If you have cared or grown a type of Philodendron before, then you need to reset your mindset about Philodendron Verrucosum as it can be quite different from the other Philodendrons. Some of the basic natural characteristics are the same, but how to care for it can be quite different. For instance, whereas most Philodendrons love mild to high temperature, Verrucosum loves colder to mild temperature. Other Philodendrons grow fast in summers, while Verrucosum grows fast in winters or colder months.
Because of its unique nature, many believe that Philodendron Verrucosum isn’t exactly easy to grow, especially for beginner growers. However, if you believe that you have the patience and the skills to tackle those challenges, be my guest! You should be up for the task and follow the proper guidance. Forget everything you have learned about Philodendrons because with the Verrucosum, you need to have it new and fresh.
- Scientific name: Philodendron Verrucosum
- Common call or name: Philodendron Ecuadorian
- Family: Araceae
- Toxicity: High, for both animals and humans
About Philodendron Verrucosum
This plant is an evergreen, highly variable, and climbing hemiepiphyte. It refers to a seed attached to a tree and then it sends the roots downward to the soil. It’s also referring to a plant that starts on land and then climbs up a tree, breaks the linking stem, and leaves the roots on the ground. The beautiful plant is native to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. It can be found on tropical rainforest, lower tropical montane, and tropical montane, whose height is around 500 meters above the sea level.
When young, Philodendron Verrucosum may crawl on the floor in the forest and the leaves are smaller. But once it is able to climb, the leaves would be bigger. This climbing aroid can be quite big and tall in the wild, but as a houseplant, it ‘only’ reaches 8 feet, which is the maximum size.
What makes this plant unique is the leaves. They are broad and oval, having heart shape. The color can be dark emerald or dark green with velvety texture and thinly leather feel. They have light green, silvery, or even golden primary lateral veins and midrib that create a very appealing contrast to the leaves. The new leaves may have blackish green or bronze green colors. On the lower surface, there would be pale green and reddish purple hues between the veins. The overall appearance is basically striking!
The leaves can grow from 11 inches to 29.5 inches, which is almost 2.5 feet in height. It can reach 7.4 inches to 23.5 inches in width, and it can go to 1 inch to 1.7 inches for the broad. The petiole is erect with either purple violet or brownish color. It is also hairy.
Philodendron Verrucosum comes with some interesting varieties. Some may be variegated, while some may not. But rest assured that all of them are striking and gorgeous, regardless the variants and types.
- Philodendron Verrucosum Incensi. It is a beautiful variant with hairy petioles, dark veins, and delicate leaves. It’s native to the Caribbean and Central America, but you can also find it elsewhere in the world. The dark green leaves with reddish shade underneath is certainly appealing.
- Philodendron Verrucosum Panther. This plant has big and dark green leaves with waxy texture, often found in Central America’s tropical rainforest. This one is typically grown as indoor plant.
- Philodendron Verrucosum Purple. This Ecuadorian plant has purple and shiny leaves with light veins. When compared to others, this one is relatively smaller. It is typically 2 to 3 feet tall in height, sending out vines from the pot’s top area.
- Philodendron Verrucosum Cobra. This plant is recognized by its green and long leaves with white vein on the center, and going downward. Philodendron Verrucosum Cobra gets its name because it has a bit wavy leaves, creating a visual effect of a serpent or a snake.
- Philodendron Verrucosum Rojo. It has velvety and deep green on the top area, and red underneath the leaves. With hairy stalks and striking red back, this plant is beautiful and stunning.
- Philodendron Verrucosum Mini. It is small with warty leaves. It is a type of trailing plant, so it’s best to hang it in order for the plant to grow long vines. The maximum size of the leaf is only 5 inches, so it’s quite cute and adorable.
- Philodendron Verrucosum Carmin. Philodendron Verrucosum Carmin has unique leaf shape. It’s almost heart in shape, but more pointed or triangular. It also has more vivid veins with unique orange-reddish hue. Petioles and stems are also red.
- Philodendron Verrucosum Tambillo. This one has white veins and shiny green leaves. The plant can reach 3 feet in height while the focal point is about the leaves.
- Philodendron Verrucosum Esmeraldas. The plant has broad and dark green leaves, along with warty bumps. The leaves have purple veins, accompanied by fuzzy light green steam. The plant would grow upright.
Don’t underestimate the soil because it is the main medium to grow your Philodendron Verrucosum. If you want your plant to be healthy and well, then you need to make sure that the medium is the best one.
First of all, the roots need aeration. It means that you need to make sure that there is direct airflow and good circulation to the roots. That’s why your potting mix drains well and it is airy. Having rich and organic soil helps, but air circulation and proper airflow is crucial. You basically need to create a formula to produce chunky soil. In this manner, you enable air pockets to form within the potting medium.
