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Philodendron Giganteum: 27 Things To Know When Growing This Giant Philo

Philodendron Giganteum: 27 Things To Know When Growing This Giant Philo

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Philodendron Giganteum is a massive plant and is one of the largest Philodendron varieties. It’s considered easy-to-care-for, and its beautiful green leaves (that kind of look like elephant ears) can turn a home into a lush jungle.

In this post, we’ll go through the Giant Philo care guide in greater depth so that you may confidently grow this splashy plant.

We also will provide various options for you to buy a Philodendron Giganteum.

What Is Philodendron Giganteum?

The Philodendron Giganteum, also known as Giant Philo, is a perennial known for its lustrous green and impressive size. This massive plant from the Araceae family has large heart-shaped leaves that are a rich splashy green.

Origin And Family

Philodendron Giganteum belongs to the Philodendron genus and is part of the Araceae family. Natively, it’s from the forests and swampy regions of the Caribbean Islands.

This Philodendron plant prefers high humidity and bright indirect light, but it can tolerate low light conditions.

Similar Plants

In love with Giant Philo? It’s one of several Philodendrons. Here are some of my favorites, including growing guides:

Philodendron Moonlight: The leaf of this chartreuse-green plant unfurls in a luminous white like the moon before becoming green, earning it the name. Because of its rich hues, this plant is bound to brighten up any indoor space.

Philodendron White Knight – This is a stunning and very unusual plant that should be the highlight of any indoor grower’s collection. It’s all the rage these days, so it’s pretty pricey, but seeing its white-splashed foliage is worth every dollar you’ll spend.

Philodendron Lemon Lime: You can easily recognize this tropical house plant by its strikingly vibrant leaves. Its trailing foliage comes in shades of bright yellow to chartreuse. Feast your eyes on this brightly-hued and beautiful accent plant, as it’s also known to reduce anxiety and stress.

Philodendron Prince of Orange – The name of this bright plant comes from the wonderfully colored leaves that unfold in a rich orange-bronze color that gradually becomes salmon as the plant grows larger.

Where To Buy

We buy quite a lot of these Philodendron plants from Etsy, and there are some Giganteum options. We get the advantage of getting a good deal, and it’s delivered directly to our house!

How Big Does Philodendron Giganteum Grow?

The Philodendron Giganteum grows to about eight feet tall as a houseplant and grows to about three feet wide, and the leaves themselves can grow up to five feet long. This stunning perennial prefers to be placed in any low-light room and is considered a fast grower.

Is Philodendron Giganteum Rare?

While Philodendron Giganteum is not particularly rare, some variegated versions are highly sought after.

How Do You Care For Philodendron Giganteum?

When properly cared for, your Philodendron Giganteum will quickly grow to a massive size. The Giant Philo, which adores humidity, wants relatively dry soil throughout the year.

Most gardeners recommend watering this huge plant when the top two inches of soil are dry and allowing ample time for the water to drain out of the pot’s drainage hole.

Similarly, this attractive plant needs strong indirect light to grow, although it can survive low light circumstances.

For more particular guidance, see the detailed care instructions below.

Care TypeCare Specifics
Botanical NamePhilodendron Giganteum
Common NameGiant Philo, Elephant Ears, Giant Philodendron
Plant FamilyAraceae
Originthe Caribbean islands
Plant Typeperennial
Leaf Shapeheart-shaped
Leaf Colorrich green
Recommended Home Placementin any low-light room
Growth Ratefast
Lightbright indirect light but it can tolerate low light conditions
Soilorganic potting soil
When To WaterWater When the top two inches of the soil are dry.
When To Fertilizeevery other week during growing season
Preferred pH5.5 and 6.5
Humidity Range60% or higher
Toxic To Pets?Yes - symptoms include burning and swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat, as well as severe stomach pain when swallowed
Common Pests & Diseasesfungus gnuts, white flied, scale insects, aphids, mealy bugs

Care Difficulty

In terms of care difficulty, the Philodendron hederaceum is easy-to-care-for, needing bright indirect light, but it can tolerate low light conditions and organic potting soil. 

