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Numerous tropical plants are grown primarily for their striking foliage, one of them being Philodendron Brasil. No wonder they are called the leaves that steal your heart.
Think of this plant as an extension of your family, with an amicable personality and the ability to thrive in the same environment as humans. Although it coexists happily alongside humans, it is toxic.
It requires a good, nutritious growing medium with adequate drainage, bright indirect light, medium to high humidity, and regular soil moisture. Ideally, you want to provide a good soaking rather than a light sprinkling of water, then allow the soil to dry. Pruning is also necessary to maintain the desired shape.
Keep reading to learn more detailed information on how to care for Philodendron Brasil.
About Philodendron Brasil
Scientific name: Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium ‘Brasil‘
- Popular name: Philodendron Brasil, Elephant Ear Philodendron
- Family: Araceae
- Genus: Philodendron
- Origin: South America
- Hardiness Zone: 11-12
- Height and spread: 36 inches tall and wide
- Lifespan: Up to 20 years
- Type: Tropical foliage trailing plant
- Care level: Easy
- Display idea: Hanging basket, hanging pot, table top, moss pole
- Companion plants: Philodendron Birkin, dumb canes, lady palms, nun’s orchids
- Toxicity: Toxic
Philodendron Brasil features lime green or dark green heart-shaped leaves typical of most plants in the Philodendron genus. Its small leaves can be trained around windows, grown down poles, and left to hang off shelves.
Sometimes, you may get to witness variegated foliage too, but this natural beauty can reverse to an all-green version if not provided with enough bright sunlight. The stems are long and thin.
While Philodendron plants bloom in their native habitats, producing green and white flowers, they are not likely to produce flowers in regular household conditions.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t diminish the beauty of the plant.
Other Philodendron Species
- Philodendron Birkin
- Philodendron Brandtianum
- Philodendron Cordatum
- Philodendron Gloriosum
- Philodendron Hederaceum
- Philodendron Micans
- Philodendron Splendid
- Pink Princess Philodendron
Philodendron Brasil Care Guide
Philodendron Brasil is one of the easiest tropical plants to grow indoors. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a green thumb to keep it thriving.
Here are the necessary conditions that you need to provide to grow a healthy plant.
In general, climbing or trailing varieties grow more quickly and can tolerate lower light levels. This Philodendron plant is no exception, but bear in mind that a prolonged period of low light is a silent killer.
A snappy “Brasil” Philodendron, also called the “Brasil” Heartleaf Philodendron, requires moderate to bright indirect light such as that offered by an east- or west-facing window.
Bright light receives no direct rays of the sun, yet it is bright enough to read a book without assistance. In this way, the plant gets enough sunlight without being sunburned.
Philodendron Brasil appreciates a temperature of around 24 degrees in the spring and summer months.
The minimum temperature both in the summer and winter should be at least 14 degrees C and should not drop below that.
Keep the plant in natural light away from heating sources, air conditioners, and drafty windows, but do provide fresh air in the warmer months.
Philodendron Brasil requires moderate to slightly higher humidity, which you can increase by positioning your plant on a pebble tray filled with water. Make sure the pot is not in direct contact with water to avoid root rot.
Alternatively, you can spray your Philodendron Brasil indoor plants a few times a week and this will keep your plant healthy.
Long lived and easy to grow, Philodendron Brasil will thrive if you follow healthy watering schedule. This involves allowing the soil surface to dry to within an inch between thorough waterings.
Ideally, you want to use soft, distilled water rather than tap water that contains detrimental salts and minerals.
It should be room temperature, lukewarm water so as to avoid causing an unnecessary shock for the plant.
One of the main issues here is inconsistent watering, not a single drainage hole or not enough of them, and using poor soil that doesn’t drain well, so water stands on the surface.
This may cause root rot as the plant is likely to get waterlogged.
In that case, use fresh potting soil and repot your Philodendron Brasil.
Like most container plants, Philodendron Brasil needs well-drained soil and a container slightly larger to accommodate the larger root system and its aerial roots.
In order to drain well, a good quality potting mix should contain perlite, vermiculite, or coarse sand. You can also use commercial potting soil or make your own by combining the necessary ingredients.
On the other hand, poor soil and inconsistent watering will force Philodendron Brasil to live in soggy soil, resulting in poor growth.
Once the root ball outgrows the current pot and you see tiny roots peeking through the drainage holes, it is time to repot your Philodendron Brasil.
