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If you are a fan of Philodendrons, you are going to be thrilled with this beauty with olive green leaves I am going to introduce you to. Philodendron Brandtianum AKA Silver Leaf Philodendron is a tropical plant which NASA even classifies as one of the plants that purify the air and removes toxins that remain indoors.
Care Guide Highlights:
Silver Leaf Philodendron prefers moderate watering and requires soil with good draining properties. Avoid exposing it to frost, and fertilize it monthly during active growth season. Make sure humidity is well-balanced. Propagate from stem cuttings of via air layering. Mealybugs and spider mites are the common pests which attack Philodendron Brandtianum.
What follows is a detailed description with pro tips and tricks, including how to keep your Leaf Silver Philodendron healthy and prosperous. The main topics include:
- Soil Requirements
- Light Requirements
- Watering Requirements
- Temperature and Humidity Requirements
- Fertilizing Requirements
- Pruning and Repotting
- Common Problems
Before I tell you more about Philodendron Brandtianum care, take a look at the most common species you can grow indoors:
Now, if you’ve ever weighed the pros and cons of keeping Philodendron Brandtianum in your home, you’ve come to the right place, so gather ye pots and planters, cause here we go!
Soil Requirements Philodendron Brandtianum Care
Our beautiful Philodendron B. here, known for its heart-shaped olive-green leaves is a lover of soils that have good water-draining properties. It is soil moisture intolerant, so be careful! Besides this, the soil you choose for your Philodendron Brandtianum should always be very fertile so as to provide constant nutrition throughout the year.
In case you opt for a multipurpose potting mix, you can optimise it by adding compost or manure. This will boost nutrition in as much that you can reduce fertilizing (will get to that).
However, despite loving well-draining soil, our Phil B also likes it when this soil is evenly moist during its growth season, that is, the active months. This is something you regulate with a watering schedule, but more on that later.
Another point of interest to pay attention to when choosing the soil mix is the pH value. Ideally, this is somewhere in between 6.1 to 7.3.
Still, bear in mind that the soil you go for has to have high levels of organic matter and needs to be loose to provide good air circulation. Avoid the use of dry and sandy or too wet soils, these will just cause unnecessary rooting problems.
Light Requirements for Silver Leaf Philodendron
Rarely there is a plant that can thrive without sunlight, they all need it and the only consideration is the intensity – whether it’s full sun exposure or partial shade.
Our Silver leaf Phil likes it somewhere in between. It does require plenty of sunlight, but indirect. I am not saying it’s wrong to put it anywhere else, but if you want optimum conditions, then filtered, medium exposure is your goal. The reason why you need to keep it in the partial shade is that the leaves of this delicate plant are sensitive and are prone to yellowing when exposed to too much sun.
As we are discussing indoor plant care, the best spot you can choose for it is either the east or north-facing window without any trees or other obstacles nearby. Both of these will provide the desired conditions – plenty of indirect sun, that is the optimum light requirement.
And, when mentioning there should be no blockages of sunlight, my main point of concern was the speed of growth for the Silver Leaf Philodendron. Too shaded from light will not do any harm, but it will grow faster when there aren’t any additional blockages to the indirect sun.
Mark how I said indirect, not shaded.
Watering Requirements for Philodendron Brandtianum
The first thing that you need to know here is that moderation is key. Still, this does not mean that you excessively water your Philodendron Brandtianum today and then wait endlessly to reach a 1-week watering schedule.
This means that you need to water regularly without pouring excessive water only to be left in the tray later.
What does regular watering? Regularly checking (every day, if need be) the top soil layer of your silver leaf philodendron. If the soil is dry some 2 – 3 inches deep, then it’s definitely time to water Philodendron Brandtianum.
HOWEVER, this does not mean you have to water every day. Just check the top soil regularly until you get an idea of how often the plant needs to be watered. It’s likely going to need watering around three times a week as a general rule of thumb.
Such a watering schedule is only relevant during the summer days when the active growth season is in progress. This automatically means that the watering schedule is different in wintertime. To be more precise, watering once a week in the winter months will be just fine.
Once it’s time to water Philodendron Brandtianum, make sure to water bountifully, but always let the soil dry out before the next watering. More importantly, when you water, let all the excess water run through the pot (obviously, the pot has to have drainage holes!) and then pour it out from the tray. This way, you will preserve its aerial roots from sitting in water that can have detrimental effects on your Philodendron Brandtianum.
Luckily, if you happen to forget and skip watering for a couple of times tops, Phil B will forgive you. You’ll do more damage to it by overwatering than by underwatering.
