In the event you want to have a tropical and jungle-vibe at home, then choosing Philodendron Green Congo would be a smart move. This houseplant has big and large leaves. Thanks to them, you can have jungle-look-alike feel right away. In the wild, this plant is generally growing quite extensively and widely. But the plant can also be grown as a houseplant. And it is a very beautiful houseplant that can survive and thrive well.
- Scientific name: Philodendron Green Congo
- Family: Araceae
- Genus: Philodendron
- Origin: Tropical America
- Light: Moderate, warm and bright, but not direct or too hot
- Soil: Organic, rich, loose
- Water: Moderate
About Philodendron Green Congo
Philodendron Green Congo is one of the many variants in the Philodendron Congo category. The Congo itself is a houseplant with large leaves. The leaves have oval shape with smooth edges. Philodendron Congo comes as many variants of species, including Emerald Philodendron (which is dark green in color), Philodendron Rojo (which have red leaves), Green, and Philodendron Moonlight (with washed out light green hue).
Philodendron Congo itself has many hybrids, and many of which don’t grow to a vine plant. As a result, the plant would be an upright type unlike the other philodendrons that may grow on the vine horizontally (because they are looking for a new place to lay the roots down).
This is a perfect option for those looking for getting extra (and colorful) accents to your office or home, and yet, you don’t want it to be too much or tacky. If you want something unique and different, and definitely not like the same plant thing for the house, then this Philodendron Green Congo would be an ideal pick. Most people would use it as a (big) floor plant, but it can actually be made into catchy arrangement accent or a table piece.
When it comes to sunlight, Philodendron Green Congo likes a moderate one. It should be just enough; not too much and yet not too little either. It shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. The plant doesn’t need too dark environment or too bright setting. When you pick a spot for your Green Congo, make sure that the spot has ideal natural lighting situation. If it has diffused (natural) light, it’s even better. Some people may choose the artificial light, but you need to make sure that your plant gets the right exposure time.
What happens when your Green Congo gets too bright light? It’s actually a good thing, but it would increase the growth and productivity, which will increase the requirement to fertilize it. It will also affect the watering frequency, to counter the effect of added heat and light. Be aware that your plant shouldn’t too close to the window. Hot window will also burn the leaf. You may want to consider rotating your plant quite often so each part will get the equal sunlight exposure.
What if the plant gets low light? This is the worst case scenario. When the plant doesn’t get enough sunlight, the stems and leaves would be sensitive to rot. Overwatering symptoms may be prevalent. Not to mention that it will also affect the productivity of the Green Congo. The plant would not be able to use the water efficiently and effectively within the low light setting.
As the rule of thumb: water is also needed in a moderate amount. Make sure that the moisture content should be consistent and remain regular. If the surrounding environment has the recommended moderate airflow, light, and heat, you may be required to water your plant once a week, or even once in two weeks.
It means that watering can be adjusted to the condition of the plant itself. If you place the plant in the area where it is quite hot, you may need more water. If you place the plant in the spot where everything is in moderation, just enough water would be enough. Your Philodendron Green Congo needs consistent and regular periods of dryness and moisture to keep everything balance.
When you want to water the soil, you need to make sure that the top soil should be completely dry. Even when you have to insert your finger to the soil (up to around 2 centimeters of depth), it should be dry. When it is still moist, it means that your plant doesn’t need any drink just yet. If you force on giving it water, you may endanger it by causing overwatering.
Philodendron Green Congo loves organic, rich and airy soil. You want to make sure that the soil should be able to hold just enough water, but it can also encourage better drainage so any excess water or moisture can be discarded. A lot of people say that the common (household) potting mix is okay, but you are free to add your own mixture, especially if you believe that you can improve the quality of soil itself.
Keep in mind that the soil shouldn’t be chunky or sandy. If it is too chunky, it would hold off too much water, and it can lead to waterlogged and root rot issue. If it is too sandy, it won’t be able to retain the water, needed to replenish the requirement of the plant. The plant would always be thirsty and lack of water. The soil should be balanced; it should be able to retain enough water but also able to encourage effective drainage.
Fertilizer is often needed by the plant, especially to support the required nutrients of the plant itself. Consider fertilizer as the extra nutritious food, and all plants would appreciate the extra addition of the plant. Feel free to choose whatever type of fertilizer you like: the liquid type, the slow release type, or the organic type.
Humidity and Temperature
Philodendron Green Congo is native to tropical areas in which temperature and also humidity are high. It makes the plant quite resistant to heat. It is able to tolerate heat pretty well, but not so much with cold or frost. The ideal temperature would be between 70 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (or between 21 degrees and 29 degrees Celsius. Even when it’s summers, you should avoid your plant from any AC or vents or drafts. Fans aren’t really advisable.
