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Philodendron Squamipetiolatum – Air Purification Plant

by gardeningit
Philodendron Squamipetiolatum

Native to the rainforests of Ecuador and Colombia, Philodendron Squamipetiolatum is a lovely aroid. It is a tropical plant that is grown widely as a houseplant due to its attractive foliage. Its foliage has large, heart-shaped, light-green leaves.

When grown indoors, this plant requires minimal care and attention. Once you learn the basics, you can grow this plant easily in your home. If you do not know about the basic care needs of this plant, we are here to help you. This article includes the simplest care guide for this Philo. Moreover, it answers some common queries regarding this plant.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Classification

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


This plant is native to Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama. It is found in the tropical rainforests of these regions.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Appearance


This plant has beautiful heart-shaped leaves that resemble the leaves of Philodendron Esmeraldense. These oblong leaves have ridges on them which give them a fuzzy look. They have a pale pink shade when they grow out of the bud. The pale pink shade then changes to a shiny light green color as the plant matures.


It does not produce showy flowers. The only inflorescence on this plant is a spadix and spathe.


It is a medium-sized plant that can be grown indoors and outdoors.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Care

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum care involves watering it once a week and fertilizing it twice a month in the growing season. It should be grown in a well-draining, nutrient-rich, loose soil. The optimum temperature range for this plant is 18-26°C, and the ideal humidity level is 65%. It needs bright, indirect sunlight to grow properly.

Quick Guide

  • Watering: Once a week.
  • Soil type: Loose, well-draining soil or 100% sphagnum moss.
  • Sunlight: Bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Temperature: 18-26°C.
  • Humidity: 60% to 70%.
  • Fertilizer: Balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer two times a month.
  • Pruning: Before the growing season.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Water Requirements

Because Philodendron Squamipetiolatum is native to a rainforest, it loves being watered. It is also susceptible to root rot, so its watering schedule should be set carefully. To be on the safer side, you should allow its soil to get dry between waterings. This way, it will not get waterlogged and stay safe from root rot.

In summers, the temperature is high, and the air is dry, so its soil gets dry quickly. Therefore, it should be watered 1-2 times a week in the hotter months. In winters, decrease the water frequency to just once every 10 days.

Soil Requirements

This lovely Philodendron species grows perfectly well in a regular houseplant potting mix. You just have to make sure its growing medium has proper air circulation and a good drainage system. Loose soil is ideal for this purpose. It allows good airflow and drains excess water.

The potting mix should also be slightly acidic. It helps the plant hold onto the nutrients and absorb them. The pH of the soil must be around 5.1 to 6.0.

You can also grow this plant in 100% sphagnum peat moss. It is light and slightly acidic. Moreover, it does not let the roots get soggy, thus preventing root rot.


In its native habitat, Philodendron Squamipetiolatum grows under the thick canopy of tall trees. Therefore, it stays under partial shade and is protected from the direct sun. You have to mimic the same environment for this plant at home.

You should place it in a spot that receives bright, indirect sunlight for 6 hours a day. The ideal location for this purpose is an east-facing or north-facing window. But keep in mind to never place the plant directly next to the window. There should be at least 6 feet of distance. It will prevent direct sun rays from reaching your plant foliage.

Temperature Requirements

Warmer temperatures make the best growing environment for this plant. It grows perfectly as long as the temperature stays between 18°C and 26°C. The lowest temperature it can tolerate in winters is 15°C.

If the temperature fluctuates 1-2°C at night, it is totally fine with this Philo. However, drastic temperature fluctuations damage this plant’s foliage and affect its growth rate. You should also protect this plant from hot or cold drafts. It should never be placed near a fan, air conditioner, or radiator.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Humidity

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum needs high humidity to thrive. Medium humidity levels are also tolerable but are not ideal for the healthy growth of its foliage. The ideal humidity level for this plant is 60% to 70%. If you have a hydrometer at home, you can measure the moisture level in your room. If it is below 60%, you should try to increase it.

The easiest way to increase humidity for indoor plants is to install a humidifier in the room. However, it is a pricey option. Another cost-effective option is to place a bowl of water near the plants. As water evaporates from the bowl, it increases moisture in the air, thus increasing humidity.

In hot summers, you should move this plant to your bathroom when the air gets too dry. It is where the humidity always stays above 50%.


Philodendron Squamipetiolatum is a fast-growing plant, so it needs bimonthly fertilization to grow properly. As soon as the growing period starts, fertilize your plant with a liquid houseplant fertilizer with a balanced NPK value.

