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Philodendron Pedatum – The Oak Leaf Philodendron

by gardeningit
Philodendron Pedatum

Philodendron Pedatum is a low-maintenance plant that can quickly adjust to any indoor habitat. It can flourish indoors in all seasons because of which it is quite a popular houseplant. Pedatum Philodendrons are exotic and stunning species and they are also helpful in purifying the air in your home. It is an indoor ornamental plant and looks great hanging from baskets and pots. The Araceae family is one of the more primitive basal species of monocotyledonous plants. It includes herbaceous perennial plants with tuberous or rhizomatous stems.

Name of The Plant

The name Philodendron is made up of two Greek words; ‘Philo’ meaning love and ‘dendron’ meaning tree. Oakleaf Philodendron, Philodendron laciniatum, Philodendron quericifolium, Philodendron amazonicum, Philodendron laciniosum are all synonyms of the same plant.

Origin and Distribution

Philodendrons are native to the rainforests of Brazil. Growing on the forest floor and being highly adaptive to low light. In their natural habitat, they are understory plants and are used to dappled sunlight. However, this species is found in a diverse habitat of Central and South America and the West Indies. Araceae are spread throughout all the continents except Antarctica. Some of the most popular Philodendron plants are Philodendron Esmeraldense, Philodendron Plowmanii, and Philodendron Painted Lady.

Classification of Philodendron Pedatum

  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Tribus: Philodendreae
  • Genus: Philodendron
  • Species: Philodendron pedatum

Philodendron Pedatum Features

Philodendron pedatum is a climber and can grow very well indoors. They can reach a height of three meters. As the plant matures and climbs its leaves get bigger and stunning. There are two types of Philodendron: the climbers and the non-climbing Philodendron. The climbers thrive well as indoor houseplants if provided with firm support. They produce aerial roots from the stems to anchor them to the host or moss pole. The non-climbers grow into a huge size with large, lobed leaves, better suited to large open spaces. They are mostly used for interior landscaping in offices or shopping malls.


The common name was given to the members of the Araceae family of plants, also known as Philodendron. All aroids are distinguished by their unique flower structure. The aroid plants tend to be “low light” because in nature they are found in the understory of the rainforest canopy.


The aroid blossoms are a bunch of many tiny flowers growing together on a “spadix”. A spadix is a structure of inflorescence, that has small blooms on a fleshy stem. It is surrounded by a leaf-like curved structure known as a spathe which is important in pollination. Flies and bees are agents of pollination. Many times, heat also plays a role in pollination, because the spadix increases the temperature to vaporize the scents, which attracts insects. The attractive colors of the spathe and spadix also play an important role in pollination.


Araceae family are known for their exotic foliage. Leaf-blades have interesting sizes, shapes, and colors. They are lobed or divided with different textures. It can be said that “Diversity” is the main attraction within the species. Philodendron pedatum has a multi-lobed leaf with a single large lower live. The leaves measure 15 to 23 cm (6-9 inches) in length. They are medium to dark green with a little brown or maroon tinge.

Pest and Problems

Pedatum Philodendron is quite hardy and low-maintenance. They are prone to mealybugs, scale bugs, spider mites, and thrips sometimes. A weekly spray of horticultural oil will get rid of them. A good idea is to wipe-down the plant every week with a solution of lukewarm water and mild soap. Another problem is that of the leaves turning brown and crispy, caused by potassium deficiency and under-watering. If the leaves are curling or wilting, then again it is a sign of under-watering. If you witness your plant having blackened stems it could mean that the plant is being overwatered.


The leaves of Philodendron contain crystal raphides, along with calcium oxalate crystals, which form fibers similar to asbestos. They are toxic to pets and humans.

Air Purification

The Philodendron Pedatum along with being a decorative houseplant is also an air purifier. Because it absorbs air pollutants like formaldehyde and cleans the air you breathe. This species acts as a biofilter. The aerial roots and big leaves absorb the pollutants and release it as oxygen. To clean your indoor air, place a Philodendron in every 100 square feet of living space.

