If you are looking for a green foliage plant with excellent drought tolerance then you should choose Philodendron Holtonianum.
This plant grows unique long green leaves. The best part is it needs less water and fertilizers as compared to other green philodendrons like:
In this guide, you’ll learn how to grow this unique philodendron plant in pots with minimal care.
Keep in mind that bright light and moderate watering are the main growing needs of Philo. Holtonianum. Fertilizers are not necessary if you are using highly fertilize the soil. But you can use them if you feel the nutrients in the soil are not sufficient.
What is Philodendron Holtonianum Plant?
Philodendron Holtonianum is a member of the Araceae family group of plants. It is mainly found in the tropical rainforests of Ecuador.
There it enjoys warm weather and high humidity. It has basic care requirements like moderate light, moderate watering, occasional fertilizing, and sometimes pruning and repotting.
Growing and caring for Philodendron Holtonianum is easy as compared to other plants of its family.
It grows fast and easily reaches up to 10 to 12 feet in height. But the interesting part is you can keep it short if you like.
You only need to do is grow it in medium size pot and use fewer fertilizers. My Holtonianum is 3 feet tall.
Because I always prune over-growing stems and leaves to keep them in the desired size.
While pruning you should be very careful because its leaves are delicate and thin. The normal size of its leaves is 8 to 10 inches long and 4 to 6 inches wide.
The overall health of this plant depends on your care techniques and gardening skills.
There are two main growing requirements one is moderate bright light and the second is a moderate amount of moisture in potting soil.
You can add a good amount of moisture by watering it with the deep or bottom watering method.
Philodendron Holtonianum Care Guide:
Light Needs of Philodendron Holtonianum
As I said moderate bright light is enough to grow it tall and healthy. This gives you the freedom of growing it in less bright corners.
250 to 350 FC is the amount of light it needs for photosynthesis. Make sure the minimum light it is receiving is not less than 230 FC (foot candles).
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The reason it needs less light is the thickness of chlorophyll pigment on its green leaves.
Keep in mind that direct sunlight is damaging to its leaves. When sharp sunrays strike its leaves. They increase the temperature of the leaves and overall plant.
This increases the use of water in leaves to keep the plant temperature down. This extra use of water increases the chances of dehydration.
Hot sun rays also damage the internal leaf tissues. This results in burned and cracked brown leaves.
Good soil is the foundation of a healthy philodendron plant. Philodendron Holtonianum needs soil that can hold a good amount of moisture for a long time without being wet.
This condition is only possible if you use professional soil ingredients.
There are many ready-to-use soil formulas that claim to hold water without being waterlogged. You can use them if you want.
One of the popular philodendron soil mix is the Miracle-Go houseplant potting mix.
I am using this soil for my plants and also make my own potting soil with perlite, peat, and coco coir and compost.
I always add some organic compounds in the soil formula to increase the general fertility of the soil mix.
Mix equal parts of:
- Peat moss
- Compost or vermiculite
Perlite holds moisture, compost supplies natural nutrients, and peat moss makes the soil airy, fluffy, and well-draining.
Some people use succulent soil particularly this plant because it needs less water. I had a very bad experience with succulent soil and philodendrons.
It dries out so quickly and increases the frequency of watering applications.
Watering Philodendron Holtonianum
Moderate watering is the best method to keep it alive and protect it from root rot. But this does not mean you don’t water it for weeks.
5 to 7 days without water are ok for this plant (no harm).
To prevent overwatering check the soil before watering. If the top few inches of soil are completely dry then give a good amount of water to your plant.
For watering it, fill a tub of clean water and place your plant in it for 10 to 15 minutes. Then take it out and allow it to drain extra water.
It will take roughly 30 to 50 minutes to drain every drop of extra water. Empty the bottom saucer tray and let your plant enjoy moist soil.
Tap water is not good for watering it, always use filtered water that you use for drinking purposes.
Municipal water contains chlorine and it is not required to grow a plant. In fact, it is damaging to plant roots.
If you are using pre-fertilized potting soil then no need to use separate fertilizers. On the other hand, if your soil formula does not contain organic materials.
Then it is a must to use liquid fertilizers to boost the health of your plant. Use any general-purpose houseplant fertilizer.
They are all same and contain a sufficient ratio of all essential nutrients.
Nitrogen is the main nutrient that is required in large quantities to support its green growth.
Follow the instruction of the nutrient bottle and dilute the solution accordingly. Then gently add it to the soil.
Do not pour directly near the main stem this can burn the plant roots.
Pruning is required if you don’t want your plant to grow tall and produce extra-large leaves. If you are growing it outdoors then not need to trim it.
Just cut the yellow and dead parts of it with a sharp knife or a pair of shears.
