Philodendron Verrucosum – Detailed Care Guide

The Philodendron Verrucosum (Ecuador Philodendron) is a stylish plant that tends to be the center of attention in houseplant collections! Stealing the show, the Philodendron Verrucosum showcases impressive, deep green heart-shaped leaves with golden ribbing and faded burgundy undersides.

Philodendron Verrucosum is a creeping hemiepiphyte with easy care requirements. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight, temperatures of 65 to 78°F, and humidity levels of 60% to 90%. Be sure to water the plant when the first inch of soil dries and fertilize it monthly during its growing season.

The Philodendron Verrucosum is especially well-suited for terrarium environments. Still, with the proper care and living conditions, this aroid can be a breath-taking centerpiece to spruce up your plant collection. So, continue reading to understand the best care requirements for the Ecuadorean jewel.

Philodendron Verrucosum

Characteristics Of Philodendron Verrucosum

The Philodendron Verrucosum is a colorful hemiepiphyte Philo native Ecuador and other tropical areas in Central to South America.

A hemiepiphyte plant grows for a part of its lifecycle as an epiphyte. Additionally, epiphytes are plants that grow by attaching themselves to other trees.

As a hemiepiphyte, the Philodendron Verrucosum starts by germinating in the canopy of trees and then its roots down to reach the forest floors eventually. More so, even in closed terrariums, the Philodendron Verrucosum is an avid climber.

The Philodendron Verrucosum plants are generally fast-growers with sizeable foliage that first exhibits a light green color and mature to deep green with soft burgundy underbellies and fuzzy petioles.

Additionally, the Philodendron Verrucosum grows between two to three feet tall in open spaces; however, indoor plants remain smaller. More so, the velvety foliage matures between 8 to 10 inches in size.

The Philodendron Verrucosum’s foliage contains high calcium oxalate crystals, making the leaves toxic for animals and humans. In addition, ingestions may cause nausea, diarrhea, and ulcerations in the mouth and throat.

So, be prudent and keep the plant far out of reach of pets and kids.

Related: Philodendron Squamiferum – Detailed Plant Guide

How To Care For Philodendron Verrucosum

In short, the key to successfully growing a Philodendron Verrucosum is moderate watering and high humidity.

Fortunately, with additional humidity and a few more basic steps, the Philo will readily adapt to your home conditions and flourish in no time. So, read on for a detailed description of the additional care requirements for the Philodendron Verrucosum.

Temperature Requirements For Philodendron Verrucosum

The Philodendron Verrucosum’s or the Ecuador Philodendron is most common climbing Ecuador’s tropical trees; however, it also grows throughout much of Central and South America.

These tropical locations offer warm, humid weather, with temperatures above 65°F. So, it’s best to replicate similar temperatures ranging between 65°F and 78°F.

If you grow an Ecuador Philodendron outside, ensure that temperatures do not fall below 55°F, alternatively bring the plant indoors during chilly autumn and winter temperatures. Icy temperatures tend to stunt the growth of the Philodendron Verrucosum and can even lead to death.

Lastly, ensure that you protect the Philodendron Verrucosum from cold drafts, radiators, or air conditioning units that can cause the plant to experience unnecessary stress.

Closeup of a back red leaf of Philodendron Verrucosum

Humidity Requirements For Philodendron Verrucosum

Due to the Philodendron Verrucosum’s nativity to Ecuadorian tropical habitats, the plant loves high humidity. More so, it prefers a climate with high moisture levels ranging between 60% to 90%.

Household moisture levels generally range between 40% and 50%. So, it’s advisable to increase your home’s humid levels to boost vigorous growth and velvety, deep green foliage.

Fortunately, increasing your home’s moisture levels are pretty straightforward; here are a few options to consider:

  1. Consider misting the Philodendron Verrucosum: Mist the Philodendron Verrucosum every few days to ensure healthy, lush foliage.
  2. Invest in a humidifier: Place the Philodendron Verrucosum near a humidifier to help ensure the desired moisture levels.
  3. Group your houseplants to increase moisture: Group the Philodendron Verrucosum with other houseplants to create a mini biome, therefore, promoting high humid conditions.
  4. Use the pebble-tray method: placing the Philodendron Verrucosum’s pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water will increase the humidity. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that the plant’s roots do not sit in the water.

Light Requirements For Philodendron Verrucosum

The Philodendron Verrucosum naturally grows under a cloud of forest trees, providing the perfect amount of dappled sunlight.

Bright, indirect sunlight or filtered light is perfect for the Philodendron Verrucosum.

Therefore, consider placing indoor Philodendron Verrucosum plants near an east or west-facing window; this will provide a full day of bright but primarily indirect sunlight. In comparison, a shaded corner or spot under a tree with the dappled sun is ideal for an outdoor Ecuador Philodendron.

Note that extended exposure to direct sunlight will scorch the velvety leaves of the Philodendron Verrucosum, causing yellow or brown burnt tips. Too much direct sun can even kill the plant.

So, be sure the Ecuador Philodendron stays away from the direct sun, especially in the peak hours.

Soil Requirements For Philodendron Verrucosum

The Ecuador Philodendron has similar soil preferences to most other Philodendron plants.

So, you’ll want to plant the Philodendron Verrucosum in a well-draining and rich potting soil with plenty of aeration to provide direct airflow to the plant’s roots. Additionally, the Philodendron Verrucosum prefers slightly acidic soil.

Therefore, consider using a high-quality potting soil mixture preferably high in orchid bark and peat moss. More so, add a generous helping of perlite to ensure that the soil drains well. Alternatively, use any well-draining Aroid potting mixture commonly available in the market.

