I purchased a P. Verrucosum cutting at 4am on a sleepless night. It was an impulse buy that I decided to take a chance on. The Jury is still out on if it will strike. But there are signs of hope.
I think it was a rooted cutting that lost it’s young roots and was being sold off cheap. Like $140 cheap, while the current rate in australia is $300-400 for just a small plant.
It arrived with shipping stress and obvious signs of spider mite damage on the leaf. So loosing the leaf wasn’t a surprise. Currently, I am left with a very expensive node. Fingers crossed it’s all worth it.
A profile on
Also known as Philodendron Discolor and Philodendron Pilatonense.
This iridescent, climbing philodendron features large velvet heart-shaped leaves, a red underside and a peteole that develops prominant hair with maturity.
Juvinile leaves display a maroon coloured tiger print pattern over a pale green background. This fades with maturity of the leaf as the overall green colour darkens.
There are some quirks to this species that sets it apart from other philodendron. It’s known to be more fussy to grow, but once you have the right conditions set, it’s very easy. This makes it not necessarily the best beginners plant.
Native to Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
The species has been collected at elevations ranging from 50 to 2000 meters (165 to 6550 feet) above sea level.
Due to the wide distribution of the plant, it is not suprising that plants from one site will appear different to another. This gives way to different forms P. Verrucosum being popular with collectors.
Due to the limited plants of origin that have entered Australia, we do not have access to these diverse varieties here.
Terrestrial or Epiphytic:
Normally Hemiepiphytic. It may start as a cutting or seed dropped to the ground or on to a branch. It sets roots and then grows along the ground until it finds a tree to climb. This makes it an ideal plant to grow up a moss pole.
Leaf size is 28 to 75cm long (1 to 2.5ft) and 19 to 60cm wide (.6 to 2ft)
Unlike most Philodendron, Verrucosum thrives in low light. They do well on the bottom shelf of the greenhouse where the sun can’t damage them. Inside, they prefer to be kept further back from window.
P. Verrucosum will root onto almost anything the node can grab onto. A moss pole or the like will help the plant establist itself and absorb more nutrients.
Allow almost 90% of the soil to dry between watering. Too little water can cause leaves to drop. Too much water can easily cause root rot.
If the leaves turn yellow, cut back on watering as you are likely giving too much water, brown leaves suggest not enough.
16-20 Deg Celcius is the ideal temperature for P. Verrucosum. This is much like winter in natural environment. In general, they hate it too hot. The Australian gene pool prefers cooler conditions and continue growing over the winter months when temperatures are consistently between 15 and 21 deg c. This is the opposite to most philodendrons.
P. Verrucosum don’t like dry heat. In extreme heat of summer, damage can be expected to the leaves, especially delecate young leaves and browning of the peteole pubescence.
For protection in the heat, adding shade, regular or even constant misting, extra ventilation and sitting the plant low in the greenhouse is advisable. Within the house, adding humidity and keeping the plant in a cooler spot can also help protect the plant.
Grows well at 50% and thrives at 70% Humidity. Like stated above, low humidity during heat can lead to plant damage.
Grows well in a lighter, airy soil. An Aroid Mix is best. Heavier soils will hold water and make the plant prone to root rot.
Weakly, Weekly! Small amounts on a weekly basis. I use a combo of slow release fertiliser and a plant food/seaweed liquid feed at quarter strength on a weekly basis. Normally it is recommended that you back off of fertilizing a philodendon during the colder months when growth slows. Remember that P. Verrucosum grows in colder seasons. So it does require feeding as normal during this time.
Grown form seed to cutting.
Plants can grow inflorescense within the first year in the right conditions.
Spider Mites, mealy Bugs and all the usual suspects are an issue. Outdoors it is also fair game to grasshoppers and other foliage earring insects.
P. Verrucosum can become leggy and less attractive as it ages. To keep it looking good, it is recommended that it is regularly cut and let regrow. This is a great opportunity to propagate the cut plant.
Thanks for reading and happy growing. Xx
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