Philodendrons have been a staple houseplant for decades, decorating homes, schools, offices, and libraries worldwide. Known for their hardiness and low maintenance, philodendrons of all kinds were collected and passed on from generation to generation.
This article is dedicated to the Philodendron lacerum, an overlooked species of Philodendron that, in my opinion, should be way more popular.
Use an airy potting mix using potting soil with bark, charcoal, and perlite as well as finely chopped sphagnum moss to retain moisture.
Like it’s other cousins, it is easy to take care of, and if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, this one might be the one for you.
It is a climbing epiphyte or hemiepiphite with lobed leaves, and these lobes become deeper as they mature.
If you want to find out how to take care of a Philodendron lacerum, keep on reading, as this article contains all of the tips and tricks you need to keep your plant happy and healthy.
- 1 Philodendron lacerum Plant Care Guide
- 2 Light
- 3 Common problems with Philodendron Lacerum
- 4 Tips to keep your Philodendron lacerum problem-free
- 5 Frequently asked questions about Philodendron Lacerum
- 6 Conclusion
Philodendron lacerum Plant Care Guide
If you want to offer your Philodendron lacerum the best of the best, plant it in moist soil high in organic content. Avoid sandy soils and soils that are heavy in clay.
Use an airy potting mix using potting soil, bark, charcoal, and perlite as well as chopped sphagnum moss.
It can also grow in 100% long fiber sphagnum moss, as well as in water alone. Don’t forget it will need something to climb onto, be it moss or burlap wrapped pole that it can hug with its roots and hang on.
If you live in a warmer climate and you want to plant your philodendron lacerum outdoors, choose a spot in dappled shade next to a tree so that it can grow as a tree cover just like it did in its natural habitat.
A Philodendron lacerum will do better in pretty much any light. It will do well in lower light, so it might be perfect for that darker room you have that no plant will survive in, or with time and patience, you can get it used to bright light and keep it in a south-facing window.
How much time depends on where your Philodendron was growing before, so consider it’s previous environment and try to avoid sudden changes.
Fortunately, you won’t be scratching your head, trying to figure out your Philodendron lacerum’s water needs. During the warmer months, moderate watering once every week or two will do just fine.
You can wait for pretty much the top inch or two of soil to dry out before watering if you see your plant is still doing well. I will let you in on a secret- I water all my philodendrons, monsteras, and pothos with water straight from the tap.
Yes, you read that well. I have not had any issues with them, so I think it is safe to say you don’t need to worry about watering only with distilled water.
Tap water that has been left overnight will be just fine. Since it is a meatier plant, it will tolerate occasional periods of drought.
When you water, you can also mist the aerial roots and the leaves for added hydration.
Your Philodendron lacerum will do well in temperatures between 55 to 80 degrees F. This is more than appropriate for most households, and the temperature is not something you should worry about too much.
Although, if you are keeping your Philodendron lacerum on your porch in a temperate climate, be aware that it is not frost hardy and will appreciate being transferred indoors during the winter.
Your philodendron lacerum will appreciate higher humidity, but a humidity tray and regular misting should be just enough for its needs. A humidity tray is a tray filled with pebbles and water so that you can put the plant pot on top of the pebbles, and it is not in contact with the water.
This will increase the humidity but won’t get the soil or the roots wet. Mist every 2 to 3 days with a fine mist of distilled water, and don’t forget you can mist the aerial roots and moss pole too.
The roots will absorb the water from the pole, just like it would in nature.
I recommend a high quality liquid fertilizer for green plants to feed your Philodendron lacerum. I dilute mine to half or less of its strength and feed once a month or so during the growing season and once every two months during the winter.
You can also opt for a slow-release pellet fertilizer that you add to the soil a couple of times a year or any other organic fertilizer. Avoid cheap and overtly potent chemical fertilizers that could cause mineral buildup and fertilizer burn at the roots.
The easiest way to propagate your Philodendron lacerum is by stem cuttings. Since this is a climbing plant propagating, it is usually easy. Check out the process below; anyone can do it!
- Choose a branch you want to cut. What you need is a piece of stem with at least one leaf and at least one node. If you can get an aerial root or two, even better.
- Submerge the node in water, making sure the leaf is not in contact with it.
- Wait for a couple of weeks until you can see a few inches of developed roots.
- To avoid the shock of being moved from water to soil, I suggest you start adding soil to the water your cutting is growing in, spoon by spoon gradually through a week or two. Do this until the soil completely replaces the water. This will ensure the roots have time to adapt to a darker environment poorer in oxygen than just straight water.