High humidity is needed to make your plant thriving and well. In most cases, the plant is able to withstand the common household humidity level. However, you are always welcomed to increase the level by doing several simple (but effective) ways.
- You can always mist the plant. For many people, it may be considered an ineffective way because it only lasts temporarily
- It’s also possible to use a humidifier. It would be a good investment, especially if you are into plants and you want to keep some of the tropical greeneries, like the philodendron.
- You are free to use the pebble tray. You use water and place the pot on top of those pebbles. The environment is created to increase the humidity, but you need to ensure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom side of the pot.
- Another method is to group plants together, creating a naturally humid setting.
Philodendron Green Congo often needs pruning so it will be kept under control. In most cases, the primary vining stem would be overgrown, and this is when pruning is needed. As age and with acclimation (adjustment to the new surrounding or setting), it’s quite common that some leaves may drop. Don’t worry if it is only a leaf or two.
When you see yellowing leaves or dried ones, you need to remove them right away. Only choose the sharp, clean, and sterile cutting tool, such as pruning shears, knife, or scissors. Before each application, sterilize them first. Pruning is also good when there are damaged or sick parts. If this is the case, you need to remove them immediately. Otherwise, these affected parts would spread and hurt other parts.
Propagation for Philodendron Green Congo can be done through stem cutting or air layering. If you choose the stem cutting, you can choose the soil medium or water medium. Once you have picked the healthy and well plant (it should have several leaves and at least one node), cut the stem and then put it in the medium that you want. Regardless the medium, make sure that you situate it in the area that is warm, having high humidity level, and it gets bright light.
In water medium, you should be able to see roots coming out after several weeks. Transfer it to the new potting soil and mix. If you choose the soil medium, you can try to pull the plant. If it feels heavy and there is a sense of resistance to it, then roots have formed and they have had a good hold on the soil. Some people may choose the transparent pot so they can see the inside without having to disturb the plant.
If you prefer the air layering method, you basically encourage root growth before you actually cut the stem. You make a wound on the flesh and then cover it with spaghnum moss. When the roots finally appear in several weeks, then you can cut the stem and then put it in a pot. The pot should have new and fresh soil. Then you can continue the regular caring routine with the new pot as well as the mother plant.
Is it crucial to have drainage holes for the pot?
Yes. If you choose a pot that only has a drainage hole, consider adding more holes as these holes are the way for the excess water to escape.
How big can Philodendron Green Congo be?
The durable greenery is able to grow up to 4 feet in height. When it grows taller, it will also expand wider. The result is a tough, shiny green, dark and deep leaves.
Do I need to prepare and provide a space for the plant?
This is a plant that can grow pretty fast when all of the requirements are met. Not only you need to prepare enough space for it, but you also have to monitor the plant to take a full control of its growth. You may want to trim or prune it. If you grow it in a pot, it may need at least a foot (in diameter) as it grows bigger, so only have it when you do have enough space at home.
Considering that Green Congo can grow big, should I plant it outdoor only?
Not really. Philodendron Green Congo is basically a versatile plant. You should be able to grow one indoor or outdoor. As long as you can provide the space and you can meet its basic requirements, your plant will grow happy and healthy in whatever surroundings it is located in.
Philodendron Congo Rojo vs Green Congo
They may look almost the same, but the Green Congo Philodendron is basically bigger than Philodendron Rojo Congo. Since Green Congo is growing upright and producing impressive big and attractive plant, the overall construction and stance of the plant is bigger and wider than the Rojo Congo, whose construction is more sprawling and lean.
Is Green Congo toxic and dangerous?
Philodendron Green Congo is toxic because it has calcium oxalate crystals that may irritate the skin and digestive tracts. When ingested, it may cause swelling on the mouth, throat, and tongue. It may also cause upset stomach and vomiting. When making contacts with the skin, it can cause itch, redness, and burning sensation.
Can this plant be used to purify the air?
Yes, it can. Most philodendrons can be used to cleanse and purify the air. Most people who have them indoor state that they notice air quality somewhat improves after they have the plant.
How to deal with pests?
In general, you can use warm water and soap to wipe the plant. Feel free to use neem oil spray too. Insecticidal soap will also work like a charm, but you need to be consistent.
In the end, the plant isn’t fussy but you need to check the overall condition. Provide the basic requirements and you should be good to go. As long as you are able to care for it with love and care, your Philodendron Green Congo should be happy and content.