Philodendron Melinonii isn’t only an impressive houseplant, but it is also versatile as you can also grow one outdoor, provided it is grown within the right condition. You can be sure that the plant can be an aesthetic focal point at home, whether you place it inside the house or outside. Not to mention that the plant has obvious tropical vibe that would increase pleasant atmosphere for your personal living space.
- Scientific name: Philodendron Melinonii Brongn. ex Regel
- Known name: Philodendron Melinonii
- Family: Araceae
- Genus: Philodendron
- Origin: South and Central America, especially Venezuela, Northern Brazil, and French Guiana
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Soil: Well-draining
About Philodendron Melinonii
This is an evergreen and non-vining plant. It has big leaves and dark green color, a part of Aroideana family. The dark green leaves are oblong triangular in shape and have defined veins. The leaves themselves can grow up to 19 inches of length. The petiole is thick, and the color can be various, including pale green and coppery red.
The underside has lighter color than the top. And despite the leaf’s thickness, little light can still get through. The plant has brown and fibrous base. As an epiphyte, Philodendron Melinonii may grow on the top side of other trees – just like a crown. The size can be 6 feet across, creating bushy look for the plant.
You should be able to find this plant quite effortlessly in the northern area of South America. In Manaus region (in Brazil), Philodendron Melinonii is even known as the dominant type of epiphytic species. Its native surrounding, the rainforests of French Guiana, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Northern Brazil would be the ideal spot if you are looking for a native plant.
The plant loves abundant bright light, but it should be indirect. If following the natural condition in the wild, this plant is strong enough to tolerate 2 to 3 hours of direct light, especially the morning light. However, the color will change if this happens continuously. That’s why it’s best not to have the direct light for this plant.
If the light is too much, your leaves would be yellow and wilted. But if it is too little, not only your plant will suffer from stunted leaves, but it will also experience leggy growth. For most growers, the optimal levels (to ensure good growth) would be above 50 FC, preferably from 200 FC to 400 FC.
The best soil mixture for Philodendron Melinonii would be the peat based type, with enough drainage. Looser and free draining substrate would enable to soil to somewhat keep the proper amount of water while keeping sufficient oxygen level. Peat soil is ideal because of the high organic and rich matter. The plant prefers ideal acidity level, from pH 6.0 to 6.5. The soil mix is perfect for oxygenation and also loose enough to allow root growth.
Although you are free to buy the commercial soil mix, making your own formula doesn’t require you to be a rocket scientist. You only need to mix 60% of coconut coir, 10% of orchid bark, and 30% of perlite. Feel free to adjust the percentage, depending on your needs.
The native surroundings of Melinonii is humid and hot, being in the rainforests of South America. The soil should be moist, but not soggy or standing or flooded. When you overwater or underwater the plant, the results would be droopy leaves. However, yellow and droopy leaves means overwatering, while brown and droopy leaves would mean underwatering.
Make sure that your plant is watered completely. Water should trickle out (the drainage holes) after a while from the last watering time. Only water the plant when the topsoil is dry. Most people would water the plant once a week, but you should develop your own watering habit. In between your watering schedule, spray your leaves so you can imitate the real humidity.
Temperature and Humidity
The plant enjoys moderate to warm temperature. It thrives well in temperature between 65 degrees and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, or from 18 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius. If you grow the plant outdoor, you may want to bring it inside when the temperature is less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (or less than 13 degrees Celsius). Prolonged exposure to the cold would lead to unhealthy or stunted growth.
When it comes to humidity, the most ideal one would be over 60%. Philodendron Melinonii is happy with such condition. It would be more ideal, though, if you can provide a level between 65% and 80%. This is the plant’s most favorable setting. If you want to increase the humidity level, you should:
- Mist your plant. Do it at least once or twice per week.
- Buy a humidifier
- Group together plants
- Use pebble tray, but be sure that you keep the water at minimum level. The water shouldn’t touch the bottom side of the pot so your plant won’t suffer from root rot.
This is best applied during active growing period, especially in summer and spring. Fertilize your plant every month. But in winter, don’t do it too often. Fertilize the plant once every 6 to 8 weeks. There are signs that your plant needs extra food, such as small leaf, pale leaves, and slow growth.
If you want the best fertilizer, especially for Philodendron Melinonii, you want one having NPK or Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium with equal ratio of 20:20:20. Don’t over fertilize or you may harm your roots.
Stem cutting is the easiest, and also the most common way, to propagate all types of hilodendron, and Philodendron Melinonii isn’t different. Make sure that you choose fresh soil mix and go with the healthy (stem) plant.
- Cut a stem with 3 to 4 inches of length. It should have several leaves and also aerial roots. The exposed one would be the best
- Remove the leaves of the bottom side, letting the attached roots alone
- In the fresh soil mix, put this stem cutting to it. Make sure that an inch or two has gone into the soil. Then place it in the right place where it can get enough light
- In several weeks, you should be able to see roots appearing. It means that your cutting is ready for potting.
