People are going crazy on Philos these days. Philodendrons have become one of the most popular indoor plants out there in the world.
These climbing, epiphytic, “tree-loving” plants can notch up the rank of your scene in seconds.
We have talked a lot about many stunning species of Philodendron. And today, I have the Philodendronatabapoense.
Philodendron Atabapoenseis another very sleek and exotic species of the Philodendreae tribe.
Most of you are already pretty familiar with this diverse genus. But let me stretch some background knowledge if you don’t really know about the Philodendrons.
The word “Philodendron” originates from ancient Greek and has been used in new Latin. Literally, it means “Lover of Trees.”
These plants got the name probably because most of the species are native to tropical rainforests where they tend to climb up the trees. These kinds of plants are called epiphytes.
In Philodendrons, Aerial roots help the plants to sustain themselves by absorbing environmental nutrients. These roots grow out from the stems and stay out of the ground. They can also absorb moisture from the air and help the plants to thrive at their peak.
They stem out from the Araceae family and are native to tropical regions of Central and South America.
So, without further ado, let’s get straight to the main topic.
Philodendron Atabapoense — Characteristic Features
The Philodendreae tribe houses different types of plants including,
Self-heading, Epiphytes (climbing), Hemiepiphytes (or Semi-epiphytic: These kinds can either go up the trees or just attach themselves to the ground), non-Climbing, Blooming, and non-Blooming varieties.
Philodendronatabapoense is more of an epiphyte and loves to climb up. In fact, you have to provide it decent support if you don’t want it to go out of control.
On that note, let’s take a look at the characteristics of the plant.
1. Height & Size
If you want your climbing plants to thrive at their maximum potential, you must provide them a first-rate external support. The same goes with the P. atabapoense.
Most climbing plants retard their growth if they stay prostrated instead of rising up.
Philodendronatabapoensecan reach a brilliant height of 15-20 feet in the native rainforests. But indoors, this plant can only get up to 7 feet. This stature is only possible if you provide it with something to climb on.
If we talk about the leaves, the leaf size of P. atabapoense also depends upon the space and conditioning. But fulfilling the requirements results in fresh giant leaves.
The leaves here are pretty narrow. They can be only 3-4 inches wide but, in length, they can reach up to 30 inches.
This particular species is grown for ornamental purposes because of the eye-catching dichromatic leaves.
When we see this Philo for the first time, the leaves appear simply green. But by turning them around, we witness the marvelous maroon red hue at the lower side of the leaves.
Philodendron atabapoenseis well-known for this gorgeous color combo.
The shape of the leaves is also unique. It is heart-shaped from the upper end and is elongated and tapered towards the tip.
These plants will hardly bloom indoors. However, they do flower in the wild. The flowers of Philodendron atabapoense are covered with a green sheath which is also dark reddish-brown from inside.
Philodendron atabapoense is a toxic plant that can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth if ingested.
I have mentioned in my previous articles, almost all Philodendrons are toxic. Therefore, you should keep them away from the reach of pets and children.
You must seek medical help if someone mistakenly ingested the plant.
Philodendron atabapoense is a very potent plant. It is pretty resilient in terms of pests and diseases.
It is easy to care for and can be the best fit for beginners.
Relation with Ants
During stress, P. atabapoense forms tiny spots on its stems to attract ants. That’s kind of a self-defense mechanism to stay safe from other pests. You can say that it is a symbiotic relationship of the plant with the ants.
However, the ants feed on the plant sugars and can retard growth. Therefore, you should focus on taking the plant out of stress. And then, you can remove the ants using water or insecticidal spray. Sometimes they house in the roots of the plant. In that case, you should re-pot the plant.
Caring Tips for Philodendron Atabapoense
The Philodendron atabapoense is an evergreen perennial plant and has the valuable property of purifying the air.
Our plants take care of our lungs. So, we should also nurture them to their peak level.
With that said, let’s look at the most crucial aspects of plant life.
