Philodendron Brandtianum Plant

Philodendron Brandtianum Plant Care Guide

Philodendron brandtianum are attractive indoor plants with heart-shaped, elongated olive-green leaves with silver streaks. The silver gives them another name — silver leaf. 

Younger leaves have orange hues that gradually turn dark green and mature to olive-green tones with silver. These plants are bushier than other philodendrons. 

Besides climbing up a trellis or using similar support, the Philodendron grows healthy as a hanging plant. And they are natural air purifiers.

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Botanical NamePhilodendron brandtianum
Common NameSilver leaf philodendron
Size6 to 12 inches
DifficultyEasy
Pet FriendlyToxic to pets
Air CleanerYes

Philodendron Brandtianum Origin

Their genus is Philodendron, coming from the Araceae family. 

Native to parts of Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru, these plants succeed in warm and non-freezing environments. 

These plants begin as vines in the rainforests and then transform into epiphytes, plants living on other plants. 

How to Care for Philodendron Brandtianum

They are easy to grow and tough to kill as fast-growing plants, making them user-friendly plants for beginners. These silver leaf plants are relatively easy to grow indoors as long as they receive proper and simple care. Light levels, temperature and watering conditions appropriately done will keep these gems happy for a long time.

Light and Temperature

Though these indoor plants grow well in most light levels, even low and high levels, the Philodendron brandtianums grow faster and healthier in bright, indirect sunlight. Under direct sunrays, their leaves can burn. Sheer curtains or diffused light works best. Actually, these silver leaf plants thrive in medium or filtered sun exposure. 

North or east-facing windows make for the best light conditions if trees, buildings and other outside obstacles do not block the sun exposure. Yellowing leaves mean they are not getting enough sunlight.

Philodendron brandtianums grow well indoors with temperatures ranging from 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal environment is around 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day and 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. With that, never allow the indoor temperature to go below 50 degrees.

Place these houseplants away from air conditioners during the summer. Being near the vents during the warmer months will cause the leaves to fade and wilt. 

Some growers move the silver leaf plants outdoors during the summer months. They’ll thrive well away from direct sunshine, like in the shade. Before the autumn frosts arrive, make sure these plants are indoors and safe from freezing temperatures.

During the winter, place the Philodendron brandtianums away from radiators and vents. If these beauties get too close to the heating devices, it messes with the humidity levels. Like most Philodendrons, these plants need humidity.

Humidity levels for silver leaf plants should average around 50 to 60 percent — above average. Maintaining optimum humidity levels may require a humidifier. That way, these plants will grow fast and produce healthy and large foliage.

Brown tips on the leaves mean the humidity levels are too low. Misting helps remedy this problem or place a pebble bowl or tray near the container. As a result, the humidity levels will increase. When misting, ensure the air circulation is optimum to prevent fungus or leaf rot.

Water

Silver leaf plants in their natural habitat have a constant supply of water. Signifying, these houseplants need regular watering for the most favorable growth. It’s best to water three times a week during the summer months and once a week during the winter months. 

Examine the top 2 to 3 inches of soil and if it’s dry water. If the Philodendron has droopy or curly leaves, it needs more water regularly. 

Ideally, water them deeply with the soil drying out slightly between each watering. Drainage holes in the containers are a must, so these houseplants don’t sit in water for an extended period. 

However, they are epiphytic plants with aerial roots and are sensitive to too much watering. Sitting in water can increase the danger of diseases that lead to substantial risks and even death. 

Avoid getting their leaves wet because the moisture creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. If one of these plants gets bacteria growth, the infection will spread to other parts of the plant. And it will spread to neighboring plants.

Leaves drop off if left too long in the water, especially during winter. Discovering a balance between watering and humidity is the secret to thriving brandtianums. 

With that, these plants love damp and humid environments during the summer—just cut back on watering when the winter months approach.

Fertilization

Use high-quality, organic fertilizer — slow-release 15-5-15 — works best during the growing months, like spring and summer. Mature plants need fertilizer once a month during these months. Stop feeding the Philodendron brandtianums when winter arrives. Young plants need very little fertilizer, so do it sparingly, about three times a year.

To help these plants grow, feed the silver leaf plants with any general-purpose and water-soluble fertilizers. Dilute to half strength and apply fertilizer away from the plant base.

If these houseplants don’t receive fertilizer, they’ll grow slower. If there are signs of giving them too much food, meaning not thriving despite ideal conditions, add dolomite line to their diet. This addition breaks down the nutrients in the soil. In fact, over-fertilizing disturbs the pH levels in the soil, creating a negative impact on their growth.

Flowering

The silver leaf Philodendrons are a compact grower, causing the plants to look bushy while climbing or trailing. In the rainforests, they must rise to a significant height to develop large leaves and produce an aroid, known as a spathe or spadix. Rarely will a grower claim a brandtianum created a flower.

Pruning

It’s time to repot when the plant has roots appearing through the drainage holes. Usually, every two to three years, they will need repotting. But don’t repot unless it’s necessary.

