Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated Plant Care – How to Grow Lime Fiddle Philodendron

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated is also called the Variegated Golden Dragon Philodendron or the Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegata.

You’ll also see it named Lime Fiddle Philodendron in some shops.

This is a rare and gorgeous looking Aroid.

And as its name tells you it is the variegated form the of the Philodendron Golden Dragon. As such, the biggest difference between the two are the white and yellow/gold variegations on its leaves.

These markings can get quite large in some leaves covering about half the size of the leaf.

As with its solid-green leafed counterpart, the plant gets its name from the shape of its leaves which are said to resemble a dragon’s head.

The plant also has deep jagged lobes than make it look very unique.

How to you care for the Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated? It needs bright, indirect or filtered light to support and maintain its stunning variegations.

Avoid low light environments as well as very strong direct sunlight.

It thrives in warm climates with high humidity. It also enjoys moist soil but cannot tolerate wet feet. So, allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated needs plenty of light. This will allow it to maintain its large, gorgeous white-light yellow variegations.

The best lighting conditions for the plant are medium to bright, indirect or filtered light indoors. Outdoors, provide it with partial shade.

The reason a well-lit location is very important is because the white sections of the leaves have little to no chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll is the compound that makes leaves green.

More importantly, it is also what absorbs light which allows the plant to use that light for photosynthesis.

Therefore, the non-green areas of the leaves don’t contribute or participate in the collection of light or photosynthesis.

As such, the plant needs to stay under more light (compared to solid-green leafed plants) to the amount of light they need to support itself.

This also means that the Variegated Philodendron Golden Dragon will struggle more than the regular Philodendron Golden Dragon in low light.

So, I don’t recommend leaving it in this environment.

Instead, keep it in a bright location with indirect or filtered light.

That said, too much light is also a bad thing. That’s because its leaves can get burned due to the intensity of the sun’s rays.

Note that you can use artificial lights to keep the plant happy and healthy as well. This is ideal if you don’t get a lot of sunshine into you home because of the locations of the windows.

However, LED grow lights also emit heat.

So, keep the plant at least 8 to 12 inches away from the bulbs.

Otherwise, the leaves can likewise get burned over time.

 

Temperature

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated thrives in warm weather. Ideally, keep indoor temperature between 60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is where the plant feels most comfortable.

Although, it can tolerate temperatures slightly above and below this range as well.

However, you want to be careful with excessive extremes.

Both too much heat or too much cold will cause temperature stress. And the plant may struggle and then experience side effects.

But of the two sides, it will tolerate heat much better.

In fact, it won’t have any issues the 95 degree Fahrenheit conditions at all.

On the other hand, be careful with temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated is not frost hardy. And it dislikes the cold. Therefore, avoid leaving anywhere that may experience drops in temperatures.

Indoors, this includes air conditioners, cold drafts and areas where nighttime temperature can significantly drop from that of daytime.

This also means that you should never leave the plant outdoors through the winter.

It will not survive to reach the spring.

Instead, bring the plant indoors and keep it in a warm place.

Note that the Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated enjoys USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 because the weather stays consistently warm and sunny throughout the year.

This is why it thrives outdoors in these areas.

So, if you live in these regions you can choose to keep the plant indoors or let it stay outdoors.

 

Humidity

The Variegated Golden Dragon Plant will grow best in high humidity. It will be happiest when humidity is between 60% and 75%.

This can make it difficult to maintain in many homes.

Luckily, the plant can likewise tolerate lower humidity as well.

While it can tolerate about 35% humidity, I suggest trying to keep humidity at 40% and above. This will keep it away from any dry, brown leaves that may occur.

I also know many gardeners who grow the plant in terrariums or in a vivarium. These work because of the high humidity that they can maintain.

But the problem is after a while, the plant will eventually outgrow these spaces.

It will climb up and take up more space.

This is why you’ll see some growers keep it in greenhouses. In fact, many sellers do this.

So, if you buy your Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated from these sellers it is a good idea to ask them how to care for the plant at home.

If they raised it in a terrarium or greenhouse, you will need to acclimate it to average room or home humidity.

And monitor the plant during the first couple of months of so.

If you notice the leaf edges and tips burn brown and crispy, then it means the plant needs help.

You can use a humidifier, mist the plant regularly or set up a pebble tray.

 

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How Often to Water Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated plant prefers soil that is moist but not wet.

It is very important to understand what this means.

That’s because many people understand moist as keeping the soil wet or having water on the surface of the soil.

