I am a big fan of large foliage plants and Philodendron Deflexum is one of them. It is easy to grow in an indoor space.
Deflexum needs moderate watering and bright light. To grow its large-size leaves, this plant needs lots of nutrients.
You have to use fertilizer supplements to keep its leaves shining, bright and fresh.
To grow this plant successfully read the below in-depth guide. In this guide, you will learn care techniques with an easy propagation method and common problems.
About Philodendron Deflexum
Philodendron Deflexum is also known as Philodendron Megalophyllum. It grows large size green shining leaves.
If you are searching for a green leaf decorative plant. You should go for this philodendron because it grows exotic shining leaves and needs less care and maintenance.
Foliage plants are easy to grow as compared to flower plants.
Moreover, this plant is suitable for offices, homes, and outdoor gardens. It thrives in spring and summer.
You must bring it indoors right before the winter starts.
Because this plant cannot handle cold weather.
Under ideal growing conditions, it can grow 3 to 4 feet tall with 2 feet long leaves. The natural height of this plant is more than 10 feet.
To grow tall, it needs some kind of support to climb. This is the reason Deflexum Philodendrons growing outdoors near large trees grow about 18 to 20 feet tall.
The outdoor environment is different from an indoor environment.
My Philodendron Deflexum is growing in a ceramic pot in my living room.
There it enjoys indirect bright light for 7 to 8 hours in summer and 5 to 6 hours in the winter season.
This foliage philodendron is fast growing plant. It needs a good amount of nutrients to grow.
Any bright place in your home is perfect for this plant. It needs shaded light for good health.
Place it close to a sunny window and it will absorb enough light for photosynthesis.
Morning sunlight is beneficial and prevents many fungal diseases. But it cannot handle sharp sun rays. They are damaging to the plant.
Sharp sunlight increases the temperature of its leaves. They start losing this stored moisture. This increases the use of water and the increased use of water leads to root rot.
Control the light of grow room in order to grow a healthy thriving plant.
Crispy brown leaves indicate too much light. The early signs of too much light are burned leaves, yellow leaf tips, and redness on young leaves.
250 fc is the minimum amount of light that it needs for survival.
You should use a soil mix that contains a high amount of organic ingredients. They are necessary to make the soil mix nutritional and to increase the draining power of soil.
Make your potting soil at home by mixing perlite, peat moss, and vermiculite in equal parts.
Do not use garden soil in your soil formula. It will make the soil heavy and increase the weight stress on plant roots.
Moreover, the garden soil become waterlogged when watered. It is a slow-draining soil and we need fast-draining ingredients in our soil mix.
Perlite is there to hold enough amount of moisture for a long time. Roots absorb moisture from the pores of perlite.
This way your plant will never go out of moisture.
Watering Philodendron Deflexum
Because it is a large leaf plant it needs lots of water to remain healthy and thriving. For the best possible growth, you should keep the soil hydrated all the time.
To prevent overwatering, you must check the soil conditions before watering your plant.
Insert your finger in the soil to check the moisture level. If the top few inches of the soil are dry. Then water your plant immediately.
Use filtered water only because it is easy for roots to absorb and transport to different parts.
With the soil check method, you can prevent root rot.
The ideal temperature range for Philodendron Deflexum is 55 to 85 degrees F. Keep the temperature on the warm side for the best possible growth.
Below 50 degrees F is a problem for it. Because it cannot handle cold temperatures for a long time. The leaf cell walls start freezing and this results in dark spots on leaves.
They are also called cold spots on leaves.
To keep eye on grow room temperature you can use a thermometer. Set the temperature range and turn it ON.
The temperature monitor will trigger an alarm when the room temperature drops below the line or goes above the set value.
High humidity is the most important need of this plant. It is not possible to keep the home humidity high all the time.
The good news is Deflexum can grow in moderate home humidity. 45% to 65 % is the best range for this plant.
On low-humid days, you can mist water on its leaves. But this can lead to bacterial leaf infection. So, try to avoid it and go for the pebble tray method.
I am using a humidifier and it is a plant humidifier. It is less expensive than a normal home humidifier and is highly portable.
A single device is enough for a 10 x 10 feet room.
Fertilizing Philodendron Deflexum
As I said this philodendron grows at a faster rate. So, it needs a high amount of nutrients to grow. Only fertile soil is not enough to full fill its nutritional needs.
You have to use synthetic plant supplements. They are cost-effective and give instant results as compared to organic nutrients.
No need to buy a specific type of plant supplement. Just choose any general plant fertilizer that is designed for green foliage plants.
To prevent fertilizer burn use plant supplements only in the summer and spring seasons.