If you choose the water propagation, the stages are basically the same. But instead of soil, you need a glass jar of water. While waiting for the roots to appear, you need to change the water once in several days or when it is murky.
Philodendron Melinonii is toxic for both humans and also animals. It means that you should keep the plant away from pets and kids. Philodendrons have the so-called (insoluble) calcium oxalate. It is an irritant that will cause unpleasant side effects when ingested or even touched. When the pets bite or chew the plant, the crystal would irritate the throat and mouth. It can also airway swelling, making them have difficulty in breathing.
The sap can also cause skin irritation, burning sensation, redness, and itch. That’s why it is always a good idea to wear gloves whenever you need to handle the plant. Make sure that you place the plant in difficult-to-reach spot so kids and pets won’t be able to reach them.
Most Common Issues (Diseases, Pests, and Others)
There are some common diseases that are related to Philodendron Melinonii
- Bacterial Leaf Spot
This is the most prevalent and common disease. If you see black or brown spots, then it’s likely this bacteria. The leaves would change color or turn brittle. The spots generally have irregular shape and the spread can be quick. You should be able to remove the infected leaves. Also remove the dead leaves. As long as there are enough green and healthy leaves, your plant should recover soon.
- Bacterial Blight
Instead of black spots, you see dark green spots on the petioles and leaves that are responsible for the unpleasant wet rotting smell. Blight is basically a preventable bacterial issue. If you water the soil only and you don’t over mist the leaves, you should be able to prevent the issue.
- Magnesium Deficiency
If your leaves have yellow areas (usually in V-shape ones), then it suffers from low magnesium level. It’s a good thing that such an issue can be ‘fixed’ and managed. Simply mix up water (a gallon of it) and magnesium (a teaspoon) and use it to water the plant as the scheduled.
Pests are basically issues that won’t be too annoying if your plant is healthy and fine. The problem with pests is that they are tiny and they can be quite difficult to see. If you don’t check your plant regularly, you may not notice the issues…until it’s too late. That’s why it’s imperative that you check your plant regularly. Also check the underside of the leaves because most bugs or pests like to hide there. If you see webs, it’s likely spider mites.
These pests like to such the sap out of the plant, making the plant suffer from lack of nutrition. If you find pests infestation, using neem oil would be enough. You can spray it and see how it goes. However, neem oil takes time to show effective results. But just be patient and wait. You can also use insecticidal soap to remove the pesky pests.
My Philodendron Melinonii show curling tips with dead-looking roots. What’s to be the problem?
It’s likely that you have over fertilized the soil. Not only you need to re-pot, but you also need to do these things:
- Water the soil only, not the leaves. With this method, bacteria won’t have the opportunity to form, grow, and form
- Don’t over mist as it will be great for bacterial growth
- Make sure that your plant has enough air and good airflow
Melinonii Philodendron vs Philodendron Imperial Green
They may look similar, but they are different in nature. Philodendron Melinonii is basically an epiphyte. It grows on another tree or plant. The Imperial Green, on the other hand, can be found close to riverbanks or rocky outcrops. Moreover, the Imperial Green is likely to grow more vertically than the Melinonii
My plant has pale leaves. What happens?
Pale leaves may be a sign that your leaves don’t get enough sunlight exposure. You can try brighter spot or try rotating your plant so all of its parts would get equal exposure to the sunlight.
I see my plants losing some leaves. Is that a bad sign?
If it is only losing some leaves, it is pretty normal as older leaves would drop themselves naturally off. However, if the numbers are quite many, it’s highly likely that your plant is in shock state, which can be caused by sudden light or temperature change. Give your plant some times to adapt itself. If the symptoms are still the same, you may want to move it elsewhere because that spot may not be the ideal one for it.
Why are my Melinonii leaves curling?
If the leaves are curling and you see brown edges forming up, it’s possible that your plant doesn’t have enough humidity level. Plus, it suffers from under watering.
Is Melinonii rare?
Well, in the wild (within its native environment), the plant isn’t exactly rare because you can find one quite easily. However, the plant is considered rare among collectors and plant enthusiasts.
How big can Melinonii grow?
Keep in mind that this is the big variety of Aroideana family. The plant typically grows up to 20 inches of height, while the leaves can grow up to 8 inches in length. These alone can grow to 6 feet (or even 8 feet) in the overall diameter, even when you keep the plant in a container.
The Melinonii is a unique plant that is able to deliver tropical vibe quite effectively. It would be a great addition to your house, creating a green and lush effect without you having to overdo things. Make sure that you are able to meet the basic requirements of the plant, so your Philodendron Melinonii would grow happy and fit.