Philodendron Lacerum is one of those philodendron variants that are often overlooked. It’s true that some of the philodendrons have striking physical appearance, such as hairy petiole, reddish or even purplish colors, mottled patterns and speckles, and such thing alike. If you are used to such an extravagant appearance, the performance of Lacerum may look so-so and plain.
But if you take a closer look, you will see that Lacerum Philodendron has its own unique trait. The unique leaf shape and the fun vibe it exudes are all parts of the plant’s natural charm. Not to mention that it’s not difficult at all to care and grow this plant. Don’t be discouraged by the physical appearance as the plant is actually easy to care and treat.
- Scientific Name: Philodendron Albovaginatum, Philodendron Lacerum
- Known Name: Philodendron Lacerum
- Family: Araceae
- Genus: Philodendron
- Origin: Tropical (and also subtropical) forest
- Care Level: Easy
- Temperature: 20 degrees to 28 degrees Celsius
- Water: Moderate; only when the half top soil is dry
- Soil: Airy, well-draining
- Light: 70% to 80%
About Philodendron Lacerum
This plant has several names. Some people call it the Toothed Philodendron, while others may call it the Big Elephant Ear. Some even call it the Jagged Plant, although this one isn’t so popular or official.
The Lacerum is unique because of the big leaves with solid green color. The leaves are toothed edges.
Keep in mind that the appearance of the young leaves would be different from the mature ones. It’s because the plant experiences transformation as it gets older. As it grows older, the leaves’ lobes would be deeper, creating a toothed effect. When young, you can find a little yellowish hue, but it becomes more solid and greener shade as it matures.
Philodendron Lacerum loves organic and rich soil. It should also be airy, well-draining, and a bit loose. Heavy clay soil or sandy soil should be avoided. You want soil that is able to hold just enough water (not too much and yet not too little either) while encouraging effective drainage altogether. In most cases, you can use the (commercial) airy potting mix or the Aroid potting mix. Depending on the brand, the contents are typically consisting of perlite, chopped sphagnum moss, charcoal, bark, and potting soil. This is a plant that can be grown in water alone as well as in (long fiber) sphagnum moss.
If you are thinking about growing this plant outdoor, you should place it next to a taller tree. The plant would grow in a dappled shade as the taller tree acts as the canopy for your plant. Consider yourself lucky if you live in an area where it is warm all year round because your plant can really imitate what happens in the wild. If you live in the area where it is frosty or chilly, you may have to bring your plant indoor.
Moderate level is needed by this Philodendron Lacerum. It needs just enough water, but not too much that it becomes soggy or even wet. The plant can’t stand pooling or standing water because it can lead to root rot. That’s why you only need to water it when the top soil is dry.
Touch the top side of the soil, and if it feels dry, insert your finger. If the finger feels dry, then water it. If you touch the top soil and it is still wet, leave it be, because it’s obvious that the plant is still moist. It has just enough moisture to survive. Make sure that you monitor your plant as you need to know its ‘habit’. How many days pass before you need to water it again? Does it have good drainage? Can you develop a pattern when the plant dries off? This kind of stuff matters.
This is a versatile plant that will survive in any lighting condition. It grows well in well-lit spot or even in poor light environment. This is another reason why Philodendron Lacerum can grow well in both indoor and outdoor setting.
In most cases, it needs enough light. You should provide just enough light exposure with medium intensity, and your plant would be happy with it. It’s a good idea to place your plant not far from east-facing windows so your plant can get plentiful of morning sunlight. Never expose the plant to direct or too intense (and definitely too hot) light or you will risk burning it.
Temperature and Humidity
In order to survive, the ideal temperature should be set between 55 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Philodendron Lacerum likes mild to warm temperature, considering its original native surrounding and habitat. If you are able to provide such a temperature setting, then your plant will likely thrive. The plant dislikes extreme temperature or changes, so make sure that you don’t place it close to a fan, drafty locations, ACs, furnace, and others.
When it comes to humidity, the accepted level would be around 60%, at least. The plant is more than resilient enough to deal with common household humidity level. But in the event you want to increase the level, you should be able to do these things:
- Place the plant in the bathroom, close to the windows. It is an ideal scheme where your plant can get the needed humidity and sunlight exposure.
- Use the humidifier. If you are into plants, you should invest in buying a quality humidifier.
- Use the pebble tray. But you need to make sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom side of the pot.
Pruning is often needed by Philodendron Lacerum when there are damaged or sick or dead leaves. Simply remove them when you see such a thing before it spreads. Always use sharp and clean tools (scissors, shears, knife, etc) and sterilize them before each application.
In some cases, you may want to prune your plant when it gets too bushy or growth is uncontrollable. Cutting some extra long leaves or stems may put your plant in a more controlled manner.