Potting

You’ll need to use a large pot for this plant. When choosing potting material, it will likely be okay to use terracotta or clay as long as it’s strong enough to hold this giant plant. One of the most important features is that it contains at least one drainage hole so that excess water may run out of it.

Repot your Philodendron Giganteum every two to three years, or when the upper leaves become top-heavy and the roots cover the container. When this occurs, carefully remove the plant from its container and go to a larger option. 

Replant your Giant Philo into a new bigger pot, ensuring there is enough space for your Giant Philo to fill.

Soil

The Giant Philo needs well-draining potting soil. If you are going to make your own, we recommend that it has perlite, peat moss, mulch or sterile compost, orchid bark. Remember, you want a growing medium that supports Giganteum’s relatively dry growing needs.

A quality, well-draining soil type is a good option for this easy-to-care-for plant.

Here are some potting mixes we recommend:

pH

For this Giant Philo, you’ll need a soil pH of roughly 5.5 and 6.5, which is neutral to acidic. If you’re concerned about pH, you may check your soil with a simple online pH test.

You won’t need to adjust your pH for this plant most of the time, assuming you’re using a commercial potting soil. That said, if your pH needs adjusted, check out this guide to raising and lowering acidity.

Water

Proper watering is essential for this large Philodendron. If you use too much, you risk causing diseases like root rot, and if you use too little, your plant may suffer injury or possibly die. In general, Giant Philo should have a growing medium that is relatively dry, so give it enough time to dry out before you water this impressive plant. This is a bit different than most of the Philodendrons, which usually like a medium that’s a bit moist.

There is a simple way to determine whether or not your Elephant Ears need to be watered. Insert your finger in the pot and, when the top two inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water your Elephant Ears.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – drainage holes are your friend. Make sure this plant can release excess water as needed. Not doing this is a certain way to get root rot.

Light

This massive houseplant prefers bright indirect light but can tolerate low light conditions. It requires approximately 70-85% sunlight a day, and too much bright light and its foliage may get burned. If you don’t have enough light, its vast green leaves may lose some color, and its growth will slow down.

If you’re worried your Philodendron Giganteum or other house plants aren’t getting enough light, you may need to move it closer to a window – change window – or consider using artificial lights. Here are some basic options for you to consider.

Fertilizer

A general houseplant fertilizer is ideal for the Philodendron Giganteum. NAME SPECIFIC FERTILIZER, for example, would work. Feed the plant every other week during the early spring and summer season.

In the winter months, you don’t need to fertilize at all. Simulate the nutrients Giant Philo would typically obtain from the tropical region of the Caribbean islands, many of which are available in the soil. Read about this plant’s potting soil requirements in the section above.

Propagating Philodendron Giganteum

It is possible to propagate a Giant Philo with the right methods. However, it is not an easy one to propagate. You can propagate this huge house plant during its growing months through stem cuttings, but the success rate may be lower as this Giant Philo is not very keen to grow alone. 

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Philodendron Giganteum may be propagated by rooting tip cuttings in soil. If you don’t already have a plant for propagation, consider purchasing one on Etsy, Craigslist, or even Facebook Marketplace.

It would be beneficial if you propagate Philodendrons throughout their growing season. 

Here’s a great video showing you how to do this:

Temperature

Warm conditions are desirable for your Giant Philo, and the optimal temperature range for this plant to grow is 55–80 degrees Fahrenheit. They do, however, like a consistent temperature, so keep them away from vents that may let cool air in.

The requirements for temperature and humidity are frequently intertwined. In addition, make a point of reading over the section on humidity.

Humidity Needs For Giganteum

When considering humidity levels for your Philodendron Giganteum, keep in mind that you’re attempting to replicate the forests and swampy regions of the Caribbean islands.

