Some of us like houseplants that are bushy and have groups of small leaves, while others like plants with big leaves. Philodendron plowmanii is a rare crawling Philodendron that we will talk about today.
The late botanist Timothy Charles Plowman is remembered by the name of this plant. This plant stands out because its big, heart-shaped leaves are two different colours.
To take care of a Philodendron plowmanii, you need to keep it warm and give it bright indirect light.
This plant will do best in potting soil that drains well. Keep in mind that it won’t do well in cold places.
The leaves are shiny and vary in colour from dark green to lime green to creamy yellow.
The main reason this plant is so popular is that its leaves are two different colours.
Plowmanii is a great plant for a tropical garden pot or as a leafy landscape plant.
This plant resembles Philodendron Mamei a lot. But you can tell them apart by the leaves they have. Mamei has spots of silver, but Plowmanii doesn’t. The edges of the petioles of the Plowmanii are ruffled, which is another difference.
Philodendron plowmanii grows in the tropical areas of Peru and Ecuador. This evergreen plant can stay healthy and full for its whole life if it is taken care of and kept in the right place.
Detail About Philodendron Plowmanii
The tropical plant Philodendron plowmanii comes from Peru and Ecuador. It is named after Timothy Charles Plowman, a botanist. P. plowmanii is a new species that has only been given a name in the last ten years.
P. plowmanii can grow up to 30 feet tall in its natural environment. As a houseplant, it grows to about 8 feet on average, which is still quite big. The length of the leaves is between 7 and 15 inches. This houseplant looks great, with its tall growth and long, wide leaves.
The most interesting thing about this Philodendron is its big leaves. They are in the shape of a heart, are shiny, and have a beautiful pattern of greens and yellows that overlap. This colour changes depending on how much light it gets. Most of the time, they are two colours, but the shades of a green blend from one to the next, making for a more interesting display.
The underside of the leaves of P. plowmanii is grey-green. They are deeply quilted, which adds a touch of texture that makes the whole look very attractive and captivating. The leaf stems of P. plowmanii are different from those of most other Philodendrons because they are ruffled instead of smooth.
Philodendron Plowmanii vs. Philodendron Mamei
People often mix up Philodendron plowmanii and Philodendron mamei. However, there are two easy ways to tell them apart. The leaves of P. mamei are silvery, but the leaves of P. plomanii are not. The second important difference is in the leaf stem. P. plomanii has leaf stems (petioles) with wavy edges, but P. mamei doesn’t.
Philodendron Plowmanii vs. Philodendron Pastazanum
Even more than other Philodendrons, these two look the same. They both have big, heart-shaped leaves that come in different shades of green. But P. pastazanum is lighter and has white lines running through it, while P. plowmanii is darker green and has no white lines.
Philodendron Plowmanii Care Guide
Philodendrons, like P.plowmanii, are one of the easiest houseplants to take care of. If you take good care of it, it will be your faithful indoor plant friend for years.
Habits of Growth
Most Philodendrons grow as vines, but Philodendron plowmanii grows like a creeper. Its stems grow along the ground so that the big leaves have a strong base. It doesn’t climb trees in the wild. Instead, it creeps along the ground to find light and food.
This Philodendron tends to grow slowly, but at its tallest, it can reach 8 feet. It doesn’t just get longer, though; it also spreads out to about 2–3 feet wide.
Lots of indirect sunlight is the best kind of light. Set it a little bit away from a window so the sun doesn’t hit the leaves directly. Or, you can block the harsh sun with a sheer curtain or blinds. The leaves get burned by the full sun. Young leaves burn more easily than older ones, so watch out for new growth.
In the tropical environment where it lives naturally, P. plomanii is used to being in the shade of big trees and stretching out to reach the light. However, it does not like full shade. Full shade is not good for P. plowmanii. It will still grow, but it will grow even more slowly than usual, and the beautiful colours of the leaves will be muted or faded.
Many types of Philodendrons do well in partial shade, but you don’t want to do that with this one or you’ll lose the things that make it so beautiful.
For the Plowmanii plant to grow, the soil should be kept moist and have a lot of organic matter. Don’t plant it where the soil is sandy, muddy, or wet.
Mixing equal parts of peat, sand, and loam makes it easy to make your potting soil. Add compost to the soil to improve it. This plant does best in soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6, which is slightly acidic.
This Philodendron can be grown in any good quality aroid mix or soilless mediums like perlite or sphagnum moss. The soil for pots should drain well so that it doesn’t get soggy or waterlogged. This will give your Philodendron a lot of problems.
