Philodendron Subhastatum is a rare variety of philodendrons. It grows half green leaves and half leaves with red undersides and a red top surface.
To help your plant to grow better you must give it good bright light and a limited amount of water. Remember that all philodendrons are prone to root rot.
Humidity is not a problem it can easily adjust in general home humidity. Fertilize it occasionally to keep it strong and beautiful.
Pruning is necessary to encourage new growth and prevent many fungal diseases.
Grow it to add nice color to your home. Use grow light to grow this extra beautiful plant in dark corners.
Let’s find out:
What are its growing needs and how you can grow it without facing problems?
What is Philodendron Subhastatum?
It is a philodendron plant that never grows flowers. Foliage is its real beauty and it grows bi-foliage (green + red).
Generally, it grows slowly even in its natural habitat. But you can boost its overall growth rate with proper care and fertilization.
It is capable of growing 6 to 8 feet tall but it is only possible in its natural birthplace.
Indoors it grows 3 to 4 feet tall and spread 15 to 20 inches. The size of its leaves is highly dependent on the care you provide.
To grow it vertically I am using a moss pole and my plant is 3.4 feet tall. It has a total of 15 leaves some of them are bright green and some have red variegation.
In the initial stage, it grows bright green leaves, as the leaves mature, they develop red undersides and top surface.
Now let’s take a look at its other growing needs:
In its natural home, this philodendron grows on jungle floors or on other trees. We all know rainforests are covered with a canopy of large trees.
There is hardly direct sunlight touching the jungle floor.
Most of these plants full fill their light needs from the filtered light.
You need to mimic the same light conditions indoors to grow it safely and without facing many problems.
Place it on a sunny window only if there is a sheer curtain installed. Or place it a few feet away from it.
So that only indirect bright light is available for it.
Regularly rotate the pot to distribute the light equally to all its parts. Otherwise, you will see one side of the plant is fuller and the other is less mature.
If you have a natural light issue then you can buy a grow light. Use only LED grow light that is between 200 to 300 watts.
No fluorescent lights and HPS lights are recommended.
More on philodendron light needs.
Watering Philodendron Subhastatum
No doubt Philodendron Subhastatum is a water-loving plant. But it is also prone to root rot and overwatering.
One should check the texture of the soil before watering philodendrons.
By checking the soil moisture, you can find out whether your plant needs water or it has sufficient moisture.
Water your plant if the top 2 inches of potting soil is dry.
To protect your plant from accidental overwatering. You must use a plant pot with a drainage hole. It allows the soil to drain extra water out of the pot.
This prevents soggy soil which is the cause of root rot.
It needs fast draining soil that can also hold a sufficient amount of moisture for a long time. It also must be lightweight and fluffy.
You should use potting soil that contains perlite and coco coir.
There are many ready-to-use formulas that contain both these ingredients with other substances.
Go for any brand that you can easily afford.
If you like to make soil at home then buy general potting soil, perlite, and coco coir.
60% potting soil + 20% perlite + 20 Coco coir.
You can also add compost instead of coco coir or
Add both the ingredients 10% each.
The main aim of this formula is to drain extra water, allow fresh air, and provide some nutrients from the initial growing stage.
55 to 85 degrees F is considered the ideal temperature range. Below 50 degrees F is too cold for the plant.
It slows down its natural growth cycle and the plant goes into survival mode.
It starts losing its warmth and to hold it your plant starts shrinking its leaf size.
To prevent this problem, move your plant to a warm room in the winter season. In too cold weather you should place a mat under the plant pot.
I use a straw mulch to protect my plant from cold winds.
Actually, in low temperature, the moisture stored in its stems start freezing. This blocks the natural pathways of transporting water and nutrients.
Your plant becomes nutrient deficient and dies in a few days.
If your home humidity is above 45% then you are good. But if it is low then you should use a plant humidifier to increase it.
You can also use a spray bottle and mist some water on Philodendron Subhastatum leaves.
Remember that do not mist water every day. This will result in bacterial leaf disease.
Spray water once in 4 days.
