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Philodendron Squamicaule Care — What You Should Know

Philodendron Squamicaule Care — What You Should Know

Philodendron Squamicaule is a Hemi-epiphytic species that is endemic to Panama, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Colombia. 

The Latin word Squamicaule stands for ‘scaly stem,’ referring to the salmon pink petioles with scales on them that look like hair.

Philodendron Squamicaule is known for its stunning petioles that complement its large green leaves. The plant has reddish lateral veins that tend to add a dramatic look to the leaves. 

Philodendron Squamicaule can be found in hardiness zones 9 to 11.

 

Philodendron Squamicaule Care

Philodendron Squamicaule needs to be kept under bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light. It also grows best in humidity levels ranging from 70 to 80 %. Use well-draining soil using perlite, peat moss, bark, and organic material for Philodendron Squamicaule and ensure a pH range of 6 to 7 and is well-draining. Keep temperatures between 60ᵒF to 85ᵒF (16ᵒC – 29ᵒC). 

 

Soil

Philodendron Squamicaule should be kept in soil that has a pH range of 6 to 7 (neutral pH). Using organic materials, along with perlite and peat moss, is the best option for Philodendron Squamicaule.

Learn how to adjust your soil’s pH by reading how to pH up and down in soil text. It has lots of tips that you can apply to care for your plant.

It is essential that you keep your Philodendron Squamicaule in well-draining soil. 

Make sure that the soil is also able to retain some water. Adding mulch to the soil can also help retain the water.

 

Water

Water your Philodendron Squamicaule when the soil’s top two centimeters have dried out. 

Philodendron Squamicaule likes to be kept in moist soil, so you must make sure that the soil does not become too soggy.

An excess amount of water will cause Philodendron Squamicaule leaves to turn yellow. During the winter, you should only water your plant once a week.

 

Light

Philodendron Squamicaule needs bright and indirect sunlight to grow at its optimum. 

You can also provide your Philodendron Squamicaule with direct sunlight; however, this should only be done during the early hours of the morning. 

The afternoon sun rays are too harsh and will burn the leaves of your Philodendron Squamicaule.

You can provide your plant with bright, indirect sunlight by simply placing it close to a south-facing window

It is absolutely essential to make sure your Philodendron Squamicaule is getting an adequate amount of sunlight as a lack of sunlight can cause the stems and leaves to elongate.

Elongated leaves are also more damage prone. Damaged leaves, in turn, are more likely to attract pests, fungi, and diseases.

 

Temperature

Philodendron Squamicaule thrives the most in temperatures ranging from 60ᵒF to 85ᵒF (16ᵒC – 29ᵒC). 

Temperatures below 50ᵒF (10ᵒC) can be damaging for your Philodendron Squamicaule as it starts to become droopy.

Damaged leaves cause openings in the plant, allowing bacterial and fungi to harm your plant. It is recommended that during winter seasons, you should move your Philodendron Squamicaule indoors. 

This, of course, only applies if you have been keeping your Philodendron Squamicaule outdoors.

 

Humidity

For optimal growth, Philodendron Squamicaule should be kept in humidity levels ranging between 70 to 80%. 

High humidity levels are the most suitable option for Philodendron Squamicaule as they belong to tropical rainforests.

Never keep your Philodendron Squamicaule in a cold and damp environment. This is because an excessive amount of moisture around the plant can be damaging. 

Excess moisture attracts diseases and fungi; therefore, always balance out the humidity levels according to the surroundings.

Warm and damp surroundings are the best option for Philodendron Squamicaule. 

During the summer, the air can lack moisture, which is why it is all the more important to sustain higher humidity levels during this time. 

You can boost humidity levels by purchasing a humidifier. Check out the 10 best humidifiers for plants on the market.

You can also place your Philodendron Squamicaule in a kitchen or close to a bathroom.

Alternatively, placing a pebble tray filled with water can also raise the humidity levels; although, you need to make sure the pebble tray always has water in it.

 

Fertilizer

Like most other plants, Philodendron Squamicaule grows better when fertilized. 

Fertilization is extremely important for this plant because a lack of nutrition can significantly slow down its growth. Failing to provide enough fertilization will cause your plant to become unhealthy.

You can use any houseplant fertilizer for your Philodendron Squamicaule by following the instructions provided on the pack. 

Your Philodendron Squamicaule will need to be fertilized every single month during the growing season!

However, once the fall and winter seasons arrive, you should only fertilize your Philodendron Squamicaule once every 2 to 3 months with a slow-releasing fertilizer.

 

Repotting

Philodendron Squamicaule cannot grow well if it is rootbound. As soon as you notice that the plant has become rootbound, make sure you shift it into a new pot. 

You will know your plants are rootbound when:

  • The plant starts to look dry and dull.
  • The roots have started growing above the soil.
  • The water starts running out of the drainage hole every time you water your Philodendron Squamicaule.
  • You can see from the drainage holes the plant’s roots poking out.

 

Pruning

Philodendron Squamicaule requires pruning from time to time. Although this does not happen often, you may want to prune your plant when you see dead leaves on it. 

While pruning, make sure you follow these steps:

  • Whatever equipment you use, make sure you sanitize it i.e. clean everything with rubbing alcohol.
  • Wash your hands before handling any equipment. This will reduce the spread of any pests or diseases.
  • Pinch back any new unwanted growth. You can also cut off the tips of the stem during the spring season when you spot new growth. This will help you keep the plant at the size you want it to be.
  • Pruning also promotes growth, therefore, pinching back new growth is also useful if you want your Philodendron Squamicaule to become bigger.

 

Propagation

Philodendron Squamicaule can be propagated in water or soil. The method you wish to choose will depend on your preferences. 