Keep fertilizing it twice every month until autumn. After that, plant growth slows down due to colder days. You should never fertilize this plant during these winter months. Once the period of inactive growth is over, resume the fertilization. Make sure to dilute the fertilizer before adding it to the soil. It should be diluted to half its strength.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Pruning

There is no need to prune this plant now and then. It needs pruning for an aesthetically pleasing appearance only. Whenever you notice an old or yellow leaf, remove it. You can do so before every growing season. It will also make more room for new growth.

You should always sterilize your pruning shears before using them on your plant. Unsterilized shears are a major source of infections and diseases.

How to Propagate Philodendron Squamipetiolatum?

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum can be propagated in two ways: through seeds or stem cuttings. Here are the easy guides to both propagation ways.

Propagation Through Seeds

Propagating this Philo through its seeds is easier than the other method. However, it requires patience. The seed takes several months to grow into a mature plant.

To propagate it through seeds, take a healthy seed from the fruit and place it in a pot. Water it and place the pot under bright, indirect sunlight. You should also provide it with essential nutrients.

Propagation Through Stem Cuttings

It is a quicker method to increase your collection of Squamipetiolatum plants. Here is how you can propagate it through stem cuttings.

  • Cut a 2-3 inches long stem of this plant and place it in the rooting hormone.
  • You can use water or potting soil as its growing medium for the initial weeks.
  • When the stem cutting forms roots and matures a bit in 2-3 months, you should move it to a bigger pot.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Basic Features


This lovely Philodendron grows rapidly to attain its mature height. The seeds also take just 4-5 months to grow into a mature plant. If you want to maintain its fast growth rate, you should grow it in optimum growing conditions.

Air Purification

The large leaves of this plant are not just about the looks. These are also helpful in filtering the surrounding air. When grown indoors, this plant actively removes air toxins, thus improving the air quality. It is how this plant acts as a natural air purifier and benefits your health.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Toxicity

Like other Philodendron species, Philodendron Squamipetiolatum is also poisonous. It is not pet-friendly. Thus, you should keep your pets away from it. Due to calcium oxalate crystals in its leaves, this plant can irritate the mouth, skin, and throat in pets and children when consumed.

Drought Tolerance

This plant is drought tolerant to some extent. It can withstand days of low water availability, but long durations of under-watering leads to brown and dry leaves.


It is a low-maintenance plant which is an excellent choice for beginners. It does not fuss about anything. All it needs is regular watering, fertilization, and indirect sunlight to grow.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Dormancy

This plant goes dormant in autumn and winters. When the temperature drops below 18°C outdoors, this plant slows down its growth rate and enters its dormancy period. It comes back to life as soon as winter ends.

Common Problems and Their Solutions


This plant is not prone to any major plant diseases. One common problem of this Philo is root rot which can be prevented easily. To do so, you should allow the soil to get dry between watering and make sure the drainage hole is unclogged.


Spider mites are common pests of this plant that cause brown and yellowed leaves. White webbing on the foliage is the main symptom of mites’ infestation. You can get rid of them by wiping the leaves with the rubbing alcohol solution. You should mix 70% isopropyl and water to make this homemade pesticide.

You can prevent these mites by monitoring the humidity indoors. Too much moisture on the leaves lead to a pest infestation; therefore, it is best to dry the leaves some moments after misting.

Philodendron Squamipetiolatum FAQs

Why Do My Plant’s Leaves Have Crispy Tips?

Crispy or brown tips are an indication of a low humidity level. If your plant has crispy leaf tips, it is signaling you to increase the moisture level around it. You should then monitor the room humidity and increase it to at least 60%.

Why Does My Philodendron Squamipetiolatum Have Yellow Leaves?

If your plant has yellow leaves, it means it is suffering from root rot. It can also happen due to a fungal infection. Fungal infections spread via unsterilized gardening tools. Therefore, you should always sterilize them with rubbing alcohol before use.

Is My Plant an Evergreen Species?

Yes, these Philodendron species are evergreen. It does not lose all of its foliage at once in winters. It sheds only the yellow and old leaves. Other than that, its foliage remains functional all year long.


Philodendron Squamipetiolatum is an attractive Philodendron species. It is an easy-to-care houseplant with beautiful foliage and leaves. There are heart-shaped leaves that are light-green in color when in their mature days. These leaves can grow several inches long with fuzzy ridges on them.

This plant is a natural air purifier that removes toxins and harmful particles from the air, making it healthy for you to breathe. So if you want to breathe fresher air indoors, you must grow this plant in your room.

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