Philodendron Bipennifolium: A Complete Guide for Beginners

By Kee

Philodendron bipennifolium is a rare and beautiful plant with odd looks. They are different from other philodendrons as their leaves are shaped like violins, or a big green butterfly horse head. So they are often known as horsehead philodendrons. Whenever someone sees them, they cannot stop themselves from asking about this beautiful plant. So you might think that despite being a rare plant, it must be tough to take care of. But they are also like other philodendrons and easy to take care of.

It Is commonly known as fiddleleaf because of its different leaf shapes than other philodendrons. You can plant them outside in your garden, or you can also place them indoors to expand the beauty of your house with beautiful foliage.

What Is Philodendron Bipennifolium?

Philodendron fiddleleaf is a variegated plant with a luxurious texture and glossy green leaves. Originally they came from the region of Brazil and Argentina. They are wrapped around trees while growing. The stem of these plants is very skinny with aerial roots making support necessary for their growth.

You can also create a Forrest environment in your house simply by hanging it from a basket or a pot with the help of a Moss pole. These exotic plants maintain the beauty of your house and enhance the environmental effect around you. Apart from this, they have a less time-consuming caretaking routine. Below is a caring guide for these plants.

How to Take Care of Philodendron Bipennifolium?

If you are planning to grow philodendron horsehead and you are new to house planting activities, then it might be difficult for you at first to maintain these plants. However, if you are already familiar with philodendrons plant activities, you would not face any problem thriving them. 

You need to create a natural environment or the environmental condition they require because if you are going to plant them indoors and the indoor condition does not have an idle condition for philodendron. Although the essential requirement of all the philodendrons is almost the same, some more can be a little bit different from each other. Some basic requirements are below.

Light Requirement

Bright light is highly suitable for philodendron horsehead. That means you have to provide them with bright but indirect light for around 6 to 8 hours daily. In nature, the plant grows under the shade of trees, so they do not get any bright light directly from the sun, and bright light can be harmful to them.

If you have grown your plant indoors, the percentage of indoor light requirement should range from 65 to 90 percent. On the other hand, if you have grown your plant outdoors, then the requirement of outdoor lighting must range from 25 to 35% only. 

Water Requirement

These are tropical philodendrons, and in their natural environment, the soil stays moist. So you also need to provide moist soil instantly for their better growth. There is a huge difference between moist soil and soggy soil. Moist is when the water requirement is considerable, and soggy is when the quantity of water is much more than required. Water logging can be very dangerous for your plant.

Several problems can occur due to water logging in these plants and their water requirement changes according to climatic conditions. In the summer season, watering them once a week would be ideal, but in the winter season, you should reduce watering them to twice or thrice in a month only. Summer is the growing season for philodendrons so it is important to water them daily in summer.

Soil Requirement

As you already know, these plants need to stay moist, so their soil requirement is also moist, and you need to water them regularly to make their soil moist. Water in high quantity can lead to root rooting when too much water is given to the plant. In addition, the pores in the soil cannot pass oxygen and other essential breathing air for the plant.

You can also use a simple potting mix for these plants because they do not require specialized soil to grow better. However, a standard potting mix would do a lot of good to your plants. Make sure, while making your mix, that your soil must be loose, loamy, and Rich in nutrients, and the pH scale should range between 5 to 6.

Temperature Requirement

The climate you will find in Argentina and Brazil is mostly warm, and philodendrons thrive best in a warmer climate. Due to their growth in the hot climate, they are not capable of surviving in the winter season. The temperature range for these philodendrons must be 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is almost equal to 24 degrees Celsius and 29 degrees Celsius. 

Temperature range from below 65 degrees Fahrenheit can cause many problems to your plant, such as the metabolic activities of plants can stop. Moreover, their cellular can be ceased. Due to this, your plant might start losing moisture, and the photosynthesis process will also be slow on cold days.

