The Philodendron Narrow is also called the Philodendron Tiger Tooth, Tiger Tooth Plant or the Philodendron Narrow Tiger Tooth.
Other names it goes by are Philodendron Narrow Green, Narrow Leaf Philodendron, Philodendron Jungle Boogie and Philodendron Narrow Escape.
It gets its name Philodendron Narrow or Philodendron Narrow Leaf because its leaves are long and narrow in width. The name Philodendron Tiger Tooth has likewise stuck because of its leaves’ jagged or serrated edges.
This philodendron species is native from South America and is often found in damp tropical conditions including rainforests, swamps and riverbanks.
How do you care for Philodendron Narrow? The plant thrives in bright, indirect light but will do well in medium or low light as well. Keep it in a warm place especially during winter.
Maintain 50% humidity and higher for optimal growth. And feed the plant once a month during its growing season. Avoid overwatering as it is susceptible to root rot.
Philodendron Narrow Plant Care
The Philodendron Narrow Tiger Tooth can be grown indoors or outdoors. And it will do well in various lighting conditions from low light to bright light.
However, for best growth indoors, medium to bright, indirect light is ideal. This will allow the plant to grow the fastest. And it will be able to grow more leaves as well.
You can likewise keep the plant in low light. But be careful not to leave it anywhere dark or too dim.
The less light there is, the slower the plant will grow.
Outdoors, it will do best in partial shade.
That said, avoid very strong light as well.
The plant is native the South America where it lives in the tropical rainforests. And while the climate is sunny all year round, because the plant is short relative to the huge trees, it lives under the forest canopy.
As such, the sun’s rays block out the direct rays of the sun. As a result, the plant receives filtered or dappled light.
This is why it has become accustomed to medium to low light. And cannot tolerate strong, intense direct sunlight for more than 2-3 hours a day.
If you leave it in this environment, its leaves will turn yellow or pale. In a more extreme case, the leaves will get burned as well, turning them brown later on.
The Philodendron Narrow Tiger Tooth is most comfortable in temperatures between 65 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, this has to do with its tropical origins.
This also makes it easy to care for since the plant is easy to grow indoors given that most homes maintain temperatures within this range since people enjoy this environment as well.
As such, it is fairly easy to tell what the plant likes in terms of temperature. If you feel uncomfortably cold or hot, it is likely feeling that as well.
So, move the plant if needed.
However, because it is native to the tropics, it can tolerate temperatures up to 90 or 95 degrees Fahrenheit without any issues. It can also take 100 degree weather but you have to make sure that it stays well-hydrated there.
Thus, I suggest avoid very hot environments.
On the hand, the plant is not cold hardy.
Therefore, avoid leaving it in temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit it will experience stunted growth. And if kept there for prolonged periods of time, it will sustain cold injury and possibly die as well.
The Philodendron Narrow enjoys moderate to high humidity. As such, it prefers humidity that is 50% and above.
However, it can tolerate 40% humidity and even lower than that.
From experience, it does not seem to get bothered or damaged if humidity stays in the mid 30s. I have not had the guts to try anything below 30% humidity since once you get brown tips and edges, those will not recover or revert back to green.
So, I don’t like messing with a healthy plant.
I do like to keep a hygrometer near my plants just to easily keep track of humidity.
This way, I know when things get too low, I need to help out the more humidity sensitive plants.
You can increase humidity around them by using a pebble tray or humidity tray. You can likewise most the plant or get a humidifier if you wish.
All of these methods work but at different rates so some require trial and error.
How Often to Water Philodendron Narrow
The Philodendron Narrow Tiger Tooth enjoys moist soil. But avoid wet, soggy soil.
This can make it tricky to care for in this regard. So, the safer bet is to stay on the dry side.
The reason for this is the plant is susceptible to overwatering. And overwatering is dangerous because it can lead to root rot if not fixed early enough.
Thus, you’re better off just avoiding all that since it can cause you to lose the plant eventually.
This is why the best way to water the plant is to wait until the top 2 inches of soil dries before you add more water. This helps prevent overwatering.
If you want to be really safe, wait until the soil is dry up to around halfway down before adding water.
This ensures that you don’t end up watering too frequently. It also does not pose any underwatering issues sine the roots still have moist soil.
For the first method, you can use your finger and just stick it into the soil. This is the quickest way to check for moisture.
If your finger feels moist or wet in any way, wait several days then test the soil again. Only water the plant if the soil at that depth feels completely dry.
For the second method, you can use a wooden stick or chopstick. Then just insert it all the way until the stick hits the bottom of the pot then take it out of the soil.
The wet area of the wood will indicate up to how far the soil is still moist. Once it is about half way dry, add water.
- How to Grow Philodendron Orange Marmalade
- Philodendron Red Moon Care, Propagation, Repotting & Pruning
- Philodendron Sharoniae Plant Care
- Philodendron Snowdrift Care – Light, Watering Propagation & Repotting
- Philodendron Strawberry Shake Care & Propagation Instructions
- Philodendron Wilsonii Care – How to Grow Philodendron Subincisum
Philodendron Narrow Potting Soil
The best potting soil for Philodendron Tiger Tooth is well-draining and has good aeration.
The reason for this is that roots need a combination of water and air. This means it is important to balance the two aspects.
Too much air means the soil is dry. And the narrow leaf philodendron does not like soil going completely dry. So, this is a bad idea.
On the other hand, too much water is worse.
That’s because it leaves the root sitting in water for extended periods of time. Because of this they are unable to get air. As a result, they eventually suffocate and die. This is how root rot occurs.
