If you are a fan of tropical plants and beautiful foliage, then the Philodendron Squamiferum is the right plant. This plant is an aroid epiphyte, an unusual philodendron species.
It is distinguished mainly by the red hairs covering its stems. Its oak-like leaves are sleek with many lobes. The color of the leaves can range from dark green to medium green.
At a young age, the leaves have violin-shaped, but when the Philodendron Squamiferum matures, they form the lobes. In botany, the petioles or stems are covered with thin red hairs.
Young Philodendron Squamiferum may look good on a table against a wall with a small trellis on which it can grow. Once the plant has matured a little, it will probably be more suitable as an outdoor plant as you will eventually need a reasonably large trellis or totem to keep up with.
With the correct support of a moss pole or large trellis in a jar, it can reach a one-meter height and above. Likewise, if grown on the earth, it can grow very tall by looking its way up a tree.
8 Philodendron Squamiferum Care Tips
1. Light requirements
The Philodendron Squamiferum, as it grows naturally under tree crowns in tropical rainforests, has not adapted to growing in direct sunlight.
The light it receives in the rainforest is spotty, so you should simulate it in your home. Aim for bright or medium indirect light. Do not place the plant in a dark room. Lack of light is also undesirable as it can cause developmental delays.
Philodendron Squamiferum is a crop that prefers to grow with sufficient moisture, so constant and thorough watering is one of the main factors for good growth.
This is especially important when the earth dries up instantly on summer days. After watering, when the ground is completely saturated, the drained water must be drained from the stand. But in winter, you need to water the plant rather carefully.
If the air temperature is low enough, excessive moisture can be detrimental. Both severe waterlogging and drying out will become destructive, so you need to monitor the air temperature and soil condition carefully. One crucial point in watering is water – there should be no lime in it.
Consequently, the water from the tap of a city apartment or house is not dangerous for the culture, but water from a well extracted with the help of a well, which necessarily includes a certain percentage of lime, is most likely not entirely suitable.
A kind of philodendron can easily endure several days without moisture, but no more. This species accumulates water in its leaves to easily live without daily watering.
3. Soil type
The roots of Philodendron Squamiferum do not thrive if strangled in the compacted soil. It needs a light soil environment, which retains some moisture but not water.
A good soil combination for this plant includes coconut sphagnum moss or coir, compost pine bark, and perlite. If the soil environment is well aerated and lets water to seep out quickly, you also don’t need to worry about over-watering.
It is important to keep the soil pH within the limits or the water for irrigation within the range of 5.7-6.5.
Philodendron Squamiferum is a thermophilic plant. It adapts perfectly to the summer heat as long as the room is kept at optimum humidity.
The plant does not require special temperature conditions. It will feel most comfortable at a temperature of 59 to 75 °F. Anything outside this range is likely to cause foliar damage and developmental problems.
To prevent the philodendron from overheating, its leaves are sprayed and washed with settled water. In winter, the room temperature should not drop below 50 °F. The plant does not tolerate drafts, so it is better not to take it outside.
For a Philodendron Squamiferum, sufficiently high air humidity is essential. When it is winter outside, and the heating is turned on in the houses, the air is rather stale and dry, so it is advisable to spray the leaves with water every day or do a so-called shower.
Sometimes, a special pipe made of moss fibers, or coconut, supports such a plant.
Moistening it can also moisturize the Philodendron Squamiferum well. It must be remembered that watering and wetting the tube must be lukewarm.
Wiping all the leaves with a wet cloth will give the plant strength and make it brighter and more beautiful. Many people prefer to use a variety of leaf polishes.
Philodendron Squamiferum does not require much fertilization. But that doesn’t mean you should never feed it. A small amount of fertilizer can help the plant grow better indoors.
Use a foliar fertilizer or fertilizer explicitly formulated for philodendrons and fertilize the plant about once a month, starting in the spring. You can fertilize throughout the growing season until autumn.
Make sure you dilute the fertilizer correctly to avoid leaf burn and other problems associated with fertilizer buildup.
7. Top dressing
Philodendron Squamiferum prefers animal excrement, insect waste products, rotted tree foliage, and rainwater in its natural habitat. Unfortunately, in-room conditions, this cannot be provided to it.
During the period of intensive growth, the philodendron will accept feeding. Fertilizers offer it a range of nutrients. They are brought in from March to September.
You can also feed the plants in other months, but less often. Once a month is sufficient if the plant is in a warm room. For top dressing, you can use complex mineral fertilizers.
Fertilizers are also suitable for decorative deciduous plants. To make the Philodendron Squamiferum stretch height, fertilizers with a high nitrogen content are used. If the plant needs to be compact, it is limited to nitrogen fertilization.
Transplant the Philodendron Squamiferum in the same way as other plants. Young specimens should be replanted every year, every 2-3 years. A cramped pot serves as a signal for transplanting.
Every time it should be a little more spacious than the previous one. The Philodendron Squamiferum will wither in a cramped pot. Quite mature plants can be hauled over and replaced with topsoil.
This plant prefers light, porous, nutritious, breathable, and slightly acidic soil. To grow Philodendron Squamiferum, the earthen orchid substrate, including sphagnum moss, charcoal, bark, and peat can be used.
A soil mixture that consist of sod land, humus and peat land is suitable. Older plant is grown in different soil.
How to Propagate the Philodendron Squamiferum
The Philodendron Squamiferum is almost impossible to cross at home since it requires some time. The seeds are laid out on the surface of sterilized soil and covered with a layer of 5 mm.
Next, the container is determined to be very warm, with at least 25 degrees. The place is covered with glass after watering. Seedlings will appear only after two months, and the vine will acquire its characteristic shape only in the second year after planting.
2. Apical cuttings
The apex is separated to form an aerial root in the sinus. The stalk is planted in the moist warm sand, watered again, and covered with a jar. They are ventilated and monitor the soil moisture. After rooting, young Philodendron Squamiferums are planted in a pot.
3. Pieces of the trunk
Slices of the trunk are cut so that each has a bud. Pieces are placed in a box with wet sand and peat, making sure that this bud is on top, then covered with a layer of soil, creating a greenhouse effect, covering it with glass.
The greenhouse is regularly ventilated, and the soil moisture is monitored. After rooting, small vines can be planted in pots.
Pests and diseases
As for pests, the Philodendron Squamiferum, like any other houseplant, can be affected by scale insects, spider mites, thrips, and mealybugs.
The scabbard is removed by washing with soapy water and treating the plant with Aktellik. In the same way, you can get rid of the plant from the spider mite. On the other hand, Thrips infect the Philodendron Squamiferum when carelessly looked after.
These parasites often appear when the air humidity is low or its temperature is too high. Thrips are removed by spraying with insecticides.
You can get rid of mealybugs with a weak manganese solution. Leaves and all affected areas are rubbed with it. After that, the plant is wiped with soapy water, and then the soapy film is washed off with clean water at room temperature.
The Philodendron Squamiferum is not difficult to take care of, but you need to pay close attention to the tips given above. Sun exposure is another area that requires increased attention.
It is necessary to find a balance and not deprive the plant of light, but not expose it to direct sunlight. Because the Philodendron Squamiferum is climbing upward, it is best to offer a support structure or trellis to climb and grow upward.
Likewise, you may need to prune it due to its ability to grow to large sizes.