fbpx

Philodendron Brasil (Philodendron Hederaceum)

For quite some time now, Philodendron Brasil has been used for indoor decoration. However, they are now beginning to be introduced to vivariums. Their very low maintenance requirements and vast versatility make them an almost ideal plant for a number of planted enclosures.

Philodendrons can either be trained to climb up surfaces or simply be left alone to their own devices. Either way, they will survive in almost any situation. For that reason, they are known as one of the easiest plants to possibly grow. Nonetheless, there are still a few things to keep in mind to guarantee a strong and healthy plant. This article will provide a complete understanding and care guide to growing this type of vine.

Quick Stats:

Scientific Name: Philodendron Hederaceum

Family: Araceae

Common Names: Philodendron Brasil, Elephant Ear philodendron

Habitat: Tropical

Height: 20ft

PH Range: 4.5 to 6.0

Temperature: 65°F to 78°F

What Is Philodendron Brasil?

Philodendron is a rather large genus of flowering plants usually known for their use indoors. They are part of the Araceae family and fall under the Alismatales order. There are actually two basic types of philodendron: the climbing variety and upright ones. Although both of them are very similar in nature, they do have some defining differences that help tell them apart.

Their main difference can be foreshadowed by the names in which they are categorized.  For instance, climbing ones can be identified as creeping and vining plants. They will climb up any kind of vertical surface close by and usually have heart-shaped leaves. On the other hand, the upright kind will usually have larger leaves and will not climb as much. Philodendron Brasil would be a good example of a creeping vine.

Philodendron Brasil Facts

The word Philodendron comes from the combination of the Greek words Philo (love) and Dendron (tree). There are approximately 450 species of philodendron with even more subspecies that can be distinguished by their looks. All philodendrons can be further separated into three major groups: epiphytes, hemiepiphytes, and terrestrial plants.

Epiphytes will attach themselves and grow on other vegetation, without causing any harm to the host. Hemiepiphytes will only live part of their life cycle epiphytically. Meanwhile, terrestrial plants will always grow from the ground. Despite where or how these plants grow, they are known for being great air purifiers.

They are able to absorb toxins like formaldehyde and clean the air around them. Basically acting like a biological filter to the area around them. The pollutants are picked up by aerial roots and big leaves, ingested by the plant, and then released back as clean oxygen into the room.

Description

Philodendrons Brasil can vary in size, shape, texture, and color depending on the age of the plant. Their leaves are usually green, with a streak of white on one half of the leaf. They tend to be heart-shaped or deeply lobed, depending on age. The veins located on every leaf tend to be a darker green, red, or white.

Philodendrons are known for their superb ability to climb. They will grow upwards and wrap their unique roots around the trunks of trees or other surfaces. Unlike most epiphytes, many philodendrons will not die if they fall to the ground. They simply start all over and climb their way back towards the light.

Philodendron Brasil has two types of roots. First, they have subterranean roots, which help them gather nutrients from the soil. Then they also have aerial roots in order to attach themselves to surfaces as well as absorb water and nutrients from the air. Subterranean roots are always larger and can expand up to 60 feet in the wild.

On the other hand, air roots are short and simply remain unburied in the air. In the wild, this flora will also grow white, red, or green clusters of tiny flowers. Although, they will most likely not make an appearance when growing inside of a vivarium. This foliage can grow up to 20 feet long in its natural habitat. However, the overall size of the plant will depend on the environment/enclosure that it is growing in.

Habitat

Philodendron Brasil is a species that can be found in a wide distribution of tropical habitats. It originates from South, Central, North America, and the West Indies. However, today is can be found all around the world. These plants love to grow in tropical forests, rainforests, swamps, roadsides, riverbanks, and even the surface of rocks.

In the wild, these plants are sensitive to very cold temperatures and won’t grow well in anything below 55°F. It can tolerate some cold temperatures at night as long as it’s above 60°F.  Philodendron’s ideal temperature for optimal growth falls anywhere between 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

PH Preference

Most garden plants prefer slightly acidic to neutral PH. However, they can still tolerate a difference of at least 1.0 PH points. Soil with a PH of 7 is considered neutral. A PH below 7 is acidic and a pH above 7 is alkaline. Philodendrons Brasil is no exception. Overall, they tend to prefer and thrive better with a PH between 4.5- 6.0.

Vivarium Type

There is no set type of enclosure that Philodendrons must be grown in. In fact, they can do very well in a variety of vivarium types. One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing the appropriate enclosure is the amount of space available. In addition, Philodendron Brasil should also be provided with tropical, moist, and well-drained terrain areas. Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

  • Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.
  • Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosure with little to no aquatic features.

