Rare Philodendron 69686 Plant Care – Complete Guide

The Philodendron 69686 is a rare plant that is quite expensive. Often, it will cost you $100 or higher depending on where you look.

I got both of my Philodendron 69686 from Southeast Asia thanks to a good friend there. More on why I have two below in the Potting Soil section.

Anyways, the reason I mention that is in case you wanted to get hold of the plant, check out Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. They’re not as cheap as some other rare philodendrons there. But you’ll easily find deals that cost less than half the $100 price tag.

Going back to the Philodendron 69686…

The Philodendron 69686 one of the most interesting plants around. But it also raises a lot of questions because nobody seems to know a lot about its background.

It is said that the plant was first discovered from Roberto Burle-Marx’s plant collection. And many people guess that it is a hybrid. Although, nobody has verified that theory so far.

Similarly, nobody knows where it actually came from. Although if you were to take a guess, I probably came from Brazil or somewhere in South America since that’s were Burle Marx was from. Again, this is just an assumption.

Finally, there’s the Philodendron 69686’s unique name, which is actually its accession number at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. They just used it to name the plant because of all the uncertainty and mystery.

Initially, the Philodendron 69686 was thought to be a Philodendron Joepii. But it was later confirmed by Dutch conservationist Joep Moonen that the two are completely different plants.

Incidentally, the Philodendron Joepii is named after Joep Moonen.

Philodendron 69686 vs. Philodendron Joepii

In case you were wondering, the difference between the Philodendron 69686 and the Philodendron Joepii lies in their leaves.

Both plants look very similar in that they have long, thin stems. And their leaves have 3 lobes, making them look more like a cartoon propellers.

If you look closely, both plants also feature one main lobe which is bigger than the other two.

And that’s where you want to focus on when identifying between the Philodendron 69686 and the Philodendron Joepii.

  • With the Philodendron Joepii, the main lobe is very narrow on top and gets very wide at the bottom. So if you hang the leave vertically, it looks like an arrow pointing down. The transition from the top of the lobe to the bottom is very sudden and significant. Also, there’s a jaggedness to the edges of the Joepii’s leaves.
  • With the Philodendron 69686, you have a much smoother looking leaf. Once again it has 3 lobes. However, if you look at the main lobe, the top is not as narrow and the bottom is not as wide. So, the transition is smoother. The edges are likewise smooth. So, if you hold the leaf sideways, it looks more like a cartoon drawing/silhouette of a fish.

Philodendron 69686 Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Philodendron 69686 enjoys medium to bright light that is indirect or filtered. Outdoors, it prefers part shade because it cannot tolerate direct sunlight for the most part.

The reason I qualify that is that both mine are happily sitting near an east facing window where they receives direct sun every morning. The Philodendron 69686 actually enjoys the bright, direct sun from the morning and later afternoons (after 4:00 p.m.).

But, has a hard time with the hottest times of the day. So do avoid direct sun from about 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. If you leave the plant under the sun’s rays there, its leaves will get sunburn and turn color.

You can also keep in anywhere in a room so long as the room is bright. Therefore, you don’t have necessarily keep it near a window.

That said, as light gets less and less, you’ll also notice its growth slow down. This takes some trial and error since every home is different.

I also recommend rotating the plant so all the sides get enough light.



The Philodendron 69686 is fairly easy to care for indoors because it enjoys the same temperature we humans do. It can likewise tolerate a good amount of heat.

Its ideal temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But it will tolerate down to 55 degrees and as high as in the 90s without any issues.

The plant is a hybrid that came from Brazil. And being near the equator, it used to warm and very hot climates. This is why it does well in many parts of Southeast Asia as well including Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The common denominator with these countries is that they have warm to hot temperatures, are vey humid and don’t experience any snow. It is sunny all 12 months of the year.

Therefore, if you live in similar locations here in the U.S., like Texas, Florida and California, you’ll be able to keep the Philodendron 69686 outdoors much like many growers do in South America and Southeast Asia.

Otherwise, it is a good idea to bring it back indoors as the temperature drops under 55 degrees since it will struggle and sustain damage below 50 degrees.



