Simply because of its bright green leaves and vehemently soft touch, Philodendron Deflexum is a must-have for my space. It requires little maintenance to grow and is usually repellent to pests.
Apart from its gentle touch and vibrant appearance, this plant is also great for the environment as it eliminates trichloroethylene, xylene, benzene, and ammonia from the environment.
Formerly known as Philodendron megalophyllum, Philodendron Deflexum is an epiphytic plant that grows over trees and gains nourishment from the host plant.
This plant is known to have extremely large leaves with prominent veins and midrib.
Philodendron Deflexum comes under the family Araceae, one of the largest flowering plants genre.
The philodendron category has a great number of species, each with its own set of beautiful colors in shaded flowers.
These plants belong to the regions of tropical America, which is home to about 450 species of this plant. However, a few species are found in Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia as well.
You have found the right place if you are a plant enthusiast and want to start your planting journey.
In this article, we are going to explore the basic necessities required to grow this plant, the diseases it may get affected by, and also a number of ways to treat your plant and get it all blooming again.
Philodendron Deflexum Plant Care
Philodendron Deflexum needs to be provided with well-draining soil that has a pH level of 5-7. Keep this plant under partial shade and sun. Keep the temperatures around your Philodendron Deflexum between 70ᵒF to 80ᵒF (21.1ᵒC – 26.6ᵒC). Water it thrice weekly during the summer and once weekly in the winter season. Humidity should be at 70% or higher for ideal conditions but it will tolerate lower humidity levels.
When choosing the best soil for your Philodendron Deflexum, the regular potting mix is not at all a wise option. Find the potting mix in which the content of organic matter is high.
If you cannot find a rich potting mix, combine the regular potting mix with sphagnum peat moss. After that, the soil can be used for the growth of this exquisite plant.
It is best to have soil that is abundant in nutrients and contains coconut fibers. The soil mix should have a significant potential for permeability so that the water can reach the roots in little time.
Moreover, it should also be kept in mind that the Philodendron can tolerate an acidic to neutral pH; therefore, it is best to maintain the pH between 5-7.
Always remember that in watering your Philodendron Deflexum, you should never use cold water.
Using cold water on the soil of this plant will eventually give your plant a temperature shock as it is not accustomed to cold temperatures.
Therefore, always use lukewarm water and see to it that you gradually pour the water in the soil from all sides and also water the leaves too.
Do not water the plant from only one side as the roots are very delicate and may break due to the sudden water pressure.
Philodendron Deflexum needs partial sun and partial shade; therefore, it is recommended to plant them indoors.
If that is not a convenient option, growing them outdoors in a container should serve the same purpose by restricting the direct sunlight. However, if careful monitoring is not done outdoors, the leaves will burn and shrink in no time.
If the direct sunlight is given for a long time, you may witness crisp brown leaves and wilting.
However, on the other side, if you don’t expose your plant to the right amount of light, you will witness stunted growth and discolored foliage.
The Philodendron Deflexum does not require extremely cold or hot temperatures to ensure the best growth. This plant can tolerate a temperature between 70-degree Fahrenheit to 80-degree Fahrenheit (21.1 degrees Celsius – 26.6 degrees Celsius) during the daytime.
However, as the temperature decreases after sunset, it will do great at temperatures above 55-degree Fahrenheit (12.5 degrees Celsius).
For optimum growth of this plant, you need to provide adequate humidity above 70%, especially when it is cold and you are using heaters inside your house.
To achieve maximum humidity inside your house for this plant, you can use a pebble tray.
The pebble tray constantly works to develop humid conditions for your plant. It is basically a tray consisting of pebbles at the bottom and filled with water.
You can place your pot inside the tray in the months of winter so that the evaporation of water in the pebble tray gives the much-needed moisture to the plant.
Using fertilizer regularly is essential for the proper growth of this plant, as it has a great contribution to keeping your plant healthy and free from insects. You can use a 20-20-20 fertilizer available in liquid form and use it once a week.
Make sure that you cover the soil with the fertilizer nicely. Moreover, you can also spray it on the leaves.
The use of fertilizer will help the large-size plant maintain strength, stand erect, and prevent drooping.
You can repot your plant in a large pot once the roots are big enough and overflowing from the current pot.
After gently grabbing the deep roots with the help of your hands, take them out and quickly settle in the larger pot.
Ensure all the roots are intact, and no root is left behind in shifting, as it will be of no use afterward.
Make sure that you do not fertilize the plant for two weeks after repotting, as it helps the plant gain strength in its new pot.
The easiest method to propagate your Philodendron Deflexum is by using stem cuttings. Plant your stem from the original plant in a plastic cup and cover it with plastic wrap.
Keep this cutting well-fed in terms of water and sun exposure so that it can start building its roots deep inside the soil. The soil that you are using should also be enriched with organic matter.
