How to Care for Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard

The Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard is also known as the Philodendron Blizzard. As you would guess, it is a sport of the Philodendron Giganteum and it does have similar features to its parent plant.

However, its yellow variegations has made people call is by a variety of other names including Philodendron Giganteum Variegata Blizzard and Variegated Giganteum Blizzard.

That said the Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard is a rare plant that features amazingly large variegated leaves. In fact, its leaves can easily reach between 3 to 6 feet long.

Thhis philodendron plant is terrestrial but has some epiphytic features. Thus, while it is usually grown in the ground upright, it can climb up plants, branches and rocks as well.

Its heavy white and yellow variegations are what the plant unique in addition to the giant-sized foliage.

How do you care for the Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard? Place the plant somewhere with bright indirect light. Avoid low light as it can become leggy and lose its variegations.

It thrives on good humidity (>50%) and warm temperature (65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering or waterlogged soil as it is susceptible to root rot.

Provide fertilizer to help it grow big.

Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard needs bright, indirect light to sustain and develop its large size and huge leaves. Additionally, its leaves are variegated which means that they need more light compared to similar plants with all-green foliage.

That’s because the non-green (it this case yellow variegations) sections don’t participate in photosynthesis.

To explain, the green parts of leaves contain chlorophyll which is what give foliage their green color. But that’s not all. Chlorophyll also happens to be the compound that absorbs light so the plant can use it for photosynthesis.

On the other variegated areas are lighter in color, be it white, yellow or even light green, because they lack or don’t have chlorophyll.

Therefore, only the green sections of leaves play a part in photosynthesis. Which means, since there are few green areas in variegated plants’ leaves, they need a better light source to make up for this.

Similarly, they are less tolerant of light compared to their solid green leafed counterparts.

There, they will grow slower and will lose their variegations as a way for the plant to survive. It does so by producing more chlorophyll as a way to try to get as much light to use for photosynthesis. Thus, you’ll see the variegations disappear the darker the location gets.

That said, keep the Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard away from very strong light as well. It cannot tolerate too much intensity for long periods of time.

As such, avoid leaving it under direct sunlight especially during mid-day (10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) when the sun is the harshest. The same is true during summer when it is the hottest.

Instead, it will happily take morning light and late afternoon light.

This makes an east facing window ideal for the plant indoors. If you want to keep it in the west or south, distance it from the window so the sun’s rays never touch it leaves.

Otherwise, it could turn them pale or yellow due to too much intensity and exposure. Also, in extreme cases, it can scorch the plant’s leaves.

Outdoors, partial shade is ideal. Avoid full sun.

 

Temperature

The Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard thrives when temperature is between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is a tropical plant, it is used to warm weather all year round with no winters.

As such, the plant has no problems staying in 90 to 95 degree Fahrenheit environments. However, once you go above 100 degree weather, make sure to keep the plant well-hydrated as the heat will speed up the rate of evaporation.

And the Philodendron Blizzard does not like doing completely dry.

It is also worth noting that if you happen to underwater the plant, it will likely develop brown leaves. This is its typical response. However, what’s great is that it will recover fairly quickly once you water it.

But try not to make a habit of this because if you leave the plant hydrated for too long or allow this to keep happening, it will eventually sustain damage due to lack of moisture.

On the other hand, the Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard has low tolerance to the cold. In fact, it is not cold hardy.

It cannot take being left in conditions under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This will slow its growth initially. But it will eventually experience stunted growth.

And the longer you leave it there, it will get more stressed and later sustain cold injury. If this does not change the plant will begin dropping leaves and after a while start to deteriorate and die.

Thus, make sure to bring the plant indoors if you take it outdoors during the summer once the weather begins getting colder around fall.

That said, you can grow the plant outdoors all year round if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9b to 11. That’s because these locations have warm, sunny weather from November through March. So, it will be happy outside in a container or grown in the ground.

Note that if you grow the plant outdoors or in the ground, it will get much bigger than if kept as an indoor plant. This is when you see it develop into its impressive size.

 

Related

 

Humidity

As with other tropical plants, the Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard loves humidity. And it prefers humidity that is 60% or higher. Here, it will grow faster and produce larger, more lush foliage.

However, the plant can tolerate humidity as low as 40%.

