Philodendron verrucosum is a stylish and moderately easy to care for plant that will bring life to any home or indoor garden.
In this post, we’ll go through Ecuador Philodendron care in greater depth so that you may confidently grow this rare plant.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Philodendron verrucosum?
- 2 Philodendron verrucosum Plant Size
- 3 Philodendron verrucosum Care Needs
- 4 Where To Buy
- 5 Similar Plants
- 6 Conclusion
What Is Philodendron verrucosum?
Also called Ecuador Philodendron, the Philodendron verrucosum is from the Araceae family and has heart-shaped velvety, dark-green leaves with bright light-green veining once they reach maturity. It is prized for its beautiful and delicate foliage.
The Ecuador Philodendron is a stylish perennial that grows well near an east or west-facing window as a houseplant. In this wild, it’s a hemiepiphyte that begins as a seed sprouting in the tree canopy and eventually establishes deep roots in the soil.
While the majority of this article discusses indoor growing, this Philodendron can also be grown outdoors in hardiness zones 9-11.
Want to read more about Philodendrons? Here’s a quick guide on the types of Philodendrons to grow.
Origin And Family
Philodendron verrucosum is a member of the genus Philodendron and the family Araceae. It comes from the forests of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
This gorgeous plant, discovered in 1884, prefers high humidity and bright indirect light.
Philodendron verrucosum Plant Size
As a mature Philodendron plant, the Ecuador Philodendron grows to about three feet tall and about three feet wide.
Philodendron verrucosum Care Needs
Your Philodendron verrucosum will thrive like any other indoor plant when properly cared for. The Ecuador Philodendron, which adores humidity and has lovely velvety leaves, wants relatively moist soil throughout the year.
For most growers, you’ll want to water your Philodendron when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch and allow plenty of time for the water to drain out of the pot’s draining hole. Similarly, this lovely plant needs bright indirect light to thrive in terms of lighting.
Check out the thorough care guidelines below for more specific advice.
|Care Type||Care Specifics|
|Botanical Name||Philodendron Verrucosum|
|Common Name||Ecuador Philodendron , Velvet Leaf Philodendron , Elephant’s Ear Philodendron|
|Origin||Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru|
|Leaf Color||velvety, dark-green leaves with bright, light green veining once they reach maturity|
|Recommended Home Placement||near an east or west-facing window|
|Light||bright indirect light|
|Soil||organic potting soil|
|When To Water||Water when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch.|
|When To Fertilize||at least 3 times a year during growing season|
|Toxic To Pets?||Yes - symptoms include burning and swelling of lips, tongue, and throat|
|Common Pests & Diseases||spider mites, fungus gnuts, white flied, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves|
The Philodendron verrucosum is typically considered moderately easy to care for with its light, water, and humidity needs. To successfully grow this unique plant, you need to ensure you have the right amount of light and the correct well-draining soil.
The Philodendron verrucosum plant reaches a height of three feet and a leaf width of three feet at maturity. Between spring and summer is their growing season.
Given the right conditions, the majority of Philodendron species, including the verrucosum, grow rapidly.
This attractive plant has adjusted well to indoor living and can thrive in most potting options. For most growers, a good clay pot will work well for the Philodendron verrucosum.
Sizing-wise, you’ll typically want to use a large pot for most plants to allow this lovely aroid sufficient room to grow. It should be fine as long as the pot has drainage holes in the bottom.
Back from the dead! 😱😱😱— Joshua Matthew (@asmilemaker_) July 9, 2021
🌿 Philodendron Verrucosum pic.twitter.com/mAQUnGuhE0
Typically, you want to upgrade your Philodendron to a new pot every 1-2 years because Velvet Leaf Philodendrons grow quickly.
Between potting changes, you can refresh your Philodendron plant’s old soil with a new potting soil mix to rejuvenate it each year.
Unlike some houseplants, the Ecuador Philodendron should have a fast-draining soil mix. If you’re going to make your own, a good mix of orchid bark, perlite, and charcoal is a good start. Bear in mind that you want a growing medium that supports verrucosum’s relatively moist growing requirements.
A well-drained, high-quality soil is an excellent choice for this moderately easy-to-care-for plant.
Here are some potting mixes we recommend:
You’ll want your soil to be between 5.1-6.0 (a neutral to acidic soil pH) for this Philodendron verrucosum. Organic potting soil is usually pretty close to this, so you shouldn’t be too concerned.
Try measuring the soil pH to see if the soil has a low/high pH level.
Proper watering is an essential factor for the Philodendron verrucosum. Too much and you can cause diseases like root rot. That said, the Ecuador Philodendron should generally have a growing medium that’s relatively moist.
There’s a simple trick to knowing if your Velvet Leaf Philodendron needs to be watered.
The best way is to simply stick your finger in the pot, and when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch, you know it’s time to give your plant a drink.
As we’ve said previously, drainage holes and proper soil are must-haves for a healthy plant. You don’t want it sitting in water for long periods.
This moderately easy-to-care houseplant prefers bright indirect light for 5-6 hours a day.
Its velvety and thin leaves may get burned if exposed to too much light for a long time. If there isn’t enough light, its leaves may droop.
Remember, you’re trying to give Ecuador Philodendron a home that’s similar to its natural climate. Since verrucosum comes from the forests of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, it’s most comfortable in bright indirect light.
If you’re worried that your Philodendron verrucosum or other house plant isn’t receiving enough light, consider moving it closer to a window or using artificial lighting.
