There are several variations of Philodendrons that have split leaf shape and appearance, and Philodendron Radiatum is one of them. As a greenery that can be grown indoor as well as outdoor, the plant provides versatility and flexibility to those who are into it. Plant enthusiasts should be able to incorporate the plant into their personal living space, creating an instant tropical vibe and appearance without having to break a sweat.
However, let’s not forget that Radiatum Philodendron is a part of Araceae family and Philodendron genus, which means that it has its own requirements and needs. The plant isn’t a fussy one. You should have no problem growing one, although this is your first time with it. However, there are several basic needs that should be required if you want your plant to grow healthy and fine.
- Scientific name: Philodendron Radiatum
- Known name: Split Leaf Climber, Philodendron Split Leaf
- Family: Araceae
- Genus: Philodendron
- Origin: South America (Colombia, Mexico, Brazil)
- Soil: Rich, organic, well-draining
- Water: Moderate
- Sunlight: 70% – 85%
- pH level: 5.1 to 6
About Philodendron Radiatum
In a simpler language, Philodendron Radiatum is the split leaf plant having many lobes. The big lobes are the main parts of the leaves that make it attractive and unique. The total lobes can go from 8 lobes to 16 lobes. The plant comes as a good sized greenery that can grow up to 8 feet tall (10 feet would be max). The leaves can reach 3 feet in length with 2 feet of width.
There is also the so-called Philodendron Radiatum variegated with color variation. Instead of solid green, the plant has yellow and cream markings, looking matching with the green leaves. But even if you go with the ‘regular’ type, the Radiatum is already unique enough to create an amazing effect to your living space.
Philodendron Radiatum enjoys moist soil. It shouldn’t be soggy or wet; let alone being pooled or flooded. Just give it enough moisture so it won’t be thirsty. You don’t want to overwater as it will lead to waterlogged and it will cause root rot issue. In winter, cut the watering frequency. You won’t have to water your plant as often as you do in summers. The plant would likely conserve its energy to deal with dormancy.
Only water the plant when it is dry. Touch the top soil. Insert your finger into the soil. If it feels moist, then don’t water it just yet. Wait for several days. If it feels dry, then feel free to water it just enough thoroughly. Observe and monitor your plant. After a while, you should be able to develop your own watering regime, special to your own plant. Each plant has its own condition of when it finally dries off, depending on the temperature and condition of the surroundings. Be sure to know your plant’s condition.
Philodendron Radiatum prefers a lot of bright, but filtered or shaded sunlight. The plant likes the condition that imitates the original (and native) condition in the wild. In the tropical jungle, the plant is growing under the shade of other taller trees, getting the filtered bright light. You should imitate the condition if you want your plant to grow happy.
It is great if you can place the plant close to the east facing windows or the west facing ones. Getting abundant of morning sunlight never hurts the plant because the ray is still gentle, and so is the sunlight exposure of the evening light. Avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight or too intense sunlight. Too bright sunlight may burn your plant.
The soil for Philodendron Radiatum should be organic, rich, loose, and well-draining. It should also be airy so air can reach to the roots. Try to avoid heavy soil or too loose soil (such as sandy soil) because they aren’t balanced. Heavy soil would retain too much water, which may create waterlogged issue. On the contrary, sandy soil would be too loose, not able to retain enough water. You want to have a soil that is able to hold enough water (just enough of it) but also encourages good draining property.
You should be able to pick Aroid mix, which is designed especially for this kind of plant. Finding one should be easy: at the local nursery or online. But if you want to make one yourself, it won’t be difficult either. Try combining equal parts for worm castings (for nutrients), activated charcoal (for improved drainage), perlite, orchid bark, and sphagnum moss (to retain the moisture).
Feel free to have a more minimalist or simpler mix. You can try mixing up orchid bark, perlite, and peat moss. The composition is up to you. Or you may have your own recipe or formula? Be my guest! Just make sure that your plant gets the needed nutrients from the soil mix that you create.
Read also : Philodendron Glorious : Exotic Climber Plant
Temperature and Humidity
Philodendron Radiatum appreciates mild to warm temperature, ranging from 55 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or around 11 degrees and 26 degrees Celsius. Keep in mind that this plant isn’t the winter hardy type, meaning that it can’t survive well in colder areas. If the temperature drops to less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you will have to bring the plant indoor (if you grow one outdoor).
In terms of humidity, this plant enjoy medium to high level. In most cases, it would thrive and survive well in a level of at least 60%. Humidity level between 60% and 70% would be considered ideal and perfect. This is a plant that can tolerate higher humidity quite well. In fact, it would grow bigger and taller in higher humidity level.
In general, Philodendron Radiatum needs to be re-potted once in 2 years – or even up to 3 years. Repotting is needed to accommodate the growth as the plant is getting bigger and wider. When you see roots start to come out from the drainage holes, it’s time for your plant to be removed to a new place.
