The Philodendron splendid is one of over 400 species in the Philodendron genus. Its stunning foliage brings a bit of the jungle to your home, and its low growing requirements mean you don’t have to consistently fuss over the plant.
Native to the tropical rainforests of Peru, the Philodendron splendid is not as common as other Philodendrons, which makes it a must have for those looking to add a rare addition to their indoor garden.
Some would even say it’s a…splendid addition! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)
Table of Contents
What is a philodendron splendid?
Philodendron splendid is a hybrid plant that was created by crossing Philodendron melanochrysum and Philodendron verrucosum. This tropical plant is hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 to 11, but is most often grown as a houseplant.
It’s a rather low maintenance plant, especially when you consider the growing requirements of other tropical plants.
Philodendron splendid can grow up to 10 feet tall when given the proper growing requirements, and it produces large heart-shaped leaves that can be a couple of feet long. Because it can get so big, this plant will need a space where it can stretch its stems.
The Philodedron splendid is a climbing variety that will need a support system in order to grow properly. In its native habitat, this plant is often found climbing up tall trees.
Because of this, expect to provide a moss pole or some other sturdy structure that the plant can grasp hold of and climb up.
Is philodendron splendid a hybrid?
Philodendron splendid is a hybrid cross between melanochrysum and verrucosum. Because of this, the Philodendron splendid shares many of the same characteristics of its parent species, including the velvety leaves of the Philodendron melanochrysum and bold veins of the Philodendron verrucosum.
The Philodendron splendid was created in Australia in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until 2018 that this plant was finally named. As you can see, this hybrid is fairly new to the plant world, but has quickly become a favorite of the rare Philodendron varieties.
Even though it is a hybrid, it does still require many of the same growing requirements as other Philodendron varieties. This includes bright, indirect sunlight, regular waterings, humidity levels of about 50 to 60 percent, and warm temperatures.
Is philodendron splendid rare?
Philodendron splendid is a rare plant, which means obtaining this variety can be difficult since it isn’t as readily available as other types of Philodendrons. Because it is not as common, the price tag for the Philodendron splendid can also be much higher than others.
Despite it being rare, the Philodendron splendid is a fairly easy-going plant to grow. In fact, just about any Philodendron variety is a good choice for beginner indoor gardeners or anyone who wants a low-maintenance plant.
With that said, however, you will need to give this variety a lot of room for it to grow and climb.
Where to find a Philodendron Splendid for sale
As a rare houseplant, you’re unlikely to find Philodendron Splendid in most nurseries or garden centers. Instead, check online merchants or specialized breeders or collectors who may have cuttings of this plant. You should also check Etsy as rare types can often be found there.
As always, if you’re after rare collector’s items, you may need to double down on your search and rely on specialists, but you may strike it lucky online.
How to care for a Philodendron Splendid
The best way to care for a Philodendron Splendid is to try and emulate its natural, tropical environment. This involves providing it with bright, indirect light, plenty of warmth and humidity, well-draining soil, good hydration, and seasonal feeding. Occasional pruning and cleaning also help your Philodendron Splendid’ overall well-being.
Philodendron Splendid make great houseplants, and if you have any hesitation about their care, worry no further. These gracious green beauties are low-maintenance and straightforward in terms of their needs, making them perfect for even beginner plant parents.
Bearing in mind that Philodendron Splendid are tropical plants, the best environment you can offer them is one where they’ll have a sunny spot with lots of light, relative humidity, and plenty of moisture.
In good news, most homes are already set up for this with East and South-facing windows and a generalized humidity level of around 50%. To supplement the rest of their care needs, you just need to ensure your Philodendron Splendid stays hydrated, is fed with both good soil and that you occasionally fertilize your philodendron.
Best soil for Philodendrons
Light and well-draining (perfect for avoiding root rot) while being packed with just the right nutrients – that will feed your plant for up to six months. The best soil for keeping your philodendron healthy and strong.
In the following sections, we’ll look at Philodendron Splendid care in greater detail to equip you with everything you need to help your houseplants thrive.
How much light does a Philodendron Splendid need?