In some cases, the wet environment will cause fungal growth first. And this fungal infection will eat into the roots. When they get through, you also end up with rotted roots.
Thus, root rot is a very real possibility the more often and longer the plant is overwatered.
This is why well-draining soil is important.
It will quickly drain excess liquid while retaining enough to keep the roots hydrated.
This is why the best soil for the Philodendron Narrow Leaf is an aroid mix. It is especially designed for aroids or plants in the Araceae family. This includes philodendrons, monsteras, alocasias, anthuriums and peace lilies to name a few.
So, you can use it for these different genera.
You can get an aroid mix from your local nursery or online. Although, not all stores carry them.
In my case, I like to make my own aroid mix at home. This makes it cheaper in the long run. And you can easily adjust anything based on the climate where you live.
An aroid mix recipe I’ve had great success with consists of:
- 1 part potting mix
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
- ½ part horticultural charcoal
The perlite, bark and charcoal all provide drainage. Also, the bark and charcoal are chunky for better aeration.
Meanwhile, the potting mix will help retain moisture to keep the roots hydrated.
In addition to well-draining soil, don’t forget to use a container with drainage holes. This ensures that the liquid that drains from the soil can exit the pot instead of just accumulate at the bottom of the container.
The narrow leave philodendron needs fertilizer if you want it to grow the fastest. Of course, you can go without feeding the plant if you are on a budget.
And it should do okay.
Although, it will grow slower and will likely have fewer leaves compared to the one with fertilizer.
As far as plant food goes, don’t overthink it.
The important thing is to feed the plant. So, avoid overdoing it or giving it more than it needs because that’s more harmful in the long run.
And doing so will only increase the risk of fertilizer burn where the roots get damaged by too much salt buildup.
Instead, apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. You can stop by early fall and don’t give it fertilizer during winter.
Also, dilute the application each time you apply. Just use water.
Alternatively, you can also go with slow-release fertilizer. This will reduce the number of times you need to apply to about 1 to 2 times per growing season.
The Philodendron Narrow Tiger Tooth will grow to about 2 to 3 feet tall. This is not a huge plant although it will look impressive thanks to its unique looking serrated leaves.
As the leaves grow, they will bend outwards too. So, in addition to a little bit of height, they will need space to their sides.
Most of the lant consists of it leaves. And you’ll seethe long, narrow, serrated leaves come out from the center of the plant.
As such, it does not need much pruning unless you fee that its leaves are getting too long or spreading out too far.
The plant looks great when it has a lot of leaves as well. So, you can prune it to encourage more growth.
How to Propagate Philodendron Narrow
The most effective way to propagate the Philodendron Narrow is by stem propagation.
This involves taking a stem and allowing it to root. From there it will grow into a clone of its parent.
Here’s how to propagate the Philodendron Narrow Tiger Tooth using stem cuttings.
- Start by taking a cutting. Look for a healthy stem that is at least 3 to 6 inches long. You want a few leaves on its and at least one node on the stem.
- Use a sterile pair of pruning shears to cut the stem just under the node.
- The dip or rub rooting hormone on the cut end of the stem.
- Plant the stem cutting in a pot filled with fresh, well-draining soil.
- Water it and keep the soil moist. Also place the plant in a well-lit location with not direct sunlight.
- In about 4-6 weeks the cutting will root.
Alternatively, you can also root the stem cutting in water.
Here, place the stem cutting in a container with water. Make sure the node is submerged underwater. But remove any leaves that end up in the water as they will rot after a time.
Change the water every 1-2 weeks.
In about 3-4 weeks you should see roots develop. Once the roots get to at least 2-3 inches long, you can pot up the stem cutting in soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Narrow
The narrow leaf philodendron does not need regular repotting. So, you don’t need to repot it annually.
Often, it takes 2-3 years before you need to do so.
However, don’t just follow the figures above blindly.
Instead, repot when one of these things happen.
- The plant gets root bound
- Your Philodendron Narrow Tiger Tooth becomes top heavy
- The soil is not ideal for the plant
- There is an emergency (overwatering, root rot, uncontrolled pests or disease)
In most cases it will be the first or second because of how this plant grows.
As it gets bigger, it will become root bound. And you’ll be able to tell by looking at the bottom of the pot.
If there are many roots coming out from the bottom of the drainage holes, it means it is time to repot.
Similarly, if there are a lot of leaves and the leaves get longer, the plant becomes top heavy. So, you’ll need a bigger, heavier pot.
When repotting, move up one container size at a time. Avoid the temptation of overpotting the plant so that you can avoid having to repot it every few years. This can lead to overwatering.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Unfortunately, the Philodendron Narrow is toxic. But only when consumed, swallowed, chewed or ingested. It is not poisonous to the touch.
Therefore, try to keep it out of reach of dogs and cats as well as young kids.
Philodendron Narrow Problems & Troubleshooting
Pests are not common for the Philodendron Tiger Tooth. However, they can happen.
This is especially true when the plant is not healthy, stressed or weak. It becomes prone to pests and diseases during this time.
So, try to keep the plant healthy as much as possible so its natural resistance will stay up.
Another way to prevent pests is to apply neem oil or insecticidal soap spray once a month. This helps keep pests away.
The most common pests the bother the plant including spider mites, scale, mealybugs and aphids.
Root rot is the Narrow Leaf Philodendron’s biggest threat because if you don’t catch it early enough, it will eventually kill your plant.
Root rot is dangerous because once roots rot, the plant cannot support itself. The roots stop functioning so there’s no way for the plant get absorb water or nutrients from the soil.
As a result, it will deteriorate then eventually die.
As such, prevention is your best option. And to do so, avoid overwatering, use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage.