The Philodendron Jose Buono is a great plant to add if you want to infuse a bit of tropical or jungle feel to your home or garden without growing a mini-tree.
It’s large, paddle-shaped variegated leaves are amazing to look at as the white patterns significantly vary from plant to plant.
That said, it is a large plant which can easily grow up to between 12 to 20 feet high despite being a slow grower. But its size can easily be managed indoors. This makes it a nice houseplant to have.
As mentioned, its most striking feature are its foliage which can grow up to 2 feet in length.
Like many philodendrons, the Jose Buono is epiphytic with a vigorous climbing habit.
Philodendron Jose Buono Plant Care
Philodendron Jose Buono Light Requirements
The Philodendron Jose Buono thrives is bright, indirect light. And, it won’t have a problem with medium light and partial shade as well. But, you do want to avoid leaving it under direct sunlight.
The latter location will burn its leaves which will cause them to become pale in color and later turn brown.
On the other hand, being a plant with variegations, it is not able to tolerate as much low light as much as those that have solid green leaves.
That’s because the variegated sections are not able to absorb sunlight. Nor are they involved in the photosynthesis process. As such in darker or lower lit conditions, the plant will want to reach out towards the light source to get as much exposure as poosble.
In doing so it becomes leggy and bends toward one direction.
Similarly, the lack of light also causes it to produce less energy and food from photosynthesis. As a result, its growth with slow and its leaves will be smaller and fewer than normal.
What does this all mean?
Indoors, the ideal spot is:
- Near an east facing window. This gives it plenty of sunlight. And, the morning sun is gentle enough that it does not burn the plant’s foliage.
- If you live in a warm region and the northern window gets considerable sunlight, it will work as well.
- In the west and south, it is important to provide protection from afternoon sunlight which is intense. This is less of a problem in cooler areas. You can likewise distance the plant at least 3 or 6 feet from the window opening as long as you keep it away from the sun’s rays.
Outside, it is important to keep it under some kind of shade. It will not be able to take long periods of sun or direct sunlight.
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Your Philodendron Jose Buono is a tropical plant. It is accustomed to warm weather and prefers staying away from cold, freezing temperatures, which it cannot stand.
Ideally, keep the plant in temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The more consistent the environment the better.
In USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, you’ll be able to keep it outdoors all year round. This climate is similar to what it is used to. And, it won’t have any problems even during the colder months.
If you keep it in a warmer spot outdoors like a patio where the winds and some of the cold air is blocked out by structures, it will be able to live outdoors all 12 months of the year in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 11.
However, with the latter, you always want to be aware of the temperature once fall arrives. The moment it approaches 50 degrees, it is time to bring the plant indoors.
And, as always don’t forget to debug it before taking it indoors. You don’t want to bring in nasty critters into your home which can infest your other houseplants.
The plant cannot tolerate cold, freezing temperatures or frost. This means it needs to spend winters indoors if you live outside of the zones mentioned above.
Just as your Philodendron Jose Buono is happy with indoor temperatures, it likewise does not have a problem with regular household humidity.
Ideally, the plant enjoys humid conditions. This means relative humidity of 60% or higher. But, it can tolerate drier air.
That said, you don’t want to leave it in overly dry conditions as this will cause its leaf tips to turn brown.
As long as your home’s humidity is 40% or higher, it will not have a problem.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to get away with slightly lower RH. As always, observe how the plant responds if you try this.
You don’t want this beautiful plant’s leaves to deteriorate because of that.
If your not sure what indoor humidity is at home, I highly suggest picking up a hygrometer. This is an inexpensive, easy to use tool that will instantly tell you what the humidity is in any given area of your home.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Jose Buono
Your Philodendron Jose Buono does best when kept in moist soil during the warm months. In the winter, it is a good idea to scale back and allow the soil to almost dry between waterings.
Philodendrons in general, including the Jose Buono, are sensitive to overwatering. Keeping them in wet or soggy soil is a recipe for disaster.
If they sit in water for extended periods too frequently, they’ll likely end up getting root rot.
As such, staying on the drier side of this is always a good move. However, don’t allow the soil to completely dry out. Dehydration is likewise harmful to the plant.
This means that the best way to tell when to water your plant is to check the soil to see how moist it is. If the top 2 inches of soil is moist in any way, wait a few more days before testing again.
On the other hand if the soil is dry from between 2 inches in depth all the way to about halfway down the soil, it is time to water.
This is your “sweet spot” so to speak as to when to water. As such, you don’t need to be overly precise. Nor do you need to worry that you’re late by a day or two because that’s a considerable range that spans a few days at least.
Similarly, how you water is just as importantly,
Ideally, you want to water the soil (not over the plant) until the soil gets saturated. Stop when liquid starts dripping from the bottom of the drainage hole.
Then, allow all the excess moisture to completely drain before returning the plant to its outer container or original spot.
