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Philodendron Stenolobum Care – A Must-Read Guide

Philodendron Stenolobum Care – A Must-Read Guide

With hundreds of flowering plant varieties, Philodendrons belong to a diverse plant genus. These no-fail plants are a common addition to every living room, greenhouse, landscape, and container garden. 

Philodendron Stenolobum (Fil-oh-DEN-dron Sten-oh-LOH-bum) originates from the tropical areas of South America; therefore, it thrives in conditions close to its natural habitat. 

It needs water as soon as the top 2 inches (5 cm) have dried. The soil mix should have peat, perlite, orchid bark, and organic matter. It also loves the high humidity, around 60 to 85%. 

Overall this is an adaptable plant that can grow in many conditions. This plant was reclassified in 2018 with a new name, ‘Thaumatophyllum Stenolobum,’ but it was first described by Dr. Eduardo Gonçalves. 

Thaumato means wonder or miracle, and phylum means leaf. This Greek name admires the unique curvy leaves of this variety. 

You might come across this plant being sold as Philodendron Williamsii because of the close resemblance between leaves.

The long and wavy leaves add drama and beauty to this Philodendron variety. 

This species is often considered a hybrid, but the data from official sources confirm that it’s a Brazilian native. This low-maintenance plant will grow large with 2 ft long leaves! 

 

Philodendron Stenolobum Care

To care for the philodendron stenolobum, plant this plant in well-draining soil while making sure to water it weekly after the top inch of the soil’s dry. Place this philodendron in a brightly lit area that has a temperature between 55-80 degrees Fahrenheit (13-27 degrees Celsius). These plants love humidity. Keep the humidity between 65-80%.

 

Basic Philodendron Stenolobum Plant Care

 

Soil

Always plant the Philodendron Stenolobum in well-draining potting soil that can also retain adequate moisture. The soil should also be fertile and rich in organic matter. 

Prepare a soil mixture using orchid bark, peat, and perlite. It needs acidic soil for optimum plant health, so keep the soil pH between 5.1 to 6. 

It is important to use a pot or container with drainage holes to make sure the soil never gets waterlogged. 

Outside the garden, this plant will thrive in USDA hardiness zones of 9b -11. For Patio, the best growing zones are 4b -11. 

 

Water

Water the potting soil weekly but with gaps so the soil’s top inch can dry. Water the plant until the water starts trickling from the drainage holes. 

If possible, schedule your watering for this plant according to the season. Generally, houseplants need more moisture in summer compared to winter. 

Water the Philodendron Stenolobum regularly in warmer months without letting the soil remain soggy. 

Once the plant stops growing actively in winter, lower the watering frequency.

Watering the potted Philodendron Stenolobum based on the actual soil moisture will protect it from fungal diseases or root rot

 

Light

Just like any other Philodendron, this one also needs bright sunlight for optimum leaf size and vibrant green color. 

If you look at its natural habitat, it grows in forests where it receives bright light through the canopy of the trees. 

However, this plant is adaptable, meaning it can handle a small amount of direct sunlight as well.

Mine is thriving under medium sunlight. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight for too long. Philodendron Stenolobum simply needs 70 to 85% sun for the best growth.

 

Temperature

Philodendron Stenolobum lives happily under normal indoor temperatures. But remember that it comes from a warm climate. 

The ideal temperature range for this plant is 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 to 26.67 degrees Celsius). However, always try to keep the temperature above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). 

You should avoid keeping this plant near heating or cooling vents because Philodendron Stenolobum is not a fan of cold weather or sudden temperature fluctuations. 

If your potted Philodendron Stenolobum was growing outside in the summer, I would suggest bringing the pot inside for the cold months of winter. 

 

Humidity

This Philodendron is forgiving in terms of humidity. Although it likes high humidity, it’s not a necessity for the optimum growth of the plant. 

I would recommend growing Philodendron Stenolobum with 65 to 80% air humidity. 

This can be done by grouping it with other similar varieties that need the same level of humidity. 

Pebble tray is another alternative for raising indoor humidity levels around plants. 

But if you like gadgets for your houseplants, you can invest in a small humidifier to have better control of the air humidity around your favorite plants. 

Many growers suggest misting is a great way to raise the humidity, but I believe the results are temporary, and excessive misting can cause fungal infections on the foliage. 

 

Fertilizer

The Philodendron Stenolobum likes to be fertilized in spring and summer. Make sure you feed the plant twice every month in these two seasons.

You can also fertilize this plant in winter or autumn but scarcely at the gaps of 6-8 weeks. 

A complete or all-purpose fertilizer would be the best choice. 

 

Repotting

This plant needs repotting when it becomes root bound; else, the root and foliage growth will be hindered. 

Prepare a fresh batch of the soil before starting the repotting process. Check the root ball for any root diseases and trim the unhealthy roots before moving them to the new pot. 

 

Pruning

This Philodendron only needs pruning to get rid of dead or infected leaves. Otherwise, let the plant thrive on its own. 

To avoid plant injuries, always use clean and sharp tools for pruning. 

 

Propagation

Philodendrons are versatile plants that can be grown in water or soil. 

Follow the steps below to propagate Philodendron Stenolobum. 

  • Take 3-6 inches long stem cuttings from a healthy Philodendron Stenolobum. Make an angular cut above the leaf node to make sure your plant can grow more stems and leaves at this point. 
  • Always use a sharp pair of scissors, making sure it’s clean as well. To keep your tools germs free, clean them with isopropyl alcohol or neem oil before and after using them on any plant. 
  • Now place the cutting in a moist soil mixture. Bury the stem inside the soil without letting the leaves touch the soil. Because if the leaves are continuously in contact with soil, they might start rotting. 
  • You can also place the cutting in a jar filled with chlorine-free water to perform water propagation. 
  • Keep the pot or jar near the window but never let direct sunlight reach the cutting. 
  • Take good care of the cutting for 2 to 3 weeks, and you will be rewarded with tiny leaves and roots. Transplant the cutting after few weeks when it’s mature enough to handle transplant shock. 

