The philodendron brasil is a popular houseplant for its attractive appearances and specific (some might say challenging) care requirements.
Not only do they make a lovely addition to a bedroom, office, or living room, but they are notorious for their air-purifying abilities, which is ideal for people with breathing problems such as asthma.
If you’re thinking about adding a philodendron brasil to your home, or perhaps you’re looking for information about the popular houseplant,
you’ve come to the right place! Here is everything you need to know about the philodendron brasil.
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Philodendron Brasil Overview
Also known as the variegated leaf philodendron, philodendron hederaceum brasil got its name thanks to the leaves that look similar to the Brazilian flag.
These houseplants originate from South America (most notably Brazil) and naturally occur in tropical rainforests. Despite their native habitat, philodendron brasil grow happily in indoor environments.
The philodendron brasil plant consists of variegated leaves ranging in size and vibrancy. These leaves appear on several long winding stems, wherein around 3 leaves appear on each.
This unique colouration is what makes the species so popular, as it provides a fascinating burst of green shades to any room. Plus, when grown outdoors, philodendron brasil are known to bloom white flowers in summer.
Along with the philodendron brasil handy air-purifying abilities, these plants aren’t generally prone to diseases or pests – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to inspect the plant regularly.
These houseplants are also mildly toxic to humans and animals, so keep them away from the grasp of kids and pets.
Philodendron Brasil Care Guide
Philodendron brasil are quite picky about their soil requirements. Soil that is too moist will result in catastrophic root rot, while soil that is too dry will kill the plant.
The key is to stick to a soil that is well-draining and rich in nutrients, which isn’t too dissimilar from the tropical rainforest soil that they naturally grow in.
The reason why well-drained soil is so important for plants like the philodendron brasil is because this soil helps to retain moisture without causing waterlogging.
Instead, the soil will drain excess water to prevent root rot, which causes brown leaves and mushy roots due to suffocation of oxygen.
Philodendron brasil also need a good balance of nutrients in the soil, because too much can also overwhelm the plant. They typically enjoy a light layer of nutrients, including organic matter like compost, chopped leaves, or organic mulch.
Like their tropical rainforest habitat, these plants need to live in a moist environment to thrive. However, there is a clear line between a moist environment and a wet one.
All houseplant owners know that too much water can be detrimental to a plant’s growth, and the same goes for plants that don’t receive enough water.
The best way to water a philodendron brasil is to stick your finger one inch down into the soil. The top layer of soil isn’t a good indicator of whether the plant requires watering,
because this layer dries the fastest. If the soil is dry, give your plant a good soak in the bathtub or garden until water starts to pour out of the bottom of the pot.
On average, a philodendron brasil will need to be watered once a week, though this depends on the plant and the environment.
They might need more frequent watering in summer, and they can go longer without water during the dormant winter months.
The philodendron brasil doesn’t receive much sunlight in their natural habitat, as they are permanently sheltered by taller plants in the rainforest.
So, these houseplants are tolerant of partial shade and partial natural sunlight. This is to ensure that the humidity remains at a good level and the nutrients aren’t burned from exposure to direct sunlight.
However, this plant wouldn’t grow very quickly without at least some light. For enthusiasts who want to see the flowers bloom,
these houseplants grow faster underneath an LED plant light – you’ve just got to make sure their other needs are met to prevent burning.
Also, direct sunlight can also burn the leaves of a philodendron brasil, thus damaging the whole plant. The same rules apply to high-intensity artificial light, too.
Temperature and Humidity
Philodendron brasil has a fairly average temperature requirement of between 60-85 °F, which is the general temperature for most houseplants to thrive.
The same requirements apply for outdoor growth, except in summer when they should be moved to a shaded spot when temperatures reach up to and over 100 °F.
As for humidity, philodendron brasil love to grow in a moist, humid environment. While they are generally tolerant of average house humidity levels,
they grow best in conditions around 60-80% humidity. The best ways to achieve this are to either invest in a humidifier or commit to regularly misting the leaves with water.
Misting philodendron brasil leaves has multiple benefits. Not only does it provide a humid environment to the immediate area
(which is also ideal for other plants who require humidity), but it helps to keep the leaves clean from pests and dust.
As with any plant, you will likely need to prune your philodendron brasil whenever necessary. No matter how well you take care of your plant,
there will be the occasional leaf that isn’t happy. Pruning helps to prevent the unnecessary spread of nutrients to dying/dead leaves.
The best way to prune a philodendron brasil is by simply plucking dead leaves away. If they don’t fall off easily, you can cut the leaf directly above the stem with clean pruning scissors. This will help to encourage regrowth.
Here’s where it gets a bit complicated. These plants are quite fussy when it comes to fertilizer and feeding. They work best with an all-purpose fertilizer that contains at least 16% phosphorus and 20% nitrogen.
This fertilizer should be weakened with water and fed to the plant in its watering routine once a month in summer and once every two months in winter.
Sometimes, you can afford to go a month or two without fertilizing your philodendron brasil during spring and fall if the plant seems healthy. It only really needs fertilizer when the leaves start to turn yellow or brown.
The philodendron brasil is undoubtedly one of the best houseplants to care for when you’ve had experience with other houseplants.
While it might have some specific care requirements, the work certainly pays off with the plant’s beautiful appearance.