The Philodendron McDowell is one of the top favorites of numerous Philodendron owners.
With its large, heart-shaped leaves enhanced by white veins, it forms a beautiful sight. It is fairly easy to grow indoors as well as outdoors.
With all the advantageous qualities of these two parent beauties, it grows with little effort and rarely causes problems.
Philodendron McDowell Plant Care
The Philodendron McDowell plant likes moist, warm environments. It requires bright, indirect sunlight and moderate watering about once a week. Maintain a temperature between 55 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 to 26.6 degrees Celsius). Use a soil mix containing perlite, peat, and orchid bark. Optimal humidity levels lie between 65-75%. Fertilize every four to six weeks in the growing seasons of spring and summer using a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
Like many of its fellow species, the Philodendron McDowell plant thoroughly enjoys moist, well-draining soils.
I often keep my ground mix high in organic matter and add substances such as perlite, peat, orchid bark.
Each of these keeps the soil hydrated without allowing any water accumulation.
Several gardeners also recommend coconut coir or compost to prepare the Philodendron McDowell plant’s soil mix; this mixture also does the job pretty well.
However, ensure that whatever soil mix you make is put in pots that have at least two drainage holes at the bottom.
The point here is to keep the Philodendron McDowell plant hydrated without planting it in wet soil. A plant standing in water for long periods has a high chance of catching bacterial and fungal infections.
The Philodendron McDowell plant thrives when watered every other day. To prevent shock, I suggest adding room-temperature water free of chlorine and excess fluoride.
The plant’s watering needs may change depending on its surroundings; the Philodendron McDowell plant usually requires more water in summers. In contrast, it needs less water during the colder seasons.
Water the Philodendron McDowell plant when its topsoil layer (2 to 3 inches) seems to be drying out slightly.
Add water from the top and not directly onto the plant’s soil. Ensure that you cover all parts and wipe off the excess moisture at the end.
If your Philodendron McDowell plant has large leaves, but they seem dull and dry, chances are it is mildly to severely dehydrated.
On the other hand, if its soil is wet or the plant keeps catching infections, you may be overwatering it. Therefore, maintain a medium watering schedule making changes according to the season.
One of the most vital factors for plant-growing is light. The plant’s color intensity, as well as its shape, is highly dependent on the amount of light it is given.
In the case of the Philodendron McDowell plant, provide light that is bright and filtered (indirect light).
The Philodendron McDowell plant is a hybrid, and it is safe to say that it can manage in several light settings.
However, for the healthiest growth, the provision of dappled sunlight becomes important. If your Philodendron McDowell plant is indoors, place it next to the east, west, or south-facing window.
Other options for growing the Philodendron McDowell plant include shaded balconies and patios. If planted outdoors, place the plant where a nearby tree canopy covers it.
The filtered sunlight allows McDowell to carry out all its essential functions without burning its leaves or dehydrating the plant.
The Philodendron McDowell plant flourishes in temperatures ranging from 55 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 to 26.6 degrees Celsius).
Although the plant is slow to react to unfavorable temperatures, it gradually begins showing signs that include yellow leaves and stunted growth.
Unfortunately, it may take you quite a while to figure out that incorrect temperature is causing this.
Anything below and above this may result in erratic growth or no growth at all.
This temperature range is pretty easy to maintain indoors; however, you may have trouble if your plant is outdoors.
When the temperature is higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit or lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, I suggest bringing this beauty inside.
Another growth determinant for the Philodendron McDowell plant is humidity. Ideally, maintain moisture levels ranging from 65% to 75%.
The moderate humidity allows the plant to stay hydrated without exposing it to pathogenic organisms.
You may install a humidifier in your house to maintain this level and keep track of this range with a hygrometer.
However, if you want to keep things simple, mist your plant every other day or place it with all your other houseplants.
The Philodendron McDowell plant thoroughly enjoys fertilizers with a balanced NPK ratio, containing many macro and micronutrients, such as calcium and manganese.
Feed your Philodendron McDowell plant with a high-quality fertilizer every four to six weeks in the growing seasons of spring and summer.
In the winters, bring down the feeding frequency to about once every eight weeks, or you may even skip feeding it altogether.
Growers may opt for the slow-release powder fertilizers or the instant-action, liquid feeds. I recommend choosing the latter for the Philodendron McDowell plant.
Initially, repotting the Philodendron McDowell plant is not necessary until it reaches its full size. Once fully mature, refresh its soil’s ingredients along with shifting it to a bigger pot.
Choose a pot with aeration and good drainage.
A container of about 6 to 8 inches (15.2 to 20 cm) works great for the first repotting. Later, as the plant grows larger, go for a container that is 15 to 20 inches (38 to 50.8 cm) in diameter.
In most cases, sizing up further is not required unless your plant is of a particular, large-growing type.
Once repotted, replace the soil with newer, fresh constituents. Add some peat moss or orchid bark to help the plant maintain a good amount of moisture.
Your Philodendron McDowell plant won’t need pruning in its first year. However, as it grows larger, its vines will need a bit of trimming and extra care to maintain their neat look.
Apart from changing the plant’s appearance, pruning is also a good time for you to inspect your plant for any sign of disease and infection.
Start off with cutting the most erratic-looking vines. Do not get rid of juvenile branches unless they seem to be diseased or discolored.