 

Growth

This plant features long narrow leaves that can grow up to 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m) in length. Mature leaves are 1 ft wide. 

Each Philodendron Stenolobum crown grows 8-12 leaves. The leaf blades have an overall triangular shape, and the outer edges are wavy that adds personality to this plant. 

The large leaves are glossy in a lush green shade of green. This plant reaches an average height of 3.2-5 ft (1-1.5 m). 

Philodendron Stenolobum is a self-heading hemiepiphyte variety that grows epiphytically and by rooting in the soil. 

 

Common Problems for Philodendron Stenolobum

 

Root Rot

One of the most common diseases to affect your Philodendron Stenolobum is Rhizoctonia sp. Root rot. The leaves of the affected plant slowly turn yellow or turn brown and eventually drop.

The symptoms start appearing on the lower leaves of Philodendron Stenolobum and eventually move up to the plant. The affected plant will have a poor, stunted growth with no specific signs of decline.

You can stop the spread by using a sterile soil mix and properly cleaned pots. Also, do not overwater or over-fertilize your plant in the crown area. 

Be very cautious in terms of watering, and do not let it stay in standing water. 

Severely affected Philodendron will not recover; hence throwing or root pruning are the only options.

 

Erwinia Blight

Erwinia Blight specifically attacks Philodendron houseplants, and it can become fatal within few days. This blight will attack below or at the soil line of your plant.

You will notice water-soaked wounds or lesions on the stem of the affected plant. The infection will rapidly spread to the leaves of Philodendron.

All the new growth on a diseased plant is stunted and yellow. The mature leaves begin to develop yellow or tan, wet lesions. 

If the humidity and heat around the affected Philodendron Stenolobum are increased, the lesions will further destroy the leaves and their stems.

The infected tissues of the plant emit a very unpleasant smell. The lesions can also tear, leaving holes in the foliage in dry and cool conditions.

I would recommend pruning the diseased plant 8 inches below the infected part. Do not feed your Philodendron with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in summer if you want to protect it from this blight. 

 

Xanthomonas Leaf Spot

Xanthomonas Leaf Spot is a red-edge bacterium that attacks your Philodendron Stenolobum. 

It will enter your plant through pores or wounds on the lower surfaces. The bacteria can also enter through hydathodes that are moisture-releasing glands.

You will notice the yellowing of the leaves, which will sooner or later spread to the leaf margins. 

Yellow circles and red spots will also appear on the edges of the affected leaves, which eventually turn brown.

The bacteria love high humidity conditions with temperatures not exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) but not lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). 

There is no bactericide to control the bacteria for this leaf spot disease. The only method to avert it is sanitation on a regular basis. 

Always remove the infected plant to avoid further spread.

 

Pests

Although Philodendron Stenolobum is a pest-free plant, there are chances it might get infested by common houseplant pests such as aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs

All these pests are sap-sucking and thus extract the juice out of your healthy plant.

The plant shows symptoms such as yellow leaves, stunted growth, and droopy leaves after a pest infestation. 

These pests come along the newly purchased Philodendron Stenolobum or from the plants that were outdoors.

To prevent the attack of pests, provide optimal growing conditions for the plant. Thoroughly check your Philodendron before you bring it into the house.

You can also isolate the newly purchased plant for some days so that in case there is an infestation; it does not spread to other plants. 

Spray your infested Philodendron Stenolobum with insecticidal spray or rub the affected area with rubbing alcohol.

 

Tips for Growing Philodendron Stenolobum

  • To clean the leaves, mist them now and then and remove the dust sitting on the foliage. You can use a small towel or piece of cloth to wipe the water from the leaves. I would suggest repeating this cleaning routine every month. 
  • The best light for the Philodendron Stenolobum is filtered bright sunlight. 
  • Avoid growing this plant in dry, sandy soils. 
  • If your plant has a wilted appearance, it needs more water. 
  • This plant needs to be sheltered from extreme cold and frost damage.
  • Wear gloves while handling this plant as it can cause allergy or skin irritation for some people. Make sure you wash your hands afterward. 
  • This plant cannot grow well with frequent temperature fluctuations so keep it away from heating vents or cold drafts. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Philodendron Stenolobum

 

My pet keeps nibbling on the leaves, is this plant toxic?

You should keep this plant away from your pets or children since the Philodendron Stenolobum is toxic to both humans and animals. 

 

What’s the best method to grow Philodendron Stenolobum?

You can grow this Philodendron indoors as a potted plant or keep it outdoors as an understory feature plant. Provided you follow the care instructions, this plant will thrive anywhere. 

 

Can I use any type of fertilizer for Philodendron Stenolobum?

You can use any fertilizer that is designed for leafy houseplants. But make sure you don’t go for a cheap fertilizer as the salts in these can cause chemicals burns on the roots. 

 

How can we avoid leaf burns on the Philodendron Stenolobum?

Leaf burns are usually caused by direct sunlight. Moving your plant to a bright outdoor area can also cause leaf burns. Always acclimatize your Philodendron Stenolobum to outdoor growing conditions for at least a week before permanently moving it to the new spot. 

 

Conclusion

This Philodendron variety is admired for the long, narrow lush green leaves. If you want to enjoy the glossy sheen of the green leaves, dust them regularly. 

This plant makes a great landscape Philodendron, and everything in this article will help you in creating the best growing environment for it.