How to Care for Philodendron Plowmanii: 9 Enlightening Take-Aways

Imagine walking through a lush greenhouse and being immediately drawn to a stunning Philodendron plowmanii. Its velvety leaves, resembling the shape of a giant heart, are a beautiful shade of deep green with silvery lime-green veins running through them, almost like a map leading you on a botanical adventure. 

But don’t let its serene appearance fool you; the Philodendron plowmanii is a real survivor. Its sturdy stems and thick leathery leaves allow it to tolerate even the most forgetful of plant parents. It’s no wonder the Philodendron plowmanii plant has become a symbol of resilience in the plant community, always pushing forward and growing stronger despite any obstacles in its way.

The first time I laid eyes on a Philodendron plowmanii at my local nursery, I was immediately drawn to its stunning foliage and knew I had to have one for my tropical plant’s collection. I bought the Philodendron plowmanii home and placed it in a bright corner of my living room, hoping for the best.

As luck would have it, life got in the way, and I soon found myself neglecting the Philodendron plowmanii. I went weeks without giving my Philodendron plowmanii care and even forgot to fertilize it a couple of times. I was sure the plant was a goner. However, to my surprise, the Philodendron plowmanii continued to thrive, with new leaves popping up every few weeks.

I am excited to share with you what I have learned about this hardy Philodendron species, along with how you can keep yours looking magnificent.

Philodendron Plowmanii

Table of Contents

What Are the Light Requirements?

The light requirements of the Philodendron plowmanii are a topic that can spark debate among plant enthusiasts everywhere! So, let’s shed some light on the subject!

Philodendron plowmanii care includes providing this tropical plant with filtered, indirect sunlight and to be shielded from harsh direct sunlight. But don’t worry; the Philodendron plowmanii is not a diva- it can adapt to a range of light conditions, for example, from bright filtered sunlight to partial shade.

plowmanii outside in someones garden

I’ve found that the Philodendron plowmanii plant grows best in bright indirect sunlight. I have mine placed near a north-faced window. It loves it! But when I moved the Philodendron plowmanii to a spot with too much direct sunlight, I noticed some burnt spots and yellow lesions on the leaves-which is pretty ugly, to say the least!

Like other Philodendron species, it’s best to find a happy medium when it comes to lighting your Philodendron plowmanii. You want to give it enough light to keep it happy, but not so much that it’s overwhelming. It’s a delicate balance, like walking a tightrope. Even so,a bit of trial and error, you’ll find the perfect spot to grow a healthy plant.

How Often Should I Water?

As with lighting, watering your Philodendron plowmanii can be a bit of a balancing act. Too much water and you risk drowning the plant’s roots leading to root rot and potential death. Too little water and the Philodendron plowmanii will start to wilt and dry out. So, what does a plant parent do?

It’s important to note that the Philodendron plowmanii likes to stay slightly moist but not waterlogged. When watering, make sure to thoroughly soak the soil and then allow it to dry out a bit before watering again. You want to avoid letting the Philodendron plants sit in standing water or soaking wet soils.

I’ve found that watering my Philodendron plowmanii plant once a week works well. I’ll give it a good soak and then let it dry out for a few days before watering it again. Of course, this can vary depending on the conditions in your home. If you have a particularly dry environment with air conditioners, you may need to water more often. On the other hand, if your home is very humid, you may be able to water less frequently, for instance.

One useful tip is to stick your finger into the soil to check for moisture. If the top inch of the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. If it still feels slightly moist, hold off for a few more days.

With a bit of patience and practice, you’ll become a pro at watering your Philodendron plowmanii plant and keeping it happy for years to come.

2 leaves of the philodendron plowmanii in rustic pot

What Type of Soil Is Needed?

When it comes to soil, the Philodendron plowmanii isn’t too fussy, but it does have a few preferences. In the wild, the Philodendron plowmanii grows in rich, well-draining moist soil of the rainforest floor. Therefore you’ll want to replicate those conditions as closely as possible.

Before you start repotting the Philodendron plowmanii, first choose potting soil with good drainage. This will prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the pot and causing root rot. You can use a mix that includes peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, or a soil-less mix made of perlite and sphagnum moss can be a good option. You can also add some orchid bark or charcoal to improve drainage and aerate the moist soil.

I’ve found that repotting Philodendron plowmanii in a soil mix specifically designed for tropical plants works well. I’ll also add some extra perlite to the mix to increase the drainage and prevent the soil from becoming too compact.

One useful tip is to repot your Philodedron plowmanii every year or two to refresh the soil and sphagnum moss to give the plant more room to grow. When repotting Philodendron plowmanii make sure you choose a pot that’s one size larger than the current pot. This will give the roots plenty of room to spread out.

What Temperature Is Ideal?

person holding philodendron plowmanii two big leaves

Proper Philodendron plowmanii care includes providing the tropical plant with warm temperatures, ideally between 65F and 80F (18-27C). It’s important to avoid exposing the Philodendron plowmanii to extreme temperatures or drafts. This can cause stress and damage to the leaves.

