Philodendron Wilsonii Care – How to Grow Philodendron Subincisum

The Philodendron Wilsonii is also known as the Philodendron Subincisum. It is a rare aroid and one of the bigger philodendrons.

The plant is easy to grow and can produce leaves that are 2-3 feet long and 2 feet wide.

Because of its unique looks, growers often keep them as an indoor plant or in greenhouses. And while it is native to Mexico, it is interestingly rarely be found in the wild.

However, you are more likely to find them in California, Florida and Texas in the hands of a few collectors.

How to care for Philodendron Wilsonii> The Philodendron Wilsonii needs bright indirect light indoors and partial shade outdoors.

Water it once a week during its growing season and once every 2 weeks in the winter.

It enjoys warm, humid environments so avoid temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Philodendron Wilsonii Plant Care

Philodendron Subincisum Light Requirements

The Philodendron Wilsonii grows well in bright, indirect light indoors. Although, due to its size, you may or may not want to keep it indoors.  Outdoors, it prefers partial shade.

The plant can also tolerate medium light and low light.

However, like other philodendrons, you may notice its growth slow down when the conditions get a bit dim. Thus, if you notice this happening, move the plant to a brighter location.

On the other hand, it is likewise a good idea to keep the Philodendron Wilsonii away from direct sunlight.

That’s because it cannot tolerate long periods of strong, intense light. if left in this environment, you’ll notice its leaves turn pale in color. Too much direct sunlight can also scorch its large leaves.

As such, if you keep the plant indoors, be wary of placing it too near a west or south facing window. If you want to put it in that direction, either keep the plant 3 feet from the window or filter the light using blinds or curtains.

On the other hand, both an east and north facing window work just fine.

An easter exposure is ideal because the plant gets a lot of morning sunlight which is gentle. With northern exposure, you may want to monitor how much light comes in during winter as this direction tends to have the least light among the four.

If the light gets too low from this side, move the plant somewhere brighter.

 

Philodendron Subincisum Temperature

The Philodendron Wilsonii enjoys warm, sunny climates. This is due to its native habitat where the weather is moderate to hot all year.

As such, the plant prefers temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. And you want to keep it away from anything colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Indoors, this is less of a problem since most homes maintain conditions in this range.

However, avoid placing it near air conditioners and open windows where cold drafts can enter. These locations can cause a sudden drop in temperature.

Outdoors, the Philodendron Wilsonii is best suited for tropical and subtropical weather. As such, if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11, you can keep the plant outside all year long without any problems.

However, if you live anywhere colder, it is a good idea to make sure you bring the indoors before the temperature drops to 50 degrees around mid-fall or so.

For the most part, the plant is grown as a houseplant in these regions.

 

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Humidity

The Philodendron Wilsonii prefers humidity of 60% to 70%. But it can tolerate humidity as low as 40%.

The latter makes it easier to accommodate the plan tin your home. However, it is worth noting that most homes have average humidity of 20% to 50%. And this usually drops during the winter as the air gets much drier.

As such, whether or not you need to help the plant with humidity depends on where you live and where you grow the plant.

If you live in a tropical or subtropical climate, then humidity won’t be a problem. The same is true if live in a coastal city or near a lake or any body of water.

You can also keep the plant in a terrarium or greenhouse if you don’t want to worry about the air being too dry.

Otherwise, it is a good idea to keep track of humidity. I like to use a hygrometer, which is a simple digital device that tell you what the humidity is in a room at any given point in time.

This makes it easy to check whether the level is sufficient to keep your Philodendron Subincisum happy and healthy.

This is important because lack of humidity will cause the plant’s leaves to turn brown and crispy at the tips and edges. Over time, entire leaves will turn brown if the issue is not addressed

 

How Often to Water Philodendron Wilsonii

The Philodendron Wilsonii enjoys consistently moist soil especially during its growing season. As such, it needs watering about once a week during spring and summer. And once every 2 weeks during the winter.

There reason for this is while the plant likes moisture, it is susceptible to overwatering. Thus, too much water or watering too frequently puts the plant at risk of root rot.

Unfortunately, root rot will cause the plant to be unable to absorb water and nutrients from the soil once the roots are damaged.

Therefore, once majority of the root system has rotted, there’ no way to save the plant.

This is why overwatering is the number one cause of death for houseplants.

As such, it is very important to avoid watering your Philodendron Wilsonii too often.

The best way to avoid doing so is to wait for the top 2 inches of soil to completely dry before watering again. You can check this by sticking your index finger into the soil down to the second knuckle.

Alternatively, you can use a wooden chopstick.

The wet portion of the chopstick will tell you up to where the soil is still moist. The dry part of the wood will indicate where the dry soil is.

If you prefer to use instruments, you can use a moisture meter instead.

Either of these methods work.

In fact, some growers just life the pot to judge whether the soil needs watering or not. Because wet soil is heavier than dry soil, they are able to tell when to water.

 

Philodendron Wilsonii Potting Soil

The Philodendron Wilsonii needs moist, well-draining soil that has good aeriation. It will also benefit from soil pH between 5.1 to 6.0 (acidic soil) which will allow the roots to absorb more nutrients from fertilizer.

