The Philodendron lacerum is also known as the toothed philodendron. Like other philodendrons, it is known for its beautiful leaves.
These are large and green in color. if well taken care of, you’ll see the toothed edges and foliage growing to around 20 inches in size.
The Lacerum makes for a good houseplant as it is well-suited to indoor conditions be it homes and offices. It adjusts quite well even to low light.
Additionally, it is easy to care for and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
Do note that the plant is a climber. As such, it will act like a vine although it is an epiphyte or hemiepiphyte. As such, it enjoys clinging onto something like a pole or burlap.
Philodendron Lacerum Plant Care
The Philodendron lacerum thrives when it receives bright, indirect sunlight. This means it enjoys partial or dapped sun instead of being under the direct path of the sun’s rays all day.
That’s because the plant is native to the rainforests of South America where it lives is an epiphyte.
Thus, it clings onto trees and other larger plants living right under the forest canopy.
As such, it is used to getting more light than plants in the forest floor. Nevertheless the branches and thick leaves of trees do block most of the direct sunlight.
It is for this reason that the Philodendron lacerum does well indoors where the walls and ceilings block off most of the sun as well.
That said, it has the ability to adapt the many different lighting situations. This makes it able to tolerate low light conditions which is what many homes and offices have unless you keep it right on the opening of a bright sunny window.
If you bought the plant from a garden center, it is a good idea to note where the put it. That’s because the Philodendron lacerum is quite good at adapting. Thus, if they kept it under full sun, by the time you’ve gotten it, the plant has adjusted and now enjoys lots of sunlight.
This means you can place it in a southern facing window.
This is one of the best things about this houseplant, its versatility due to its adaptability.
For this reason, the Lacerum is very easy to care for.
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Your Philodendron lacerum enjoys moderate temperatures. As it originates from the South American rainforests, it is used to tropical and subtropical conditions.
This makes it perfect for indoor conditions.
And, it grows best when temperature is kept between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it perfect for most household as we humans also tend to enjoy these conditions.
However, be aware that it is a warm weather perennial. Thus, if you want to enjoy its beautiful green foliage year in and year out, keep it away from the cold.
It is not frost tolerant. And, it will die if kept in snowy conditions through the winter.
As such, if you live below USDA Hardiness Zone 9, it is a good idea to keep it in a container and grow it as a houseplant.
This way, you can keep it warm and cozy during wintertime.
This setup also allows you to bring it outside when the weather is toasty during the summer as the plant enjoys good air circulation.
If you live in zones 9 to 11, you can grow keep it outdoors all year long if you wish. You can likewise plant it in the garden. But, be aware that the plat does get much bigger in the ground as opposed to in a container or indoors.
Another important factor to consider humidity.
Rainforests are very humid areas because they experience quite a bit of rainfall. Thus, the plant has evolved to enjoy lots of moisture in the air.
Ideally, you want to keep the humidity between 50% to 70% which allows this lovely philodendron to grow optimally.
That said, it is able to do well in lower humidity as well, which is what makes it an easy to care for houseplant.
As such, average room humidity works well. The only exception is if you live somewhere that’s exceptionally dry. If that’s the case, then regular misting or keeping it on a water tray is a good idea.
If you experience very dry summers or winters, those are two other times of the year that the plant will appreciate regular misting as well.
Misting can be tedious though as you’ll need to do it every 2 to 3 days without miss. Make sure to use distilled water when you do. Misting its aerial roots is also a good idea.
But, don’t overdo it to the point that the leaves get really wet. This will increase the risk of disease which destroy its beautiful foliage.
The easiest way to increase indoor humidity is to use a water tray with small rocks or pebbles at the bottom. This will let you keep the pot above the water line so it does not get wet.
And, as the surrounding water evaporates, it increases the humidity around the plant to keep it happy.
This is a hands off method that’s much easier and more consistent that misting. And, all you need to do is refill the water once it gets depleted.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Lacerum
Your Philodendron lacerum enjoys moderate watering. Thus, the climate in your area, where you place it and the time of year all play a role in how much water it will need.
That said, the plant does not like to sit in water. So overwatering is the worst thing you can do to it.
The easiest way to avoid this is to wait until the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil is dry before watering again. And, when you water, you want to soak the entire root ball.
This is done by slowly pouring water or using a slow running hose until the liquid starts dripping from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
When this happens, stop watering and allow the excess moisture to completely drain.
This will ensure the water reaches the soil. But, no excess liquid is stuck in there such that the roots find themselves sitting in water for long periods of time.
This is less of a problem if you keep the plant ono a bark or clinging onto something. They water will automatically drip off and the open air will help dry the roots quickly.
If your plant has aerial roots make sure water those as well.
As a guide, the warmer it is where you live, the more sunlight the plant receives, the more frequently you’ll likely need to water due to faster evaporation.
Thus, regularly check the soil before watering. This is your best gauge to know when or when not to water it.
