The Philodendron Pertusum is currently known as the Monstera Deliciosa or the Swiss Cheese Plant. Philodendron Pertusum is its old name because it used to be categorized as a philodendron due to its similarity of features to the genus.
That said, the plant is best known for its large, stunning leaves that have splits on the sides.
The plant is native to Central and South America including Mexico and Guatemala.
However, because it has become such a popular plant due to its magnificent foliage, you’ll see it grown in many parts of the world.
How do you care for Philodendron Pertusum? The Philodendron Pertusum prefers medium to bright, indirect light. It also needs a warm, humid environment to thrive.
Make sure to keep it in well-draining soil and avoid overwatering. It will also benefit when given a support to climb on. This will allow it to grow upwards.
Philodendron Pertusum Plant Care
The Philodendron Pertusum needs 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Just as importantly, it prefers medium to bright, indirect light.
Outdoors, it is best grown in partial shade.
Note that while this philodendron plant likes a lot of light, it is not a good idea to place it under direct sunlight or full sun. That’s because it can only tolerate about 2 or so hours of this on a daily basis.
If you give it more, you’ll see its leaves turn yellow. And over time, its foliage will burn as well.
Thus, your plant will have brown scorch marks on the sides of its leaves.
This is why it is best to keep in under indirect, filtered, diffused on dappled light.
if you want to keep the plant towards a south facing window, you have a few choices:
- Place it at least 3 feet from the window away from the sun’s rays
- Cover t with a shade cloth
- Use blinds or drapes to filter the light
- Tint the windows or frost the glass to diffuse or filter some of the light from the sun
On the other hand, an east facing window is the ideal spot since the sun is gentle in the mornings. Thus, the plant gets a lot of light without the risk of too much intensity.
The Philodendron Pertusum prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is its sweet spot where it will grow at its best.
Because it is a tropical plant, it enjoys moderate to warm climate conditions.
So, in addition to its ideal range, it does not have a problem if things get hotter. Although avoid leaving it in temperatures over 95 degrees for too long as it can get dehydrated faster there.
That said, you want to be more careful with cold temperatures.
The plant is not cold hardy. And it will struggle once temperature drops under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here, you’ll see its growth slow down. And if you leave it there for too long or the conditions get colder, it will experience cold stress. Eventually this can lead to cold injury as you’ll see its leaves drop.
If not remedied, the plant will eventually deteriorate and die.
This is why you only want to leave it outside during the latter part of the year if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11.
In places that are colder or have four seasons, the plant will not survive the winter.
As such, make sure to bring the plant indoors once temperature drops near 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keeping it indoors in cozy temperature will keep it happy through the colder months. However, make sure to keep it away from air conditioners and areas with cold drafts inside your home.
The Philodendron Pertusum has ideal humidity of 50% to 70%. Again, this is due to its natural habitat coming from the tropics.
Regions near the equator have warm to hot and very humid weather all year round.
On average, humidity only drops to 55% on the low days. And it can shoot up to 85% or higher during the rainy seasons.
As such, the plant enjoys good humidity. And this is something it will ask of you.
If it does not get what it needs, you’ll see its leaves turn brown beginning at the tips and margins. The will also get dry and crispy.
Therefore, if you have dry air in your home or where you live, it is a good idea to employ some humidity boosting measures.
The simplest thing to do is to mist the plant.
Although, this requires regular repetition since its effects are temperature. So, you’ll need to mist at least a few times a week.
Another option if to get a humidifier. While it is not free, it will allow you to set the target humidity. This makes thing much easier as the device will regulate moisture in the air for you.
If you don’t want to spend for a humidifier, another hands-off option is to place the plant on a pebble tray. This way, you only need to fill the tray with water once the liquid gets depleted.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Pertusum
The basic rule of thumb for watering the Philodendron Pertusum is to keep soil consistently moist and avoid letting it go completely dry.
However, this is easier said than done.
That’s because you can easily add more water when the soil it moist. And the problem with that is the plant is susceptible to root rot.
This is what makes watering the trickiest part of caring for the Philodendron Pertusum.
Therefore, the secret to keeping the soil moist without overwatering is to wait until the top 2-3 inches of soil dries out between waterings.
This way, the roots are still in moist soil. But since part of the potting mix has dried you avoid overwatering.
You can likewise wait a little longer.