Moving to a pot that is one to two-inches bigger helps these plants grow larger and healthier. If the container is too big, unknowingly, over-watering will occur. It can cause root rot even when watering remains low.

Repot the silver leaf Philodendrons during the growing months between spring and summer. Trim off the dead roots with sharp and sterilized pruning shears. Then, place the plant in a new container with fresh potting mix. Water lightly for a couple of weeks, so their roots acclimate to their new home.

Pests

Whenever new plants come home, they need to be quarantined away from other houseplants for a couple of weeks. Disinfecting them with a solution of dish soap and water also helps.

The Philodendron brandtianums rarely have pest problems. Still, they need proper care. Healthy and durable plants are the best defense against insects. Putting them in a vulnerable condition invites unwanted guests.

Scales and mealybugs are the common invaders that suck their valuable sap and life out of these plants. When detected, 70 percent alcohol mixed with water, then dabbed or wiped, handle the pest problem.

If the plant has spider mites, another sapsucker is more common. Use a dish soap and water solution, wiping the pests off the area. 

Diseases 

Fungal infection means the plants have noticeable dark dead areas. Apply wettable sulfur, a preventable fungicide, and spray the foliage with neem oil. Both methods should kill the infection.

Root rot happens when the plants get too much water, so avoid overwatering. Dry the plant out if root rot happens and hope it goes away. Getting rid of root rot is difficult. So, prevention is best, don’t overwater. 

Providing a healthy environment is the best remedy and preventive measure. Checking the silver leaf plants periodically for pests or diseases is essential and ensures catching the problem early enough to treat.

How to Propagate Philodendron Brandtianum

Most houseplant enthusiasts agree that propagating these silver leaf plants is easy. Try to propagate during the growing months. The two methods most used are stem cuttings and air-layering. 

Stem Cuttings

Fill a jar with filtered or distilled water, leaving one inch of space at the rim of the jar. Find a healthy, 6-inch-long stem from the plant and cut it with sharp scissors or pruning shears just under the nodes. Then, trim the leaves until two leaf nodes are on the bare stem.

Place the end nodes of the stem cutting in the water while the upper leaves remain above the water. Make sure the bare leaf nodes are in the water as well. Keep the leaves from being in the water. Place the jar in a location without direct sunlight but bright enough to kick start the roots.

Change the water every three days, using filtered or distilled water. In about ten days to three weeks, roots form. At this point, plant the cutting in rich, drainable potting soil or continue to grow the stem in water and let it become a mature plant.

Air-Layering

Air-layering is a simple and effective method to propagate these houseplants.

Find a healthy stem and cut up towards its node, leaving about one inch below. Then, wrap a cupful of damp sphagnum peat moss around the cutting. Secure the moss with plastic wrap or first-aid tape.

Roots will appear within three to four weeks. Here, plant the cutting in a high-quality and drainable potting mix. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Philodendron Brandtianum rare?

Yes. These beauties are rare and decidedly coveted with their silver mottling olive-green leaves. Their attractive heart-shaped leaves make them the perfect gift for any lover of houseplants.

Is Philodendron Brandtianum a fast grower?

If these indoor plants have the right conditions and are healthy, they can grow fast, even quickly. They surprise their owners during the spring and summer months by growing four inches in a week.

Is Philodendron Brandtianum an easy plant to grow? 

The Philodendron brandtianum is easy to grow in warm, non-freezing temperatures. As indoor plants, they grow best in a container that has drainage holes, including quality potting soil.

Beginner growers find these silver leaf Philodendrons rewarding plants to grow because they adapt without difficulty to indoor conditions. 

Is Philodendron Brandtianum toxic to pets?

Yes. The Philodendron branditianum is toxic to pets. Keep the houseplant away from pets that like to chew plants. All parts of the silver leaf are toxic, even to children. 

Chewing the plant will cause burning and irritation of the mouth.  Ingesting is worse because it causes difficulty swallowing, vomiting and drooling. 

Final Thoughts

Following the customary steps to grow these plants indoors will ensure the Philodendron brandtianums develop magnificently. Some vital points to remember:

These silver leaf plants are popular among growers because they are versatile and easy to grow and propagate.

Like most Philodendrons and other indoor plants, they need bright indirect light without remaining in direct sunlight.

Slow-release fertilizer, 15-5-10, works best. Leaving these Philodendron brandtianums unfertilized will cause them to grow slower and take longer to reach their full maturity.

Monitor their growth and if they become rootbound, repot them to a larger container. Usually, this takes two to three years until they need a new home to spread their roots. Once repotted, they grow fuller and taller.

Some minor issues may come up with these brandtianums, but mostly, the remedies are simple. The best prevention is good watering and plenty of light exposure.

Remember, these plants are compact-growers, giving your interiors a spark of life and splendor. Included is the added benefit of being natural air purifiers.

Be sure to check out all of our Plant Care Guides!

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