It is not hot news that philodendron plants have the best, most unique foliage. Philodendron Mexicanum is one of these beauties. If you have an eye for aesthetically-pleasing botanical gardens, you’ll love this plant and its beauty. The leaves are a stunning blend of light and dark green, and they’re uniquely elongated with the pointy end. But there’s more to it! If you’d like to know them, keep on reading.
- Family: Araceae
- Subfamily: Aroideae
- Genus: Philodendron
About the genus Philodendron
The genus Philodendron is a particularly large genus of flowering plants of the Araceae family. In September of 2015, the World Checklist of Selected Plants Families accepted around 489 species. Some sources show a different number of species, but this is the most widely accepted. No matter what the exact number is, this genus is still the second-largest member of Araceae’s family. Many species are grown as indoor plants, but generally speaking, the genus Philodendron is not very well known. However, we know that these plants are all unique and widely famous for their beautiful foliage and evergreen nature. They’re easy to grow and are thus a crowd-favorite among house-plant enthusiasts. Some of the most popular plants of this genus are Blue Marx Fantasy, Philodendron Pastazanum, and Philodendron Birkin.
Philodendron Mexicanum Common Names
- Philodendron Latisagittum
Origin and Distribution
Botanist Heinrich Gustav Adolf Englar first found and introduced Philodendron Mexicanum in 1878. The plant is commonly discovered in the rainforests of Mexico and is native to the Chiapas region. However, other places that the plant grows include places in Central America such as Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador.
Philodendron Mexicanum Features
Foliage and Stem
If you know anything about this particular species, you are probably here for the foliage. It is the primary feature of the plant and for all the right reasons. The leaves are dog-eared, narrow, and triangular. Their texture is semi-glossy, and they are gorgeously green. Their undersides are magenta to maroon.
A major reason that most people love this genus is that all the plants in this category are evergreen.
A fully mature Philodendron Mexicanum plant can reach a height of 2 feet if kept under the right conditions. Because the leaves are big and the height is tall, you might have to give it some external support to stay upright.
Being tropical plants, Philodendron Mexicanum is not a cold-resistant plant. Any temperature below 55 degrees Fahrenheit can make the plant ill.
Plants like this one do not complain in humid environments. In fact, they appreciate a generous boost in air-moisture every now and then.
From February to May, these plants grow inflorescence in the form of tiny, green spathes. These look like hoods that are ruby inside. However, these inflorescences are not the flowers of the plant. The actual flowers grow along the spadix, are very small, and can barely be seen with the naked eye.
Tropical plants are not drought-resistant. They like humidity and regular water. Plus, rough and dry environments are not favorable to these plants, especially to Philodendron Mexicanum.
The tough, leathery structure of the leaves makes them quite tolerant of pressure. However, the stem of the plant is not as sharp or resistant.
Disease and Pest Resistance
Philodendron Mexicanum plants are not a disease or pest resistant. The most common problems that they encounter are pest attacks from aphids and mealybugs and diseases such as leaf spots.
However, you must remember that these problems only occur to weak and vulnerable plants, such as those living in inadequate environments. Thus, keeping them in optimum care and conditions is the best way to avoid these issues.
These plants’ growth rate depends only on how you keep them and what their genetic makeup is. They may grow fast or slow, and as tall as two feet on average.
One thing that you must remember about this plant is that they are toxic and not meant for ingestion. Keep your curious kids and pets away from this plant at all costs. If either of them shows inflammation and irritation symptoms, suspect a possible mishandling incident with the plant and get medical help immediately.
Philodendron Mexicanum has a perennial life cycle, which means that they can live from at least two years to as long as you keep them under proper care. This particular feature makes them a very durable plant.
Considering that a Philodendron Mexicanum does not need fancy care environments or added efforts, they are effortless to take care of and surprisingly low-maintenance.
Like most philodendron plants, this one also goes dormant during the winter season. Their growth rate stops, and they conserve any food or water that you provide. The smartest way to care for this plant is to give it only what it needs and avoid propagation and pruning.
Philodendron Mexicanum Care
Like most philodendron plants, Mexicanum requires bright but indirect lights, lots of moisture in the air and the soil, and reasonable amounts of fertilizer every now and then. However, they are not a fan of cold temperatures, so make sure you keep them warm at all times.
Philodendron Mexicanum care involves lots of regular watering, but this does not mean that you can water it whenever you like. As much as they love irrigation, they tend to be overwatered very quickly and are not tolerant of such circumstances. The only way to try and avoid such a situation is to check the soil texture with your fingers or check its moisture level with a moisture meter. If the top 2 to centimeters seem to be dry, you can water the plant.
A healthy-looking Mexicanum is dependent on good soil. Make sure that the soil mix you use is rich, organic, and well-draining. If not, it will retain too much water and become waterlogged, suffocating the plant immediately. Peat and perlite are favorable amendments, and you can use them to improve the soil’s quality. Maintain the pH from 5 to 7 (acidic to neutral).
These tropical plants love the sun. They require about 70 to 85% of exposure to natural sunlight. However, they are not used to being exposed directly to it. They lie under the shade of taller trees that act as canopies. When you grow this species at home, try to create a similar environment, and do not put the plant directly under the sun. Instead, use a 20 to 40% shade cloth to mellow the sunlight and protect the plant from damage.
A temperature range of minimum 55 to a maximum of 80 degrees Fahrenheit is optimum for a healthy Mexicanum. Anything abruptly lower than this can make the plant look curled and dried. Similarly, anything too high can also damage the plant and stunt its growth.
Occasional misting and indoor humidifiers are favorable amendments to Philodendron Mexicanum care. Keep the plant nicely hydrated from the soil as well as the surrounding air. Keeping the plant in a pebble tray filled with water can also provide continuously but maintained humidity levels. Just make sure that the container or pot is sitting on the pebbles and not directly touching the water. They require about 20 to 40% air humidity during the daytime and 80 to 100% during the night.
You can either fertilize these plants three times a year using slow-release fertilizers or feed them every couple of months using other types of plant food. Just make sure that the product is high-quality, free of cheap chemicals and salts, and spread them around the base at a 6-inch diameter.
Grooming and Pruning
You will not have to prune these plants frequently since their growth habit is quite organized naturally. They grow single leaves and the only maintenance they need to maintain their length and make sure they are clean.
Philodendron Mexicanum Propagation
Mexicanum plants are straightforward to propagate using cuttings from the plant or via berries that they grow.
- If you want to grow these plants through stem cuttings, simply choose a mature Mexicanum and take a two to three-inch-long cutting.
- Place the cutting in a pot with appropriate soil mix.
- Put it under bright lights, average humidity, and temperate environments and water it regularly.
- However, if you want to grow this plant using the berries, remove a few from the plant when it is producing them.
- Cut them open and remove the seeds from the fruit.
- Wash and dry them thoroughly.
- Prepare a pot and dig a small hole in the soil.
- Place the seeds inside and care for it as with the stem cutting.
Day 1-7: Decide which method you want to go for and plant it in a suitable soil mix.
Week 2-3: If you provide the right environment, both rear stem cutting and the seeds will start developing roots.
Month 2-4: You can remove the baby plant from the current container and shift it to a larger pot meant for long-term use. Care for it as a mature Philodendron Mexicanum.
Hence proved that a Mexicanum is one of the prettiest, most stylish, and easy to maintain plants in the Philodendron genus. Their care is easy and doesn’t require a lot of time and effort. However, there are still a few crucial things that you must know before you buy one of these plants, which is why reading the information mentioned above will help you a lot.