Philodendron Splendid prefer at least six to eight hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day. As their leaves can be vulnerable if they receive too much light, keep an eye out for any signs of sunburn on your Philodendron Splendid’s leaves, such as yellowing leaves or brown spots appearing.
Most (if not all) plants depend on sunlight energy to grow, and Philodendron Splendid are no different. Native to tropical America, they’re accustomed to dappled light from the jungle canopies above them, which you can try to mimic in the home with clever positioning.
In the winter, when it starts to cool down, and there is less indoor sun available, a Philodendron Splendid’s light needs can be augmented with a bit of time spent outdoors on a sheltered patio or balcony. The fresh air will do them good, too.
Find out more: Philodendron Light Needs: The Ultimate Guide
What is the right temperature for Philodendron Splendid?
Your Philodendron Splendid will thrive in temperatures between 75°F and 85°F (23°C to 29°C). While they can survive at lower temperatures than this, don’t let them stay for too long anywhere less than 65°F (18°C) as your plant may not survive.
Clearly some plants, like Philodendron Splendid, like it hot. However, the real kicker is ensuring your Philodendron Splendid are placed in an area with mid-to-high humidity.
What are the best humidity levels for a Philodendron Splendid?
Philodendron Splendid prefer humidity levels of around 65% to 80%. Given that they are native to tropical Central and South America, they thrive in humidity conditions similar to their natural habitat. However, most homes won’t reach these levels, so you may need to boost this for your Philodendron Splendid to thrive.
Houseplants that receive adequate amounts of sunlight daily generally don’t require supplementary humidity, particularly if you consider most homes fall in the 40% to 50% range. However, with their tropical inclinations, Philodendron Splendid can benefit from a little extra care in this regard.
The easiest, in my opinion, is to invest in a small plug-in humidifier. Alternatively, you can rest your Philodendron Splendid on a damp pebble tray, making sure not to let their roots touch the water.
Alternatively, if you have a whole collection of houseplants, cluster them together so they can benefit from each other’s transpiration processes. It has the added benefit of looking great too!
What soil is best for Philodendron Splendid?
A Philodendron Splendid’s soil mix should be loosely clustered, nutrient-rich, and well-draining. The high nutrient level emulates its natural habitat, where plant material in the rainforest falls onto Philodendron Splendid and nourishes them. Having light and airy potting mix helps to avoid the soil staying too soggy, which can lead to root rot.
While many Philodendron Splendid varieties have aerial roots as well as ground-dwelling (terrestrial) roots, they receive the bulk of their vitamins and minerals from their soil, making it an essential part of their fundamental care.
Top pick: My preferred soil for Philodendron Splendid is the Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix (check the latest price here).
It’s very well draining and will feed nutrients to your Philodendron Splendid for up to six months. For a tropical plant like the Philodendron Splendid, it’s got everything you need.
Buying pre-blended Philodendron Splendid soil from most garden centers is a simple option. Alternatively, you can easily mix your own by combining potting soil with chunky bits of bark (grab some here) and moisture-retentive perlite (get it here).
If you’re buying your Philodendron Splendid pre-potted, they’ll likely arrive in appropriate soil from the get-go. Even so, you’ll need to replace their soil every 18 to 24 months to prevent a build-up of salts or eliminate any beasties and creatures like pests, fungi, or bacteria, so make sure you’re replanting them in the best soil for philodendrons so they continue to thrive.
Indeed, this is a good maintenance practice for all houseplants, not just Philodendron Splendid!
How often should you water Philodendron Splendid?
You should water your Philodendron Splendid when the top two inches of its soil has dried out, which you can test by sticking your finger into your plant’s potting mix. In summer, this will be around once per week, but may be less frequent in the cooler months.
It’s always good to have a watering schedule for your plants, but with so many factors (like season and sunlight) at play, I prefer to meet my Philodendron Splendid’s watering needs as required – by waiting for their top inch of soil to dry out before hydrating.
The reason for this is that the leading cause of fatality in Philodendron Splendid is root rot, which they tend to contract from overly soggy soil or from standing in pooled water. As they’re pretty drought-tolerant, it’s best to err on the side of caution and only water philodendrons as they need it rather than strictly once-per-week.
