If you are into plants with unique leaf shape, such as split leaves, then you would love this Philodendron Warscewiczii. With split leaf look, rest assured that this plant would be the center of attention immediately. No one would be able to miss it. If you grow it outdoor, it can be grown as the ground cover, while the other taller trees can provide a shade or shelter on top of it. But you should be aware of its aggressive nature, which means that you should keep it on a careful watch. Even as a houseplant, you need to make sure that it is under careful watch and care.
- Scientific name: Philodendron Warscewiczii
- Family: Araceae
- Genus: Philodendron
- Origin: Central and South America, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua
- Native: Dry rocks, dry rainforests regions
- Soil: Organic, rich, well-draining
About Philodendron Warscewiczii
This plant can be found in its native environment, along Central America’s pacific coast up to Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico, and Honduras. They are easily found growing on rocks within the dry rainforests. This Philodendron Warscewiczii is a pretty unique plant in nature. In the wild, it grows as the groundcover plant, growing under the taller trees’ shade. The plant itself isn’t a fast growing type, but when not controlled, it can be expansive. It may cover your entire garden. That’s why it is always advisable to monitor and observe the plant to control its coverage and expansion.
Philodendron Warscewiczii was first discovered in 1855, and it has been a popular variant of philodendron ever since. With the immediate tropical look and snowflake-shaped leaves, it’s pretty understandable why a lot of plant enthusiasts and collectors would love to get their hands on it. The leaves have blade-like and thin stems with feather leaves. The split leaf is referred to as the leaf blades, and each of them are divided deeply. Moreover, each of the division would be divided further to pinnules. In a glance, the leaves would look like leathers. The stems are basically stout and thick.
Medium to bright light would be appreciated, as long as it is indirect. You can test it out with your own skin. When you pick a spot, try it out with your hand. If you feel warm without being sunburn, then you have picked the right spot. But if you feel being too hot and scorched, then it’s likely that your plant will feel the same.
Most people would pick the area close to the windows. Whether you have some kind of shade or filter, it would be even better, because it means that your plant can get the needed sunlight without being exposed too much to the heat. You don’t want the plant to get too little or too much. If it gets too much sun, the leaves would have dark red shade or crispy in brown. If it gets too little sun, the leaves would be pale. The color would turn to yellow or light green.
You want to make a perfect soil that isn’t swampy or waterlogged after you water it. It shouldn’t be chunky either. The soil should be rich, loose, and organic with well-draining quality. The common commercial potting mix for houseplant will be okay, but you can also make your own mix. You can try these mixtures:
- A part of orchid bark (for improved air circulation)
- A part of horticultural charcoal (to prevent bacterial growth)
- A part or two parts of perlite (for improved airflow and drainage)
- Four parts of compost (to create organic and rich soil)
Coming up with your own soil ‘recipe’ isn’t something written on stone, meaning that you have the freedom to mix and match it. The goal is that you come up with the ideal mixture for your OWN plant.
Philodendron Warscewiczii enjoys moist soil. It dislikes too dry soil and draught, but it even dislikes soggy and flooding condition more. You want to water your plant thoroughly. Ensure that the soil (and every part of it) is covered by water and then let it be. After a while, excess water should escape through the drainage holes.
In a few days, check the top soil. Insert your finger (up to your first knuckle). If the soil is dry, then this is your time to water it. But if it feels moist, then don’t do anything. Come back a few days later for watering. Remember that this plant is found on the dry part of the rainforest, which means it can stand dry condition rather than overly wet situation. Don’t water when not needed. And during winters, you want to cut off the watering frequency.
Imitate the native environment to grow Philodendron Warscewiczii successfully. It means that you should make it warm and humid. The lowest temperature that this plant can tolerate is 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The common household room temperature is okay, ranging between 10 degrees and 30 degrees Celsius (or around 50 degrees to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).
The plant doesn’t like extreme temperature or sudden change. If you want your plant to thrive, make sure that everything is consistent. Avoid sudden temperature increase or drop. Don’t place your plant in a room with AC, heat vents, drafty windows, or blowing fans if you don’t want it to suffer from a shock.
As a unique plant, Philodendron Warscewiczii is pretty tolerant and adaptable to different humidity level. Although philodendrons prefer medium to high humidity, this Warscewiczii can still tolerate low level, provided that you are able to maintain other factors (moisture and light). Dry environment isn’t an issue because the origin of the plant is the dry forest region.
Basically, this plant can tolerate 50% to 70% of humidity level. If you think that your room doesn’t have enough humidity level, you can always use the pebble tray, humidifier, or plant grouping. These methods have been proven to be able to increase the humidity level without costing you a fortune.
There is no specific requirement or need for Philodendron Warscewiczii to get the fertilizer. However, if you want to ensure optimal and proper growth, fertilize your plant in springs and summers would be a good idea. It’s advisable to go with the commercial products instead of the DIY type because they have been tested and proven.
