Philodendron Ernestii : Natural Climber Plant

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Philodendron Ernestii doesn’t only come as a unique plant’s name, but the physical appearance is also stunning and impressive. The plant is a climber type with a unique shape and form. For those who are inexperienced (or who don’t really know much about plants), the plant may look like a regular greenery. But those who are into plants, these enthusiasts really know what the plant is worth. This philodendron has all the perfect combination of the shapes, the colors, and the overall look.

However, you still need to spend extra times and efforts if you want to care for one. Although the plant isn’t exactly complicated or difficult to care, you do need to spend extra care and efforts to make sure that all of the basic requirements are met and fulfilled. Only by doing so, you can be sure that your Ernestii Philodendron will be happy and well.


Scientific Name: Philodendron Ernestii
Family: Araceae
Genus: Philodendron
Order: Alismatales
Origin: Central America, South America
Light: Indirect, bright
Soil: Organic, rich, loose, well-draining
Fertilizer: Slow release
pH Level: 5.5 to 5.6

About Philodendron Ernestii

The Ernestii Philodendron has unique leaves, not only they are heart in shape, but they are also wavy. As if it weren’t enough, the leaves are supported by the ruffled and breathtaking petioles. This climber plant has petioles with D-shape and also (ruffled) wing margins. Although the leaves are coming in heart shape, it can be long (somewhat elongated) when the plant is mature. 

Philodendron Ernestii is considered an ornamental plant that is perfect for garden. It is a perennial and evergreen plant having diversified leaf colors and also leaf shapes. Its native environment is the tropical rainforest, which is the reason why the plant can be huge and expansive and tall. However, the plant is a versatile type that can be grown indoor as well as outdoor. If you want to grow one at home, you can keep it in a container or a pot as a houseplant.


Water Requirement

You need to remember that this plant originates from the tropical regions of South America, meaning that Philodendron Ernestii loves humid condition and warm temperature. The plant appreciates moist condition, but not wet or soggy. The plant shouldn’t be flooded with standing water or it will lead to root rot. When you water the plant, make sure to water it thoroughly. Water shouldn’t immediately come out of the drainage holes. You should wait for a while before you finally see the excess water coming out of the holes. It means that the soil has absorbed enough moisture and then dumped the rest.

Some people say that you need to have 0.8 cup of water for 9 days. Some people say that you need to water the plant thoroughly and then wait for 10 to 12 days to water it again. But you need to remember that each plant is different. One Philodendron Ernestii is different from the other Ernestii plants, so you know your own plant’s characteristics. There is a necessity to know your own plant: how long does it take for the water to finally deplete? How long will the plant finally need to ‘drink’ again? What are the signs that it has finally run out of water and needed more?

Once you know your plant’s habit and needs, you should be able to come up with your own watering schedule and habit. This is crucial because you don’t want to overwater it, and yet, you don’t want to underwater it either. Touch the top soil first, and then insert your finger to around 2 to 3 centimeters. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water it again. If it still feels moist, then wait until it finally dries off. In most cases, this is the safest method to ensure that your plant doesn’t lack moisture. If you are using tap water, leave it overnight. If it’s possible, use distilled water or rain water.

Temperature and Humidity

The perfect temperature range for this plant is between 20 degrees and 30 degrees Celsius. In winters, the range should be at least 10 degrees Celsius. 15 degrees Celsius is still okay, but you may have to carry your plant indoor instead of letting it grow outdoor. During this time, the humidity level should be more than 80%. 

Lighting Requirement

Philodendron Ernestii prefers slight shade or filtered light. It doesn’t mind having abundance of light, but the light exposure should be shaded. If you place it not far from the windows (50 centimeters to a meter) from the window, and it has good ventilation and it is also away from the wind (or any air exposure, such as vents or fans), your plant should be fine. If you plan on growing one outdoor, your Ernestii would be best when placed besides a rack or a tree for climbing.

Read also : Philodendron Radiatum : The Unique Split Leaf With No Fussy Care

Soil Requirement

The soil should be fertile and organic. It should also be loose and also sandy at the same time. You want your Philodendron Ernestii to be able to hold up just enough water, and yet it is loose enough to release the excess water. It would prevent any waterlogged issue from happening.

Although you can always use the commercial soil mix available on the market, you are always welcomed to make your own mixture. In most cases, people would mix up a half of peat, a quarter of garden soil, a quarter of perlite, and special culture soil. Feel free to add humus too so the soil would be rich and ‘complete’.


Although it’s not always necessary, pruning can help make your plant under control. This climbing type of plant doesn’t generally need pruning, but if you want to keep it under proportion and you want to remove the dead leaves or sick parts, pruning can be done. Just make sure that you only use clean and sharp tools (shears, knife, scissors, etc). Also sterilize your tool before each application so the possibility of spreading germs or bacteria would be limited.



