If you’re looking for a houseplant with large, show-stopping leaves look no further than the majestic Philodendron billietiae. This tropical houseplant is beloved among houseplant enthusiasts and collectors for its elongated, spade-shaped leaves. It’s considered relatively rare and difficult to find, although as it’s becoming more well-known this Philodendron is getting easier to get your hands on. Like all Philodendrons, the Philodendron billietiae is considered toxic to pets if ingested. Here’s everything you need to know about how to grow and care for the Philodendron billietiae.
|Common Name||Philodendron billietiae|
|Botanical Name||Philodendron billietiae|
|Plant Type||Perennial, vine|
|Mature Size||3ft. tall, 8 in. wide (indoors)|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-drained|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Hardiness Zones||9-11, USDA|
|Native Area||South America|
|Toxicity||Toxic to pets|
Philodendron Billietiae Care
The most important thing to keep in mind when caring for a Philodendron billietiae is ensuring that it gets enough humidity. Native to rainforests across South America, this tropical plant enjoys warm temperatures, high humidity, and plenty of indirect light. Since the billietiae is a climbing plant, it also should be given support to climb such as a moss pole or trellis. It’s also important to ensure that this plant has proper drainage as it is susceptible to overwatering and root rot. Well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes are ideal.
In its native environment, the Philodendron billietiae grows under the rainforest canopy so it does best with bright, indirect light. Small periods of direct sunlight, particularly in the morning and evening, are fine for this plant but avoid prolonged periods of harsh direct light which can burn the leaves.
This tropical plant enjoys soil that is moist but well-drained. It is sensitive to overwatering so ensuring there is enough drainage in the soil is important. A mixture of indoor potting soil, perlite, and orchid bark or vermiculite is ideal.
The Philodendron billietiae needs consistent moisture, but is also sensitive to overwatering. Allow the top one to two inches of soil to dry out between waterings and then water thoroughly, letting the excess water drain from the pot. Keep in mind that the plant will need to be watered more frequently in spring and summer than in fall and winter, so be sure to adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
Temperature and Humidity
Warm temperatures and plenty of humidity are required for this tropical houseplant. Keep temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 27 degrees Celsius) and keep it away from cold drafts or chilly windows. Ideally, humidity levels should stay between 60% to 80% to mimic the plant’s natural environment. Keep a humidifier close to the plant, or place this Philodendron in a greenhouse environment like a greenhouse cabinet or terrarium to control humidity levels.
Apply a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month during the spring and summer. Stop fertilizing during the fall and winter as the plant enters dormancy to avoid fertilizer burn.
Propagating Philodendron Billietiae
Like most Philodendrons the Philodendron billietiae is pretty straightforward to propagate. Rooting stem cuttings is the easiest way to propagate this houseplant, and the stems can be rooted in either water or sphagnum moss. Here’s how to propagate Philodendron billietiae in just a few simple steps.
- Using a pair of sharp, clean pruning shears or scissors take a stem cutting with at least two nodes but no more than five nodes, and at least one leaf.
- Remove the bottom leaves, leaving the top leaves in place.
- Prepare a container with water or moist sphagnum moss. Either option works for rooting cuttings, it just comes down to personal preference.
- Place the cutting in the container, ensuring that the bottom nodes are covered and the leaves at the top are above the surface of the water or moss.
- Place the cutting in a warm, humid location. If you are using water, be sure to replace the water once a week. If you are using sphagnum moss, keep the moss evenly moist at all times.
- Allow the cutting to root until the roots are at least one to two inches long, then it can be moved back to soil.
- Prepare a small pot with a well-draining soil mix and plant the cutting, watering it well after potting.
- Return the cutting to a warm, humid location and keep the soil evenly moist to help the roots acclimate.
Potting and Repotting Philodendron Billietiae
The Philodendron billietiae should be repotted once it outgrows its potting container, which is usually every one to two years. Wait until spring or summer when the plant is actively growing to repot. Then, move the plant into a pot that is only two to four inches larger than the previous potting container, and replace as much of the soil as you can with fresh soil.
Common Pests and Plant Diseases
Watch out for some common houseplant pests like scale, fungus gnats, spider mites, and thrips. Like most Philodendrons, the billietiae is also susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases like rust leaf spot. To help prevent these diseases, ensure that water is not left sitting on the leaves, and apply fungicides occasionally as a preventative measure. Root rot is also a common concern, which is usually a result of overwatering. Watch out for mushy stems, or wilted stems and leaves which can result from the roots rotting and the plant being unable to absorb moisture to rehydrate.
Common Problems With Philodendron Billietiae
Generally, the Philodendron billietiae is pretty easy to grow, but as with most tropical houseplants, it’s common to run into a few problems along the way. Keep an eye out for these common issues.
If your Philodendron billietiae is developing yellow leaves there are a few potential causes. Usually, yellow leaves are the result of underwatering, or a lack of light, but they can also be due to overwatering, pests, or fertilizer burn. Take a close look at your plant’s growing environment to figure out what the potential cause may be.
Small yellow or rust-colored spots on a Philodendron billietiae usually mean that your plant has developed a fungal or bacterial disease like leaf spot. These diseases can be tough to eradicate, but it can be done. Remove the worst leaves from the plant and then treat the rest of the leaves with a fungicidal spray once a week until the spots stop spreading. Alternatively, if you are noticing large brown or black spots on your plant’s leaves it’s probably due to a lack of humidity or leaf burn.
Is the Philodendron billietiae rare?
When it comes to Philodendrons, the billietiae is relatively rare, although it is becoming more readily available at some nurseries and specialty houseplant shops.
Does the Philodendron billietiae climb?
Yes. The Philodendron billietiae is a climbing Philodendron that appreciates a support like a moss pole or trellis.
Are Philodendron billietiae fast growers?
Under the right conditions, this Philodendron is considered a moderately fast grower. The right amount of light and proper watering will help your billietiae grow faster.
Pet Poison Helpline. “Philodendron.” petpoisonhelpline.com. N.p., n.d. Web.