The Philodendron Shangri La is a compact plant that with split light green leaves. It a shrub-like growth habit which makes it a great plant for entryways or your patio.
This philodendron plant is also known as Philodendron bipinnatifidum Shangri La. Some call it by Thaumatophyllum Shangri La.
It is a native of South America.
How do you care for the Philodendron Shangri La? It can tolerate low, medium or bright indirect light. But for optimal growth, the latter is best.
Keep the plant in a warm, humid environment with moist soil. But avoid overwatering the plant as it is prone to root rot.
Philodendron Shangri La Plant Care
The Philodendron Shangri La can tolerate different lighting environments. But for optimal growth, keep it somewhere with medium to bright indirect light.
This will allow the plant to grow faster and produce more leaves.
It will also help it get bushier if you have a sparse looking philodendron plant.
The best spot for get this kind of lighting condition is near an east facing window. There the plant gets plenty of morning light which it loves.
That said, it can tolerate low light as well.
However, depending on how low the light gets, the plant’s growth can get affected. And the less light there is, the slower it will grow.
Another thing you’ll notice in low light is that its leaves will turn more green. That’s because it will produce more chlorophyll to absorb more light.
This is not a big deal especially if you want the plant to have darker, more saturated green colors.
But there’s a limit to how little light it can receive.
As with other houseplants, the Philodendron Shangri La relies on photosynthesis to create energy for growing. In turn photosynthesis relies on light.
So, the plant won’t grow if there is no light.
The good thing about its tolerance for low light is that you can leave in near a north facing window or in one of the inner rooms of your home without any problem.
If you want to help it grow better there, you can use artificial lights as well.
Last but not least, avoid too much strong light.
The plant cannot tolerate harsh, intense,
The Philodendron Shangri La prefers temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a warm weather plant thanks to its tropical origins.
As with other philodendrons, the plant is native to the tropical rainforests of South America.
There, it is used to warm to hot weather. Although this is somewhat tempered by the larger trees and their branches which give the plant shade in the forest.
Still, the prevailing climate in those areas make the plant comfortable with higher temperatures.
This is something to be aware of especially if you have freezing winters or enjoy taking the plant outdoors.
The reason is that it is not cold hardy.
And it can only withstand temperatures down to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
If left in colder environments, its growth will slow. The colder it gets and the longer it stays there, the more problems you’ll see.
This can result in yellow leaves, leaf drop or even a wilting plant.
If it gets really bad, the plant can suffer cold damage or even die.
Just as importantly, it does not take long for these side effects to happen. All it takes is 3 to 7 days in conditions below what it can tolerate is enough.
Therefore, if you live somewhere with snow, make sure to take the Philodendron Shangri La indoors before the temperature drops to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, the plant can withstand the weather late in the year in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. In these areas, the climate stays warm and sunny even through their “winters”.
The Philodendron Shangri La is a tropical plant that is used to warm, humid conditions. This is why it prefers humidity of 60% to 75%.
However, it can tolerate lower humidity at well. But I do suggest maintaining at least 40% humidity to keep it healthy and happy.
While it can withstand slightly less than this threshold, you always run the risk of brown tips and edges on its leaves.
Another thing worth noting is that indoor humidity is always lower than outdoor humidity.
Therefore, don’t rely on what the weather channel tells you about your area’s humidity when it comes to caring for this plant.
Additionally, your home or the neighborhood you live in may have some microclimates that make the air drier or more moist than other nearby locations.
Instead, I suggest getting a hygrometer if your home does not have good humidity.
This will let you closely monitor what the humidity is in any room by the second.
That way, you know if some of your houseplants need some help.
If that’s the case, you can mist the plant regularly or move it to the bathroom. I prefer to set up either a pebble tray or a humidity tray.
Of course, you can go ahead and pick up a humidifier as well.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Shangri La
For the Philodendron Shangri La, watering is the most important thing to keep an eye out for.
That’s because it is the one thing that can take down the plant fairly quickly.
And once this gets past a certain point, there is saving it.
The reason is that the plant is prone to overwatering. Therefore, be careful about watering it too frequently.
Instead, wait for part of the soil to dry before adding more water.
There are a few ways to do this.
If you don’t have a lot of patience prefer to water more often than not, make sure to wait until at least the top 2 inches of soil has dried before watering again.
On the other hand, you can likewise wait until the top 50% to 75% of the soil has dried.
The second method is more conservative. And it is safer as it lets you avoid overwatering.
The other reason the more conservative method works is that the plant can tolerate dryness better. Plus, it can quickly recover from this.
However, that’s not the case with overwatering.
If after trying these and you still find yourself struggling with watering the plant, I highly suggest trying bottom watering.
This involved placing the pot in a container with water. You can use a bathtub with a few inches of water. This makes it easier if your Philodendron Shangri La is already big.
The soil will absorb the moisture at its own rate.
Although this takes longer, the risk of overwatering is much lower.
Philodendron Shangri LaPotting Soil
The Philodendron Shangri La needs loose, well-draining potting soil that has good aeration.
Because of its susceptibility to overwatering, good drainage is essential.
This ensures that its roots don’t end up swimming in water for prolonged periods of time. Instead, the soil will quickly drain excess moisture.
In doing so, it prevents overwatering and waterlogging.
