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Philodendron Plowmanii – Crucial Care Tips You Need

The Philodendron Plowmanii is a tropical plant known for bi-colored foliage. This perennial is easy to care for and enjoys humidity.

What Is Philodendron Plowmanii?

The Philodendron Plowmanii is a perennial from the Araceae family, growing well in any low-light room as a houseplant. It is characterized by dark green, lime green, and creamy yellow heart-shaped leaves and prized for bi-colored foliage.

This plant has a close resemblance and is often mistaken with Philodendron Mamei. But you can easily differentiate these two: Mamei has silver variegation, whereas Plowmanii doesn’t. Plowmanii also has ruffled petiole edges, while Mamei has rounder and smoother ones. You can read more about Philodendron Mamei here.

While most of this article discusses indoor growing requirements, you can keep this Philodendron outdoors in hardiness zones 9-11.

Origin And Family

Philodendron Plowmanii originates from the Philodendron genus, part of the Araceae family. The tropical rainforests of Peru and Ecuador are home to this plant. Plowmanii has become a popular indoor plant in recent years, thriving in most households that give it plenty of humidity.

Timothy Plowman (Plowmanii’s namesake) discovered this unique plant in 1996.

Where To Buy

Are you looking to buy a Philodendron Plowmanii? You can probably get it at a nursery or a home improvement shop, though it’s pretty pricey. Philodendron Plowmanii ranges from $65 for small cuttings to $150 for larger or more mature plants,

When shopping for houseplants online, we recommend Etsy– a reliable marketplace where most of our plants come from!

Philodendron Plowmanii available on Etsy

Philodendron Plowmanii Plant Size

Indoors, the Philodendron Plowmanii grows to an average height of 8 feet and spreads to a width of about 2 feet. It’s a slow grower that flourishes when placed in any low-light room.

Philodendron Plowmanii Care Needs

When properly cared for, your Philodendron Plowmanii will thrive like any other houseplant. This plant, with bi-colored foliage, adores humidity and wants relatively moist soil throughout the year.

For most Philodendron gardeners, a good rule of thumb is to water the plant when the top two inches of soil are dry. Ensure that the pot’s drainage hole is completely dry before moving forward.

This rare plant needs bright indirect light to thrive.

Read our thorough care guide below for more specific advice.

Care Difficulty

In terms of care difficulty, the Philodendron Plowmanii is easy-to-care-for. The quantity of sunshine and well-draining soil are the most critical requirements for its beauty.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of a Philodendron Plowmanii is slow, reaching a mature height of about 8 feet indoors. As a result, if your plant isn’t growing as quickly as you’d want, don’t freak out. Give it time.

The Philodendron Plowmanii, when young, sports small leaves with silvery streaks. The leaves grow massive, heart-shaped, and grayish underneath when the plant nears maturity.


When picking a pot, you can go for a large-sized pot made of terracotta. A necessary requirement is that the pot should contain at least one drainage hole. Leaving your Philodendron Plowmanii in wet soil for extended periods could kill the plant.


Moving your Philodendron Plowmanii into a larger pot allows more space for its roots to expand. You will typically know that it’s time to repot when the plant becomes top-heavy, and you’d want to repot every one to two years. Replace old nutrient-deficient soil with a fresh batch of standard commercial potting soil.

In addition, Philodendron Plowmanii prefers its roots to be loose in its pot. Repotting is necessary whenever the plant gets root bound, limiting its growth.



For the Philodendron Plowmanii, a standard commercial potting soil is suitable. Add together peat, sand, sphagnum moss, and loam to make your own soil mix. The medium must be reasonably damp for this plant to thrive.

Make sure your chosen soil type accommodates good drainage and aeration so the roots can breathe better. We recommend the following potting mixes:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $13.37 ($0.03 / Ounce)
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture 8-Quart Black Gold 1310102 Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $16.28 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix,...image Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, Potting Soil for Outdoor and Indoor Plants, Enriched with Plant Food, 2 cu. ft. $34.26
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quarts | The Hydroponic City Stake $23.99 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)


For the Philodendron Plowmanii, a pH range of 5.0-7.0 is ideal. This range is considered neutral to acidic, and it shouldn’t be a huge concern if you’re using standard commercial potting soil because its acidity level is close to the ideal range.

If you want to determine your soil’s pH value, several affordable options are online for pH meters.

If necessary, you can add a pinch of calcitic lime or dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda to boost the soil’s pH. Inversely, you can lower it with sulfur or aluminum sulfate.


Philodendron Plowmanii plants are humidity-loving plants that need relatively moist soil throughout the year.

After two inches of dirt have dried, water your plant. Drench the soil until water drains out the hole at the bottom of the terracotta pot. If you’re using a collection tray, make sure to toss out the excess water to fend off root rot and other diseases.

In the winter, this plant doesn’t require much water. Continue to water your plants deeply but do it less frequently.


Philodendron Plowmanii prefers bright indirect light for 6-8 hours per day. Remember, you’re trying to recreate its growing conditions from its natural habitat in the rainforests of Peru and Ecuador. This plant can also thrive in low light conditions or partial shade, so placing this plant in any low-light room works well in most situations.