That said, when you do water them, a hearty dose of moisture is great, provided it doesn’t make their soil soggy and heavy, which weighs down on their root systems.
When should I fertilize my Philodendron Splendid?
Philodendron Splendid likes some fertilizer every now and again. In fact, they do their best when they are fed twice a month during their active growing season, which is the spring and summer. However, you shouldn’t fertilize your Philodendron Splendid during its dormant period in the cooler months.
This is because feeding the plant during this time can interfere with its natural growing cycle.
Overall, though, occasional feeding with a balanced fertilizer is greatly beneficial for Philodendron Splendid, especially at the start of their growing seasons in the spring and summer months.
Best fertilizer for Philodendrons
A great fertilizer with the perfect balance for your philodendron. Simply dissolve in water and feed your plant to watch it thrive.
If you think about it, these jungle-dwellers are used to all the rich, dense nutrients they have access to from the forest floor, which can’t be substituted by typical potting soil. An all-purpose liquid fertilizer at half strength is a good way to replace their natural feeding schedule, providing them with an extra dose of energy for new growth.
Should I prune my Philodendron Splendid?
You should prune your Philodendron Splendid from time to time as part of their regular maintenance, with spring being the best time of the year to do this. Removing dead foliage or browning stems will allow robust leaves and vines to draw in more sunlight and stop your plant from wasting energy.
Just like humans shower, cut their hair, and clip their nails, Philodendron Splendid can do with occasional grooming, especially when it comes to eradicating old or dying growth. Fortunately, trimming your philodendron really isn’t hard to do.
When it comes to cleaning, remember that each large leaf of your Philodendron Splendid is full of sunlight receptors that are easily blocked by dust or grime. Wiping down your leaves with a damp cloth keeps them clean and free to function at their best.
When should I repot my Philodendron Splendid
The Philodendron Splendid is not a plant that needs to be repotted regularly, with it often only needing to be transplanted every two to three years. With that said, however, you should repot your Philodendron Splendid if you see roots growing out of the drainage holes.
In fact, this plant does well when it is rootbound. That said, when you do transplant a Philodendron Splendid, do so in spring before the plant starts to produce new growth, and select a pot that is about 3 sizes larger than the current pot.
Alternatively, you can wait until fall to perform the transplant.
Find out more: 7 Simple Steps to Repot Philodendrons (+ When To Do It)
How to propagate a Philodendron Splendid
The easiest way to propagate your Philodendron Splendid is to root it in water. Simply place your cutting into a jar with water in it and place it in a warm sunny spot, and wait. Refresh the water once a week to keep it oxygenated and, in six to eight weeks, new roots will appear.
At that point, your Philodendron Splendid cutting will be ready for transplantation!
Philodendron Splendid can be propagated from stem cuttings, provided they have a visible node and a leaf or two to draw in moisture from the air. You can either root your cuttings in water first or plant them directly into soil.
Alternatively, if you only have a small piece of stem, you can try to root them in a nutrient-rich growing medium with concentrated humidity.
That is, a second option is to place your cutting directly into a planter with soil. This is slightly riskier as they require a lot of humidity to make up for the moisture they’d usually draw via roots, but it can be equally effective with proper care.
If your cutting has no leaves, try laying it on a bed of peat moss and covering the tray or container with plastic to retain humidity. While this method isn’t always effective, it’s worth a try to avoid throwing away any pieces of your precious plants.
Find out more: 10 Easy Steps to Propagate Philodendron Cuttings
How do I know if my philodendron is splendid?
The easiest way to determine whether a Philodendron is a Splendid is to look at its leaves. Philodendron splendid produces large, dark green heart-shaped leaves that can reach up to 1 foot wide and 2 feet long.
These leaves have veins that run from the midrib section of the leaf that arch out to the leaf edge, and each leaf has a velvety feel.
If you notice the newly emerged leaves of your Philodendron have a pinkish hue to them, then you probably do not have a Philodendron splendid. The new leaves of the Philodendron splendid are darker with a burgundy color.
