Any Philodendron is an attractive addition to your home, living room, patio, or garden. Today’s plant ‘Philodendron Furcatum’ is a perfect example of the global popularity of Philodendrons.
You can plant this exotic beauty outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 11-13. Indoors, plant it in a peat-based mixture and water every two or three days to maintain a steady moisture supply. The air moisture level should be 85% or above.
It has rare tropical leaves with veins, coloration, and lobes. This herbaceous evergreen grows natively in Columbia and Ecuador, South America.
The full name for this plant is Philodendron Furcatum Croat & D.C. Bay.
This is considered a high maintenance houseplant because creating an optimal environment for this plant is not an easy task.
For this reason, it is a special Philodendron that is rarely sold in nurseries. This Philodendron is not recommended for new gardeners.
Philodendron Furcatum definitely deserves a spot in your house with its striking leaves. This is a corrugated Philodendron with a high risk of crisp, so it’s only for someone who will be highly committed.
Philodendron Furcatum Care
To grow your Philodendron Furcatum beautifully, plant it in well-draining soil. Avoid placing it in brightly lit areas as this variety isn’t heat tolerant. Make sure to water it 2-3 times daily while maintaining temperatures below 86 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity above 85%. Fertilize twice monthly during spring and summer.
Potted and in-ground Philodendrons should be planted in a well-drained substrate that is full of organic matter.
Using a well-draining soil mixture will also ensure the soil is not compacted with each watering session.
Generally, Philodendrons can grow in sphagnum moss only. But a peat-based mixture with vermiculite and perlite is also suitable for this variety.
Soil for this plant should retain moisture because it requires a moist growing medium.
If you are using a soilless mixture, you need to increase the fertilization. This is because the soilless mixture does not have any nutrients in it.
Plant collectors have found this Philodendron growing near stream banks of forests. Which means it likes growing in moist conditions.
Therefore as a houseplant, this plant needs a lot of water. Young plants with growing roots should be watered every 2nd or 3rd day.
This plant is sensitive about water quality, so feed with water that contains soluble calcium.
To help it survive during a heatwave, water it 2-3 times per day.
But only a well-rooted plant can handle such watering frequency. Otherwise, it will fall prey to a root rot infection.
Grow the Philodendron Furcatum under partial shade for the best leaf size, color, and structure.
Indoors also you can cultivate it in low light areas.
Unlike other tropical houseplants, this one needs lower temperatures. It does not tolerate heat for a long time, so keep in temperatures lower than 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
This plant will thrive if you create a cold atmosphere for it at night. You can keep a fan near this plant, but you might have to water more often because it does not like growing in a dry environment.
This is a difficult houseplant, mainly because of the high humidity demand. You will need to maintain air humidity levels of 85% or higher.
The best place to grow this plant will be an indoor greenhouse. You might need a humidifier in the greenhouse to keep this plant happy.
This is an easy-to-please houseplant in terms of feeding because it is not a heavy feeder. But feeding it in growing months can give it some extra strength to handle stress.
It’s best to fertilize it twice a month in spring and summer. Do not add anything during winter and fall.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the fertilizer type you are using.
If your finicky friend is outgrowing its home, you can transfer it to a new pot. This should be done only if necessary as this plant does like to be disturbed.
Before repotting, you can water your Philodendron Furcatum a day before to reduce transplant stress. However, watering it on the day of repotting will make the overall task difficult.
Remove the root ball and plant from the pot by tapping it on the sides and bottom.
Repotting is the perfect way to keep the root system in check, and it helps prevent root rot.
Closely examine the root ball for any signs of root rot.
Usually, mushy, dark roots represent rot damage. Trim these. You should also separate the roots gently to encourage new growth.
The newly repotted plant should be watered until the water starts pouring out from the drainage hole.
If your Philodendron grows under the right conditions, you can repot it every two or three years. You can read our detailed guide about repotting houseplants.
Pruning is performed to eliminate stunted, yellow, deformed, or dead foliage on this Philodendron. Make sure you do not damage any healthy leaves while pruning.
You can also remove bruised leaves that make your plant look unpleasant. Pruning close to a leaf node means your plant will soon have new growth.
Propagating this Philodendron at the wrong time can result in a failed cutting. You have to propagate it in spring.
Avoid propagation in winter or fall because the cuttings will root slowly or not root at all. The size of the cutting also matters.
Small cuttings do not have enough energy and nutrients stored to force new growth.
Take cuttings from a mature plant and make the cut around the leaf node.
Now sprinkle some rooting hormone on the amount on the mother plant, and the cutting helps them heal and root formation.
The cutting should be 4-6inches in length. Mature growth has more chances of rooting, so avoid taking cuttings from new growth.
Ensure your cutting has at least 1 healthy leaf attached.
Now create a peat-based propagation mixture to plant the cutting.
Dry soil and harsh sun exposure create an overall dry atmosphere which is not recommended for the mature or young Philodendron Furcatum.
You have to maintain moist soil during the first few weeks to help the cutting root faster.
You can also wrap the cutting in a transparent plastic bag to lock the moisture around it.
Put holes on the bag for air circulation. Until the plant’s root system has established, the leaves will help the cutting in absorbing moisture.
