Philodendron Verrucosum is a large deep green-veined leafed plant that loves to climb and will turn any home environment into an indoor jungle when grown in the right conditions. However, achieving those conditions can be somewhat tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing,
This article will guide you to know the correct maintenance and care for your Philodendron Verrucosum and everything you should do to help it thrive in your home.
About Philodendron Verrucosum
Philodendron Verrucosum belongs to the Araceae family and is a hemi epiphyte plant, this means that the early part of these plant lives is grown natively in the canopies amongst other plants and trees.
In optimum conditions, this plant will grow fairly quickly and as they are epiphytes, they will grow upwards so you should consider using a moss pole to guide them.
They have heart-shaped leaves that are a pale green when they’re juvenile, but once they start to mature and grow they will darken. The stems of a Philodendron can reach 8 to 10 inches when the plant is matured.
Healthy Philodendrons grown in good conditions can grow up to 3 feet tall and can also grow outwards to up to 3 feet.
Care & Maintenance for your Philodendron Verrucosum
To make sure your Philodendron Verrucosum is happy and healthy, you’ll have to maintain good living conditions for it throughout the year.
Providing the right environment for your plant will help it grow at a steady rate and a change in any of these factors can bring your plant’s growth to a standstill.
Whilst not overly difficult to look after, they’re not recommended for those who haven’t owned various house plants before.
They do require a bit more attention and love than most indoor plants, so unless you want to dedicate time and energy to maintaining this plant then it’ll probably be an added inconvenience for you.
Getting the correct soil and potting mixture for your Philodendron Verrucosum is vital because they’re epiphytes (fast-growing) and need plenty of aeration for their roots to avoid soil compaction.
So you need to ensure that the potting mixture you use is not too fine and will allow air pockets to form in the mixture. The air pockets allow nutrients, air, and water to penetrate the roots. You should avoid using sandy or super dry soils but also stay away from using soils that are too wet.
One of the best potting mixtures is to make your own up instead of using a store-bought mixture. We’d recommend using equal parts of peat moss, chunky orchid bark, and also perlite and then around 10% of charcoal to the mixture which helps remove any toxicities that can accumulate in the potting mixture.
Here is a list of your potting mixture items:
There are some instances, where people have seen successful results from growing their Philodendron in LECA mixture instead of the traditional soil and potting mixture.
However, we’d only recommend LECA for these plants to owners who are well-informed about plants in general and can keep on top of the maintenance, and who have a critical eye to manage all the nutrient and water levels for a Philodendron. Using semi hypophonic mixture will make this plant harder to care for and is not always guaranteed results.
The pH should be more on the acidic side (pH 5 to 6)
Having the incorrect potting mixture well set your Philodendron on a bad note from the get-go, it’ll cause further problems for you down the line, some of which could be irreversible and cause your plant to die.
Sunlight & Artificial Light
These epiphyte plants require bright indirect sunlight or filtered light to thrive. They can survive in lower-lit conditions but for them to grow their prominent leaves then bright light will be necessary.
Direct sunlight will be harmful to the leaves and will cause the potting mixture to dry out too quickly. A few hours of direct sunlight in the early morning and early evening will be enough for your plant, but during the height of midday, you’ll need to move the plant further away from the window.
If you live somewhere that doesn’t receive adequate sunlight throughout the day and are concerned that your Philodendron will struggle, then you could buy an LED Plant Light that will provide your plant with moderate light intensity wherever you want in your home.
The LED lights also have a memory timer function which will automatically turn your LED lights on and off during the day, so you won’t have to worry about them whilst you’re out of the house.
You should regulate a routine water schedule depending on the climate you live in, which will change throughout the year. The soil should be kept moist but not overly soggy to mimic the humid tropical conditions of where these plants natively grow. You should avoid your soil drying out too much as it will act as a barrier to any humidity and stop it from reaching the roots.
If humidity levels in your accommodation are below 30%, then you may find yourself watering your plant every 4 to 5 days, in optimum humidity levels of 50-60%, the mixture should dry after around 7 days and at that point, you should rewater it again.
If you find that your mixture is taking too long to dry, then you should try and repot your Philodendron and add more perlite and bark to increase airflow. If the potting mixture is drying too quickly, then repot accordingly and add a larger quantity of peat moss to the rest of your mixture ingredients.
During winter, you should let your soil dry out slightly more than usual between watering. Make sure to stick a finger about 2-3 inches into the potting mix before watering to see if the soil is moist.
Soil can appear dry on the surface but moist underneath and you want to make sure you’re not overwatering it. However, you shouldn’t avoid watering your Philodendron entirely in the winter, as in their native environment they receive a lot of rainfall during the winter months so are used to it.
Overwatering your Philodendron will result in root rot which can cause serious problems for your plant’s health.
You should always try to use lukewarm water when watering your plants and if you’re going to use tap water then you should let it stand in the spray bottle or watering can for 24 hours before watering your Philodendron.