And from experience it can take down to about the mid 30s. But to play safe, 40% is a better level.

The lower you go, the higher the risk of brown tips and edges. These will become crispy and brittle.

Unfortunately, once they happen, the brown tips and margins won’t recover, so you have the trim or resection your leaves which is a shame.

So, I try to avoid low humidity as much as possible.

If your home happens to have dry air. It is a good idea to employ one of the methods below to increase humidity.

My favorite method is to use a humidity tray or pebble tray. Both work the same way and you can use which ever is easier to construct DIY at home.

To create a humidity tray,

Get a tray and fill it with water. Then cover it with a grill similar to what is used in an oven for baking or a small indoor bbq grill. Place the pot on the grill.

When the water evaporates, it will go through the grill and increase humidity because it turns into vapor.

All you need to do is refill the water in the tray when it gets depleted.

To create a pebble tray,

Take a tray and place some pebbles in the middle. Try to flatten the top. Then fill the tray with water so the water line is below the top of the pebbles. Place the potted plant on the pebbles.

This is basically the same setup. And evaporation will likewise increase the air moisture around the plant.

Other options including getting a humidifier, misting the plant and moving it to the bathroom.

 

How Often to Water Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard

The Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard enjoys moist soil as it is used to dam conditions in the tropical rainforests. However, it does not like wet, soggy soil.

Therefore, it is very important to avoid overwatering the plant.

It is susceptible to overwatering. And can develop root rot if you water too often. Thus, it is a good idea to let the soil dry between waterings.

The best way to water the plant is to wait until the top 2 inches of soil has dried before adding more water. You can test this by sticking your finger down to the second knuckle.

If the soil at that depth feels dry, it is time to water. If not wait a few days and test again.

Doing this each time before you water will prevent overwatering.

To play is safe, you can wait until the soil is 25% to 50% dry from the top before watering. At this level, the roots will still have moist soil but you eliminate the risk of overwatering.

 

Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard Potting Soil

The best soil for the Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard is loose, well-draining soil.

This will ensure that the soil will hold just enough moisture to keep the plant happy. But it will quickly drain excess moisture.

Avoid using regular potting soil on its own without adding any component for drainage as this will usually hold on to too much moisture.

Similarly, stay away from clay or other heavy and dense soils since they will increase the risk of waterlogging and overwatering.

Instead, always make sure you use something with some kind of drainage.

The best soil for the Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard is an Aroid mix. This kind of soil is especially made for aroids including philodendrons, monsteras and anthuriums jus to name a few.

And you can get it from a local nursery or online.

You can also make your own aroid mix at home. There are many ways to create your own aroid mix, but one that has worked really well for my philodendron plants consists of:

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

Then add a few handfuls of activated charcoal.

This gives you a good drainage and aeration. The bark and charcoal also make it chunky.

 

Fertilizer

To help your Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard grow big and produce its large, impressive foliage, it needs fertilizer. You can go without fertilizer but the plant will grow much slower. It will also produce fewer leaves and the leaves won’t get a big.

As such, I suggest giving it plant food to make sure it gets all the nutrients it needs.

You can use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a month during its growing season which is spring and summer. You don’t need to feed the plant in fall or winter because it will not grow much during the cold weather.

Instead, most of its growth and develop will happen in the warmer months. So, it is important to ensure that it receives the nutrients and water needs to sustain this growth.

When applying fertilizer, make sure to dilute the application by 50% the suggest strength each time. Also, never water the plant when the soil is dry.

You can likewise use a slow-release fertilizer instead if you wish. This is a safer option since it reduces the risk of over fertilizing.

And you only need to feed the plant once or twice during its growing season.

Avoid low quality or cheap fertilizers since these tend to leave lots of salt and excess minerals that will build up in the soil. Eventually, this can lead to fertilizer burn.

Thus, it is good practice to flush the soil using water once every few months.

Doing so will allow the water the carry away the salts and excess minerals from the soil.

 

Pruning

Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard can grow up to 5 to 6 feet high when kept outdoors in a pot. Its height is mostly made up its huge impressive leaves which will easily dwarf a person if you stand behind the plant.