1. Lighting Conditions
Philodendron atabapoense is one of those plants that can do well in medium light conditions. This plant flourishes in bright indirect sunlight.
We use the term “bright indirect light” for most plants. And as it is a rule of thumb for many plants, we must keep them in these best lighting conditions. But what is actually meant by this term?
If we measure this intensity in fc (foot-candles), it is 500-1000 fc in most indoor placements. For indoor plants, direct sunlight is in between 1000-2000 fc.
But if we say physically, you can achieve bright indirect light in the following way:
- In the morning, a few feet away from the East-facing window.
- In the evening, the same distance from the West-facing window.
- Shaded South or Southwest facing windows.
Now, if you are thinking about how many feet. Just make sure direct rays of the sun do not touch the foliage. The nasty sun rays can cause burns on these leaves.
Philodendron atabapoense is native to Venezuela (Amazon rainforest) on the northern side of South America.
Everybody knows that plants from such tropical regions absolutely love high humidity levels.
The same is the case for P. atabapoense. It loves average humidity levels to be around 70%. However, this plant is a relatively tough one. It can also tolerate indoor humidity levels of 50 to 60%.
If you live in dry areas, the average moisture levels in your house might be around 40%. Weekly misting your plant is an excellent idea.
You can also keep your plant on a water tray, near a bathroom or a kitchen. These places usually have more water vapors than other areas of the house.
Pro Tip: If you have many tropical plants, it would be best to group them together in one place.
Temperature is also very important for plant care.
If we look at the tropical regions, the average temperature ranges from approximately 70°F to 80°F annually.
It usually stays below 100°F throughout the whole year. The difference between the maximum and minimum temperature of the day is between 14-18°F.
Temperature ranges of native plant regions give us an idea of the best conditions for plants to grow.
Looking at the above stats, we are sure that the best temperature range for Philodendron atabapoense would be between 18°C to 28°C.
4. Potting Mixture
The soil mix of a rooted plant is a game-changer; it either puts life into it or — if it is not a good blend — kills the plant in seconds!
In that regard, we are making a perfect potting mixture for our Philodendron.
Your P. atabapoense will do best in a chunky aroid mix. Let’s get straight into the process.
- First, you need a suitable pot to root the plant. If you are re-potting, find the one that fits your plant easily and has many drainage holes.
- Now, it’s time to make the blend.
- We are going to divide the whole mixture into four equal parts. First goes a premium potting mix for indoor plants.
It would be best for you to buy the organic one. It provides the plant with a sufficient amount of nutrients.
- Next goes the Peat moss. The sphagnum peat moss works best. In fact, you can grow Philodendron atabapoense in 100% peat moss.
But I would only recommend it during root growth after propagation, then you can shift it to the potting mix.
- Add the next part of pure Horticultural Perlite. Perlite is one of the best options to increase soil drainage.
- Finally goes the Orchid bark. You can use any bark, but orchid bark is popular for Philos. It gives the whole combination a chunkier look.
With that said, our potting mix is complete. It is a well-draining soil mixture that prevents waterlogging.
Soggy wet roots instantly rot, leading to plant death. Therefore, it is very essential to use a perfect soil mixture.
The above blend is also very light and airy, which helps the root to grow effortlessly.
There is only one thing you should remember while watering Philodendrons. You must wait for the topsoil to dry out in between waterings.
A general rule of thumb is that wait for the top third of soil to get bone dry before giving your plant another shot of hydration.
Water your Philo thoroughly until you see the water getting out from the drainage holes. A good soil mixture helps to water the plant in a balanced way.
These plants love to be moist but not drenched in water.
To conclude the talk, I must say that Philodendron atabapoense is one of the most striking and strong Philodendrons.
Absolutely a brilliant choice for beginners and can add a beautiful touch to your landscape.
Now, allow me to leave you here with all the essential information about the P. atabapoense.
Make sure to share today’s article with those who want to add a rich vibe to the environment.
Regards, Mahad H.