Fortunately, it is easy to create the perfect potting soil for Philodendron Shangri La. Just combine:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
- ½ part horticultural charcoal
The potting soil allows the soil to retain some water to keep the soil moist. But the other ingredients all contribute to increase drainage.
Additionally, the bark and charcoal are chunky. This makes it easy to for air to circulate in the substate and reach the roots.
On the other hand, you can also just go to your favorite online plant shop or nursery and get a bag of Aroid mix.
This is an option you can go with if you don’t like to make your own potting mixes.
Finally, make sure that the pot you use has drainage holes at the bottom.
This will let any excess water that drains from the soil drip out instead of collecting at the bottom of the pot.
The Philodendron Shangri La will grow optimally with fertilizer.
Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during its growing season (spring and summer). Dilute the application by 50% using water.
Also, don’t feed the plant when the soil is very dry.
Just as importantly, it does not need fertilizer during fall and winter.
With fertilizer, the things you should not do are just as important as what you should do.
That’s because excess plant food can cause fertilizer burn. This not only turns its leaves yellow but also damages its roots.
As such, it is important not to overfeed the plant, use an overhigh concentration or apply when it does not need fertilizer.
The Philodendron Shangri La will grow to about 2 to 3 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide.
This makes it a good sizes plant when it matures and gets bushy. Although before that happens, it can be kept on the table or in large containers.
The plant has a compact, shrub-like habit.
So, it won’t get overly messy. However, once it gets fuller, you’ll need to decide whether you want to let it get thicker or trim it back.
Here, I’ve noticed two common trains of thought.
Many like it when its gets really dense and thick. On the other hand, others like to trim it considerably to keep the foliage more manageable.
The former makes it look more like a shrub, which the former makes it look more like foliage houseplant.
How to Propagate Philodendron Shangri La
Philodendron Shangri La propagation is usually done through stem cuttings or division.
Both methods are very different.
While they allow you to propagate the plant, the process for each and the resulting new plants are not the same.
In most cases, stem propagation is the more popular option.
In part because the propagation process is easier. But also because it does not require unpotting the plant.
Propagating the Philodendron Shangri La from Stem Cuttings
Here’s how to propagate the Philodendron Shangri La from stem cuttings.
- Take healthy stem cuttings. You’re looking for cuttings with at least one node and a few leaves on it.
- Sterilize your cutting tool and snip off the stem just below the node.
- Remove any lower leaves to expose any other nodes.
- Then, apply rooting hormone on the bottom end of the cuttings and plant them into a pot with well-draining soil. Ensure that the nodes are buried under the soil.
- Water the soil until moist. Keep the pot in bright, indirect sunlight.
It will take about a month for the roots to start getting established onto the soil.
Of course, you can propagate in water as well.
Here, place the cuttings in a container filled with water with the nodes submerged in liquid.
Then, keep the container in bright, indirect sunlight.
In about 3-4 weeks, you should see quite a few new roots growing.
Once the roots are 2 inches or longer, you can move them to a pot with well-draining soil mix.
Propagating Philodendron Shangri La by Division
Similarly, you can propagate the Philodendron Shangri La through division.
Division involves separating the mother plant into 2 or more smaller plants. Here, because you are getting part of the roots, you don’t need to wait for the new plants to develop roots.
Division also works well if you want to reduce the size of your original plant.
Here’s how to do it:
- Carefully take the plant out of its pot.
- Remove excess soil and dirt so you can see the roots.
- Decide how many segments you want to split the plant into. Also, figure out the points of separation. Make sure that each division has enough roots, stems and leaves to support a new plant.
- Use your hands to gently separate the root ball at your desired areas. You can use a sterile knife instead, if you prefer.
- Plant each division into its own container and fill with well-draining potting mix.
- Water each of the soil mixes until moist.
Since the new plants don’t need to root, they’ll start developing shoots and leaves in a short while.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Shangri La
As the Philodendron Shangri La grows, you will need to repot it at some point.
But don’t hurry.
On average, it takes around 2 years before it needs repotting.
That said, like all plants it will grow faster or slower depending on how much light, water, humidity and other factors it gets.
So, I prefer to watch what the plant tells me instead of following a guideline blindly.
To do so, check the bottom of the plant once a year during early spring. Spring is the best time to repot the plant. So, if you feel it needs repotting, you can do it right after.
Once roots start poking out from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, it means that it is time to repot the plant.
You don’t need to do so before then.
More importantly, I don’t recommend moving or transplanting the plant any time before that either.
That’s because the does not like this. And it can experience transplant stress in the process as well.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Keep the Philodendron Shangri La away from young kids, dogs and cats. It is toxic when ingested.
Therefore, placing it somewhere the young children and pets can’t get to it reduces the risk of accidental consumption.
Philodendron Shangri La Problems & Troubleshooting
The Philodendron Shangri La is generally pest-free. But you do need to keep it healthy.
Additionally, regularly cleaning its leaves helps prevent bugs from coming around since they’re attracted to dust.
Nevertheless, you still need to do regular checks to see if there are any pests that occur.
This lets you deal with them quickly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
The reason this is important is that mealybugs, spider mites and aphids populate very quickly. So, they can easily grow in number in just a matter of days.
Avoid overwatering by all means.
The reason I keep repeating this is that overwatering is the #1 cause of houseplant death. And the Philodendron Shangri La an suffer the same fate if it is overwatered.
In addition to root rot, overwatering can lead to bacterial and fungal disease.