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Philodendron Spiritus Sancti: Complete Care Guide

Philodendron spiritus sancti is an ornamental houseplant with long, glossy leaves.

Generally, Philodendron spiritus sancti needs two to six hours of bright light, 66°F to 76°F temperature, 70% humidity, well-draining, airy, and porous soil, monthly fertilization, repotting every 2-3 years, and occasional pruning.

Read on if you plan to make your Philodendron look delighted and full of life.

Overview of Philodendron Spiritus Sancti

The general overview and optimum requirements of Philodendron spiritus sancti are mentioned in the table below.

Scientific NamePhilodendron spiritus sancti
Common NameSanta Leopoldina
USDAHardiness zones 10-12
Grown ForLong and narrow leaves
Blooming PeriodSpring to Summer
FlowerSymmetrical white flowers
FoliagePendant dark green leaves, up to 29" inches.
It can go upto 20 meters tall and 4.5-4.9 inches wide.
AvailabilityVery rare
Nearing the brink of extinction.
ToxicityToxic to humans and animals

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti- Ultimate Care & Growing Guide

Look below for the tips to properly take care of Philodendron Spiritus Sancti.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti care tips
These above tips will help you ensure the better growth of your plant.

1. Light & Temperature

Philodendron spiritus sancti loves two to six hours of bright, but not scorching, sunlight and a temperature between 66-76°F.

If the light is less or more than required, the leaves color will fade, the stems will turn leggy, and the plant will have stunted growth.

Similarly, in less temperature, the plant’s growth halts; in excessive temperatures, the plant will dehydrate and eventually die.

Remember, this Philodendron prefers light from above, so it can grow toward the source.

To fix light and temperature damage, follow the tips below.

  • Low light: Rotate the plant frequently, place the pot in the east-facing window, and use grow lights when light is scarce.
  • Excessive light: Use sheer drapes, and relocate your pot to a shady spot.
  • Low temperature: Use heating pads and frost blankets to protect the plants, mulch around the soil, and keep the plants away from cold drafts.
  • Extreme temperature: Move your plants away from sunny zones, and mist the plant to balance out the heat.

2. Watering & Humidity

Before watering Philodendron spiritus sancti, it would be best to ensure that the top 60% of the soil is dry. Water the plant once a week and provide a humidity of 70%.

Cut in your watering schedule during winter. Water once every 10-12 days to let the soil dry out completely.

Spiritus sancti cannot stand soggy soil as it can invite grave problems like root rot, which eventually withers away the plant.

Similarly, the underwatered plant and those with low humidity will exhibit signs like droopy and dry leaves, discoloration and browning of foliage, curling leaves, etc.

To fix watering and humidity damage, follow the tips below.

  • Underwatering: Water the plant as soon as possible and use the soaking method.
  • Overwatering: Let the soil dry out completely, check for root rot and trim the damaged parts, and in severe cases, repot the plant.
  • Low Humidity: Mist your plant immediately and introduce them to a humidifier.
  • Excessive Humidity: Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to tone down the humidity.

3. Soil & Fertilizer

Philodendron spiritus sancti prefers well-draining, airy, and porous soil with a pH range between 5.6 to 7.5.

Also, it thrives in a slow feeding of NPK 3-1-2 fertilizer once every month in spring and summer.

Lack of fertilizers will weaken the plant’s stem and make them lose color, while too much of it will render slow growth, yellowing and browning of leaves, etc.

You can prepare a potting mix at home by mixing pumice, orchid bark, peat moss, silica sand and charcoal in a ratio of 3:6:3:1:1.

For fertilizer, you can prepare compost from natural and kitchen waste.

If you want to go commercial, use Miracle-Gro and Foxfarm soil mix with Osmocote and SUPERthrive fertilizer.

4. Potting & Repotting

For Philodendron spiritus sancti, you can use ceramic, terracotta, or clay pots as they allow good aeration and prevent your plant from infections due to overwatering.

You can choose a pot that is 1-2 inches bigger in diameter than your plant’s root ball.

Repot your Philodendron every 2-3 years or when it shows signs like roots poking through drainage holes, slow growth, rootbound, etc.

For repotting, choose a pot that is an inch larger than the current pot. Gather the relevant potting mix and transplant the plant’s rootball into it.

Make sure to check the rootball thoroughly and trim away all the brown and decayed roots.

Water the Philodendron thoroughly and let it settle properly in its new home to prevent any transplant shock.

5. Regular Pruning

It would be best to prune it regularly to maintain its appearance and uniform growth pattern throughout the year.

