The Philodendron family has over 400 species as indoor houseplants and outdoor container plants in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors.
There’s a famous saying that Philodendrons are the easiest to grow and the hardest to kill, which makes them a must-have for every gardening enthusiast.
If you are also looking for a Philodendron for your indoor garden, keep reading because in this article we are discussing the famous Philodendron Brandtianum.
Philodendron Brandtianum plant is very easy to grow and ideal for the warm, non-freezing climates.
Plant in a well-draining potting mix and maintain a steady water supply. But always allow the soil to dry before the next watering.
Philodendron Brandtianum also known as the Silver Leaf Philodendron, is a unique tropical plant with olive green leaves. The broad heart-shaped leaves have prominent silver or grayish-white patches that give this plant its name Silver-leaf.
Another common name for this variety is Brandi Philodendron.
The most interesting fact is this plant can grow in multiple forms, i.e., as an epiphyte, a hemiepiphyte, or even a terrestrial plant. But growth rate and leaf color will vary greatly depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature.
This plant is part of the Araceae plant family. It is a climbing and cascading plant native to Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and parts of Colombia.
This article presents a complete guide to help you understand all the necessary care and growing instruction for a Philodendron Brandtianum.
According to the University of Florida, even NASA has listed Philodendron as an air-cleaning plant that removes formaldehyde, a chemical found in floor coverings, pressed wood, and insulations.
This fast-growing climber is an ideal houseplant for indoor places with limited space and makes a great hanging basket or terrarium plant.
- 1 Basic plant care for Pilodendron Brandtianum
- 2 Common Problems for Philodendron Brandtianum
- 3 Extra Tips for Growing Philodendron Brandtianum
- 4 Building climbing support for Philodendron Brandtianum
- 5 Frequently asked questions about Philodendron Brandtianum
- 6 Conclusion
Basic plant care for Pilodendron Brandtianum
Philodendron Brandtianum is one of the most easy-to-care plants and a perfect choice for beginner Philodendron admirers.
The Philodendron Brandtianum plant will not only decorate the indoor space in your home but also serves as an air purifier by eliminating pollutants from indoor air.
Philodendron Brandtianum should always be planted in a fertile and well-drained potting mixture. The container or pot must have drainage holes at the bottom. You can improve soil quality with compost or well-composted manure before planting.
Keep the potting soil consistently moist in the growing season. The potting soil pH should be ranging between 6.1 to 7.3. They are mostly grown as indoor plants, but USDA plant hardiness zones 9b-11 is suitable for outdoor cultivation. Try to avoid wet, mucky, dry, or sandy soils.
This Philodendron does best in loose, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. You can also grow it in 100% sphagnum peat moss. Soilless mixtures such as peat-vermiculite or peat-perlite are also satisfactory for this plant.
Philodendron Brandtianum belongs to a mesic habitat, i.e., it receives a moderate or well-balanced supply of water. You should create a similar environment for your indoor plant also.
This plant needs regular watering; you can water when the top 2″ -3″ of the soil are dry. In summer, you need to water about three times a week. But in winter or cold days, you can reduce the frequency of watering to only once a week.
Water the Philodendron Brandi plant deeply, but allow the top of the soil to become moderately dry before the next watering. Philodendrons are tough plants, so they will not be bothered if you forget to water your plant once or twice.
If your plant has droopy and curly leaves, it is receiving insufficient water supply.
As epiphytic plants with aerial roots, it is sensitive to overwatering. Do not let the Philodendron Brandtianum plant sit in water for too long. When you water it, avoid wetting the leaves because the moisture sitting on leaves will help the bacteria to grow and spread.
Several growers complained that Philodendron Brandtianum has proven to drop its leaves if overwatered, especially during the winter months.
But it does enjoy damp and humid conditions during the hot growing season. So I’ll suggest you should cut back on watering from November through March.
The Philodendron Brandtianum plant needs bright indirect sunlight exposure. This plant grows well in the majority of light levels but is happiest in medium or filtered sunlight. For growing it outdoors, you can place it under 20-40% shade cloth.