During the winter months, I’ll occasionally move the Philodendron plowmaii closer to a window to give it a bit of extra warmth and light. Although I make sure to avoid any cold drafts that may come in through the window.

If you live in a colder climate or have a particularly drafty home, you may want to consider using a space heater to keep the temperature in the room consistent. On the other hand, if you live in a very hot climate, you may need to provide some shade for your plant during the hottest parts of the day.

In addition, for those who live in warm tropical climates, you may be able to grow your Philodendron plowmanii outdoors in a container or as a part of a tropical garden. In terms of hardiness zones, the Philodendron plowmanii is generally not rated for specific zones, as it is a houseplant. However, if you do live in a warm tropical area, you may be able to grow the Philodendron plowmanii outdoors in USDA hardiness Zones 10 and 11.

How Much Humidity Does It Need?

Due to the tropical origin of the Philodendron plowmanii it requires higher humidity levels to thrive. Ideally, the humidity around the plant should be between 60-80%. In areas with low humidity, the Philodendron plowmanii may struggle to grow and develop properly.

You can check the humidity levels by using a digital thermometer that displays temperature and humidity. These are easy to find online, or your local gardening store may have one too.

I’ve found that using a humidifier near the Philodendron plowmanii helps to control the humidity levels. They are also great for our health too, especially if you live in a dry area. I also like to mist the leaves regularly with a spray bottle filled with water to help increase the humidity around the plant.

Another way to increase humidity levels around your Philodendron plowmanii is to place a pebble tray with water underneath the pot. As the water evaporates from the pebble tray, it will create a small microclimate of higher humidity around the plant.

philodendron plowmanii in black pot in garden

I’ve seen some gardeners use a small terrarium for grouping plants or a clear enclosure around the plant to help trap moisture and keep the humidity levels high, like a greenhouse environment, for example. There are plenty of ways you can increase humidity, so don’t be put off moisture-loving plants just yet.

Should I Fertilize It?

The Philodendron plowmanii is a real hungry hippo when it comes to nutrients. Don’t worry though; it’s not rocket science. You just need to give it the right kind of fertilizer once in a while.

Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio of 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 NPK. This will provide your Philodendron plowmanii with the right amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to encourage new growth. 

Apply the fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). During the winter months, when the plant is dormant, you can reduce or even stop fertilizing altogether.

philodendron plowmanii in pot in room

Remember to always water your Philodendron plowmanii thoroughly before and after fertilizing. This is to avoid getting any fertilizer on the leaves, as this can cause burns. When fertilizing you can’t just dump the fertilizer in there and hope for the best. 

Start by mixing the fertilizer with water. Then pour it over the soil of the potted plant. Don’t just sprinkle it on top like fairy dust! Remember to follow the instructions on the packaging, and if your Philodendron is young, then you can always use half the recommended dose to be on the safe side.

I’ve found that using a slow-release fertilizer works wonders for my Philodendron plowmanii. It’s like giving it a buffet that lasts for weeks on end! And if you really want to give it some oomph and make the plowmanii plant grow faster, try adding some compost to the mix. But don’t overdo it; you don’t want to kill it with kindness.

How Do I Propagate Philodendron Plowmanii?

You know what they say sharing is caring, and Philodendron plowmanii propagation is a great way to spread the love around.

First, let’s get down to the brass tacks.

young philodendron plowmanii in small pot

Choose healthy stems to take the stem cuttings from. I’ve found that the best time to do this is in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing.

Once you’ve selected your stem, use a pair of sharp shears to make a clean cut just below the leaf nodes (the nobbly bit where the leaves are formed). Don’t worry; you’re not hurting the plant; it’s just like getting a little haircut!

Next, dip the cut end of the stem cuttings in the rooting hormone. This will help it develop roots more quickly and increase your chances of growing a healthy philodendron.

Now here’s where the fun begins. You’ve got two options for propagating Philodendron plowmanii: water propagation or soil propagation.

Water or Soil?

With water propagation, you’ll first place the stem cuttings in a jar of water. Alternatively, with soil propagation, your plant the stem directly into the soil.

If you’re feeling fancy, you can even try a bit of both and see which one works best for you. Personally, I have found soil propagation works best for me as I forget to change the water every few days, and it turns into a slimy mess.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to keep the stem in a warm, humid location with bright indirect light – just like the mother plant. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Before you know it, your Plowmanii philodendron stem will produce a well-established root system like nobody’s business, and you’ll have a brand-new potted plant to share with your friends and family. It’s like being the Santa Claus of plants!

Is It Toxic?

As much as we love the Philodendron plowmanii we’ve got to be careful not to mess with the bull, or we might get the horns. The Philodendron plowmanii is toxic to humans and pets.

It is toxic due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in its leaves and stems. These calcium oxalate crystals can cause irritation and swelling in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract if ingested. As well as skin irritation if the plant’s sap comes into contact with the skin.

close up of plowmanii leaf

I saw this firsthand when my cat got a little too curious and took a nibble out of one of my plants. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

Don’t worry; the Philodendron plowmanii isn’t some kind of plant monster! As long as you’re careful, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your plant without any issues. Just be sure to keep it out of reach of pets and small children and wash your hands thoroughly after handling it.