Pebble trays and grouping plants are some other methods of increasing humidity. Use all of them to find out which works best for your plant.
Like other variegated philodendrons, it needs moderate fertilizing and it is a must. Because it needs more food and nutrients to develop red color in its leaves.
The lack of nutrients prevents variegation in philodendrons.
For the best Philodendron Subhastatum care use liquid synthetic fertilizer only. I am using miracle-gro, it was on sale and I ordered it on Amazon.
You are not bound to use the same brand. You can use any brand of fertilizer. Just make sure it has balanced ratio of NPK along with other trace elements.
10-10-10 is less expensive and is good to use.
Do not waste your money on costly blooming fertilizer. Any foliage-type plant supplement is good to use.
Spring and summer are the active seasons. Boost its healthy by supplying it nutrients twice in spring and thrice in summer.
Pruning is required to remove dead parts of its leaves. Generally, it does not need pruning for years. But you must cut and remove yellow and brown leaves if any.
Brown parts are dead parts and save your plant’s energy from being wasted on them.
For general maintenance, you must use a damp cloth to keep its leaves dust and dirt free. Also cleans the pot of all sizes.
Keep it clean and surroundings hygienic for the long life of your plant.
The sad truth is this plant is toxic to humans and pests. Grow it out of the reach of your pets and kids. Or train them not to ingest its parts.
The toxic effect is in its sap and sap is in every part of the plant.
Wear gloves while propagating this plant. Coming in contact with the sap can cause skin redness or itching. Apply aloe Vera gel in this case.
Call the doctor if your pets or kids accidentally ingested its parts.
Philodendron Subhastatum needs repotting when it gets 2 years old. It is advised to change the potting soil of indoor plants once in 2 years.
For repotting use a large size pot. I prefer ceramic pots they are stylish and look nice in bedrooms and living rooms.
While repotting your plant don’t forget to inspect the roots. Cut the damaged roots and then repot them in a new pot and soil.
Make sure the ceramic pot that you are using has some drainage holes in the bottom.
They are heavy pots and can easily handle the weight of your plant.
Propagating Philodendron Subhastatum
With philodendron subhastatum, I suggest you go for the stem-cutting technique. It is easy and very successful.
Do not choose air layering it is not very successful with this philodendron. I choose it over stem cutting 4 times and fail
Follow these steps:
- Take a glass of clean water.
- Cut the 6 inches long stem just below the leaf node.
- Use rooting hormone on the cut edge.
- Put the stem cutting in a glass of water.
- Place the glass jar away from direct sunlight, indirect light is preferable.
- Keep eye on the water and change it when it gets dirty
- Cutting will take 2-weeks to grow roots.
- Transfer stem cutting to potting soil when the new roots grow more than 1 inch long.
Troubleshooting Philodendron Subhastatum
Mealybugs are insects that are enemies of this philodendron. They are small size insects coated in a white cotton-like substance.
Mealybugs suck the nutrients and glucose of the plant and make it nutrient deficient.
We all know nutrient-deficient plants are prone to other diseases also. Fertilizing at this point will not work.
You first need to make arrangements to get rid of mealybugs.
Then after the treatment follows regular care and your plant will heal in a few days.
Low temperature below 50 degrees F causes much damage to Subhastatum Philodendrons. This results in chlorosis and lesion in leaves and sometimes on stems.
To protect your plant from cold weather place them in warm temperatures.
Yellow Leaves with Spots
Yellow leaves with black spots mean your plant is underwatered or overwatered. But if there are also small dark spots on leaves.
This indicates that the problem is a bacterial infection and lack of watering.
The lack of water causes yellow leaves and fungal bacteria causes spots on all infected leaves.
For treatment give clean water to your plant and also use copper fungicide on its leaves. Do not use cinnamon or you will lose your plant.
Philodendron Subhastatum is a rare foliage philodendron plant. Give it a sufficient amount of light, water, and fertilizers to grow healthy.
Keep the surroundings clean to prevent pest infestations.
Humidity is not a problem for this variety. Ways to increase it are listed in this guide.
Use plant pot hanging baskets it’s your choice. For more information on tropical plants check our plant section.