If you are new to houseplants then start your journey from Philodendron Atom. It is an easy-to-grow plant for all levels of gardeners.
It grows shining waxy leaves, which give it a fresh tropical look.
It needs filtered light, moist soil, and moderate watering for thriving. Waxy green leaves need high humidity for shine.
Let’s find out its growing needs, common problems, and solutions.
About Philodendron Atom Plant?
This evergreen philodendron grows green color shining leaves. Normally it grows 8 to 12 inches tall. The leaf size depends on light, water, and fertilizer use.
This slow-growing plant is perfect for tabletops and small rooms. I am using a white ceramic pot for my philodendron atom.
Small plants like this one need less care and maintenance. This means it is easy to grow. But there is one problem with Philo Atom.
It is prone to root rot and cannot tolerate temperature fluctuations.
Therefore, you have to use the temperature monitor in the grow room. Also, don’t try to grow it outdoors. It cannot survive in direct sunlight.
As you can see in the top image philodendron atom has dark green leaves. This means it has a nice layer of chlorophyll pigment.
We all know plants with thick chlorophyll survive easily in low light. The same goes true with this plant. It needs a limited amount of bright light.
250 foot candle light is perfect for growing a thriving Atom Philodendron. No sunny window is required.
Just use your digital light meter and find a place where it can get 250FC for 7 to 8 hours per day.
If you are planning to grow it in dark corners. Then you have to use a grow light to full fill its light needs.
The good news is a fluorescent light is enough for it.
Because it is prone to root you have to use fast-draining soil. I am using peat moss, perlite, and compost in equal quantities.
Peat moss is required for quick draining and perlite holds enough amount of moisture. The compost gives organic nitrogen.
The mixture of these 3 ingredients is fluffy and allows roots to spread easily.
Do not worry about the pH of the potting mix. All these ingredients are pH balanced.
Moreover, philodendrons are not picky about their soil needs.
If you never make potting soil in your life. In this case, it is best to go for commercial ready-to-use potting mixes.
In my experience, Miracle-Gro is a trusted brand.
How to Water Philodendron Atom?
Don’t follow any hard rules for watering. Follow the standard watering procedure and check the soil before watering.
Small philodendrons cannot stand in wet soggy soil. It doesn’t matter if you are using the best-draining ingredients in the soil formula.
If you flood your plant with water the potting mix will definitely hold extra moisture. This results in root rot and yellow leaves.
Therefore, for your plant protection use a soil moisture meter for testing the soil. Insert the probes of the meter into the soil.
Wait for 5 seconds for the reading and water your plant if the top 2 inches are out of water.
Best Water for Philodendron Atom:
Rainwater and filtered water are the best and most nutritional water for plants. The reason is such water does not contain unnecessary ingredients like chlorine.
Whereas tap water contains chlorine and other heavy minerals.
These salts don’t have nutritional values. They block the root function and make philodendrons sick.
Note: Always use normal room temperature water. Do not use warm and cold water, it will not survive.
50 degrees F to 80 degrees F is the ideal temperature range for growing Atom Philos. Measure the grow room temperature and decide the best place for your plant.
In spring and summer, we have our home temperature in this range.
The problems start in the winter season when the outside temperature goes to minus. Move your plants to a warm room but not near the heat vents.
Artificial hot or cold air directly damages the plant leaf tissues. Hot air increases the dryness in stems and leaves.
This leads to dehydrated plants.
On the other hand, cold air reduces the plant’s temperature. It will shrink its leaves to preserve the warmth.
High humidity between 45 % to 70 % is necessary to maintain throughout the year. Humidity helps plants to open the leaf pores.
We all know more leaves with open pores means more light absorption. This directly affects the glucose storage of your plant.
With the help of a hygrometer, you can quickly measure the relative home humidity in seconds.
Philodendron Melanoneuron and Atom need the same level of air moisture.
What to do in low humidity?
If there is a 5 to 7 percent drop in humidity. You should use the pebble tray technique. Fill it with tap water, add some rocks and place your plant over the tray.
The evaporating water drops will add nice moisture to the air.
But if the humidity drops below 40% then the only best solution is an electric humidifier. I have a plant humidifier. It is portable, inexpensive, and easy to use and clean.
Just fill the water and place it next to your plants. Turn it ON for a few hours and measure the humidity.
Turn it off after it hits the appropriate humidity levels.
