The Philodendron barrosoanum is commonly known as the cow-faced philodendron. It has a mesmerizing appearance and is native to Venezuela to Peru. It is an epiphyte; therefore, in its natural habitat, these species do not grow in soil.
The leaves of this species are trilobed and large, having a glossy finish as they mature. Whereas, the juvenile leaves resemble the shape of an arrowhead and change their shape to a trilobed structure as they mature. It is named cow-faced philodendron due to the shape of its leaves.
Philodendron barrosoanum is a beautiful plant and similar to other aroids these plants can also grow indoors and outdoors. It is a fast-growing climbing species having a powerful root system. Typically, these species prefer to grow in a tropical and wet biome. Being natural climbers and having a unique structure of leaves, these plants make wonderful totem plants.
To get more insights about how to properly look after this beautiful species of Philodendron, read this article carefully.
Philodendron Barrosoanum Classification
The Philodendron barrosoanum is a unique species of Philodendron belonging to the family Araceae. This species was first scientifically identified by Soares, Maria de Lourdes in the year of 1996. It is widely distributed in Venezuela, Ecuador, North Brazil, and Peru.
Features of Philodendron Barrosoanum Plant
The Philodendron barrosoanum has a unique appearance due to which, it is like gold dust for the aroid collectors. The leaves of this beautiful Philodendron are long, trilobed, and possess narrow lobes.
It also gives rise to pale green to whitish-colored flowers in favorable conditions. As this species is native to South America, it requires medium sunlight in order to thrive.
The Philodendron barrosoanum is reported to reach up to 6 to 8 feet in length. However, like every other Philodendron, these species if grown outdoors in a garden or greenhouse in a suitable environment can become bigger, as compared to if they are planted indoors in a pot.
Due to their epiphytic nature, these plants also grow big if they are supported with vertical support such as a pole to climb on.
Being a unique and gorgeous species of Philodendron, the Philodendron barrosoanum is one of the most desirable species by the aroid collectors. The leaves of this plant are trilobed, elongated, and have narrow lobes.
When the leaves are juvenile, they resemble the shape of an arrowhead. But as they mature, they start to become trilobed structured having a glossy finish. Mature leaves can measure up to 18 inches in length especially if they are supported by a framework.
The flowers of this plant are whitish to pale green in color. The spathe can reach up to 18 cm in length. Mostly the spadix has the same length as that of the spathe.
The spathe can be white to pale green in color from the external surface while bearing a pinkish crimson coloration on the internal surface. The base of the spadix is quite narrow.
These Philodendrons also carry calcium oxalate crystals, therefore, making them toxic plants for humans and animals to ingest. Upon ingestion, severe symptoms such as inflammation, pain, nausea, vomiting, swelling, and much more can arise.
It is best to keep this plant out of reach of children and pets to avoid any trouble. If these toxic plants are consumed, then the person or pet must immediately be taken to a qualified medical adviser.
Similar to many other Philodendrons, the Philodendron barrosoanum also goes through dormancy during the winter period. It will survive in dull conditions and relatively requires fewer amounts of water in this period.
Philodendron Barrosoanum Care
Luckily, the Philodendron barrosoanum is also quite easier to look after, just similar to other species of Philodendrons. These tropical beauties require minimum care whether planted outdoors or indoors.
These species flourish well in environments that have high levels of humidity. They require moist soil enriched with organic matter in order to grow healthy and faster.
These aroids can be planted in pots, hanging baskets, as a tree wrap, and shockingly these epiphytes can be planted as a ground cover. Due to their unique appearance, these plants put a mesmerizing tropical feel to any place they are planted in.
Keep in mind that these species become dormant during the winter season. We recommend you protect your plant from freezing and frost weather.
Quick Care Guide
- Water: Make sure to let the soil dry out before watering it again.
- Soil: Prefers to grow in well-draining and moist soil.
- Sunlight: Similar to other Philodendrons, it also thrives in bright yet indirect sunlight.
- Temperature: Ideally ranging between 65° F to 85° F.
- Humidity: Flourishes well in environments having about 40 percent to 50 percent humidity levels.
- Fertilizer: Once a month and only during its growing period.
- Pruning: As needed. Preferably in Spring. Remove any dead or damaged stems and leaves.
- Re-potting: After every few years as required.
Philodendron barrosoanum prefers to grow in soil that is moist but not wet. Therefore, make sure to not overwater your plant, or else the soil will become muddy. This can lead to root rot and fungal infections.
Always wait for the soil to dry out before watering your plant again. Check the soil, if the top half of the soil has dried out, then it is time for you to water your Philodendron. Or you can also invest in a moisture meter in order to stay updated on the moisture situation of the soil.
Just like any other Philodendron, these species also thrive well in bright and indirect sunlight. These plants require light to maintain their healthy coloration and strength. However, keep in mind that direct and bright sunlight will lead your plant to burn. Therefore it is extremely important to provide filtered, diffused, or indirect sunlight to your plant.