Just like other philodendrons, Philodendron Lacerum can be propagated with stem cutting. It’s basically taking a part of the parent plant and growing a new plant from that part. Stem cutting is considered the easiest and also simplest way.
- Pick a stem that is healthy and it has a node and several leaves. It would be even better if you can get a stem with aerial root, but it’s not mandatory.
- Submerge the cutting in water (pick a glass jar). Make sure that the node is below the water, while the leaves should be on the surface; not making contact with the water.
- Place the glass jar in a spot where it gets enough sunlight that isn’t too intense or bright. Change the water when it gets murky or once in several days.
- In several weeks, you should be able to see roots coming out
- To prevent shock of environment change (especially when you have to move the cutting from water to soil), you can start adding soil to that water. Simply add a spoon or two within one week (2 weeks are also possible). You should do this until the water is being replaced by the soil completely. This will make the roots adjust to the new environment.
- Now, you can place your cutting in a new pot. Don’t forget to choose the organic and rich potting mix.
- When you move the cutting and place it in the pot, press the soil gently (but firmly) around the roots.
- Make sure that the soil stays moist. When you start seeing new growth, you’d know that you have made a new plant, which is healthy and quite happy.
When you want to propagate, keep these things in mind:
- Do it in the early spring so your new plant has new time to grow and adjust itself to the new environment.
- When you want to make a cutting, make sure to sterilize or disinfect the cutting tools. It would prevent mold or germs spread.
Philodendron Lacerum appreciates extra nutritious foods, especially when given during the active growing periods, such as springs and summers. Feel free to use any type of fertilizer you want: the slow release type, the liquid one, or the organic (and natural one), such as compost. If you do choose the slow release type, make sure to apply it at least 3 times a year during spring and summer months. It will boost the growth effectively.
There is no need to apply the fertilizer quite often in the winters. In fact, you should cut the frequency to half of it. For instance, if you use the liquid fertilizer and apply it once a month during summers, then you should only apply it once in 2 months (or even 3 months) during winters. Over fertilizing is also bad because it can cause burning to the root. When the root is burnt, your plant will die.
Philodendron Lacerum also experiences dormancy, or a period where it slows down. The plant conserves its energy and resources to deal with the colder winter months, so it won’t drink too often or take up too much nutritious food. This is why you should reduce your fertilizing time and watering frequency during winters. Otherwise, you are jeopardizing your plant.
Read also : Philodendron Black Cardinal : A Dark Beauty
What does it mean when Philodendron Lacerum has curling leaves with drying on the edges?
It’s most likely the combination of getting too much sunlight as well as under watering. You can water your plant more frequently. Plus, try to relocate it to a shadier place where it still gets enough sunlight without too intense light.
My Lacerum has dry and brown tips, along with yellowish halos. What does it mean?
Dry and brown tips are the common signs of low humidity. It means that your plant doesn’t get enough humidity level as needed. Try to consider increasing the level.
How can I avoid pests and diseases?
Well, these things can be inevitable. However, your plant would be just fine if it is healthy and happy. Plus, you should perform regular checking for pests because they are super tiny. When you mist the leaves, try not to soak it with excessive water because it would attract pests.
People say that philodendrons are dangerous around pets and kids. Is Lacerum included?
Yes. Unfortunately, Philodendron Lacerum is still toxic. Even when making contact with the skin, the plant can harm them. So, it would be best if you can keep it away from them.
How big can Lacerum grow?
The leaves can reach 20 inches when mature. The plant itself can grow up to 5 meters of height in the wild, but not up to that number when grown indoor.
Is Lacerum a vine?
Basically no, because it is actually a hemiepiphyte or epiphyte. However, the plant acts like a vine, enjoying climbing poles or trellis when it can find one. If you want it to grow and adorn your house, provide a burlap, a stake, or a pole. A trellis will also do.
Can I grow the Lacerum indoor?
Yes, it is a flexible plant. You can grow it outdoor as well as indoor. However, if you live in the area where it can be frosty and chilly during winters, it’s best to bring the plant indoor when it’s start to get cold. The plant has its own minimum limitation when it comes to the temperature.
Should I isolate my plant when I find disease or pest?
It’s best that way, especially if you also keep other plants nearby. Isolating the plant would prevent any possible spread of disease or pest infestation.
I have never propagated any plant before. Can I propagate the Lacerum with stem cutting?
Stem cutting is definitely the easiest way to propagate your plant, even if you are inexperienced in it. Simply follow the steps, and you should be good to go, especially if you pay close attentions to the steps carefully.
Lacerum is a unique plant with its own characteristics and unique traits. If you are able to meet its requirements, rest assured that your plant will survive. Philodendron Lacerum is one-of-a-kind greenery that will make your house and personal space look different.