You can also pinch the ends to encourage new growth. While cutting, closely look at each leaf and vine.
Once you are done pruning, spray some fungicidal spray over your Philodendron McDowell plant so that even if any open cuts remain, they are not infected.
Moreover, always use sterilized pruning shears.
Propagation may seem a hassle; however, do not fret. The Philodendron McDowell plant will not cause you much trouble.
You can propagate it via rhizomes or stem cuttings. For successful growth, propagate in the spring season.
- Start the process by cutting off a healthy-looking stem that has at least three nodes.
- Now put this stem in some rooting powder and sprinkle the fungicidal powder over it.
- Put this stem cutting in an appropriate soil mix, ideally containing peat moss or sphagnum.
- Place this stem cutting under indirect sunlight in a warm setting.
- If you wish to propagate in water, place the stem cutting in water and change this water every day.
- When you see new shoots and roots growing, transfer the stem in a small pot and place it in indirect sunlight again till it matures further.
The Philodendron McDowell plant rarely blooms, mostly only in conservatories. The flowers are simple with a white part called a spadix and green leaf-like coverings.
However, flowering is a long process and may take up to 16 years. Once mature, it blooms from May to July.
The Philodendron McDowell is a fast-growing plant that grows to about 78 inches (198 cm) when in the right environment.
The indoors’ variety may only grow to about 24 to 36 inches (60.9 to 91.4 cm) since it is cultivated keeping inhouse settings in mind.
The best zones for growing the Philodendron McDowell plant are 9b through 10. Here, the sunlight is above 70% with adequate humidity, supporting the plant’s growth.
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Common Problems for Philodendron McDowell Plant
A common problem for the Philodendron McDowell plant is yellow leaves.
They can form due to various reasons; however, the most common ones include inadequate sunlight and an improper watering schedule.
Initially, you will only notice small parts losing color. As the condition worsens, entire leaves will become yellow and eventually fall off.
Saving the discolored leaves is almost next to impossible, but preventing further damage is quite doable.
Start off with reviewing your plant’s location. Ensure that the Philodendron McDowell plant is in bright, dappled sunlight.
Next, go over its watering routine and water it only when its soil’s top layer is slightly dry. Do not overwater or underwater the plant as this will lead to other issues in addition to yellow leaves.
Pests and Insects
Another nerve-racking problem with the Philodendron McDowell plant is infestation by pests and insects.
Often, they have already fully established themselves as if it is their plant, not yours, by the time you notice it.
The infestation may start from the original nursery, or worse, your home. The latter means your other plants are also most likely infected.
Spider mites are slightly harder to spot, but the latter leaves behind cottony webs, making their diagnosis easier.
To treat an infested plant, use an insecticidal spray or neem oil. Apply it all over the plant for effective elimination.
Another frequent issue with the Philodendron McDowell plant is root rot. It is not a quick process but a gradual one, giving you considerable time to fix the causative error.
It mostly occurs when the plant’s roots are drenched in water or if the planting container has insufficient drainage or aeration.
The plant’s nutrient supply is significantly affected as the roots can no longer absorb any vital elements from the soil.
The leaves lose color, the plant grows erratically, and eventually wilts. Unless treated quickly, the plant may even die.
To reverse the damage, take the Philodendron McDowell plant out of its pot and inspect the roots as well as the pot itself.
If the roots have a yellow tinge, the plant is somewhat fine; however, you have very little time until it dies if the roots are mushy.
Place the plant under bright, indirect sunlight to get rid of the excess water. Furthermore, dry out the soil a bit and apply a fungicidal spray to prevent infection.
Tips for Growing Philodendron McDowell
- Do not water the plant until the topsoil layer turns slightly dry.
- Place in bright, filtered sunlight, preferably indoors.
- Protect from temperature extremes as the plant has little temperature tolerance.
- Use high-quality, balanced NPK fertilizers to feed during the spring and summer seasons.
- Plant in pots with adequate drainage and aeration.
Frequently Asked Questions about Philodendron McDowell Plant Care
Is the Philodendron McDowell plant a hybrid?
Philodendron McDowell’s a beautiful hybrid between Philodendron gloriosum and Philodendron pastazanum. It is named after Sir McDowell, a prominent botanist.
How much humidity is necessary for the Philodendron McDowell plant?
The Philodendron McDowell plant likes humidity levels ranging from 65% to 75%. Anything lower than 60% may result in yellow halos and browning leaf tips.
Where is it best to place Philodendron McDowell plant?
Put the Philodendron McDowell plant in front of an east or south-facing window or under a tree’s canopy, where the light is bright but indirect.
How much water does the Philodendron McDowell plant need?
Water the Philodendron McDowell plant when its soil’s top 2-3 inches are dry. Keep on adding water till you see it draining through the pot’s bottom.
Does the Philodendron McDowell plant grow in winters?
The Philodendron McDowell plant only grows in the spring and summer seasons. It goes dormant in the wintry seasons.
The Philodendron McDowell plant is a stunning hybrid with large, puckered leaves. It’s somewhat rare and isn’t widely available compared to other Philodendron varieties.
It requires bright, filtered sunlight, moderate watering and humidity, and good-quality fertilizers.
Bring this beauty home today!
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.