The best places for them to grow outside are USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11. During the summer, this plant can be kept on a patio. When it starts to get cold, bring it inside.
Since the Philodendron plowmanii loves water and likes its soil to be moist, it should be watered often. This plant doesn’t do well in dry conditions; it needs enough water to live.
In the worst cases, not giving this species enough water can slow or stop its growth, so pay close attention to how much water it needs.
Just make sure it’s never overwatered. Before I water my Plowmanii, I always look at the top two or three inches of soil. This gives me a better idea of whether or not the plant needs water.
It only needs watering once or twice during the summer. And during the winter, you only need to water once a week.
How much water a houseplant need depends on how much light and how warm it is. Some plants that grow in bright light may need more water than plants that grow in low light. In the same way, plants that grow in hotter places need more water.
The best temperature range indoors is between 55 and 88 oF. (12 to 31 degrees Celsius). I bring my Philodendrons inside during cold winters so they don’t freeze or get frost.
This plant doesn’t like any temperature at all. In the winter, the lowest temperature it can handle is 55 oF. So move it to somewhere warmer before winter comes.
I keep my houseplants away from air conditioners, fans, and radiators because they will dry out the plant faster.
This tropical plant can handle a lot of humidity, but it does best with 60% or more. Keeping humidity steady is easy. If you live in a dry area, you can buy an indoor humidifier. But in most indoor settings, misting the plant once in a while is enough to keep it from drying out.
Putting plants together is another inexpensive way to raise the humidity level inside.
Use the pebble tray method if you want to go one step further. Fill a saucer or tray with water and a few rocks. Don’t let dirt get in this water. When this water dries up, it makes the air around the plant more humid.
The goal is to keep the plant from drying out, especially on hot, windy days in the spring and summer.
Feed the Philodendron plowmanii three times a year with fertilizer that breaks down slowly. The fertilizer should be put 6 inches from the base of the plant.
During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilizing this plant will speed up its growth. Any regular houseplant fertilizer works great, but don’t use cheap fertilizers because they can hurt the roots in the long run.
This Philodendron is doing well and has strong roots. When the roots of Plowmanii are kept loose, the plant grows tall and healthy. This means that you only need to repot it in three situations:
- If the plant grows very slowly, it may have roots that are too close together. Change the pot to one that is one size bigger to give the roots more room.
- When the Plowmanii plant has grown too big for its pot, you should move it to a larger one.
- If your Plowmanii plant has a disease or pests that will kill it.
Most gardening experts say that once a year, you should change the soil in your potted plant. This helps the soil drain, get air, and have more nutrients. Before putting the plant in the pot, you should always look at the roots. It would help if you cut off any roots that are soft or yellow.
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The Philodendron plowmanii plant is easy to care for and doesn’t need any extra work. This plant can be pruned to get rid of stems and leaves that are broken or yellow. If you don’t do that, you won’t have to prune it as often.
When the Philodendron plowmanii does flower, the spathes are usually yellow. But because these species are very different from one another, each spathe can be a different colour. Some growers have also seen spathes that are red, purple, or dark violet. These spathes don’t smell good, so no one notices them.
Most of the time, each axil on a Plowmanii plant has about three inflorescences. The stem that holds up the flower clusters is green with a reddish tint.
The soil, light, temperature, and other factors can have a big effect on how fast Philodendron plowmanii grows and what colour its leaves are. This creeping Philodendron has beautiful leaves on odd-shaped stems. Instead of holding up the leaves, the stems act as a base.
The leaves are thin and leathery, and the way they look changes as the plant grows. Young leaves have silver streaks, but as the plant gets older, the leaves get bigger and more heart-shaped. The backs of the leaves are usually grey, and the tops are usually green and yellow.
With the right care, this Plowmanii plant can grow to be 8 feet tall, but since it grows slowly, this will take a while.
When grown in a garden, this plant gets very big and often can’t be told apart from its small potted form.
How to Propagate Philodendron plowmanii?
This species of Philodendron can also be grown in different ways, just like other Philodendrons. Here, we’ll talk about two of the most common ways. But clean your tools and supplies and put on gloves to protect yourself. Cut the stems carefully with a knife or scissors.
The cutting should be between 2 and 3 inches long and have at least one leaf on it. You can also add more leaves, but you can split or remove the leaf from the lower node, which is where new roots will grow.
- Fill a glass jar with water, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.
