Philodendrons are native to the tropical Americas and are a rain forest plant. With close to 1,000 species of philodendrons you have many choices of the best foliage plants available today. Heat resistant, oh yes! Philodendrons do amazing in southern Arizona even with temperatures reaching over 110 degrees.
One of the best houseplants that adds a delight to any room is the philodendron. You can choose from a climbing or non-climbing variety. Our Elephant Ear, philodendron bipinnatifidums, are growing in pots and containers but in the spring I will be planting several in soil next to trees that have regular irrigation. Philodendrons like water because they are a species of the rain forest.
The genus Philodendron is in the family Araceae with each species having its own leaf size, color or shape that gives it a unique personality.
Propagating from climbing philodendrons is quite easy. Simply gather a stem cutting and place it in a glass of water.
In the rain forest, most Philodendron species live on the trunks or branches of trees and do not need soil to survive. Those tree-dwelling species are known as epiphytes or hemiepiphytes and are plants that live upon another plant.
What is an epiphyte? This type of plant begins as a seed placed on branches by a rain forest animal and grows attached to the host tree. A hemi-epiphyte is a seed that was dropped on the ground, begins to grow and then finds a host tree to climb. A simple example would be if the seed came from a bird’s droppings…
The Tree Philodendrons are found largely in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.
For more in-depth facts and information on philodendrons, this site is excellent: http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Grow%20or%20Growing%20Philodendrons.html
Try not to plant your philodendrons in too large of a container. They actually grow better when their roots are slightly cramped. Re-pot your philodendron when the roots begin to compact into a ball.
Philodendron bipinnatifidum, Elephant Ear philodendron, does produce flowers but it can take more than 10 years… Flowers are rarely produced on philodendrons that are grown indoors.
To keep your philodendron clean; mist the leaves every few days. Misting is another way to make this tropical plant feel like it is in the jungle.
The leaves on my philodendron bipinnatifidum started turning yellow and brown. Originally, I placed this plant in too much direct sunlight. After trimming the yellowing leaves the philodendron was moved to a partly shaded area where it could not be burned by our Arizona sun.
I can safely say this philodendron plant has no insect problems. If you are looking for a low maintenance plant that has large green leaves and gives a tropical feel to your garden… Elephant Ear philodendrons may be the right choice for you.