Partially shaded outdoor areas also work well but protect the plant from long sunlight exposure at peak hours because intense sunlight will damage the leaves.
You can choose a north or east-facing window for your Philodendron Brandtianum plant. But the window should not be blocked by any external obstacles like huge buildings or trees.
This plant can easily tolerate low to high lighting levels as long as the light is indirect. But if you want your plant to grow faster and healthier, keep it in bright indirect light.
A location with a filtered light is best suited for this species. If leaves are yellowing, adjust the location of your plant slightly to try and find the perfect exposure.
Place the Philodendron Brandtianum plant in a warm area with temperatures ranging between 10-35 degrees Celsius (50 – 95 o F).
You can move this plant outdoors during summer; but, be sure to bring it indoors before frost begins. In cold months, move the plant to a warmer location.
Avoid any harsh or drying conditions by not placing your plant near air conditioners, radiators or vents.
Do not let the temperature go below 15 degrees Celsius.
This species is not very winter hardy, particularly in colder zones. It can survive a very light frost and returns to normal in spring.
Basically, during the day, the optimum temperature is from 20 – 25 degrees Celsius (68-77 o F), and during the night, the minimum temperature should be above 12 degrees Celsius (55 o F).
The Philodendron Brandtianum will love above-average humidity levels. High humidity will increase the growth rate and help the plant have larger foliage. The indoor humidity level should be kept between 50-60%.
If the atmosphere is dry, you can raise the humidity levels by misting the leaves or by using a pebble tray. Mist the plant occasionally but always ensure good aeration to protect the plant from fungus or leaf-rot.
This houseplant species really benefits from a good fertilizer supply; unfertilized Philodendron Brandtianum will tend to grow very slowly. Feed the plant with a general-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength.
In the growing season, i.e., spring and summer, you can feed the mature plant with a houseplant fertilizer once a month. The plant will not need much fertilization in winter.
To help your young Brandtianum plant grow, fertilize it sparingly, tri-annually, with a slow-release 15-5-10 fertilizer.
Always use a good quality fertilizer because heavy salts in cheap fertilizers will damage the roots and possibly kill the plant.
Philodendron Brandtianum plant has a compact-growth habit and will develop leaves close to each other while trailing or climbing. You can prune the plant once or twice in the year. Remove dead and damaged leaves from the lower part of the plant to maintain the beauty as well as enhance the plant growth.
Philodendron Brandtianum Propagation
Another reason for Philodendron Brandtianums’ popularity is their ease of propagation.
The most common methods used for propagating the Silver-Leaf Philodendron are air-layering and herbaceous stem cuttings.
Remember that you should take the cuttings for propagation in the growing season.
Stem cuttings in water
The age-old method of rooting vines or soft-stem plants in water is still an excellent way to propagate many kinds of plants. Philodendron species are one of the houseplants that can grow well in water permanently.
- Fill a clean jar or container with tap water, leave 1 inch of space near the rim of the container. Let the water settle overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate.
- Take a 6-inch long stem from a healthy philodendron Brandtianum plant. Cut the stem just below the nodes using a pair of scissors, sharp knife, or gardening clippers.
- Cut off two or three sets of leaves, leaving at least two leaf nodes on the stem bare.
- Place the leafless end-nodes of the cutting in water. Make sure the upper leaves are above the top of the container, and the bare leaf nodes are in the water.
- To promote fast root growth, keep the cutting in a bright but not sunny location where the temperature ranges are 70 to 75 o F during the day and 55 to 60 o F at night.
- Regularly replace the water in the container every three days, but always let the water sit overnight before using it.
- The stem will begin to form roots in about ten days to three weeks. Now you can plant your cutting in potting soil or continue growing it in water.
- This method requires cutting the stem, wrapping a medium around the cutting and waiting for roots to start growing.
- Choose a healthy stem and make a cut upward toward the node. The cut should be 1 to 1.5 inches below the node.