Lastly, it’s advisable to replace philodendron container plants’ soil every couple of years. Replacing the ground will prevent salt accumulation from damaging the plant. You can also flush out the Philodendron Verrucosum’s soil to get rid of the salts by watering your container thoroughly until the water flows out of its drainage holes.

Close up of hairy petiole of 'Philodendron Verrucosum' houseplant

Watering Guide For Philodendron Verrucosum

The Philodendron Verrucosum enjoys watering schedules that mimic tropical jungle conditions. You’ll want to keep the plant’s soil slightly moist soil during the spring and summer (its growing seasons) but never soggy. Waterlogged soil only increases the likelihood of fungal diseases or root rot.

Water the plant whenever the first inch of soil dries out. Moreover, overwatering and underwatering can cause the Ecuador Philodendron’s leaves to droop and eventually drop, so gauge when it’s time to water by the soil dryness and not necessarily the leaves.

You’ll want to provide a thorough watering while allowing the soil to drain from the pot’s base. The watering frequency varies depending on the plant’s temperature, light, and humidity exposure.

So, a rough estimate is to water the plant every five to seven days during the spring and summer. More so, be sure to reduce the Ecuador Philodendron’s watering schedule during the winter; on average, once every two weeks will suffice.

Fertilizer Requirements For Philodendron Verrucosum

Unfortunately, potted plants have no way of naturally acquiring nutrients once the supplements in the soil are depleted. Therefore, most houseplants, including the Philodendron Verrucosum, will require extra nutritional feeding during its growing season.

Advisably, provide regular monthly doses of mild, well-balanced liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer. Note that it’s essential to dilute the fertilizer to prevent over-fertilizing, which creates salt crystals that scorch the plant and kill it.

Then, stop the Philodendron Verrucosum plant’s feeding during the fall and winter as it becomes dormant during this time and the nutrient requirements decrease along with temperature drops.

Pruning Guide For Philodendron Verrucosum

For the most part, pruning is unnecessary for the Philodendron Verrucosum unless you aim to maintain a tidy shape.

So, to control the size and shape of the Philodendron Verrucosum, prune the plant using a sharp, sterilized pair of scissors or pruning shears. Additionally, regularly prune the Philodendron Verrucosum during the spring and summer to remove sickly yellow and brown leaves or leggy, damaged, and dead foliage.

More so, provide a sphagnum moss growing pole to allow the Ecuador Philo to trail up the stick; this will promote growth and minimize the need for overgrowth-pruning.

Pro tip: Use the healthy stems after a trimming session for propagation instead of throwing them away.

Potting And Repotting Philodendron Verrucosum

Repotting Philodendron Verrucosum

With a fast-growing habit, the Philodendron Verrucosum needs repotting every 12 to 24 months. When the roots start peeking up from the soil and drainage holes, it’s time to repot the plant.

To pot a Philodendron Verrucosum, use a sizeable pot with draining holes at the bottom. Additionally, consider adding a sphagnum moss pole to encourage the plant’s trailing habit.

When repotting the Ecuador Philodendron, choose a clean container about 2 to 3 inches larger than the previous pot. Also, the best time to repot the Ecuador Philodendron plant is during the spring or early summer to allow the Philodendron Verrucosum to recover from the stress caused by repotting.

Gently remove the Ecuador Philodendron from the old pot and check the plant’s roots while snipping off any damaged roots.

Lastly, place the Philodendron Verrucosum plant in its new pot and fill it with fresh potting soil. Additionally, water the plant moderately and put it in warm, bright light.

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How To Propagate Philodendron Verrucosum?

The Philodendron Verrucosum is pretty straightforward to propagate.

The Ecuador Philodendron’s aerial roots allow them to root easily through stem cuttings. However, you can also propagate the Philodendron Verrucosum through air layering, seeds, and root division.

Although all these methods are pretty successful, propagating the Philo through stem cuttings is the easiest method.

Here’s how:

  • First, ensure that you prepare a container with a high-quality potting mix.
  • Next, sterilize your knife or pruning shear to prevent spreading bacterial or fungal diseases.
  • Then, cut off a few healthy stems about 5 to 7 inches long with at least one node.
  • Dip the stems into powdered cinnamon to help the plant heal faster and prevent infections.
  • Then, place the cuttings into the fresh potting mixture, ensuring that the node is about three inches deep in the soil.
  • Lastly, mist the Philodendron Verrucosum’s soil with water and place it in bright, indirect sunlight.

Note: Spring and summer are typically the best time to propagate the Philodendron Verrucosum.

Philodendron Verrucosum houseplant with dark green veined leaves in basket flower pot

Pests And Diseases In Philodendron Verrucosum

The most common diseases the Philodendron Verrucosum suffers from include:

  • Yellowing foliage from overwatering
  • Long and leggy stems from too little sunlight
  • Brown leaves and tips from too little watering or humidity

The Philodendron Verrucosum can occasionally suffer from pests, including aphids, mealybugs, thrips, fungal gnats, and spider mites. Treat the plant by washing down the foliage with soapy water or using neem oil or rubbing alcohol.

Conclusion

Despite the Philodendron Verrucosum’s high price, its easy-care requirements and exotic heart-shaped foliage make it worth every penny!

Always try to mimic Ecuador Philodendron’s native tropical climate as closely as possible. Be sure to propagate the stem cuttings after pruning to gift a friend with one of these gems.

Resources:

https://www.thespruce.com/grow-philodendron-houseplants-1902768

https://plantophiles.com/plant-care/philodendron-verrucosum/