If it is growing as an indoor plant in medium size pot. Then trim the overgrowing stems and leaves.
To prevent diseases after pruning use a soft cloth and wipe its leaves. Removing dust from leaves and keeping your plant clean prevent many common problems.
50 to 95 Degrees F is the ideal temperature range for Holtonianum Philodendron care. Use a temperature monitor device to keep eye on the grow room temperature.
In the summer season you just need to protect your plant from hot winds. Hot air evaporates the water from its leaves.
This turns the leaves brown and crispy. Also, increase the chances of plant death due to dehydration.
Install a curtain if your plant is enjoying near a large window.
In the winter season protect your plant from cold winds and artificial heat.
Move it away from heat vents, large windows, and doorways. Cold winds slow down respiration and transpiration in plants.
They go into dormancy and use less water than normal. This way the roots have to stay in wet soil for a long time.
This results in root rot.
Therefore, always make sure the temperature of grow room is above 65 degrees F.
We all know philodendrons are rainforest plants. Tropical forests are highly humid places for plants. This clears that your Holtonianum also needs high humidity.
Here is the trick: you don’t need to do anything with the home humidity. The reason is this plant can tolerate moderate home humidity.
Keep it above 45% all the time and Philodendron Holtonianum will never face any humidity issues.
Do the following in low humidity:
Use a spray bottle and mist some water on your plant. this will give instant comfort in a low-humidity environment.
Do not overdo it and wet the plant. Wet leaves for a prolonged time invite bacterial leaf diseases.
This is the real solution to low humidity. You can group your plant in a room and turn ON the plant humidifier. Plant humidifiers are less expensive and portable than home humidifiers.
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This is a fast-growing plant with large size root balls and needs frequent repotting. First repotting is required after one and a half years of its age.
Repot it when you see roots sneaking out of the top soil layer. Or they are growing out of the drainage hole of the plant pot.
Both conditions mean your plant needs a new large pot and fresh soil.
- Tilt the plant pot and tap around the pot.
- Lose the soil and gently pull it out of the pot.
- Remove old soil from its roots and add some new soil to the new pot.
- Place your plant in it and fill the pot with soil.
- Gently tap the soil and around the plant.
- Add some water and you are done with repotting your Philo. Holtonianum
Philodendron Holtonianum Propagation
Stem cutting is the most successful method of propagation in this case. You can also go for the air layering propagation technique if you have good gardening experience.
In my experience stem cutting is the best option for all levels of growers.
- Identify the healthy stems and cut 2 to 3 stems 5 inches long.
- Remove bottom leaves.
- Take a jar of clean water and dip stem cutting in it after applying the rooting hormone on the cut edge.
- Put the glass jar in a warm place in less bright light.
- Regularly change the water to keep it fresh and to prevent the formation of algae.
- It will take 20 days to grow new roots.
- Transfer stem cutting in potting soil when the new roots grow 1 inch long.
Every part of this plant contains calcium oxalates. It is toxic to humans and animals if ingested.
Use gloves while working on this plant to prevent accidental contact with its sap.
Seek medical help immediately if your pets and kids ingest its leaves or stems. Vomiting, burning mouth and skin, and sore throat are a few common toxic symptoms.
Generally, Philodendron Holtonianum is a hard and disease-resistant plant. Lack of gardening skills sometimes invites many plant problems.
Some of the common plant problems are discussed below with solutions and prevention.
Yellow Turning Leaves
Yellow turning leaves indicate something wrong with plant roots. Overuse of water and wet soil are the two causes of yellow leaves.
When fungus attacks the roots, the plant becomes nutrient deficient and this turns the leaves yellow.
Secondly, the fungus starts eating the roots and this condition is deadly. To identify the root rot, smell the potting soil if it smells like rotten eggs and is also wet.
This means roots are already infected and decaying.
Immediately repot your plant in new soil and a new pot. Cut the infected roots and then repot it.
To prevent root rot, learn the correct watering technique.
Brown Leaf Tips
Lack of water also called dehydration results in brown leaf tips. At first, the tips of leaves turn crispy brown to indicate a low water level.
If the grower does not catch the low watering sign on time. Then in 4 to 5 days, the entire plant becomes crispy brown.
The only solution is watering your plant by placing it in a tub of water (bottom water method).
To prevent brown leaf tips, follow the soil check watering method to add a good amount of moisture to the potting soil.
Algae on Soil
Green algae on the soil surface indicate too much water in the soil.
This is the advanced stage of root rot when fungus enters into the topsoil particles. In short, the soil is fully contaminated and your plant is in a life-threatening situation.
You will also observe black spots on plant stems. To treat your plant repot it immediately and use a copper fungicide spray on the entire plant.
If it does not heal in 10 to 15 days then immediately cut the healthy stem and propagate it.