- Wrap a damp handful of sphagnum moss around the cutting. Secure the moss using a plastic wrap or first-aid tape.
- Roots will appear within three to four weeks. Now you can plant the cutting in potting soil and follow the care guidelines discussed above.
This plant can be placed in hanging baskets, terrariums, and terrestrial pots, so choose a container based on your growing preference. Repot it if the plant looks crowded and cramped in its pot.
Being root-bound slows down the growth of Philodendron Brandtianum. If this happens with your plant, check the root system, and repot to a larger pot.
Generally, you can repot a Philodendron Brandtianum plant every 2-3 years.
But keep in mind, the looser you keep the roots of Philodendron Brandtianum, the taller and healthier your plant will be.
Philodendron species undergo several stages of morphogenesis as they mature and often change their physical appearance.
The leaves of a young Philodendron Brandtianum plant appear vibrant due to the orange hues which blend with tones of dark-green and olive.
This tropical, perennial climbing vine is bushier compared to other Philodendrons.
It is important to note that plant height and the leaf size vary depending on the environment and growing conditions.
A mature indoor vine normally grows to a height of 4 to 5 feet. In outdoor settings, they can get much taller. The length of an average leaf is approximately 4 to 7 inches, whereas a mature leaf can be up to 12 inches long.
Before planting outdoors, you should accustom the Philodendron Brandtianum to its environment by keeping it outdoors and gradually bringing it into a sunny area over a week or two to avoid transplant stress.
Common Problems for Philodendron Brandtianum
New houseplants can bring diseases or viruses with them. You can easily disinfect your new plant with a homemade cleaning solution. Prepare a mixture of water with mild dish soap. Add a few drops of orange or eucalyptus essential oil to this solution.
Use a spray bottle and apply this cleaning solution to the leaf and stem surfaces without saturating the soil.
You can use a sponge moistened in the cleaning solution to gently wipe the top and lower leaf surfaces. You can include this step in your regular plant care to prevent diseases and pests.
Isolate your infected plant from other plants and cut off the brown or yellow leaves with a pair of scissors that should be disinfected between each cutting. Some of the problems for Philodendron Brandtianum are discussed below:
Tip curl- If the leaves curl downwards before turning brown, your plant is suffering from tip curl, which is caused by over-fertilizing. You should reduce the fertilization rate and leach the soil.
Water the plant thoroughly under the shower or in the sink to remove the excess fertilizer. You will have to repot if excessive slow-release fertilizer was applied.
Leaf spot- This occurs when the leaves have large reddish-brown spots that are irregularly shaped with yellow centers. Remove the damaged leaves and avoid overhead watering.
Drain away any excess water that collects in the saucer or tray because plants sitting in water are highly prone to root rot and leaf spot diseases.
Spider mites- The Philodendron Brandtianum can be easily infested by spider mites; they are located on the axils and leaf borders. They will show up when you water or disturb the plant. Wipe the leaves with a soapy water mixture using a soft cloth.
Mealybugs- They thrive in warm areas on the majority of houseplants. Heavy infestations will hinder plant growth and cause leaf drop. Mealybugs appear as tiny, soft-bodied insects surrounded by fuzzy, white stuff around the stems and leaf nodes; they suck the sap from plant phloem. You can eliminate them with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol solution of 70% or less in water. Dab it directly on mealybugs with a cotton swab.
Brown leaves on Philodendron Brandtianum
underwatering – Philodendrons need a stable supply of water in order to remain healthy. Always keep the soil a little bit damp. If you are watering the plant less frequently or watering too little, this could be the cause for the browning of the leaves. When you water the Philodendron Brandtianum plant, water it thoroughly until water drains out of the drainage holes.
Overwatering – Excessive watering can cause brown leaves, too. Philodendrons Brandtianum needs regular watering, but they don’t like to sit in soggy or overly wet soil. You can prevent overwatering by ensuring the pot has plenty of drainage, and that water can easily flow out of the drainage holes while watering.
