Philodendron Subhastatum is not your ordinary plant because it boasts leathery leaves with a bi-color pattern that enhances the decor and purifies the home’s air.
The rare tropical species is often challenging to find on the market, making it a slightly expensive houseplant to own.
However, you can be assured that growing them is relatively easy and requires minimal upkeep.
Philodendron Subhastatum is a shade-loving plant that enjoys moderate indirect sunlight, 60%-80% humidity, rich and well-draining soil, and a warm temperature of 50-86°F to thrive.
It will attain a 6-feet by 2-feet statue in the ideal conditions, filled with signature dual-colored leaves.
Want to know more? Read on to find out the best tips to grow and care for Philodendron Subhastatum and where to buy one.
Table of Contents
- Overview of Philodendron Subhastatum
- Where to Buy Philodendron Subhastaum?
- Philodendron Subhastaum—Ultimate Grow & Care Guide
- Propagation Methods for Philodendron Subhastatum
- Toxicity of Philodendron Subhastatum
- Common Problems in Philodendron Subhastatum
- FAQs About Philodendron Subhastatum
Overview of Philodendron Subhastatum
Philodendron Subhastatum hails from tropical forests of the West Indies, and adding one in homes will add an exciting touch of color.
Known for its bi-color foliage in green and red color, Subhastatum requires a conducive tropical setting to thrive.
It is an evergreen species that blossoms around the year.
Here is a table describing the brief information about the plant.
|Botanical Name||Philodendron subhastatum K. Krause|
|Native||West Indies and the Caribbean|
|Growth Zone||USDA Zone 9b-11|
|Growth Size||6-feet tall and 2-feet wide|
|Sunlight||Medium indirect sunlight|
|Watering||When 40% of topsoil is dry|
|Temperature||59 – 86°F (15-30°F)|
|Soil Type||Rich, well-draining soil|
|Fertilization||Balanced fertilizer once a month in the growing season|
|Repotting||Once in 2-3 years|
|Pruning||Trim yellow and damaged leaves every year|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and pets|
|Propagation||Stem and Tip cutting|
|Common Pests||Scales, Spider mites, Mealybugs, and Aphids|
|Common Diseases||Root rot, Leaf spot, Fungal infection|
They are water-loving plants and despise drought-like conditions, so ensure to keep them hydrated throughout the day.
One of a few climbing Philodendron plants, providing a climbing pole or trellis will help keep them growing strong.
One way to keep them trailing upwards is to grow them outdoors in the shade with a climbing pole or trellis.
Note: Once they reach the canopy, they will transform into epiphytes (air plants or ones that grow upon another plant).
Where to Buy Philodendron Subhastaum?
Philodendron Subhastatum is unlike other philodendrons that are easily found in local nurseries.
It is a rare tropical houseplant only sold through a few online stores and specialty growers.
Expect to pay anywhere from $100 or more to get one.
Here is a list of a few sellers that specialize in Philodendron Subhastatum.
|Place to Buy||Specification|
|Etsy||Find an assorted list of Philodendron Subhastatum starting from $29 for a small potted plant to +$100 for a large plant.
Pros: Receive your delivery within 7-10 days.
Cons: Available options are only from local nurseries
|Orchid Shop||Find a wide assortment of houseplants, including Philodendrons
Pros: Reasonably priced and quick delivery
Cons: Shipping is not available to the US
|ASEAN Plant||Find a beautiful and certified Subhastatum for as less as $29.
Pros: A Thai based plant grower that delivers around the world
Cons: Delivery takes longer than usual, and a 10% cancellation fee applies
|Canopy Plant Co||A local grower in New Orleans that offers a wide range of Philodendrons
Pros: Timely delivery, 4-72hrs or 4-5 business days at most.
Cons: Very few Subhastatum options available
|Canarius||Find a range of exotic plants, including Subhastatum, for 40 euros.
Pros: Easy and quick international delivery
Cons: Shipping requires a minimum order of 150 euros
Related Article: Where to Buy Philodendron Giganteum?
Philodendron Subhastaum—Ultimate Grow & Care Guide
Philodendron Subhastatum has no limits and can be grown at room temperature or outdoors in USDA zone 9b-11.
Provide appropriate yet straightforward care to witness the bushier, healthy foliage bloom around the year.
Here is a complete guide to caring for Philodendron Subhastatum.
1. Indirect Sunlight and Bright Location
Philodendron Subhastatum is a shade-loving plant that does well in natural and filtered sunlight.
Ensure to keep them in a moderately lit location that receives at least 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight each day.
However, avoid direct sunlight at all costs to prevent leaf burns and damage.
Note: One to two hours of early sunlight will help Philodendron Subhastatum get the required lighting for a day.
It may manage in low light conditions, but the plant will fail to achieve natural variegation without appropriate sunlight.
If natural sunlight is unavailable, consider keeping them indoors under appropriate grow lights with the right color temperature to encourage bloom.
The plant grown on ground soil cannot be moved inside; hence, care to provide shade to prevent leaf burns.