Stop feeding your plant in the winter season to prevent any damage.
I use Miracle-gro houseplant fertilizer for Deflexum and two other philodendrons: Philodendron Balaoanum and Philodendron Cherry Red.
Philodendron Deflexum needs frequent pruning if you want to control its size and shape. Cut the black stems, yellow leaves, and other damaged and dry parts.
Use sterilized sharp shears or a pair of sharp knives. Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize them before use.
After pruning uses a damp cloth and wipes the leaves of your plant. This will help you to keep them clean and dust-free.
This prevents fungal infections and many pest problems.
Also, clean the plant pot and the bottom saucer tray.
Repotting is an important part of the Philodendron Deflexum life cycle. Repot it once in 2 years if you are using highly fertile soil that contains some organic ingredients.
At the time of repotting change the plant pot and the soil. Use at least 1 to 2 inches large pot than the current one.
Also, buy a fresh bag of potting soil and use it for repotting. Because the soil loses its nutritional value over time.
Mixing fertilizers in it go to waste.
- Water your plant a day before repotting.
- Unpot your plant and gently remove old soil from its roots.
- Wash its roots with clean water.
- Cut the damaged roots with a sterilized knife.
- Plant your philodendron in a new pot by using new fresh soil.
- Give some water to your plant.
- Place it back in its place and you’re done.
It is toxic to humans and pets. The sap is toxic if some ingest its leaves or stems. Stomach pain, skin irritation, and vomiting are early toxic signs.
Immediately seek medical help.
Grow it out of the reach of your pets and kids. Teach your kids to wash their hands after touching the plant.
Philodendron Deflexum Propagation
For me, stem cutting is the best method of propagating Philodendron Deflexum. Because its cuttings grow new roots in just a few days.
- Choose a healthy stem with one or more top leaves.
- It should be 5 to 7 inches long.
- Apply some rooting hormone on the edge.
- Take a glass jar, add some fresh water, and put the stem cutting in it.
- Make sure the leaf stays above the water.
- Store the glass jar in a warm place and in indirect bright light.
- Within a few days, you will see new roots.
- Once they grow more than 1 inch long, transfer the cutting to potting soil.
Spider mites, Aphids, and Whiteflies are common enemies of Philo. Deflexum. It is best to prevent these pests.
You can do so by keeping your plant and its surroundings clean and hygienic.
Next, you should use neem oil spray once in 20 days on all your indoor plants. It is anti-bacterial and prevents many fungi and other diseases.
In case, your plant is already infected with pests. Immediately take it outdoors and use pest-killing soap to rinse it.
Insecticidal soap is safe to use on indoor plants. It will wipe all the pests in just single use.
Waterlogged soil is the real cause of root rot in philodendrons. It is a fungal disease that eats up plant roots.
In the early days of infections, your plant will signal you by turning its leaves yellow.
Yellow leaves and water-rich soil confirm root rot.
In this case, unpot your plant and check the roots. Use a sterilized knife and cut the infected roots. At once you can cut 50% of the root ball.
Apply copper fungicide on roots before placing it in a new pot and new soil.
Give it regular care and your plant will heal in a few days.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
Warm weather and wet leaves result in dark spots on plant leaves. It is the bacteria that is damaging the leaf tissues.
And we see dark spots on the damaged part of the leaves.
The only treatment is using copper fungicide sprays. If only a few leaves are damaged cut them away. But if the entire plant has dark spots, then spray copper fungicide.
Burned Leaf tips
Too bright light and overuse of fertilizer can burn the leaves. Light-burned leaves have redness on them.
Whereas the burned leaves due to overfertilization do not have any kind of redness.
This is the difference and acts accordingly. In 90% of the cases, too much bright light is causing burned leaves.
Move the plant to a less bright place and your plant will heal its leaves.
Slow Growth and Small Leaves
Low light in grow room results in leggy or slow growth. Philodendron Deflexum needs bright light for 6 to 7 hours per day.
When growers fail to full its light needs. The plant becomes unable to make sufficient food for itself.
Lack of food makes its growing speed slow and leaf size small.
Secondly, it starts growing towards the source of light to full fill its light needs. In this condition, the plant spends its energy growing long stems rather than leaves.
This condition is called leggy growth.
Correct the light conditions and it will heal in a few days. Do not cut the stretchy parts or long stems.
Philodendron Deflexum is the best plant for home and office buildings. Just take off its light needs if you want to see it thriving.
Moist soil is the next important growth factor. A Pebble tray is a better option than misting water.
Neem oil is recommended to prevent fungal diseases and pest infestations.