Light – When you place your Philodendron Brandtianum plant in a window or outdoors where it is exposed to direct light, the leaves can turn yellow and even experience sunburn. Philodendrons, however, also struggle with too little light. They may start to yellow, especially in winter or in a darker room. In this case, the plant will improve by being placed close to a window or a brighter location in your home.
Save a dying Philodendron Brandtianum
If your Philodendron plant has a large number of yellowing leaves, dead stems, and the leaves are falling off, you should immediately perform a dry plant resuscitation procedure on it. This procedure will give your plant a fresh start.
Set up the plant in a water-filled sink or basin for few hours so the soil can fully absorb water. If the water floods from the drainage holes, it’s a sign that the soil is so dry that the drastic pot-submerging method is necessary.
Now cut off the yellow leaves from your Philodendron and use a liquid fertilizer to encourage foliage growth. Keep the potting soil slightly moist but not wet and closely monitor your plant for the next few days if it needs any additional care.
Extra Tips for Growing Philodendron Brandtianum
- Always apply the fertilizer 6 inches away from the base of the plant.
- Houseplants placed under direct sunlight can burn; add sheer curtains to the window to diffuse the sunlight.
- Brown leaf tips usually indicate that the humidity level is too low. Mist your Philodendron regularly to solve this issue
Building climbing support for Philodendron Brandtianum
Philodendron Brandtianum is famous as a hanging plant, but it can also be trained as a climbing plant. Climbing philodendrons with aerial roots require a different type of trellis than most other houseplants.
You should give your plant rough and damp support, instead of stakes or latticework. Most gardeners recommend sphagnum moss poles for this purpose.
You can either buy such poles or create your own. Below are two methods to make your own sphagnum moss pole. Wear gloves to protect your hands from any sharp wires or fungus in the sphagnum moss.
- To build a moss-stuffed pole, roll up some hardware cloth to form a cylinder. Copper mesh is the best material since its rust-proof. You can select the size based on how tall you want the plant to grow. Tie the sides of the cylinder with copper wire and tightly stuff it with damp sphagnum moss. You don’t have to fill the part that goes below the soil level.
- To construct a moss-covered pole, take a piece of PVC pipe. Tape a piece of fishing line or copper wire to one the end and wrap pieces of sphagnum moss around the pipe. Now tightly secure the moss in place by winding copper wire around it.
Insert the support in the center of the pot.
Plant the Philodendron Brandtianum around the pole and tie some of the vines to the pole using gardening twine or tape. You should mist the sphagnum moss frequently to keep it damp.
Frequently asked questions about Philodendron Brandtianum
Is Philodendron Brandtianum toxic?
Yes, they contain large amounts of calcium oxalate crystals, so all parts of the Philodendron plant are toxic and lead to allergies. When swallowed, it can cause irritation and burning of the mouth. It can also cause difficulty swallowing, drooling, and vomiting. Always keep the plant away from children and pets.
Which plants complement Philodendrons?
Pothos, Red Aglaonema, and Norfolk Island Pine are some of the plant varieties that grow well with Phildendrons and complement each other.
My Philodendron plant is not thriving despite getting good light, water, and feeding every two weeks, what’s wrong?
You might be overfeeding your plant. Over-fertilizing will disturb the soil pH impacting the growth. You can add dolomitic lime to break down the fertilizer in the soil. Allow the soil to dry between waterings.
What are the dark dead areas on the Philodendron Brandtianum?
They indicate a fungal infection. You can apply wettable sulfur to the soil to remove dead growth. Spray the foliage with neem oil, this will hopefully kill the infection, and your plant will get back normal soon.
Philodendrons are classic, no-fail houseplants because they are so easy to grow. Philodendron Brantianum will easily fit in an apartment garden, greenhouse, or tropical landscape.
Philodendron Brandtianum is a fast-growing, low-maintenance, and bushy cascading vine plant. It is a very healthy tropical plant with a well-established root system and renowned for the ability to thrive in low or artificial light.