Cheers to another beautiful Aroid, the Philodendron verrucosum plant. It hails from the rainforests of Ecuador. The big-heart-shaped leaves with velvety surfaces are dark-green in color with lighter veins getting prominent on maturity.
The beauty of the plant is further enhanced by the faded hues of burgundy on the undersides of the leaves. These are hemi-epiphytes in nature, starting their lives in the form of epiphytes clinging to the trees.
Later, these vines eventually root themselves into the ground just like the majority of other Aroids. The love for high humidity and warmth makes them a nice choice for terrariums. Moreover, they also do pretty well in the potted indoor plantation. Want to know more? Keep reading to enjoy a summarized guide about the care and maintenance of the Verrucosum Plant.
Philodendron verrucosum Classification
Species: P. verrucosum
C.Plumier was the person to officially introduce this vast and famous genus in the 16th century. However, it gained popularity in different fields like folk, art, and medicine since the ancient ages.
This collection of more than 500 perennial plants includes different growing habits like epiphytes, non-epiphytes, and hemi-epiphytes. In addition, modern plantation loves them for both indoor and outdoor plantation.
Features of the Philodendron verrucosum Plant
The plant can get about 6 to 50 inches tall, depending upon the availability of space.
The large heart-shaped leaves get around 8 inches on maturity.
Higher levels of calcium oxalate crystals make the foliage toxic for both humans and animals. Close contact may cause allergic reactions to the skin. Also, ingestion can lead to nausea, diarrhea, and ulceration in the mouth and throat. So, be prudent and keep kids and pets away from the plant. Besides, don’t avoid taking emergency medical help in case of any incident.
The plant has several variants with slight differences in appearance. The two popular ones include the one with reddish leaf undersides and another one with greenish shades.
Philodendron verrucosum Care
Many people consider it easy to care Philodendron. However, the requirements like high humidity and particularity in watering make them a little tricky to grow.
Sunlight: Indirect sun of medium intensity.
Fertilizer: Mild doses in the growing season.
Let us have a deeper look at how to grow the Philo Verrucosum plant’.
Where to Grow:
These plants generally love to stay in warm and humid environments. So, terrariums are ideal to grow them. However, they grow equally good in pots as well. Most importantly, these hemi-epiphytes need support to climb upon. So, make sure you are adding a supporting pole in the pot or terrarium. In absence of which the leaves will start getting yellow, soggy, and fall eventually.
The Verrucosum Philodendron plants belong to the tropical rainforests giving us a clue of their growth requirements. So, you have to keep the soil humid while avoiding both, sogginess and complete dryness.
Water the soil thoroughly and wait for the upper soil to get partially dry. Once you see about 30% moisture left in the soil, it’s time to water!
The watering frequency depends upon the features like weather, temperature, humidity, and sun. In average conditions, you may need to water about once or twice a week in spring and summer. Alternatively, around once every 2 weeks is enough to keep the dormant plant alive in the cold days.
Over-watering can suffocate the roots causing serious plant issues like root rot. Similarly, drying out the soil completely may cause the roots to wither. In case of inadequate watering, the plant may start yellowing or even drop out the leaves. So, make sure you follow a suitable routine to avoid this melodrama by the plant.
Bright to medium intensity is ideal for the plant. The best indoor place is an east or west-facing window. This will provide a whole day of indirect with a few hours of direct sun exposure. On the other hand, a place under the shade or tree with the dappled sun is ideal for an outdoor plantation.
Long exposure to direct sun can scorch out the velvety leaves. So, make sure the plant stays away from the direct sun especially in the peak hours.
Using the right potting soil does half the job in raising most of the Aroids. A well-draining potting mix that provides plenty of aeration is the right selection for these plants. To fulfil this, the soil should have chunky ingredients in it.
A mixture of 30% potting soil, 30% orchid bark, 30% perlite, and 10% charcoal shows good results. Moreover, you can also use any well-draining Aroid potting mixture commonly available in the market.
The ideal temperature range for these plants is estimated from Ecuador’s forests. Keep your Philodendron verrucosum in a moderately warm range between 65 to 85 F and it will stay happy. The plant can also grow well in cold temperatures. However, it should not fall below 40F. Any temperature below this can freeze and even kill the plant.
The love for high humidity naturally comes from the original habitat of the plant. Ideally, the plant loves to stay and thrives in a moisture level of around 90%. You can maintain this level in a terrarium and see your plant flourish there. However, the minimum humidity level to keep the plant in a good shape should be at least 60%.
In the growing season, regular monthly doses of fertilizer sound good to your Verrucosum Plant. Use a graded Aroid fertilizer and give monthly doses of moderate concentration in spring and summer. Make sure you are using a moderate dose. This is important to avoid Over-fertilizing, which can scorch out the foliage or even kill the plant.
The nutrient requirements of almost all the Aroids decrease with the decrease in temperature. In this case, fertilizing the dormant plant does no good at all. Thus, make sure you stop fertilizing right after the end of the summer.
A good opinion is to repot the Philo Verrucosum after every one to two years. This will help the plant grow well without getting root bound.
Removing the unhealthy and older leaves gives an overall healthy effect on the outlook of the plant.
The plant grows well indoors in zones 4 to 11. However, in zones 9 to 11, you can grow them in patios and outdoors throughout the year.
Philodendron verrucosum Propagation
These plants are pretty easy to propagate. The aerial roots make them root easily through stem cuttings, helping to enhance your collection without much effort.
Spring and summer are the common seasons to propagate most of the plants. To be specific, the days between the middle of these two seasons show the best results in terms of successful propagation.
- Take a few stem-cuttings with the help of a knife or shears. Using a sterilized instrument ensures safe cutting for the mother plant and successful results for the new ones. The cutting should be around 5 to 7 inches in size with at least one node. It is better to use some powdered cinnamon on the wounds of the parent plant. This will help it to heal faster and avoid infections.
- Plant the cuttings in some suitable medium. You can use water, perlite, or even some well-draining soil. Moreover, you can also use sphagnum moss after optimizing its moisture. This is done by soaking the moss and pressing it harder in your fist about thrice. This will drain all the excess moisture and the moss is ready for plantation.
- Place the setup in a warm and humid place with indirect sun. Wait for about 3 to 4 weeks for baby roots to pop grow out from the cuttings.
Besides cuttings, air-layering and seed propagation are also possible. However, air-layering is a little tricky and preferable for experienced growers. On the other hand, the seeds of the plant are a bit hard to find, making this method a less preferable one as well.
Staying safe is never outdated! Make sure you wear gloves before cutting and handling the plant to avoid its toxicity.
Philodendron verrucosum is an Aroid hemi-epiphyte hailing from Ecuador’s rainforests. The heart-shaped leaves with velvety surfaces are green and get darker on maturity. The plant can grow up to 6 to 50 inches according to space and environment.
Keep it in moist soil, warm and humid environment with indirect sun, and it would love to thrive. Verrucosum is a nice choice for both pots and terrariums. However, what you can not ignore is placing the supporting totem around the plant.
Just like other Philodendrons, this one too is toxic. So, make sure you keep the kids and pets away from your Verrucosum Philodendron Plant.