Generally, you can propagate Philodendron Squamicaule using the tip and stem cutting.

It is best to propagate your Philodendron Squamicaule during the spring season as the plant is dormant during this time. 

Before you start propagating your plant, ensure the following:

  • Sanitize all your tools as this can help prevent the spread of funguses and diseases.
  • Wear gloves to protect you from physical harm when using sharp equipment.
  • When propagating Philodendron Squamicaule through stem cutting, cut the stem around two to 3 inches below the node.
  • When using the tip cutting method, only cut a small section of your plant’s stem (no more than 2 to 3 inches long).
  • Make sure that the stems have more than just one leaf and node in both the propagation methods.

 

Propagation in Water

  • Fill your jar with water and place your stem cutting into the water. Do not fill the jar completely and keep the water at least one inch below the rim.
  • If you use tap water, then make sure you leave it out for 24 hours. This will help dissipate the chlorine.
  • Place the stem cutting in a jar and put at least two of the nodes underwater.
  • Keep two leaves above water.
  • Place the jar in a warm room and under indirect sunlight.
  • Change the water every two to three days.
  • Don’t place the plant’s jar under direct sunlight.
  • Remember to keep changing the water as time passes. If this is not done right, you’ll find algae growing in your jar.
  • Once the roots start to grow, take a pot and fill it with soil.
  • Remove your Philodendron Squamicaule from the water jar and place it in the soil.
  • Regularly water and take care of your new plant in the same way as your older plants.

 

Propagation in Soil

  • Pick a suitable-sized pot and fill it in with peat moss and perlite.
  • Water the soil and place the stem cutting in it.
  • Cover the plant with a plastic bag. This is necessary as Philodendron Squamicaule thrives in high humidity levels, and using the plastic bag will help with that.
  • Keep the soil moist and don’t overwater the plant. If you don’t, the roots will begin to rot.
  • Place your Philodendron Squamicaule in temperatures ranging from 70ᵒF to 75ᵒF (21ᵒC to 23ᵒC).
  • You can check if your Philodendron Squamicaule is growing roots by gently pulling it. If you feel resistance, it means that your Philodendron Squamicaule has started to grow roots.
  • You could dip the cut end of the stem into a rooting hormone if you want the roots to grow faster. However, this step is not essential as your Philodendron Squamicaule will grow roots regardless of whether or not you use rooting hormones.

 

Blooms

Philodendron Squamicaule can grow blooms; although, this is difficult to achieve indoors. 

Often people confuse Philodendron Squamicaule blooms with its spathe and spadix. The spathe and spadix are not actually flowers but modified leaf blades.

The spadix is meant to support the spathe, which people often, misleadingly, identify as a flower. These “blooms” can be male or female.

 

Growth

Philodendron Squamicaule can grow up to a length of 30 cm. Its petiolate is one of the many reasons why people choose to grow this plant. 

The petiolate is red in color and is complemented by its large and heart-shaped green leaves.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Common Problems for Philodendron Squamicaule

 

Xanthomonas Leaf Spot

Xanthomonas leaf spot is caused by a bacteria known as Xanthomonas campestris. When your plant is infected by this bacteria, it will start to develop spots between the veins of the leaves.

This microorganism is able to move into your plant through the water you use. 

Often, Xanthomonas leaf spot can appear differently in each individual plant; for Philodendron Squamicaule, the most common symptoms are spots visible between the veins of the leaves.

One of the best preventive solutions for Xanthomonas leaf spot is to use pieces of equipment that have been sanitized. Ensure the water you’re using is coming from a clean source.

 

Pseudomonas Leaf Spot

Pseudomonas leaf spot is known to harm almost all types of Philodendron plants. Philodendron Squamicaule is no exception to it. 

This bacteria tends to attack your plant, causing reddish-brown spots to form on it.

The bacteria live in the dead parts of your plant, and they cannot survive in water or soil for too long. 

It bears to note that this is not the strongest bacteria that can attack your plant as it needs a natural opening to enter.

The easiest way to avoid pseudomonas leaf spots from attacking your plant is by making sure that every single piece of equipment you use is sanitized. 

You must also make sure that any cutting equipment used should be sharp.

 

Tips for Growing Philodendron Squamicaule

Philodendron Squamicaule is often grown indoors for its beautiful leaves. 

If you want to provide your Philodendron Squamicaule with optimum care, follow these steps:

  • Keep Philodendron Squamicaule in a soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.9.
  • Use a moist soil.
  • Ensure that your Philodendron Squamicaule is kept in temperatures between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 29 degrees Celsius).
  • Provide your Philodendron Squamicaule with bright indirect sunlight.
  • Do not over-water or over-fertilize your plant.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Philodendron Squamicaule Care

 

Is Philodendron Squamicaule toxic?

Philodendron Squamicaule contains a toxin known as calcium oxalate – a substance that is detrimental for pets. Although consuming it will not lead to death, your pets may suffer from swelling on the lips and tongue as well as vomiting.

 

Is Philodendron Squamicaule a good air purifying plant?

Philodendron Squamicaule is considered one of the most effective plants to grow indoors if you want to purify the air around you.

 

How often should I repot my Philodendron Squamicaule?

Repot your Philodendron Squamicaule once in every 2-3 years.

 

Conclusion

Philodendron Squamicaule is known for its large leaves, which complement its furry-looking petiole. 

Not only does this plant bring aesthetic value into homes, but it also purifies the air around it. 

While the Philodendron Squamicaule may look a little intimidating to care for due to its huge leaves, the plant does not actually have high demands and makes for a visually pleasant contribution to any plant collection.