A beautiful mature Philodendron Blizzard may have about 5-7 large leaves although if you allow it to get bushy, it will look stunning with anywhere from 10 to about 15 or so huge, amazing leaves.

Because the leaves are the most beautiful part of the plant and they dominate its size, pruning is not really necessary until there is damage, yellow or brown leaves.

Of course, you may want to trim it back as well if you’re trying to limit its size.

That said, the plant is a bit more manageable when grown as a houseplant indoors. Its size won’t get a big nor do its leaves.

Nevertheless, they will still look amazing.

 

How to Propagate Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard

The Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard is a self-heading philodendron. As such, it is more terrestrial that most other philodendron varieties.

It also means that it is a bit more complicated to propagate since you cannot just take a stem cutting and propagate it in water.

Instead, there are a few other options. These include propagating from:

  • Its basal branch
  • Plantlets
  • Air layering

From experience, the most reliable way of propagating this plant (and what I find the easiest as well) is propagation from basal branches.

And here’s how to propagate the Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard step by step using this method.

  • Make sure you have a healthy Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard.
  • The best time to propagate is between spring and early summer. So, wait until the ideal time to do this.
  • Usually, home growers will propagate this plant when it gets too big. Also, when there are a lot of leaves that make it spread out very widely.
  • With basal branch propagation, you’ll need to dig up the plant a little bit. But you don’t need to unpot it.
  • As long as you are able to see enough of the crown and where each of the stems meet the roots. What’s great is that you don’t need to take the roots with you in this case (unlike some other philodendrons). Although, there will likely be a host of aerial roots that will come with the branch you take.
  • Once you get to the crown, you’ll see where all the large thick stems are connected. Choose which one you want to get. Usually, I like to take a stem with 2 to 4 smaller stems on it. That way, the new plant has a few leaves to start. But you can go with just one if you want.
  • After you’ve decided which branch or branches to take, get a good sized knife that is sharp. Sterilize it with rubbing alcohol first. Then cut the branch or branches all the way to the base.
  • It takes a bit of muscle work to cut the branch as it is thick so take your time. When you get it, you’ll see the bottom of the branch as entirely white. That’s what the plant looks inside.
  • Take the branch or branches and dip or rub the cut end with rooting hormone.
  • Then plant the branch into a large pot. Make sure the pot is wide as it is deep. Don’t go with a thin, narrow pot as it will eventually tip.
  • Also use well draining soil.
  • Then plant the cutting into the soil and water it. Keep the soil moist but not wet.

 

Related: ZZ Plant Propagation

 

How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard

The Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard does not need to be repot often. It takes around 2-3 years before you need to move it to a larger pot.

It is also worth noting that the plant is not a fan of being transferred. And it enjoys being in a cramped pot and slightly root bound.

However, don’t leave it there forever. After a while, the pot will just be too small and its roots will get overcrowded causing the plant stress.

This is when its leaves will have issues and begin to wilt or droop. Also, a stressed out plant becomes more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Once there are a lot of roots coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, it is your signal to repot. The best time to do this is during spring until early summer.

Use a pot that is one size larger (about 2-3 inches bigger). Avoid overpotting.

And make sure that pot is heavy enough because the plant will be top heavy due to the size of its leaves. Therefore, you want something that will anchor the plant to the ground and not just tip over.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Yes, the plant is toxic but only when ingested. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which get activated when it enters the body. This can cause swelling, pain and irritation.

Therefore, please keep the plant out of reach of young children, dogs and cats who may get curious and accidentally consumer the leaves or stems.

 

Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard is not very prone to pests. However, it can get them especially when it is weak, ill or stressed. As such, try to keep the plant healthy by giving it all the things it needs.

Also, cleaning its leaves helps keep pests away since the bugs are attracted to dust.

In addition, one of the best things you can do to keep pests away is to apply insecticidal soap or neem oil about once a month on its leaves. This really helps prevent bugs from coming around.

That said, the most common pests to bother the plant are mealybugs, aphids, scales and thrips. Mites can also come if the plant gets very dry.

 

Diseases

Diseases can also be a problem.

Here root rot is the biggest thing to look out for. Although bacterial and fungal infections are likewise headaches.

All of these are caused by excess moisture. As such, avoid overwatering the soil and wetting the leaves too much. Make sure you use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes also.

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