Soil for Philodendron Lacerum
Because the Philodendron lacerum is an epiphyte, it does best in a potting mix that is light and airy. This will allow good air circulation to get to the roots.
This setup also eliminates the risk of overwatering and the risk of letting the roots sit in water, which can result in root rot.
Thus, the best media to use include potting soil, perlite, bark, charcoal and sphagnum moss. The perlite will improve drainage, while the larger, chunky medium will allow more air flow.
In addition to light and airy soil, the plant enjoys soil that is rich in organic matter. Make sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy as well.
Since it is a climber, a mossy pole or burlap is a good idea. This will keep it happy as it is able to cling onto something and grow.
Along with rich soil, moderate amounts of fertilizer will help the plant grow quickly. But be careful not to overdo it.
Fertilizer is something that’s very harmful when too much is given or your plant is fed too frequently.
All your Philodendron lacerum needs is once a month feeding during its growing season with a good quality liquid formula.
Make sure to cut back on feeding during the winter to about once every two or three months as the plant won’t be growing as much during this time.
Besides liquid fertilizer, you can likewise opt for slow release pellets. These will save you the work as you only need to spread them onto the soil two times a year.
Like other philodendrons, the lacerum will grow into a big plant. In this case, it can reach between 6 to 15 feet or taller outdoors.
But, indoors and in a container you’re better able to limit is size. You can do so by not repotting it as often or controlling its growing conditions to slow its growth. Both of which you cannot do if grown in the ground.
The good news is, the plant does not need a lot of pruning or maintenance. This is another reason why it is easy to care for.
That said, it likes to climb so giving it a pole or something similar will keep it happy. It will also let the plant look neat and lovely.
If you wish, you can trim it once in a while to make it look the way you want or control its size. But other than that, pruning is all about removing, dead, disease or discolored leaves.
The best part of the plant are its foliage which can grow to between a foot or over 20 inches long. As such, they’re the biggest draws of the plant.
Proper care will give them good size and wonderful green color, which becomes a darker shade of green as it gets older.
Philodendron Lacerum Propagation
One of the best things about plants is you can grow more of them without having to buy it from the garden center.
And, in the case of philodendrons, many of which can be very costly, this is a great way to grow more.
Philodendron lacerum can easily be propagated via stem cuttings.
This will let you grow more of them that are exact clones to your mother plant.
Here’s how to do it.
- Pick a healthy branch. You’re looking for a stem with a few leaves on it.
- Using a sterilized pair of scissors or pruning shears, cut away part of the stem.
- Remove the lower leaves which will get submerged in water. Since the stem will stay in water for a few weeks, leaves increase the risk of rotting if kept in water. Thus, you only want to keep the upper leaves.
- Place the stem cutting into a glass of water or jar. Make sure to replace the water every few days or when it ceases to be clear.
- It will take a few weeks around 3 or so when you see roots growing out from the bottom of the stem. It is a good idea to use glass so you can monitor the growth easily.
- Once the roots get to about half an inch or longer, you can move it to soil. You can likewise keep the plant in water for a little longer before transplanting it to soil.
- For the soil, make sure to prepare a small pot with light, airy potting mix.
- Plant the cutting into the soil and water it to keep the soil moist.
- Over the next few months, you’ll see new leaves start growing. And, during the first year, you’ll need to repot a few times as the plant will grow quite quickly.
How to Repot Philodendron Lacerum
Philodendron lacerum are amenable to most if not any pot or container. The important thing is to give it high quality, light, airy soil and a pole to climb on.
That said, over time as the plant gets bigger, its roots will run out of room in the container.
Since it does not appreciate being root bound, this is a sign to move it to a larger container.
In most cases, you’ll need to repot every year.
The good news is, you can choose the kind of container you wish as it will be happy in a regular pot or hanging basket.
Philodendrons are all toxic in nature. And, the Lacerum is no exception.
It contains calcium oxalate crystals which are insoluble. As such, if ingested by humans or pets, will cause discomfort and potential gastrointestinal problems.
The good news is, it has a low poison severity. This means you need to consume a lot to experience the side effects.
But, since young children and most cats and dogs are small, they’ll only need to eat a little bit to experience the pain and irritation.
So, to keep safe, place the plant away from their reach.
Pests and Diseases
Philodendron lacerum don’t have a lot of problems with pests nor disease. As long as you take proper care of them and clean its leaves every so often, they’ll be free of these problems.
That said, there are a few pests that can attack the plant.
The most common ones are mealybugs and spider mites.
When it comes to disease, Erwinia blight and root rot are two things to consider. Both are caused by too much water but they affect the plant in different ways.
Root rot attacks the roots which if untreated will lead to plant death over time. Thus, avoid overwatering or allowing the soil to stay soggy.
Erwinia blight on the other hand presents itself in the stem as lesions appear. This will them spread up to the leaves and prevent the plant from growing new ones.
Over time, this can likewise kill your plant.
So in both cases, you end up discarding the once-lovely plant which is a waste.
This avoid wet conditions as much as possible as both are hard to treat.