Spiritus sancti can be attacked by pests like Spider mites and Mealybugs and diseases like Bacterial leaf spots and Root rot.

You will witness insect webs and white cottony masses in case of pest attacks. Similarly, the disease will render ring spots and slow growth.

While most of these are invited by overwatering, you need to take other care factors into consideration as well.

Prune away the dead and damaged parts or follow a pruning schedule in spring or fall if your plant is healthy.

Use neem oil or insecticidal soap to shoo away the pests. For diseased plants, keep them separate from other plants and use copper fungicides on them.

Growth Characteristics of Philodendron Spiritus Sancti

This slow-growing plant, Philodendron spiritus sancti, has very narrow and long pendant-shaped leaves.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti
Philodendron Spiritus Sancti has magnificent-looking green-colored leaves.

The dull-green-colored leaves can get up to 30 inches long when the plant matures.

The plant can grow up to 20 meters tall and 4.5-4.9 inches wide indoors. Although in its natural habitats, the plant can go even larger.

According to an article by, someone produced Philodendron spiritus seeds in 2019 for the first time.

These plants are most likely to reproduce in the middle of the night.

At this point, you should rub the pollen on the female part of the spadix to have any chance of pollination.

The flowers produced by this plant are strikingly symmetrical and white. You can also extract Philodendron seeds after the flower falls off.

Toxicity of Philodendron Spiritus Sancti

Philodendron has their share of toxicity because of calcium oxalate crystals.

According to ASPCA, Philodendron spiritus sancti is toxic to dogs and cats. To be safe, keep this plant away from yourself, your kids, and your pets.

In humans, it can induce symptoms like irritation in the mouth skin, difficulty breathing and swallowing, vomiting, swollen tongue, etc.

Similarly, it can cause vomiting, drooling, pawing at their mouth, etc., to pets.

Seek medical help if you see any symptoms like the above. Consult your local vet or call APCC at (888) 426-4435.

Propagation Methods for Philodendron Spiritus Sancti

We can propagate this Philodendron by either stem cutting or air layering during spring.

Stem cutting is the easiest and most preferred method of propagating Philodendron spiritus sancti.

Propagating by Stem Cutting

You should take the cuttings early in the morning during the plant’s non-bloom period, as the plant is turgid and fresh.

To propagate via stem cuttings, follow the steps below.

  • Take a healthy stem from the plant and cut 3 inches below the joint in leaf steam. Cut at an angle of 45° and remove leaves near the cut.
  • Keep 3-4 leaves on the top of the cutting and remove the other leaves.
  • Keep the cutting in contact with air for a week so that callus forms on the cut part.
  • Prepare a fresh, well-draining, and porous potting mix.
  • Plant the cut stem 2 inches deep into the soil to have abundant space for the root to grow.
  • Water the plant thoroughly and place it in optimal sunlight conditions.
  • You’ll see the roots in a month.

You can also root the cutting in water. Take a transparent jar and fill it with water. Place the cutting in the water and place it in a bright location.

Change the water every 3-5 days, and you will witness the roots in 2-3 weeks. After that, transfer the cutting to the soil.

Propagation by Air Layering

  • Select a healthy stem of 3-4 inches with some aerial roots and make a cut 2 inches deep and wide.
  • Keep the wound wide open by inserting a toothpick from the top and bottom, and then cover it with wet sphagnum moss.
  • Now, wrap the stem and the sphagnum moss with transparent plastic. Make sure to poke two holes to allow breathing.
  • Do not forget to spray the moss ball will water every second day.
  • You’ll start seeing the root growth in 3-4 weeks. Cut the stem two weeks after you see the roots.
  • Cut the stem a few inches below the wound and remove the wrap. Be very careful, or you could damage the roots.
  • Plant the cutting in fresh soil and water it thoroughly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Spiritus Sancti Expensive?

Philodendron spiritus sancti is a rare aroid with high demand among indoor plant enthusiasts.

For comparison, a mature philodendron spiritus sancti is currently listed at $40,516 on the consumer marketplace Carousell.

Although you can get the cuttings at a much more affordable price, the established parts cost a fortune.

Also watch,

Is Philodendron Spiritus Sancti rare?

Being an endangered plant, spiritus sancti is a rare plant. 

In the wild, a small number of these plants are still thriving. 

However, people are doing their best to protect this plant, and there are quite a several sanctis in cultivation.

Wrapping up…

Philodendron spiritus sancti is a beautiful plant to have in your house.

Its rarity and cost may baffle you, but trust me, this part is worth every penny you spend.

And, the cost will make you take extra care of it. Happy planting!

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