Allowing the soil to dry about 25% to 50% of the way from the top works just a well. And it gives you a more conservative approach that lets you avoid overwatering.
It is also wroth noting that this method helps you sidestep having to adjust your watering schedule based on how much light, temperature, and humidity the plant gets.
All of these factor into how often you need to water the Philodendron Pertusum.
- The more light it receives the faster soil will dry and vice versa.
- The hotter the weather, the quicker the soil dries and vice versa.
- Meanwhile, the higher the humidity, the less you need to water and vice versa.
Because you’re basing when you water on the soil, you don’t have to bother about these factors. Instead, you just check the soil each time before you plan on watering.
This way, you avoid overwatering and potential root rot due to it.
Philodendron Pertusum Potting Soil
The Philodendron Pertusum needs well-draining potting soil. This is a must as it will prevent waterlogging.
Waterlogging is the other half of overwatering.
That’s because how well your soil retains or drains moisture affects what happens to water once in the soil.
So, if you use heavy soil that holds a lot of the liquid, you can be perfect in your watering routine. But very little of that water is drained.
As such, the roots still end up drowning in water. After a while, they will suffocate and rot.
Similarly waterlogged soil will increase the risk of bacterial and fungal infections
This is why the Philodendron Pertusum requires soil with good drainage. This kind of soil will hold onto a some liquid to keep the roots hydrated. But it will drain any excess moisture quickly so the roots don’t end up sitting in water for extended periods of time.
Well-draining soil also bails you out sometimes when you happen to overwater the plant.
To achieve this kind of soil, I’ve found an aroid mix to be very effective.
You can get one at your local nursery or favorite online store. Although not all nurseries carry them so you may need to search a bit.
You can likewise make your own potting mix for the Philodendron Pertusum.
A simple combination you can use is combine peat moss with perlite and orchid bard. Or you can substitute peat moss with potting soil or coco coir.
Both will work just a s well.
Finally, two other pro tips:
- Make sure the pot you use has drainage holes. This will allow the moisture that drains from the soil to get out of the pot. If not, the liquid will just sit at the bottom of the container.
- Give your Philodendron Pertusum a moss pole or something similar for support. This will let it climb and grow as it does in the wild.
The Philodendron Pertusum grows faster with fertilizer. However, it does not need a lot of it.
Therefore, you don’t want to give it more than the instructions tell you. Doing so can result in fertilizer burns on the roots.
Instead, only feed the plant when it is actively growing. This is between spring to early or mid autumn.
During this time, I like to use a balanced water soluble fertilizer once every 2-4 weeks. You can go up to 2 weeks if you want it to grow faster. Or stay at 4 weeks if you want to be more conservative.
Don’t forget to dilute the application by 50% each time you apply. This is easily done by adding more water.
Also, never feed the plant when the soil is dry. Only do so when the soil is moist.
The Philodendron Pertusum is a large plant. In the wild, it will grow to between 60 and 90 feet tall. Indoors, it can reach between 4 to 8 feet high depending on how much light it gets, fertilizer you give it and how often you prune.
Since it will grow upwards, it is a good idea to give it a support to climb on Otherwise, its large leaves will flop outwards to the sides.
Additionally, it will get messy as the plant gets bigger.
Because its large, beautiful fenestrated leaves are the plant’s best features, you don’t want to prune them unless needed.
Thus, despite its size, it is a fairly low maintenance plant.
That said, trimming will be needed if you want to limit its size, especially indoors. Also, it is a good idea to prune the plant every no and then to make it look neat and tidy.
Beyond that, pruning only really serves two other functions:
- Prune if you want to encourage it to grow more. This is especially true for the leaves.
- Remove any damaged, discolored, old or diseased leaves to help the plant stay healthy and grow faster.
Beyond that, it is all about size and shaping the plant to the look that you are going for.
Cleaning the Leaves of Philodendron Pertusum
In addition to pruning, it is also a good idea to regularly clean tis leaves.
Now you don’t have to do this often.
Instead, once you seem dust on the leaves, it is time to clean. However, avoid waiting until the layer of dush gets thicker.
That’s because dust negatively affects the plant. It can:
- Block some of the light causing the leaves to collect less illumination for photosynthesis
- It can clog the pores on the leaves which will interfere with water and vapor exchange (transpiration)
- Pests are attracted to dust which makes you plant more prone to infestations.
