Mastering Philodendron Brasil Care & Propagation – From Novice to Green Thumb
When we first saw the stunning colors of the Philodendron Brasil in our local garden center, there was little doubt that it was coming home with us.
Not only do they look great around the home, but the Brasil philodendron is also easy to care for and is quickly becoming one of our favorite plants to recommend to new plant parents.
So, if you want a plant to add a splash of color to your collection, let’s dive into our beginner guide to Philodendron Brasil Care and Propagation.
Plant Parenting AWARENESS – Getting to Know the Philodendron Brasil Plant
Before we begin, you deserve some recognition and praise.
Yep, you read correctly.
We want to congratulate you for educating yourself about the care requirements of your new (or soon-to-be) plant baby!
So well done!
Okay, that’s enough of the pep talk – let’s get intimate with the Philodendron Brasil!
|Watering||Water when the top inch of soil is dry.|
|Lighting||Bright Indirect Sunlight (No Direct Sunlight)|
|Temperature||65-80º Fahrenheit (18-27º Celsius)|
|Humidity||Medium to High Humidity|
|Feeding||Liquid fertilizer that focuses on foliage health|
|Soil||Chunky mix with plenty of aeration and drainage|
Name / Scientific Name
The Philodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’ is a popular houseplant variety of the Philodendron genus, which belongs to the family Araceae.
The species name “hederaceum” comes from the Latin word “hedera,” meaning ivy, reflecting its ivy-like appearance. The ‘Brasil’ in the name signifies its vibrant, variegated leaves that bear the colors of the Brazilian flag, green and yellow.
Apart from its scientific name, this plant is commonly known by several other names:
- Heartleaf Philodendron
- Sweetheart Plant
- Philodendron ‘Brazil’
- Philodendron Cordatum ‘Brasil’
These names often reference the plant’s heart-shaped leaves or its Brazilian-inspired variegation.
The Philodendron Brasil is a tropical plant from Central and South American rainforests.
Interestingly, despite its name, it’s not only found in Brazil but in many countries across those regions.
In its natural habitat, your Philodendron Brasil thrives in conditions like:
- Medium to high humidity, think of a misty rainforest!
- Bright indirect sunlight that’s not direct, like dappled sunlight through a tree canopy.
- Soil that’s rich and drains well, so it doesn’t like to have “wet feet.”
- Warm temperatures all year round.
The trick to helping your new Philodendron thrive is to try and recreate these conditions at home.
Don’t worry – we’ll dive into the specifics later in this care guide.
The Philodendron Brasil is a beautiful houseplant with a unique appearance that, we think, makes this plant stand apart from the rest:
- Variegated leaves: The most striking feature of this plant is its variegated leaves. Each leaf is heart-shaped and has two colors – a radiant green and a deep, golden yellow. The leaves generally reach 3-5 inches in length and are 2-3 inches in width.
- Vining structure: The Philodendron Brasil is a vining epiphyte plant that grows along surfaces or down from hanging pots. This growth habit can make the plant appear as a lush, green cascade if adequately cared for.
- Stems: The stems of the plant are long and slender. They are usually a darker shade of green, contrasting beautifully with the vibrant leaves.
- Aerial Roots: The aerial roots develop around the nodes of the plant and tend to stick out from the stems. The plant uses them to attach itself to surfaces and absorb nutrients and water.
As you can see from the above picture, the Philodendron Brasil is a lush, tropical plant that can quickly become a feature plant for your collection.
Philodendron Plant Detailed Care Instructions
We understand only some have the time to research the care requirements for each of their plants thoroughly. So, we’ve put together an infographic to summarize how to care for your Philodendron Brasil.
Philodendron Brasil is easy to care for plant – perfect for beginner plant parents. But they still do require some attention when it comes to their water requirements.
Rather than suggesting a watering frequency, we prefer to teach our community to use their plant parent instincts to guide them when their philodendrons need a water top-up.