- Before I use the water for propagation, I always let it sit for a few hours. This will make sure that the chlorine and other impurities settle to the bottom. It will also bring the water’s temperature down to normal room temperature.
- Put the piece of the plant that was cut off in the glass jar by putting the bare node in water. The leaf should stick out of the water.
- It’s important to place the leaves so that they don’t touch the water. If they don’t dry out, they will probably rot if the water sits on them.
- Put the glass jar in a warm place so the cutting can grow roots. Every two or three days, I change the water.
- The cutting shouldn’t be put where it will get direct sunlight because that will make algae grow.
- Once the roots show up, wait until they are 1 or 2 inches long before moving them to the soil. Most of the time, it takes 2 to 3 weeks for roots to grow.
- As soon as possible, the cuttings should be put in the soil. If not, the young plant will grow roots in the water. These roots aren’t as strong as soil roots, so it’s hard for the plant to get used to the new environment.
- Many people who grow plants like this method because it lets them watch the roots grow. You can also check for diseases or other problems before they hurt the whole cutting.
- For this method, put the cutting in a mixture of peat moss and perlite that acts as a soil medium. Putting a plastic bag over the pot will make it like a greenhouse.
- To stop microbial growth, it is important to make sure there is enough air. Make a few holes in the plastic bag, and every few days, open the bag to let air and light in.
- You can put rooting hormone powder on the cutting to help the roots grow and spread more quickly.
- Water the soil every time it dries out to keep it moist. The pot should be put somewhere between 70 and 75 o
- You can gently pull on the cutting to see if it has roots. You can move it to its permanent spot after 3 to 4 weeks. Keep giving your plants the usual care that was talked about in the previous sections.
Typical Pests and Diseases
This houseplant doesn’t get many diseases or pests. It only gets a few that are common to all houseplants.
Aphids, Thrips, Spider Mites, and Mealybugs
These tiny bugs either drink the juice from leaves and stems or eat the leaves of houseplants. Pests are hard to see with the naked eye, but if you see leaves getting brown spots, turning yellow, or not growing well, you probably have an infestation.
A neem oil application is the best way to get rid of all of these pests. Every 5–7 days, spray the leaves and soil until the bugs are gone. It’s important to get the undersides of the leaves and the top of the soil, where the eggs and larvae may be hiding.
Mix one teaspoon of dish soap and two teaspoons of neem oil in a one-quart spray bottle. This will make a neem oil solution. Fill it up with water and shake it well.
When plants get too much water, the soil gets too wet, which makes the roots rot. The water soaks into the roots so much that they can’t breathe, and they die. This is the main reason why a healthy plant needs soil that drains well and a pot with holes for drainage. And that’s why adding a medium with bigger pieces, like perlite or coco coir, helps so much: it makes air pockets.
Frequently Asked Question
Why are Philodendrons thought to be poisonous?
Because they have calcium oxalate crystals, all parts of Philodendrons are dangerous for people and pests. These crystals can irritate the mouth and the back of the throat. Keep this plant species out of reach of children and pets at all times.
How often should my Philodendron plowmanii be watered?
Depending on where you put this plant, you may need to water it more or less often. Most of the time, it can be watered when at least half of the soil is dry. Never give your plant too much water, because that can kill it or make the roots rot.
Is there something I can do to help my Plowmanii plant grow more quickly?
Philodendrons that grow slowly do well when coffee grounds are added to the soil. You can mix the coffee grounds with potting soil, or you can make a solution by mixing half water and half coffee grounds. Most houseplants do well with this because coffee adds a small amount of acid and nitrogen to the soil.
How long will it be before the Philodendron plowmanii roots in water?
Rooting houseplants in water is a fun way to spread them, and roots will start to show up 10 to 3 weeks later. This time will be different for each plant and will depend on several things.
Is there a cheaper alternative to the rooting hormone for propagating Philodendron plowmanii?
Aspirin is one of the best products for making plant cuttings grow roots. Just put an aspirin tablet in a glass of water and stir it until it’s dissolved. Soak a cutting of Plowmanii in this solution for about an hour before you plant it.
How can I make the leaves of my Plowmanii plant look green?
You can use Epsom salts, which not only make the grass greener but also help it bloom better.
Philodendron plowmanii is a tropical plant that is easy to care for and grows well indoors or out. This is a great way to add a tropical touch to any room. You can grow it alone as a statement piece or with other houseplants. The Plowmanii plant can also help you clean the air.
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