Philodendron Bicolor is an expensive rare plant. As the name suggests it grows dual-colored leaves. The combination of dark green and light green leaves looks magnificent.
If you are interested in this philodendron then keep in mind that it needs bright light for 6 to 7 hours. High humidity, fluffy potting soil, and constant warm weather are required to grow a thriving bicolor philodendron.
Further caring details are discussed below. You’ll also learn about the easiest propagation method and common problems.
About Philodendron Bicolor
Bicolor Philodendrons are native of Peru. Nowadays they are common in American garden stores. It grows dark green and light green leaves.
The pendant-shaped leaves grow 12 to 15 inches long and 8 to 12 inches wide.
The average height of this plant is more than 6 feet. For this tall height grow it in large size pots.
My Bicolor is 4.7 feet tall with healthy glossy leaves. 4.7 feet is enough for my room and I always prune extra parts to keep it in a controlled size.
The good news is it is drought-tolerant. This means busy people like you can grow it without facing problems.
Less watering applications also reduce the risk of root rot and water damage.
Spring is its blooming time but I like its foliage more than its white flowers. This evergreen climber needs a good amount of moisture in the air for healthy leaves.
Keep in mind the lack of humidity directly affects its leaf health. They will turn brown-crispy and you can’t make them green again.
I move them into a single room and turn my humidifier.
Philodendron Bicolor Care Needs:
Don’t grow it outside, it is not a hardy plant. Its leaves cannot tolerate direct sunshine. Therefore, place your plant near a sunny window like me.
Find a place in your house where your plant can get indirect bright light for 6 to 7 hours a day. 250 FC is the minimum light requirement that it needs for photosynthesis.
In the absence of sufficient light, your plant leaves will lose their bright color and glossiness. They turn dull and lifeless.
In this condition move your plant to a bright place. And to find the best place for your plant use a light meter.
Well-draining fluffy soil is best for this philodendron. If you like you can use commercial potting soil.
Just make sure the formula that you are choosing contains perlite and some organic substance in rich quantity.
Because perlite makes the soil fluffy and fast draining. It also holds a good amount of moisture for your plant.
Its roots can easily absorb the required moisture from the pores of the perlite.
Organic ingredients increase the nutritional value of the soil. They take time to break down. This way your plant always has some natural nutrients.
It will never go out of essential nutrients.
For the good health of your plant, you have to use nutrient supplements.
Garden soil is not recommended for this plant. Because it becomes heavy and waterlogged after watering applications.
This results in root fungus and yellow-turning leaves.
Watering Philodendron Bicolor
Being a tropical forest plant Philo Bicolor needs moist soil for growing. But the catch is it can survive in less moisturized soil.
If you forget to water for 3 to 5 days it will stay healthy.
On hot summer days, plants use more water than normal. You have to give some extra care for some days.
Glossy leaves will lose their shine and texture in hot weather. Therefore, keep it in high humidity.
Once the temperature comes in the ideal range it will start using less water.
Filtered water is the best water for philodendrons. You will be surprised to know that you can grow philodendrons in water.
But this rule does not apply to this plant.
Philodendron Little Phil is the perfect plant to grow without potting soil. It is a medium-height plant with beautiful leaves.
55 to 85 degrees F is the ideal temperature range. Make sure your grow room temperature stays within this range.
Because above 85 degrees F is too hot for the plant. In hot weather, Bicolor philodendrons release water vapors from their leaf pores to keep their temperature cool.
This is the natural mechanism of protection from a hot environment.
Increased respiration and transpiration negatively affect the plant structure.
On the other hand, below 50 degrees F is a freezing temperature for this philodendron. Water pipes that deliver water to its different parts get shrink.
This limits the flow of water and nutrients in plant stems and leaves. This leads to wilting plants with small leaves.
To prevent temperature-related problems, use a thermometer to measure the grow room temperature.
Also, don’t place it near the heat vents and air conditioner.
Most philodendrons need high humidity above 60% for thriving. But this plant is a little different and it needs moderate humidity.
Its thick leaves store a good amount of moisture. And it doesn’t need high humidity.
40 % to 45 % air moisture is the perfect range for Philo bicolor.
In low humidity, you can mist some water on its leaves. But make sure the water droplets do not wet its leaves.
Otherwise, you will deal with a new problem called bacterial leaf spot. It is a result of wet leaves and warm weather.