There is no significant information about blooms of this species, and it’s famous for its unusual patterned leaves.
If you maintain optimum growing conditions, this Philodendron will reach a height of 6.5-9.8 ft (2-3 m). It can also spread up to 3 ft.
It has gorgeous pale green, unribbed leaves. The leaf blades are bicolored and have lobes.
It has forked veins, which gives it the name ‘Furcatum’. The leaves have a glittery finish and are semi-quilted.
The stems will expand in a climbing pattern, so they are classified as scandent stems. Each leaf has a triangular or heart shape will light-colored veins.
The underside of the leaves is paler compared to the upper side.
The petioles on this species are smooth compared to other Philodendrons. This is a slow-growing creeper, so it is suitable for growers with limited space.
Common Problems for Philodendron Furcatum
Yellow leaves on Philodendron Furcatum are caused by the following reasons:
- Not letting the potting mixture dry out in between watering
- Using cold or chlorinated water
- Lack of adequate sunlight or placing the plant in a dark location
- Lack of fertilizer
The first step is to trim the yellowing leaves. This will focus the nutrients on new green growth. Now inspect the above four issues one by one.
If your soil remains soggy for too long, replace it with a well-draining soil mixture. Only water the Philodendron when 1/3rd of the soil has dried out.
Always use lukewarm or room temperature water. Make sure you leave the water overnight to remove the chlorine.
This Philodendron needs a partially shaded spot, so position it in a place with a combination of light and shade.
Fertilize the soil every 2-3 months in the growing seasons. This eliminates any nutrient deficiencies within the potting soil.
We have published a detailed guide about yellow leaves on houseplants. Read on it so you’ll find out the reasons behind yellowing foliage.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
If your Philodendron develops colorless spots on the leaf edges that eventually turn brownish-red, it is infected with a bacterial leaf spot. These spots also have yellow halos.
This spotting is caused by a pathogen named Xanthomonas campestris pv. dieffenbachiae. Bacterial leaf spotting usually spreads via newly bought plants, so always buy disease-free houseplants from reliable sellers.
Once infected, overhead watering encourages the growth of this bacteria. So water your plant at the base. You should also prune infected leaves.
Make sure everything is sanitized after pruning to avoid spreading the bacterial leaf spot to other plants.
Philodendron Furcatum commonly struggles with two pests, spider mites, and mealybugs. They feed on plant cells and, if left untreated, can severely damage the foliage.
To prevent any pest infestation, keep the foliage clean and free from dust. You can also spray your plants with neem oil on a regular basis.
To treat an infected plant, isolate and prune the damaged foliage. Wash both sides of the leaves with strong water streams to dislodge any mites or mealy bugs roaming on the leaves.
Create a spray using rubbing alcohol or dish soap and apply it to the foliage. Repeat the application for several weeks until you are sure that your Philodendron is pest-free.
If your plant is heavily infected, you will have to throw it away; otherwise, it can infect other healthy plants in your garden or indoor collection.
Tips for Growing Philodendron Furcatum
- This Philodendron is not heat-tolerant, so avoid growing it in high temperatures.
- This plant hates frequent changes in temperature, location, or watering habits. Maintain a consistent care schedule to help it acclimate.
- The soil medium should not only drain freely but also ensure airflow around the roots. After all, the roots also need oxygen to breathe.
- If your newly bought Philodendron Furcatum is losing lower leaves and has stunted growth, do not panic. This means the plant is dealing with transplant shock. It will take some time for recovery, during this period, maintain optimum growing conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions about Philodendron Furcatum Care
What happens if you grow Philodendron Furcatum in high temperatures?
Apart from poor growth, high temperature and a dry atmosphere make your plant vulnerable to leaf shedding and mite infestation.
Is Philodendron Furcatum poisonous?
This stunning plant is not for animal or human consumption because everything on this evergreen is poisonous. The plant can also cause skin irritation.
What is the difference between Philodendron Lynnhannoniae and Philodendron Furcatum?
These two plants look like identical twins, but you will have to take a closer look at the stem or petiole to spot the difference. Furcatum has a fuzzy petiole, but Lynnhannoniae has a smooth petiole. The Furcatum leaves are also more triangular compared to the other plant in question.
Why are the leaves of my Philodendron Furcatum curled?
Curled leaves point out watering issues. Most probably, your Furcatum is under-watered. Increase the watering frequency to help the leaves revive to their original state.
What are the symptoms of low air humidity levels for this Philodendron?
If your plant has yellow halos on the leaf surface and brown tips, it needs more humidity. Increase the humidity levels to avoid these on new leaves. You can mist the foliage, use a pebble tray or run a humidifier next to the Philodendron Furcatum.
What are the major signs of root rot for Philodendron Furcatum?
The most common and major symptoms of root rot for Philodendrons are leaf yellowing, rotten plant base, and stunted growth. If your plant shows any of these signs, immediately inspect the root system for root rot infection.
This Philodendron is one of the most wanted plants in many gardener’s wishlists.
This rare aroid is a threatened species, so growing it and sharing cuttings with plant lovers will help conserve the beauty of this plant.
This is a finicky houseplant, just like its counterpart Philodendron Lynnhannoniae, but experimentation and observation can help you decide what works best for your plant.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.