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Philodendron Subhastatum Care Tips That Work Wonders

Philodendron Subhastatum Care Tips That Work Wonders

In today’s article, I am going to tell you about Philodendron Subhastatum. It is a rare tropical climber that is known to come from the plant family, Araceae.

The Philodendron genus is considered to be one of the largest ones in the Araceae family of plants. The genus has up to 400 different species that come in various sizes and colors.

To help your Philodendron Subhastatum grow well, you must provide the plant with abundant water and less sunlight. Since the species first originated in the tropical forests of West Indies, along the riverbank, the plants enjoy a good amount of humidity.

The Philodendron Subhastatum is especially loved for being an ornamental plant due to its bi-foliage leaves. While the front sides of the leaves are green in color, the backsides of the leaves are red, which gets redder as the plant ages.

Known to be a climber, Philodendron Subhastatum can be used for wall decorations as well as pole decorations. This means your Philodendron does not need to simply sit in a pot.

While the Philodendron does add to the room’s ambiance, it is also known to be a great air purifier, thanks to its filtering characteristics. The plant can absorb various chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, and et cetera – thereby becoming an important part of your indoor lifestyle.


Philodendron Subhastatum Care Tips That Work Wonders 1

Basic Plant Care for Philodendron Subhastatum



When it comes to soil needs, I prefer to use a well-drained, rich organic soil as that is considered most suitable when growing your Philodendron Subhastatum.

The soil must have equal proportions of loam, sand, and peat. I would suggest using compost as a soil amendment. The soil must have an alkaline base between 7-8 pH. The alkaline soil has more macronutrients, which are important for Philodendron’s healthy growth.

You should make sure that the soil has just enough water by making sure that it is well-drained.



The Philodendron Subhastatum is a water-loving plant. This means you may water as many times as you may wish.

However, you must consider one important point when it comes to the overall moisture of the Philodendron Subhastatum. One must make sure that the top part of the soil is dry at least 2 inches on the top layer.

I would suggest using your finger to check the texture of the soil. Or, better yet, you may use moisture meter for better accuracy. Over-watering is one of the biggest blunders which instantly kills the Philodendron Subhastatum.



I keep my Philodendron Subhastatum away from direct light. The plant has very sensitive leaves that get easily burned when placed under direct sunlight.

The go-to light type for a Philodendron Subhastatum is usually described as natural and filtered. In some parts of the world, natural sunlight may not be readily available. Under such conditions, you may grow your Philodendron Subhastatum under artificial growing lights.

Still, if the only source of light that you have is direct sunlight, make sure that there is a filter, like a sheer curtain that mellows the light.

I highly suggest giving light from all directions, or else your plant will not grow equally. If the source of light is coming from one direction only, then you may keep rotating the plant.



The optimum temperature to grow your Philodendron Subhastatum is between 50 – 86 o F (10 – 30 degrees Celsius). This is good, as it shows that this particular species of plant can grow very well in regular indoor conditions.

Philodendron Subhastatum does not thrive well below temperatures of 59 o F (15 degrees Celsius). If your Philodendron Subhastatum is placed outside during winters, it is highly recommended that you bring them inside and keep the house well-heated.



The pores of Philodendron Subhastatum dry quite fast, especially during summers, as they have thin leaves. That is why I would recommend providing the Philodendron room conditions with 60% – 80% humidity.

Watering the plant at all times can become tiresome as I sometimes cannot check if the soil is filtering well, especially during summers. Instead, I mist the plant leaves after a 1-hour or 2-hour interval. You may also use a humidifier to provide optimal humidity to your Philodendron Subhastatum.

Grouping some more water-loving plants in the same area as your Philodendron increases the moisture content as well.

A simple DIY method to maintain the moisture content for your Philodendron Subhastatum is to place it inside a pebble tray.

  • In the first step, pour some water inside a tray.
  • In the second step, simply place the pot on the pebbles without touching the water directly.

A pebble-tray is a simple home remedy that will maintain the moisture around the plant as the water evaporates.



I fertilize my Philodendron Subhastatum every week in the growing season. Skipping one week will not cause any damage to your plant. However, over-feeding can kill your Philodendron Subhastatum as it damages the roots.

Over-fertilizing can cause an increase in the salt levels and disturb the pH of the soil. The good micro-organisms inside the soil start to die as well. This creates stress on the Philodendron Subhastatum’s roots as it now needs to work harder to absorb nutrients with increased salinity.