That’s a no-no with the Variegated Golden Dragon Philodendron plant.

Doing this will cause the plant to get overwatered. And as a result, it increases the possibility of root rot.

instead, moist soil means fairly soil that not wet nor dry. It should not have excess moisture. But the particles should not be completely dry either.

So how often should you water the Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated plant?

Wait for the top half of the soil to dry between waterings. This is what I do. And it works really well.

However, if you like to water the plant more regularly, you can wait until the top 2 inches of soil has completely dried, then water.

This is the absolute minimum.

Never water before this. Otherwise, you put the plant at risk of overwatering.

To do so, I feel the soil every 4 or 7 days.

If the surface of the soil feels wet or moist, don’t water.

On the other hand, if the surface feels dry, then stick your finger down 2 inches from the top of the surface.

If this depth feels completely dry, then add more water.

If not, wait another 4 or 7 days and test the soil again.

Doing so will allow you to keep the Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated plant well-hydrated. And at the same time, it allows you to avoid any problems from overwatering.

 

Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated Potting Soil

The Variegated Golden Dragon Philodendron plant needs moist, well-draining soil that is rich in organic material. It also thrives in soil pH between 5.1 to 6.0.

Soil is very important as it plays a secondary role in moisture drainage or retention.

Additionally, the kind of soil you use will help or hinder the plant’s absorption of nutrients.

Because the Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated is susceptible to overwatering and root rot, good drainage is very important.

This ensures that the roots don’t end up sitting in too much water for long periods of time.

This is why well-draining soil is ideal for the plant.

It holds enough moisture to keep the roots hydrated. But at the same time, it quickly drains excess water.

The best soil I’ve found that achieves this is an Aroid mix.

This kind of soil stays moist but has good drainage and aeriation. You can also use it for other members of the Araceae family.

These include philodendrons, anthuriums, alocasias, monsteras, peace lilies, pothos and more.

Note that not all stores carry Aroid mixes because they need to make these themselves.

So, it may require some searching online or asking a few nurseries by phone.

Additionally, you’ll notice that each store will have its own combination of ingredients and percentage breakdowns of the components.

This is fine as long as the soil does its purpose.

The best thing about aroid mixes is that you just open the bag and begin using it.

Of course, you can likewise use 100% sphagnum peat moss as well.

Or you can create your own Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated potting mix as well. Here’s a simple Aroid mix recipe that works really well.

  • 1 part organic potting mix
  • 1 part orchid bark
  • 1 part perlite
  • 1/2 part horticultural charcoal

 

Does the Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated Plant Climb?

Yes, the Variegated Golden Dragon Philodendron is a climber. And it will happily go up a totem or moss pole if given one.

Giving the plant a support will allow it to grow faster and taller.

It will also produce more leaves and larger ones at that.

Thus, the plant will reward you for doing this.

The reason it enjoys being given the chance to climb is that this is how it grows in its native habitat. Therefore, it will grow at its best in this environment.

 

Fertilizer

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated plant will also grow faster and bigger if you feed it with fertilizer.

You can use a few different kinds as the plant isn’t very picky about this.

But never go with a cheap, low quality plant food.

Why?

While these will save you money, they can damage the plant as well.

That’s because low quality fertilizers will leave lots of salt residue in the soil. Plants hate salts and when enough accumulates in the soil it will cause fertilizer burn.

As such, the roots and leaves can eventually get damaged.

Therefore, use high quality plant food products.

Most growers will use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer because it is very effective. Apply once every month during spring and summer.

Stop by early to mid-fall. Then restart again next spring while skipping the winter.

When applying, dilute the application by 50% each time as well.

Doing so will prevent overfertilizing.

Another alternative to liquid fertilizer is to use slow-release fertilizer. These come in pellet form and the dissolve at different times.

As such, you only need to apply about 3 times a year.

 

Pruning

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated will grow into a good sized plant.

And this is a good thing as its size is directly associated with the eventual size of its leaves, which are its most attractive features.

With proper care, the Variegated Golden Dragon Philodendron will produce leaves that are 1-2 feet long and around 1 or so feet wide.

These make the leaves very impressive especially given their stunning patterns.

If you give the plant a totem, moss pole or support to climb, it will likewise get bigger, grow faster and produce larger leaves well.

As such, pruning is not really needed since you don’t want to cut off its unique leaves.

The only ready to trim it is to limit its size or shape the plant.

Also, remove any damaged, yellow, brown or diseased foliage.