You’ll know your Philodendron Plowmanii is getting too much bright light when its leaves show signs of getting burned. On the other hand, if it doesn’t get much sunlight, its growth will get stunted.


The Philodendron Plowmanii’s growing season is in the spring and summer. During this time, fertilize your plant once a month using a balanced slow-release fertilizer.

You don’t need to feed this plant at all during the winter months or colder seasons, like other tropical plants, when this plant’s growth naturally slows down.

Philodendron Plowmanii plants from Pinterest

Propagating Philodendron Plowmanii

You can easily create this stunning celestial using a variety of approaches. The detailed instructions for each propagation technique are provided below.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

One primary method to grow a Philodendron Plowmanii is by directly planting stem cuttings into soil. If you don’t already have this plant, you can purchase a cutting from Etsy or your local Facebook Marketplace.

It is best to propagate during early to late summer to make it easier for your plant to recover from transplant shock.

1. Cut– Using clean shears, cut off a healthy section of the plant. Ideally, a cutting is at least three inches tall and should include a few leaves and nodes.

2. Plant– Bury the stem’s nodes in a pot or container filled with damp potting soil. Pinch the dirt around the stem or use wooden skewers to hold the plant in place. Too much movement can disrupt root growth.

3. Maintain– Put it near a window that receives a lot of light but isn’t directly exposed to the sun’s rays. Remember to keep the soil moist.

4. Wait– You can expect new roots in about 2-3 weeks. An emerging shoot is the best indicator that your cutting has successfully grown roots!

Stem Cuttings In Water

Plowmanii Philodendron plants can be propagated in water with six simple steps.

1. Cut– Cut a section from the stem with new growth and at least one node.

2. Submerge– To track the development of the cutting’s roots, place it in a glass of water or another clear container.

3. Maintain– Keep the cutting in a bright, shaded area with good airflow.

4. Refill– To avoid bacterial infection, don’t forget to replace the water every 3-5 days.

5. Transplant– Check for progress after 2 weeks. If the roots are about an inch or longer, plant the cutting into a sterile potting mix.

6. Wait– Your new plant may look wilted initially, but this is normal while its roots adjust to the soil. Avoid applying fertilizer or any treatments until your plant has gotten the chance to stabilize.

Air Layering Technique

Air layering– also called marcotting– is a propagation method utilized for expensive and rare plants or delicate varieties. This method reduces the loss of lower leaves which is typical in fresh cuttings that actively grow roots.

Follow these steps to air layer your Philodendron Plowmanii:

1. Identify the Cutting– To increase your chances of success, choose a healthy portion of the plant with at least two nodes.

2. Wrap the stem– Enclose the chosen portion of the stem with sphagnum peat moss or coco coir. Make sure the nodes are covered all the way around.

3. Secure the covering– Use cling wrap to hold the peat moss or coco coir in place. Twist ties can also help but be careful not to tighten them too much.

4. Regulate moisture– Keep the layer of moss or coir damp at all times. If excessive water flows out, poke holes into the cling wrap to allow airflow.

5. Transplant after 3-5 weeks– Remove the cling wrap once you notice any aerial roots growing through the moss. Detach the propagated section from the mother plant and transplant it into the soil.

Humidity And Aeration

Philodendron Plowmanii is a rare perennial that prefers high humidity– often between 40%-60%.

If you see browning edges on your plant’s leaves, consider these options for increasing humidity:

• Huddle your houseplants close to each other to create a humidity bubble.

• Invest in a humidifier.

• Place your pots on a tray filled with pebbles and water, and this will create a vapor around your plant.

• Mist your plant, but don’t do it too frequently, or you might invite fungal diseases.


Generally, warm temperatures are best for your Philodendron Plowmanii plant. The temperature ranges can be between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Consistency is key. The Philodendron Plowmanii may be severely damaged by sudden fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Protect your plant against cold drafts by closing windows and sealing any opening in cold weather. Keep it away from air conditioners or heat vents that can dry the foliage.


Philodendron Plowmanii produces unscented yellow spathes. These flowers are extremely rare, and when they do bloom, they can go undetected.


You should use caution while handling this plant if you have young children or animals. People and animals are at risk from the toxic calcium oxalate crystals found in the Philodendron Plowmanii. Tongue swelling, stomach ache, and trouble swallowing are all potential adverse effects if consumed. You may want to use gloves if you intend on handling this plant since it is known to cause skin irritation.

Despite the caution and varying toxicity levels, it’s unlikely that this plant would be deadly.