Before you grab that watering jug, take a moment to feel the top of the soil with your finger – this is called the soil moisture finger test. If it’s dry a couple of inches down, go ahead and water. If it’s still damp, hold off for a few days. Your Brasil likes to stay moist but not too soggy.
Remember, when in doubt, it’s better to be slightly underwater than overwater.
When you decide it is watering time, give it a good soak.
Picture a tropical rainstorm – that’s what you’re aiming for. Just be sure not to leave your plant in a puddle. It’s not a fan of wet feet.
Lastly, these tropical beauties love a bit of humidity, but we’ll discuss the specifics in the next section.
Like most tropical plants, the Brasil prefers a high-humidity environment. Here are some specific humidity requirements for this plant:
- The Philodendron Brasil prefers an environment with around 60% to 70% humidity. However, it can tolerate lower humidity levels, but it may grow less lush.
- To increase the humidity around your Philodendron Brasil, try placing it on a tray filled with pebbles and water (aka a humidity tray). The water in the tray will evaporate and boost the humidity around the plant.
- Another option is to mist the leaves of the plant with water regularly. This not only increases humidity but can also prevent dust from collecting on the leaves.
- Grouping plants together can also create a mini greenhouse effect, increasing the humidity in the immediate environment.
- Avoid placing the plant in areas of your home that are particularly dry, such as near heaters or air conditioners.
Remember, while humidity is essential, ensuring that your Philodendron Brasil is receiving the right amount of light is vital.
This is the perfect segue into the next section – Philodendron Brasil’s lighting requirements.
Philodendron Brasil thrives in bright, indirect sunlight.
This means it’s happiest when placed near a window with a sheer curtain or a bit further away from a direct light source.
It’s an adaptable plant, able to tolerate lower light conditions. However, keep in mind that its growth may slow in less light. It might not perish, but you could notice it becoming less lush and vibrant.
It’s important to remember that this plant isn’t a fan of direct sunlight. Especially during the hot afternoon hours, direct sun can cause leaf burn. So it’s best to keep it out of the sun’s direct path.
One of the key features of the Philodendron Brasil is its variegated leaves. If you notice the variegation becoming less pronounced or fading, it’s likely a sign that your plant is yearning for more light.
Lastly, your Philodendron Brasil will appreciate a slight rotation every once in a while. This ensures all of its sides get exposed to light equally. It promotes balanced growth and prevents the plant from becoming lopsided.
The Philodendron Brasil is a truly adaptable and resilient plant, but it does have some temperature preferences.
Ideally, your Philodendron Brasil would love to be in an environment where the temperature ranges from 65° to 80° Fahrenheit (18° – 27° Celsius). They can tolerate a bit lower than this, but they’re tropical plants at heart and happiest in warmer temperatures.
However, remember to keep your Philodendron Brasil away from drafts, sudden temperature changes, or extremes of heat or cold. They’re not fans of being next to radiators or air conditioning units, so keep an eye on their location.
Soil & Fertilizer Requirements
When it comes to soil, your Philodendron Brasil is pretty flexible. However, it tends to favor well-draining soil.
The ideal mix would retain some moisture but only stay soggy for a short time.
A good quality indoor plant potting mix usually does the trick! You should add some perlite or orchid bark to improve drainage. You can discover our tips for the perfect philodendron soil HERE.
As for fertilizer, your plant baby will enjoy a balanced houseplant fertilizer. If you want to treat your Brasil, try to find a liquid fertilizer that includes nutrients that focus on foliage development.
Feeding it 1-2 times a month during the growing season (spring and summer) should keep it happy and healthy.
You can reduce this to every 6-8 weeks in fall and winter as it’s less active.
Remember, it’s better to under-fertilize than over-fertilize! We’ve explored how to fertilize philodendrons in detail in our GUIDE.