Because of where it comes from, the Philodendron 69686  loves high humidity. It does best when humidity consistently stays between 60% and 80%. Here, you’ll notice its leaves look very vibrant green and grow faster.

I can tell the difference only because of the difference of humidity between our old and new house.

Since our new home is near the water, humidity tends to run between 55% to 75% on a daily basis. It was much lower before often between 30% and 50% with dips into the 20s and sometimes even the teens.

Back in our old home, once things got to 35% or so, I started giving my plants showers in a rolling tray (to make it easy to do). Now, it don’t every bother with humidity and they all look better on their own.

As such, if the humidity where you live consistently stays under 40%, it is a good idea to employ some measures to increase moisture in the air (at least around the plant).

You can do this in a few ways.

  • Use a room humidifier
  • Place the plant on a water tray (on top of pebbles so the soil does not get soaked)
  • Group your houseplants together
  • Move it to the bathroom
  • Mist it regularly
  • Give it a shower once a week


How Often to Water Philodendron 69686

The Philodendron 69686 does not need a lot of water. But it does appreciate more of it during its growing season. In the spring and summer, the plant actively grows.

This is when you want to focus your watering and fertilizer efforts. I usually end up watering about once a week give or take a few days.

If you’re not sure, always err on the side of dry. It can take dryness but can experience more problems with too much water. Avoid soggy and mucky soil by all means.

When watering, give it a thorough soaking. I don’t recommend wetting the plant from overhead where you get all the leaves (at least unless you’re sure they dry up quickly).

Instead, I water directly onto the soil and let it run until the liquid drips from under the pot. I do this in the sink outside with a hose.

After that, I make sure to let it drain. This takes a while so I just leave it there and do something else until all the moisture completely drips before returning the plant to its spot.

In the winter, you can let watering go a bit. I usually end up watering about once very 12 days or so. Note that I live in Southern California so please adjust the number of days if you have frost during winter.

Finally just like you want to avoid overwatering, you don’t want to let the plant’s soil completely go dry. It won’t mind dryness up to 50% or 75% of the soil. That’s fine. But avoid going all the way bone dry.


Philodendron 69686 Potting Soil

Soil is very important for the Philodendron 69686 because it is prone to overwatering. Also, its roots will get really long. So, you want to keep it in a comfortable enough container.

The best soil for the Philodendron 69686 is one that holds some moisture but drains quickly. It is also light and loose to allow good airflow. And nutrient rich.

I like to use an Aroid mix since it fulfills all these features. You can make your own (I’ve put a few recipes I used in other philodendron care articles) or get one from a nursery or online shop.

I know other growers use LECA balls which are great for the Philodendron 69686 as well. You can opt for sphagnum moss or peat-perlite too if you prefer something simple that’s soilless.

If you already have potting mix, add perlite, pumice or sand. With the latter, you may need to refresh the soil more often since sand tends to compact after a while.

I’m going to add my experience with my Philodendron 69686 as well in case anyone ends up with a similar case.

My story is about shipping stress and how it can leave you with a not so great plant. Plus, how to fix it.

I got my (first) Philodendron 69686 by mail from a friend in Southeast Asia. Due to the long trip and other stuff, I did not come in the best shape. I’ve also been told that some can arrive with yellow leaves due to this.

Long story short, I told my friend about it and he sent me another one. So I have a couple of them. The second did not have any issues. Its leaves arrived with beautiful green color. There were also lots of aerial roots at the bottom.

Anyways, with the stressed out Philodendron 69686, this is what I did to help it recover.

  • Place the plant in a container (a jar, pot or anything else will do) and fill it with sphagnum moss. If you have a seedling mat that will likewise help a lot as well.
  • It will take a bit but roots will then start growing. Wait until the new roots appear.
  • Then repot into soil.
  • Make sure to give the plant lots of humidity.

Another option you can do that has helped me recover a few plants is to use superthrive water. This is a tip I got from a friend and it works quite well. I live to give the plant a good soak in superthrive water bath.