This Philodendron is a lush plant that prefers a high humidity of 60% or higher.

If you’ve tested your humidity and find that it’s low – or might be better – consider using a humidifier or transferring your plant to a naturally humid environment.

Toxicity

The Philodendron is toxic to both people and animals, and it includes calcium oxalate (like all Philodendrons), which is known to induce the following adverse effects if consumed: burning and swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat, as well as severe stomach discomfort when swallowed. 

It’s also known to cause skin irritation, so to be perfectly safe, use gloves if you need to touch this Giant Philodendron. While typically not considered life-threatening, you should always call your vet/doctor if a loved one has ingested this plant. 

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Even with expert care, things can go wrong from time to time. Common pests, diseases, and general problems pop up now and again. As a whole, the Philodendron Giganteum is not a disease and pest-resistant plant, but it has a few more common issues than others.

Review these tips for diagnosing common problems and discovering ways to return your Giant Philo to a healthy condition in the following sections.

Fungus Gnats

The larvae of fungus gnats can devour your Philodendron roots, but the gnats themselves are pretty harmless. The problem is that they lay eggs in the damp soil.

If you see these gnats, you should begin by reducing your watering. Not enough to harm the plant, but sufficient to increase the time between waterings.

If the problem persists, mix one cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with four cups of water and spray it over the dirt.

White Flies

Whiteflies, which are gnat-like insects that feed on plant sap, may be drawn to the Philodendron Giganteum. They’re inconvenient, and they lay eggs on the tops of your leaves, which hatch into larvae that devour the undersides of your leaves.

The usage of a pesticide may help whiteflies. You may buy one online or create one for yourself following the recipe below.

Recipe for Homemade Whiteflies

  • Five drops of dish soap – make sure it doesn’t include bleach!
  • 1 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • To make your base, combine all of the ingredients in a cup.
  • Shake 1.5 teaspoon of solution per cup of water before adding to the spray bottle.

Make sure to spray beneath the affected plant’s leaves.

Scale Insects

Scale insects may appear as lumps on the stems or branches of a Philodendron Giganteum. The minor bugs, which appear in green, gray, brown, and black hues, generally remain on to a plant once attached.

If your infestation isn’t too bad, you may apply a teaspoon of neem oil in four cups of water to deter new scale insects from attacking this colorful houseplant.

While neem oil and other horticultural oils do not kill everything, they cause some harm. There are a variety of pesticide sprays for Giant Philo and gardens that are considered safe for treatment.

Aphids

Aphids can consume the leaves, causing them to become black and brown.

To cure aphids, use an insecticidal soap or neem oil, or make your own with a dish detergent like Ivory Liquid. Look for a product devoid of perfumes and other potentially harmful components. 

Combine the soap and water (starting with one teaspoon per gallon and increasing as necessary). Spray the plants thoroughly, giving special care to the undersides of the leaves.

Mealybugs

Your Philodendron Giganteum may be infested with mealybugs. If you locate these microscopic parasites, distinguished by white “fluff” on the stems, you must treat them fast before they spread. Begin by soaking a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Rub this on the Giant Philo’s heart-shaped deep green leaves and stem to eliminate any visible pests.

Take a cup of rubbing alcohol and a teaspoon of fragrance-free dish soap and combine them in a spray bottle with water.

Spray it on the Elephant Ears twice a week until the mealybugs disappear.

Neem oil can also be used as a preventative spray.

Conclusion

With its lustrous rich green heart leaves, the Philodendron Giganteum is an excellent choice for plant lovers.

It’s easy-to-care-for, needing bright indirect light (but can tolerate low light conditions), high humidity, relatively dry soil, and warm temps.

So if you’re looking for a new addition to your collection or are just getting started as an indoor gardener, take these instructions to get started growing Philodendron Giganteum today!

Let's grow together!