Philodendron Giganteum : The Giant Leaves

Content Index

The philodendron giganteum is the largest plant among almost 1000 species from the same genus. This beauty originated from the Caribbean islands and also some regions of South America. This plant was discovered in the mid-19 century and then grown as the exotic-giant plant that beautifies the garden and home.

The characteristic of the giant philodendron is its heart-shaped leaves with shiny-greeny color. It is a fast-growing plant that can live for a long time. Therefore it is needed to provide enough space and a stable pot when you decide to grow this plant. It is also very adaptable whether you want to grow it indoors or outdoor as long as the plant meets the condition of its natural habitat.


  • Botanical Name: Philodendron Giganteum Schott
  • Popular Name: Giant philodendron, philodendron giganteum, philodendron giganteum blizzard, philodendron giganteum marble
  • Mature size: up to 5 feet
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Sun Exposure: Filtered sunlight
  • Soil Type: well-drained soil and high content of organic matter
  • Soil pH: Between 5.5 – 6.5
  • Toxicity: humans and pets

Philodendron Giganteum Care Guide

Like most philodendron plants, this giant philodendron care is very simple which you just need to mimic the tropical environment. This means you have to provide warmth, moisture, and bright light. As long as you set the comfortable routines, you will see the plant will flourish and be healthy.

Water Requirement

The plant is more sensitive to overwatering than underwatering. The fact that the philodendron loves moisture but hates to sit in the waterlogged condition makes it difficult to find the best watering regime. When the plant is overwatered, it can lead to root rot.

Typically, watering the giant philodendron is fine to do every once a week from spring to autumn. But when the summer comes, you need to water it more often as the water evaporates faster. On the other hand, watering during winter should be reduced to two or three times every month. Besides it also depends on the room temperature.

In some cases, watering a philodendron is trickier for the ones who are new to this plant. You can check the top inches of the soil. If it is completely dry, you can water the plant by pouring it directly into the stem and leaves. You also need to make sure that the philodendron is grown on a well-draining pot. It means you need to dry it out completely between watering it.

Light Requirements

Just like most philodendrons, this plant will do well under indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can damage the color and burn its foliage. On the other hand, growing the plant in the shade will stunt the growth and lose its shine.

In the natural habitat, the giant philodendron lives under tall tropical trees. Good light exposure helps the plant produce chlorophyll which gives it a stunning green color.

If you are living in a condition where getting proper sunlight is impossible, you can use artificial light such as fluorescent lamps to mimic the natural light. In this way, your plant can still grow healthily.

Indoor placement – source


Keep the humidity level above 60%. Your philodendron giganteum will thrive very well. You might need some effort to find this level especially if you live in an area where the condition is difficult to reach.

Some option to try is by using a humidifier. This works pretty well and it is easily available in many online retailers. The second option is to place pebbles on the tray that is filled with water. After that, you can put the philodendron over the top. When the water evaporates, it will raise the humidity level. Or, you can also mist the philodendron. However, you cannot over misting it as it will lead to diseases.


Philodendron is a tropical plant that naturally will love warmth. As you can see the plant grows at its best near the equator. Generally, the best temperature is between 55-80 degrees Fahrenheit or 13-27 degrees Celcius.

If you grow the plant outdoor or near the window and the temperature drops, keep the plant indoors. Or if the temperature in your region can fall under 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the best way is to grow the plant indoors.


The best thing about growing the philodendron giganteum is you don’t necessarily prune the plant regularly. You can just grow this plant and admire it.

Mature philodendron usually will drop its leaves and you don’t need to interfere with the plant except for health and aesthetic purpose.

Read also : Philodendron Hope Selloum – Characteristic and Care Guide


Generally, the Giant Philo needs to be repotted every two or three years. The clear signs that your plant needs a new pot are when you see the roots reaching the top of the pot or growing out of the drainage holes and if you see the upper foliages start to become top-heavy.

One thing to make sure of when choosing a new pot is to pick the terracotta or clay. These types are stronger and suit the best Giant Philo. Also, make sure the pot has at least a drainage hole so the water can run out completely during watering. This will avoid it from root rots.


Just like other philodendrons, philodendron giganteum is quite easy to propagate.

If your philodendron giganteum is mature enough you can see that it is grown in a single stem. When the stem is long enough you can try to cut it.

Make sure you use a clean and sterile sharp object to cut it, it is to prevent any bacterial infections.

After that you can try to plant the stem on a pot, give it rich soil and good care.

Usually, it takes around one month for the aerial roots to grow. If you are lucky enough, the plant will grow beautifully.

Another way to grow the philodendron is from seed. It is not impossible but still, it takes time.

mature stem – source


Talking about toxicity, the plant is toxic for humans and animals, including dogs and cats. When this plant is ingested, it will release calcium oxalate crystals that irritate especially in the mouth and also the GI tract.

