Wanna jazz up your home with a tropical vibe? The Philodendron melanochrysum is a fab plant for any green-thumb out there. With its big glossy leaves and bright greenery, it can liven up any room! Don’t be fooled by its lush look, it’s not as hard to take care of as you might think. In this top-notch guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about looking after your Philodendron melanochrysum – from soil and water needs to pruning and fertilizing times. Let’s dive in and learn more about this amazing tropical beauty!
What is a Philodendron melanochrysum?
Philodendron melanochrysum is a species of beautiful flowering plant native to the wet Andean foothills of Colombia that has been sought-after for many years due to its unique beauty and ability to thrive. Its name points to its standout features, with “melanochrysum” meaning “black gold”—a reference to the “tiny golden sparkles” that can be seen when the dark leaves are hit by sunlight. It was first discovered in 1886 by Veitch Nurseries before becoming widely cultivated outside of South America as an ornamental choice for gardens and households. Given its good looks and low-maintenance care, it is no surprise that Philodendron melanochrysum has become a hot pick for plant lovers. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philodendron_melanochrysum)
Philodendron melanochrysum care overview
|Botanical Name||Philodendron melanochrysum|
|Common Name||Black-gold philodendron, melano plant|
|Mature Size||3-5 ft tall, 1-2 ft wide (indoors); 12 ft tall, 8 ft wide (outdoors)|
|Soil Type||Loamy, moist but well-drained|
|Soil pH||5.5 to 6.0 (acidic)|
|Native Area||South America|
|Temperature||65 to 75°F|
|Light||Bright, indirect light|
|Fertilizer||Fertilize 1 times per month|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and toxic to pets when ingested|
Caring for an Philodendron melanochrysum
Philodendron melanochrysum care takes some effort, but is worth it for such a stunning plant. To care for your Philodendron melanochrysum properly, it’s important to keep the following in mind.
Philodendron melanochrysum isn’t too picky about light. This type of philodendron likes bright, indirect sunlight, preferably from the east or west, but it’s not a fan of direct southern sun. It’s also cool with a bit of shade. You can adjust the light by shifting the plant closer to or further from the window as needed.
The right amount of light helps it grow healthy and keeps the leaves colorful. Not enough light will make the leaves go pale and droopy, but too much can scorch them. To keep it happy, try to give it a steady dose of bright, indirect sunlight.
Philodendron melanochrysum needs soil that drains well, is organically dense, and is a bit on the acidic side. You can use soil mixed with sphagnum peat moss or pine bark to lower the pH, if needed – it likes a pH somewhere between 5.5 and 6.0.
The soil should also let air in and hold moisture well, as Philodendron melanochrysum like consistently moist , but not waterlogged. Soil that’s got perlite or pumice in it can improve drainage and let more air in, and you can use coco coir to help the soil hold more water. It’s also a good idea to mix in some slow-release fertilizer to give the plant the nutrients it needs to grow well.
It’s super important to water your Philodendron melanochrysum a good soak so the water reaches the root system. The right way to water is to wait until the top 2 to 3 inches of soil are totally dry before giving it another drink. This makes sure your plant gets just the right amount of water to keep it healthy and happy. If you give your plant too much or too little water, it might start to show signs of distress, with wilting or yellowing leaves.
The perfect temp zone for that big green plant is between 70-80°F (21-27°C). Temp swings below this can do noticeable harm to your plant. The lowest temp limit for these greens should not drop under 60°F (15°C) ’cause chilly temps might end up with the leaves drooping or turning brown. To keep your plant in its best shape, it’s important to keep temps steady in this zone and keep your Philodendron melanochrysum away from windy spots or mega-hot areas. It’s also a good idea to give some wetness by spritzing the leaves often or popping a humidifier near the plant.
To thrive, Philodendron melanochrysum needs lots of moisture. Perfect moisture levels go from 60% or even more. The plant will grow better if you keep the air around it at a good moisture level, and you can do this using a humidifier. Also important is keeping the soil a bit wet to cut down on water drying up.
You can also up the moisture by spritzing the leaves with water or putting a dish of water near the plant. It’s super important to make sure the moisture stays at just-right levels, ’cause this plays a big part in keeping your big green plant vibrant.
Use a liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks during the warmer months to feed your Philodendron melanochrysum. For best growth, use a plant food that has the right mix of N, P, and K. Stay away from plant fertilizers with too much nitrogen as they can cause too much leafy growth and weak stems.