The Philodendron verrucosum is loving Spring at the moment #newleaf 🎉 celebrate the little things!! 🙈🌿✨— Plantjungle (@plant_jungle) October 24, 2021
–#happysunday #philodendron #philodendronverrucosum #mosspole #jungle #foliage pic.twitter.com/JOb1eZNgU7
Indoor growers sometimes overlook fertilization, believing that water and bright indirect light are sufficient. But most plants, including this Philodendron, need fertilizer a few times a year. For the Ecuador Philodendron, fertilize three times a year with a diluted slow-release fertilizer – but not during the winter.
Propagating Philodendron verrucosum
It is fairly easy to propagate an Ecuador Philodendron with the right methods. My personal favorite way to propagate them is through stem cuttings in water.
Stem Cuttings In Water
Stem tip cuttings in soil are good to propagate the Philodendron verrucosum. If you don’t have your own plant for propagation, consider buying one on Etsy, Craigslist, or even Facebook Marketplace.
You should propagate Philodendrons during spring to summer, as this is the plant’s growing season. You want to select a healthy cutting and, preferably, recent growth.
A cutting should be three inches long and have a few leaves and nodes. For this step, make sure you’re using a sterile and sharp pair of scissors.
In a jar or cup of room-temperature water, place the cutting and place it in bright, indirect light. Assure that the node is completely submerged, but keep any leaves out of the water.
You can expect fresh roots on your new Ecuador Philodendron in around 2-3 weeks.
Humidity And Aeration
When thinking about humidity levels for your Philodendron verrucosum, remember that you’re trying to emulate the forests of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
This Philodendron is a spectacular plant that prefers high humidity between 70%-90%. This is incredibly high for an indoor space. Most Philodendrons will still be fine when grown closer to a humidity level of 55%, which feels good for humans too. If you don’t have an indoor greenhouse space indoors, you may consider a more manageable humidity.
If you’ve checked your humidity and found that the humidity in your home is too low – or could be better – consider getting a humidifier or placing your plant in a space with naturally higher humidity levels.
Generally, cool temperatures are best for your Ecuador Philodendron plant, but it can thrive in a temperature range of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This might be challenging as Philodendron verrucosum likes over 70% humidity but still cooler temperatures.
They do, however, prefer a constant temperature, so keep them away from vents and other openings that could allow chilly air to enter. Sudden temperature changes can be fatal to the Philodendron verrucosum.
Keep them away from vents, cold drafts, and any other openings that could allow cold air to enter.
The Philodendron verrucosum does not bear flowers but produces small berries.
Keep a close eye on small children or animals if you have them. Both pets, such as cats and dogs, and humans are at risk from the verrucosum.
If ingested, the following symptoms may occur – lip burning and tongue swelling. In the majority of cases, this plant is considered non-lethal.
I’ll never get over how stunning the new leaves on my Philodendron verrucosum are. 👽 💚 pic.twitter.com/oWUch7IWtN— Ross Lee (@RossleeGardener) November 14, 2019
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
Is your Philodendron verrucosum looking ill? Most would say that the Velvet Leaf Philodendron is not a plant with a strong resistance to pests, diseases, and widespread problems.
Spider mite damage appears on the Philodendron’s leaves as tiny brown or yellow patches. You might also see webbing.
Start by spraying down your Philodendron verrucosum with water from a sink nozzle. This dislodges the spider mites from the plant. From here, use an insecticidal oil mixed with water and spray it on the leaves and stems.
Fungus gnats, while annoying, aren’t the real problem. It’s their larvae that eat the Philodendron’s roots in the soil. And fungus gnats lay their eggs in soil that is constantly moist.
If you see these gnats on your Ecuador Philodendron, start by reducing your water intake.
If the problem persists, prepare a solution of one cup 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and four cups of water and spray it on the soil’s surface.
Aphids can feed on the leaves and leave behind black and brown patches.
Aphids can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil, or you can make your own using a dish detergent – but make sure the product doesn’t have fragrances, which can potentially damage the plant’s leaves.
Combine the soap and water in a very small amount (starting with 1 teaspoon per gallon and increasing as necessary). Spray the plants thoroughly, paying special attention to the leaf undersides.
For Ecuador Philodendrons, root rot is a very common cause of death. Indoor gardeners can be excessively watering – or fail to provide adequate drainage for potting soil.
Because root rot, like many other plant diseases, is difficult to treat, prevention is the best course of action.
The most straightforward method of preventing root rot in Philodendron verrucosum is to monitor the amount of water it receives.
Where To Buy
While you can buy verrucosum at some specialty plant shops, check out Etsy first, which is where we see some of the best deals.
While the Ecuador Philodendron is fantastic in its own rite, there are several Philodendrons out there you should consider. Here are some of my favorites:
Philodendron Hederaceum: Keep this houseplant indoors and get that instant tropical vibe at home with its exquisite heart-shaped leaves. With its long, creeping vines, this plant looks great as a hanging plant to display wherever you want.
Philodendron Birkin – This lovely houseplant has distinctive white stripes on dark green foliage. These patterns give the impression that the plant is delicate, which may lead you to assume it is difficult to care for; nevertheless, this is not the case.
Philodendron Prince of Orange – The name of this vivid plant comes from its wonderfully colored leaves, which unfold in a rich orange-bronze color that becomes salmon as it matures.
Philodendron Gloriosum: This “glorious” plant has large, heart-shaped leaves with prominent veins that grow more noticeable as the plant ages.
Philodendron Burle Marx – If you crave that tropical and exotic vibe in your home, then this low-growing shrub with its glossy green leaves is what you’re looking for. Liven up your place with this low-maintenance plant.
If you’re looking for a rare plant with an interesting flare, the Philodendron verrucosum is a fine choice. And when you see its beautiful and delicate foliage, it will all be worth it.