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20 Fascinating Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti Care Tips You Need For Indoor Gardening

20 Fascinating Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti Care Tips You Need For Indoor Gardening

Let's grow together!

Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti is a majestic and easy-to-care-for plant that will add some pop to any indoor garden. This houseplant has a distinct appearance and style that indoor gardeners love.

We’ll go through Philodendron ‘Santa Leopoldina’ (another of its names) care in further detail in this post so you may confidently raise this endangered plant.

Our selection of Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti plants for sale includes a few affordable options. This Philodendron has a lot to offer, so keep reading to discover more. 

What Is Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti?

Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti is part of the Araceae family and is also known as Philodendron Santa Leopoldina and Philodendron Sanctum.

Considered a year-round plant, it thrives near windows or doors that face east. Its sword-like foliage is distinctive, making it a truly exotic and scarce plant.

Not only is this Philodendron a houseplant, but it can also grow outside in certain climates. To grow Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti successfully outdoors, you need to live between hardiness zones 10-12.

Origin And Family

Philodendron Santa Leopoldina is a member of the genus Philodendron, part of the Araceae family. It originated in the Brazil rainforests, specifically the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo. In recent years, philodendron Spiritus-Sancti has become a popular indoor plant, thriving in most households that give it plenty of humidity.

George S. Bunting formally documented this endangered Philodendron species in 1987, but it had been written about as early as 1983.

Where To Buy

Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti is outrageously expensive to purchase, with a single plant price ranging from $4,000 to $12,000! I’m not sure I’ve come across many similarly expensive houseplants. 

I recommend going to a nursery, home improvement store, or botanical gardens in your area if you can. Still, you can also purchase Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti online, but do take note that this is a very unique specimen. I like to look at listings from individual vendors on Etsy or Icarus Plants rather than buying at massive companies when looking for plants. Some serious plant collectors might also have this endangered plant in their private collections as this is a highly-coveted plant.

At Icarus Plants, you’ll find even better prices. To claim a 10% discount, click on this link.

icarus plants discount

Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti Plant Size

The Philodendron Santa Leopoldina is a mature Philodendron plant with leaves that grow up to 23.6 inches tall and 4.5-4.9 inches in width. It grows well near a window or an east-facing door to match its light and high humidity requirements.

Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti Care Needs

When properly cared for, your Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti, like any other houseplant, will thrive. The Philodendron Sanctum, which adores humidity, wants relatively moist and airy soil mix throughout the year.

With Philodendrons, most growers recommend that you water them when their top inch of soil is completely dry and give time for the pot’s drainage hole to drain the extra water. Similarly, this gorgeous plant needs solid indirect light to grow in illumination.

Check out the thorough care guidelines below for more specific advice.

SoilCare Specifics
Botanical NamePhilodendron Spiritus-Sancti
Common NamePhilodendron Santa Leopoldina, Philodendron Sanctum
Plant FamilyAraceae
OriginBrazil
Plant Typeperennial
Leaf Shapependant
Leaf Colorrich green
Recommended Home Placementa window or an east-facing door
Growth Ratefast
Lightbright indirect light
Soilwell-draining but moisture-retentive mix
When To WaterWater when the top inch of the soil has dried out
When To Fertilizeonce a month during growing season
Preferred pH5.5-6.5
Humidity Range70%-80%
Toxic To Pets?Yes - symptoms include swelling in the mouth, burning sensation, nausea, and vomiting
Common Pests & Diseasesspider mites, brown tips, yellow leabes, root rot, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Care Difficulty

The Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti is easy to care for in terms of care difficulty. The most essential elements for this beauty are well-draining soil and plenty of light. 

Growth Rate

The Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti plant measures its leaf growth up to 23.6 inches in height and 4.5-4.9 inches in width. Their growth season begins in the spring and summer months.

Philodendron species grow fast, including the Spiritus Sancti.

Potting

You can usually utilize a pot that allows for sufficient airflow when thinking about the pot specifications. When choosing the material of the pot, it will likely be okay to use plastic or hanging baskets. 

It must have at minimum one outflow hole, so that water may drain out of it. Many growers use plastic pots with holes drilled into the pot’s side to allow for improved ventilation.

In addition, a clear plastic container may be used to inspect the roots regularly without disturbing the plant.

Philodendron doesn’t like to sit in water–– most plants don’t. If you let it sit in water too long, it is at risk of suffering from root rot. And trust us, that’s not fun.

Repotting

To maintain your Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti’s health and growth, you should provide new space in a fresh pot when it gets a specific size. It’s imperative to repot it when you see the roots protrude through the drainage holes. Such would mean that it’s past time to switch your plant to a larger container. 

Another reason to repot your Philodendron Sanctum is if you think it has root rot, which can seriously damage or kill the plant. Typically, you want to repot every one to two years or so.

Soil

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti plants, unlike some houseplants, need a well-draining but moisture-retentive mix. If you are going to mix your own potting soil, we recommend including peat moss, orchid bark, charcoal, and silica sand. Always keep in mind that Spiritus Sancti prefers a wet growth environment.