Repotting is crucial when you have issues, such as disease or root rot. You will need a new container, new soil, and new condition. Cut off the affected part of the roots, and then replant the Radiatum. Start new and fresh to recover from the ailment.
Philodendrono Radiatum is a plant that enjoys extra nutrients. Feel free to add some fertilizer, but don’t overdo it. It’s possible for the plant to suffer from over fertilizing, which may burn the roots and harm the plant in the end.
There are several types of fertilizer to choose. You can go with the slow release type, which should be applied three times in a year, minimum. Another alternative is the liquid fertilizer, which you should dilute with water before the application. Another one would be the organic fertilizer, such as compost. Whatever fertilizer you choose, keep in mind to pay attention to the proper application and usage.
Fertilizer should be given at least once a month during the active growing season (springs and summers). Some people may give it once every two weeks, but once a month would be enough. Cut off the frequency in winters as the plant is in dormant state. It doesn’t need much water or fertilizer during this period.
Stem cutting is one of the most common types of propagation, including for Philodendron Radiatum. Simply pick a healthy stem with (at least a node) and several leaves. After you cut it, you can place it in a jar of water, leaving it in a place where it gets enough sunlight. After several weeks, you should see new roots appear. When those roots are several inches long, remove the cutting to a new pot.
You can also choose the soil as the medium. After you cut a stem, immediately place it in a soil. After several weeks, try to pull it. If there is a feel of resistance, it means that your roots have already held the soil firmly. Resume watering and the ordinary caring regime. Some people may choose having the transparent pot so they can see the inside without having to disturb the plant. The transparent plastic pot may be costlier, but it can be quite handy and helpful.
Pests are quite common, so you’d better check the plant regularly because these pests can be so tiny. Check the stems and the underside (of the leaf) too. If you find any sign of pests, use neem oil spray or insecticidal soap. Wiping the leaves off with water is also possible as long as you don’t soak it wet.
Is Radiatum toxic?
Yes, it is toxic. As a part of the Araceae family, this plant has the so-called calcium oxalate. It is an irritant substance that can cause inflammation or irritation to the areas making contact with. When ingested, it would irritate the digestive track, causing swelling, inflammation, vomiting, and upset stomach. When touched, it would irritate the skin, causing redness, itch, and burning sensation.
Is Philodendron Radiatum able to purify and cleanse the air?
Yes, it is. Philodendrons have this special quality where they can remove harmful (and dangerous) toxins from the air. When you have one indoor, you won’t have to worry about the quality of the air. It would be better, cleaner, and fresher. See it for yourself.
Is there a way for me to help encouraging better (and faster) growth for my Radiatum?
You can provide support, stick or a totem. As long as it is vertical, you are actually helping it to climb, which affect the production of the big leaves.
How long should I wait for new leaves to produce?
In general, it takes some (long) weeks for the plant to produce new leaves. No need to worry if you don’t see new growth, new leaves, or new stems. Just perform the usual care, such as providing the needed temperature and light. If you are patient, new growth should be seen in several weeks.
Is it possible to grow the plant in an area where the sunlight would be minimal, or even none (such as in the lobby)?
Yes, it is. Although the lack of sunlight may affect the growth (making it slower to grow or produce new leaves), it’s possible to grow the plant in the area with minimal light. However, it would be even better if you can add artificial light. And make sure that you meet other basic needs, such as the water, fertilizer, and soil.
When is the right time to water my plant?
Only water when the soil dries out. How long does the plant dry out? It depends on your plant and the surrounding environment. Some plants may dry out in several days, while others may dry out after a week. That’s why you need to monitor your own Philodendron Radiatum if you want to be sure.
Do I need to re-pot the Radiatum?
In general, yes. The plant needs repotting once in every 2 to 3 years. The plant will grow roots and get bigger, which is why repotting is needed.
Is the plant exclusive to outdoor setting only?
No, as it was mentioned before, you can also grow one indoor or in the dark lobby. This is a versatile plant that can be grown outdoor or indoor, as long as all of its basic requirements are met and fulfilled.
What do pests do to Philodendron Radiatum?
They basically suck the sap (including the healthy and helpful nutrients) from the plant, making it sick and lack of nutrients. That’s why it is imperative to check the existence of those pests before they can do further damages to the plant.
Philodendron Mayoi vs Radiatum
Because of the leaves shape, Philodendron Radiatum is often mistaken as Mayoi Philodendron, or vice versa. They are also thought of to be the same plant. However, Mayoi comes with red petioles and also underside (of the leaf).
The Radiatum does have its own unique feature, especially from the appearance of the leaf. With split leaf appearance, the plant can create an interesting and one-of-a-kind look that can dramatically change the appearance of your house. Care for it properly and your Philodendron Radiatum will reward you with its magnificent appearance.