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Philodendron Sodiroi Care – What you didn’t know!

Philodendron Sodiroi Care – What you didn’t know!

Philodendron Sodiroi also called Silver Leaf Philodendron or Sodiroi Ornatum Silver is a  gorgeous Philodendron plant belonging to the Araceae genus. 

Let me tell you upfront. These plants are very rare and hard to find. 

Philodendron Sodiroi Care

Philodendron Sodiroi Care is not difficult. Its harder to find the plant than keeping it alive.

 

I am collecting Aroids and specifically Philodendron plants for a couple of years now but I think I have only seen Philodendron Sodiroi being offered 3 times.

The plant care for Philodendron sodiroi it’s not deviating much from other Philodendron plants. These plants are actually quite easy to take care of 

Philodendron sodiroi likes well-draining potting soil that is airy. They do best in temperatures between 55°- 80°F (13° – 27°C) and prefer a high air humidity above 60%. Water about once a week and fertilize every two weeks with either a liquid or slow-release fertilizer.

It has heart-shaped leaf blades that have silvery patches on the adaxial side. The adaxial side is the upper side of the leaf.

The leaves itself are shiny and glossy and the silver patterns make them completely unique. In addition, no leaf looks the same.

The underside of the leaf is called the abaxial side. This side of the Philodendron sodiroi leaf is a light green color. 

The midrib is a bright green and the leaf blades have lateral veins that run parallel to each other.

The cataphylls are bicolorous. A mix of green and red does best describe it.

It has a climbing habit and will appreciate any supporting pole for that matter.

The stems itself are bright green and the Sodiroi is said to branch readily.

The petioles, this is the section that connects the leaves with the stem, is green with a reddish hue. The petioles are rather short.

Red air roots are forming where the nodes are. High humidity will allow these roots to grow longer and attach to other trees and objects, whereas dry conditions will lead these air roots to dry out.

The roots system itself gets well established rather quick.

The Philodendron sodiroi is endemic to South America in countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, French Guyana, Guyana, Surinam and from Venezuela to Brazi according to the University of Connecticut.

 

 

Plant Care Guide

Soil

The best soil to use for a Philodendron sodiroi is an airy potting mix that is well-draining. 

This is the usual gospel that can be said about almost any Philodendron, Monstera or Anthurium plant.

But more specifically a mix between humus sand and peat is known to be a great mix for these stunning climbers.

I personally keep my plant in Lechuza Pon. This is a volcanic substrate that is mixed with nutrients.

It is basically a semi-hydroponic way of growing these plants.

So far the Philodendron sodiroi is doing great and is growing new leaves on a regular basis.

It has been plump and great looking from the start when it arrived at my house and has taken off instantly.

If I wouldn’t be growing this plant in Lechuza pon,  think I would just use a general aroid potting mix using Perlite, Orchid bark, Peat moss and some Charcoal. 

A good alternative to Peat moss is Coco coir. Coco coir is more readily available compared to peat moss and I suppose it is also much better for the environment.

The best soil pH level is between 4.5 and 6. 

 

Light

Philodendron sodiroi prefers filtered light.

About 70 to 85% of sunlight is best. I keep my philodendron sodiroi in an east-facing window.

It is extremely important that this plant is kept in bright indirect light or filtered light.

Direct sunlight for multiple hours will burn the leaves of these plants.

If these plants are kept in very strong sunlight for too long they might even deteriorate and die. 

I personally believe they need a little bit more light compared to other Philodendron as I cannot imagine that the silvery patches are that favorable when conducting photosynthesis. 

In addition to the east-facing window, I provide an additional grow light to all my aroids. It shines from the top of the plants and is on for 16 hours a day.

I do not think my houseplants absolutely need it Spring and Summer but I do see them doing better on colder autumn and winter days.

Since I started using grow lights, I barely see a difference between growing seasons and non-growing seasons anymore.

So it is totally worth it, at least for me.

 

Watering

Water about once a week as a general rule of thumb.  

However, watering is heavily dependent on your environmental conditions.

If you are living in a place that is very dry you might need to water every couple of days or even daily.

If you are living in a very tropical region where the humidity is extremely high, you might need to water much less.

The best way to check if your plant needs water is to stick your index finger into the soil.

A general question is how far you need to put your finger into the soil?

Generally, an inch or two is sufficient. If the topsoil is still very wet you should never water.

However, if the topsoil feels completely dry, you are good to go and you should water your plant.

I water my Philodendron sodiroi once a week when the soil is just slightly moist.

I am talking here about the one that is not in Lechuza pon as with thede self-watering containers I probably water only every 2-3 weeks.

Do not wait until the soil is completely dry as some of the care guides suggest. Philodendron plants often appreciate slightly moist soil.

Even more so when comparing to Monstera plants who are much more susceptible to root rot caused by very humid soil.

If soil is extremely dry, it can act like a blanket, also called the blanket effect.

The blanket effect means that even if you water, the water will not get through the soil anymore because it has been too dry for too long.

So never let your plant dry out completely and allow for it to be slightly moist but never soggy.