What Pests and Common Problems Can Occur?

Every plant has its quirks and common problems, and the Philodendron plowmanii can face some trouble in paradise too.

Here are some of the Philodendron plowmanii diseases and pests that may crop up with this and how to handle them:

  • Spider mites- These pesky critters are barely visible to the naked eye and look like tiny specks on the leaf undersides. They often produce fine webs hence the name spider mites.
    To get rid of them, you can blast them off the infected plant with water using a spray bottle or hose. This will give them a one-way ticket out of town! Or you can use a homemade insecticidal soap by using a few drops of dish soap with a teaspoon of neem oil and a liter of water. Spray the affected areas once a week, and you will see them reduce and eventually disappear.
  • Mealybugs- These little white fuzzy-looking insects move around in clusters and suck the sap from your plant. They usually come around in warm, humid environments with poor air circulation.

sunshine on philodendron plowmanii in garden

You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil spray to get them on their way. I usually mix a teaspoon of neem oil with four drops of dishwashing soap and a liter of water and spray them once a week. If you have other houseplants, be sure to check them for any bugs at the same time, too. They seem to have a way of getting to each plant.

  • Browning or yellow leaves-If your Philodendron plowmanii leaves are turning brown or yellow, it could be a sign of overwatering, insufficient watering, or lack of nutrients. Don’t throw in the towel just yet, though!

You can get to the root of the problem by adjusting your watering routine or giving your plant a little boost with some fertilizer.

  • Wilting or drooping- If your Philodendron plowmanii is looking a little worse for wear and is wilting or drooping, it could be a sign of underwatering or exposure to too much sun. Don’t let your Philodendron plowmanii suffer in silence! Give it a good drink of water and move it to a shadier spot if needed.
  • Leggy growth- If your Philodendron plowmanii is growing tall and leggy, it could be a sign that it’s not getting enough light. Move it to a brighter spot and watch it thrive.
  • Root rot- If your Philodendron plowmanii’s roots are looking mushy and rotten, it’s likely due to overwatering. You can save your Philodendron plowmanii by giving it a break from watering and letting the soil dry out a bit.

About Philodendron Plowmanii

This attention-grabbing variety of the Philodendron species originates from the tropical rainforests of Ecuador. Its massive heart-shaped leaves have ruffled petiole edges (the stalk that joins the leaf to the stem). They can grow 7-15 (17-38cm) inches long. 

The overall size of this slow grower reaches up to 8 feet (244cm) in a creeping fashion. This allows the owner to attach the leafy landscape plant to a moss pole or verticle structure. 

What makes this Plowmanii plant so stunning is the combination of lime-green veins in the plant’s foliage. Which in turn gives it a lush, velvety appearance.


Is Philodendron similar to Plowmanii?

The Plowmanii is a cultivar of the large Philodendron genus, which belongs to the Araceae family.

What are the characteristics of the Philodendron Plowmanii?

The Philodendron plowmanii is a terrestrial tropical plant which means it grows and takes nutrients from the soil.

Is Philodendron Plowmanii easy to care for?

Philodendron plowmanii care is easy and great for beginner gardeners looking to add a splash of the tropics to their homes. It is a slow grower that can survive in average household temperatures and doesn’t require any particular extra fuss with soil or watering.

Are Plowmanii crawlers or climbers?

The Philodendron plowmanii is more of a crawler than a climber. Its stems don’t vine and consist of tendrils, so it won’t fully attach to a surface. It does creep out in a horizontal manner, so it’s best to give it enough room to move.

Bringing Home the Beauty: The Philodendron Plowmanii as an Effortless Houseplant

Overall the Philodendron plowmanii care is effortless, and these healthy plants can add a touch of luscious charm to your home. To care for Philodendron plowmanii you need to provide it with bright indirect light, a regular watering regime, and a suitable potting soil medium. In turn will continue to thrive for years. 

One of my favorite features of the Philodendron plowmanii is how easy it is to propagate; even if you have never propagated a plant before, you can have a go and benefit from the results. 

Sharing plants with your friends and family costs nothing but a little bit of time but spreads the joy that comes with looking after our green friends!

Ready to Create a Tropical Paradise in Your Home?

We’ve kept our Houseplant hub well-equipped with all the insight you need to turn your living space into a tropical paradise. From plant care to water requirements, we’ve got you covered. 

Whether you’re just starting out or have been a green thumb for years, you’ll surely find something that will tickle your fancy! 

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Alex Tinsman
An avid plant and flower lover! Ever since he was little, plants, flowers, and shrubbery of all kinds filled his life. Alex credits this fascination with nature's beauty to his mother and grandmother who were - and still are - dedicated gardeners. It's now Alex's mission to pass that same love for plants onto others and show them it's as easy as pie to bring nature inside.

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