 

How to Propagate Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated plant is commonly propagated from stem cuttings. You can likewise propagate it through division.

That said, stem cuttings are the most common method of propagating this beautiful plant.

Note that if you’re buying cuttings from online sellers there are a few things to consider.

You’ll see cuttings that come in different forms. The most common are:

  • Rooted cuttings
  • Unrooted cuttings
  • Wet sticks

Rooted cuttings are stem cuttings that have been rooted in soil, moss or water. Thus, they already have at least some roots.

And this makes them more expensive because of the extra investment put in them.

Rooted cuttings are the best option for beginners and intermediate gardeners.

They are the easiest to grow and have most success to grow into a new plant.

All you need to do is plant them into soil and keep the substrate moist.

Unrooted cuttings are another common option. These are cuttings that have not been rooted yet. So, if you buy them make sure that the cuttings have nodes.

If they don’t have nodes, they’ll never successfully root and propagate.

Therefore, look for unrooted nodes at the very least when buying.

As you would expect, these are cheaper than rooted cuttings. And you need experience to grow both unrooted nodes and cuttings.

That’s because, if you cannot make them root, then you’ll end up with nothing (no new plant).

Wet sticks are the cheapest. That’s because they are not complete stem cuttings or stem tip cuttings. Instead, they are just a junction or part of a stem where there are nodes.

Usually, wet sticks are just a few inches long with one or more nodes. There are no leaves and no roots with them. Instead, all you get is a portion of the stem.

This requires the most experience to grow because they are not all that reliable when it comes to rooting or propagation.

Therefore, never pay more than $30 to $40 or so for wet sticks no matter what the plant is.

I’ve seen people spend $70 or even $100 only to have the wet sticks never pan out to new plants.

That’s a waste of money.

 

Propagating Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated Plant from Stem Cuttings

When it comes to propagating your Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated from stem cuttings you really have a couple of options.

You can take a healthy stem with at least 1-2 nodes and cut just below one of the nodes.

Or if you don’t like to wait for the plant to root, you can dig up a small section and cut out that small part of root along with the stem cutting.

The second option is a like a rooted stem cutting.

Therefore, you can just plant it in soil. And it a short period, the new plant will star growing new shoots then leaves.

With stem tip cuttings, you’ll need to root the cuttings.

Here, you’ve got options again.

You can root the cutting in water, LECA, moss or plant it directly onto soil.

Propagating in water is very popular but it actually yields lower success rate for this plant compared to LECA, moss and soil (at least for the Variegated Golden Dragon Philodendron).

 

How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated will eventually need repotting as it gets bigger.

How often you repot the plant will depend on how fast it grows.

Note that you should not compare the growth rate of your plant to others. Or force it to grow faster just because you heard someone else’s plant is getting bigger sooner.

Instead, focus on your own plant and listen to its needs.

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated will usually need repotting once every 2 years.

But a lot will depend on how much light, fertilizer and humidity it gets. Additionally, whether or not it is allowed to climb will affect its growth rate.

So, it is better to check the top and bottom of the pot to know when to repot.

If you see roots poking out from the holes under the po or roots popping up out of the surface of the soil, it means that the plant needs more room to grow.

Therefore, come spring repot the plant.

Spring to early summer is the best time to repot because it is quickly growing during this time.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Keep the plant away from young children, cats and dogs because it is toxic when ingested.

It contains calcium oxalate crystals which become toxic when ingested.

So, to avoid any accidental consumption, keep the plant away from kids and pets.

 

Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated plant is not very attractive to pests because of its thick green leaves.

It also does not have succulent-like leaves so you won’t see many pests go after it either.

However, this is not to say that the Variegated Golden Dragon Philodendron won’t ever get pests. That’s because it can and may get them.

But the odds are less likely.

Still, thrips, aphids, spider mites and mealybugs can come around.

Therefore, when then do, treat them when there are only a few there.

You can give the plant a shower and spray off the bugs using your garden hose.

This should easily get rid of the pest problem.

 

Diseases

The Philodendron Golden Dragon Variegated plant can experience diseases.

In most cases, root rot and leaf infection are the most common.

Unfortunately, that’s because of overwatering which is almost always man-made.

This means it is important to know when to water the plant as well as how to water it.

Always allow the top half of the soil to dry between waterings. And don’t water the plant from above to wet all the leaves. Instead, water directly onto the soil.

Wetting the leaves and not letting them dry quickly increases the risk of bacterial and fungal infections.

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