You can go with the liquid type (which you need to dilute before application) or the slow release one. If you go with the latter, it should be applied at minimum of 3 times a year. Here’s the golden rule to fertilize this Warscewiczii: Less is better. Instead of over fertilize it, it’s better to have less of it. After all, if your plant is well and healthy, you won’t need too much of the extra food, anyway.
One of the most common ways to propagate Philodendron Warscewiczii is through stem cuttings. It’s also a good idea to turn your single plant into several plants, so you have your own rare variants at home. When you make the cut, just be sure to pick the healthy stem with aerial roots and several growth nodes. After you cut the stem, you can place it in the soil or in water. Basically, you want to wait until new roots start appearing. This alone will take several weeks, so there is no need to rush things.
Make sure that you pick a spot where the cutting can get enough sunlight exposure without burning it. It should be placed in a spot where it gets enough humidity and the air circulation is good. When roots appear, you can transplant the cutting (remove it) to a new pot with fresh potting mixture. If you go with water propagation, change the water when it gets murky or once in every 3 days.
Philodendron Warscewiczii can grow fast when all of its basic needs are met. Typically, you need to re-pot once in 2 years. But if you see roots coming out from the drainage holes or the plant seems to be too cramped in its current pot, then you definitely need to re-pot it.
Go with a bigger pot, but not too big. It should be around 2 inches bigger than the current one. Don’t forget about the drainage holes – they are a must. When you remove it, dig the plant carefully. Clean the roots from soil and then place it in the new pot. Let your plants be for a few days so it will get used to the new environment. You can water it but don’t fertilize it just yet.
How big can Philodendron Warscewiczii grow?
Naturally, the plant can grow quite big, reaching 21 inches to 31 inches in height (around 31 centimeters to 78 centimeters). The stems themselves are pretty stocky, robust, and thick. In the wild, they can even grow up to 12 feet.
Is Warscewiczii safe for pets?
Unfortunately, no. As a part of Philodendron genus (and Araceae family), this one also contains the so-called calcium oxalate crystals. They are toxic for both humans and animals, causing bowel, mouth, and skin irritation. Even touching the plant with your bare hands can cause skin irritation, so it’s always advisable to handle it with care and wear gloves.
Can Warscewiczii help purify the air?
Philodendrons are known for their unique property that can purify and cleanse the air. If you have one at home, it can help remove some of the most common (household) toxins, such as formaldehyde. You can try having one at home and see how the air quality improves.
Is it possible to grow Warscewiczii from seeds?
It’s not impossible, but it rarely happens. You see, the seeds need to flower first. When you grow Warscewiczii indoor (as a houseplant), the plant rarely produces seeds. Moreover, the seeds themselves have their own limited longevity, unless being properly and carefully vacuum packed and processed. This is typically done by professional growers in nurseries, not home garden enthusiasts.
Can pruning make Warscewiczii look fuller?
You need to remember that this philodendron is a self-header type, so pruning doesn’t actually help to induce branching. If you want to make the plant look fuller, you need to provide enough fertilizer that will encourage leaves growth. Moreover, this plant is a plant with big leafy type. Too much and too full leaves will definitely take up space.
Can misting help with the plant’s growth?
Basically, misting the plant can improve humidity. If you use neem oil solution or insecticidal soap, it will prevent pests infestation. But you don’t want to over mist the plant. Too much moisture can actually encourage bacterial growth, which leads to bacterial infections.
Philodendron Bipinnatifidum vs Philodendron Warscewiczii
Considering that both have split leaves, it’s quite common if confusion happens. However, if you take a closer look, the Warscewiczii has more deeply and thinner leaf sections.
Is Warscewiczii a rare type of plant?
Yes. This is a difficult plant for collectors to get. This plant is basically commercially rare because demands exceed the supply.
Where to find Warscewiczii and how much should I pay for it?
Because of the rare status, you may not be able to find and buy the plant immediately. Try to ask around, including your local nurseries or even online nurseries. If there are local nurseries selling rare and exotic plants, try them up.
Remember, this is a rare and also popular plant. You should be ready with the high tag price, which can range from $150 to around $700. Be sure to choose only from reliable sources.
Is Warscewiczii Philodendron is a part of climbing plant?
Yes, this plant loves to climb. They do it for stability, wrapping themselves in trees and rocks. If you want to ‘train’ your plant to grow, make sure that you have loose soil and provide a moss pole. Some people will place the plant close to trellis or have a support pole, so the plant can climb it up as it grows bigger.
All in all, taking care of Warscewiczii Philodendron isn’t difficult but it does take a while to get used to it. Just try to meet the basic requirements and needs, and your Philodendron Warscewiczii would be just fine, happy, and healthy.