To clean the leaves, all you need to do is use a damp cloth and wipe them down. This will remove the dust.
Avoid using leaf shine or other products. If there is a thicker layer of dust, use soapy water to remove it. Then rinse the plant after.
How to Propagate Philodendron Pertusum
There are a few ways to propagate the Philodendron Pertusum. This includes:
- Stem cutting
- Air layering
- Root division
Propagating Philodendron Pertusum from Stem cuttings
Stem cutting is by far the most popular method because it is very straightforward and produces good success rates.
Here, you need a healthy plant. And want to choose a healthy stem.
Then cut the stem just below a node. Make sure your cutting has at least one node and a few leaves on it.
You can root the cutting in soil or in water. These will take about 3 to 4 weeks to happen.
If you rooted the cutting in water, you can transplant it to soil once the roots have grown to 2 inches or longer.
Propagating Philodendron Pertusum by Air Layering
Air layering is another very effective method to propagate the Philodendron Pertusum Some will argue that it produces the highest success rates among the different methods.
Although, this is not as popular since it is less straightforward. And to some home growers I’ve spoken to, more intimidating.
That said, the process isn’t really difficult.
Again, start with a healthy plant and look for a node. You want the stem coming from the node to be healthy and have a few leaves on it as well.
Next, take a sterile blade and make a small incision just below the node.
Then, cover the cut and the node with sphagnum moss. And wrap it using plastic wrap to keep the moss in place.
Water the moss slightly and keep it moist all the time.
It takes about 2-3 weeks for roots to grow. Once you see the roots, you separate the cutting from the parent plant and put it into soil.
This will grow into a new Philodendron Pertusum over time.
Propagating Philodendron Pertusum by Root Division
Division entails splitting the parent plant into 2 or more smaller new plants.
The biggest advantage of this is you don’t need to wait for the new plant to root. It is also helpful if you want to limit the size of your plant.
However, you cannot just do this any time like stem cuttings or air layering because the plant will keep getting smaller each time you divide it. Therefore, you need to give it time to grow in between.
To divide your Philodendron Pertusum, unpot the plant then remove excess dirt so you can see the roto system.
Decide on which sections you want to divide. This is totally up to you.
The only requirement is that each division needs to have stems and leaves on top of the soil and corresponding roots beneath the soil.
Once you’ve selected the sections, use a sterile knife to sperate the root ball.
Finally plant each division in its own container. These will develop into full-sized plants in time.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Pertusum
Repotting is another low maintenance task for the Philodendron Pertusum. That’s because it usually only needs to be repot once every 2 years.
Of course, the frequency will vary based on how fast it grows, which it turn is determined by how much light, water, humidity, fertilizer and other factors it receives.
But on average 24 months give or take is a good gauge.
To know exactly when to repot the plant, check the bottom of the pot.
Once it is time, you will see roots coming out from the drainage holes. This is your plant’s way of telling you that it needs more room to grow.
When this happens, repot it into a container that is one size larger. Also replace the soil with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
The other time you may need to repot your plant is in times of emergency.
This can happen if it is experiencing root rot, overwatering or disease. You may also want to repot if you cannot somehow control the pest infestation despite trying different treatments.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Unfortunately, yes. The Philodendron Pertusum is toxic but only when ingested.
Therefore, it is safe to touch and work on the plant.
Since it is toxic, it is a good idea to keep young kids and pets away from the plant as they may accidentally chew or eat parts of the leaves or stems.
Philodendron Pertusum Problems & Troubleshooting
Spider mites, aphids, mealybugs and scale are the most common pests that will cause your Philodendron Pertusum problems.
These are all sap suckers which means they will feed on the plant’s internal juices.
The problem here is that these bugs grow in population very rapidly. And because they take your plant’s sap, they’re essentially robbing it of moisture and nutrient.
So, as the bug problem turns into an infestation, the damage exponentially grows.
This is what causes your plant to wilt, experience yellow patches on the leaves and get weak.
Therefore, spotting them as early as possible and getting rid of them is very important.
Root rot is the most serious problem to watch out for when it comes to your Philodendron Pertusum.
That’s because it has the ability to destroy your plant too much of the root system gets rotted.
For this reason, it is very important to avoid overwatering, use the right kind of soil and make sure the pot has holes at the bottom.
These 3 things work together to prevent overwatering and waterlogging. In the process, you are able to avoid root rot.