The philodendron atom, plants of the family Araceae, are native to the forest biotopes of South America. In our latitudes, they are cultivated as houseplants with decorative sagittate (arrow-shaped), lobed or cut foliage.
Long confined to their role as an easy plant, they are now making a comeback: very graphic, they fit in wonderfully with the most varied interior styles (ethnic, Scandinavian, bohemian).
Make sure that this beautiful plant has a choice location, on a step for example, and a planter in the colors of your room. Moreover, atomic philodendrons have proven depolluting properties, particularly with regard to formaldehyde, a harmful substance found in our homes. Beautiful and good, the atom philodendron has everything!
Where should I choose to grow my philodendron atom?
It is essentially an indoor plant that does not appreciate direct contact with the sun nor being in a dark and humid place. Do not expect to grow the philodendron atom in the ground, it would not resist for long.
Therefore, choose a place in your home where it can benefit from both sun and shade (a semi-shaded area) and which will not be subject to a draught.
When the nice days of the summer period return, it is quite possible to offer him an exit in terrace. In these conditions, install the pot of the plant always in a semi-shaded place. Moreover, the plant is sensitive to cold.
Watering and feeding the philodendron atom
To live long, the philodendron atom requires a little attention as well as a good feeding and dehydration. Thus, it should be noted that the maintenance in winter period is somewhat different from the rest of the year.
Summer or winter, spring or fall, mist the foliage once every two days.
In warm periods (spring and summer), take the time to water the plant properly.
In cold periods (winter and autumn), it will be necessary to reduce watering.
It is important to know that this plant needs water to grow. As soon as you notice that the potting soil is drying out, it is absolutely necessary to hydrate the plant.
The philodendron atom requires a fertilizer adapted for green plants. Repot monthly from March to September.
Pruning the philodendron atom
The philodendron atom is an excellent climber, but sometimes a little invasive! To avoid being overwhelmed by its long shoots, you can control its growth by pruning. On the other hand, if it is well controlled, there is no need to intervene with your secateurs. Only the dried leaves will be removed by hand.
You can also pinch the ends to encourage branching.
Diseases and parasites of philodendron atom
The depolluting plant is not safe from an attack of aphids, red spiders or scale insects. These three pests are well known in the gardening world and very radical products exist to chase away the parasites without damaging the atmosphere and the plant. Thus,
For aphids: make an emulsion with black soap and quassia wood.
For red spiders: make an emulsion based on black soap and alcohol at 90°C. – For mealy bugs : make a decoction based on black soap, vegetable oil and alcohol at 90°c. On the field of the diseases, we count the rot of the collar which is caused by the differences of the temperatures.
It is therefore necessary to maintain your indoor plant regularly to avoid this inconvenience. If, despite your precautions, its roots take on a brownish appearance, spray them with captan powder.
Repotting philodendron atom
To repot a philodendron, choose a pot that is slightly larger than the old one, place a drainage layer (clay balls, pozzolan) in the bottom and use a special potting soil for indoor plants. Add a coconut fiber padded stake for climbing atom philodendrons. Repot every 2 or 3 years.
For large plants, consider annual resurfacing, which consists of changing the substrate by a few centimeters, and not a complete repotting. Also consider sliding a rolling stand under your large pot to spare your back.
Special care for philodendron atom
All gardeners agree that you should forget about fake products that give the foliage a shine, such as milk, oil or beer. It is better to smooth the leaves by a simple monthly cleaning with a specific product. In addition to cleaning the leaves, it is also necessary to stake them, if necessary.
Reproduction of the philodendron atom by aquatic cuttings
There is a cascade of techniques to multiply the philodendron atom; the sowing, the air layering, the cutting of head as well as the cutting in water. The simplest being the last solution stated.
To make a cutting in water, simply perform the following procedure: – Find a nice stem and cut it carefully. – Put this stem in a glass of lukewarm water. – Wait a good month until the glass is half filled with new roots. – Repot the glass with a substrate.
Other species and varieties of philodendron
Philodendrons can be either bushy plants or vines. On the acrobatic side, the monstera stands out for its size and spectacular foliage. The more modest Philodendron scandens and its variegated variety ‘Brasil’ can be trained on a stake or hung to admire their drooping foliage.
Philodendron erubescens has a more traditional habit, but its foliage is not green: for example, ‘Red Emerald’ has pretty red reverse and ‘Cobra’ has white spots.
Among the bushy species, the philodendron ‘Xanadu’ offers a nice compact silhouette and monstera-like leaves. As for the variety ‘Narrow’, it surprises with its oblong and cut leaves.