Philodendron Atabapoense with its large, dark-green, arrow-shaped leaves having deep maroon undersides, and long petioles, is a breathtaking plant of the Araceae family. The striking leaves of this houseplant are its basic beauty that perfectly adorns the indoors as well as purifies the surrounding air.
These tropical plants are climbers that grow faster with a totem or support. Its leaves exhibit exquisite colors when sunrays fall upon them. You can grow it in your living room, in your office, or even in your home garden.
- Family: Araceae
- Subfamily: Aroideae
- Genus: Philodendron
Origin and Distribution
This atabapoense species from the Philodendron genus is native to South America. It is a tropical plant that is widely distributed in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil and the Southern parts of Venezuela.
Philodendron Billietiae x Atabapoense
The cross between Philodendron Billietiae and Philodendron Atabapoense has produced a unique hybrid, Philodendron billietiae x atabapoense. This hybrid is not much different than its parent plants; it is just prettier and hardier than both. Philodendron billietiae x atabapoense has orange-colored petioles that differ from the maroon colored petioles or Philodendron Atabapoense.
Philodendron Atabapoense Features
Foliage and Stem
The charming Philodendron Atabapoense has large leaves that are around 30 inches long and 3 inches wide. Its leaves are strap or arrow-shaped. Their color keeps changing as they turn from the juvenile stage to the mature stage. The leaves have dark-green upper sides and deep maroon undersides. They are smooth and glossy in texture.
Each leaf is held up by a separate petiole and stem that is sleek and slender. Its petioles and stem stretch out to occupy the whole pot’s space so that each of its parts receives enough sunlight and moisture.
This perennial Philo is an evergreen plant that remains fresh, green, and functional throughout the year. It does not shed its leaves like deciduous plants. It sheds its leaves one by one as they get old and dry.
This splendid plant attains a mature height of 4 feet. If you care for it properly and keep it in ideal conditions, it will attain its maximum height, 8 feet. This tropical plant is a climber that grows better and faster if supported by a pole or totem.
Philodendron atabapoense requires to be placed in a warmer corner to grow properly. It does not like colder temperatures. Too much heat will also damage its pretty foliage. It is better if you grow this Philo outdoors in summers under shade cloth and indoors in winters.
This plant is endemic to the tropical rainforests. It prefers a highly humid environment. It is better if you mimic your indoor humidity levels to those of rainforests by installing a humidifier. If you don’t want to go for a pricy option, try grouping your plants. It will also increase the surrounding humidity.
This lovely plant not only gives your home a touch of nature but also keeps it fresh and clean. Its large leaves act as natural air purifiers, and these are capable of removing unnecessary toxic substances from the air.
Philodendron atabapoense is a water-loving plant. Its leaves might be larger and magnificent, but they cannot retain enough water for harsh conditions. This beaut is not drought-tolerant. You must not keep it thirsty for a longer time.
This plant is a tough guy when it comes to neglect and pressure. It can survive a fair amount of neglect. But it does not mean that you forget about it completely and leave it to rot and dry out in a corner.
Disease and Pest Resistance
The only pests that lurk around this Philo are spider mites. These small mites suck nutrients from their leaves and stem. You should get rid of these mites as soon as possible because a lesser amount of nutrients can result in the yellowing of leaves.
Erwinia blight and other bacterial infections are some of the diseases that affect this plant. Keep an eye for them as these diseases can prove fatal to them.
These tropical plants are fast growers that reach their mature height in about two to three years. If you live in USDA plant hardiness zones of 4a to 11, grow this plant indoors or on a patio. You can grow it outdoors if your hardiness zone is 9b to 11.
This popular houseplant is beautiful and all, but it is quite toxic. Its large and stunning leaves have calcium oxalate crystals that are poisonous to humans and animals. If ingested, it can cause swelling of the mouth and GIT. It is better if you keep your toddlers and nibbling pets away from this beauty.
Philodendrons are common and popular houseplants because they are quite durable. These have a lifespan of several years. It stays fresh, green, and healthy for more than five years. The only thing you have to do is care for it properly, and it will keep embellishing your indoor settings for many years.
Philodendron atabapoense is a low-maintenance plant. You can easily grow this plant indoors or outdoors without any hassle. Once you mastered the basics, it is an easy-to-maintain plant.
Like every other Philo, this lovely, green beauty enjoys a period of rest every year in winters. Its growth rate slows down from autumn to late winters. You should not feed it during these dormant months; otherwise, your plant might die of leeching.