Tips to Provide Adequate Sunlight
- Please place them in a moderately lit location with enough indirect sunlight, such as an east or northeast-facing window.
- When kept in a south or west-facing window, place the plant at least 4-6 feet away from the source to prevent leaf burn.
- It does poorly in low temperatures (below 50-degrees Fahrenheit); hence, move them under appropriate LED grow light for at least 7-10 hours each day.
- Rotate the plant every week in the exact location to ensure they get light from all directions.
2. Moderate Watering
Your Philodendron Subhastathum is a water-loving plant that will thrive in evenly moist soil at all times.
However, keep in mind that too wet soil will invite root rot conditions, and dry soil will invite transpiration.
How Much to Water Philodendron Subhastatum?
Provide Philodendron Subhastatum 600-800 ml water to a 5″ pot every 9-days in the growing season and once in 15-20 days during dormancy.
For Subhastatum grown outdoors, provide 800-900 ml of water every seven days in the growing season to offset the risk of transpiration.
Philodendron Subhastatum is not a drought-tolerant plant, so it would not do well in sparsely watered conditions.
Crips and wilted leaves with slowed growth in the growing season indicate an underwatered plant.
Tips for Properly Watering Philodendron Subhastatum
- Water every 9-10 days in the growing season to keep the soil slightly moist.
- Provide 800 ml of water to a 5″ pot in the growing season. (Use this calculator to personalize watering recommendations)
- Deepwater the plant to allow the roots to absorb enough moisture.
- Water when the top 2-inches or 40% of the topsoil dries out.
- Otherwise, use a soil moisture sensor (1 to 10 scales) to measure the soil’s moisture level. Anything above 8 indicates an overwatered Subhastatum.
- Avoid using chlorinated or mineral water to prevent chemical buildup.
Quick Tip: Use rainwater or distilled water and set it for at least 24 hours before using on the plant.
How to Revive an Overwatered Philodendron Subhastatum?
Look out for drooping and wilting leaves with some yellowing or slowed growth in the growing season to identify the overwatering problem.
A plant suffering from root rot will exhibit stunted growth with dying foliage.
- Cut back on watering and let the soil dry to treat water-saturated soil. Check whether the plant condition improves.
- Otherwise, slide out the plant to check for root rot.
- Gently prune away infected parts, limp, dark, and mushy parts, and apply some antifungal powder to the roots before repotting in fresh soil.
- Introduce controlled watering techniques such as self-watering techniques to prevent over overwatering problems.
How to Revive an Underwatered Philodendron Subhastatum?
Philodendron Subhastatum is a drought-intolerant plant; hence, you should treat it immediately upon seeing the problems.
Wilted leaves, new leaves turning brown, and soft, visible salt on the soil surface (white crusty later) are significant signs of a thirsty plant.
- Deepwater the plant and wait until the condition improves before trying any other treatment.
- Place the pot on a pebble tray filled with water to soak up moisture naturally.
- Introduce controlled water treatment to prevent underwatering problems.
- Mist the plant leaves regularly when the temperature goes above 90-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Consider transplanting in a fresh potting mix if the soil has turned compact.
3. Warm Temperature
Philodendron Subhastatum prefers a warm environment with humidity that mimics the tropical climate, which you would usually find in USDA Zones 9b-11.
Provide a temperature between 59 to 86-degrees Fahrenheit to witness a healthy Subhastatum with bushier foliage growth.
Although it does well in a temperature up to 50°F, anything under that may push back the growth.
The first sign of cold-stress Philodendron is droopy or curled-up leaves with discoloration. Rotting stems and roots are severe signs of a cold-stressed plant.
Ensure the daytime temperature stays between 59-90°F and 50-80°F at night.
The Philodendron Subhastatum grown outdoors in the garden is prone to cold stress, and you are less likely to prevent it; hence, it is better to grow it in a pot to move elsewhere.
Pro Tip: Keep them in areas that receive at least 70-85% indirect sunlight to ensure optimum temperature throughout the day.
In addition to that, add mulch, such as straw or dried grass, over the soil in the fall to prevent the warmth from escaping.
4. High Humidity
Unlike other Philodendrons, Subhastatum dries pretty quickly in spring and summer as they have thin leaves.
To be precise, philodendron Subhastatum requires a slightly higher relative humidity level to thrive, 60% – 80% humidity.
However, an ideal home environment lacks the humidity required by the plant. Therefore, look for other ways to obtain an adequate humidity level.
Look out for brown leaf tips or those turning yellow and drying out to identify a humidity-stressed plant.
The foliage will feel crisp in the worst cases, especially those grown outdoors.
Tips to Maintain High Humidity
Regular watering is the key to maintaining an ideal humidity level but may not solve a humidity-stressed plant.
- Place the pot on a pebble tray filled with water to help the soil naturally retain moisture.
- Add an electric humidifier in the room to vamp up the indoor humidity level.
- Mist the leaves in 1-2 hour intervals in summer and spring to naturally boost humidity.
