Today I am going to introduce you to the rarest type of philodendron. Philodendron Sodiroi is a plant that is very rare and you will not easily find it in your local garden store.
It is also called Silver Leaf Philodendron because it has silver patterns of the green heart-shaped leaves.
No doubt this plant is costly so before growing it you should learn about its growing habits and requirements.
Do not buy it if you do not like to have fast-growing plants. Because it can easily grow up to 3 feet in a single season.
To keep it short frequent trimming is required. Further growing and caring details are discussed in the below part.
About the plant
It is naturally found in some parts of French Guiana. The best part about this plant is it likes both indoor and outdoor environments.
You can easily grow it on the sunny window sill or in a less bright place.
In a good environment, it can grow up to 6 feet in height with a leaf size of 4 to 7 inches long. But this height is only possible when it gets tropical jungle-like growing conditions.
So, in plants pots it stay 3 to 4.5 feet tall.
Like another philodendron, it is toxic to pets. Calcium oxalate is the substance that is found in plant sap. This ingredient is toxic when ingested even in low quantity.
Philodendron Sodiroi Light Needs
Like other philodendrons, it needs bright light but the best part is it can grow in all light conditions. If you want your plant to produce many silver patterns per leaf. Then expose it to plenty of sunlight.
While it can grow in low light conditions but it cannot produce heavy silver patterns.
Therefore, you need to place it on the sunny window. If there is already a plant on the window sill then expose it to the indirect bright light.
Protect your plant from the afternoon sunlight. The high intense light can damage the plant leaf tissues. Brown leaf edges are the first sign of sunburn.
Use peat-based soil that is airy and lightweight. It will not retain much moisture in it. This protects the plants from different root diseases.
To use your garden soil, sterilize it properly and add peat and perlite to it.
Sterilization of the soil is a mandatory step. It will kill all the harmful bacteria and pathogens.
If you do not like to mess with the different growing ingredients then use cactus potting soil. Or buy African violet potting soil. Both the soils are well-draining and have good aeration properties.
Keep the balance between the soil and moisture to help your philodendron Sodiroi to thrive.
To prevent water-related serious damages to your plants. Do not give it extra water at any cost. Even in the summer season, you should check the soil conditions before watering application.
If you feel the top few inches of the potting soil are dry then you can pour water into the plant pot.
Wet soil and yellow leaves are the first signs of overwatering. In this case, you should take out the plant from its pot. Inspect the roots and cut the damaged parts of the roots.
Then place it back in the same pot but by using new fresh soil.
Fertilizing Philodendron Sodiroi
Any slow-releasing liquid fertilizer will work best for Philodendron Sodiroi. No need to buy any special type of nutrient supplements.
Prepare a weak solution and pour it into the plant base only in spring or summer.
On the other hand, if the soil you use for the plant has organic matter. Then you will not need to feed it. Because organic material contains every single nutrient that a normal houseplant needs to grow.
Remember that in bright light conditions your plant starts growing a little faster than normal. This increases the absorption of nutrients and the potting soil becomes infertile.
In this case, you should give extra nutrients to your plants.
Temperature & Humidity
50 to 80 degrees F is the best temperature for the Philodendron Sodiroi. As you can see this is a wide range.
This means your plant can tolerate cold and hot temperatures in different situations.
If the temperature drops below 45 degrees F, then your plant can suffer otherwise it is good to grow in cold weather.
But silver leaf philodendron is not frost tolerant so you should bring it inside 1 week before the first frost.
Keep the humidity above 60 % and it will not face any problem. In low humidity, the leaves start losing their moisture. As a result, they turn yellow and brown.
To maintain the humidity use hygrometer to measure it and a plant humidifier to maintain it to a certain level.
The first thing that you need to keep in mind for repotting is choosing the right kind of pot. Terracotta material is good to use. It helps soil to drain extra water in less time than normal. It also increases the airflow and keeps the plant roots free from fungus.
The draining hole is the second thing that you need to look for in a good plant pot. It should have one or more drainage holes depending upon the size.
