Philodendron Mamei a.k.a Philodendron Silver Cloud
The Philodendron Silver Cloud is a stunning plant to add to your collection. It’s a fairly low maintenance plant that is pretty easy to grow. The Philodendron Mamei has beautiful heart-shaped green foliage with a silvery variegation. This plant is a creeper that can be grown as a ground cover or to climb up a tree or pole. Philodendron Silver Cloud is part of the Araceae family and is found in the Ecuador rainforests. Since it does come from rainforests, they love a higher humidity and warmer temperatures. Unfortunately, this plant is toxic and should be kept away from children and pets.
Philodendron Silver Cloud Quick Overview
|3 feet high
|Bright indirect light
The mature size of a Philodendron Silver Cloud can be upwards of 3 feet tall with leaves growing up to 45 centimetres (18 inches) in width. In the correct living conditions, a mature leaf can reach up to 50 centimetres (19 inches) in width. When grown indoors, you can expect the leaves of your Philodendron Mamei to reach at least 5-8 inches in width.
This plant is known to be a natural creeper, so adding a pole to the pot for it to climb will help to encourage those larger leaves. Regular pruning of your Philodendron Silver Cloud will help to encourage a bushier plant. Remember to not throw those cutting away because they can be used to propagate and grow a whole new plant.
Philodendron Silver Cloud Light Requirements
Philodendron Silver Cloud will grow best when in bright indirect lighting. The Philodendron Mamei requires approximately 70%-85% of sunlight a day. However, this plant can also survive in lower light conditions. The colour of the foliage can actually assist in finding that perfect spot. The silver variegation is there to help decrease the light absorption. If your plant is growing green leaves, this is an indication that it needs more light. Meanwhile, the silver variegation is an indication that you should restrict the light.
The foliage of your Philodendron Silver Cloud can begin to start yellowing and/or get brown crispy edges as a sign of too much direct sunlight. The plant may become leggy and pale if it’s not receiving adequate lighting. Moving your plant to a spot where it receives filtered sunlight will help keep your Philodendron Mamei happy.
Adding a blind or curtain to your window will help to defuse the harsh sunlight to avoid burning the plants foliage. Alternatively, if you can’t seem to find that perfect spot in your home, you can always use grow lights. Just like direct sunlight, if your plant is sitting too close to the grow lights, they will burn the foliage. Keeping a safe distance of at least 60cm between your plant and the light will avoid any trouble.
The ideal temperature for growing Philodendron Silver Cloud is between 55ºF-80ºF (12ºC-26ºC). This plant loves warm climates and like other Philodendron species, they don’t tolerate cold temperatures. If the temperature drops below 55ºF (12ºC), your Philodendron Mamei may stop growing, have wilted leaves and in some cases plant death. During the cooler months, you should move your plant to a warmer spot in your home.
Since this plant is native to tropical areas, it loves to be in a humid environment. Philodendron Silver Cloud will thrive when kept in an average-high (50%-70%) humidity environment. If your plant is housed in a spot with low humidity, you may notice the leaves can become yellow and shrivel up.
Providing a high humidity for your plants will encourage bigger and healthier growth. There are a few thing you can do that can help bump up the humidity in your home. The things you can try are:
- Misting your plants
- Pebble trays
- Grouping plants together
You can read more about increasing humidity in your home here.
Philodendron Silver Cloud likes to be moderately watered. How often you need to water will change throughout seasons when the temperature and amount of sunlight is changing. These plants like to have a slightly moist soil. You should check the top few inches of soil with your finger to feel if the soil is moist. If the soil is dry, it’s time to give your plant a drink.
Although Philodendron Mamei likes moist soil, you should avoid over-watering. Excess water causes the soil to become waterlogged and can start rotting the roots which doesn’t allow them to take in any water. This can then cause fungus issues, pest problems and root-rot. Signs that you have over-watered your Philodendron Silver Cloud are wilting, drooping and yellowing leaves. If you notice the leaves of your Philodendron Mamei are getting dry and brown edges, this is a sign of under-watering.
You should fertilize your Philodendron Silver Cloud monthly during Spring and Summer. You can cut down fertilizing during the cooler months (Winter and Autumn) when the plant isn’t actively growing. Applying fertilizer while your plants aren’t using all the nutrients in the soil can cause salt build up and root burn. Fertilizing your plants will give them the essential nutrients they need for promoting and maintaining new and healthy growth.
The best fertilizer to use for Philodendron Mamei would be a balanced all purpose fertilizer diluted to half strength. You should ensure that it contains micronutrients as well as macronutrients (NPK) including Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium as they are most important. The Nitrogen helps to increase the leaf size and produce an overall healthy, larger plant. Phosphorous helps with flowering and fruiting while the Potassium helps with overall vitality. Using leaf and bark matter added to the soil can also be used as a good extra organic food.
Another thing you need to look out for when fertilizing your house plants is over-fertilizing. Over-fertilizing your Philodendron Silver Cloud can burn the roots and foliage. This then causes wilting and curling leaves, discoloured foliage, deformed foliage and possibly plant death. If you think you’ve over-fertilized your plant you can either change the soil or rinse the fertilizer out of the soil. You will notice a change in the water colour once the fertilizer has been rinsed out.
For more information on fertilizing houseplants click here.
Philodendron Silver Cloud Soil Requirements
Philodendron Silver Cloud like to be in a well draining soil that is rich in organic matter. To achieve a well draining soil, you can use orchid bark potting mix with perlite and peat moss mixed into it to help create drainage and aeration. Adding sand is another way at helping to make better drainage. Air flow is important in potting soil as it allows the plants roots to breath and not having enough oxygen to the roots can eventually cause them to start rotting.
Adding other organic materials such as coco coir, mulch chunks and coconut husk to the soil will help to restrain moisture. The plants roots will wrap around these materials and absorb the moisture. Philodendron Mamei like to be kept in moist soil so it’s important to use ingredients that will help keep moisture in the soil but not keep it soggy. Mulch chunks also hold in nutrients meaning you can hold off fertilizing as often. Adding garden compost and mulch will add more richness to the soil which Philodendron Silver Cloud love.
Diseases & Pests
Philodendron Silver Cloud tend to be quite pest resistant depending on the living environment. However, there are some common pests that you should look out for. The common pests you may encounter on your Philodendron Mamei are Spider Mites, Mealybugs, Thrips, Scale, Fungus Gnats and Aphids. The common diseases that you may encounter are Root-rot and Erwinia Blight disease. For more information on identifying and treating common houseplant pests click here.
The best thing you can do when it comes to pests on houseplants is to try and avoid any pest infestations from starting. There are a few things you can do that will assist in preventing any pest infestations and these things are:
- Checking new plants for pests or isolating new plants for up to a week.
- Check your plants every few days for pests.
- Trim off any dead or dying leaves.
- Wipe down leaves if you notice them getting dusty.
- Keeping your plants healthy. A healthy plant will be able to handle an infestation better than those that aren’t as happy.
- Isolate any plants that have pests.
Following this will assist in keeping pests away as well as catch them early on before any severe infestations are able to start. Keeping plants healthy and in the correct living environments can help to deter any pests from invading your plants.
The Philodendron Silver Cloud contains Calcium Oxalate Crystals which is toxic to both humans and pets if ingested. If any part of the plant is ingested, symptoms may include swelling of the oesophagus, GI tract and mouth. If ingested by pets, the symptoms may include vomiting, lack of appetite, drooling and pawing at the mouth.