Good drainage is very important as this will prevent waterlogging.

In doing so, you eliminate the risk of leaving the roots sitting in water for very long periods of time, which can cause root rot.

If you want to soil that is off-the-shelf you can buy from your nursery or an online store, go with an Aroid mix.

This kind of soil is designed for philodendrons as well as other aroids (Monsteras and Anthuriums).

On the other hand, if you prefer on making your own potting mix at home, you can use this blend which works very well for the plant:

  • 1 part organic potting mix
  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part orchid bark
  • ½ part horticultural charcoal

The potting mix will hold moisture while the perlite, bark and charcoal will drain excess moisture. Additionally, both the bark and charcoal are chunky which allow better air circulation to the roots.

 

Fertilizer

To grow its best, the Philodendron Wilsonii needs fertilizer. But be careful not to feed it too much as this can damage its roots.

You can use a regular houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month during spring and summer. Stop feeding by early or mid-fall and don’t fertilize during winter.

The plant grows slowly during the cold months which puts it more at risk of too much fertilizer salts if you feed it.

As mentioned, be wary of overfeeding since the salt residue from the fertilizer will build up faster.

Basically, the more you feed the plant, the more fertilizer salts are left in the soil. As this accumulates, it becomes toxic to the roots eventually damaging them if not fixed.

Therefore, if you notice a white crust developing on the surface of the soil or you suspect you may be heavy handed with the fertilizer, make sure to flush the soil every 1-3 months.

You can do so by running water through the soil for about 5-10 minutes.

This will allow the salt buildup In the soil to dissolve into the water and get carried down the drainage hole.

 

Philodendron Subincisum Pruning

As mentioned, the Philodendron Wilsonii can grow into a very large plant in its native environment. This is around 30 to 40 feet tall.

Fortunately, if you keep it indoors, it won’t get nearly as big. Nevertheless, you’ll either need enough room in your home or prune the plant regularly to keep its size manageable.

Another option is to keep the plant in the patio or plant it in the ground in your yard.

If you do choose the latter, make sure to provide about 8 to 10 feet spacing as it will spread its leaves and its roots will extend outwards under the ground.

Because of its size, you will need some kind of a pruning strategy to grow it indoors.

You can regularly trim and shape its leaves to do this. Or, if you want to keep it from growing too big, prune its roots.

 

How to Propagate Philodendron Wilsonii

Two common ways to propagate the Philodendron Wilsonii is by stem cuttings and by air layering.

Both are fairly straightforward to do.

However, most home growers are more familiar with stem cuttings. Additionally, air layering takes a bit more maintenance as you need to regularly add water to the sphagnum moss to keep it moist.

Here’s how to propagate Philodendron Wilsonii from stem cuttings:

  • Begin by selecting a healthy stem. Choose a stem with at least 2 leaves and one node. The node is the most important part as the new plant needs this to propagate.
  • Use a sterilized cutting tool to cut the stem just below the node.
  • Fill a pot with fresh, well-draining potting soil.
  • Dab the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone. This step is optional but improves propagation success rates and speeds up rooting.
  • Plant the cutting into the potting mix then water the soil until moist.
  • Place the cutting in bright indirect light.
  • It will take about 3 to 4 weeks for the cutting to root.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Wilsonii

The Philodendron Wilsonii will likely need to be repotted once every 2-3 years.

The best time to repot it is during spring or early summer. This will allow the plant to quickly recover from transplant stress.

The best way to know when to repot is to check the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. if you see many roots coming out from the holes, it is time to repot.

Move the plant to a pot that is one size larger. Also, replace the soil with fresh, well-draining potting mix.

Note that repotting is like telling the plant you want it to grow further.

That’s because by giving it more space, its roots can extend even more. This allows it to produce more leaves.

Thus, if you want to limit your plant’s growth, a better strategy would be to prune the roots. Then repot the plant back into the same container. Make sure you refresh the soil.

By pruning the roots, you reduce the size of the plant making is fit into the same container. This will keep it from getting bigger.

However, you do need to keep pruning the roots every few years to maintain this size.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Yes, the Philodendron Wilsonii is toxic. As such, you need to decide where to place the plant so that it stays away from the reach of young children and pets.

The plant can cause mild to serious side effects when ingested due to calcium oxalate crystals.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

Like other philodendrons, the Wilsonii can be susceptible to pests if it is weak, sick, stressed or in shock. Therefore, it is very important to keep the plant as healthy as possible so its natural resistance to pests is strong.

The most common pests that will feed on this plant include spider mites, mealybugs, scale and thrips. These are sap sucking insects which means you want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

The longer they stay around, the more sap they will take from the plant.

Additionally, they grow in population very rapidly which causes an exponential growth in the damage they inflict.

 

Diseases

Two of the more common problems to watch out for here are root rot and leaf infections.

The former is very serious as it can destroy your plant. Thus, avoid overwatering and waterlogged soil. The best way to do this is to let the soil dry between waterings, use well-draining soil and a pot with holes at the bottom.

On the other hand, leaf infections can be bacterial or fungal.

Again, these are caused by excess moisture but this time on the leaves. So avoid wetting the leaves too much when you water and avoid watering late in the day when there’s less sun to dry the moisture.

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