Fertilizing Philodendron Atom
Use fertilizers only in spring and summer. These are the active growing seasons. But this plant is small in size and needs a limited amount of nutrients.
I use liquid houseplant fertilizer designed for foliage plants.
Liquid nutrient supplements are easy for roots to absorb. They give instant results you don’t have to wait for the effects.
Powdered and granular supplements are a little slow. They are perfect for outdoor garden plants.
Fertilizer burn is another problem with Atom Philos. To avoid it stop using nutrients in the winter season.
Read the instructions before diluting the nutrient liquid.
Prune the yellow leaves, and dry, and brown stems of your plant. This slow-growing philodendron does not need frequent pruning.
For the good health of your plant trim its overly-grown parts in spring or summer.
I prune my plants in spring this way they have the summer season to grow new growth.
After cutting your plant use a damp cloth and wipe its leaves. Cleanliness helps to prevent pest infestations and fungal diseases.
Use a sterilized knife or a pair of shears for trimming. Repeat the sterilization process before storing them.
Like every other plant of this family. Philodendron Atom is toxic to humans, dogs, and cats. The sap of the plant is harmful.
Ingestion of its leaves and stems result in toxicity. A few common signs are sore throat, stomach pain, excessive drooling, vomiting, etc.
Immediately seek medical help in case your pets chew or ingest its leaves.
Repotting Philodendron Atom
Repotting means shifting a plant to its new home. Small plants like Atom don’t need repotting. Atom can spend its entire life in a single container.
But you should repot it once a year. Because the soil gets depleted over time. It loses all its nutritional value and freshness.
To put new life into your plant, change the old soil and add fresh soil once in 365 days.
- Water your plant and lose the potting soil.
- Tap around the plant pot and gently pull it out of the pot.
- Wash the roots with water to clean them.
- Cut the dry and decaying roots.
- Place the plant on a newspaper and empty the pot.
- Wash the pot with warm water and dishwashing soap.
- Add new soil and plant your philodendron in it.
- Complete this process in less than 15 minutes to prevent air damage to roots.
Philodendron Atom Propagation
- Cut a healthy stem and apply the rooting hormone at the edge.
- Take a glass of clean water and place the stem in it.
- Store the glass jar in a warm room in bright light.
- For algae, protection covers the 2 to 3 inch bottom of the glass with colorful paper.
- Within 20 days your stem cutting will start growing roots. When the new roots grow more than 1 inch long. You can transfer the plant to potting soil.
- Then follow regular care and give it morning sunshine for a few days if possible.
Spider mites, scales, mealybugs, and aphids are commonly found on atom leaves. They make their homes under the leaves and near the leaf nodes.
These pests slowly suck the nutrients and glucose of your plant. As a result, infected plants become weak and die in a few days.
Use neem oil to protect your plant from pests.
Dilute it in water as per the instructions and spray it all over the plant. Spray it once in 15 days.
For serve, infections use pest-killing soap to rinse your plant. Use tap water for the treatment.
Yellow leaves are a result of root rot in philodendron Atom plants. Once you observe yellow-turning leaves. Immediately inspect your plant for root fungus.
To do so smell the potting soil if it smells like rotten eggs and holds lots of water. This means the roots are dying.
Immediately unpot the plant and cut the damaged roots. Wash the pot with soap and use new soil to plant it back in its pot.
Add some water after planting atom and place it in bright indirect sunlight.
Wait for the new growth and healthy signs.
Lack of water and too much bright light are responsible for wilting leaves of your atom. Check the soil if it is out of water, immediately add water to your plant pot.
But if the soil has moisture but the leaves are still wilting. Then measure the amount of light your plants are receiving.
If the light meter shows light above 350 FC, then sift your plant to a less bright place. If it is enjoying on a sunny window then install a shear curtain.
Dry soil, in simple words “dehydration,” is the only cause of brown leaves. In the first stage of dehydration, the plant leaf tips turn crispy brown.
At this moment you can water your plant to save it.
But if all the leaves are crispy brown, this means your plant already dies. For prevention always follow the standard watering technique.
Philodendron Atom is the best friend of new growers. Please place it in bright light and warm weather for its entire life.
The green leaves of this plant need filtered light for 7 to 8 hours each day. Propagate it with the stem-cutting method. Keep it out of the reach of your kids and pets.