I usually do not feed as much during winters as Philodendron Subhastatum goes through a resting phase at the time. Dormancy is Philodendron Subhastatum’s way of thriving during cold conditions. While your Philodendron may not appear as bright as before, it is very much alive.



Philodendron Subhastatum’s have good root-systems. If their roots do not have enough space to grow further, the plant’s overall growth tends to slow down. But Philodendron Subhastatum grows slowly, so I repot my plant after 2-3 years.

However, if you notice that your Philodendron Subhastatum has grown quite fast, you will have to repot it, preferably during spring and summer seasons. These two seasons are considered the growing seasons – therefore, repotting at this time will ensure that the growing plant gets enough space and time.

  • For the first step, I take the Philodendron Subhastatum from its current pot and brush off excess soil from the roots.
  • Then I carefully plant it into a new and bigger pot.
  • After that, I continue to water and fertilize the plant as per routine.

Repotting helps your plant from becoming unhealthy. The process will stimulate growth and even a greener look.



Pruning is not essential for Philodendron Subhastatum. However, if you feel a need for it, then make sure that the equipment is clean and sanitized. That will prevent the transfer of germs and infections.

It is also recommended that you do not cut off too much of the plant, else the Philodendron Subhastatum’s growth will be affected.

Keep the plant clean and dust-free. It will enhance the look of the plant and will help to keep it neat.



Propagation of Philodendron Subhastatum is recommended during the spring season, right after they have come out of dormancy. You may carry out propagation by stem cutting or tip cutting. The propagates parts grow well in both soil and water.

Start with simply placing either of the desired cuttings in the medium, under optimal conditions.


Propagating in Water

  • Take a jar and fill it water. I recommend leaving the water overnight to sit while the chlorine dissipates before propagating.
  • Then, place the cutting inside the jar. The stem is placed in such a manner that at least or two nodes are completely submerged, while two-three leaves remain out.
  • I suggest changing the water every two to three days. Make sure that your Philodendron Subhastatum propagated stem is not placed under direct sunlight to prevent algae growth.
  • Once the roots start to develop and can be seen clearly, you may transfer the plant to a soil pot and continue watering it as it grows.


Propagating in Soil

  • Take a pot and fill it with an appropriate potting mix and simply place the cutting inside the mixture.
  • Next, cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to preserve the moisture for Philodendron Subhastatum’s proper growth. Remove the bag once in a while to prevent any microbial growth.
  • The baby Philodendron Subhastatum plant needs to be watered regularly while maintaining a warm temperature.
  • To make sure that the plant has started to grow roots, I gently tug in the Philodendron Subhastatum plant to feel for any resistance.
  • Once I notice that the plant has reached a good growth level, I shift it to a bigger pot.



Philodendron Subhastatum is of the many types of plant that belong to the Philodendron species, which never have any flowers on them. Their beauty is mostly defined by their bi-foliage leaves, which are dual colors of red and green.



The growth rate of the Philodendron Subhastatum depends heavily on the type of environment and the amount of care provided to them.

Generally, they grow very slowly, and one needs to be very patient with them at the time of propagation. The plant has the capability to grow up to 6 feet in length and up to 24 inches in width.

The Philodendron Subhastatum has long green leaves that grow up to 2 feet in length and 4-6 inches in width.


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Common Problems for Philodendron Subhastatum

Since the Philodendron Subhastatum is a topical plant, if proper care isn’t provided, some common plant diseases may ruin its health.



These plant-sucking pests which are common in warm conditions. If your Philodendron Subhastatum is being kept under extremely hot conditions, mealybugs may start infesting on them.

Mealybugs look like rough cotton mass on the leaves, stems, and nodes of the Philodendron Subhastatum. The bugs suck out the sap of the plant and draw away its nutrients, making it weak. While not very damaging, if not controlled from the get-go, these bugs can cause yellowing and curling of leaves.

After feeding, the bugs leave behind honeydew – a sticky liquid which encourages the growth of mold and other bacteria.

To prevent their growth, wash the leaves of Philodendron Subhastatum regularly with leaf shine. If your plant already has these pests, then you should prune out the smaller parts and have the rest of the areas rubbed with alcohol using a Q-tip.

To go for more organic medicine, use neem oil as it inhibits the growth of pests and insects like mealybugs.


