as well. Avoid overwatering and make sure to fertilize the plant during its growing season.
Philodendron Furcatum Plant Care
The Philodendron Furcatum produces its best leaves and vibrancy in bright indirect light indoors and partial shade outdoors.
The plant will likewise do well in medium light. The key is to avoid too much direct sunlight.
While the plant enjoys and thrives in plenty of light, it cannot tolerate more than 1-3 hours of direct sunlight from mid-day sun on a daily basis.
This means you want to keep it about 3 feet or so away from the south and west facing windows since these are the directions from which the sun’s rays will come from during those times on the day.
In contrast, the plant loves an east facing window.
And it can be kept right beside the window with direct morning sun. That’s because morning sun is much gentler than noon and afternoon sun.
Therefore, it has no problems with this. In fact, it will be happiest in this location.
That said, the Philodendron Furcatum can likewise grow in low light locations.
This makes it easier to care for indoors. But be aware that the less light it gets, the slower its growth will be.
However, it won’t really be much of a problem as long as the light is still sufficient.
What you want to watch out for is dim or dark locations where the isn’t sufficient light to allow the plant to grow properly.
This can happen since the plant relies on light for photosynthesis.
So when it lacks light, its growth will stunt, it won’t produce new leaves and the leaves will also be smaller.
The Philodendron Furcatum is native to the tropical jungles of South America. This is why it prefers consistently warm weather.
Ideally, keep the Philodendron Furcatum in temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
One notable thing about the plant is that it does not share the same heat tolerance as other philodendrons do.
Therefore, you want to be a little bit more careful about very high temperatures with the Philodendron Furcatum. Try to keep it under 90 degrees Fahrenehit.
On the other hand, like other philodendron varieties, the plant also dislikes the cold.
But it does prefer cooler conditions especially at night. So, if you have a spot in your home that’s a little cooler then this would be a great spot for the plant.
The Philodendron Furcatum likes high humidity, ideally between 60% to 85%.
In most homes, the middle to upper end of that range is just very difficult to maintain. That is unless you have a greenhouse, live in the tropics or near the sea or beach.
Luckily, the plant can tolerate lower humidity.
Nevertheless, try to keep humidity at 40% and above. This will keep the plant healthy and prevent its leaves from getting too dry.
If humidity stays too low, you’ll later see the plant’s leaf tips and edges turn brown, dry and crispy.
These will not recover, and they will not turn green again.
So, your only options are the cut out the brown parts if they only affect a small part of the leaf or remove entire leaves if too much has turned brown.
To avoid this, I suggest getting a hygrometer so you can easily check what the humidity is daily.
Once it drops to levels below what the plant needs, then it is time to give the plant a hand.
You can mist it regularly, place it on a pebble tray or humidity tray. You can likewise get a humidifier if you want more coverage for your other plants.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Furcatum
The Philodendron Furcatum likes moist soil. As such, it does need a good amount of water.
But you do want to be careful with too much water since the plant hates wet, soggy soil.
The reason is that overwatering the plant or watering it too frequently will eventually leave the roots sitting in water.
If they are left there too long, they’ll end up suffocating which leads to root rot.
Rotten roots are dead roots. So, they’ve already stopped functioning.
If too many of the rots have rotted, the plant won’t be able to absorb enough nutrients or water from the soil anymore.
This is why knowing when the water the plant is very important.
With that in mind, always allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry between waterings. This will help prevent overwatering and root rot.
At the same time, it will let the plant stay well-hydrated, which is something the Philodendron Furcatum likes.
Philodendron Furcatum Potting Soil
The best soil for the Philodendron Furcatum is light, airy and well-draining. This is very important as it helps prevent overwatering.
The reason is that in addition to watering too often, overwatering can occur due to waterlogged soil.
That means you may be watering correctly, but if the soil just holds on to all the moisture and does not let it drain, then the roots end up in the same drowning situation.
As such, well-draining soil is very important.
This allows the soil to retain some moisture so the plant stays hydrated. But at the same time, it quickly gets rid of excess water.
In doing so, it prevents waterlogging and overwatering.
The good news is you have a few options.
If you prefer buying your potting mixes commercially, you can pick up a bag of Aroid mix. This kind of soil has all the features the Philodendron Furcatum needs.
Additionally, you can use it for other aroids including monsteras, philodendrons, anthuriums and pothos just to name a few.
Another option is to use sphagnum moss.
You can use 100% sphagnum moss and the plant will be perfectly happy. Here, keep the soil moist. And you can use a spray bottle to water the plant instead.
Of course, you can go with the more traditional DIY potting mix ingredients.
Here, you can use:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part orchid bark
Or you can go with:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part peat moss
The orchid bark gives you more aeration since it is chunky.
Of course, you can substitute the orchid bark or perlite with either coco chips or coco fiber. Either of these will work with potting soil as well.
The Philodendron Furcatum needs fertilizer to grow optimally. But it is not a heavy feeder.
So what does this mean?