The new leaves of the Philodendon gloriosum, however, do have a pink hue to them – which isn’t a bad plant to have, but, ultimately, it’s not the Philodendron splendid
Philodendron splendid vs melanochrysum
Philodendron splendid and Philodendron melanochrysum do share many of the same characteristics, including heart-shaped, velvety leaves. The main difference between the two, however, is that the Philodendron splendid’s leaves are much larger than the melanochrysum’s leaves.
Both the Philodendron splendid and Philodendron melanochrysum have velvety leaves and have the same growing requirements. This is because the Philodendron splendid is a hybrid of the Pilodendron melanochrysum.
Philodendron splendid vs verrucosum
While Philodendron splendid is a hybrid of Philodendron verrucosum, there are some differences between the two. The most noticeable of these is the texture of the leaves. The Philodendron splendid has velvety leaves, while the Philodendron verrucosum does not.
The Philodendron splendid and Philodendron verrucosum both have large, heart-shaped leaves. They also both need the same conditions to grow healthy and strong.
These two plants are also climbers and will require a moss pole or other support to grow properly.
Philodendron splendid vs gloriosum
There main difference between the Philodendron splendid and Philodendron gloriosum is that the splendid is a climbing variety, while the gloriosum has a crawling form. Additionally, the Philodendron splendid’s leaves are thicker and the veins are much more defined than those of the Philodendron gloriosum.
Another difference between the two plants is that the new leaves of the Philodendron gloriosum have a pinkish hue, while the new leaves of the Philodendron splendid are more burgundy in color.
Philodendron splendid vs micans
The Philodendron splendid is a climber with leaves that grow much bigger than the Philodendron micans. Wherein the Philodendron micans is a vining plant with smaller leaves. Both of these plants do produce heart-shaped leaves that are dark green and have a velvety texture.
Philodendron splendid vs el choco red
While the Philodendron splendid and the Philodendron el choco red both have heart-shaped leaves, the underside of the Philodendron el choco red leaves are reddish brown in color. The underside of the Philodendron splendid leaves are green.
Is philodendron splendid a climber?
The Philodendron splendid is a climber, just like its two parent species. In fact, the Philodendron splendid will need a totem or some other type of support structure in order to maintain its large leaves. Without this extra support, the plant won’t be able to grow leaves at its full size.
Philodendron splendid attaches itself to trees in its native environment and grows upward. It is this support that allows the plant to produce such large, stunning leaves. Without this extra support, the Philodendron splendid’s stems would not be able to bear the weight of its large foliage.
How do you make a Philodendron Splendid bushy?
The best way to make a Philodendron Splendid bushy is to prune it in its growing season, which is spring and summer. Make sure you remove any dead or dying leaves, as this ensures your plant doesn’t spend energy on this foliage and will instead focus on new growth.
Funnily enough, regularly trimming your plant is actually key to maximizing your philodendron’s growth rate.
Regularly turning your plant so that all its angles receive sunlight is another good way to ensure consistent, rounded, and aesthetic growth with a clustered appearance to make your philodendron fuller.
You can also use a moss pole so that your Philodendron Splendid has space to climb upwards, which is what it would do in its natural environment – aiming upwards towards a source of light.
Are Philodendron Splendid toxic?
Philodendron Splendid are toxic to humans and animals, as they contain sharp calcium oxalate crystals that cause skin irritation through direct contact, or gastrointestinal distress and other potentially dangerous symptoms when ingested. All parts of the plant contain these crystals, which are most prevalent in its sap.
While Philodendron Splendid are indisputably beautiful in the home, it is best to keep them away from curious kids and pets, as skin contact and ingestion can be highly irritating at best and have real health consequences at worst.
These plants’ sticky white sap is full of needle-like calcium crystals. When they make contact with bare skin, they can cause welts or irritating rashes, which, fortunately, can usually be treated with a topical skin ointment.
Be aware: Ingestion of any part of a Philodendron Splendid can cause swelling of the throat tissue, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, and other symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In a worst-case scenario, ingestion can cause difficulty breathing, in which case, medical treatment should be sought as a matter of urgency.
While this all sounds very daunting, the good news is that these plants don’t taste good, so there is no real reason (other than curiosity or carelessness) why rogue children or pets would eat them. Even so, prevention is better than cure, so place your plants out of reach if you’re concerned they may get chomped.
