Adding Philodendron Heterocraspedon to your indoor plant collection means adding extraordinary greenery to your place.
It has long oblong shaped leaves with a bright green top and reddish underside.
Philo. Heterocraspedon is a less expensive plant and doesn’t need special care and attention. You can grow it without using costly fertilizers.
It also absorbs pollutants from indoor air and releases fresh oxygen.
By growing Heterocraspedon you are not only decorating your home with dual colored leaves. You are also adding a natural air purifying machine.
People spend lots of money on electronic air purifying devices. You can do it in a less expensive and more natural way by growing houseplants like this one.
Below is the complete growing guide, read it carefully and make notes.
What is Philodendron Heterocraspedon Plant?
Philodendron Heterocraspedon is an evergreen climbing houseplant with oblong shaped bi-color leaves.
The normal height of this plant is more than 10 meters.
But when you will grow it indoors it will only reach up to 4 to 7 feet tall. If you use medium size pot then it stays under 4 feet.
I don’t want it to touch my ceiling this is the reason I am using medium size plant pot to keep it short. Moreover, I follow the pruning and use less quantity of fertilizer.
Because a heavy dose of fertilizer directly impacts its overall size.
Instead of fertilizers, I use compost and compost tea.
The leaves will grow 12 inches to 2 feet long depending on the growing environment. Keep in mind that the flow of light in the grow room directly impacts the leaf size.
The interesting part is this plant also grows white color flowers. But to be honest they are not very beautiful and appealing.
In my experience place this plant in bright light, water it moderately and use compost in potting soil. To prevent pests, use neem oil spry and keep the plant and the plant pot clean. These are the only things that you need to keep in mind if you are going to grow it.
How to Grow and Care for Philodendron Heterocraspedon?
Don’t worry if you are new to growing houseplants. This plant is easy to grow for beginners. Rainforest plants do not need much care and attention.
Slowly you will learn how plants react when you change their care routine.
Below is the information that you need to grow it.
Don’t worry about its light needs because you can grow it in moderately bright light. The good news is moderate light is easy for you to arrange for your plant.
It grows bright green leaves without variegation.
This means it has a thick layer of chlorophyll pigment on its leaves.
Plants with large size green leaves can survive in low to moderate light as compared to variegated plants like Philodendron Goldiana, Philodendron Strawberry Shake, and Philodendron Cream Splash.
Place it on a sunny window if you like it to grow long leaves. You can also place it a few feet away from a sunny window if other plants are growing there.
250 FC is the minimum of light that it needs to stay healthy. 450 FC is the maximum light limit. High intense light is damaging to the plant.
Morning sunlight is good for its overall health. But after 11 Am the sunrays become sharp and hot for the plant.
Protect it from sharp sunlight to prevent sunburned leaves.
Now, this is the important part because the quality of the soil will decide the health and size of your plant.
As I said earlier, I don’t use too many fertilizers. I make my own potting soil at home with different low-cost ingredients.
The best potting soil will be equal parts of perlite, peat moss, and vermiculite. You can replace vermiculite with compost.
If you want a ready-to-use solution then use any general potting mix that contains organic ingredients.
Organic compounds supply a good amount of nutrients to the plant. This reduces the overall fertilizer expenses.
Moreover, the perlite stores lots of moisture without making the soil heavy. This prevents overwatering problems.
Peat makes the soil fluffy and increases aeration which is important to prevent root fungus.
Vermiculite and compost supply slowly absorbing organic nutrients.
Watering Philodendron Heterocraspedon
Do not use cold water for watering Heterocraspedon Philodendron. Normal room temperature water is perfect for watering it.
It is a warm-weather plant and cannot tolerate cold weather and cold water. The roots will go in shock and it will die.
The water that is good for you to drink is excellent water for watering your philodendron plant.
Such water does not contain heavy and unwanted materials like chlorine and fluorides. It is easy for the plant roots to absorb and transport to all parts of the plant.
There are many plant diseases that are linked to water. You can prevent them by using clean and filtered water.
Fertilizing Philodendron Heterocraspedon
Because Philodendron Heterocraspedon has a good structure and size. It needs lots of nutrients to grow. There are two ways to full fill its nutritional needs.
One is by using highly fertile soil and the second is by supplying synthetic fertilizers.
Compost, vermiculite, and manure are the ingredients that you can add to the soil. This way you will not need to use fertilizers very often.
The other way is to use general potting soil and fertilize your plant with liquid fertilizer once in 30 days. Spring and summer are the seasons for fertilizing rainforest plants.
I prefer liquid fertilizers because they are easy for plants to absorb and transport. They are also easy for you to use.
Just dilute the liquid solution in clean water as per the instructions in the nutrient bottle. Slowly give it to the growing plant.
Rainforest houseplants are warm environment plants. In its natural habitat, Philodendron Heterocraspedon enjoys warm weather for 365 days.
Therefore, keep the temperature above 55 degrees F and below 95 degrees F.
Cold temperature freezes the water stored in its leaves. The crystals of moisture results in brown tips on leaves.
You can use a temperature monitor to keep eye on the room temperature. In cold weather bring your Heterocraspedon indoors.
