Philodendron mexicanum is the evergreen and tropical climbing plant, which is from the family of Araceae. It originated from the Mexico rainforests, but it can be found in other areas of Central America, like Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Guatemala.
Philodendron mexicanum stands to be unique species because of its showy and narrow foliage. Its leaves are dark green, with a glossy shine and leathery feel. Likewise, it has well-defined lobes that give the plant the dogs’ ears appearance.
In mature specimens, philodendron mexicanum can grow quickly to a length of 60 cm. The base of this plant’s leaves is rich in maroon or dark red color, which adds charm to the plant.
Care tips for Philodendron Mexicanum
Philodendron mexicanum does not tolerate low temperatures or cold at all. It is a houseplant. Its homeland is a humid, warm area, so you can understand that the plant is not adapted to the cold.
Having been a little in the cold, the plant can get sick, and if the cold persists, it will wither and die. The optimum temperature for it is from 18 to 24 degrees Celsius.
It is impossible to lower the temperature below 13 degrees because this is certain death for the plant. However, it also does not need too much heat because if the air temperature rises above 30 degrees in summer, spray the plant more often.
2. Air humidity
Philodendron mexicanum loves decent humidity. It grows such huge and powerful leaves in jungle conditions. But it is impossible to provide jungle conditions at home.
Therefore, it can be grown indoors. In dry and hot weather, spray philodendron mexicanum significantly often, and it will have bright and healthy decorative foliage.
Under natural conditions, the roots of the philodendron mexicanum are always in moist soil because, during the rainy season, the soil has time to accumulate enough moisture. Home care involves regular watering of philodendron mexicanum, although it will endure a little dryness from time to time.
But each such drought will nevertheless affect the size and number of its new leaves. They will become smaller and not as beautiful, which will lead to a loss of decorativeness.
Philodendron mexicanum is a lover of bright light. In nature, it begins its life in the lower tier of the jungle, and all its lives strive upward towards the sun. This plant can be reconciled in indoor conditions with insufficient lighting, but the foliage will not be as bright as in nature.
A bright but diffused color is optimal; aggressive direct rays are undesirable. If placed in significant or complete shade, philodendron mexicanum will continue to grow, but it will be stunted, and its leaves will remain underdeveloped and small.
5. Top dressing
Fertilizers are waste products of animals and insects, withered foliage, and rainwater in the wild. But at home, philodendron mexicanum needs top dressing. It is introduced during the growing season when the plant needs nutrients to grow better and faster.
It is recommended to fertilize regularly from early spring to early October. The philodendron mexicanum can be fed in the rest of the year, but less often (about once every 30 days).
For this purpose, ordinary mineral compositions are suitable and a store-bought top dressing for decorative and deciduous crops. If you want to speed up the growth of a species, feed it with nitrogen supplements.
And, if you need philodendron mexicanum, on the contrary, to be small, exclude nitrogen completely. You should not overdo it with fertilizers, as this can provoke yellowing of the foliage.
It would be best to start transplanting when the old pot becomes too cramped for the philodendron mexicanum. So, young specimens, as a rule, are transplanted once a year, and old ones – about one time in 3 years.
Each new container should be larger (but not much) than the previous one. In narrow containers, the philodendron will wilt. The plant is transplanted by transshipment, simultaneously replacing the top layer of the substrate with a fresh one. This plant loves rich, light, loose, and oxygen-permeable soil.
Orchid soil mixed with moss, lowland peat, crushed bark, and charcoal is suitable for young philodendrons.
You can also prepare the following soil mixture yourself: Soddy soil, peat, humus, and river sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1: 1/2. And for adult vines, a slightly different type of soil is required, with coniferous, leafy soil, river sand, and peat.
Reproduction of Philodendron Mexicanum
a) Propagation by cuttings
It is customary to trim the apical cuttings regularly since the growth of the philodendron mexicanum stem is very rapid. Each cut shoot should have at least a couple of internodes, so rooting will be more successful.
For cuttings, you need to prepare a soil mixture with river sand and peat. It is customary to plant cuttings at an angle of 40 °, but in some cases, they are placed on the surface of the substrate.
Then the containers with seedlings are covered with a film or glass lid and sent to a room with a temperature of 25 degrees. As a rule, rooting takes from a week to a month.
b) Propagation by layering
The stems, which quickly become woody, are usually propagated by layering. To do this, you need to make an incision on the bark of the lateral shoot and put sphagnum on the wounded area, securely fixing it in place.
The stems must remain constantly moist. After a couple of weeks, roots will sprout in that place. Then the horizontal process is cut off and placed in an individual container.
Diseases and pests
Philodendron mexicanum is affected by spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs. You can get rid of the invasion of parasites with a soapy solution by wiping the leaves with a damp sponge or cotton pad.
If the leaves begin to fall off, then the air in the room is too dry, start spraying the plant. The pale color of the leaves indicates an excess of light. Brown spots on the leaves can appear from sunburn.
Noticing the signs of the disease in time and taking action, you can quickly restore the health of a green philodendron mexicanum.
Philodendron mexicanum is an exotic rare plant species, an incredibly stylish and lovable climber that adds impressive beauty to the home gardens. It can be grown quickly and does not require special effort. You can use the tips mentioned above to get a healthy-looking plant in your garden.