Philodendron Martianum : The Catchy Fat Boy Greenery

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Not only the name of Philodendron Martianum is unique, but its physical appearance is also one-of-a-kind. It shares several similar physical traits as other philodendrons, and yet, there is something different about the plant. To make it more appealing, this plant can be grown inside the house as well as the outside. It gives you total freedom and control to grow it in a container as a houseplant or in your garden as the regular garden plant.

However, all kinds of plants must meet certain (and mostly common) requirements. What does Martianum like? How should you care for one? Read on and follow the provided guide if you want to have one at home. If you are new to this, the guide can at least give you insight and prevent you from making mistakes.


  • Scientific Name : Philodendron Martianum
  • Known Name : Philodendron Fatboy, Philodendron Fat Belly
  • Family : Araceae
  • Genus : Philodendron
  • Origin : Southeastern Brazil
  • Temperature : 20 to 30 degrees Celsius
  • Soil : Airy, loose, well-draining
  • Water : Moderate, not soggy
  • Care Level : Medium

About Philodendron Martianum

Also known as Philodendron Fat Belly or Philodendron Fatboy, Philodendron Martianum has a unique appearance because of its swollen petioles. In its young stage, this Fat Belly may seem like the regular greenery. However, as it grows and gets older, it will be a wide and big plant with appearance similar to a bush. The leaves would grow and form in a formation of rosette. They also green with leathery texture.

In the wild, the Martianum grows under the thick canopy of trees of the (tropical) Brazilian rainforests. Aside the shape and form, the leaves have well-formed shape with lustrous hues and leathery texture.

Temperature and Humidity

Since the Philodendron Martianum originates from the native tropical rainforest, the plant prefers humid and also warm environment. This isn’t a hardy plant, so don’t locate it in a place that is too cold or frosty. The ideal temperature would be from 20 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees. In winter, it should be more than 10 degrees Celsius. It would be ideal if it can be set between 10 degrees and 15 degrees Celsius in winters.

The humidity should be above 80%, so make sure that you avoid dry surroundings. In most cases, the plant is okay with humidity level as high as 60%, which is quite common for the household humidity level. If you want to increase the humidity level, there are several things that you can do. These ways are simple and they don’t cost you a fortune.

  • Use the pebble tray. Place your pot on top of the pebble, but the water shouldn’t reach to the bottom side.
  • Use the humidifier. This would be a good investment, especially if you are into greenery.
  • Group the plants together. This is especially handy if you have other plants indoor. But if you only have the Martianum, then you need to figure out another way.

Lighting Requirement

Martianum Philodendron likes moderate light, which should be a bit shaded or filtered. If you want to grow one indoor, it should be situated close to the east facing window having good ventilation, bright sunlight, and not direct sunlight. In most cases, the ideal location would be between 51 centimeters and 102 centimeters from the window.

If you grow one outdoor, it should be placed next to another big and taller tree. Next to a rack is also possible, if you want it to climb. Make sure that the location isn’t windy or it is sheltered from strong wind or draft.

Read also : Philodendron Fibrosum : Unique Plant that Catches Everyone’s Attention

Soil Requirement

Philodendron Martianum appreciates fertile, rich, and organic soil. It should be loose, airy, and well-draining. The soil should be able to contain just enough water to hydrate the plant and the roots, and yet it also encourages effective drainage so any excess water can be removed.

The ideal pH level is between 5.5 and 5.6. In most cases, you can use the commercial aroid mix for your Martianum, but if you want to come up with your own formula, you can try ¼ garden soil, ¼ perlite, ½ peat, and also special culture soil for your Fat Belly. Feel free to add humus to your mixture to encourage its growth.

Basically, there is no one-kind recipe when it comes to having ‘an ideal’ soil. If you prefer the commercial one, that’s fine. If you want to have the mix as above, that’s also fine. You can also mix up these ingredients to create the soil you want: a part of orchid bark and a part of potting. It’s also possible to mix a part of coco fiber (or coco chips) and a part of potting soil. Whatever recipe you choose, rest assured that they work well for your Martianum. Again, you only need to observe and monitor the progress.

Watering Requirement

Fat Belly loves moist environment. It shouldn’t be dry or soggy. It should be moist. It’s crucial that you water the plant thoroughly and then water again only when the top soil has dried off completely. When you touch the top soil and you insert your finger, the soil should be dry. If it is still moist, then wait for several days until it is dry.

Keep in mind, though, that Philodendron Martianum may have different drying level. When you place it in a warm spot with plentiful of sunlight, the water may evaporate sooner than the one being placed in a shadier and cooler spot. The plant may dry off sooner than expected. It also means that you need to water your plant more frequent than those who place their plant in a shadier place. That’s why it is crucial to observe your own plant; knowing its own habits and routine.


