A huge genus of flowering plants belonging to the Araceae family is called Philodendron. The genus, regardless of the number of species it contains, is the second-largest in the family Araceae, behind the genus Anthurium. The taxonomic genus Philodendron still has a lot of unrecognized species, making it poorly understood. Many are raised as houseplants and ornamental vegetation. The name comes from the Greek roots Philo-“love, affection,” and dendron, which means “tree.” The English name for this plant is frequently Philodendron, which is generic.
Features of the Philodendron plant-
There are many different sizes of philodendrons. You can choose from tiny potted varieties to enormous tree-like types, so you’re sure to find one that suits your requirements.
Habitual growth of Philodendron
Philodendrons exhibit a wide variety of growth strategies compared to other genera in the Araceae family. Epiphytic, Hemi-epiphytic or terrestrial growth patterns are also possible in rare cases. Other people might exhibit a combination of these growth patterns depending on their surroundings. Primary and secondary Hemiepiphytes are the categories into which Hemiepiphytic philodendrons can be divided. High up in the canopy, the seed first develops into a main Hemiepiphytic philodendron. As an epiphyte, the plant then develops. It will start developing aerial roots that grow toward the forest floor once it has grown to a certain size and age. When they get to the forest floor, they may get their nutrients out of the soil.
The leaves can be more or less pinnate and are typically large and imposing. They are also frequently lobed or deeply cut. In addition, they can take on many different shapes, such as oval or spear-shaped. On the stem, the leaves grow in an alternate pattern. There are different leaf types on different philodendron plants, which is one of their characteristics. Instead, they have leaves that are still juvenile and now fully grown, which might differ significantly from one another. Early on in the plant’s existence, the leaves of philodendron seedlings are often heart-shaped. However, the leaves will take on the typical juvenile leaf shape and size once they have developed past the seedling stage.
Cataphylls, modified leaves that encircle and safeguard the developing leaves, are also produced by philodendrons. Cataphylls are often stiff and green and resemble leaves when shielding a leaf. They can even be quite succulent in some species. The cataphyll typically stays connected, where the stem and base of the leaf converge once the leaf has fully developed. Cataphylls in philodendrons normally come in two varieties: persistent and deciduous. Once it has developed, deciduous cataphyll curls away from the leaf, ultimately turning brown and drying out, finally letting go of the plant, leaving a scar on the stem where it was attached. While permanent cataphylls are typical of epiphytic philodendrons or appressed climbers, deciduous cataphylls are often seen on vining philodendrons.
Both aerial and underground roots can be found in philodendrons. The plant’s majority of nodes or, sometimes, an internode serve as the origin of the aerial roots, which come in various shapes and sizes. A suitable substrate for the roots to attach themselves determines the size and quantity of aerial roots per node. There are two main uses for aerial roots. They enable the Philodendron to cling to a tree or other plant and to ingest nutrients and water. As a result, these two groups represent morphological divisions of the roots. Aerial roots that adhere to trees are typically shorter, more numerous, and occasionally covered in root hairs; in contrast, aerial roots that gather water and nutrients are typically thicker.
An extrafloral nectary can be found on some philodendrons (nectar-producing glands outside the flowers). An advantageous symbiotic relationship between the plant and the ants is fostered by the nectar’s ability to draw them. The stalks, sheaths, undersides of the leaves, and spathes are only a few parts of the plant where nectaries can be found. An incentive for ants to establish their nests among the roots of the particular Philodendron is the production of nectaries, which generate a sweet, gooey material that the insects enjoy eating. The amount of nectar that can be produced in some instances can be extremely substantial, causing the area to be completely coated with it.
How are the Philodendrons cultivated?
In mild temperatures, shady locations are ideal for growing philodendrons. They do best on soils with lots of organic matter that are wet. They can be raised in pots of soil or, like Philodendron Oxycardium, in water pots in milder regions. Indoor plants are more tolerant of low light than house plants and may survive at temperatures between 15 and 18 °C. Philodendrons thrive under low light, although they significantly prefer strong lights. You may eliminate any dust and insects by rinsing the leaves with water. A mild fertilizer solution used every other week for potted plants with strong root systems can be beneficial.
