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Philodendron Brandtianum – Silver lead Philodendron

by gardeningit
Philodendron brandtianum

Philodendron brandtianum is equally gorgeous and splendid, just like other Philodendrons. It has large, heart-shaped leaves with shiny silver to grey patches over them. This is why it is also known as Silver lead Philodendron.

It can grow as an epiphyte, hemiepiphyte, or terrestrial plant. It also makes a great addition to indoor and outdoor plant collections. Philodendron brandtianum can be grown in hanging pots or in patios; it equally adorns every corner of a room. Let’s learn more about Philodendron brandtianum care and features.

Common Names

  • Silver leaf Philodendron.
  • Brandi Philodendron.

Classification

  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Genus: Philodendron

Origin and Distribution

This species of the Philodendron genus was originally found in the tropical areas of America. It is widely distributed in Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

Philodendron Brandtianum Features

Foliage and Stem

Brandi Philodendron is known for its large, heart-shaped leaves. Its leaves keep changing their shades when they grow from their juvenile stage to maturity. When this plant is young, its leaves give a shade of orange and green. But once it matures, the leaves are more of an olive-green color, with silver and grey marking all over them.

These striking leaves are held up closely by multiple herbaceous stems.

Evergreen

Just like every other Philo, Philodendron brandtianum is an evergreen climber whose foliage does not dry out all at once. It holds onto its leaves in autumn and only sheds when some of its leaves are old enough.

Height

This beaut matures at a height of 4 to 5 feet. Its average height is what makes this vine a popular houseplant that can be placed in every spot and every corner of a house. If you grow this tropical plant outdoors in your home garden, it will grow even taller than its mature height; it all depends on its growing conditions.

Temperature Tolerance

These tropical plants are not winter-hardy; they cannot survive frosts and chilly weather. It is better to move your plant indoors during winters. If you live in colder climates, and your plant has somewhat dull leaves during frost, you need not worry; it will get better again in the next growing season.

Philodendron brandtianum is also not fond of scorching-higher temperatures. Keep it away from direct sunlight in summers.

Humidity Tolerance

This plant loves being grown in highly-humid environments. It cannot grow properly if the humidity is below 50%. You should regulate your indoor humidity levels according to their needs. Higher humidity levels will never harm this plant, no matter how much higher they are.

Drought Resistance

Philodendron brandtianum is not quite resistant to harsh conditions, such as droughts. It loves being watered; it cannot survive low-water availability. This does not mean that your Philo will die away if you forget to water it just once. It can survive through a week or fortnight without being watered, but not any more than this.

Pressure Tolerance

This beautiful vine is a compact plant whose leaves grow closer to each other. However, it does not mean that you do not give it enough space to breathe and grow. It can survive a fair amount of neglect.

Disease and Pest Resistance

This pretty climber is not prone to many diseases. However, no plant is completely safe from leaf spots and tip curl. Leaf spot is due to over-watering and standing water; tip curl is due to over-fertilizing. The outer edges of the leaves turn to curl if the plant gets tip curl disease. Reddish-brown spots with yellow centers start to appear on leaves in leaf spot disease. You should look out for these signs and immediately take the necessary measures.

The only pests that attack this plant are mealybugs and spider mites. You can easily get rid of them by spritzing diluted rubbing alcohol all over your plant.

Growth

Philodendron brandtianum is a fast-growing climber. It reaches its mature height in about 2-3 years. You can stimulate its growth rate by placing a totem in the soil; it will use the totem for support and climb upon it.

This tropical plant can be grown in USDA growth zones of 9b-11.

Toxicity

Just like its fellow species from the genus Philodendron, Philodendron brandtianum is quite toxic for pets and humans. Its gorgeous, large leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth and GIT if ingested. It is better if you keep this plant out of reach of your toddlers and nibbling pets.

Air purification

The large leaves of this Philodendron are not just for display; these also have air-purifying abilities. The leaves eliminate toxic particles from the air and keep your surroundings fresh, clean, and green.

Durability

Never think twice before planting a Philodendron in your home; it has all the good qualities and it is really durable too. If you take good care of this beautiful vine, it will stay in your home collection for years.

Maintenance

This perennial, tropical, terrestrial vine is low-maintenance. There is not a long list of things that you need to do to properly grow it. You just have to master the basics and VOILA! It will grow on its own.

Dormancy

This plant goes dormant in winters and stops growing till the next growing season. During this period of dormancy, you need not feed and water it often.

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Philodendron Brandtianum Care

Philodendron Brandtianum care is a piece of cake. Water it thrice every week; keep it in slightly acidic, loose, organic soil with a pH of 6.1-7.3; place it under bright, indirect sunlight; keep the humidity levels between 50% and 60%. This plant grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones of 9b-11.

