Skip to Content

Philodendron Ilsemanii Plant Care — Unicorn Guide

Philodendron Ilsemanii Plant Care — Unicorn Guide

Sharing is caring!

Also known as the Mottled Ilsemanii Variegata, this plant is an absolute unicorn. 

As the name suggests, Philodendrons (Philo meaning ‘love’ and dendron meaning ‘tree’) grow with aerial roots climbing the trees and survive by sucking nutrients from their host, i.e., the tree.

Aerial roots are not immersed in the ground; instead, they are clearly visible and found in the air. 

Philodendron Ilsemanii is part of the Araceae family. This is one of the largest flowering plant genera. 

This guide explains all the necessary details regarding Philodendron Ilsemani Care.



Philodendron Ilsemanii Plant Care

Philodendron Ilsemanii thrives in a regular potting mix that’s kept moist but not soaked. Place them in a room away from direct sunlight, keep the temperature between 55-88 degrees Fahrenheit (12-degree Celsius to 31-degrees Celsius), and provide high humidity levels between 70-90%. Feed them with fertilizers high in manganese once in 1-2 weeks.



When choosing the best soil for your Philodendron Ilsemanii, a regular potting mix is not at all a wise option.

Find a potting mix in which the content of organic matter is high and that does not dry out quickly.

It is best to have soil that is abundant in nutrients and contains fibers of sand or coconut. 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 a neutral pH; therefore, it is best to maintain the pH between 5-7.



Philodendron Ilsemanii does not require water in excess. It should only be watered when the soil is dry to touch, and the leaves have no moisture on them. 

Warm water is considered the best as very hot or very cold water can result in discoloration of the leaves, leading to temperature shock. 

It is best to slowly and gradually spray water on the leaves so that they have direct exposure to the water and do not start to droop. Also, spraying on the leaves will give them a natural and fresh appearance.

In summers, the plant should be watered much frequently as compared to the winters. The scorching sun in the summer can quickly make the soil dry and cause the leaves to wilt. 

However, in winters, watering your Philodendron twice a week should produce fruitful results. 



When it comes to giving your plant a productive environment, choosing the correct light levels can be a challenge. 

Philodendron can tolerate a sunlight exposure of a maximum of 85%.

If you are growing Philodendron indoors, consider putting curtains near the pot to ensure moderate sunlight exposure. 

Make sure your plants do not get too much direct sunlight. If direct sunlight is applied then only in the morning for a couple of hours. The excess sun can quickly lead to the leaves’ discoloration with a light yellow color.



The best temperature to offer Philodendron is 55-88 degrees Fahrenheit (12-degree Celsius to 31-degrees Celsius). Since these plants are not frost-hardy, you can keep them alive throughout the year. 

However, keep in mind that this plant would begin to wilt at a temperature of below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and start discoloration. 

Therefore, it is best to bring them inside the house in the winters to ensure the right temperature for their survival. 



Philodendron Ilsemanii grows best in humidity between 70-90%.

Humidity can be increased in a number of ways, as increasing humidity favors the growth of this plant. 

To maintain your humidity level inside the house, a budget-friendly way is to fill a saucer with pebbles and water and place it under the pot. 

The evaporation resulting from this will maintain the humidity for the plant’s efficient growth. Keep your plant away from heating vents to prevent rapid drying of the water. 

You can also use a humidifier to set the correct humidity inside your house. However, a pebble tray or proper misting of the leaves will do just as good. 



Fertilizing the plant with a product rich in magnesium is beneficial in the months of active growth in Spring and Summer.

Depending on the plant size and where it is placed, you can fertilize the plant once every week or two weeks. 

Reduce the fertilization frequency in autumn and winter and keep your plant indoors from October till March in case you place it outside during the summer. 



You can transfer your plant to a large pot once the roots are big enough and overflowing from the current pot. 

Gently place your hands on the edges of the roots and go deep inside to grab the plant firmly. Now, put it very slowly in the larger pot placed next to your current pot to keep all the roots intact. 

Make sure that you do not fertilize the plant for two weeks after repotting so that the plant can gain strength in its new pot.



While pruning your Philodendron, you need to take care of a couple of things: 

  • Prune only in the months of active growth so that the plant has the potential to grow again. These active months are from spring to summer. 
  • Remove the yellow leaves and spiky buds at first to acquire a manageable size of the plant. 
  • Use thick hand gloves while pruning so that you are protected against allergies. 
  • Use clean and disinfected instruments to prune. 



The easiest way to propagate your Philodendron Ilsemanii is through stem cuttings. Plant your stem from the original plant in a plastic cup, making sure to use a plastic wrap to cover it. 

It is essential to 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. 

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. 

The most important thing here is that you do not need to be disheartened if your plant does not propagate after a week or two. 

Most plants take a lot more time to grow, depending on where they are placed, how frequently they are watered, and how much sunlight they absorb. 



This plant rarely bears white flowers that are usually hidden under the bright green leaves. 



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Plantshop for rare Aroids ? (


Common Problems for Philodendron Ilsemanii

Almost every plant is vulnerable to be attacked by insects. Your Philodendron is also the same. 

Although some insects are easy to handle and get rid of, others can be a real challenge. 



Many pests such as bugs and spider mites can infect your plant and make holes in the edges of the leaves. However, these are easy to treat. 

All you need to do is clean the leaves with a soft cloth dipped in warm water and soap solution.

Thrips are yet another dangerous pest type for the plant. Not only do they cause discoloration and wilting, but they can also be the reason for your plant dying completely. 

Clean your plant once every two weeks to reduce the chances of thrips infecting your plant. 


Curling of the Edges

One of the most common Philodendron plant care complaints is the curling of its leaves. This 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. 


Lack of Air Circulation

This is bound to happen when you overwater your plant, and the soil is constantly wet, putting the plant in an oxygen deficit. 

To ensure this does not happen, make up a schedule for watering your plant every two days to ensure sufficient air circulation. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Philodendron Ilsemanii Plant Care


Can I grow Philodendron indoors?

Philodendrons are a great plant to have inside your house. They are low maintenance, require little sunlight and give a welcoming feel to your home. 


Are Philodendrons healthy?

These plants are one of the best cleaners for your house. They cleanse the air and also trap dust particles. However, do keep them away from children as it is toxic to consume.


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 long can Philodendrons get?

These plants have immense potential to reach a good height, ranging from 3 feet to 20 feet in their months of active growth. 


Can I use coffee grounds on my plant?

If your Philodendron Ilsemanii is facing stunted growth, using a solution of half coffee grains and half water can act as an effective remedy to boost up the development of your plant. 


How often should I water Philodendron Ilsemanii?

Watering should only be done when the soil is dry to touch. Watering twice every week should be enough; however, in months of increased sunlight, increase the watering frequency. 


Should I cut the Philodendron Ilsemanii’s yellow leaves?

Pruning the unwanted leaves can be an easy way to get rid of the discoloration and prevent the yellow leaves’ spreading. 


Is this plant safe for pets?

Not at all; this plant is harmful to consume for pets as well as for humans. Therefore, it is the best practice to keep them away from pets. 



Fairly easy to propagate, this plant is sure to bring you all the happiness as a gardener. All they require is a little timely care and effort to keep them safe from insects. 

Make sure that it is given the right temperature, humidity, water, and sunlight, and this plant will do wonders for you. 

With its environment-friendly nature and broad green leaves, Philodendron Ilsemanii is a great plant to have indoors as well as outdoors.