Feel free to come up with your own formula, but in the event you need help to start, you can try the following combination:
- 30% of potting soil
- 30% of orchid bark
- 30% of perlite
- 10% of charcoal
You want your pH values to stay between 5.1 and 6.0.
This plant loves bright but filtered or indirect light. You can place it in a sport where it gets enough sun exposures without the light actually touches the leaves directly. That’s why most people would place their Verrucosum close to the windows, hiding it behind the sheer curtains. To get the best results, the windows should be the east facing one. It would ensure your plant getting plenty of morning sunlight.
Water thoroughly, which imitates the conditions in the wild tropical jungle. Keep the soil moist and humid, but not soggy or flooded. This type of plant needs to stay moist and not dry. Don’t let it dry out. Stick your finger to check the topsoil. If it feels moist to the point of almost dry, then water it. If this is new to you, you may need some times to get used to it. But you’ll get the hang of it.
Philodendron Verrucosum actually loves cooler temperature. They love cool to mild temperature. The general temperature should be around 68 degrees Fahrenheit, or 20 degrees Celsius. If you can combine 77 degrees of temperature (25 degrees Celsius) with high humidity, then your plant can grow well and fit and happy. As long as the temperature is more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celsius), you should be fine.
Although the plant loves cooler temperature, it likes high humidity. Above 60% is preferred if you want it to grow vigorously. Some people plant it on a terrarium with more than 90% of humidity. But there are also other alternatives to try, such as:
- Purchase a humidifier
- Mist the leaves
- Use a pebble tray
- Group plants together
It’s possible that you may need to use more than one way to reach maximum humidity level
All kinds of plants will appreciate extra nutrients and feeding. For Philodendron Verrucosum, you may want to use the slow release type to ensure fast and maximum growth. You can also consider the liquid type, which is often used for houseplants. Do it at least 3 times within a year. When you do it, make sure that you fertilize it away from the base.
It’s a good thing that there are some possible methods to propagate Philodendron Verrucosum. It gives you the opportunity to choose the best way that fits your conditions.
Not only this is one of the most common methods to propagate most Philodendrons, but this is also the easiest. Do the following stages to propagate your plant.
- Choose the healthy part of your plant for propagation
- Make sure that the part you choose has at least a node (aerial roots)
- Use clean and sharp shears or scissors. Don’t forget to sterilize them by heating them up and using the rubbing alcohol
- Make a clean and clear cut
- Apply cinnamon on the cut so it will prevent infection. It will also help heal the cut faster
- Put the cutting in sphagnum moss. If not, you can use soil, water, or perlite.
- If you are using the sphagnum moss, put the moss in water first. When you remove it from water, press it hard to drain any excess water. The result would be the optimal humidity level (for the moss)
- After you wrap the cutting with the moss, place it in a jar or a pot.
- Check whether the spot has enough humidity and warmth because it is crucial to encourage faster growth.
- You should be able to see roots emerging within 3 weeks after the propagation – 4 weeks would be the longest.
This method is about getting roots from the plant before you even cut it.
- You will need sphagnum moss and plastic to do this.
- You need to choose a healthy spot. Make a cut on that area; no need to cut the whole stem
- Cover the cut area with moist sphagnum moss and then cover it with plastic.
- Don’t forget to punch the plastic (twice would be enough) so the area can still breathe
- You should see roots emerging from that wrap in around 2 weeks. When the root is long enough, cut it. Voila! You get yourself a rooted cutting
Although this method may result in higher success rate because you can get a cutting having roots, it’s actually trickier and more difficult to do, especially for beginners. However, on the bright side, if this method fails, you won’t lose anything because you haven’t cut anything.
You can also propagate Philodendron Verrucosum from seed. After all, the ones in the wild start off from seeds. However, the main challenge is about getting the seeds. Aroid seeds aren’t exactly easy to find. Not to mention that they tend to degenerate pretty fast. You probably see about seeds online and you want to buy them. Not a good idea. There have been tons of online scams when it comes to buying the seeds.
You can try pollinating your plant, but this is only possible if you have TWO plants. They can pollinate each other. However, even if you do have two plants, it can be tricky as those plants have to bloom within the same time. As an alternative, though, you can freeze one plant’s seed and make it ready when the other one blooms. As you can see, it is more complicated. Definitely not ideal for beginners.
Underpotting isn’t advisable because the root system is extensive and pretty wide. You want to go with the right pot size so the roots have enough space to grow. Check your pot; it should have enough drainage holes to allow any excess water to escape.
