Philodendron Verrucosum a.k.a Ecuador Philodendron
The Philodendron Verrucosum is a striking plant with velvety leaves. These heart shaped leaves are a darker green colour with light green veins attached to a fuzzy petiole (stem). This plant is a climber that is native to Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador and Peru. The Philodendron Verrucosum is a hemiepiphyte which means it starts its life out as an epiphyte, growing in the canopy of trees before eventually making contact to the soil with its roots.
This plant can be tougher than most other Philodendron varieties to grow but once you understand the plants needs, growing Philodendron Verrucosum can be easier. Coming from rainforests, it will require a high humidity and moderate watering. Below we’ll go through everything you need to know about growing Philodendron Verrucosum.
Philodendron Verrucosum Quick Overview
|Full Size||3 feet|
|Light||Bright indirect light|
The mature size of a Philodendron Verrucosum can be upwards of 3 feet in height. The leaves can also reach 3 feet in length. This plant is a climber and is seen growing/climbing up trees and other plants. If the plant doesn’t have anything to climb, their fuzzy petioles can become soft, causing the plant to wilt.
When kept in the correct living conditions, Philodendron Verrucosum can be quite fast growing. This plant should be grown up a pole or trellis to encourage large and healthy growth.
Philodendron Verrucosum will grow best when in bright indirect lighting. You should avoid any direct sunlight as the leaves can be burnt if they’re exposed to the hard sunlight for a long period of time. A sign that your Philodendron Verrucosum is not receiving enough light is if you notice the plant becoming long and leggy. This can be resolved by moving your plant to somewhere that better suits its light requirements.
If your plant is housed in a spot that receives direct sunlight, 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 Verrucosum is between 65ºF-80ºF (18ºC-26ºC). This plant will be quite fast growing when kept in high humidity and temperatures that stay above 77ºF (25ºC). Sudden drops in temperature can cause the leaves of your Philodendron Verrucosum to curl. This plant can also live in cooler temperatures as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below 40ºF (4ºC). If your plant is kept in temperatures below this for prolonged periods of time, you can expect it to develop health issues, seize growing and in severe cases, plant death.
Philodendron Verrucosum will thrive when kept in a high humidity environment kept between 60%-90%. Since this is a tropical plant, it loves humidity. Keeping plants in a spot where humidity is too low can make them more vulnerable to pests and diseases.
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.
You can expect your Philodendron Verrucosum to require moderate watering (at least once a week). Throughout the cooler months this will change as the temperature and amount of sunlight is changing. Before watering your plant you should check the top 1-2 inches of soil with your finger to feel it it’s dry. If the soil is dry, you should give your plant a drink. Yellowing leaves, drooping leaves, curling leaves and brown tips can be a sign that your Philodendron Verrucosum needs water.
When it comes to watering your indoor plants, you should be cautious of over-watering. Excess water to the soil can cause it to become waterlogged and cause the roots to start rotting. Rotting roots can no longer take up water or nutrients for the plant. This can then cause fungus issues, pest problems and root-rot. Ensuring your plants are potted in pots with adequate drainage and well draining soil can assist in avoiding these common issues. Yellowing and drooping leaves and/or leaf drop can be a sign that your Philodendron Verrucosum has been over-watered.
You should fertilise your Philodendron Verrucosum monthly during the growing period (Spring and Summer). Fertilising can be cut back during the cooler months (Winter and Autumn) when growth slows. Applying fertiliser while your plants aren’t actively growing and using the nutrients in the soil can cause salt build up and root burn. Fertilising your plants will give them the essential nutrients they need for promoting and maintaining new and healthy growth.
The best fertiliser to use for Philodendron Verrucosum would be a balanced all purpose fertiliser diluted to half strength. If you can, try and stay away from cheap fertilisers as they are often high in salts which can damage the roots. If preferred, a slow release fertiliser can be used instead of a liquid fertiliser. Slow release fertilisers don’t need to be applied as often and the plant will take the nutrients as it needs them. Slow release fertilisers should be applied as per the instructions on the packet. For more information on the different types of fertiliser for indoor plants click here.
When it comes to fertilising your houseplants, you need to be cautious of over-fertilising. Over-fertilising your Philodendron Verrucosum can burn the leaves and roots and in severe cases cause plant death. If you think you may have over-fertilised your plant, you can change the soil or rinse the fertiliser out of the soil with water. You will notice a change in the water colour once the fertiliser has been rinsed out.
For more information on fertilising houseplants click here.
Philodendron Verrucosum will grow best when planted in an airy, well draining soil. To create a well draining soil, you can use a mixture of potting mix, orchid bark, perlite, peat moss and charcoal. These ingredients help to create better drainage and aeration. Air flow is important in potting soil as it allows the plants roots to breath. Not having enough oxygen to the roots can eventually cause them to start rotting.
Organic materials like coco coir, mulch chunks or coconut husk can also be added to the soil to help restrain moisture. When it comes to potting soils, you want to use a mix that will help hold moisture without causing the soil to become soggy. Adding garden compost or worm castings to the soil will add more richness which plants love. You should also use pots that have drainage holes so the water can freely drain through and not cause the soil to become waterlogged.
For more information on the best potting soil to use for houseplants click here.
Diseases & Pests
The most common pests that you may encounter on your Philodendron Verrucosum are spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, scale, aphids, fungus gnats and whitefly. For more information on identifying and treating common houseplant pests click here. The most common disease you may encounter is root-rot.
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.
3 Essential Oils to Keep Spider Mites at Bay
Philodendron Verrucosum are 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. Plant should be kept out of reach of small children and pets.