General Information of Plant

  • Plant Habit: Vine, herb
  • Category: Tropicals, Perennials, Climbers
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Sun Requirements: Dappled Shade
  • Water Requirements: Mesic, do not overwater
  • Soil PH Requirements: Slightly acidic (6.1 – 6.5) Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
  • Leaves: Evergreen
  • Suitable Location: Houseplants
  • Resistance: Humidity tolerant
  • Toxicity: Toxic to animals and humans
  • Propagation: By dividing offsets, stem cuttings, by air layering, by seeds
  • Containers: Needs extra drainage in containers.

Pedatum Philodendron Care

To care for your Philodendron is quite easy, as the plant tells you what it needs if you watch out for the signals. Even if you do not have a green thumb and are only beginning to keep houseplants, you will have no issues growing philodendron plants as they will readily embrace their environment. They are highly adaptive plants which makes them very popular among indoor plants. Taking care of Philodendron plants is relatively easy; as they thrive indoors without any problem. They do enjoy the outdoors sometimes when the weather permits.

Philodendrons are quite sturdy and do not experience any stress when moved from indoors to outdoors. Doing so will allow you to flush the soil, with water and clean the dust off from the leaves. It is important to mimic their natural conditions for the healthy growth of Philodendron.


Philodendrons thrive in medium, bright, dappled sunlight about 8-10 hours each day. Naturally, the older leaves turn yellow. If the plant gets too much sun, you will notice several yellow leaves. They can tolerate low light conditions too. If your plant becomes leggy or spindly its time to move your Philodendron to a brighter spot.

Artificial Light Requirements

If natural light is not present, a mixture of fluorescent and incandescent light will give the best results.

Water Requirements

As a general rule, water your plant when the top inch of soil appears dry. If overwatered, the Philodendron will rot. An indication of under watering is when the leaves turn brown and start falling off. Droopy leaves also indicate a problem with watering. Once the problem is fixed and watering is adequate, the leaves will revive. For large, uniform leaves your Philodendron needs ample water. The potting mix must be kept moist and not wet. Make sure to drain all excess water, because if the roots sit in water too long, it can cause root injury resulting in leaves to turn yellow and fall off.

The plant should never be watered directly from the tap, it should be lukewarm, stagnant rainwater is best for Philodendron Pedatum. A good idea is to fill a watering can and let it stand for a day or two. In summers mist the leaves every two days and in winter you can mist every three to four days.

Temperature Requirements

The recommended temperature for optimum growth of your plant is between 65-78 degrees Fahrenheit during daytime and about 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the night time.

Potting Mix

Philodendrons do well in loose and well-drained soil. Make sure that your pots contain drainage holes. If the soil becomes too compact, knead and fluff it to break up the clumps. They grow well in soilless mixtures, for example, peat-vermiculite or peat-perlite. You can also use 100% sphagnum peat moss. This species prefers a lightweight, yet nutritious soil that doesn’t dry out quickly. A high-quality soil with rotten leaves, coconut fibers or flower soil is a good option.

Fertilizer Requirements

The fertilizer should always be applied to moist soil to avoid injury to the roots. Plants grown in low-light require fewer doses of fertilizer as compared to actively-growing Philodendrons. It is always best to fertilize more when your plant is at half strength rather than give one strong dose of fertilizer. Philodendron Pedatums are heavy feeders and a regular fertilizer with nitrogen will give you a healthy plant with big beautiful leaves. Slow growth and small leaves, is an indication that it isn’t getting enough fertilizer.

Humidity Requirements

As the Philodendrons are native to temperate climates, they thrive in warm and humid conditions. The ideal level of humidity is 60%. You can buy a humidity monitor to check the level in your home. A higher level of humidity will ensure thick growth and shiny leaves.


When the roots of your plants are growing out of the pot, it’s time to repot it. You should choose a bigger pot, the old soil should be brushed away and old roots must be trimmed. The best time to do it is early summer. Place the plant in the new pot along with the drainage layer. Now water the plant and put it in bright light. You don’t need to use fertilizer in the first couple of weeks.


