How to Grow and Care for Philodendron Mayoi

Philodendron Mayoi in the interior of the house. Carved leaves of a houseplant in a pot.

Ольга Симонова / Getty Images

It's no wonder tropical philodendrons make for popular houseplants. Many leafy, easy-to-care-for plants in this genus are perfect for adding to your indoor jungle. Philodendron mayoi is a rare species that there's a growing demand for.

What sets this plant apart from the common heartleaf philodendron is its large, palm-like leaves and the stalks (petioles) and underside veins with a striking red tinge. As the plant grows, the glossy green lobes deepen and widen. A large climbing, vining plant that, when mature, can grow to be over 6 feet tall, it's a perfect dramatic floor specimen.

Just like other philodendrons, this plant is toxic to people and pets. Keep it out of reach of curious kids and kitties.

 Botanical Name Philodendron Mayoi
 Family Araceae
 Plant Type Perennial
 Mature Size Up to 6 ft. tall
 Sun Exposure Partial
 Soil Type Well-drained
 Soil pH Acidic, Neutral
 Hardiness Zones 9-11 (USDA)
 Native Area South America
Toxicity Toxic to people, toxic to pets

Philodendron Mayoi Care

Despite their exotic appearance, caring for philodendrons isn't too complex as they are surprisingly low-maintenance houseplants. The Philodendron mayoi is no exception. You'll just need to select a well-lit space, provide enough humidity, and master the watering schedule. Wiping the foliage down monthly with a damp cloth helps to keep them free of dust, promoting photosynthesis and healthy growth. Using a DIY moss pole helps support the climbing habit as the plant matures.

Light

Natural, bright light is important for your Philodendron mayoi, but ideally, it should be indirect. A couple of hours of morning sun near a north or east-facing window shouldn't be harmful, but a whole day in strong sun can turn those glossy leaves yellow or cover them in scorch marks. The plant can become leggy and straggly looking if you go too shady.

Turning your plant every week helps to ensure all those big leaves get their fair share of light exposure, helping to promote even growth.

Soil

A potting mix designed for aroid species is ideal for your Philodendron mayoi. They are typically slightly acidic, loose, well-drained, and rich in nutrients. A good blend if you make your own mixes one part potting soil, one part orchid bark, and one part perlite.

Water

Unlike some thirsty tropical species, your Philodendron mayoi isn't too fusst regarding its watering regime. Feel the soil with your fingers to check when your plant needs irrigating. When the top couple of inches of potting soil is dry, it's usually time to water.

Be careful not to overwater, and make sure the pot you use has good drainage holes. Soggy soil or standing water leads to root rot and the eventual death of this beautiful, pricey species.

Temperature and Humidity

It shouldn't come as a surprise that a leafy tropical species like the Philodendron mayoi is a lover of warm, humid conditions. It'll put on its best show if temperatures are between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Select a different species if temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in your home.

One of the trickiest parts of caring for this plant is providing the right humidity levels. To promote the best growth and healthiest foliage, ideally, humidity should be above 60%. Introducing a humidifier, grouping with similar humidity-loving plants, and sitting the plant in a pebble tray filled with water can all help. This is an ideal plant for a bathroom that gets enough sun.

Fertilizer

Want to promote good glossy growth? Feeding your Philodendron mayoi a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer every couple of months during the growing season (spring and summer) can help. But, be careful. They can't handle overfeeding, and too much fertilizer too frequently can result in root burn and scorched, yellowing foliage. Steer clear of fertilizers out with the active growing season.

Pruning

As with most vining houseplants, you'll just need to remove unhealthy or dead stems or foliage and trim them if they are climbing too high for the space.

Trim a few inches off the stems above a node. Keeping a node on the stem means you'll be encouraging new healthy growth, helping to keep the plant bushy and more compact.

Propagating Philodendron Mayoi

While the Philodendron mayoi is hard to come by, once you get your hands on one, like other philodendron species they are pretty easy to propagate by stem cuttings. Give it a whirl by following these steps:

  1. In the spring, take a cutting that's around 6 inches long from a stem with healthy foliage and a node.
  2. Remove the bottom leaves below the node, leaving 2 or 3 leaves at the top of the stem cutting.
  3. Use a tall clear glass to submerge the bottom of the stem, covering the node. The leaves should remain above the water.
  4. Put the cutting somewhere it receives bright, indirect light.
  5. Change the water every few days.
  6. Watch for roots sprouting from the cutting. Once they reach about an inch long (this can take up to one month), transfer the cutting to a well-drained potting medium.
  7. Keep the cutting in bright but indirect light and ensure the potting soil remains consistently moist but not saturated during those first few weeks.

Potting and Repotting Philodendron Mayoi

The Philodendron mayoi is one of the faster-growing species in this genus, so it might need repotting faster than, say, the slow-growing Philodendron Rio. Look out for the roots coming out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. This is a good indication that it's time to go up a pot size or two. Repotting is best done in spring or summer.

Don't go too large, though. If there's too much soil, the plant won't absorb moisture well, and it can lead to root rot.

Common Problems With Philodendron Mayoi

As with most plants, problems with your Philodendron mayoi typically arise because you aren't quite getting their care right. Thankfully, this plant isn't too high-maintenance, and if you catch the issues early enough, some small changes can help the plant thrive again.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves are typically a sign that you either need to move your Philodendron mayoi out of direct sunlight or cut back on fertilizing. Don't go daft with your watering schedule either, as this can cause wilting and discoloration.

Brown Tips

Brown tips could relate to too much sunlight or being forgetful with watering. If you are always waiting to water your plant when the soil is parched, try to get into a more regular watering schedule.

FAQ
  • How fast do Philodendron mayoi grow?

    During peak growing season, the vines on this fast-growing philodendron can stretch up to 4 inches per week.

  • Is Philodendron mayoi rare?

    This is one of the rarer species in the genus available commercially. You'll likely have to go to a specialist grower to source the Philodendron mayoi and pay a premium for it.

  • How long can a Philodendron mayoi live?

    With the right care and conditions, you could enjoy this beautiful plant for two decades or more.

Article Sources
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  1. Dieffenbachia and Philodendron. Poison Control

  2. Heartleaf Philodendron. ASPCA