You should look to fertilize your Philodendron about 3 times a year, otherwise, it will grow very slowly. You can use both a solid and liquid fertilizer for your plant, as long as you make sure it contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You should try to fertilize a few inches away from the base of the plant.
You should aim to fertilize your plant during the Spring and Summer months and restrict fertilizing in the winter months. All fertilizers will vary so check the instructions on the product before using them as some may require you to add them to water and others will require you to add them directly to the soil.
Despite being native to humid environments in subtropical areas, they actually prefer cooler temperatures. At the very least, the temperature of your home should be above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the optimum growing temperatures should be 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should still provide good air ventilation for your plant so placing it by an open window or near an electric fan would keep the plant at a regulated temperature.
A Philodendron Verrucosum is grown in humid subtropical conditions, so achieving a humidity level above 60% for your plant would be ideal. If you’ve got a moisture meter in your plant, then you’ll want to try and keep the moisture at a level 4.
If you don’t have a moisture meter, you should consider getting one as it’ll allow you to monitor levels so you know your plant is living in optimum conditions.
If you live in dry climates, then you could get a humidifier for your home to try to keep the air as moist as possible around your plant. If you don’t want to buy one, you could always try moving your Philodendron into the bathroom during shower times.
A humidity monitor will allow you to observe the humidity levels in your home more easily. Be aware that blasting air-con can reduce the humidity levels in your home, so if you live somewhere that experiences scorching hot days then a humidifier or consistent misting of your plants will be necessary.
If you want your Philodendron to fully mature and reach its maximum potential height, then you should provide a moss pole for it.
Pruning is not necessary for this plant unless you want to maintain the shape and height of it to suit your home environment.
If you encounter any fungal or pest issues with your leaves, then you should try to prune them as soon as possible to reduce the risk of spreading.
When pruning your plant, you should always make sure you’re using clean or sanitized shears to avoid the spread of infections.
These plants can grow quickly and have extensive root systems, make sure your plant has a pot big enough that allows it to properly grow.
Once they have become root bound you should aim to repot them as soon as possible. You should look to repot your plant every 1-2 years, however, this will depend upon the growth rate of your plant.
Summer is the best season to repot your plant. When repotting your Philodendron, you should make sure that the pot has ample drainage abilities.
Looking for how to care for other species of Philodendron? Check out these articles:
- Philodendron Gloriosum – The Last Plant You Will Ever Buy
- The Ultimate Guide on Philodendron Melanochrysum
- How to Care for Your Philodendron Birkin – Including Best Kept Secrets!
- Philodendron Mccolley’s Finale: Everything You Need to Know About This Colorful Hybrid!
- Everything You Should Know About Philodendron Pedatum
How to propagate your Philodendron Verrucosum
If you’re fallen in love with your Philodendron and are looking to expand your collection, then propagating your original plant will help you grow new ones, saving you the expense of buying an entirely new plant.
Propagating is very fulfilling as you’ll be the one to see it grow from a baby to a full-sized Verrucosum.
Method 1: Seeds
One way of propagating a Philodendron plant is by using seeds, however, this can prove difficult as these seeds can be hard to come by. The best place to find these seeds would be finding someone who grows these plants especially or a garden center.
Avoid trying to buy them online as you won’t be guaranteed to get seeds from a Philodendron Verrucosum and you may end up growing something totally random.
If you do manage to get your green hands on some seeds then the best way to grow them would be during the early spring or summer months.
- Place your seeds about 1 inch into your potting mixture and cover lightly with the mixture, spray with water to keep them moist (don’t pour water on them).
- You should keep your seeds in a warm, bright environment and regularly moisten them with your spray. Do not fertilize them until they are grown and mature.
- The seeds should take up to 8 weeks to germinate when grown in warm and humid conditions.
- Once these seeds have begun to sprout and are strong enough to repot, move each one to a small individual pot so they can form their own root system.
Method 2: Stem or Cuttings
Stem cuttings are the most common and probably the most simple way to propagate a plant.
- Find a healthy section of your Philodendron that can be used for propagation
- Disinfect your cutting shears with alcohol.
- Cut a stem that is about 3-6 inches long, make sure that it is cut above another leaf on the stem and make sure there is a node attached to the stem you have cut.
- Dab some ground cinnamon on the spot where you’ve made the cutting from on the plant, this will prevent any possible disease or fungus that the open steam is not exposed to.
- Add your cutting to your preferred potting mixture, we recommend using the mixture we’ve listed in the care and maintenance section. The plant pot used doesn’t need to be huge as it’ll take a while for a root system to properly develop. Just make sure the pot has good drainage.
- Water your cutting until the soil is mostly but not soggy and firm the soil around it, leave the leaves exposed above the soil surface.
- Place your cutting in the pot into indirect bright sunlight with a good humidity level and water accordingly.
Within about 3 weeks, roots should start to appear then followed by some fresh new leaves. However, this timeframe will all depend on the conditions in your home. Don’t be too disheartened if you haven’t seen any growth by this time, it can take longer in some circumstances. Sometimes the propagation can be unsuccessful, if so, you should avoid trying to propagate your plant until it has regrown.