Philodendron Atabapoense Care
Philodendron atabapoense must be watered thrice in a week; it must be kept under indirect light. Plus, grow it in slightly acidic, organic, and loose soil. The humidity levels must be above 65%. The ideal growth zones are 4a to 11. Feed it with slow-release fertilizer thrice every year.
Philodendron atabapoense needs to be watered regularly. You can schedule its watering plan by observing the average time in which the soil dries completely. It needs to be watered once or twice a week in spring and summer. In winters, it does not need watering until after two weeks.
Droopy leaves indicate either under-watering or overwatering; you should never drag your plant in either of these adverse conditions. Always let the water drain down the drainage holes, so your plant does not sit in standing water.
This Philo grows best in loose, well-drained, and organic soil. You can increase its drainage and aeration by adding perlite, orchid bark, a little sand, or peat moss in it. This Philodendron atabapoense also grows well in 100% sphagnum moss, but you should add the necessary fertilizers to it.
The ideal soil type is slightly acidic to neutral type. You should maintain its pH around 6.1-7.3. If you want to increase the acidity of the soil of your home garden, mist its top layer with diluted vinegar.
Philodendrons are splendid plants, mostly with dark green leaves. They need proper light exposure to produce enough chlorophyll to stay green and fresh. Philodendron atabapoense must be kept in 70-85% dappled to partial shade. It must be placed in a spot where it receives bright but indirect light. If you want to grow this lovely plant in your office that has no windows, you can also grow it under artificial grow lights.
In home gardens or greenhouses, you must cover it with shade cloth, so the direct sun does not burn its pretty foliage. Outdoors, 40-70% of light exposure is enough for its proper growth.
These tropical plants love warmer temperatures; these are not frost-hardy. You can grow a Philodendron atabapoense indoors at an average room temperature. The optimum temperature for its normal growth ranges from 12°C to 26°C (55°F to 88°F). You can grow this gorgeo in your office, living room, or patio. But make sure that it is not placed nearer to the radiator. The heat might damage and burn its leaves.
If you are growing this plant outdoors, you must move it inside the walls in winters. It cannot tolerate temperatures lower than 12°C.
Philodendron atabapoense prefers highly humid surroundings. If you want your Philo to grow healthier and greener, maintain the humidity around it at 65% to 70%. It is better to keep this plant in a group with other plants, so the moisture level around it is always higher. These higher humid levels help the plant to lower its transpiration rate, so they cut down its water loss.
This low-maintenance Philodendron does not bother much for feeding. You need not feed it every now and then. Feeding it with an appropriate fertilizer 2-3 times a year will just do fine. This yearly feeding will let your Philo grow at a faster rate. It is best if you use a slow-release fertilizer that is available to the plant for a longer period.
The feeding schedule must be arranged as follows: in early spring, summer, late summer. Also, add a diluted vitamin solution to its base for its lush growth. Be careful with its quantity, as over-feeding can burn its roots.
Grooming and Pruning
This Philodendron is known for its magnificent foliage and splendid form. This gorgeous plant must be pruned and groomed from time to time. This practice will free the plant from dead, old, yellowed, and extra leaves. It will also stimulate its growth. But never forget to sterilize your scissors before pruning your plant; you must save it from infectious diseases.
Re-potting is not necessary for the initial 2-3 years. However, you must change its soil before every growing season. It will let its roots grow freely. After every 2-3 years, move your Philodendron to a bigger pot with restored drainage holes. It is better if you also add seaweed fertilizer to its soil in every re-potting.
This lovely species from the Araceae family is not an easy plant to find. It is rare and expensive. If you get your hands on one, never leave a chance to propagate it and increase your collection. This beautiful plant is not difficult to propagate. You can do so through stem cuttings by placing it either in soil or water medium. Propagating it in the soil is the same as other Philos; here is the simple guide to propagating it in water:
- Use a sterilized blade to take a stem cutting of about 6 inches.
- Make sure that it has at least 2 leafless nodes and some leaves.
- Fill a jar with filtered water and leave it for a while; let the impurities settle at the bottom.
- Submerge the cutting into the jar in a way that the leafless nodes are beneath the water surface and leaves are above it.
- Keep the jar in a well-lit spot and water it thrice a week.
- Once new roots sprout out, move the plant to a pot with proper soil mix.
Philodendron atabapoense is another stunning species from the Philodendron genus. Its beautiful, greeny leaves with reddish undersides are, for sure, a spectacle. This beaut is what every plant enthusiast must add to its plant collection because it is a low-maintenance houseplant that pretty much grows on its own.