Also, don’t overfertilize your Philodendron melanochrysum; while it’s super important to give the plant the right fertilizer, you don’t wanna pile on too much plant fertilizer or your plant’ll end up with burnt roots or leaves.
It’s time to repot your Philodendron melanochrysum when it’s too big for its current pot and the soil has become too compacted.
When repotting Black Gold Philodendron, go for a top-notch potting mix that drains well. Avoid thick loam, clay-based soil because it holds too much water and can rot the roots. Think about throwing in some compost or worm castings for extra nutrients and to help hold moisture. Pick a pot that’s big enough for the plant’s roots but not too roomy.
Once you’ve got your potting mix and pot all set, it’s repotting time. Start by carefully taking the plant out of its current pot and gently teasing apart the roots with your fingers or something like a chopstick. Pop the Philodendron melanochrysum into the new pot, adding more soil around it if necessary. Press down on the soil to make sure there are no air gaps and give it a gentle watering to help settle everything in.
After repotting, find a place for your Philodendron melanochrysum where it can get bright indirect light and stay evenly moist. Repotted plants usually need a bit more TLC while they settle in, so keep a close eye on the moisture levels for a while.
Pruning Philodendron melanochrysum helps keep it the right size, looking good, free of dead or dying leaves, clear of bugs and disease, and easy to water. Trim your Philodendron melanochrysum now and then with some clean, sharp scissors, cutting just above the node.
Pruning helps it grow and keeps your Philodendron looking tip-top. You can use the bits you’ve cut off to grow new plants, either for yourself or to give away. Pruning not only keeps your Philodendron melanochrysum healthy but also makes your home look even nicer. You can prune your plant any time of year, and it’s easy to do with just a few basic tools.
Melanochrysum Philodendron Propagation
Stem cutting is the simplest and most usual way to grow new Philodendron melanochrysum. To start, you’ll need something sharp like a knife or scissors and some rooting hormone powder.
- First up, snip off a healthy bit of stem about 4-6 inches long with at least two nodes.
- Dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder and pop it in a small pot with soil that drains well.
- Give the pot a good water, then put it somewhere with bright indirect light.
- Keep the soil nicely damp, but not waterlogged.
- In about 4-6 weeks, you should start to see little roots coming out of the bottom of your stem cutting.
Air layering is a more advanced way to grow new Black Gold Philodendron. You’ll need a sharp knife, some damp sphagnum moss, clear plastic wrap, and some tape or twine to tie the wrapping.
- Start by taking the leaves off a healthy bit of stem near the top of your plant.
- Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle and dab some rooting hormone powder on the cut end.
- Wrap your cutting in damp sphagnum moss, then completely cover it in clear plastic wrap and tie it up tight with tape or twine.
- Put the air layer somewhere with bright indirect light and keep the moss nicely damp.
- In about 4-6 weeks, you should start to see roots coming out of your air layer.
- Then you can snip the stem below the roots and put your new Philodendron melanochrysum plant in a pot.
Melanochrysum Philodendron Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Plant diseases such as leaf spots, powdery mildew, root rot, and bacterial blight can also affect Philodendron melanochrysum. These plant diseases are caused by damp conditions where the leaves stay wet for a long time. To keep these pests and diseases at bay, try to keep your Philodendron melanochrysum’s leaves dry, and don’t water it too much. Trim off any sick leaves and stems to stop the infection from spreading. You can also use bug spray or fungicide to deal with bugs or plant diseases.
FAQ about Philodendron melanochrysum care
Q: Are Melanochrysum hard to care for?
A: No, Philodendron melanochrysum is pretty easy-going. It likes bright indirect light and isn’t a fan of direct sunlight. The soil should stay a bit damp, but not too soggy; water when the top half inch of soil feels dry. Give it some balanced liquid fertilizer once a month while it’s growing. It’s also important to keep things humid for this tropical plant; mist the leaves or use a humidifier to stop them drying out. With the right temp, light, and humidity, Philodendron melanochrysum can really brighten up your home.
Q: How do you get big leaves in melanochrysum?
A: To get big leaves on your Philodendron melanochrysum, make sure it gets bright indirect light, and the right temperature and humidity. Also, feed it some fertilizer once a month while it’s growing and water it when the top half inch of soil feels dry. Prunning is also a good way to get it to grow more leaves; snip off any yellow leaves or stems and the plant will put more energy into growing new leaves. Lastly, be patient because Philodendron melanochrysum grows slowly and it might take up to five years to reach its full size.”