The Philodendron mayoi is a stunning plant with uniquely shaped leaves that arch outwards as they grow.
The are fast growers that are native to the Brazilian rainforests.
Better yet, it is easy to care for and propagate. This kind of makes up for its one big disadvantage.
It is expensive and hard to find.
If you want to get your hands on one of these beauties to add an exotic flare to your home, you’ll need to scour online shops to find one.
And, if you do, you’ll often end up with one of two scenarios.
- A high price tag. The Philodendron mayoi can easily cost as low as $50 and as much as $150 or more.
- Out of stock or unavailable. Yet, in many instances, you’ll find shops telling you that they’re not in stock at the moment.
Unfortunately, such is the case for many philodendron species which are rare, hard to find and in high demand from collectors.
That said, don’t stop looking. I’ve been able to find one from an Asian ecommerce shop. And, after that found a plant collector who was actually willing to give away one.
If you do find one, here’s how to take care of it.
Philodendron Mayoi Plant Care
The Philodendron mayoi enjoys bright, indirect light or medium light. It can likewise tolerate 2 or 3 hours of direct sunlight preferably that in the morning.
The two things that will give it problems are direct sunlight or overly intense exposure and dark areas.
Both extremes affect the plant in different ways.
Avoid placing it under direct sunlight as hours of this kind of exposure on a daily basis will burn its leaves. Similarly, intense afternoon sun or that of hot summers will also scorch its beautiful foliage.
On the other hand, while the Philodendron mayoi doesn’t mind low light conditions, it can only tolerate so much of it before its growth slows.
Plants rely on light for photosynthesis, which is their process of making their own food. Lack of light slows this process down. As a result, you end up with a smaller, slower growing plant with leaves that don’t grow as big as they normally do.
When it does not get sufficient light, you’ll also notice the plant become leggy. That is, it will stretch and you’ll see thinner and longer. Similarly, it will bend towards the light source in an effort to get every bit of illumination it can.
Thus, the best places to place your Philodendron mayoi is near a window with northern or eastern exposure. This gives it enough light without being too harsh.
You can keep the plant in a pot or hanging basket as well. With the latter, make sure that the top of the basket receives enough light. More often than not the top of hanging baskets get blocked by shade.
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Your Philodendron mayoi is well-suited for indoor growth. That’s because it is a tropical plant. And, as you’ve probably notices, most houseplants are tropical in nature.
The reason for that is tropical conditions are very similar to the conditions we humans enjoy indoors. This includes the moderate climate conditions.
Thus, in addition to avoiding direct sunlight, it thrives when temperature is kept between 65 and 80 degrees. At the lowest 55 degrees.
Again, due to its tropical nature, it cannot tolerate the cold. This makes it ill-suited for areas with frost.
Instead, it can only survive outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. Anything lower (which is colder), will give it problems during the winter since it cannot withstand freezing conditions.
As such, most growers keep it as a houseplant.
That said, even if you live below zone 9, you’ll be able to bring the plant outdoors during the summertime. However, make sure to take it back inside once things get colder in the fall.
If it is left in a spot where temperature drops under 50 degrees, you’ll see it start stressing. Once the temp hits the 40s it will struggle and you’ll start noticing damage.
So, it is a good idea to avoid this by all means.
Just as your Philodendron mayoi enjoys fairly consistent temperature that’s a bit of the mid to high side, it likewise thrives in similar humidity.
The plant does best when humidity is kept between 60% and 85%.
However, it will likewise tolerate average room humidity found is most homes which runs between 40% and 50%. That said, you do want to take some measures if you live in drier conditions.
Humidity around the 30s or lower will affect the plant.
It is likewise important to note that while slightly low to moderate humidity won’t harm the plant, it also limits its growth as well as its ability to produce its best foliage. That’s because the plant is used to this kind of moisture levels in its native habitat (the rainforests of Brazil).
As such, high humidity allows it to produce its most beautiful leaves.
This means that if you want to achieve this look, you’ll probably need to increase humidity in one way or another.
The simplest, most popular way is by misting. You’ll need to do this a few times a week.
Other more hands-off options include grouping plants together, using a pebble tray or moving the plant to a more humid room in the house like the bathroom, provided that it has enough illumination.
Some growers prefer humidifiers because they can cover a larger room and be more precise with the moisture levels.
You can choose and try any one of them to see which works best for you and the plant.
I highly suggest getting a digital hygrometer if you don’t already have one. This way, you can easily tell when your need to take action with regards to humidity.
source: wikimedia commons
How Often to Water Philodendron Mayoi
Your Philodendron mayoi needs moderate watering. This means watering it on a regular basis. On average, this comes out to once every 7 to 10 days.
However, I recommend feeling by hand or testing the soil each time before you water it. This is the only way to ensure you don’t end up overwatering it.
Too much water manifests itself in wet, muddy or soggy soil. You want to avoid this at all means since it will harm your plant if sustained for long periods of time.
Too much water results in yellowing leaves. It will also harm the plant’s roots in the long run putting them at risk of the dreaded root rot.
On the other hand, you also want to avoid lack of water. If you see brown leaves or the tips turning brown, this is a sign it is not getting enough water.
The best way to gauge whether your Philodendron mayoi needs water or not is to stick your finger into the soil down to about 2 inches.
Ideally, the soil should be dry at 2 inches. If it feels moist at any point above that, wait a little longer before testing again.
You don’t need to be precise about this because as long as the soil is dry between the 2 inch mark all the have to about 50% of the soil (the top half), that’s you’re watering zone, i.e when you should be watering.
Watering before that will lead to overwatering after a while. And, allowing the soil to dry beyond that point increases its risk of getting dehydrated.