Why are my Philodendron Splendid’s leaves turning yellow?
There are a few reasons why Philodendron Splendid leaves turn yellow, but the primary cause is overwatering, with yellowing leaves being an early sign of root rot. Damaged roots cannot transport nutrients, oxygen, and water to a plant’s leaves, which causes cell death, and by default, turns them yellow.
I find watering my plants to be the most cathartic exercise on earth. However, with some trial and error, I’ve learned that my Philodendron Splendid, in particular, doesn’t do well with being over-loved.
While they’re super hardy, too much hydration can quickly cause root rot in philodendrons – a fungal or bacterial infection that destroys your plant’s root system.
Therefore, if you notice yellowing leaves on your philodendron, run a diagnostic immediately. Is your soil damp or soggy? Allow it to dry out, which may reverse some of the damage. Lots of sun helps. Or if the damage is progressed, try repotting your Philodendron Splendid, removing damaging roots in the process.
A secondary cause of yellowing leaves is chemical burn, which your Philodendron Splendid may contract from over-fertilization. In this case, transplantation is also recommended, followed by a restriction of your feeding practices.
Why is my Philodendron Splendid drooping?
Drooping and wilting in Philodendron Splendid is more often than not related to watering practices. Too little water can cause fatigue which will make your plant look droopy, while too much water (or root rot) can also cause ill health. Generally, when a plant wilts, it is trying to communicate that it’s unwell.
While a drooping Philodendron Splendid is distressing, it’s not usually terribly serious and most likely due to dehydration. This can be solved with a dose of water and sunlight and, of course, more consistent care going forward. In no time, your plant should be back to its old self.
Conversely, if this doesn’t do the trick, your philodendron leaves curling may indicate an underlying issue like root rot, which, ironically, is caused by overwatering. If you suspect this is the case, you may be best off transplanting your Philodendron Splendid into fresh soil and readjusting your watering schedule.
A third cause of drooping is related to light. If a Philodendron Splendid isn’t receiving enough sun, it will tell you by dropping its leaves and wilting. Remember, six to eight hours a day is critical, and if you can’t provide this, mitigate potential drooping with supplementary grow lights.
Why are there brown spots on my Philodendron Splendid?
Like yellowing and drooping, brown spots on a Philodendron Splendid are a sign of a health ailment. Browning, in particular, is mainly caused by pest infestations or bacterial and fungal infections. The best way to get rid of brown spots is to identify the cause and then treat your plant accordingly.
None of us want to see our Philodendron Splendid suffer, and brown spots usually aren’t a very good sign. If you notice your philodendron leaves turning brown, the first thing you want to do is identify the cause, whether it be pests or soil-related.
In the case of creepy crawlies, you can treat your Philodendron Splendid by washing it down with a horticultural soap, followed by a wipe with neem oil. Remove damaged growth, and give your plant lots of love, water, and light.
On the other hand, bacterial and fungal infections are best treated by getting rid of old soil. I highly recommend transplanting your Philodendron Splendid (preferably in spring or summer), and cutting away any visible root and leaf damage, provided it’s not more than 30% of your plant’s total volume.
Brown spots on philodendrons can also be caused by sunburn, but in this case, they’ll look more like a sheen than a spot, per se. Sunburn can be prevented by keeping your Philodendron Splendid out of direct light.
Why are my Philodendron Splendid’s leaves falling off?
When a Philodendron Splendid’s leaves start to drop, it is more often than not a sign of either overwatering or underwatering. Root rot, a consequence of too much water, can cause leaves to wilt, curl, and fall. Underwatering, conversely, sees them dry and turn crisp before dropping.
Splendids are great communicators and will tell you when there is something in their environment they don’t enjoy. As hardy plants, they don’t have many health issues, so any sudden onset of leaf drop is a cause for immediate concern.
As mentioned, this is usually related to watering practices, with the first sign of an issue being wilting, curling, or dried leaves. You should adapt your hydration timeframes accordingly.
If watering is not the problem, it may be that your Splendid is scorching (you’ll note its leaves start turning pink), in which case you should move it to a shadier spot as soon as possible.