Pests and Diseases
Caring for our green friends can sometimes be tricky, especially regarding pests and diseases. Philodendrons, including the lovely Philodendron Brasil, can be susceptible to a few common issues. Let’s break it down:
- Spider Mites: These tiny critters are hard to see with the naked eye, but you might notice a fine, spiderweb-like substance on your plant. If your Philodendron has yellowing leaves or small brown spots, spider mites could be the culprits.
- Mealybugs: Mealybugs look like tiny cottony masses on your Philodendron. They suck the sap from vulnerable places on the plants, leading to yellowing and drooping leaves.
- Aphids: Aphids could be the issue if you see small, pear-shaped insects on your plant or if the leaves are curling and yellowing.
- Scale: Scale insects look like small, brown, disc-like bumps on your plant. They can cause wilting, yellowing, and stunted growth.
- Root Rot: If you notice that your Philodendron’s leaves are yellowing, wilting, or falling off and the roots smell foul, root rot could be the cause. It’s usually due to overwatering or poor drainage.
- Leaf Spot: This disease causes brown spots with yellow halos on the leaves. It’s often due to high humidity or overwatering.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure! Keep your plant in a well-ventilated area, don’t overwater it, and ensure it has good drainage. Regularly check for signs of pests and diseases so you can tackle any issues early on. We got this! 🌿💪
Propagating Your Philodendron Brasil
A budget-friendly way of growing your indoor plant collection is to propagate your established mother plants.
You can create numerous healthy plant babies to add to your collection. You can also begin to trade your new plants with other indoor plant enthusiasts within the community.
Let’s now explore ways that you can propagate your Philodendron Brasil plants.
Propagate by Cutting in Water
When we propagate, we prefer to propagate cuttings in water. Not only is it easy, but you can also see all the magic happen in front of your eyes as the roots grow!
Here’s how to do it.
- Select a Healthy Vine: Look for a healthy vine from the Philodendron Brasil you wish to propagate. The vine should have at least two to three leaves and be green and vibrant.
- Cut the Vine: Cut the vine about a quarter-inch below a leaf node using a clean, sharp pair of scissors or a knife. Note that the node is the small swollen area where the leaf and stem meet.
- Remove Lower Leaves: Remove one or two lower leaves from the cut vine. It will leave an exposed node, which is required to produce roots.
- Prepare Your Vessel: Choose a clean glass jar or bottle and fill it with water. Make sure it’s transparent so that you can observe the root growth.
- Immerse the Stem: Place the cut vine in the water vessel, ensuring the node is immersed in water. However, do not let the remaining leaves touch the water, as it can lead to rotting.
- Choose the Right Location: Place your Brasil in a location with medium to bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch and burn the leaves or overheat the water.
- Wait for Roots to Grow: Be patient and wait for roots to grow. This may take several weeks. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh and prevent bacteria buildup.
- Transplant (Optional): Once the roots have grown to about two inches long, you can choose to transplant your new Philodendron Brasil to potting soil, or you can continue to let it grow in water.
Propagate in Soil or Moss
If you prefer using a direct propagation method, follow these steps for growing new philodendrons in soil.
- Select and Prep Cutting: Follow steps 1-3 from the method above for selecting and preparing your cutting.
- Drying the Cutting: Let the cutting dry for an hour or so. This allows the cut to callous over, which can help prevent rot.
- Applying Rooting Hormone: Dip the cut end of your cutting in rooting hormone (optional). This can improve the chances of successful rooting.
- Preparing the Pot: Prepare a pot with well-draining soil or sphagnum moss. The pot should have drainage holes.
- Planting the Cutting: Stick the cut end of your stem cutting into the soil or moss. Ensure the node is beneath the surface, as roots will grow from this.
- Watering the Soil: Water the soil or moss until it’s damp, not soaking wet.
- Positioning the Pot: Place the pot in a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, which can burn the new growth.
- Maintaining Moisture: Keep the soil or moss lightly moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to rot.
- Waiting for Roots: Wait for roots to grow. This can take several weeks to a month or more.
- Epiphyte. (2023, June 27). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyte