Philodendron pedatum is a beautiful climbing plant that features stunning green foliage. It is easy to care for indoors. And, will give your home or living room character.
It goes by many names, the common of which is oakleaf philodendron.
The plant does best when allowed to climb a pole or similar object. This allows it to extend and show its leaves.
It is likewise a good space saving way to grow the plant indoors since it can get up to 10 feet tall with leaves that extend up to 12 inches long.
As a native of Brazil and Venezuela, it enjoys warm, humid conditions. Thus, it is a good idea to provide it with a similar environment to produce optimum growth.
Philodendron Pedatum Plant Care
Philodendron Pedatum Light Requirements
Philodendron pedatum does well in a wide range of lighting conditions. This makes it easy to care for indoors as a houseplant. But, you want to avoid extremes.
That is, keep it away from overly bright light or direct sunlight, as well as too little light.
For the best results, provide it with bright, indirect, dapples or filtered light. In very bright, sunny areas, bright shade or partial shade Is best. Too much bright sunlight or exposure direct sun will turn its leaves yellow.
Note that this can happen with older leaves. But, if you see quite a few of them turn yellow at the same time, check to see if the plant is receiving too much light. And, move to spot with less light.
As such, indoors, the best place to put your Philodendron pedatum is near a window. However, make sure that:
- The sun’s rays never touch its leaves
- Your plant should not cast a shadow at any time of the day. If it does, that means it is getting direct sunlight.
On the other hand, a leggy plant where the leaves are spaced out a few inches away from one another is a sign it is not getting enough light.
In general, your Philodendron pedatum is okay with low light. But, too little light or keeping it in dim and dark locations will make it stretch and reach for the light source. Thus, it becomes leggy.
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Philodendron pedatum does best when temperature stays between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It likewise has a bit of leeway in both directions. But, you don’t want to go too far.
Anything over 85 degrees will cause the plant’s growth to slow down. On the other hand, it is not cold hardy. So, you want to keep it away from conditions where the temperature will drop to 50 degrees or lower.
This is likely the case outdoors.
So, if you keep the plant in a container outside through the summer, monitor the weather so your Philodendron pedatum does not stay out for too long during fall past 50 degrees.
Also, keep in mind that wet soil will adds to its getting cold. Just like we feel colder when our clothes are wet, the plant will likewise feel the same.
Too hot or too cold conditions will result in distress. And, this will cause your plant to drop its leaves or wilt.
The good news is, most homes average the same temperatures the plant is comfortable with. Thus, you only need to watch out for very hot summers and cold winters.
Similarly, your Philodendron pedatum is well-suited for average home humidity which runs between 40% and 50%. Again, do monitor indoor conditions during the summer and winter.
Both summer and winter can cause the air to become excessively dry, but in different ways. This can bring down humidity to under 40%.
Ideally, the plant enjoys humidity that’s over 60%. This will allow it to grow optimally and let its leaves produce their best color.
How Often to Water Philodendron Pedatum
Keep your Philodendron pedatum’s soil moist during the spring and summer. During this time, the plant is actively growing, plus the weather is hot. So, it will need more water.
But, be careful not to overwater the plant. Too much water or overly frequent watering is the worse thing you can do to any houseplant, the Philodendron pedatum including.
This can lead to root rot which has not cure. It is also fairly difficult to recover from this disease if it spreads too far.
That said, it is likewise important to never allow the soil to completely dry out during the warmer months.
However, winter is another story.
During this time, you want to be as conservative as possible. This means cutting back on watering. And, allowing the soil to almost dry out between waterings.
Because of the changes in watering routine throughout the year, it is not a good idea to stick to a strict schedule. Instead, you’re better off adjusting based on the weather and time of year.
The most effective way I’ve found to do this is to check the soil a few times a week by touch.
To do so, simply stick your finger into the soil down 2 inches. If the soil feels dry there, it is time to water. But, never before that time.
Don’t worry if you’re a late one or two days. Your plant won’t mind one bit.
This way, your watering schedule automatically adjusts as the seasons change from spring, summer and winter.
And, if you do this enough, you’ll realize that there are some trends.
For where I live, I usually end up watering my houseplants once every 5 to 7 days depending on how hot the summer day gets.
In winter, this should go up to about 10 to 14 days if you live in snowy weather. Here in Southern California, the shift isn’t too drastic so my schedule just moves back a few days or so on its own.
Soil for Philodendron Pedatum
Give your Philodendron pedatum high quality, well-draining potting soil. The most important thing to consider with growing medium is drainage.
Since the plant can be susceptible to root rot, you do not want the soil to hold too much moisture.
With the right soil, you’re able to make mistakes with watering without bearing any consequences. That’s because fast-draining soil will be able to get rid of excess moisture instead of retaining it.
On the other hand, heavier soils or those that keep water will cause waterlogging or soggy soil. This will put your plant at risk for root disease.
As a houseplant, you want to use soil-less potting mix. You can likewise make your own at home by using any of the following (all will work):
- 100% sphagnum peat moss
- Peat combined with perlite
- Peat combined with vermiculite
You can likewise use coarse sand in place of perlite or vermiculite. But, be aware that sand does compact after a while. So, you either need to aerate it every so often or refresh the potting soil to avoid it from getting compacted.
Philodendron Pedatum Fertilizer
Philodendron pedatum can grow fairly fast during its growing season (spring and summer). As such, you want to support its growth during this time by giving it enough water and food.
When it comes to feeding, apply water soluble fertilizer ones a month during this time.
On the other hand, scale back of feeding during winter. You can completely stop or cut back to once every 2 months.
During this time the plant is not actively growing and taking a long rest in preparation for spring when it starts growing again. As such, it does not need much food.
Like water, avoid too much fertilizer as it can damage your plant’s roots and foliage.
The most important rule when pruning Philodendron pedatum is don’t trim the plant unless necessary.
This means less is more. And, when you do cut it back don’t get overly aggressive in doing so. Cut only what needs to be cut to keep it the size and shape you want.
Additionally, do remove any yellow or unhealthy stems or leavesl. Similarly, if you do find some parts becoming leggy, trim them back to help them fix themselves.
The best time to prune your Philodendron pedatum is during spring or fall.
Philodendron Pedatum Propagation
Philodendron pedatum can easily be propagated through stem cuttings. The best time to do this is during spring or early summer. This gives the new plant time to quickly grow right after.
That said, you can likewise propagate the plant from seeds or air layering.
Here’s how to propagate Philodendron pedatum from stem cuttings.
- Choose a healthy stem that has at least 2 to 3 leaves on it.
- Using a sterilized pair or pruning shears or scissors, make a stem cutting that’s between 4 to 6 inches long.
- Place the stem cutting in a small container with fresh, well-draining potting mix that is moist.
- You can likewise root the cutting in water by placing it in a jar filled with water. Make sure to remove the lower leaves that will get submerged in water before doing so to avoid rotting.
- Cover the pot with a plastic bag to increase humidity. Then leave it in bright, warm place with indirect light.
- In about 3 to 4 weeks it should develop roots. You can lightly tug the plant to see if its resists. This is a sign that some roots have developed.
- It will take another 2 to 3 weeks for the roots to get established.
- Over time, shoots will grow.
- You can keep the plant in the small container until it outgrows it. Then, move it to a larger pot.
How to Repot Philodendron Pedatum
Repot your Philodendron pedatum when the plant outgrows its current container. The exact time can vary depending on how fast the plant grows, which in turn depends on its living conditions.
As such, like watering, placing a fixed schedule does not work.
Instead, watch your plant. It will give you signs that it needs to move to a larger container.
The most obvious sign is when its roots starting coming out from the drainage holes below the pot. This means they are looking for more soil beyond their current living space.
Similarly, the plant’s growth will also slow down after a while. And, if you leave it in the same pot, you’ll notice that the soil will very quickly dry up.
That’s because the roots have overcrowded the soil. And, because they take up more volume, they’ll suck up the moisture much quicker.
Once you see any of these signs, it is time to repot.
To do so, make sure to get a pot that’s 2 to 3 inches larger than the current one, nothing more. Also, have some fresh potting soil on hand to replace the spend one in the container.
Then in spring (which is the ideal time to repot), move the plant from its current home to its new, larger container.
Philodendron pedatum contains calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic to humans and animals. As such, it is a good idea to keep young children, dogs and cats away from the plant.
You do not want them to ingest parts of the plant, especially its leaves. Doing so will cause them to vomit and experience gastrointestinal distress.
Your Philodendron pedatum can experience some pests along the way. The most common of them include spider mites, mealybugs, thrips and scale.
Keeping your plant healthy and clean is the best way to prevent these critters from coming around. On the other hand stresses plants are more vulnerable.
Cleaning its leaves once a week or so is a good way to keep dust off its foliage so it can absorb more light. At the same time, it allows you to inspect for pests as well.
Use water and dishwashing soap to clean its leaves. Don’t use commercial products, which can damage them.
You can use horticultural oil or neem oil as pest deterrents as well.
When it comes to disease, moisture is your biggest enemy. Overwatering can cause root rot which is one of the biggest killers of houseplants.
Its fondness for humidity also means that the moisture can cause mildew and other fungal problems. So, providing enough sunlight and air circulation is likewise important.
Here, prevention is the best way to keep the plant healthy.