In winter I put a thick cloth mat under my plant pot. Some people use heat mats for their plants. But you don’t need to use them for this plant.
We cannot mimic the humidity level that it enjoys in rainforests. 85% humidity is too much for humans and electronic devices.
This does not mean you cannot grow this plant. The good news is Philodendron Heterocraspedon can survive in moderate humidity.
45% humidity is the best level of air moisture to grow without facing problems.
The Pebble tray method and grouping plants are traditional ways of tackling low humidity. I have a plant humidifier so I don’t have to worry about the low air moisture.
You can also buy one if you have multiple houseplants or you are going to start a gardening business from home garden.
Pruning Philodendron Heterocraspedon
Pruning means cutting the plant leaves that are dead, yellow and stop growing.
Broken stems the good examples of plant parts that totally waste the plant’s energy. Remove them from your plant to encourage it to grow new healthy and more vibrant stems.
Use sterilized and sharp tools to trim your plant. Use rubbing alcohol to disinfect the pruning shears.
Wear garden gloves while pruning your plant.
Cleaning also comes under the pruning part. After finishing pruning use a damp soft cloth and wipe the plant leaves. Also, clean under the plant pot and the pot itself.
Cleaning is compulsory to prevent deadly infections and diseases.
The bad news is like other philodendrons the Philo. Heterocraspedon also contains calcium oxalate crystals.
This means the parts of the plant are toxic if ingested. They are equally toxic to humans and animals.
Vomiting, skin redness, irritation, sore throat, etc are the toxic effects. Immediately call the poison control center.
It is a moderate grower and needs less frequent repotting. Before repotting check the visible signs of repotting like:
- Roots growing out of drainage hole
- Roots are visible over the top soil surface
- Draining water brings soil with it.
- The plant is overgrown and is falling to a side.
For repotting your philodendron buy a new plant pot 2 inches wider and deeper than the current pot. Also, buy fresh potting soil.
Then give water to the plant 24 hours before repotting. Gently take out the plant from its pot without damaging its parts.
Remove the soil from the roots and add some soil to the new pot and put your plant in it. Then fill the remaining portion of the pot with new soil.
Gently tap around the plant so that it can stand firm without falling over.
Add some water to add moisture to the new soil.
Philodendron Heterocraspedon Propagation
You can propagate it like we propagate philodendron selloum stem cutting is the method that is easy for beginners and is more successful.
In this technique, we use cutting of the plant and root them in water or soil. Water as a growing medium gives fast results than soil.
- Take a sharp knife and sterilize it with a disinfectant solution.
- Choose a healthy stem and cut 2 to 3 stems each 5 to 6 inches long with healthy leaves. Remove the bottom leaves, we only need the top leaves for propagation.
- It is good to use the rooting hormone for a 100% success rate. Apply rooting hormone on the cutting edge.
- Take a glass of clean water and put stem cutting in it. Make sure the leaves will stay above the water level. Only the stem and nodes are submerged in water.
- Place the glass jar in a warm place away from direct sunlight.
- Change the water in the glass when it gets dirty.
- Within 20 days the cutting will develop new roots.
- Transfer the cuttings to potting soil once you are sure that the new roots are more than 1 inch long.
Sap-sucking pests like Aphids, Spider mites, and Mealybugs are common enemies of this philodendron. They suck all the nutrients of a plant and make it nutrient-deficient and weak.
You can identify them by checking the underside of the leaves. They build their home under leaves and near the leaf nodes.
To prevent them use neem oil spray once in 20 days. It is safe to use on all types of houseplants.
To kill them use pest-killing sprays. These sprays are mild on plants and are also famous as insecticidal soaps.
Keep infected plant separate from others until it shows new healthy growth.
Remove the decaying and brown leaves. Do not remove all leaves at once or they will go into dormancy. Leave the Heterocraspedon leaves that the mildly infected.
Once your plant starts developing new leaves then you can cut the mildly infected leaves.
Yellow leaves of Philodendron Heterocraspedon indicate a problem with water and soil. Overuse of water is the main and common cause of yellow-turning leaves.
If the soil is wet and the plant has yellow leaves this confirms the overwatering.
In this case, you need to repot your plant in the new pot and new soil. Or use the same pot by washing it but never use the same old soil.
Use fresh soil to prevent further infections.
Improve the drainage and water your plant once the top 2 inches of soil become completely dry. This way you can prevent yellow-turning leaves.
Low light is the cause of the legginess of philodendron plants. Philodendron light needs are easy to full fill by placing it in bright indirect light.
Once you move your plant to bright light, it will start healing itself. It takes some days to heal properly.
After correcting the light condition, you can give a mild dose of fertilizer to boost the healing process.
Brown Leaf Tips
Leaves turning brown and crispy indicates dehydrated Philodendron Heterocraspedon. Dehydration is equally damaging as overwatering.
It is hard to heal a dry plant as compared overwatered plant.
Fill a tub of clean water and place your plant pot in it. After 10 minutes take it out and allow it to drain extra water.
With this technique, you can quickly add moisture to the root zone.