Philodendron squamiferum (Philodendron squamiferum)
Philodendron squamiferum Plant Features
Look for Philodendron squamiferum if you enjoy bold, but easy-care houseplants! This species is a standout because it features large lobed leaves, somewhat reminiscent of a Monstera. The foliage on a well-grown plant can be 18 inches long or more! But while the dark green leaves are textural, its most interesting characteristic is its fuzzy petioles, or the leaf stems that connect the foliage to the plant's trunk. Each petiole is covered in coarse hairs that take on a reddish color as they mature.
Like many Philodendron varieties, Philodendron squamiferum is climbing vine. It appreciates growing up a support, such a totem or trellis. But you can also prune it regularly to keep it more full and bushy if you don't have a place for it to ascend new heights. Because of its climbing nature, it makes for a showstopping floor plant as it matures. Young plants can be beautiful accents on bright desks or tabletops, though.
As you might expect, Philodendron squamiferum is native to tropical rainforests. You can find it growing in the wild in areas of South and Central America.
Buy Philodendron squamiferum
Buy it online and have it shipped fresh from our farm, direct to your door from our online plant shop. Or find it in our Trending Tropicals® collection online or at your favorite local garden center. Check out a list of our retailer partners.
Philodendron squamiferum Growing Instructions
Grow Philodendron squamiferum in a spot where it has bright, indirect light. Because it comes from tropical rainforests where the leaves are shaded by the tree canopy, it doesn't want -- or need -- direct sunlight. In fact, if it gets too much light, you might find this large houseplant's leaves suffer bleached-looking areas of sunburn. Ideally, you'll want to grow it within 3 to 4 feet of an unobstructed east- or west-facing window. Don't have a big window? No problem --- Philodendron squamiferum also thrives under artificial plant lights.
As is the case with many Philodendron varieties, staying too wet is more of a risk to this plant's health than staying too dry. Allow the potting mix to dry out somewhat between waterings. Our Plant Hunter recommends watering by a weekly session of sitting the plant in a dish filled with about 2 inches of water. Leave it there for an hour or two, then empty out any excess water still in the dish.
If your Philodendron squamiferum gets too much water, you might see the oldest leaves yellow and drop prematurely.
Like many tropical plants (and other aroids), Philodendron squamiferum prefers average to above-average relative household humidity levels. In especially dry air, the leaves may develop brown, crispy edges. You can augment relative humidity levels by grouping this plant with other houseplants (they add moisture to the air as they breathe and grow) or by placing a small humidifier nearby.
Philodendron squamiferum doesn't need a lot of fertilizer, but fertilizing it regularly can help it grow larger, faster. The easiest way to fertilize (and what our growers do) is to incorporate a time-release fertilizer into the potting mix. This type of fertilizer slowly releases a steady flow of nutrients to the plant over the course of several months. You can also use a water-soluble fertilizer if you choose. Regardless of the type of fertilizer, never exceed the recommended application rate/frequency on the product packaging.
In most areas, the best times to fertilize this plant are the spring and summer months when the days are longer and the plant is growing more.
If you have a place for this vine to climb, you don't need to do any pruning, except to remove old leaves as they age. If you would prefer to keep your Philodendron squamiferum full and bushy, you can regularly pinch off the tips of the new growth. This will prevent it from vining so you can grow it on a desk or tabletop without support.
You can prune this Philodendron at any time.
Note: Philodendron squamiferum is grown as an ornamental plant and is not intended for human or animal consumption. We advise keeping it out of reach of children or pets that may try to chew or eat the foliage.
Medium water needs
Indoors: High light
Indoors: Medium light
Purifies the air
Complement your Philodendron squamiferumGolden Goddess Philodendron
Contrast this plant's lush, dark green foliage with the bold, lime-green look of its close relative, Golden Goddess Philodendron.
Create a fresh look by accenting Philodendron squamiferum with the rich green, highly textured foliage of Monstera sp. Peru.
Baltic Blue Pothos
Love lobes and fenestration? Then pair it with Baltic Blue Pothos on a wall or totem!