Soil for Philodendron Jose Buono
The kind of soil you’ll be using for your Philodendron Jose Buono takes from the its watering preference.
Since it is sensitive to overwatering, the ideal soil for the plant is something well-draining. This will prevent excess water, if you happen to add to much from being retained. Instead, it will allow that extra moisture to just drain out.
Rich, fertile soil with pH between 6.1 and 7.3 (slightly acidic to neutral) likewise helps to optimize growth.
So what does this mean?
It means you can use a good aroid mix. Or, if you prefer making your own mix:
- 100% sphagnum moss
- Peat and perlite
- Peat or vermiculite
All 3 will work just as well.
Finally, since the plant has a climbing habit, giving it a pole or similar vertical structure to grow against will allow it to get taller.
Philodendron Jose Buono Fertilizer
One of the reasons using rich, fertile soil is a good idea is because your Philodendron Jose Buono is a heavy feeder. The more organic matter there is in the soil, the less fertilizer you’ll need.
This not only saves you money but also reduces the risk of salt buildup in the soil from the chemicals in the fertilizer.
That said, as long as you don’t overfeed the plant you’ll be okay. You can likewise flush the soil every 6 months or so or after the summer to get rid of the salts.
When it comes to feeding your Philodendron Jose Buono, apply water soluble fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. This is when the plant is actively growing. So, it will need the supplementation.
Once fall arrives, decrease the dose and gradually scale in down until you stop. There’s no need to feed the plant during winter.
How often you prune your Philodendron Jose Buono will depend on whether your grow in indoors or outside.
The plant will get huge outdoors. But, less so in the home or in containers. However, in most cases, I’ve noticed that gardeners often end up doing more trimming with houseplants.
I guess in part because they are there aesthetic reasons.
As such, a lot of its size and shape will depend on the look your going for indoors. Since its large leaves can get big, you may want to cut them back once in a while to keep them from getting too big.
However, in most cases, pruning is fairly low maintenance. And, you only need to do it about once or twice a year.
As with other philodendrons, try not to do too much as they prefer being left along.
However, if you see dead, discolored or old leaves and stems, it is a good idea to remove them.
Should the plant become leggy, trim it back as well to allow it to grow fuller.
Philodendron Jose Buono Propagation
Since the plant is very pretty, you may want to grow more of it at some point. The good news is, you don’t need to go to the nursery to buy another.
They’re quite easy to propagate via stem cuttings. The best time to do so is during spring or early summer.
Here’s how to propagate Philodendron Jose Buono.
- Pick out a healthy stem with at least 2 or 3 leaves.
- Take a 4 to 6 inch cutting using a sterile knife or pruning shears. Make sure to cut just below the node, about half an inch will do.
- Remove the lower leaves since they’ll go under the soil.
- Plant the stem cutting into fresh, moist, well-draining soil.
- Keep in a warm place that’s well-lit with no direct sunlight. You can cover the plant with a plastic bag to increase humidity. This will improve initial growth.
In about 20 to 25 days you should see the plant start to root. If you place it in small 6×6 inch plastic containers, you can take the root ball out and see small white roots growing.
How to Repot Philodendron Jose Buono
Your Philodendron Jose Buono is a fairly slow grower. This means that you will only need to repot every 2 or 3 years. As such, this makes it a bit low maintenance from aspect.
That said, its living conditions play a huge role in how fast or slow it grows. This makes each plant different because every home’s environment is different.
In any case, the base time to repot is during the spring or early summer. This will let it recover from the shock of being moved.
Wait until the plant starts to show signs that it needs a bigger place to live in before moving. You never want to keep it in an overly large container because that will increase the risk of overwatering.
Often, one of the first signs it is time to repot is roots peeking out from under the drainage holes. Similarly, slower growth and faster soil drying times are clues. But, they’re harder to detect until a bit later on.
When repotting, use a container that’s 2 inches wider in diameter. You don’t want anything much bigger. Also refresh the soil which will provide the plant with a looser, fertile surrounding.
The plant is toxic because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. Once ingested, these become activated and they will cause mouth, throat and gastrointestinal irritation. Needless to say it is very unpleasant and can damage your digestive lining.
So, it is a good idea to keep the plant away from young children, dogs and cats to reduce the risk of them playing with it.
Pests and Diseases
Philodendron Jose Buono are tough, resilient plants. But, they can still get disease and be attacked by pests.
Yes, pests and diseases are every grower’s headache. And honestly, nobody likes having to deal with them.
Unfortunately, they’re a reality. And, if you don’t quickly treat them, they can destroy months or even years of work.
Mealybugs and aphids are the most common pests to look out for when doing your regular inspections. Cleaning the plant and keeping it dry are both crucial in keeping these critters away.
Similarly, leaf spot and root rot can likewise be issues. Again, moisture is the main culprit here.
The large leaves of the Philodendron Jose Buono make it a stunning plant that brings an exotic jungle feel to any area. It can grow indoors or outdoors. And it is easy to care for.