New plants can be developed using stem cuttings with at least two joints. Then, cuttings can be rooted in pots filled with a mixture of peat moss and sand. The pots are kept in greenhouses with temperatures between 21 and 24 °C. Cuttings should be kept out of direct sunlight while they are rooted. The plants can be moved to bigger pots or, in milder climes, placed outside once they have rooted. Rooting stem cuttings in water is possible, especially for trailing types. The plant can be moved into pots once the roots have formed in four to five weeks.
If flowering plants are present, it is extremely simple to hybridize philodendrons due to their lack of significant barriers to cross-pollination. [Needs citation] Philodendron hybridization can be made more challenging by some elements of cross-making. The timing of the spathe opening varies from plant to plant, and philodendrons frequently flower at various times. A large collection of these plants is required to crossbreed philodendrons because the pollen and the inflorescence have short lifespans. [Needs citation] The pollen life can be prolonged to a few weeks by keeping it in a refrigerator in film canisters. Typically, pollen is first combined with water to create artificial pollination. After that, a window is cut into the spathe, and the fertile female is covered in the water-pollen mixture.
Types of Philodendrons
There are a variety of Philodendron plants that are utilized for various purposes. The different types of Philodendrons are-
- Black Cardinal Philodendron- This stunning plant has burgundy leaves that are so dark they almost look black. The stems are equally alluring. The self-heading Black Cardinal has stems that are a deep wine-red colour rather than the typical green.
- Black Gold Philodendron (Philodendron Melanochrysum)- A dark-leaved type of Philodendron with gold specks throughout its foliage is called Black Gold. This climbing philodendron can grow up to 1.2 meters tall, and its leaves can get as long as 60 centimetres.
- Blushing Philodendron (Philodendron Erubescens)- This variety of Philodendrons stands out against neutral-coloured walls and furnishings thanks to its glossy heart-shaped green leaves and wine-coloured branches.
- Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum)- The Heartleaf Philodendron, often known as the Sweetheart Philodendron, has lovely heart-shaped leaves. Younger Heartleaf Philodendrons can display lovely bronze-hued foliage, although dark green is the most common colour.
- Philodendron ‘Bob Cee’- The Philodendron’ Bob Cee’belongs to the Philodendron genus, with deeply lobed, dark green leaves and extended stems. Even though it’s uncommon, this climber gives blogs on house interiors a tropical feel.
- Philodendron Ceylon Gold (Philodendron Erubescens)- The Ceylon Gold features paddle-shaped yellow-green leaves that are sure to enliven any indoor or outdoor location in addition to being low maintenance.
- Philodendron Brasil (Philodendron Hederaceum)- The Philodendron Brasil is a relatively low-key plant with lovely heart-shaped foliage enhanced by a white stripe in the middle. This robust type does well in soil that drains well and bright, indirect sunlight.
- Philodendron Florida Ghost (Philodendron Pedatum)- These clinging houseplants have longer stems than the typical Philodendron and can grow up to 1.2 meters tall. If you regularly prune and trim them, they do well in pots.
- Philodendron Grazielae- With its distinctive-looking foliage—plump, heart-shaped leaves adorning green tubular stems to create a thick and incredibly verdant houseplant—this climbing variety has captured attention.
- Philodendron Martianum- The fronds of the Philodendron Martianum have a remarkable shiny appearance. This species is a self-header through and through; it is not a lax climber and requires no structural support to stand upright.
- Philodendron Mayoi- The multilobed foliage of this plant strongly mimics the fronds of palm trees. This particular Philodendron stands out from the others in terms of appearance.
- Philodendron Melanoneuron- It will look wonderful as an ornamental because of its size and rounded green leaves.
- Philodendron Micans (Philodendron Hederaceum)- The Philodendron Micans, also called the Velvet Leaf Philodendron, is a diminutive Philodendron that can reach a length of 60 cm. The Philodendron Micans has velvety-textured brownish foliage instead of the glossy green leaves in most Philodendron varieties.