If you want to grow a stem cutting directly in water then you can easily do it that way, or you can also place the cutting in moist moss and let it grow that way.
You should try to propagate your plant in early spring or summer.
Common Problems with Philodendron Verrucosum and How to Fix Them
With any plant, comes the possibility of encountering problems when growing and caring for them. Below are some common issues that people who own Philodendron Verrucosum run into and how to best solve them.
Some of these issues can be caused by more than one factor, so sometimes it can be a matter of trial and error before you discover what’s wrong.
The leaves on your Philodendron Verrucosum turning yellow
The leaves on this plant should be a bright green color when they are in optimum health. Older leaves on your plant will turn yellow, wither, and then fall off eventually, especially during the winter months.
However, when younger leaves turn yellow it is a sign that you are overwatering or underwatering your plant. You may want to rethink your water schedule and monitor the moisture in your soil a bit more to see where you are going wrong.
If the soil stays soggy for a long time after you’ve watered it then check for signs of root rot in your plant pot. Plants that are suffering from root rot will have roots that are black and soggy. If this is the case, then the plant is beyond bringing it back to life.
However, if you’ve got some healthy white roots there, you should try discarding some of the overly soggy soil around the roots and replanting it in fresh soil with good drainage.
The leaves on your Philodendron Verrucosum drooping
Drooping leaves on your Philodendron can be an indication of two things, overwatering or underwatering. To try to find out which factor it is, keep an eye on the moisture of your soil before you water. If your soil still feels soggy before you water it again, then it’s probably a sign you are overwatering it and you should try to reduce your watering amount.
If your soil feels bone dry when you go to water it again, then it’s a sign that you are underwatering it and you should try to be a bit more generous with your watering.
This may not be the case and your plant may be residing in a place in your home that receives harsh sunlight and the plant is drying out too quickly. If so, you should make sure you overcompensate and give extra water to make sure it stays healthy.
The leaves on your Philodendron Verrucosum turning brown
If you’re leaving a turning a peculiar dark green color with brown splotches, then this is an indication that the environment that you’re keeping your plant in is too cold.
Try to keep your plant away from air conditioning units and try to maintain temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit in your home.
The leaves are curling on your Philodendron
If the leaves on your plant are starting to curl then this could be a sign that your plant is too cold or is too dry from excessive airflow. Increase the humidity and temperature in your home by using extra home appliances, if you can’t create the optimum conditions naturally.
Leaves curling can also be a sign of underwatering, so monitor your watering levels. You may want to alter how much sun exposure your plant gets if the leaves start curling and getting crispy. If it hasn’t been acclimatized to bright sunlight then the leaves will scorch.
Browning leaf tips and margins on your Philodendron Verrucosum
If your leaf tips are curling downwards and the margins are starting to turn brown, then this could be a sign that you’re over-fertilizing your plant.
Reduce your fertilizing rate (it should only be around 3 times a year) and possibly repot your plant in fresh soil to be on the safe side.
Root Rot & Diseases
We’ve briefly touched on root rot so we’ll keep this short. Root rot can spread to healthy parts of the roots, so if not dealt with quickly, your plant will completely die and cannot be brought back.
However, root rot that has only partially affected the root so far can be discarded and hopefully be brought back to full health by repotting and using fresh soil.
Pest infections are so infuriating as they can sometimes be hard to notice by eye on your plants but they can cause some serious damage. Philodendron Verrucosum is prone to pests like thrips, spider mites, mealybugs, and fungus gnats.
One of the easiest homemade remedies for preventing and killing pests is diluting rubbing alcohol in water and using a cloth to clean the leaves of your plant. Make sure to not use too much alcohol as it’ll be too harsh on the leaves.
You can also invest in some neem oil and dilute with water and spray every 2-3 weeks on your plant’s leaves to prevent pests. You can always use a mild pesticide to spray over your plant every so often to prevent any possible pests or also kill any.
Plants love overly moist environments, so if you’re overwatering your plant then it’ll be more prone to pest infections.
You should monitor your plant up close every week to make sure there are no webs, eggs, or bugs on the surface of your plant. If you notice pests in the soil of your plant then you should aim to repot it as soon as possible before they affect the roots.
Philodendron Verrucosum Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Philodendron Verrucosum a good plant for beginners?
Answer: Caring for your Philodendron Verrucosum can be a little more complex than your average plant care due to the humidity levels required.
Unless you’re willing to dedicate the time to making sure your environment is just right for this plant, then you should go for something more manageable.
Are Philodendron Verrucosum toxic to animals and humans?
Answer: Yes, all Philodendron plants are poisonous to both animals and humans, but more so animals. The calcium oxalate crystals in the plant will cause oral irritation, swelling, difficulty swallowing, seizures, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Animals are more easily affected, however, someone or something would have to ingest an adequate amount for it to prove fatal.