Pets who are ingesting the plant will exhibit various symptoms such as swelling, vomiting, drooling, and lack of appetite.

Furthermore, this plant also can cause skin irritation. It is advised to use gloves to avoid direct contact with the plant. However, the giant philodendron is not life-threatening but you should always be cautious. When your pets accidentally ingest this plant, bring them to the vet for further care.


There are two types of philodendron giganteum. The first one is the philodendron giganteum variegeted and the second one is the philodendron giganteum schott.

  • The philodendron giganteum variegated has giant leaves, with an elephant ear-shaped appearance. The leaves look beautiful with their green and splashy white color which somehow makes a home look like a lush jungle. This plant is a climber.
  • Meanwhile, the philodendron giganteum schott comes with a greener color but is similar to the leaf look. Therefore look at this feature to differentiate the type.
variegated giganteum – source

Pests and Disease

Generally, there are three pests that attack the philodendron giganteum which are mealybugs, spider mites, and fungus gnats.

In certain climates, the shore flies often bring issues. This is a small pest with white color that often moves over the leaves to search for sap from the plant. However, removing this pest is very easy.

You can wash the foliage with a mixture of water and soap. The insecticidal soal also works well, especially for stubborn pests.

Another solution to prevent your plant from pets is using neem oil. Apply it once a month to prevent the pests from coming back to your plant.

Growth Rate

When the plant is given the right condition it can grow pretty quick. It can reach up to five feet. The width can expand up to three feet.

For a plantlet, to grow it until its stem is mature enough will take around a month to several months. It depends on how you treat this plant. In warmer seasons, the philodendron will grow fast.

The plant is also a climber, which means this will grow toward the sun. You need to use help like a stick or a climbing assistant so it can climb vertically.

Leaf, Flower, Stem and Seed Characteristic

  • Leaf – The main characteristic of the philodendron giganteum marble is its elephant-shaped foliage. The plant comes in green color and has a shiny look. The leaves can expand up to three feet making it a perfect item for filling the space.
  • Stem – This plant is a self-header plant with a single and strong stem. However, when the plant is still young, you need support like a stick or a climber assistant to help it grow upwards.
  • Flower – The plant rarely blooms when it is grown indoors.
  • Seeds – The seed’s longevity is limited unless processed properly.


Fertilizing will depend on the type of soil. Generally, you will not need to fertilize the plant as you already plant it in the rich organic matter so it will feed the plant. If it is needed, it is for the indoor plant which may be just a small intervention. Some good fertilizers that you can use are:

  • Sulfur
  • Nitrogen
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Magnesium

Feed the plant only during the growing months which are during the spring and summer seasons. Avoid fertilizing the plant during winter.

Soil Requirements

Somehow growing the philodendron giganteum outdoor is easier when it comes to soil. But it is possible to grow it indoors as long as you give them sufficient nutrients.

The first rule to follow is to make sure that your pot has a hole to help the water run thoroughly. Besides, your plant needs rich organic matter. Adding the following elements to the soil mix will do best for the plant’s growth:

  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Orchid bark or coconut husk
  • Steril compost or mulch

The mulch here is being used as the organic matter with the bark as the perfect addition to help the roots grow healthily as this plant loves wrapping around objects in the soil.

Additional criteria to note with the soil requirements are the acidic characteristic, meaning the soil pH should be around 5.5 – 6.5.

Read also : Philodendron Moonlight – An Ultimate Guide To Care


How Big Can A Philodendron Giganteum Grow?

In wild nature, the Giant Philo can grow very big, up to 15 feet. But as an indoor plant, this can grow up to 5 feet tall.

When you grow the plant as an indoor plant, it still needs a spacy room as its function is to fill the space. It is a perfect houseplant for a huge living room.

Is The Philodendron Philodendron Giganteum Blizzard Rare?

This philodendron type is relatively rare outside its natural habitat. The variegated version is highly searched for by houseplant lovers.

How To Care The Philodendron Giganteum?

Caring for the philodendron gigantism is pretty easy. The plant will grow massively if you fulfill the required conditions. As we know, the Giant Philo adores humidity but wants the soil to keep relatively dry. Therefore watering becomes the most important part.

When it comes to watering, first you need to make sure that you place the plant in a well-drained pot. The water should be easily running out of the pot between watering. The hole here is used to prevent the plant from getting waterlogged which can lead to root rot.

Besides, similar to another type of philodendron, the giganteum loves indirect-bright sunlight. Place the plant near the window where the sunlight doesn’t fall directly on the leaves. Too much direct sunlight will cause burning leaves.

This plant is also able to survive under low light, but it cannot maximize its potential and the growth will be stunted.