- Philodendron Pink Princess- The Philodendron Pink Princess is a treasured flower with a one-of-a-kind colour and an eye-popping price tag. She is unlike any other Philodendron, or plant, for that matter. We’re referring to bubblegum pink swaths that adorn nearly black-coloured green leaves.
- Philodendron Prince Albert- The Prince Albert Philodendron has shorter and wider leaves. Another key characteristic of Prince Albert is its leaf colour, deep green with a white to pale green vein running through it.
- Philodendron Prince of Orange- In contrast to the leaf vein of Prince Albert, the centre vein of each Prince of Orange leaf is a different shade of red or orange.
- Philodendron Silver Sword (Philodendron Hastatum)- The Silver Sword’s leaves are at their silveriest when the plant is young. As the Philodendron ages, you’ll notice that the leaves become more arrowhead-shaped and greener in colour.
- Philodendron Thai Sunrise- The distinctive yellow stems and paddle-shaped leaves of this low-maintenance Philodendron are its main selling points.
- Philodendron White Knight- White Knights, are not only fast-growing climbers with broad leaves but also have startling white splotches and gorgeously variegated wine-red stems.
- Philodendron White Princess- A White Princess features bright green stems and slender, variegated leaves. The White Princess’ leaves have white splotches all over them, giving them a painted appearance.
- Philodendron White Wave (Philodendron Birkin)- Its ability to change its variety only adds to its allure. The chance to change the colour of its foliage arises every so often.
- Philodendron White Wizard- The plant’s distinguishing characteristics include rapid growth and enormous, white-and-green variegated leaves attached to green stems. Compared to the White Knight, this vine grows quicker and has larger leaves.
- Philodendron Winterbourn (Philodendron Xanadu)- It has multiple aliases. The Philodendron Winterbourne is more commonly referred to as Philodendron Xanadu in Australia than it is as Thaumatophyllum Xanadu in some nurseries.
- Tree Philodendron (Philodendron Selloum)- The Tree Philodendron is remarkably low maintenance despite its dramatic form and stunning beauty. Give bright, indirect sunshine, regulated temperature, and humidity for lush, healthy philodendrons.
- Velvet Philodendron (Philodendron Gloriosum)- The leaves of this soft houseplant, the Velvet Philodendron, have a rich, velvety texture, thus its name. Each leaf has a distinct heart-shaped shape, which is made even more attractive by the contrast of the white lines that radiate from the heart of the leaf.
Uses of Philodendron
- Trigona bees utilize the resins produced by the flowering plants Monstera and Philodendron to build their nests. Indigenous folks from South America utilize the bees’ nest resin to seal the air and water out of their blowguns.
- The natives of South America consume the berries of some species of Philodendron, and the leaves of some species contain calcium oxalate crystals. As an illustration, Philodendron Bipinnatifidum’s sweet, white berries are employed. In addition, this particular species also make use of aerial roots for rope.
- The leaves and stems of an unidentified philodendron species are utilized in a specific formula for curare developed by the Amazonian Taiwanos. The bark of Vochysia Ferruginea and a few sections of a species in the genus Strychnos are combined with the leaves and stems.
- Some philodendrons are employed in ritualistic activities. Philodendron insigne is a plant used by witch doctors to treat sick people in the Kubeo tribe of Colombia. Because many of these tribes consider red a symbol of strength, they use the spathe juice to dye their hands crimson.
- Fish is caught by using the Philodendrons. Philodendron Craspedodromum is a plant used by a tribe in the Colombian Amazon to poison the water. This momentarily knocks out the fish, which then float to the top of the water, where they can be easily scooped up.
Unknown factors underlie how being around and experiencing plants has a positive psychological impact on humans. Caring for the plant is psychologically rewarding and increases one’s capacity for compassion and stress management.
Philodendrons quickly pay back good care because they grow quickly. With fresh leaves and shoots to keep track of, you can watch them develop before your very eyes. There are enormous mental advantages to observing the results of your attentive attention!