Here are some things that you can do related to the proper potting:
- Use the clay pots. The biggest advantage is that it will help drain any excess water efficiently. But if you do use clay pots, you need to water more often
- You can basically choose any kind of pot as long as they have enough drainage holes. Just one hole won’t be enough. Make more holes if it is possible.
- Some people prefer choosing the transparent pot. The price may be higher, but it is more helpful on the long run because you can see and check the roots without having to disturb the plant.
Just like other Philodendrons, Philodendron Verrucosum needs to be repotted once in 2 to 3 years. The most obvious sign is when the roots start to come up from the drainage holes. It means that the roots are growing, and you need to have bigger containers.
Make sure that the new pot is 2 to 3 inches wider than the current one. Remove the plant carefully. Clean the roots gently before you put it into a new container and then cover it up with new (and fresh) potting mix. Then resume your regular routine like usual.
This plant is toxic. When ingested, it can lead to vomiting, swollen, and inflammation. Swollen on the mouth and throat is possible, and it can lead to difficulty in breathing and swallowing. When you touch the plant without wearing gloves, you can suffer from skin irritation, such as rash, itch, burning sensation, and redness. Get medical assistance when it happens to you.
Make sure that this plant is away from pets and kids. The best way is to place your plant high in the air. If you can come up with a clever arrangement on your own, that would be great. Terrarium is one alternative that will keep the pets and kids away. Don’t forget to always wear gloves when handling the plant.
Pruning isn’t necessarily needed, unless there is dead or damaged leaf on the plant. If you think about pruning the Philodendron Verrucosum, use very sharp shears or scissors to perform clean cut. Don’t rip or break the leaves because it would cause scars. And always sterilize the shears before every application to prevent spread of diseases or germs.
Pests may not be an issue if your Philodendron Verrucosum is healthy and fit. But you have to admit that pests can be annoying. They are usually very small and tiny, making it difficult to spot them on the first place. Some of the most common pests are aphids, mealy bugs, spider mites, whiteflies, and thrips. The best way to prevent them is to have a regular and frequent check. Don’t forget to also check the underside of the leaves. If there are pests, they may likely hide there.
Some of the most possible solutions include:
- Rubbing alcohol. Dilute it with water. The ration should be a quart of water and half cup of alcohol. Use a soft cloth to clean the plant.
- Neem oil. It comes as a premixed spray and a pure one. If you choose the pure one, you may have to mix it up with water. Read the label and instruction for proper use. Use a spray bottle and spray your plant. this oil leaves a unique scent that pests hate. You need to apply it several times before it becomes highly effective.
- Castile oil. Just mix a quart of water and a tablespoon of this soap. You’d be amazed to see how effective it is.
Is Verrucosum Philodendron easy to care and grow?
There have been several different opinions about it. Some people say it’s easy but those who have seriously done the practice say that it’s difficult. The Philodendron Verrucosum is quite fussy and picky. It has certain requirements on its own, which can be considered too much for growers, especially the beginner growers. But you are always welcome to try, especially if you believe that you can tackle the challenges.
How big can Philodendron Verrucosum be?
In the wild, the plant can reach 12 feet or even more. However, at home, it goes up to 4 feet (8 feet would be the max). Don’t forget that you also need to train it to climb, so provide a pole or a stick.
Does it mean that the plant is a climber?
Yes, it is. As a hemiepiphyte, this plant has a natural ability to climb.
Why the leaves drooping?
It can be overwatering or underwatered. That’s why it’s crucial to develop your own watering schedules, so you really know what your plant needs. If it’s underwatered, you basically only need to provide more so it can recover. But if it’s overwatering, you need to re-pot the plant and change the soil mix.
Is Verrucosum a fast grower?
Under the right conditions, yes, it is. Provided that all of its requirements are met, the Philodendron Verrucosum would grow fast with satisfying outcome.
Why is my Verrucosum having yellow leaves?
If those leaves aren’t from the old leaves, then it’s highly likely happening because of overwatering. You need to check the roots in case there is a root rot issue. If it is, you need to ‘treat’ it and it needs to undergo recovery period.
Why are the leaves curling and turning brown?
It means that your Philodendron Verrucosum is underwatered. Your plant is thirsty and those signs are its way to tell you to provide it with more water. Remember, this plant is different from other Philodendrons. You need to keep it stay moist in summers. In winters, water it when 75% of soil has dried off.
Dealing with plants requires patience and determination. If you are a beginner, you will need to develop your own habits to get used to the system. But if you are able to follow the guideline, your Philodendron Verrucosum can grow well, happy, fit, and healthy.