Algal Leaf Spot

It is a foliar disease commonly noticeable on Philodendron Subhastatum plants growing in humid climates. The organism which causes the disease is called Cephaleuros virscens. It is a parasitic alga that feasts on plants like Philodendron Subhastatum as they have leathery leaves.

The Algal leaf spot looks like a grayish-green blotch on the Philodendron Subhastatum’s leaf surface. The spots are usually ½ an inch in diameter, from which larger colonies may grow. The leaf tissues die, and the leaves eventually drop prematurely.

To prevent an Algal leaf spot, use good cultured techniques for healthy plant growth as this disease only affects weak Philodendron Subhastatum. Selectively prune over-crowded vegetation to improve air circulation and damage. If necessary, use chemical fungicides that contain copper in them.

Cold Injury

Philodendron Subhastatum is a tropical plant that is susceptible to cold injury. Exposure to temperatures below 59  o F (15 degrees Celsius) results in stunting, wet-looking foliage, chlorosis, and lesion formation.

The larger the exposure of your Philodendron Subhastatum to cold temperatures, the greater the damage. As these plants do not have an equal proportion of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in the lipid bi-layers of their membranes, they are less resistant to cold.

To prevent cold injury, keep your Philodendron Subhastatum away from air conditioners. During winters, place them inside the house in warm temperatures.

Magnesium Deficiency

Philodendron Subhastatum needs good soil to grow in which needs to be regularly fertilized. However, if certain important nutrients become deficient in the soil, the plant can suffer from its deficiency. One such important mineral nutrient is magnesium.

Magnesium helps Philodendron Subhastatum to grow healthy. Its deficiency is common in the soil, which is not fertile enough. Over-watering can cause the mineral to be leached off the soil. If your potting mixture and fertilizer have more potassium to magnesium ratio, the former would be absorbed more than the latter.

The deficiency of the mineral results in Philodendron Subhastatum growing yellow leaves with popped out veins. If left unchecked, the plant and all the leaves eventually die.

To prevent magnesium deficiency in your Philodendron Subhastatum, provide rich organic compost annually. A good compost conserves moisture, thereby preventing leaching out of nutrients.

As a temporary solution, I sometimes use chemical leaf sprays. To improve nutrient uptake by the roots of your Philodendron Subhastatum, use Epsom salts.


Tips for Growing Philodendron Subhastatum

Following are the tips you must keep in mind to have healthy Philodendron Subhastatum:

  • Do not use cheap fertilizers. Use good high-quality fertilizer to not hurt the life-span of your plant.
  • After watering the plant, make sure it dries in an hour, and there is no moisture on the surface.
  • Prior to propagating and potting, make sure your equipment is properly sterilized from any germs and infections.
  • To propagate your Philodendron Subhastatum with stem cutting, use a knife, blade, or scissors. The stem must be 2-3 inches long.
  • For tip cutting, cut off a similar section from the stem of the Philodendron Subhastatum but make sure there is a leaf on it.
  • Make sure the plant is healthy before you buy it. An infested plant can hurt other plants as well.
  • When you water your Philodendron Subhastatum, make sure that the water is going down the drainage hole into a saucer.
  • A weakened Philodendron Subhastatum is prone to infestations from pests and insects.
  • Philodendron Subhastatum is a climber, so you should provide it rough and damp support to which its aerial roots can attach to.


Frequently Asked Questions about Philodendron Subhastatum


When should we expect the roots to appear in both soil and water-propagated cuttings?

The roots start to appear 2-3 weeks after propagating the plant. These roots will visibly grow in both soil and water propagated cuttings.


When should I shift the propagated plant to a bigger pot?

You may shift the cutting of Philodendron Subhastatum to a bigger pot after 2-4 months. At this point, you should start treating and caring for it like any mature plant.


For how long can Philodendron Subhastatum live?

Because the Philodendron Subhastatum is a perennial plant, they live for many years.


Is the Philodendron Subhastatum toxic?

The plant has calcium oxalate crystals, which can be very toxic if ingested. Symptoms can range from stomach aches to inability to breathe.



Philodendron Subhastatum is a rare and beautiful indoor ornamental plant. It is known for its beautiful foliage containing two colors; green on the surface and red below the surface of the leaf. The plant is low maintenance and grows well by itself, provided optimal conditions are given.

Due to their toxicity, you should keep them away from pets and children. You may place them on higher surfaces in the form of hanging baskets for an increase in ambiance.

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