- You can now pot your new Philodendron in its new pot. Prepare the pot in advance with a rich soil high in organic material and make a hole where the cutting will go.
- Move the cutting with the soil from the glass to the pot. Gently press the soil around the roots.
- Keep this soil moist for a while and wait for the plant to put out new growth. Once it does, you know it has established itself, and it can be considered a new, healthy plant.
I recommend propagating your Philodendron lacerum in spring, just like most houseplants. This gives it a whole growing season to grow strong roots and get ready for winter.
Also, always use disinfected shears and tools when propagating your plants to avoid spreading germs or mold.
The Philodendron lacerum grows in a climbing fashion, so it will need some support in the form of a moss or burlap wrapped pole. It can get a couple of feet big, even reaching the top of tree canopies in the wild.
It’s leaves get up to 20 inches in length when fully mature, which will only happen if it has something to hang onto. As it gets older, the lobes in the leaves become deeper and deeper, so much, so that mature leaves are almost unrecognizable in comparison to the leaves of an immature plant.
You can also grow it as a tree cover outdoors if you live in a warmer climate. That way, you will truly experience its full glory.
You can pot your Philodendron lacerum in pretty much any pot or medium. Whether it be water, lica beads, moss, or soil, remember that they don’ like being root-bound.
The more space you give its roots, the bigger it will grow, so be prepared to repot annually. You can use a regular pot, a glass vase, a hanging basket, or even a piece of tree bark you attach it to with moss and some nylon thread. These epiphytic plants can adapt to the most various containers.
Common problems with Philodendron Lacerum
Philodendrons are usually pretty resistant to diseases and pests if they are cared for well. They can be susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs and can catch Erwinia blight occasionally.
Let’s get into each of those and see what you can do when your Philodendron lacerum is in trouble.
If you notice little white spiders like bugs and fine webbing on your Philodendron lacerum, these are most probably spider mites. In my experience, they are pretty hard to get rid of unless you change the conditions your Philodendron is growing in.
They also spread to neighboring plants very fast, so isolate the plant as soon as possible. Spider mites like dry and warm environments, so consider raising the humidity and lowering the temperature.
Your best bet is moving the plant into a bathroom. Before doing that, shower your Philodendron to physically remove all of the mites and webbing, and wash it well with an insecticidal soap that will kill the remaining mites.
After that, you can spray it with neem oil too. Neem oil is a feeding deterrent, so if any mites are left, they will not want to feed on the plant.
Keep in mind they can be repeat offenders, so keep an eye on the infected plant if they come back.
Erwinia blight is a common Philodendron disease that appears as water-soaked lesions on the stem. As the disease progresses, the lesions spread to the leaves, and new growth is slow and stunted.
The whole plant rots and wilts and can die in a couple of days. Wet and warm conditions cause it, and there is basically nothing you can do other than throw the plant away.
Mealybugs bother many kinds of plants and will not say no to a juicy Philodendron lacerum. They appear as tiny cotton ball-like slow bugs that gather around the nodes and under the leaves.
They especially like new and soft tissue. Much like spider mites, they feed on the sap of the plant.
Fortunately, they are easy to get rid of, and the process is similar to the one with spider mites. The main difference is that if you spot them early, there won’t be many yet, and they are so slow you can individually remove them with a q-tip dipped in alcohol.
After that, you can wash the plant with insecticidal soap if you feel the need to, but a neem oil treatment will be also enough. Be ready to repeat the process if they come back.
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Tips to keep your Philodendron lacerum problem-free
-Give it’s roots plenty of space
-Keep in bright indirect light or dappled shade
-Give it a moss or burlap pole to climb onto
-Mist every few days
Frequently asked questions about Philodendron Lacerum
Why are my Philodendron lacerums leaves curling and drying at the edges?
Curling and dry edges are most probably a result of under watering and too much sun exposure. Consider watering more often and relocating your Philodendron lacerum further away from the sun.
Why does my Philodendron have brown, dry tips with yellow halos?
Brown and dry tips of the leaves are a sign of low humidity. Your Philodendron might need a more humid environment.
If you didn’t already, consider making a humidity tray or investing in a humidifier. You could also try misting more, but more than once every two days is excessive and might cause issues.
Is a Philodendron lacerum safe for pets and children?
The Philodendron lacerum is toxic for pets and children upon ingestion, so keep it out of their reach.
If you want a nostalgic plant with a modern twist, the Philodendron lacerum might just be what you are looking for.
It will be an ideal addition to your home or office with its exotic look and low maintenance.
Water it regularly, keep it out of the sun and mist every now and then, and your Philodendron lacerum will thrive.
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.