The only solution is copper fungicide sprays.
Fertilizing Philodendron Bicolor
Variegated plants need a high dose of fertilizers. Philo Bicolor is not a variegated plant. It only needs a limited amount of nutrients.
I am using general-purpose houseplant fertilizer for my all philodendrons.
It is equally effective for variegated philodendrons and foliage philos.
Use it once in 30 days in spring and summer. Stop feeding your plant in the winter season because it is a dormancy period for plants.
Carefully read the instruction on the fertilizer bottle. Use fresh water to dilute the solution.
To prevent overfertilization, do not use concentrated liquid directly.
Pruning is required to keep bicolor thriving and disease-free. In this process, we use sharp shears to trim dry and dead parts of the plant.
Because if you do not cut the yellow and dead leaves. They will invite many bacterial diseases.
To prevent disease and infections pruning is necessary for plants.
After trimming your plant use a damp cloth to wipe the leaves of your philodendron. This way you keep your plant dust-free.
Frequent repotting is not required but it is necessary for keeping your plants healthy. Repot your Philodendron Bicolor once in 2 years.
For repotting use 2 inches large size pot and fresh potting soil.
Unpot your plant and clean the roots with fresh water. Use a sterilized knife or shear to cut the damaged roots.
Apply cinnamon powder and plant your philodendron in a new pot.
Tap around the plant and add some water. You can see wilting and droopy leaves for the first 5 to 7 days. This is called repotting stress and it is common.
Your plant will heal itself in a few days.
Bicolor Philodendron is toxic to humans and pets. The sap of the plant is toxic because it contains crystals of calcium oxalate.
It is a toxic substance if ingested.
Therefore, prevent your pets to chew their leaves to prevent toxicity.
Also, wear garden gloves while working on your plants. Because contact with its sap can cause skin irritation, redness, and itching.
Seek medical help once you see toxic symptoms.
Philodendron Bicolor Propagation
For propagating philodendron bicolor I prefer the stem-cutting method. Because it is easy and has more success rate.
- Choose a healthy stem with few leaves. Cut it just below the leaf node (5 to 6 inches long).
- Dip it in rooting hormone and place it on a newspaper.
- Take a glass jar and fill it with filtered water.
- Place the cutting in it and move the glass jar to a warm and highly humid place.
- High humidity speeds up the formation of new roots.
- Change the water once in 3 days.
- Protect it from direct sunlight to prevent fungus build-up.
- Transfer it to potting soil when the new roots grow 1 inch long.
Philodendrons are tropical plants and rainforests are their natural home. When we grow them indoors, we face some common problems.
Below are the most common problems and their solution.
Aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are common enemies of this plant. Spray neem oil on your entire plant to prevent pests.
Use it once in 20 days in all seasons.
In case you find insects on your plant, immediately use pest-killing soap and rinse your plant.
Move it outside, and use tap water for rinsing your plant.
After the treatment spray some neem oil and let your plant drain with extra water. Empty the bottom tray and keep it separate until you see healthy signs.
It is a white powdery substance and is not harmful to the plant. Manually wipe it from your plant and spray some neem oil.
Powdery mildew is the result of wet soil and too much moisture in the air.
To prevent it move your plant to bright indirect light and limit the watering applications.
The root rot is the cause of yellow leaves in Philodendron Bicolor. Because the fungus damages the plant roots.
This prevents them from performing their proper function. As a result, the leaves of your plant start turning yellow.
This is an indication that there is too much moisture in the potting soil.
To prevent it do not overwater your plant.
For treatment unpot your plant, cut the infected roots, and repot in new soil. Before filling the pot, wash it with warm water and sterilize it.
This will kill the harmful root rot bacteria.
Brown Crispy Leaves
Dehydration is responsible for brown crispy plants. It is a result of a lack of watering sessions. To prevent this problem always check the soil conditions before watering.
In case your plant leaves are turning crispy brown. Immediately check the soil moisture and immediately give sufficient water to it.
The best way is bottom watering, place your plant in a water tub. Let it absorbs water from the drainage hole.
This way you can quickly send enough water to thirsty roots.
Philodendron Bicolor is an excellent foliage plant for busy people. It needs bright light and moderate watering.
For an excellent thriving plant, pays close attention to its growing needs. Limit the watering session to prevent water-related issues.