Humidity Requirement

Like watering or high temperature, these plants need high humidity for their best growth. Humidity is not only necessary for their growth but also helps them to stay your plant healthy so that they can fight common problems on their own. The ideal humidity requirement for philodendron horsehead should be above 70 %.

Your plant can go through several causes, such as wilting, curling, discoloring, dropping, and falling off leaves if provided with low humidity. The plant loses its leaf because they want to reduce the surface area of transpiration in case of low humidity. If you are growing your plant indoors, then humidity around 50% would be ideal. Aside from this, if you cannot provide humidity regularly to your plant, you might have to spend extra bucks on a humidifier.

The humidifier is a device that provides automatic humidity to your plant according to its needs, and they do not change the climate of your whole house, but they only target your plant and provide the proper amount of humidity.

Fertilizers Requirement

Most house plants are heavy feeders of fertilizers. But in the case of philodendron fiddleleaf, they do not require excessive fertilizer for better development. However, fertilizing them three times a year would be ideal for them. Make sure you only fertilize them during their growing seasons, like summer and late fall. Providing them fertilizers in the winter season might not be suitable for them because, in winter, philodendrons stop their growth.

Only provide some slow-releasing fertilizers like organic compost, manure, and other house waste. Furthermore, you can also use liquid fertilizer for further development because all plants need little nutrition to thrive in house planting activities. Insufficient nutrition can cause dropping of leaves, wilting and saturated growth in your plant. Giving them fertilizers in the winter season is not recommended.

Potting and Repotting

Unlike all other philodendrons, horse head requires slightly bigger container for their growth because they grow larger than any other plants. Do not bring an extra larger container because, in an extra large container, their root would start developing, and most of the plant’s energy would go to root development. 

In a small container, a plant can show suffocation and stunted growth, while on the other hand, it takes time to dry out in a larger container. Therefore, a medium container would be ideal for planting them.

A perfect container would be 2 inches larger than the size of the root ball. If they’re acquitted, or clay pots are available in your area, then it would be ideal for the proper growth of your plant. These ports are highly known for their variation and drainage properties. Moreover, they are also highly breathable.

After one to three-year when your plant gets matured, you need to repot your plant for its healthier growth. The most suitable time for repotting is in the summer season or spring season because, in this season, plants grow rapidly. However, in the winter season, the plant stops its growth, and in the repotting process, your plant should be in the growing stage.

There are many ways by which you can identify whether your plant needs to repot or not, and the most common is by checking its root.

Signs to repot philodendron:

  • Plant is root-bound
  • The growth of your plant is stunted
  • Discoloration
  • When a plant fully matures, it needs to be repotted in a larger container.
  • If the root of your plant is visible through a drainage hole or they are coming out from the drainage hole, then it might be a sign that you need to repot your plant.

Pest and Diseases

Generally, philodendron fiddleleaf is free from diseases and pest attacks. But still, they can attract some common bugs if you would not take proper care of them. Some of the names of the common pests are mealybugs, aphids, and scales.

Some common diseases are Edwina Blight, Pseudomonas leaf spot, Xanthomonas, and Root rot diseases.

The standard solution for these problems is to take care of your plants properly, and the above guide would help you to thrive the best growth of your plant with different types of requirements. 

Height and Growth Rate

This is a fast-growing philodendron plant that can reach around 3 to 7 feet in size, and if we talk about how much it would spread, then on average, it is approximately 10 to 18 inches. This plant is capable of growing on any surface it comes in contact with. So they naturally grow its adhere to the surface of trees and rocks.

These plants need the support of Moss stick, bamboo, or any other stirred object once they get mature. Moreover, their leaves are capable of growing around 18 inches in length, so it is necessary that they need more extensive space and pots for their survival.

Does Philodendron Bipennifolium Produce Flowers?

Yes, philodendrons horsehead is capable of producing flowers, and they are highly adaptive plants, so they bloom year around. The color of the flowers is off-white, and they look beautiful on these plants. Furthermore, these plants also tend to grow fruit when they become fully mature. And the colors of their fruit are green, and they are tiny little fruit, but they grow at least when the plant becomes 15 years old.

