A rare evergreen aroid having triangular-shaped leaves, which is grown abundantly in the tropical regions as a houseplant, is Philodendron Oxapapense. This vining plant has shiny dark-green leaves that can grow as large as 19 cm. The foliage of this vine can climb up on a support stake, or it can dangle down a hanging basket. So, you can get creative with the placement of this fascinating tropical vine.
It is a beginner-friendly plant. So, if you want to learn about its care guide, keep reading this article.
Philodendron Oxapapense Classification
- Family: Araceae
- Subfamily: Aroideae
- Genus: Philodendron
This plant is endemic to the jungles of tropical America.
Philodendron Oxapapense Appearance
This plant has large, triangular to heart-shaped, dark-green leaves. The leaves are smooth in texture.
This Philodendron species can grow several feet tall. It is why these can also be grown on trellis or stakes.
Philodendron Oxapapense Care
To ensure optimal growth, water your Philodendron Oxapapense once a week and fertilize it every 2 weeks. You should plant it in well-draining soil, which is rich in organic matter. The temperature should be kept around 24°C to 30°C, and the humidity should be set to 60%.
- Watering: Once a week.
- Soil type: Loose, well-draining, and organic-rich.
- Sunlight: Bright and indirect.
- Temperature: 24°C to 30°C.
- Humidity: above 60%.
- Fertilizer: Balanced liquid fertilizer bimonthly.
Here is a detailed care guide, so you don’t miss anything.
Philodendron Oxapapense Watering
Philodendron Oxapapense should be watered as soon as its topsoil gets dry. The topsoil consists of above 2 inches. Stick your index finger into the soil till your first knuckle to check if the soil is dry yet.
During the growing season, it needs watering just once a week. But in summers, the soil gets dry quickly, so it may need twice or thrice waterings per week.
You should water the soil slowly and thoroughly so that the water can reach the most bottom part of the root system. Once you have watered the plant, wait for all the excess water to flow out of the drainage hole, and then place it back to its spot.
This Philo has aerial roots, but it absorbs the maximum of its nutrients from its underground roots. It is why it should be planted in organic-rich soil. The soil should also be loose and well-draining so that no excess water is retained in it.
The ideal potting mix for this plant is one that consists of 50% potting soil and 50% perlite or vermiculite. You should also add compost to the soil to increase its fertility.
Instead of using potting soil, you can also use 100% sphagnum moss.
Philodendron Oxapapense Sunlight
As this plant is native to the rainforests, it is accustomed to growing under dappled sunlight. It is why it prefers bright, indirect sunlight to grow in a home instead of direct sunlight. You should place it near a window where it can receive ample sunlight for its proper growth. Make sure no direct sun rays fall on its pretty foliage. Direct sunshine can scorch and burn its leaves.
If you have a south or west-facing window at home, you should never place this plant too near the window. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet.
Tropical regions and the USDA growth zones of 9 to 11 are best-suited for growing Philodendron Oxapapense. The ideal temperature range for this plant is 24°C to 30°C. At night, it can tolerate a temperature as low as 12°C.
This species is not winter-hardy so never make the mistake of leaving it outdoors in winters. It is susceptible to cold injuries, so it must be placed in a warmer spot during winters. If the temperature falls below the average range, move the plant to a greenhouse to provide it with the required level of warmth.
If you have houseplants indoors, you must do something about the humidity levels. Tropical plants like Philodendron Hastatum, Philodendron Squamicaule, and Philodendron Black Cardinal need high humidity when grown indoors. Their closely related species, Philodendron Oxapapense, also prefers saturated air for its vibrant foliage. Use a humidifier to increase your indoor humidity. The humidifier must be set to maintain 60% relative humidity.
Other than that, you can also use a pebble tray to fulfill this plant’s humidity requirements. Place its pot on a pebble tray filled with water. The level of water must be below the drainage hole of the pot.
This plant needs a constant supply of micronutrients to grow properly. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the three most essential nutrients for its foliage. You should fertilize this plant regularly to provide it with these nutrients. Use a fertilizer that has an equal amount of all these nutrients.
Either use a liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks or a slow-release fertilizer every six months to fertilize this Philodendron. Also, use a diluted form of fertilizer to save the roots from burning.