 

Temperature

The best temperature range for a Philodendron sodiroi is between 55°- 80°F (13° – 27°C).  Philodendron Sodiroi can be grown outside in USDA hardiness zones between 9b – 11.

It is interesting to see that actually many Philodendron plants are cold growers. 

Being a cold grower means that they grow better in colder temperatures compared to quite high temperatures towards 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

 

Humidity

As with all other philodendron plants, Philodendron sodiroi likes humid air.

The more humidity the better usually. Try to keep humidity above 60% at all times if possible.

I grow my Sodirois at 80%+ and they just love it. Belong 40% I suppose would be problematic but with anything above that vaule your plants will be doing ok. 

But if you want your Philodendron sodiroi to thrive, allow for higher humidity levels.

A good trick to keep a certain level of humidity is to use a pebble tray below the plant pot.

This will slightly increase the humidity by a couple of percentage points.

You will never get values such as 80% or above. For this you will need a humidifier or an enclosed container where the humidity is trapped.

An alternative way is to mist your plant every day.

But you will need to check that the leaves are not staying constantly wet. Good airflow is essential so that leaves are not staying too wet for too long.

Otherwise, fungus can start forming on your leaves. This is also the case for very humid enclosures with little airflow.

 

Fertilizer

Either use a slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer about every two weeks. 

Fertilize during Summer and Spring and reduce fertilization during autumn and wintertime to every 3-4 weeks.

 

Propagation

Philodendron sodiroi is best propagated using stem cuttings.

Alternative ways are using seeds. But assuming that seeds are hard to get and knowing that they are not readily available on the internet, the best way is still to propagate this plant.

Another way would be micro propagating Philodendron Sodiroi but most of us will have neither the knowledge nor the necessary laboratory equipment to clone a plant by micropropagation.

 

Growth

I personally would describe the growth rate as average to fast-growing. They are said to grow 1-3 feet per growing season.

There is a new leaf forming about once a month on my personal Philodendron sodiroi plant.

These plants are said to become quite big in size rather fast and I can’t wait for this to happen.

Slow-growing plants for me are plants that produce a new leaf every couple of months.

I am looking at you Anthurium Veitchii and Anthurium Warocqueanum.

 

Potting

When choosing a new pot, the most important thing is to make sure that it has drainage holes.

Without proper drainage, your soil will become mushy and there is a chance that your indoor plants are developing root rot.

Insufficient drainage is something that you absolutely want to avoid.

Therefore invest in a good pot with drainage holes.

A good choice is terracotta pots, but basically you can use any other pot as long as it has drainage holes where excess water can drain out of the pot.

Philodendron sodiroi grows well in round pots.

How not to kill your Philodendron Sodiroi

How not to kill your Philodendron Sodiroi

 

Propagation Philodendron Sodiroi Step By Step

Let’s get into how to propagate Philodendron sodiroi the best way.

As I have already mentioned, stem cuttings are the way to go.

In order to propagate a Philodendron sodiroi, take a clean knife or scissors (better to use pruning shears instead) and cut the stem of your plant just below a node.

The node is the part where air roots are usually forming and it looks kinda knobby.

You need to make sure is that your cutting has at least one note because philodendron plants cannot be propagated without any nodes.

Leaves are great but even cutting without a leaf will grow but might take a little longer as it cannot produce additional energy due to conducting photosynthesis with the leaf on the cutting.

It is also important that you make a clear-cut and that your scissors or knife is absolutely clean.

A good way to clean the blade of your knife or pruning shear is to use rubbing alcohol and also to hold the blade for a couple of seconds under a flame.

This way you can make sure that there aren’t any contaminations and that there are no pathogens that are spreading from plant to plant.

When I first started to become more interested in plants

 

Common Problems with Philodendron Sodiroi

Root Rot

Philodendron Sodiroi is susceptible to overwatering and underwatering such as any other houseplant.

The worst thing you can probably do is to overwater your plant in combination with the wrong potting mix.

This way the soil will stay very wet and become soggy.

This condition usually leads to root rot within days.

Signs of overwatering are yellow leaves and stunted growth. If you spot any of these signs I suggest that you check the roots on your Philodendron Sodiroi.

 

Pests

All Philodendron are prone to be attacked by pests. A pest infestation is a horror for every plant enthusiast and gardener alike.

Common infestations are Spider Mites, Mealy Bugs, Gnats, Thrips, Scale and Whiteflies.

I tried to make your life easier and wrote an extensive article for each of these pests. You can just click on the links above.

Pro Tip: The best way to get rid of any of these buggers apart from spotting an infestation early on is to use Neem oil, Castille soap, and a diluted alcohol solution.

In addition, spray the leaves of your Philodendron Sodiroi weekly with water and use a good amount of water pressure.

Some of these pests will come off easily with water and most will not appreciate the humidity.

Read my tips below to keep your Sodiroi problem free.

 

Tips to keep plant X problem-free

How do you keep your Philodendron Sodiori thriving? I have summarized the most important tips and tricks from my personal experience.

 

The Right Soil 

Starting with the right soil. When I started in the hobby I did not know how essential the right soil mix is.