Never expose your stem cutting directly to the bright light of the sun; it will wilt and fail to be rooted successfully.
Always make sure that the plant is under indirect sunlight, either protected by curtains or windows.
Since this plant has humongous leaves, you need to make sure that they are not drooping.
Therefore, to ensure that the plant grows erect after it has been rooted, put a few wooden sticks in the cup and tie them with the growing stem of the plant so that your houseplant maintains its shape.
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Common Problems for Philodendron Deflexum
Lack of Air Circulation
Your Philodendron can very quickly go into a state of oxygen deficit when the soil is constantly wet, and you are overwatering your plant.
To ensure this does not happen, make up a schedule for watering your plant every two days to ensure sufficient air circulation.
Curled Edges of the Leaves
This is one of the most common issues you will hear about Philodendron and happens when you fertilize your plant very often.
The excess of nutrients causes the tips of the leaves to curl and wilt, giving it an unpleasant appearance.
Simply reduce the frequency of fertilizing and start misting the leaves more frequently to tackle this issue.
Also known commonly as temperature shock, this problem is a common occurrence when you relocate your plant to some other destination.
As the temperature and humidity levels are different in this new environment, your plant may have a hard time adjusting to it.
However, there is nothing to worry about as the plant will slowly adapt to its new surrounding, and soon after, growth will initiate.
Another common issue found in Philodendron Deflexum is the rotting of roots. Species that have stayed in waterlogged soil for a long time are very commonly seen as the victim of rotten roots.
Their growth is highly stunted, and then they start to develop yellow leaves instead of bright green.
To solve this problem, you will need to take the plant out of its pot and check for wetness in the soil. If you’re not that confident, get an expert to do it for you.
As the name suggests, Sunscald refers to the impact strong sunlight has on the leaves.
These extreme and almost intolerable rays of sunlight turn the leaves into brown and white leaves with crispy edges, prone to fall off.
To tackle this issue, simply place the container where the leaves can have exposure to an eastern side or a northern side.
Frequently Asked Questions About Philodendron Deflexum
Can I grow Philodendron indoors?
Philodendrons grow well when placed inside your house. They are low maintenance, require little sunlight, and give a welcoming feel to your home.
Should I mist my Philodendron Deflexum?
While your plant may survive under lower humidity levels, it is the best choice to mist your plant daily or once every two days to encourage bright foliage and promote blooming.
Where should I keep my Philodendron Deflexum?
Your Philodendron will not be able to survive in direct sunlight as it can make large holes in the leaves and result in color loss. Moreover, putting your plant under the bright light of the sun can burn your leaves completely, giving the plant an overall unpleasant appearance.
Should I use coffee grounds on my plant?
You can surely use coffee grounds on your plant to promote rapid growth. There are two ways to use the coffee grounds; the first is to mix them in the potting soil at the time of propagation. The second way is to make a solution of water and coffee grounds and simply water your plant.
The leaves of my plant have become extremely yellow; what should I do?
Discoloration of the leaves can happen due to a number of reasons, such as inaccurate light exposure, little watering, or excess fertilizer. Therefore, it is essential to diagnose what is causing your plant leaves to be yellow. Once it is done, proper measures should be taken to bring the plant back to a sustainable state.
How frequently should I fertilize my Philodendron Deflexum?
Since this plant naturally has a good potential to grow, fertilizing frequently will not be a good call. However, if you find your plant’s growth stunned, you can start using a half-strength fertilizer once a month. Make sure that you don’t increase the frequency more than this, and try to find other causes of the stunted growth of your plant.
How do I diagnose whether my plant is over-watered or under-watered?
The best way to determine whether your plant is underwatered or over-watered is by checking the texture of leaves. If the leaves are hard and crispy to touch and even break in crumbs, it is because your plant is malnourished and needs more water and proper care. However, if the leaves are soft and lumpy, they must be having extra water inside. To tackle that, minimize the frequency of watering and ensure proper shaded light.
Should I cut my Philodendron Deflexum’s yellow leaves?
Pruning the unwanted leaves can be an easy way to eliminate discoloration and prevent the further spread of yellow leaves.
Is this plant safe for pets?
Not at all; this plant is as harmful consumption for pets as it is for humans. Therefore, it is the best practice to keep them away from pets.
Can the brown leaves turn green again if I ensure proper care?
While you may be able to stop the browning of leaves if you ensure the right humidity levels, you will still not be able to make that particular leaf green again. Hence, you can simply get rid of the leaf and provide good humidity to the plant.
With good care and a little time, Philodendron Deflexum can be an excellent addition to your planting area.
Not only does it look great with its vivid colors, but it also purifies the air around you.
It does not require extensive maintenance, so you will never be too tired looking after your favorite plant.
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Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.