Grooming and Pruning
This plant should be pruned yearly to get rid of its leggy appearance. All the dead branches should also be cut down. Pruning must be done in spring or fall. This way, the plant will have enough time to come out of stress and start growing again. Always use disinfected tools to prune this plant.
How to Propagate Philodendron Oxapapense
Philodendron Oxapapense propagation is as easy as the propagation of any other Philodendron. It is propagated through its stem cuttings. You can either root these cuttings in water or directly in the soil. Here are the basic steps of its propagation.
- Cut a healthy stem cutting from the plant, which is 3-4 inches long.
- Do not take a leafless cutting.
- Dip the cutting end in rooting hormone and leave it overnight for callus formation.
- Take a small container and fill it with a potting mix. You can also use sphagnum moss.
- Plant the stem cutting in the center of the potting mix and water it.
- After 4 to 6 weeks, new roots and branches will emerge from the stem cutting.
- After new growth takes place, move the cutting to a proper pot.
- The stem cutting will take an equal time to form roots in water.
Philodendron Oxapapense Basic Features
The growth rate of this plant is fast to moderate, depending on its growing conditions. If the light levels or temperature is below its actual needs, its growth rate slows down.
This plant also climbs if grown on a wooden stake or trellis. Just bind it to the sticks and watch it vine up.
Philodendron Oxapapense is a gorgeous plant with incredible air-purifying properties. The leaves of this plant have a natural ability to remove all the toxins from the air. These leaves also add oxygen to the surroundings. It is a healthy thing to have this plant around.
Philodendron Oxapapense Toxicity
This plant is not pet-friendly. Its leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals, and these crystals are harmful to humans and pets. All its dead leaves should be collected from the ground as soon as they fall from the foliage. Because if any toddler or pet eats them by mistake, it can get a severe allergic reaction.
The ability of its foliage to store water makes this Philodendron a drought-tolerant plant. If it is not watered for some weeks, its growth rate slows down, and it starts to use its retained water. This state is in the dormancy stage.
Oxapapense Philodendron is a perfect plant for beginners. It is an easy-to-care, low-maintenance plant with a limited number of care needs. If you have experience in gardening, growing this plant indoors will be a piece of cake for you.
This plant does not grow in winters when the temperature and light levels fall below a certain range. This dormancy stage continues till the conditions come to normal again. As this Philo does not grow in winters, it should not be fertilized. Its watering should also be decreased to just once every two weeks.
Common Problems and Their Solutions
This beautiful plant species is resistant to diseases and pests. But still, there are some problems that you might face.
- Cold Injury: This plant can easily get a cold injury, so protect it from freezing temperatures. We recommend you move it to a warmer spot or a greenhouse in winter. Also, never place it in the way of cold or hot drafts.
- Bacterial Leaf Spot: Due to less air circulation, Pseudomonas spp. or Xanthomonas spp. infect its leaves. These cause bacterial leaf spot. Any brown or black, water-soaked lesions on the leaves indicate the presence of bacterial leaf spot. Spray diluted baking soda on the foliage to treat this disease.
- As we already mentioned, this plant is pest-resistant. But if you notice any pests lurking under its long leaves, wipe the leaves with rubbing alcohol or neem oil immediately. This will keep the pests away.
Frequently Asked Questions about Philodendron Oxapapense
The Leaves of My Plant Are Green, but the Stems Are Yellow. What Should I Do?
It is a common condition caused by under-fertilization. If the fertilizer that you are using does not contain enough nitrogen to meet the plant’s needs, the stems of your plant will start to turn yellow. Try fertilizing your plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
Should I Re-pot My Plant?
If your plant has outgrown its size or its roots are growing out of the drainage hole, then we recommend you re-pot your plant. Otherwise, wait for the above signs to appear. Normally, this plant needs repotting after 12 to 24 months.
Is This a Rare Philodendron Species?
Yes, Philodendron Oxapapense is a rare aroid that is native to tropical America. If you have one at your home, you should definitely propagate it to increase your collection of a rare gem of the plants.
Growing Philodendrons in a room is the perfect way to turn your indoors into a tropical jungle. Philodendron Oxapapense is a beautiful Philodendron species that you can add to your plant collection. Let’s count its amazing features. It is low-maintenance, and it is drought-tolerant. It has an attractive appearance, and it cleans the air. Its foliage forgives you for fair neglect. All in all, it is a great indoor plant.