Indoor plants have undoubtedly become an essential of every house. As the global pandemic caused by covid19 cases increasing, many careers are required to work remotely or work from home (WFH). From time to time, people found it is better to have indoor plants to decorate the working area, and now, house plants are widely demanded creating greenery in the house.
The main criteria for choosing the indoor plant are to have plants that demand low light apart from tolerating the indoor environment. All species need plenty of moisture and a tropical or subtropical climate to be cultivated outdoors. Alternatively, one can plant them in indoor conditions that are away from extreme conditions in temperate countries. The only note is to avoid keeping the substrates or soil wet to avoid root rot. As long as shelter is provided with a shaded spot given that the substrate is well-drained or humus-rich soil, it can grow very well as a houseplant. In temperate countries, one must avoid watering in cooler months. Frequent fertilizer and water regularly are required for it to grow and the best propagation period can be taken in spring using cutting off the stems with nodes or from seeds.
Philodendron is a genus of up to five hundred species that includes many well-known house plants as well as some shrubs and small trees under the family of Araceae. Philodendron is native to America and the West Indies. Philodendron makes a great indoor plant as they are mainly epiphytic that have evergreen vines and creepers with aerial roots. However, some species are dainty, but others are quite robust. Philodendron is often used in the landscape due to its lush foliage that has a dramatic outline or deep lobes. It is mostly green but sometimes attractively marked with white, pink, or red or a mixture of the colors as variegated Philodendron. It is a flowering plant, but the petal-less flowers are inconspicuous.
Moreover, Philodendron bipinnatifidum (or P. selloum), which is known as tree philodendron is also grown popularly as a houseplant due to its robust and upright characteristics that are originated from Brazil. It is characterized by its shiny, oval, deep green leaves that are range about fifteen to twenty-four inches long with many lobes. The reason it being referred to as a tree philodendron is that the leaves can be up to three times as large. It has flowers that are white or greenish. The margin of this species varied from the common form, which includes some of the most spectacular of all foliage plants that made it a great choice as an indoor plant.
Popularly, Philodendron bipennifolium or P. panduriforme that is commonly known as fiddle-leaf philodendron is a climber that attaches itself to suitable supports utilizing aerial roots. It is undoubtedly a decorative plant due to unusual the guitar-like shape of its lobed and bright green leaves. It is easy to be taken care of as it likes medium light, and in a large pot, which will grow to six to ten feet tall. Alternatively, one can have other guitar-leaves-philodendrons like P. joepii, P. sharoniae, P. billietiae, P. squamiferum, P. bernardopazii, P. mexicanum, P. tripartitum, P. pedatum, and P. ‘Florida ghost’
Furthermore, a sweetheart vine or money plant that is scientifically known as Philodendron scandes subsp. Oxycardium (or also referred to as P. oxycardium) is a widely grown Mexican species that has a rapid glossy climber with heart-shaped and rich green leaves that may grow up a column or trail down. Interestingly, the juvenile foliage is golden brown, and this plant has aerial roots on the trailing stems that will attach or anchor to anything. Other Philodendron that has characterized by vines, which make them great hanging plant. The examples of the hanging philodendrons are P. hederaceum, Philodendron sp.‘Lemon Lime’, ‘Brazil’, and Philodendron micans.
Another climbing species is found in Colombia, which has a purple-red stem and new growth. The species is Philodendron erubescens. This species is commonly referred to as red-leaf philodendron or blushing philodendron that has more than fifteen inches of leaves. It is known as pink princess as the variegated leaf showed pinkish cream leaves. The leaves are long, elongated heart- to arrowhead-shaped, and glossy deep green above with purplish undersides. Same as another philodendron, it is sold as a houseplant or greenhouse plant that is grown in a pot and trained up a frame. P. erubescens ‘Burgundy’ has twelve inches of red-flushed leaves with red veins and deep purple-red stems.
Since the plant of this genus is under the family of Araceae, therefore, it looks like other species of the same family like taro plants and some Anthurium sp.. For example, Philodendron ‘Imperial Green’, ‘Prince of Orange’, ‘Burle Marx’, P. brandianum, ‘Moonlight’, P. birkin, P. hastatum, ‘Green Congo’, ‘Black Cardinal’, P. grazielae, P. melanochrysum, P. gloriosum, P. mamei, P. martianum, P. Painted Lady, P. melanoneuron, ‘Majesty’, P. camposportoanum, P. verrucosum, P. subhastatum, P. plowmanii, P. pastazanum, ‘White Wizard’, and ‘White Knight’. In addition, long-leaves lover can have Philodendron sp. Spiritus Sanctii, P. patriciae, P. sharoniae, ‘Paraiso Verde’, ‘Jose Buono’, P. callosum, P. billietiae, P. callosum, ‘Jose Buono’, ‘Paraiso Verde’, and P. sharoniae.
Apart from that, another popular type of philodendron will be upright philodendron with big leaves and lobed that has uneven leaf margin. For instance, P. lacerum, P. mayoi, and P. Xanadu. Philodendron xanadu is formerly known as Thaumatophyllum xanadu that is growing in an upright direction, which is a crowd-pleaser that has is great to fill up space for a plant lover who is going to have minimalism in the house. Nevertheless, all species of this genus are climbers, which means that they will get elongated like a vine over time and need support like a pole for the aerial roots to cling on.
Philodendrons are one of the indoor house plants on the bucket list. Due to the fact that philodendron is a tropical species, they do appreciate higher humidity, but most species can adapt to average conditions. Philodendrons can be propagated in water by simply cut four to six inches long from one of the vines. Place the end in water after drying the wound for a couple of hours. Generally, they are resistant to pests but they do not immune to them. However, they contain a toxin, called calcium oxalate in all parts of the plants. Therefore, one must keep the plants away from pets and kids.
Mayo, S. J. (1991). A revision of Philodendron subgenus Meconostigma (Araceae). Kew Bulletin, 601-681.