I lost several houseplants and barely saved many of them from root rot after treating them for months.

The problem was that most of the soil I used, in the beginning, was not fast draining.

I thought well my soil mix is not perfect but I am sure the plants will do fine anyway.

I couldn’t have been more wrong as too compact soil where no air pockets can form will lead to root rot on Philodenndron and also Monstera plants.

Philodendon are more forgiving, but just a little. Investing in a fast draining potting mix will help you to prevent 90% of the problems you might have with your Sodiroi otherwise.

 

The Right Watering Schedule

When you have a good potting mix it is almost impossible to overwater your plant as water will drain quickly.

Philodendron plants are tropical plants that mostly grow in rain forests.

In the rain forest ist rains often and very intense. So when you water your plants every week it is good practice to imitate these natural conditions.

Water thoroughly and make sure that the water drains quickly. That means that once you are pouring water into the pot you should see water coming out at the bottom of the pot almost immediately.

 

The Right Light Level

The right amount of light is essential to have your Philodendron Sodiroi thriving. Many Philodendron are described to grow best in partial shade but this does not apply for indoor conditions.

The outdoor sun even in semi-shade is much stronger than anything you can likely provide indoors.

Put your Philodendron Sodiroi close to a window but not too close as otherwise, leaves might burn from the sun.

My favorite window direction is an east-facing window with a few hours of direct sunlight in the morning and bright indirect light the rest of the day.

Supplement your indoor plants with a grow light and you created amazing lighting conditions for your plant to thrive.

I am talking here about the soil, watering, and light. These are the most important factors to get right from my point of view.

Fertilization, humidity and all the other factors are important as well, but they will not have this immediate positive or negative effect on your Philodendron Sodiroi.

Let’s now summarize what we have learned about Philodendron Sodiroi care.

 

Philodendron Sodirini

For some time there was a smaller Philodendron Sodiroi offered in the hobby and there was no clear distinction between the two. 

It was often referred to as Mini Sodiroi in the hobby.

When you bought a plant as a Philodendron Sodiroi you either got the largest growing type or the smaller type where leaf size stays quite small.

Up until recently where it was decided to call the smaller type Philodendron Sodirini to have a clearer distinction.

Both plants have green leaves with silvery patches but the Sodirini stays small in terms of leaf blades and looks like a juvenile Philodendron Sodiroi that is captured in the juvenile state for the rest of its life.

It was introduced to the hobby by William Rotolante.

The Sodirini doesn’t form cataphylls and has a longer internodal distance.

Due to its smaller size, it is much better suited for Terrarium conditions as the Philodendron Sodiroi quickly grows out of hand.

Moving on to the conclusion.

 

Conclusion

Let’s conclude what we have learned about the Philodendron sodiroi.

It is no question an extremely beautiful plant with great silvery leaves. They are not readily available and still hard to get.

If you see a Philodendron sodiroi up for grabs, get it! 

They are sometimes offered on the internet. Your best bets are Facebook groups or Instagram or any of these fancy Plant online shops opening up everywhere.

If you can find any, I would suggest that you take the plunge and buy this plant.

You will not regret it as they are extremely stunning looking. Philodendron Sodiroi care is not difficult if you follow the suggestions related to the right soil, temperature, humidity. 

The most important thing to get right is the soil mixture. Having the right soil will spare you a lot of headaches.

 

Frequently asked questions about Philodendron Sodiroi

 

How often do I need to water a Philodendron sodiroi?

The Philodendron Sodiroi should be watered about once a week as a general rule of thumb.

Drier conditions may require you to water more freuqently such as every few days whereas more humid conditions allow for longer periods in-between waterings.

What is the best soil for a Philodendron sodiroi?
 

The best soil for a Philodendron Sodiroi is a chunky aroid mix that allows for air pockets to form and for water to drain quickly. Use a mix of Perlite, Orchid bark, Peat moss and Charcoal.

How humid should I keep a Philodendron sodiroi?
 

Philodendron Sodiroi loves humidity. High humidity above 60% guarantees that your Philodendron thrives.

Do not go below 40% humidity as this might stunt the growth of your Philodendron Sodiroi.

What are common pests attacking a Philodendron sodiroi?

General houseplant pests such as Mealybugs, Scale, Thrips, Fungus Gnats, Whiteflies are attacking a Philodendron Sodiroi.

Using Neem oil as well as Castille soap and regular water spritzing are great ways to keep pests at bay.

Where can I buy a Philodendron Sodiroi?

These plants are difficult to find as they are rare and highly sought after.

It is best to check plattforms such as Facebook groups and Instragram for plant enthusiasts making excess stock available.

Every now and then you might also be able to find this plant in an online plant shop.

What is the difference between a Philodendron sodiroi and a Philodendron sodirini?

A Philodendron Sodirini is a Philodendron Sodiroi type that stays much smaller.

It has small leaves that are green with silvery patches although less profound.

The internodal distance is longer and the Sodirini does not for a cataphyll.

Is the Philodendron sodiroi a climber or a crawler?

Philodendron sodiroi is a climber and know for its vigorous growth habit. In indoor conditions it forms a new leaf about every four weeks.

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