The Philodendron barrosoanum grows well in evenly moist soil, enriched with organic matter, and well-draining. Using such soil will ensure the roots remain hydrated and not drowned.
Moreover, due to being enriched with organic nutrients, this type of soil will encourage your Philodendron to grow healthier. The Philodendron barrosoanum prefers the pH of the soil to range between 5.1 to 6.0. In such pH, the organic nutrients will be ready to use for the roots so that they can easily absorb them.
However, if you provide wet, muddy, dense, or heavy soil for your Philodendron to grow into, then your plant will be exposed to the risks of overwatering, fungal infections, and root rot.
Moreover, we urge you to avoid sandy and dry soil as well. The reason behind this is that such soils will absorb all the moisture almost immediately, leaving no moisture for the plants. Therefore, as a result, the plant will be exposed to the risks of being underwater.
These tropical plants are able to tolerate temperatures ranging from 50° F up to 90° F. Philodendron barrosoanum will be able to survive within these temperature ranges.
However, if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then your plant’s overall health might be at risk.
Ideally, these species of Philodendron flourish well in temperatures ranging between 60° F to 85° F. The plants grow healthier and comfortably in these temperature ranges.
If the temperature gets too high for your plant to tolerate, make sure to provide sufficient water to keep your Philodendron well hydrated. These aroids become dormant during the winter season, so keep in mind to avoid any cold temperatures as much as you can.
Similar to other Philodendrons, these species also love humidity. It is best to keep them in an area having humidity levels between 60 percent to 75 percent. In such humid environments, your Philodendrons will grow fast and healthy. Moreover, they also display vivid coloration in such climates.
However, the plants can also tolerate low levels of humidity. Usually, the low levels of humidity do not even affect the plant. But we advise you to not let the humidity levels drop below 40 percent.
You can monitor your plant’s health by examining its leaves. If the leaves are vividly hued and are growing fast and healthy, it simply indicated that the plant is thriving well in its present conditions.
However, if the edges of the leaves of your Philodendron start to turn dry, brown, or crispy, it denotes that the plant is in dire need of a humid environment.
Apart from water, light, temperature, soil, and humidity, it is equally important to provide your Philodendron with a sufficient amount of fertilizer for them to grow healthy.
Make sure to provide a balanced fertilizer that is diluted to half-strength. Fertilize these tropical beauties once a month during their growing periods.
Keep in mind to confirm that the fertilizer has both micronutrients as well as macronutrients. If your fertilizer is deficient in either one or both of these nutrients, it will result in your Philodendron appearing pale.
These tropical plants are fast-growing Philodendrons having a powerful root system. They can be planted indoors or outdoors in pots, hanging baskets, etc.
If you plant them in a pot, then you will have to re-pot these Philodendrons at some point in life, mainly because they are fast growers. Never re-pot your plant unless it has outgrown its pot. Moreover, we do not recommend you to re-pot your plant every year. Only re-pot them when your Philodendrons are in need to be re-potted.
You can easily identify whether your Philodendron barrosoanum is required to be re-potted or not, by looking if the roots have started to emerge out of the drainage holes or popping up above the soil. The ideal time to re-pot a plant is during spring to early summer.
The Philodendron barrosoanum is a fast-growing tropical aroid that prefers to climb on any supporting structure that you provide. Pruning is generally not required because these plants are extremely eye-catching having long and unique-looking leaves.
However, feel free to remove any damaged or dead leaves or stems whenever you feel the need. Other than that, these species do not require to be pruned regularly.
The Philodendron barrosoanum flourishes well in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11.
Philodendron Barrosoanum Propagation
The best way to propagate a Philodendron barrosoanum is through stem cuttings. If you want to propagate this unique-looking tropical plant, then follow the below-given instructions carefully.
- Choose a healthy stem, you can choose as many as you want.
- After choosing a healthy stem, cut it by using sharp pair of scissors or knives.
- Make sure that your chosen stem has a minimum of 2 leaves and one node on it. It is impossible to propagate a stem lacking a node.
- Once you cut the stems, plant your cuttings in a pot filled with well-draining and moist soil.
- Look after your cuttings, and water them when necessary. Place them near a window having access to indirect or diffused sunlight.
- Generally, the roots will sprout out in a month or so.
Despite being natural climbers, the Philodendron barrosoanum also grows well if planted in hanging baskets, as ground covers, in pots, etc.
These are the fast-growing vine that is an exceptionally beautiful and excellent source to increase some tropical essence to your home, office, or garden.
These aroids are relatively easy to look after and thrive well in areas having high levels of humidity. If you are willing to buy a plant that is unique as well as easier to look after, then no doubt Philodendron barrosoanum is a perfect choice.