A fantastic lobed-leafed Philodendron, the Squamiferum sports red, fuzzy stems, we cover e all you need to know about care and propagation..
Philodendron Squamiferum Care Summary
|Light needs:||Medium to bright indirect light.|
|Watering needs:||Check weekly, water if to 50% of soil is dry.|
|Fertilizer:||A balanced fertilizer monthly in spring and summer.|
|Soil:||A well draining chunky mix.|
|Temperature:||15°C to 24°C (60-75°F).|
|Where to buy:||Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.|
|Other names:||Hairy Philodendron, Red Bristle Philodendron.|
|Common issues:||Overwatering and underwatering causing leaf yellowing.|
The Philodendron Squamiferum has 5 lobes on its green foliage. The four lobes at the top are smaller and it has one larger one at the bottom. This is a less common aroid and it may be harder to come by compared to others. It is native to South America, specifically upper Brazil, Suriname, and the French Guiana.
Philodendron Squamiferum Light Needs
Medium to bright indirect light is needed for your Philodendron Squamiferum to keep putting out larger and larger leaves as it climbs. Since it would naturally be under large trees in the rainforest, it does not need intense, high light to thrive.
Philodendron Squamiferum does not like as much water as some other Philodendrons may. You’ll want to keep a closer eye on the Squamiferum for root rot and overwatering. Make sure that the top inch or two inches of the soil dries out between waterings. The time frame between waterings depends greatly on the size of pot you have your plant in. You could simply stick a finger in the soil to feel if it is dry, or, if you’re fancy, invest in a moisture meter to give you a more accurate reading.
The Philodendron Squamiferum is not as hungry as other Philodendrons. It is also a slower grower. So, only fertilize around every 1.5 to 2 months in the growing season (spring and summer). Choose a fertilizer that is well-balanced or one made specifically for tropical plants or Philodendrons. This will provide a nice boost to the growth of your Philodendron Squamiferum.
Philodendron Squamiferum Soil
This Philodendron needs light, coarse potting soil. Add in larger pieces for the roots to grip such as orchid bark. This will also allow the mixture to dry out quicker. An increased amount of perlite will be great for reducing moisture as well. Choose a mixture that is meant for aroids, but add in a bit more ingredients to make it drier. A mix of perlite, sphagnum moss, potting soil, orchid bark, and coco coir would be perfect.
Philodendron Squamiferum are not a species that requires a huge pot. This is due to their epiphytic nature. They tend to have smaller root systems and prefer being slightly root-bound with the ability to latch onto a moss pole as they climb. Repot if you notice that the growth on your Squamiferum is slowing down or getting smaller and the roots are exiting the pot through the drainage hole.
The Squamiferum is, as stated previously, a jungle dwelling plant. So, a higher humidity will equal the happiest plant. Above 60% is ideal. Run a humidifier on low next to the plant to increase the humidity without making your entire home too sticky. Or, you can also group all your tropical plants together. Naturally, the humidity level will be higher in this area as water evaporates from their soil. When grouping plants, make sure that no pests are present as they can easily take over.
For this species of Philodendron, room temperature or slightly warmer (75 degrees fahrenheit or 24 degrees celsius) is perfect. This is not a plant that will be tolerant to any cold so definitely avoid letting it be in temperatures below 60 degrees fahrenheit or 15 degrees celsius for a prolonged period of time.
How to Propagate Philodendron Squamiferum
Propagate between the nodes! A node is anywhere an aerial root and a leaf come from. Cut on either side of this area. Give the edges of the cutting some time to callous over. This could mean just a few hours in a warm, sunny place. Then, you can place it in your propagation medium of choice. Only using water will work, or you could use damp sphagnum moss, or perlite.
The Philodendron Squamiferum is also known as the Hairy Philodendron, or Red Bristle Philodendron, due to the red hairs on its stem. When buying, however, it will most likely go by the full, correct name.
Where To Buy
Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
- It is named Philodendron Squamiferum because of the hairs on its stem. Squameus means “scaly” in Latin since the plant can appear this way. Another Philodendron that shares this trait is the Philodendron Verrucosum.
- The leaves can grow to a max of 18 inches in length. The entire plant, on the other hand, does not have a max size. It can easily grow to cover an entire tree.
Philodendron Squamiferum Common Pests, Issues, and Treatments
The Squamiferum leaves will definitely tell you if something is wrong. If you notice yellowing, blackening or browning on the leaves this could be due to root rot. You’ll want to take a look at your soil and make sure it is not too dense or retaining moisture for too long.
Since the Squamiferum doesn’t need too much fertilizer, brown spots on the leaves could form if you give it too much. If this happens, give the plant more time between fertilizer and consider giving the soil a good soak to wash away some of the excess.
The most common pest to look out for are spider mites. This pest creates tiny webbing on the edges of leaves and on the stem. If you notice this, give your plant a spray down with diluted neem oil. If the spider mites come back, repeat the process until they are eventually eliminated. Keep in mind that spider mites like dryness, so increasing humidity could be wise to keep them away.
The most common disease for Philodendron Squamiferum and other Philodendrons as well is called Erwinia Blight. This is a bacteria that shows up if the soil is too wet or the humidity levels too high. Therefore, it is most common in the summer months, especially if you move your Philodendron outside. If your plant has brownish, water-logged spots on the leaves or stem, Erwinia Blight is the issue. To combat this, reduce humidity and watering frequency. You could also consider removing affected areas, especially if it is unsightly or large.
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