Once you buy the best pot then select the fresh soil. Bring the material home and gently shift your old plant in the new pot in new potting soil.
If the soil in the old pot is 2 years old you cannot rejuvenate it with compost or other organic fertilizers. The use of such soil is a wastage of time and plants.
Philodendron Sodiroi do not need frequent pruning. Philodendrons growing in pots do not grow large, so they need less trimming.
When old leaves of the plant turn yellow then you need to cut them from the stems.
When you see dry, dead, and brown leaves on your plant. Trimming them is the best way to save your plant’s energy.
This way you are encouraging your plant to produce new leaves.
For pruning Sodiroi, you should use sharp and sterilized shears. A knife is not recommended because you need to make a clean cut. It is not possible with a knife.
After pruning use a damp cotton cloth and wipe each leaf to remove dirt and dust. This maintenance technique gives long life to philodendron leaves.
Cleaning will also reduce the chances of bacterial leaf disease and other foliage diseases.
Like other philodendron plants, Sodiroi is also toxic to humans and animals. The sap of this plant is toxic because it contains calcium oxalate.
This substance is toxic to human life and animals.
Grow it in a safe place where your kids and pets cannot touch the plant. You should also wear garden gloves while working on philodendrons.
Wash the pruning tools with dishwashing soap and then disinfect them with rubbing alcohol for a safer side.
Seek medical help if your kids or pets show any sign of discomfort like difficulty in breathing, swallowing throat, stomach pain, vomiting, etc.
Wash their mouth and hands immediately!
Stem cutting is the most successful way of propagation. Follow the below step-by-step guide and propagate it at home.
- Inspect the mother plant and choose the healthy stem.
- Use sharp shears and cut the 5 to 6 inches long stem. Make a cut just below the node.
- It should only have one or two leaves, remove bottom leaves.
- Dab it in the rooting hormone and place it in the potting soil.
- Place the pot in a high humid and warm location
- Spray water only on the growing medium to add moisture to it.
- Within few days your stem will develop new roots.
- Once you see new tiny leaves you can move the pot to the final location.
Philodendron Sodiroi -Common problems and diseases
This plant is susceptible to root rot due to overwatering. Because new growers often give extra water to this beautiful philodendron.
To increase the silver part of the leaf. But they forgot that overuse of water results in root damage.
Therefore, limit water uses and check the soil moisture to prevent overwatering and root rot.
Use a soil moisture testing meter to check the water level in potting soil. If the top few inches of the soil are dry. Then you can water your plant.
Otherwise, wait for the top soil to become dry.
Leaves Turning Yellow
This is a sign of both underwatering and overwatering. To identify the cause, you need to check the soil condition.
If the soil is dry and the plant pot is easy to lift. This indicates that your plant is suffering from underwatering. And it has no water left in its leaves.
This turns the beautiful green silver leaves to yellow.
On the other hand, if the soil is waterlogged and your philodendron has yellow turning leaves. Then extra water in the potting soil is the cause.
In this condition, you need to unpot your plant and inspect the roots, cut the damaged roots and replant your Philo in new fresh soil and a clean pot.
Spider mites, mealybugs, and scales are the main enemy of philodendron Sodiroi. When you mist too much water on your plant leaves on low humid days.
When you do not clean your plant leaves. This increases the chances of pest infestations.
These pests are sap-sucking insects. They drink the energy of your plant and make it weak and wilting.
Within a few days, your entire plant turns yellow and drops off its leaves, and dies.
To get rid of these insects use rubbing alcohol and wipe the leaves. This will kill all the pests on the spot.
In serve damage, you can use insecticidal soap to rinse your plant. Use this soap just once in 30 days.
Philodendron Sodiroi aka silver leaf philodendron is simple to care for and easy to maintain its health. Give it proper light and it will develop beautiful silver patterns.
Avoid excessive use of water and fertilizers to avoid unwanted problems.
Place your plant in any part of your house and enjoy its beauty.