Philodendron Squamiferum Complete Care Guide

I have a love-hate relationship with Philodendron Squamiferum. I love how this plant looks like: the fuzzy petioles, the shape of those leaves, however… I find it a bit of a diva and today you’ll find out why.

Scientific name: Philodendron Squamiferum

Also called: Hairy Philodendron

Family: ARACEAE

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care meter: 6/10

For me, Philodendron Squamiferum is a bit of a pain in the butt. It took me awhile to figure out what it wants and I definitely don’t recommend it for beginners.

light

Philodendron Squamiferum won’t grow without bright indirect light. Or a grow light right in his face. It just won’t. I tried moving it around from time to time to see what it likes, and medium light is out of the question.

After more than 6 months with no new leaves, I thought that I will never figure out this plant… until I placed it right under a growlight and it finally grew one leaf. So be aware that this plant will stop growing if it doesn’t get enough light.

Philodendron Squamiferum grown on a pole, under artificial light

watering

I water my Philodendron Squamiferum when the soil is almost dry (not completely dry though). This plant is prone to root rot and it doesn’t like soggy soil. I had problems with root after it was shipped to me, so it’s very important to always check the soil.

You can try water it once every 7-10 days during summer and once every two weeks during winter. Adjust the schedule with your home conditions, mine is a bit colder and I need to water less often.

temperature

It’s best to keep it above 20°C, something around 23-25°C or a bit higher is great. Please don’t let it drop below 15°C, most plants are sensitive to cold and can slowly die.

Philodendron Squamiferum yellow leaves caused by transit stress under cold temperatures

humidity

I find Philodendron Squamiferum quite adaptable. I keep mine in average humidity (50-60%) and it seems to like it.

fertilizer

Philodendron Squamiferum can be fertilized once a month during growing season. If you have a similar issue like I had mine and you don’t see it grow, don’t fertilize it. Usually, fertilizing is the last problem that you should think of.

I use a NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 and it seems to be doing fine. If you had any issue with root rot and your philodendron has recovered, you can use a fertilizer that is richer in phosphorous. An NPK ratio of 15-30-15 is great. Phosphorous is a nutrient that helps the root development and can make a difference.

substrate

Use something very, very light. A mix of coco coir, perlite and pine bark in equal quantities is a great option. Philodendron Squamiferum has fragile roots. And you wouldn’t want those roots in water for too long. That’s why is important that the substrate does a good job with water drainage.

Whatever you like to use for your mix, please don’t pot your plant in plain regular potting soil. It won’t like it because this type of substrate is too heavy on the roots and it won’t let them breath.

plastic versus terracotta

You can definitely try terracotta if you like it. Terracotta is a great medium for plants that don’t like soggy soil like Philodendron Squamiferum. Terracotta helps water evaporate faster and it also looks pretty cool.

I keep my Philodendron Squamiferum in a plastic pot, just because I don’t want to bother it. But I won’t say no to terracotta at some point.

repotting

Repot your Philodendron Squamiferum only when it’s necessary. Meaning, if it has outgrown the pot and you can see the roots coming out of the drainage holes.

If you see little roots coming out of the pot, choose another pot slightly bigger. Add your favorite lightweight substrate and you’re good to go.

Philodendron Squamiferum root rot

propagation

Propagation for Philodendron Squamiferum is done by stem cuttings. Cut it into segments containing at least one viable node with a leaf and place them in water or directly in soil. It’s great if the stems have aerial roots as well. Those will develop into the new roots for the new plants.

You can also try leafless stem cuttings. These work well placed in a clean container with sphagnum moss or coco coir. Place them into a zip bag and let them breath once every other day.

You can try air layering as well. We’ll have a separate article explaining all there is to know about that.

pests

Thrips can be a problem at some point with Philodendron Squamiferum. Inspect the plant every time you water it so you can spot them in time.

toxicity

Unfortunately, Philodendron Squamiferum is not pet friendly.

other mentions

You can try growing your Philodendron Squamiferum on a moss pole. This philo is a climber and it will need support at some point. They grow supported by trees in the wild, and you can mimic that with poles. This will promote bigger roots and stronger plants overall.

In the end, I really like this philodendron. I think it’s appealing for every home, but it can be a struggle sometimes. If you get it right, it’s a lovely plant to have in your collection.

If this helped, share it with someone else! ❤️