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

Here are some potting mixes we recommend:

pH

Your Spiritus Sancti prefers soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, which is neutral to slightly acidic. Philodendrons can be grown inside, but this isn’t generally a problem if you’re often repotting or adding fresh soil.

Water

Temperature and excessive humidity might affect how often you need to water your plants. But generally speaking, your Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti prefers a relatively moist growing medium.

As a general rule, you should avoid overwatering the Philodendron Santa Leopoldina. When the top inch of the soil has dried out, it’s time to water the dirt. To prevent infections and mildew, make sure you don’t water the leaves themselves.

Do not let any of the pot’s water go to waste! However, don’t let the tray, where your plant is resting, fill up with water.

Avoid putting your Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti in direct sunlight for a long time, as this could severely damage or even kill it.

Light

For ideal growing conditions, you want to simulate the natural habitat of Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti, which would be the rainforests of Brazil. Because of this, you want to give your Philodendron Santa Leopoldina bright indirect light for 6-8 hours a day or 2-4 hours of direct sunlight in the morning each and every day. Placing this plant near a window or an east-facing door works well in most situations.

You’ll know your Philodendron Santa Leopoldina is getting too much light when its leaves show signs of getting burned. On the other hand, the leaves of this plant may become a pale green if it does not get enough light.

Light overexposure may lead to drooping and yellowing leaves, but it may also be a symptom of poor fertility. See our section on fertilizer. If the tops of your Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti leaves have turned brown, likely, you aren’t giving it enough light.

Fertilizer

Many indoor growers forget to fertilize, thinking water and bright indirect light are enough. But once a month during spring and summer, you should apply a water-soluble fertilizer.

If you’re using a more potent fertilizer, you may need to dilute it first. In the winter months, you don’t need to fertilize at all.

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Propagating Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti

If you want to grow more Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti, it can be done with the correct propagation method. Here are some steps to propagate this majestic plant indoors.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti may be propagated best by rooting stem tip cuttings in soil. Without your own plant, you may possibly find a cutting on Etsy or Facebook Marketplace.

We usually propagate Philodendrons in the early spring to summer months, as it’s during the plant’s growing season. Ideally, you want to take a cutting from fresher, healthier growth.

A cutting should be three inches and include a few leaves and a few nodes. Make sure you’re using sterile scissors for this part of the process.

In a moist potting soil cup, put the nodes of a Spiritus Sancti stem and press the earth around the stem to help retain the young plant in place.

No leaves should be buried in the well-draining / moisture-retentive mix. A window with bright, indirect sunlight and wet soil is ideal.

Your fresh Philodendron Santa Leopoldina should sprout roots in two to three weeks. 

Stem Cuttings In Water

Here are some steps to successfully propagate stem cuttings in water.

First, take cuttings from your Philodendron. When it comes to most plants, cuttings should be between 4 and 6 inches long in length.

Large cuttings will either fail to root or grow overly tall and lanky.

Cut the Philodendron stems just below a node using a sharp knife.

Remove any flowers and lower leaves but leave the top two or three on the Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti cutting. If any portion of the cutting will be submerged, it has to be leaf-free.

Place the cutting in water and refill it every few days. The nodes of the propagated Philodendron Sanctum should constantly be exposed to water to produce roots.

When the roots of your new Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti are first developing, move the endangered plant to soil. Waiting too long might result in a poor pot changeover.

Air Layering Technique

Air layering is the next option for Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti propagation. Air layering is a familiar technique growers use to propagate houseplants, trees, and shrubs. 

Air layering involves covering a stem in damp moss to encourage the growth of new roots, and it’s usually a safer option than soil or water cuttings. However, there are a few more steps ahead of you.

The steps of air layering propagation are listed below.

  • Identify your cutting – 

Look for the healthiest part of the mother plant and choose a section of the stem with a plant node. If possible, use at least two plant nodes.

  • Prepare Sphagnum Moss and Baggy – 

Assuming you’ve got some kind of bag or plastic wrap on hand, fill it up with roughly half of the water-soaked sphagnum.

Make vertical incisions on the bag’s edges to completely cover the chosen nodes before sewing. In this step, the air layering process becomes the messiest. Sphagnum moss must be the sole item contacting the nodes to work.

  • Securing Your Bag And Moss – 

Use twist ties to keep your bag and moss in place. The twisties should be strong, but not so strong that they are squishing the nodes or vine, causing the new roots to be messed up. Your moss should be pressed against the nodes– it’s essential!

  • Watering The Cutting – 

If you want to protect the cuttings and moss from drying out, a slight gap on the top of the bag is ideal. Your cutting must be kept from becoming too damp or dry. You can keep the moss from drying out by adding some water to it. Poke tiny holes in the bag to facilitate ventilation if there is a lot of surplus moisture.