SoilCare Specifics
Botanical NamePhilodendron Plowmanii
Common Namen/a
Plant FamilyAraceae
OriginPeru and Ecuador
Plant Typeperennial
Leaf Shapeheart-shaped
Leaf Colordark green, lime green, and creamy yellow
Recommended Home Placementin any low-light room
Growth Rateslow
Lightbright indirect light
Soilstandard commercial potting soil
When To WaterWater when the top two inches of the soil are dry.
When To Fertilizeonce a month during growing season
Preferred pH5.0-7.0
Humidity Range40%-60%
Toxic To Pets?Yes - symptoms include swelling of the tongue, stomach pain, and difficulty swallowing
Common Pests & Diseasesspider mites, brown tips, white flied, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Is your Philodendron Plowmanii looking ill? Most would say that the Philodendron Plowmanii is not especially resistant to pests, diseases, and widespread problems.

This unique plant faces several typical issues, which I’ve outlined here. Help your Philodendron by following these guidelines.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are common pests, particularly among Philodendron Plowmanii.

When Philodendron leaves are initially damaged by spider mites, little brown or yellow spots form on the leaves. It’s also possible to find that your plant has stopped growing.

Start spraying your Philodendron Plowmanii with a sink nozzle to get rid of spider mites. Insecticide oil, such as neem oil, may be used if it fails.

With a bit of ladybug help, you can keep the spider mite numbers low. In addition, an insect is known as the “spider mite killer” may be a viable option.

White Flies

Whiteflies, a sap-feeding insect, may be attracted to the Philodendron Plowmanii. They lay eggs on your leaves, and the larvae devour the undersides of the leaves.

Managing whiteflies frequently necessitates the use of a pesticide. Here are several popular Amazon whitefly pesticides:

Scale Insects

Philodendron Plowmanii scale insects may seem like lumps on plants rather than insects. The tiny, green, gray, brown, and black bugs stick around after they’ve found a host on a plant.

If your infestation isn’t too terrible, you may be able to prevent fresh scale insects from invading this houseplant. A teaspoon of neem oil in four cups of water is all you need.

Even if neem oil and other horticultural oils won’t completely eradicate pests from the landscape, some harm will be done. Several safe pesticide sprays are available.


Black and brown spots appear on the leaves when aphids eat the leaves and leave behind their waste.

You may concoct your own pesticide with Ivory Liquid dish detergent to get rid of aphids. To avoid harming plants:

Don’t buy anything scented or other possibly dangerous ingredients in it.

Dissolve the soap in a bit of water (starting with 1 teaspoon per gallon and increasing as necessary).

Spray the plants and be sure to get the undersides of the leaves and the upper ones.


Mealybugs may infest your Philodendron Plowmanii. Act fast if you notice these microscopic parasites, which may be distinguished by their white “fluff” on the stems. Start by dousing a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol to get things going. Rub this over the Philodendron Plowmanii’s heart-shaped dark green, lime green, and creamy yellow leaves and stem to remove all the visible bugs.

Using rubbing alcohol and fragrance-free dish soap in equal parts, spray a bottle with a combination of the two and water for a quick cleaning solution!

Spray that on Philodendron Plowmanii twice a week until the mealybugs are gone.

Neem oil sprays well as a prophylactic measure.

Brown Leaf Tips

The sun may cause browning on the tips of your Philodendron Plowmanii, or it may be a warning that the humidity level in your home is too low.

Drooping Leaves

The Philodendron Plowmanii is susceptible to Mealybugs, both of which may cause its leaves to droop. Overwatering and improper fertilizing are two other possible causes of these difficulties.

Yellow Leaves

Several factors can cause a Philodendron Plowmanii plant to become yellow. A lack of sunlight or water might be the cause.

New growth may be sparked by removing yellow leaves, slowing down degeneration. If you don’t like the look of yellow leaves, a pair of sterilized shears is all that’s required to remove the foliage.

Root Rot

Keep the Philodendron Plowmanii’s soil from becoming too moist or dry. Excessive soil moisture may lead to fungal and bacterial infections, root rot, and other ailments.

A Philodendron Plowmanii has to be well hydrated to be healthy, and the plant may fall to various illnesses that may otherwise be introduced if you give it too much moisture. To further improve drainage, the soil must also be well-aerated.

Similar Plants

Is Philodendron Plowmanii a favorite of yours? Listed below are some other plants that you may find interesting:

Philodendron Mamei: This plant is known for its incredible variegation, and most plant growers make it indoor decor. Beautify any place as you please with this dainty plant.

Philodendron Goeldii: Also called the Fun Bun, this quirky plant is indeed such a pleasant plant to have. This plant’s stems develop in a spectacular spiral; it’s lovely to watch it grow!

Philodendron Florida Ghost – No need to call your friendly ghost-buster. This plant is shaped like a flying ghost, but it’s anything but scary. In fact, it’s such a cute plant; ghost-busters might even want one!

Philodendron Bipinnatifidum: This vast, non-climbing, semi-woody shrub grabs attention like no other. Head to the nearest nursery and get this “tree” philodendron and spruce up your tropical garden if you like big Philos.


With its bicolored foliage and massive leaves, Philodendron Plowmanii is considered one of the rarest philodendrons. Follow our instructions, and you’ll be able to successfully cultivate this green landscaping plant.

Do you have a Philodendron Plowmanii? It’s high on our list! Let us know what you’ve been up to by emailing [email protected].

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