The Philodendron Bipennifolium is native to the rainforests of South Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. This Philodendron plant is also known as the Fiddleleaf Philodendron and the Horsehead Philodendron because of the shape of the foliage. Along with the Philodendron Florida Ghost, the unique leaf shape makes these plants a fun addition to any collection.
Philodendron Bipennifolium Appearance
The Fiddleleaf Philodendron’s large leaves grow between 18 inches to 3 feet (45.5 cm to 1 meter) long. Grow the plant in a hanging basket or in a pot with a trellis to support its vining growth habit. The glossy foliage has a leathery texture. The Horsehead Philodendron blooms once it reaches maturity at 12 to 15 years. The creamy-white flowers are small, growing only a half inch (1.5 cm) long. The plant also produces round, green fruits, but they are not edible due to the plant’s toxicity.
Fiddleleaf Philodendron Sunlight Requirements
Grow your fiddleleaf Philodendron in bright, indirect light for optimal growth. A North or East-facing window is preferred. Avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight as it scorches the leaves. Yellowing foliage is an early sign of overexposure.
Philodendron Bipennifolium Water Needs
Follow a consistent watering schedule that keeps the soil moist but not soggy. Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings during the spring and summer. Reduce the amount of water in the winter when growth is slowed.
Soil and Fertilizer for the Horsehead Philodendron
The Philodendron Bipennifolium prefers a fast-draining, loamy soil. Amend potting soil with organic material, like peat or compost, and some sand for added drainage. Keep the soil’s pH between 5 and 6 for optimal plant health. The Fiddleleaf Philodendron requires minimal feedings with a slow-release fertilizer three times per year. Water the plant before fertilizing to avoid burning the plant’s roots.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
Provide temperatures between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 29 degrees Celsius) during the day. At night, lower temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 degrees Celsius) are acceptable. The Philodendron Bipennifolium prefers humidity over 60 percent. Supplement low humidity with either a room humidifier or a pebble tray filled with water placed under the plant’s pot.
Horsehead Philodendron Propagation
Propagate your plant by cutting a stem 2 to 4 inches long from a mature plant. Ensure the cutting has two top leaves and two bottom leaves or nodes. Remove the bottom leaves, if present, and allow the stem to sit and cure for one to two weeks to form a callus. Once calloused, fill a pot with a loamy soil mix and create a hole with your finger in the soil. Insert the stem until the nodes are below the surface and fill in the hole. Use a wooden skewer to support the stem if needed. Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist. Once the cutting has established a root system and begins new growth care for the plant as you would a mature one.
Common Pests and Diseases of the Fiddleleaf Philodendron
Aphids and scale are common pests to watch for with your plant. Mature female scales are light tan, yellow-green, or yellow-brown and appear on the underside of the foliage. Aphids are small, green insects that suck the plant’s nutrients and create honeydew. Curling, stunted or yellow leaves may indicate their presence. Treat infestations of either insects with the application of neem oil as directed.
Erwinia blight, a common leaf disease, presents as water-soaked markings on the foliage. Leaves turn black and wilt as the disease progresses. Prune the affected leaves as soon as the condition is noticed to prevent further spread. Sterilize the shears between cuts. For advanced cases, treat the plant with a copper-based fungicide as directed.
The Philodendron Bipennifolium is a low-maintenance house plant. The uncommon shape of the foliage makes this plant stand out. Any house plant enthusiast would be proud to add this plant to their collection.
Philodendron Bipennifolium FAQ
Repot your plant only when it has become rootbound and outgrown its current pot. Every two or three years refresh the soil to provide new nutrients to the plant.
Underwatering is the most common cause of wilting leaves. If water isn’t the issue, check the plant for pest infestation or leaf disease.
Yes, all Philodendrons are considered toxic and should be kept away from pets and small children.
Yes, these Philodendrons will grow outside in USDA zones 9 to 11.
Occasional misting of the plant’s leaves helps increase the humidity level and prevent leaf browning. Avoid letting excessive amounts of water sit on the leaves for prolonged periods, especially in cooler temperatures, as this encourages leaf fungus.