How to Propagate Philodendron Bipennifolium?

Almost every philodendron plant is capable of propagating with the simple process of stem cutting. If you want a new plant, the propagation process will make it easier, cheaper, and more convenient for you to produce a plant. In addition, you can save money with the help of propagation. Below are steps on how to propagate these plants through stem cutting.

  • Prepare yourself and take safety precautions to protect yourself from the toxins of these plants.
  • Collect items like a sterilized knife or sharp blade
  • Look out for a long and healthy stem and try to cut them with a sharp knife or cutter.
  • Make sure that your cutting should consist of a nod, and the cut you have made should be two to four inches long. 
  • It will take time of two to three days for callus formation
  • After that, your cutting is entirely ready to propagate. Look for a well-drained port, try putting some pebbles at the bottom, and fill the pot with loose potting mix.
  • Or you can also propagate them in a jar filled with water, but you have to change the water every three to four days. 
  • Within two to three weeks, your cutting will start rooting, so your propagation is completely done.

Is Philodendron Bipennifolium Poisonous?

All philodendrons are mostly poisonous to human beings and pets. So it would be best if you kept them out of your children’s or pets’ reach. The toxins inside this philodendron only activate when Swollen or eaten. Philodendron bipennifolium contains some insoluble toxins, and the name of the toxins is calcium oxalate. 

They cannot kill you, but they can cause other effects like pain, swelling, irritation, and swelling of the tongue and lips. Apart from this, it can also make it difficult for the stomach because it can cause drooling and vomiting.

What Is the Worth of Philodendron Bipennifolium?

Despite being rare, Philodendron Bipennifolium can be a little bit expensive, and they can cost around $500 to $1500 U.S. dollars. But in front of the beauty of this plant, the price is nothing to pay. These plants cannot be found or sold in local stores. They are only available in some specialized nurseries or stores. Moreover, you can buy them from some specialized websites. If someone near you does house planting, you might ask them for the propagation of this plant. Propagation can be very cheap for you, and you don’t have to pay something extra for your plant.

Comparison Between Some Similar Plants

Philodendron Bipennifolium vs. Philodendron Florida

These two species are entirely different from each other in many aspects, such as height growth requirements and many more. But the shapes of their leaves are almost identical, so people are often confused between them. The significant difference is between their variegation. Bipennifolium has Dark green foliage, whereas Phellodendron Florida has light color shade between their leaves. And they do not grow much taller as they are considered small plants. At the same time, bipennifolium can be more significant than Florida one.

Philodendron Bipennifolium vs. Philodendron Panduriform

Panduriform has leaves with outward flaring and a small lateral lobe which makes them an entirely different breed from this philodendron. Bipennifolium comes with horse-shaped leaves which look like blade shapes with deeper cut lobes.

Some Common Problems Faced by Philodendron Bipennifolium

These plants are highly adaptive, and they can quickly grow in any climate they are provided with, but still, they can face some most common problems faced by every philodendron, is turning leaves into yellow color and sunburn. 

Foliage Sunburn

Overexposure to the sun can cause a lot of damage to the leaves of these plants. Light is necessary for every plant, but due to the high-intensity light, it can be prone to sunlight. Sun can easily damage the foliage of your plants, and they would not look attractive anymore if you would not change the location of your plant.

Yellowing of Leaves

There can be only one primary reason for this problem, and that can be due to excess water quantity. A soggy soil or access quantity of water can easily damage your whole plant. Philodendron only requires moist soil, and that doesn’t mean that you should overwater them. Make sure that the potting mix you are using is loose so water can drain through them quickly.

Final Words

These plants would be the perfect choice for you because, with the help of the above guide, you can easily take care of them, and they do not require any special attention. Make your house eco-friendly and greener than ever by decorating your interior home with the help of these beautiful-looking plants. But one thing that you have to do for this plant is that they need regular pruning because they can spread very wide and can cover your whole room.

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