Next, make sure, by all means, no water gets on the leaves during the watering process. This can lead to bacterial growth over the leaves, so make sure to pour water around the base or you can pour in the tray. In the latter case, wait a few minutes, and if there is still water in the tray, pour it out.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements
Somehow, we rarely pay attention to these two factors that can significantly contribute to the overall health of your plants. In a way, it is understood that room temperature is the precondition, so you just go along with it.
Let’s see what ideal conditions for our Phil here are and whether the previous statement is true of Silver Leaf Philodendron.
Our little Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and parts of Colombia native isn’t actually quite demanding when it comes to the temperature requirements. As long as the area where you plant it is warm, your Philodendron Brandtianum will thrive… and by warm, I mean anywhere from 50-95 degrees F.
You don’t have to worry about elevated temperatures since the plant will do just fine even if you take it outside briefly in the summer months. On the other hand, in the winter months, that is, November through to March, take care that the temperature in the room doesn’t drop below 55 deg. F (i.e. 15 degrees C).
As you see, it’s not so cold-resistant so in wintertime, so maybe it would be best to move it to a warmer room. Our Phil will survive some light frost, but try not to expose it to such conditions.
On the other hand, make sure to keep it away from the draft too if you are using air-conditioning. Such cool air gusts will just cause unnecessary stress to the plant.
All this writing on temperature just confirms that the standard room temperature, i.e. 68 – 77 deg. F (20 – 25 deg. C) is the ideal indoor conditions for growing your Philodendron Brandtianum.
I mentioned the origins of our cute silver leaf Phil, so if you could try to imitate these, you’d do your Philodendron Brandtianum a great favour. And, for unaware, it’s the humidity levels above average (50 – 60%) that we are talking about. In such conditions, you can expect faster growth and larger heart-like olive-green leaves with silver veins.
If the climate is drier, you can always go for a humidifier or you can try misting. However, you need to be rather cautious with misting since too much water on the leaves will cause rotting, fungus issues, and all sorts of other problems that you just don’t need in your life.
And, neither does your lovely Philodendron Brandtianum.
Again, being moderate is key.
Fertilizing Requirements for Philodendron Brandtianum
With the Phil B plant, we all have to use some fertilizer. Its growth without any fertilizer added will be rather, rather slow to the point where you might wonder if it’s all worth it. Once you realize it’s time to fertilize, I strongly recommend you opt for a slow-release general-purpose fertilizer diluted in water (some half strength).
The concentration of 15-5-10 will be ideal for Philodendron Brandtianum. Such fertilizer is also highly recommended for the new plants to help them pick up quickly.
As for the ideal time to fertilize, of course, it’s spring and summertime during the active season. This way, Phil will grow more quickly than without any added. In the growing season, you can fertilize once each month, while you can significantly cut back fertilizing in the winter months.
Pruning and Repotting Philodendron Brandtianum
In the life cycle of any plant, there comes a time when you have to remove extra leaves. Whether it’s an aesthetic or functionality issue, pruning some of the leaves is more beneficial than one would think.
And, the best thing of all – you can use the healthy pruned leaves for something else (will tell you later).
As said, pruning can be performed for purely aesthetic to functional (health) reasons. For example, there is a perfectly healthy leaf gone astray, disrupting the unity of your plant – just cut it off, why the heck not? This way, you fix the aesthetics of the plant.
I’ll tell you just in a bit what to do with such a leaf!
On the other hand, if the leaves started yellowing, withering, or simply dying from old age, the cure for this is, again, pruning. Such leaves have a tendency to impair the health of the surrounding leaves, so cut them before they result in more damage… this is how you solve some of the health issues with Philodendron Brandtianum.
If you wonder how often, twice a year (in regular conditions) is more than OK. However, you can adjust the frequency based on the general state of the plant. If you notice something is off with a leaf or two, you know what to do!
This pruning process that is done twice a year is the ideal time to repot your plant too. Of course, you don’t have to repot every time you prune. Observe the plant and it will tell you if you need to repot or not.
If you aren’t sure, this is what you need to know.
First of all, Phil B grows a bit bushy and its actual size (height and width) shall vary depending on the maintenance. Supposing everything is ideal, you can expect some 4 to 5 feet tall and the leaves are some 4 – 7 inches. Bear this in mind when choosing the space.
Now, in terms of repotting, assuming the growth is normal, you can consider repotting it every two to three years.
Naturally, with every repotting you will go a size up with the pot since the roots need space and the more space for the roots the better growth for the plant in general. I will skip the pot choosing detail in terms of material and size – I believe you are perfectly capable to make a proper selection without me.
However, I will say this.