All plants appreciate extra food, especially the nutritious one, and Philodendron Martianum isn’t different. It’s recommended that you apply fertilizer during active growing period, especially in springs and summers. In winters, you won’t have to apply the fertilizer as often as you do in summers, so be sure to pay attention to it.

Choose the slow release type or the liquid fertilizer. Fertilizing can be done once a month, but in winters, it should be done once in 2 months. Suspend watering a day before applying the fertilizer. Two hours after fertilizing the plant, you can use clean water to spray the leaves. It is supposed to remove any residual left.



Philodendron Martianum doesn’t need regular pruning if it is healthy and fine. However, it’s crucial that you remove any sick or affected leaves. You should also remove rot roots or dead roots (which is usually done when repotting). If you want to control the size of the plant, you should also prune it.


This Fat Boy is generally harvested for decoration. If you want to harvest the leaves, do it either in the evening or in the morning. In the evening, your Fat Boy has gathered many nutrients. In the morning, it still has quite high water content. Either one, your leaves will have long (vase) life when harvested at these times of the day.


Unlike other philodendrons that propagate well with stem cutting, such a method isn’t completely effective for Philodendron Martianum. In fact, the Fat Belly is more effective when propagated with root division. A lot of people are discouraged when using this method, thinking that it’s overly complicated and difficult. But in reality, it’s not that hard.

Here are the stages:

  • Pick out a (healthy) stem. Make sure that it has several leaves and a node.
  • Dig the soil until you reveal the stem’s roots.
  • By using shears or a knife (don’t forget to disinfect it first), cut the roots (in which you have chosen the healthy stem from). You have got yourself a root (stem) cutting.
  • Plant that root cutting in a new pot with fresh soil.
  • Water this cutting thoroughly. Put it in a place where it gets abundance of bright but filtered and indirect light.

Keep in mind that this cutting has already had its own roots, leaves, and stem, so you don’t have to wait for the plant to grow any kind of stuff. But you should wait, and in several weeks, you can see more leaves and also new shoots.

If you go with the root division, this is another method to try. In this method, you will have to remove the roots from the soil and the pot. Take out the root ball and divide it. Feel free to divide it into a half, or even in several parts, depending on how many new plants you want to have from the mother plant.

  • Unpot the Martianum
  • Remove any excess root, giving you clear sight to the root system
  • Decide how many parts you want to have and in which area to do it. Keep in mind that every division should have enough roots, leaves, and also stems. The roots themselves should be able to support the leaves’ size.
  • Use sharp and sterile cutting tool to make the sections and separate them.
  • Plant each of the part to its own pot and potting mix. Make sure that you have prepared the pot and the soil before making the cutting.

This method gives you an already semi-grown plant. After you have potted and cared for them, they would start growing new leaves and new shoots in several weeks.


The pests are basically small and tiny, which makes them difficult to spot. You need to check your plant regularly if you want it free from any pests or diseases. Don’t forget to check the underside because pests like to hide there. If you do find signs of pests, use neem oil spray or alcohol. Wiping the leaves with the rubbing alcohol can help. If you don’t have alcohol, use warm water and soap. insecticidal soap can also be used.

Read also : Philodendron Green Congo: The Jungle Vibe


Why do Philodendron Martianum leaves fall off, especially the lower parts?

Lack of water or sunlight may cause it. You should pay attention to the proper care, including watering and how you place your plant. Basically, it’s more about monitoring and observing your own greenery.

Why does the Martianum can’t propagate from root cutting?

When it comes to cutting, any plant with bare base would be difficult to develop or form roots. That’s why stem cutting is considered ideal to propagate the philodendron.

Is it possible that Fat Boy Philodendron would produce abnormal leaves?

The plant’s leaves are basically susceptible to different variation, both in low and also high temperatures. This can lead to leave shape change and transformation. This change is typically irreversible. It usually leads to pruning.

If Philodendron Martianum is toxic, how to prevent it from harming others?

If you know that this plant is toxic, then you should know how to handle it. The ones who don’t realize the toxicity of the plant are often pets and kids. That’s why you should never place the plant within easy reach of the children.

Is pruning always needed?

In general, when your Philodendron Martianum is happy and well, then no. But, pruning is crucial to remove any sick or damaged leaves. And if you grow Martianum indoor, you want to prune it to control the size and not make it overly big and bulky.

Can I avoid pests for the Martianum?

If you have a healthy plant, you won’t have to worry about pests or diseases. Make sure that you don’t soak the plant in moisture so it won’t attract pesky pests. Don’t forget to perform regular checking to spot any signs of infestation or issues.

Is Martianum a fast grower?

Not really. It can take a while to grow one, but keep in mind that your patience is worth the final results.



The Fat Belly is definitely unique and one-of-a-kind. Even if you aren’t one of those plant enthusiasts, you will notice that this plant is unique and it’s actually catchy. Pay attention to the proper care and you will have yourself a happy Philodendron Martianum.

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