How Fast A Philodendron Giganteum Can Grow?

The plant can grow very quickly when it is given the right condition. Its growth can reach up to five feet within a pot and expand up to 3 feet.

Is The Philodendron Giganteum A Climbing Plant?

It is a climbing plant that in nature, it adheres to the tress with the help of aerial roots. You will need to use a climbing assistant to help the plant climb vertically.

What If My Cat Eats Philodendron?

You need to be careful with the plant if you raise pets, especially cats. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystal which will be released once the plant is ingested. Your cats might exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Swelling on the lips, tongue, and other parts of its mouth
  • Irritation sensation, possibly blisters around the mouth
  • Excessive drooling and swallowing difficulties
  • Vomiting

When the fresh plant trimmings material gets into the eyes it will cause:

  • Excess tearing
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Squinting and excessively rubbing at the eyes
  • Ulcers on the cornea

What Can I Do If My Cat Eats Philodendron?

Do some emergency help by flushing the eyes and mouth with clean and cold water to remove the poisons as much as possible. And then bring your pet to the local veterinarian right away.

Your vet might suggest you to give the pets medications to reduce swelling. Besides, the medication is also helpful to bind the additional material from the GI tract. Your cat might need nutritional support until they are comfortable again to eat normally.

A note to remember when your pets are poisoned by the philodendron is to not induce vomiting as the substance will cause more harm such as irritation, and inflammation along in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. Your vet will give them medication first if vomiting induction is necessary to help protect the GI tract and mouth.

What Are The Most Common Problems With Philodendron Giganteum?

There are some common problems that often appear on this Giant philo such as irregular tan patches on its leaves, sudden wilting and dark patches.

The irregular tan on its foliages is usually caused by bacterial infections such as Erwinia disease. You can tell if your plant is attacked by Erwinia from the smell. The disease usually attacks smaller plants and it will be less severe on the larger plants.

Note that this bacterial infection loves moisture to spread successfully. You need to isolate the plant and cut away the affected leaves. Besides, minimize the watering schedule and stop misting the plant. Also, keep the leaves dry to control the spread.

If you see the dark patches on the leaf, it is usually caused by draft exposure. You can just cut off the affected areas and then move the plant to another warmer area.

For sudden wilting or yellowing. This usually happens because of root rot. Root rot is caused by the fungal infection because the plant is submerged in the water. When this happens, check the base of the plant immediately. Besides, a few cutting in the affected areas will give a greater chance of saving it. After that, make sure you change the pot with fresh soil.

Why Is My Philodendron Turning Yellow and Brown?

When you spot the edges of the leaves turning yellow or brown, it can be caused by underwatering or overwatering. If the leaves are brown, it means you don’t give the plant sufficient water. If it is yellow, you are overwatering it.

Why Does My Philodendron Look Pale?

When the philodendron is placed in the shade it will start to lose its shine. This is why you will see your plant looking pale. You need to move the plant to a brighter space (but avoid direct sunlight) to get the shine back.

How To Get Rid Of Gnats On Philodendron?

Gnats can be quite annoying and troublesome. The signs of gnats can be seen when you see a cloud of tiny, black flies around the plant. Individually, this is unrecognizable, but when it comes to a large number it is somewhat problematic.

The most important thing is not thinking about what type of gnats your plant has, but how to get rid of them. Usually, overwatering often leads to gnat problems. Damped soil promotes fungal growth which is a great source for the larvae. To reduce gnats, simply you need to reduce the watering schedule. Try to water the plant only when the soil is dry and make sure the plant has great drainage and a saucer under it.

However, if reducing the watering schedule doesn’t help, you can report the plant with sterile and new soil. This might be a difficult task if your plant is large.

If none of the above works for you, you need to try some substance designed for removing problems like gnats. You can find the products easily online. Just make sure you use the right amount.

When Does My Philodendron Begin To Bloom?

There are around 450 philodendron species in the world and most of them can bloom. A philodendron needs to be mature before it begins blooming. It can take around 15-20 years, depending on the condition. When it is grown indoors, a philodendron rarely blooms.

Should I Mist My Philodendron Giganteum?

The philodendron giganteum is a tropical plant, so a high humidity level will benefit the plant as it will promote growth and glossy foliage. Periodically misting the plant while applying insecticidal soap will keep the pest away. Just be careful to not over missing the plant as it will lead to disease.

Can You Grow Philodendron Giganteum Using Seeds?

Technically you can grow the Giant Philo with seeds, but you need flowers to get them. Meanwhile, the philodendron rarely blooms when it is grown indoors.

Besides, the seed’s longevity is very short when it is not properly processed or vacuumed. The method is usually done by a professional or nursery grower which is rarely to succeed for a garden enthusiast to do it.

Leave a Comment