Philodendron pedatum, also called Oak Leaf Philodendron due to its oak-like foliage, is native to South America. This Philodendron variety is a fast-growing climber suited to indoors cultivation in temperate climate zones.
The Philodendron Pedatum reaches a height of 9 feet (2.7 meters) and grows to around 1 foot (30.4 cm) wide.
The plant’s vining growth habit makes the plant suitable for hanging baskets or pots with a trellis or moss pole added for support.
The dark-green leaves start out oblong, then develop deep lobes.
Individual leaves often grow to a length of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20.3 cm), though some reach 14 inches (35.5 cm).
The plant does not often bloom indoors, but when flowers appear they are brownish-green.
Oak Leaf Philodendron grows well outdoors in USDA zones 9 to 11, but is typically grown as a year-round houseplant in cooler climate zones.
When choosing a particular spot in your home for this type of Philodendron, you need to think about the plant’s basic growing needs – especially when it comes to light, temperature, humidity and soil or potting mix.
When choosing where to grow this plant you should also remember that all Philodendrons are considered toxic and should be kept away from pets and small children.
Provide your Oak Leaf Philodendron with bright, indirect light for 6 to 8 hours per day. The plant will tolerate dappled light or partial shade as well. Do not expose the Philodendron pedatum to direct sunlight for extended periods as it scorches the foliage.
Temperature And Humidity
Temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 23.8 degrees Celsius) are ideal during the day.
At night, temperatures 5 to 10 degrees cooler are good for the plant. Avoid placing your plant near vents or air conditioners as drafts can damage the foliage.
Humidity levels around 60 percent are ideal but levels between 40 to 80 percent are also acceptable. Increase low humidity by using a tray filled with small pebbles and water under the pot’s drip tray.
Soil/ Potting Mix
Grow your Pedatum Philodendron in a good quality potting soil that is moist yet airy and free-draining. . Keep the soil’s pH between 5.5 to 7.0 for optimal growth.
Choosing the right growing location is a big part of the puzzle but you also need to consider how you will care for your plant, watering and feeding over time.
Philodendrons prefer the soak and dry watering method. Let the top 1 inch of soil dry between waterings. Water slowly until the moisture runs through the pot’s drainage holes. Dispose of water collected in the tray so the roots don’t sit in water, which leads to root rot.
It is also recommended to wipe the leaves once per week with a damp cloth to remove dust buildup. Use only clean water and avoid commercial leaf shine products as they may damage the foliage.
Feed your plant, in the spring and summer, with a balanced,organic liquid houseplant fertilizer once per month. Do not fertilize the plant in the fall and winter dormant months.
Pruning is recommended to both remove dead leaves and stems or to shape leggy stems and encourage fuller growth. Prune leggy stems just above a set of leaves or nodes to encourage new growth.
Propagate Philodendron pedatum by means of cuttings. To do so:
- Cut a stem 2 to 4 inches long from a mature plant. Ensure the cutting has two top leaves and two bottom leaves or exposed nodes.
- Remove the bottom leaves, if present.
- Allow the stem to sit and cure for one to two weeks to form a callus.
- Once calloused, fill a small pot with the recommended soil mix.
- Poke a hole with your finger into the middle of the soil and insert the stem until the nodes are below the surface.
- Fill in the hole and 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
Watch for mealybugs, scale and spider mites as these are common pests of Philodendron pedatum. Infestations are detected by the presence of these pests, often under the leaves, and the honeydew they excrete onto the plant. If left untreated, the honeydew encourages black, sooty mold to form, which further damages the plant.
Root rot is common among Philodendrons and results from overwatering the plant. Reduce waterings and, once the soil is dry, remove the plant from its pot. Infected roots appear dark and mushy. Use sharp and sterile shears to trim away any infected roots. Mix one part 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and two parts water in a spray bottle and generously mist the remaining roots. Transfer the plant to a clean pot with fresh soil. If most of the root system is affected the plant likely cannot be saved.