After that I pot it up and make sure to place it somewhere with bright (indirect) light, moderate to warm temperature and high humdiity.

Hope these tips helps someone out there.



Feeding is fairly simple and straightforward. It can feel confusing or complicated because there are so many options out there.

I like to use a balanced, water soluble fertilizer because it simplifies things. I just use one product for my philodendrons which eliminates having to do so many things or buy many products. You can use one with N-P-K of 10-10-10 or 15-15-15.

The Philodendron 69686 only needs feeding during the spring and summer. Make sure to dilute the dose to half the suggested strength.

And avoid overfeeding. It does need fertilizer during the fall and winter. Nor do you need to add extra to help it along.

With rare plants, I tend to be more cautious. So, I am willing to sacrifice maximum growth for safety.

You can likewise use fish fertilizer and worm castings if you don’t like going with chemical formulations.



The Philodendron 69686 will grow to about 2 feet tall. Its leaves will also spread outwards a bit. But no so much because the stems extend or bend to away from the center. Instead, it is the long end of the leaves that make it wide.

As far as fullness goes, it will not become as bushy or dense as other philodendrons. Even if you have 6 to 8 leaves it will still look a bit sparse because the stems are really skinny and the leaves are not overly wide either.

This means that pruning really is not necessary. At least not unless you’re getting rid of leggy stems, damaged leaves or discolored ones.


How to Propagate Philodendron 69686

For a rare plant, the Philodendron 69686 is surprisingly very easy to propagate. The long, slim stems are what you want to get and plant. Therefore, stem cuttings is the way to go.

As I mentioned above, I was ecstatic to see tons of aerial roots when I got my second plant. This makes it easier to plant. And in this case propagated.

Here’s how to propagate the Philodendron 69686 using stem cuttings at home.

  • Go to the base of the plant and look for stems with aerial roots. You can’t miss them especially if the plant is happy. It will produce quite a few and pretty long ones at that too.
  • You can trace up the stems and see which ones you want to use for your new plant.
  • Ideally, you want a stem with leaves on it.
  • Once you’ve selected the stem or stems you can take the cutting. The plant’s stems are quite soft so they’re not like some self-heading which have thick, firm stems where you need a knife or pruning shears. A pair of scissors works great. Don’t forget to sterilize the blades first.
  • You want to cut below the aerial roots.
  • After you make the cut, you’ll notice a nice fruity smell. It was something I immediately noticed. Some plants stink so this was a pleasant surprise.
  • You can not pot up the cutting in soil. make sure to get a pot that’s just right.
  • Alternatively, you can place the cutting in water.


How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron 69686

Roots play a big role in caring for the Philodendron 69686. They’re also what you want to look out for when repotting.

Once you see roots coming out from the bottom of the container or the top of the soil, it is time to repot. You may also see them creep up from the crevices around the pot between its edges and the soil.

Since the Philodendron 69686 does not get too big and its leaves won’t get overly top heavy, you don’t need to worry about giving it an overly large container.

Choose one that is one size bigger than the current one it is in and fill that halfway with potting mix.

Then, plant the root ball and fill the remaining area with soil to stabilize the plant.


Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Please keep the Philodendron 69686 away from young children, dogs and cats since it contains calcium oxalate crystals. This makes it poisonous when ingested.


Problems & Troubleshooting


So far, I have been fortunate not to experience any pests with both my Philodendron 69686. Unfortunately, there’s just no 100% proven way to prevent bugs from coming around other than keeping the plant healthy by giving it what it wants.

This makes cleaning the leaves (of dust) and regular inspection very important.

Pests like mealybugs, spider mites, aphids and scale can happen. And it is important to quickly isolate the plant and treat it immediately.



Bacterial and fungal infections are the things you want to avoid. Similarly, root rot is always a potential threat.

Unlike pests, diseases are harder to treat. With bacteria and fungus, you’ll often end up going with chemical solutions like fungicides.

With root rot, it is all about trying to remedy the excess moisture and hope the plant recovers on its own.

Therefore, prevention is essential. And by keeping an eye on water, you can actually prevent these problems.

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