In general, you need to pick the healthy stem having also healthy leaves. The stem should have 2 to 3 leaves and at least one node. After you make the cutting, you can immerse the cut into clean water. Change the water whenever it is murky or once every 2 to 3 days. Place it in a spot with warm temperature, the right humidity level, and bright indirect sunshine. In several weeks, you should be able to see new roots. Once those roots are several inches long, transfer the cutting to a new pot with fresh potting mixture. Water it thoroughly and place it in the area having those needed requirements.

If you choose the soil propagation, put the cutting into soil right after you cut it. Skip the water altogether. The process is similar, but through soil medium, you need to make sure that the roots have developed and grown. After several weeks, try to pull your plant. If it feels firm and doesn’t budge, then roots have grown and grabbed on your soil.


All plants love extra food, especially the ones that can help them grow stronger and bigger. Some people may choose the slow release type, which can be applied at least 3 times within a year. You can also choose the liquid type. Apply it every month during the active growing season. In winter months, cut off the frequency of the application: fertilize only once every 2 months. It’s ok if you do it once in every 3 months. What about organic fertilizer, such as compost? Feel free to do it. Some people have used it and they are pretty satisfied with the result.


Aphids, mealybugs, or spider mites are some of the most common pests that may infest Philodendron Ernestii. Some of them aren’t exactly easy to spot, so you may want to check your plant regularly. Don’t forget to check the underside because these pests like to hide there.

How to deal with these pesky pests?

  • Try not to soak the leaves. If you want to mist the leaves, make sure that you do it enough, not excessively to the point of soaking or drenching the leaves. Wet leaves may attract pests and insects.
  • In most cases, warm water and soap can help. Simply wipe the leaves with this mixture and your problems would be solved.
  • If the infestation isn’t harsh, you can wipe the leaves with soft cloth dipped in warm water
  • To be more effective, feel free to use insecticidal soap too.
  • Most people use neem oil spray because it works. However, give it some times as it needs time to finally show results.

Read also : Philodendron Furcatum : A Quick Guidance To Learn


Is Philodendron Ernestii a climber?

Yes, this is a climber type of plant that will grow taller and also bigger with supporting poles. Whether you have poles or trellis, you need to provide one to make sure that it grows taller and happier. The support will also ensure that the plant will grow faster.

Is Philodendron Ernestii rare?

In the past, Philodendron Ernestii might be rare. But it’s not so much in current situation. It may not be excessively available, but you should be able to find one at your local nurseries. If you are looking for one online, it would be easier to find, but make sure that you only choose a reliable one.

Can this plant be used as decoration?

Of course it can! In fact, you can harvest the leaves so they can be used as flower decoration, especially when placed in the vase. If you want to harvest your Philodendron Ernestii leaves, do it in the morning or in the evening. In the morning, the water content is still high. In the evening, the plant has got the needed nutrients. If you harvest the leaves at these times, the leaves can last for quite a long time. Avoid harvesting it during the hot noon. This is the time when your plant is the most sensitive or vulnerable.

My plant has dark leaves. What is the reason for it?

It’s possibly caused by the lack of fertilizer or lack of pruning. Try adding up nitrogen fertilizer to brighten up the leaves. Pruning any excess leaves and stems is also advisable so the plant stays under control; making sure that nutrient supply will be met and provided. Water insufficiency may also be responsible for the issue. Check your watering regime again and increase the frequency (or amount) it when it isn’t enough.

Should I clean my plant?

Dust and dirt may accumulate on the leaves. When it happens, it would block the airways, making the leaves difficult to breathe. Cleaning it up would be a good idea. Use soft cloth that has been dipped into warm water and use it to wipe the leaves. Make sure that you don’t leave excess water on the leaves because it may attract pests.

My Ernestii has pale leaves. Can I do something to improve it?

Pale leaves are likely the result of lack of sunlight. You may have placed the plant in a too shady area so it doesn’t get enough light exposure. Try to move it to an area where it gets more light exposure, but still in indirect manner. It would be a good idea if you can place it close to the east facing window, so it will get plentiful of morning sunlight.

Is Philodendron Ernestii toxic?

Unfortunately, yes, it is. All Philodendrons contain a special crystal, the calcium oxalate, which is a kind of irritant. When ingested, it will irritate the digestive track and digestive system. When making contacts with the skin, it will irritate your skin. This is the reason why the plant shouldn’t be kept close with pets or kids. And it’s also advisable that you wear gloves whenever you have to hold it.


Final Words

The Ernestii is one unique and beautiful philodendron type that can really transform the look of your house without overdoing it. The plant isn’t only gorgeous but also easy to care. Pay attention to the proper way of caring for Philodendron Ernestii to make sure that it reaches its potential ability and greatness.

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