Vivarium Placement

The exact location of where a Philodendron Brasil is placed in a vivarium will probably vary depending on the specific species being used. Since most Philodendrons are known for their climbing abilities, they can be placed near one of the vivarium’s sides and allowed to creep its way up. Maybe it can even be planted in a bucket like space towards the top and allowed to cascade down.

However, since they are mostly larger in size it is recommended that they are placed towards the backside of an enclosure. If grown too close to the front, the plant can easily overpower and cover other areas of the tank.

Although Philodendrons are very moldable plants, they are mostly terrestrial-based. With that in mind, it is not recommended to place them completely underwater. Although they will appear to be doing just fine at the beginning, they will eventually die off. On the other hand, most species can do quite well when only its roots are placed in water and the leaves allowed to grow above water lines.

Substrate

Philodendron Brasil prefers well-drained, loose soil that is high in organic matter. The plant’s subterranean roots need to be able to dig their way into the soil in order to do their job. A mix that is too compact and tight will make it hard for them to do so, eventually affecting the plant’s health.

As long as those few needs are met, Philodendrons will not be very picky with the substrate provided. For instance, they will grow quite well in 100% sphagnum peat moss. If for any reason the soil is not a possibility with the setup of the vivarium, mixtures like peat-perlite or peat-vermiculite will do just fine.

Lighting

When it comes to lighting, Philodendron Brasil will need a moderate amount of bright light. Since they are usually found under tropical canopies, they will replicate their most natural habitat. Even though this plant can get used to almost direct sunlight under the right conditions, it will always thrive in light shade. Too much direct sunlight will almost always burn and kill the plant.

 Although it is normal for leaves to turn yellow as they age if it happens to multiple leaves at the same time, the Philodendron is probably getting too much light. On the other hand, if the stems appear long and stringy, with large gaps between the leaves, it is probably not getting enough light. If artificial light will not be used as part of the setup, the vivarium can be placed near a window. As long as the sun’s rays never touch the foliage, it will be enough.

Buy Philodendron Brasil

When shopping for Philodendron Brasil, expect a few key indicators you are buying the best quality plant. The plant should be insect free along with any other types of pest. In addition, the purchased plant should be green, vibrant, and healthy-looking. Try to avoid any browning or wilting leaves. Those are usually signs of poor health and could make it harder for the plant to survive. Click the image below to find out more about the current price and other relative info of this plant:

Philodendron Brasil Care and Propagation

As mentioned before, Philodendrons are very hardy plants that do not require much in order to thrive. Although, some specific species might have slightly different preferences they are generally very similar. In the end, it all comes down to two things… water and lighting. This plant thrives in a tropical environment. Meaning that an adequate amount of water and light is what they care most about. As long as both of those needs are properly met, almost all Philodendron will do well and grow large enough to propagate.

How to grow

Philodendron Brasil can be propagated through the use of seeds or cutting. However, the easiest and most convenient way will be by stem cuttings. Grab a healthy adult plant and cut off about 4 to 5 inches in length off the top of the stem. The new pieces should then be re-planted somewhere moist and warm in order to grow. They should have taken root after only three to four weeks. If done correctly the plants should remain green and progressively grow. If the cuttings appear brown and dry it means that they have not taken root.

Watering

The best way to water any Philodendron is to imitate its natural environment as much as possible. They like regular watering and an evenly moist environment. However, too much water will cause the plant’s roots to rot and eventually die. Soggy soil will almost always lead to the plant’s death, if not fixed.

However, not enough water will also be a problem. A key indicator that something is not right with how much the Philodendron plant is being watered, are its leaves. If they appear to be drooping, then that’s a clear sign that something must be done. An easy way to determine if the plant needs water is by dipping a finger into the top layer of the substrate. If the top inch is dry to the touch, then you can proceed with watering, and if it still feels moist, then you can wait a few days before checking again.

Plants Similar To Philodendron Brasil

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup. Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment. Furthermore, if for some reason you find this ivy hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this vine plant… Here are some other plants you might find may do well with or in the place of Philodendron Brasil:

Trailing Jade (Peperomia Rotundifolia)
String Of Pearls (Curio Rowleyanus)
Asparagus Fern (Asparagus Aethiopicus)

Conclusion

If you are looking for a diverse and easy-to-care-for plant to add to your tank, Philodendrons are the way to go. With so many different species to choose from, you are almost guaranteed to find the right one for your vivarium. The main thing to keep in mind when picking out the type of Philodendron will be its size. Some species are naturally very large and will not do well in small enclosures. Philodendron Brasil however, is a good species for most terrariums. What are your thoughts about this specific type of vining plant? Let us know down below!