  • Removing The Cutting – 

Check your bag if the roots aren’t growing against the plastic bag’s edges after three to five weeks. It is safe to begin removing the cutting at this point in time.

Division

The best way to propagate this Philodendron is by division between early spring to summer.

If the plant’s roots have naturally parted, you’ll be able to see this when you repot it. This is where you separate the Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti. The plants may need to be cut apart with shears. Repot in new – and likely smaller – pots. And now you have another endangered plant to have or share!

Humidity And Aeration

When considering humidity levels for your Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti, keep in mind that you’re attempting to replicate the tropical climate of Brazil.

This holy grail of philodendron plants likes humidity at 70%-80% or higher.

Either purchase an inexpensive humidifier or relocate the plant to a more humid area to remedy the situation. If your humidity levels are low or might be higher due to looking at your plant, you may want to invest in one of these options.

Temperature

Warm temperatures are preferable for your Philodendron Santa Leopoldina plant, but it can thrive in the average temperature range of 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Their preferred temperature is maintained by keeping them away from drafty areas like windows and doorways.

Temperature and humidity are often related. Don’t forget to factor in the moisture when completing this step.

Flowers

Spiritus-Sancti pollination had not been well-researched until recently, and as a result, it had not been widely documented. However, as aroid popularity grew in 2019, a wealth of knowledge about general Aroid pollination became more widely available. In 2020 and 2021, two persons successfully pollinated a Spiritus-Sancti, resulting in viable seeds.

Toxic

Unfortunately, like most stunning aroids, the Philodendron Sanctum is definitely toxic to pets, including cats and dogs, and people. If you swallow it, you may anticipate the following effects: swelling in the mouth, burning sensation, nausea, and vomiting. This plant does not pose a fatal threat to human health in most circumstances.

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

The Philodendron Santa Leopoldina is a disease-resistant and pest-resistant plant in most situations. There are, however, some common issues that can affect it. Below we discuss some of the common problems, as well as solutions to protect your Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are an unwelcome but widespread condition, particularly in Philodendron Santa Leopoldina. Spider mite damage appears initially as little brown or yellow dots on the leaves of Philodendron.

Additionally, you may have noticed that your plant’s growth has slowed. And, because spider mites are linked to spiders, they make webs, which can be a little gross. 

Begin by spraying your Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti with a sink nozzle to eliminate spider mites. If that doesn’t work, insecticidal oil may do the trick, such as horticultural oil.

If you have several plants in your home, you might need to quarantine them while you’re getting your spider mite population under control.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs can potentially infest your Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti too. The bugs will fall off your plant if you take a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol and rub it over the pendant leaves and stem. Like scale, Neem oil mixed with water can also be used as a preventative spray on Philodendron Santa Leopoldina.

Brown Leaf Tips

It’s possible that browning on the tips of your Philodendron Santa Leopoldina is a sign of too much sunshine or not enough humidity in your house. 

Drooping Leaves

Mealybugs are known to affect the Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti, can cause this. Overwatering and over-fertilization may also create these concerns.

Yellow Leaves

Philodendron Santa Leopoldina plants may become yellow due to a variety of reasons. Insufficient sunshine or excessive or inadequate water might be the cause.

Pruning yellow leaves will foster new growth and keep the degeneration at bay. Yellow leaves can also be unattractive, and simply trim the leaves off with a sharp, sterile pair of shears. This plant can take a beating!

Root Rot

In Philodendron Santa Leopoldina, root rot is the most common cause of mortality. Indoor gardeners might be a touch overzealous when watering their plants – or failing to ensure that their potting soil is adequately drained. Root rot may be caused by any of these two factors. Like so many plant diseases, root rot is difficult to cure; therefore, the best approach is to avoid it in the first place.

This exceedingly unusual plant may be protected from root rot by simply monitoring the quantity of water it gets. This perplexing and frequently fatal condition is mainly caused by an overabundance of water.

Similar Plants

Love Philodendron Santa Leopoldina? Here are a few more similar-looking plants to consider:

Philodendron Verrucosum: This attractive and easy-to-care-for plant can brighten up any room or indoor garden with its heart-shaped and delicate leaves.  

Philodendron Erubescens: The “Blushing Philodendron,” this exotic plant has heart-shaped leaves in green and burgundy colors. Despite its name, it’s not afraid to make a statement in any indoor garden.

Philodendron Rojo Congo – Because this cultivar is a hybrid of two philodendrons, you can anticipate it to be a spectacular and appealing plant. It makes a lovely rosette with its tall oval leaves and burgundy green tint. 

Philodendron White Knight – This gorgeous plant will be the center of attention. The remarkable white leaf variegation of this Philodendron, together with its unusual purple and brown stems, makes it a sought-after find.

Conclusion

It’s hard to go wrong with Philodendron Spiritus-Sancti as a new houseplant option because of its unique traits and eye-catching appearance. In the end, you’ll have gorgeous tropical plants in your house that you’ll love!

Can’t get enough plant guides? Check out these other options below.

Let's grow together!