That said, it is easier to revived to get the plant to recover from lack of water than too much water. All it takes it watering it and waiting 24 to 48 hours and it will perk right back up.
However, the same is not true for too much water.
Soil for Philodendron Mayoi
Because your Philodendron mayoi does not like too much water, it is important to sue the right kind of soil.
This will help you avoid overwatering even during times when you happen to add too much moisture or water too frequently.
Ideally, supply your Philodendron mayoi with well draining soil. You can use regular potting mix and add sand or perlite to improve drainage.
By adjusting the amount of sand or perlite, you’ll be able to increase or decrease drainage. Thus, if you notice the soil holding on to too much moisture, increase the percentage.
On the other hand, if the soil dries out too quickly, reduce its percentage.
Each plant’s response will be different because you’ll be supplying it with different growing parameters, which including the amount of sunlight, the size of the plant, the weather in your areas and a few other things.
Thus, a bit of experimentation is needed.
The other thing worth noting is to use potting soil. This is different from garden soil. And, it most cases, these are soilless.
The Philodendron mayoi is not a hungry plant. it does not need a lot of fertilizer. But, feeding it during its growing season will help it grow faster and more vibrant.
Thus, apply balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer. Make sure to dilute the formation to half strength to reduce the risk of overfertilizing.
During the other times of the year when the plant is not producing new leaves, it does not need to be fed.
Like water, too much fertilizer is a bad thing. That’s because it leaves salt residue which is harmful to the plants.
As such, it is a good idea to flush the soil every few months to rid it of any accumulated salts.
Pruning Philodendron Mayoi
Pruning your Philodendron mayoi is only needed in one of two cases.
One, the plant gets unruly because of all the growth. This philodendron is a fast grower. If you give it the right growing conditions, you’ll see foliage grow on a regular basis. And, they will cover one another as it gets bushier.
Thus, some trimming is needed to keep it looking neat and nice. But, you can likewise leave it to grow naturally as well depending on the look you’re going for.
The second reason to prune is to get rid of unwanted things. This includes discolored leaves, dead foliage and damaged ones.
Beyond these two situations, you don’t really need to do a lot by way of pruning which makes it low maintenance.
Philodendron Mayoi Propagation
One of the best things about your Philodendron mayoi is it is very easily propagated. This is huge considering that the plant is expensive, in high demand and hard to find.
Thus, being able to grow clones of the plant at home is a major advantage.
Here’s how to do it.
You can choose to propagate the plant in soil and water. Both work really well, although I’ve found that growing it in water is faster and produces a better success rate.
That said, try both out and go with the one gives you more consistent results.
- Begin by taking a stem cutting from your plant. You can get one or more depending on how bushy your plant is and how many you want to grow.
- Ideally, pick stems that have at least 2 or 3 leaf nodes and cut these sections off using a sterile cutting tool. You can use a knife or pruning shears provided that you’ve disinfected them first.
- Remove the lower leaves that will get submerged into the water or planted under the soil. You can keep the top leaves.
- Place the cuttings int water. You can use a jar or glass. But, make sure to replace the water every few days before it gets murky.
- Leave the glass under bright, indirect light in a warm spot.
- It will take between 14 to 24 days when you start seeing roots appear.
- Allow it grow until the roots get to between half an inch to an inch long. You can then move the cuttings to a container with soil.
If you start with a soil,
- Plant the stem cutting into a container filled with well-draining potting mix.
- Water the soil to keep it moist.
- Then leave it in a warm spot with bright, indirect light.
- If you want to speed up the rooting process, you can place a plastic bag over the plant to increase humidity.
- It will take about 3 or so weeks to root.
How to Repot Philodendron Mayoi
Since it grows fairly fast, your Philodendron mayoi will need repotting more frequently than most of your houseplants. The good news is, it will take between 12 to 18 months before you need to do so.
Also keep in mind that it does not mind being pot bound. Thus, you can allow it to get tight in the pot before moving it to a bigger one.
Do note that not all plants like being root bound. Thus, leaving them in this state will cause stress, which in turn will make them more prone to pests and disease.
However, that’s not the case with the Philodendron mayoi. As such, you can wait a little longer before repotting it.
Here’s how to do it.
- You want to prepare two things before starting. This is a pot that’s 2 inches bigger in diameter compared to your current container. Also, have enough fresh potting mix on hand. This way, you can replace the spent soil with something that’s lighter, with nutrients and better draining.
- Next, carefully take the plant out of the pot. The more pot bound it is, the harder it will be to slide the root ball out of the container. Thus, be patient and don’t jar the plant out. This will only increase the shock from the transplanting process.
- Once out, clean the root ball removing excess soil. Also, do check the roots to make sure they’re healthy. Snip off any damaged roots.
- Now, fill the new container to between 30% and 50% with soil. You can use the plant to estimate how much soil to put so the plant will stand out in the same level as it did in the previous container.
- Place the root ball into the container and fill the gaps with soil.
Philodendron mayoi are toxic to people and animals. They contain calcium oxalates which the body cannot digest or tolerate. As such, keep it out of reach of young kids, dogs and cats.
If ingested, it can cause vomiting, nauseas and other gastrointestinal distress.
Also note that its sap can cause skin irritation for some people. As such, if you have sensitive skin do wear gloves when handling the plant especially pruning.
Pests and Diseases
The Philodendron mayoi does not experience a lot of pest or disease problems. And, the best way to keep these issues away is to keep the plant healthy by providing it with the requirements listed above.
Additionally, I find that it helps a lot if you clean its leaves with a damp cloth every week or 2 weeks.
This removes the dust, allows you to inspect the plant as you clean and deters pests from coming around.
You can think of cleaning the plant much like cleaning your house. By regularly doing so, you’re able to keep ants and cockroaches away naturally.