Philodendron squamiferum is a rare and unique philodendron variety. The red hairs that cover every inch of the stem make it different from other philodendron plants.
If you like to collect philodendrons then you should grow this exceptional plant.
It has glossy green oak-shaped leaves. The velvety texture of leaves give them additional brightness even in low light conditions.
To grow this plant at home you do not have any previous growing experience.
About the Plant
Squamiferum is a climbing plant. If you grow it as it grows in its natural habitat then it will climb impressive heights. It will not create a mess like other climbing plants.
Because it is a slow grower and you will have enough time to decide how long you want this plant to grow.
When grown in plant pots it just reaches few feet of height.
To grow big-size leaves fertilize them with well-balanced liquid fertilizer. If you make the balance between all growing requirements this plant will shine in the place where it grows.
For complete growing detail you need to read this guide and act accordingly.
For its light needs, we need to check its natural home. It is a rainforest plant and it grows on the jungle floor. We all know in the jungle the large trees form a canopy over the grounded plants.
This cover absorbs most of the sunlight and only a limited amount of light reaches the ground.
This means it needs less bright light to grow. Therefore, locate a place in your home where it can only get a limited amount of bright light.
All rainforest plants grow in low-light conditions. But this does not mean you put this plant in a dark shady area. There it will become unable to make its food and your plant will die due to insufficient sunlight.
To give it sufficient light you can use grow lights. If you do not have a sunny window or another source of bright light at home.
I have good experience with LED grow lights. They consume less electrical energy, have no maintenance, and no heat dissipation. They emit light wavelengths similar to the sun. Such a light spectrum that contains all the essential light wavelengths is called the full spectrum of light.
Soil plays important role in Philodendron squamiferum care. Take a general potting mix and add some parts of perlite to make it outstanding soil for this plant.
General potting mix has all the draining qualities that this plant needs. Because plants that grow in containers easily get infected by the root fungus. The extra water in the plant pot is the main cause of the root fungus disease.
But they need moist soil for their better health like their natural home. Therefore, I recommend perlite because it stores water for a long time.
Whenever roots need water, they absorb the perlite particles. The soil becomes less watery and your plant stays happy.
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Watering Philodendron squamiferum
Watering is the main part that needs your full attention while growing Philodendron squamiferum.
When the soil becomes wet or waterlogged the roots stop working correctly and fungus starts to build up. This fungus then attacks the root ball and the roots start decomposing. In this condition, your quick action can save the life of your plant.
But to prevent it, you should not give a heavy amount of water to your squamiferum Philodendron.
Water it less and your plant will never face such deadly root disease problems.
Check the soil, if it feels moist no need to water the plant. But if the top few inches of soil feel dry then you need to water it. Simply take a glass of water and pour it at the base without wetting the leaves.
Philodendrons do not need heavy fertilization. But if you give them little nutrients boost. This will help the plants to easily adapt to your indoor environment. Moreover, nutrients are required for the better health of indoor plants.
For their nutritional needs, they only have limited soil in the pot. They are totally dependent on growers.
Philodendron squamiferum only has green glossy leaves so you need a fertilizer that promotes leaf health. Such nutrients are high in nitrogen and low in phosphorous and potassium.
Dilute the liquid of the bottle as per the instructions of the bottle then pour it around the base of the plant. Never try to spray it over the leaves this will only cause diseases.
Spring is the best time for plant fertilization.
Temperature & Humidity
50 to 80 degrees F is the ideal temperature range for the plant. Below or above this range will only cause serious damage to the plant leaves and stems.
Because it is a rainforest plant it needs high humidity. But it is not possible to mimic the rainforest-like humidity conditions.
In general, we have 40% to 60 % home humidity. This range is good but when the humidity drops below 40%. Your plant starts suffering from low humidity.
In this case, you need to invest in an electric plant humidifier. Plant humidifiers are generally inexpensive buy one from Amazon and try it. Turn it ON and place it next to your plant.
Repot it only when roots become visible and poke out of the pot. Then take 2 inch wide and deep pot. Gently lose the soil and take it out of its old pot.
Remove the old soil from the roots and inspect them carefully.
Use sharp shears to cut the infected parts of the roots. Then place it in the new pot. Use new fresh soil in the new pot.
You may need to repot it in case of overfertilization. Follow the same steps and use fresh soil.
You have two propagation methods one is stem cutting and the second is air layering.
In the spring season harvest the 4 to 6 inches long stem and place it in the moist potting soil. After that place the plant pot in a warm location in moderate humidity.
To speed up the root development dip the stem cutting in the rooting hormone. Within few days your cuttings will develop new roots.
Air layering is the second successful propagation method. It is a little bit difficult but has good success rate.
Make a small incision under a node and cover it in the sphagnum moss. Wrap moss in the plastic cover.
Within in few days, you will see new roots at the cut.
At this time, you can cut the stem from the plant and place it in the new pot.
It is easy to grow Philodendron squamiferum plant. You just need to be careful while watering it.
Another thing you need to take care of is the light in the grow room.
Because it is a climber plant if you give it support, it will grow large in size. To keep it in a small size regular trimming is recommended.