Use fresh, well-draining soil, slightly larger pots, and remove the plant gently from its plastic pot. Make a hole in the soil, insert the plant in the center, and press soil firmly around the plant.
At this point, you can also use a mild starter fertilizer if you are repotting stem cuttings to another pot.
Water well after repotting and there you have it – as good as new. You can also give it away as a gift plant.
Fertilizing is necessary to improve the soil quality and provide the necessary nutrients for the plant to grow well and promote new growth.
Fertilize from early spring to late autumn using a standard liquid fertilizer once a month.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and cut the strength if you are an inexperienced gardener, so as to minimize the risk of overfertilizing your Philodendron Brasil. Skip fertilizing in the winter.
Propagate Philodendron Brasil by taking cuttings and rooting them in a moist potting medium or water.
- Using sharp pruners, make a cut just above a leaf node.
- Remove shorter lengths and longer stems and leaves.
- Dust the cut tip with rooting hormone.
- Insert it into a moist medium such as vermiculite or seed starting mix.
- Alternatively, you can skip step 4 and root the cutting into water, frequently adding or changing the water if necessary.
- Enclose in a plastic bag.
- Keep in a warm and shady place.
Philodendron Brazil plants need to be pruned freely and occasionally in order not to let them grow into leggy vines. Remove dry or dead leaves, yellow leaves as well as stems that have grown out of control and shape.
Use pruning shears or a sterilized knife to get the foliage trimmed nicely. At this point, you can also take stem cuttings if you are pruning during the growing season.
Apart from pruning, you also need to keep the leaves clean and shiny. To do that, wipe the leaves gently with a soft, damp cloth by holding the leaf with one hand and wiping it with the other.
Misting will also help remove the dust and increase the amount of sunlight your plant receives.
Avoid using leaf shine products as they can clog the pores and prevent the plant from breathing properly. Rather, try using a banana to make the leaves of your Philodendron Brasil shiny.
Don’t blame the pests for attacking the plant. They are just looking for a quick meal and, if the conditions are convenient for them, they will easily find their way to your plant.
Spider mites are the first on the list. They are not easily noticed until the leaves start to turn yellow and dry out.
Treat the plant by lightly cleaning the leaves with a damp rag, mist the leaves occasionally and use insecticidal soaps if the infestation is more serious.
Mealybugs are tiny white fluffs or cotton candy if we look at them from the bright side. If only houseplants thought that way, too.
Pick them off by hand and spray large infestations with insecticidal soap.
Scale are easily recognized as crusty discs on the surfaces of stems and leaves. They can be removed by hand or spraying with 1 tablespoon of dish soap to a gallon of water.
Philodendron Brasil makes a great indoor plant with its attractive heart-shaped and often variegated leaves. In order to maintain that colorful twist, variegated growth on otherwise green leaves, you need to provide more light and a reliably sunny location.
Like most plants in the Philodendron genus, Philodendron hederaceum “Brasil” requires filtered light with no direct sun, moderate humidity, a steady warm temperature no less than 14 degrees C in winter, some shade, normal watering and feeding. It is a relatively hardy plant and less likely to drop the leaves or have them turn yellow than most tropical houseplants.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Care for a Philodendron Brasil?
Here is what you don’t want to do – low light, poor soil, or let your plant sit in wet, dry soil or waterlogged soil. These will hinder the growth and health of your plant. Instead, provide well-draining potting soil, filtered light, monthly fertilizing, regular watering, slightly higher humidity, and regular pruning.
Is the Philodendron Brasil Toxic to Humans?
Philodendron Brasil is toxic to both dogs, cats, and humans. Ingestion can cause oral irritation, skin irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
How Big Does the Philodendron Brasil Grow?
It is a fast-growing plant that can reach the height of 36 inches and spread to 36 inches. It may need repotting in the standard compost during the growing season. Prune straggling shoots in late winter if necessary.
How Much Light Does a Philodendron Brasil Need?
The main reason why variegated Philodendrons lose variegation is a period of neglect including low light. To avoid that, provide bright, filtered light beside an east-facing window, ideally for a few hours in the morning and some in the late afternoon. Mind you, too much light will scorch the leaves.
Does Philodendron Brasil Like to be Misted?
Yes, misting Philodendron Brasil is highly recommended to increase humidity and keep scale insects at bay.