Water Requirements

Philodendron Brandtianum is a tropical plant that needs regular watering. You should water it thrice a week in summers when the days are hot. However, watering it just once every week in winter will do fine.

Water this plant only when its topsoil is completely dry. Over-watering can harm its pretty foliage; it leads to droopy leaves. This plant does not want to sit in standing water, so it is better if you check the dryness of the upper 2-3 inches of its soil before watering it.

Soil Requirements

It is best if you plant this Philodendron in fertile, well-draining, and loose soil. You can increase the soil’s quality by adding compost or manure to it during potting the plant. Sandy, wet, dry or mucky soil is a big NO-NO for this plant.

Slightly acidic to neutral soil ensures its rich growth. The pH of the soil must be kept between 6.1 and 7.3. You can maintain its acidity by spritzing a little diluted vinegar.

You can also plant it in 100% sphagnum moss or other soilless mixtures; just make sure that your plant is getting enough minerals and fertilizer.

Sunlight

Partial shade or bright, indirect sunlight is ideal for the lush growth of this Philodendron Brandtianum. It loves bathing in the warm sun. You can place it in the east or north-facing window. Make sure that no other object is coming in the way of its warm sun rays. If you want to grow this gorgeous plant outdoors, place it under a shade of a shade-cloth; otherwise, long exposure of direct sun will scorch its pretty leaves.

Temperature Requirements

This Philo is not fond of freezing temperatures. The ideal temperature range for its proper growth is 10-35°C. It can survive the frost to some extent, but too low a temperature can cause chilly injuries. You should keep your Philo in a spot where it stays fresh and warm. Too much heat or too much cold is not preferable. Naturally, in rainforests, it is protected by the canopy from the direct sun and heat, so you need to mimic its natural habitat in your indoors to let it grow healthily and properly.

Humidity

No Philodendron does not love high humidity levels. Every Philo thrives in highly humid atmospheres. This Philo also prefers to be grown in high humidity. It prefers humidity levels of above 50-60% indoors as well as outdoors. However, normal tropical homes are not much humid, so you may have to regulate their humidity levels. You can do so by trying many ways.

You can either install a humidifier or place your plant in a pebble tray. Frequent misting will also help in keeping the plant moist. However, you need to be careful with the misting frequency, as it can bring insect and bacterial problems.

Fertilizer

This fast-growing plant might get help from some fertilizers for its lush growth. It needs to be fed at least thrice a year for its proper growth. In the growing months, summer and spring, you should feed your Philodendron Brandtianum every month or so. However, it need not be fed in winters.

You can use a domestic, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer for this plant. Try not to feed it with cheaper ones because their higher salt content will damage its roots and growth.

Grooming and Pruning

This gorgeo grows as a compact plant; its leaves grow so close to each other. Pruning the dead ones once or twice a year will do well to its growth. Cut out the old leaves from the lower side for its grooming and enhancement.

Repotting

When your plant roots start to grow in a circle and pack up, you will know it is time to re-pot it. You will have to re-pot it not before 2-3 years. If you want that your plant grows faster, taller, and healthier, let its roots grow loosely and in space from each other.

Propagation

Propagating a Philodendron brandtianum is just as easy as propagating any other Philodendron. You can propagate it through air layering or stem cuttings. Both of these methods are explained next:

Stem cuttings

  • Use sharp scissors to get an herbaceous stem cutting off about 6 inches.
  • Make sure that the stem still has some nodes.
  • Cut the leaves from the bottom nodes, while leaving 2-3 leaves on the upper part of the stem.
  • Take water in a container and keep it overnight to free it from chlorine.
  • Place the stem cutting into the container in a way that the leafless nodes are below water and the leaves are above the water surface.
  • Keep the container in a warm, well-lit spot.
  • New roots will grow in about three weeks; move your mini Philo to a new pot with proper soil mix.

Air Layering

  • Cut the stem towards any of its nodes and wrap the part in some wrapping medium.
  • Cover it with sphagnum moss and bind a plastic wrap around it.
  • New roots will grow out in about four weeks.
  • Move the cutting to a new pot.

Final Thoughts

Every plant enthusiast must have a gorgeous Philodendron in his house or home garden because these plants truly vibe fresh and green. Philodendron brandtianum is a compact, beautiful, tropical houseplant that has many remarkable features. It is a low-maintenance vine that does not want its grower to be on his toes every time to care for it. It also acts as an air purifier and keeps indoors fresh and clean. Who wouldn’t want to grow such a lovely plant?

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