It means that while you do want to feed the plant, it is important to make sure the plant gets the nutrients it needs rather than try to maximize the fertilizer application.
As such, avoid giving it too much.
Instead, just make sure it gets fertilizer.
The only times it needs to be fed is during spring and summer. You can use an all-purpose fertilizer once a month diluted to 50% strength.
The Philodendron Furcatum is a slow growing plant. But it will grow to between 6 and 10 feet tall and about 3 feet from side to side.
The plant is also climber. So, it is a good idea to give it pole, stake or some vertical structure to climb on. This will give you more beautiful leaves as it will feel more at home.
Pruning is not really needed since the plant is composted of its stems and leaves.
Of course, its leaves are large and amazing looking. So, you don’t really want to prune or remove them unless there’s a reason to.
This means the only time you really need to prune the Philodendron Furcatum is when it has yellow, brown, damaged, old or diseased leaves.
You can likewise pinch the plant to encourage it to grow if it looks a bit sparse.
How to Propagate Philodendron Furcatum
The Philodendron Furcatum can be effectively propagated from stem cuttings. This makes it easy to propagate at home.
But you do need get the basics right. Otherwise, you jeopardize the rest of the steps later.
The most important part is getting the cuttings correctly.
Make sure the plant is healthy. And only choose healthy stems for your candidates.
For each cutting, make sure there is at least one node. Ideally, you have 2-3 nodes per cutting. Nodes are essential. Otherwise, the cuttings will not propagate.
So, make sure each cutting has at least one node.
Additionally, you want at least 2-3 leaves on it.
This is likewise important but secondary to the node. Leaves help growth because they’re needed for photosynthesis.
Once you’ve found suitable cuttings, use a sterilize pair of pruning shears to cut just below a node.
Use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to cut the stems. This way you don’t pass any infection from the blad to the plant.
If you’ve done all this, then you’ve set yourself up for success. And the rest is easy.
From here, prepare a container and fill it with well-draining potting mix.
If you have rooting hormone, apply it to the cut end of the stem. This step is optional so skip it if you don’t have rooting hormone.
Plant the cuttings into soil with at least one node buried per cutting.
Water the soil to keep it moist. You’ll need to do this as the soil dries up. But never let the soil get wet.
Keep the new plants in bright, indirect light with good humidity.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Furcatum
The Philodendron Furcatum will need repotting about every 2 to 3 years. So don’t repot it unless needed.
The plant does not like to be moved from its home.
And it is a bit more finicky than other philodendrons.
Therefore, when it is time to repot the plant, make sure to be careful when unpotting. Damaging the roots or jarring the plant can cause repotting stress.
To know when to repot, check the bottom of the pot for roots coming out from the holes below. If there are quite a few roots, then get ready to repot.
The best time to repot is spring.
I also like the water the plant a day before I plan to repot. This makes it easier to get the root ball out. Additionally, it reduces the risk of transplant stress or shock.
When ready, take the plant out of its pot.
Then check the roots. You can brush off excess dirt and soil to get a better look. The goal is the make sure all the roots are healthy and there are no pests or diseases there.
Prepare the new pot. Ideally, choose a pot that is one size larger. Also have fresh potting mix on hand.
Fill the new pot until about a third of the way.
Then place the plant in the new pot and fill the remaining space with potting mix to stabilize the plant.
Water the soil and take care of it like you did before.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Philodendron Furcatum is toxic to people and animals. This means it is a good idea to keep the plant away from young kids, cats and dogs.
Note that the plant only becomes toxic when ingested. Therefore, it is safe to touch and work on the plant.
Philodendron Furcatum Problems & Troubleshooting
Spider mites and mealybugs are the two biggest threats to the Philodendron Furcatum as far as pests go.
They are both sap sucking insects which means they feed on the sap or internal juices of the plant.
This can be damaging to your Philodendron Furcatum especially when the pests turn into an infestation. That’s because they will rob it of moisture and nutrients.
The larger the number, the more sap they’ll be able to take.
As a result, if not treated, it will severely weaken the plant, cause yellow leaves and wilting.
To treat the plant you have a few options.
I like to just hose off the bugs.
But don’t use a very strong stream of water as it can damage the leaves. You can use a garden hose or showerhead.
Try to be thorough especially on the undersides of leaves since that’s where the bugs like to hide.
You may need to spray them off between 3 to 5 times over a few days interval in between to get rid of all of them.
Additionally, you can make neem oil spray or insecticidal soap spray.
Both work well and you only need one to get the job done.
Spray the leaves and try to get all the spots where the insects usually hide or stay.
Root rot along with bacterial and fungal disease are the main things to look out for here
Root rot is dangerous because it can kill your plant if you don’t spot it early enough.
It is caused by overwatering and waterlogging. Thus, try to avoid both by waiting until part of the soil had dried and using well-draining potting mix.
Additionally leaf spot infections can happen.
This is usually bacterial which can make it easier or harder to treat depending on what kind of infection it is.
That said, it is important not to wet the leaves too much to avoid this from occurring.
Prune the leaves to keep the disease from spreading.