When the Philodendron grows to be too big it can be cut back quite easily. The best time to do this is from spring to late summer. You can use a sharp knife to shorten the shoots. Be careful do not cut the aerial roots. You can trim the plant to get a more-desirable, shorter height suited to your indoor space.

Philodendron Pedatum Propagation

Philodendron Pedatum can be propagated by the following methods:

Propagation by Seeds

Plants propagated by seeds have slow growth. Plant the seeds in ⅓ of an inch of soil, and cover them. Mist the soil to keep it moist, do not let it dry out completely. The seeds should not be soaked before planting. They will germinate in about 2-8 weeks. The ideal temperature is from 20-23 degrees Celsius. When the shoots come out, move each seed to a pot of its own.

Propagation by Stem Cutting

Take a stem cutting from a healthy mother plant. Cut at least 3 inches below a joint. Remove the lower leaves on the stem. Put the stem cutting in a container of water, in medium light. Place the stem cutting in a small pot of soil when roots appear. Keep watering regularly, and make sure your pot has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent over-watering.

Propagation by Air Layering

When the plant is mature and difficult to cut you can use the method of Air Layering to propagate your Philodendron. Make a 45 degree cut, halfway in a mature branch. Put a piece of plastic in the semi-cut, wrap it with a ball of moist moss. Wrap this moss on the stem using a string and plastic wrap. In about 15 days time roots will appear in the moss. Once healthy roots start growing, you can cut the stem from 1 inch of the air-layering site. Remove the string and plastic, and plant the moss ball with roots in a pot containing nutritious soil with a drainage hole at the bottom.

Growth Timelines

Here is an estimated guideline of the growth pattern of the Philodendron Pedatum. It is important to note that every plant is different in its needs and you should observe them and adjust their needs accordingly.

Day 1: Take a stem cutting from a healthy mother plant and plant it in water or moist soil.

Day 3 – Day 20: Place your plant in a warm and humid place with indirect low light. The cutting planted in the soil must be watered every third day, make sure the soil is neither dry or soggy, it should be slightly moist. However, if you have decided to place the cutting in water, it would not need any care at this point.

Day 20 – Day 50: You should keep an eye on the planted cutting and water according to the soil condition.

Day 50 – Day 90: Roots and shoots would start emerging from the cutting. Tiny green, heart-shaped leaves will emerge covered by a leaf scale or cataphyll. The roots of the cutting, planted in water will be visible by now. However, the baby plant still needs to be watched carefully.

Day 90 – Day 170: By this time, you would see many new leaves growing on the baby plant. Also, the plant’s height and length will gradually increase and you should water your Pedatum Philodendron twice a week at this stage. The rule of the top four inches of dry soil is applied at this point. A little quantity of suitable fertilizer can also be added. If your water propagated your stem, this is a good time to transfer the plant to soil.

Day 170 – Day 190: Your baby plant is quite stable by this time and does not need much care . Thus, taking care of basic light, water, and temperature requirements will be enough. If the plant is potted in a totem pot, vines climbing up the post can be seen at this stage.

Day 190 – Day 300: Pedatum Philodendrons do well in winters. However, you should transfer your plant to a warm place to boost its growth. Also, watering should be done only once or twice a month.

Day 300 – Day 350: Now you will witness quick and immense growth. Your Philodendron is flourishing and becoming quite a jungle-beauty. Add fertilizer, water your plant three times a week. For healthy and bushy foliage, pruning is recommended at this stage.

Day 350 onwards: It’s summertime and your Pedatum Philodendron needs watering every alternate day, and fertilizer once a month. Also, maintain adequate humidity around the plant.

At this point, most of their baby leaves will have turned into metallic and elongated leaves. Thus, a monthly examination of the plant along with the basic requirements of light, water, and soil are enough for your plant to flourish.

The Takeaway

A typical indoor plant, that is low-maintenance, purifies the air and looks gorgeous. The Philodendron Pedatum is adored by plant lovers and it deserves its own space where it can show off its unique natural beauty. It makes a dramatic statement in large residential and commercial spaces. They are quite effective at filtering the air we breathe.

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