The pot you opt for, whether planting Philodendron Brandtianum for the first time or repotting it, MUST HAVE drainage holes at the bottom. This will help in draining the excess water leaving the soil nice and airy for the roots.
This is it!
Propagating Philodendron Brandtianum
There are two very reliable methods of propagating Philodendron Brandtianum and it is very simple to do, so let’s deal with both of them.
❶ Air Layering Method
The first thing that you need to do here is to make a healthy cutting from the stem. Of course, you need to cut close the node, cause the node is where the new roots will sprout from.
Once you made the cut, place, i.e. wrap, some sphagnum moss (not more than a handful) around this cutting of yours. Wrap the moss tightly or you can use some first-aid tape to keep everything in place.
Now, you just need to wait for three to four weeks before the new roots appear on the cutting. The only step left is to repot the cutting into the soil as described previously and you’re good to go.
❷ Propagation from Stem Cuttings
First of all, mark that the only valid season to harvest these cuttings is the growing season. If you take the cuttings during the dormant season, I’m afraid the viability will be null and, moreover, you will just have stressed the plant without good reason.
By the way, do you remember the leaves you pruned for aesthetic reasons? If you pruned them with stem included, note that this is an excellent means for further propagation.
So, once you take the required cuttings (some 6 in. long), whichever way, take out the leaves at the bottom, leaving the leaf nodes.
Take care that the upper leaves are not submerged in water while the lower ones, where you cut the leaves from, have to be.
Yes, note that water is the preferred propagation media here. It is important, though, that the water you use, if tap water, is left overnight so the chlorine can evaporate.
To speed up the growth, keep the cutting placed in water in a bright place with warmer temperature. Make sure to change the water every three days, again taking care that it stays overnight.
And, this is it – in some 10 days up to three weeks tops, you will have a cutting with a developed root system so you can transfer it to the potting mix as indicated previously.
Philodendron Brandtianum – Common Problems
Caring for a plant is, generally, a rewarding process. However, there are times when it’s not so rewarding and rather frustrating.
This is typically such a time when your plant struggles with pests and other issues, so let’s see what to expect when caring for Philodendron Brandtianum.
These are typically related to wrong care routine, such as over-fertilizing (tips curling), wrong light conditions, and similar. However, these are the crucial ones to pay attention to.
If you notice such spotting on the leaves of your Philodendron Brandtianum, note that watering is the problem. To be more precise, watering overhead is what causes the issue.
Lay off of it and remove the damaged leaves. Then let the excess water out and let the soil dry out a bit before the next watering session, otherwise, the consequence shall be root rot.
This one is tricky since the underlying reasons can vary.
To begin with, it can be both from under or overwatering and from inadequate light conditions too. If I were you, I’d first check for soil moisture, because, too wet a soil will lead to another major problem – root rot, so I’d say the urgency lies here.
Now, if the soil is wet, you know what to do. If it is too dry, water normally. Don’t water copiously thinking it’s a quick and easy fix, it’s not.
However, if the soil is OK and you figure out that the light conditions (too much exposure) are the cause, just transfer Philodendron Brandtianum to a place with indirect exposure.
Well, know that mealybugs and spider mites are pests you will be dealing with. To get rid of spider mites, go for the industrial soap and wipe the leaves thoroughly.
Mealybugs, on the other hand, are best done away with rubbing alcohol. Wet a cotton swab with it, for example, and dab it on these pests directly. This should do the trick just fine.
Boost Your Knowledge: Philodendron Guide- How to Care for Philodendron
And, before the official conclusion of my writing on how to keep the Philodendron Brandtianum plant alive and healthy, let me just answer these quick questions.
I know you want the answers to these as well and I may have missed them.
So, here are some additional pieces of info!
❶ How do you propagate Philodendron Brandtianum?
Well, luckily this one is already covered in the text. You can use stem cuttings placed in water and wait for the roots to develop.
Another option is to use air layering where you cover the cutting with sphagnum moss. For detailed steps and description, refer to the relevant chapter above.
❷ Is Philodendron Brandtianum rare?
As a matter of fact, yes it is! Typically, you will not be able to find it in regular shops but you will have to resort to online purchasing instead.
Or, if you know someone who has it – you know what to do. Take a healthy stem cutting and propagate it as I described.
That’s easy, at least!
We come to the end of the ultimate care tips related to Philodendron Brandtium, Philodendron Brandi, or Silver Leaf Philodendron. You have all the tips and tricks on how to keep it healthy for years, without thinking about what could go wrong.
And, if it happens that something does go wrong, after all, you now know how to fix it.
Enjoy your beautiful silver leaf rarity and send us photos. I know they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we can all agree Philodendron Brandtianum is a true beauty and you should get one now.