- Group the plants to boost moisture levels.
- Introduce shade (curtains) and mist the leaves regularly for outdoor plants.
5. Rich, Well-Draining Soil
Philodendron Subhastatum prefers a well-drained, organically rich soil mix that provides enough hydration and nutrient absorption quality when it comes to potting medium.
Provide a well-drained and moist, rich organic mix containing loamy soil, sand, perlite, peat moss, and other materials like coco peat, chips, charcoal, etc.
Similarly, it prefers a slightly alkaline base between 7-8 pH, as it has more macronutrients required for even growth.
Recipe to Prepare a Correct Potting Mix
This Philodendron loves aeration does best in a chunky, well-draining potting mix.
- Two parts of peat moss
- Three parts loamy garden soil
- Half part of perlite
- Add some lime, dolomite lime, or baking soda to raise the pH level slightly
- Moisten the soil with water before using it
Alternatively, consider buying a commercial potting mix loaded with macronutrients.
6. Regular, Mild Fertilization
Although Philodendrons naturally absorb nutrients from the organic soil mix, the growth may be slow to moderate.
Once a month, fertilizing Philodendron Subhastatum with a mild solution will ensure bushier foliage and rapid vertical growth.
However, beware of overfertilizing that can burn the plant roots with substantial salt residue. Too many chemical contents can kill the good micro-organisms found inside the soil.
Note: The Philodendron Subhastatum roots will work harder to absorb nutrients with increased salinity.
As a solution, fertilize the plant every month throughout spring and summer with liquid-based mild fertilizer slightly rich in magnesium.
And cut back on fertilizing in winter when the plant naturally goes to a resting phase.
Tips to Properly Fertilize Philodendron Subhastatum
- Feed with balanced organic fertilizer diluted to half strength by mixing water every month during the growing season.
- Alternatively, provide slow-release organic pellets at least 6″ away from the base every three months.
- Avoid buying cheaper fertilizers from the market that contains excess potassium chloride and nitrogen.
- Use 3-1-2 balanced plant food or plant foods in a similar ratio.
- Use plant food containing Mycorrhizae nutrients to allow the plant to absorb nutrients and water from the soil quickly.
7. Growth Habit and Foliage
One of a few climbing Philodendron species, providing a climbing pole or trellis will help keep them growing strong.
Subhastatum is a vine Philodendron that grows upwards of 6 feet in length and 2 feet wide.
However, the length of the plant would depend on the container size and whether support is provided.
Because of their aerial roots, they require a different kind of trellis than most climbing plants.
Use rough and preferably damp support instead of stakes to help the plant branches attach themselves.
Talking about its signature leaves, the plant initially gives out green, glossy foliage, but that changes as it grows old.
A young plant has primarily red leaves from underneath, becoming more prominent as it matures. The bi-foliage leaf with dual colors of red and green can grow up to 2 feet in length.
8. Repotting Philodendron Subhastatum
Because Philodendron Subhastatum is a slow grower, you would not need to repot it every year.
Philodendron Subhastatum requires repotting once in 2-3 years when their roots have reached their full size in a given container.
Spring is the best season because it is just before the plant’s growth spike. You should repot your plant before the first leaves appear in the spring.
Failing to repot it in a larger container will slow down its growth significantly.
Signs that Philodendron Subhastatum Needs Repotting
Time would not be the best indicator of when to repot your plant. Instead, look for some visible signs such as:
- Roots growing out of the pot or drainage holes
- The soil looks light-colored and compact
- The plant seems dormant with slowed growth
- The young leaves fail to appear on stems
Consider repotting the plant in either spring or summer when the plant is actively growing.
Tips for Repotting Philodendron Subhastatum
- Moisten the soil a day before to slide out the plant quickly.
- Brush off the excess soil from the roots using room temperature water.
- Check for any visible signs of root decay and prune it using sterilized pruning shear.
- Prepare an appropriate potting mix at home or get it from the market.
- Add the potting mix into a container 2″ more significant than the previous one or 2-times bigger than the root system.
- Carefully place the plant into the new potting mix with roots facing down and fill the vacuum space with fresh potting mix.
- Place it in a warm place with adequate indirect sunlight.
Your Philodendron Subhastatum will start growing young leaves within a few weeks if everything goes as planned.
Type of Containers for Philodendron Subhastatum
Choose a glazed ceramic pot, terracotta, plastic pot, or clay pot for your Philodendron.
|Clay Pots,Brajttt 6.28 inch||Earthen ware, Ceramic||It allows good drainage and air permeability.|
|8” Clay Pot for Plant with Saucer||Terracotta, Clay||The 8" in height and outer diameter provide ample space for root growth.|
|Large 10” Terracotta Plant Pot||Terracotta, Ceramic||The 40-B-L-1 earthenware pot is best for growing houseplants for proper drainage.|
9. Minimal Pruning
Philodendron Subhastatum does not require much pruning because it naturally sheds old and decayed leaves.
If you need to groom the plant, use a sterilized pruning shear to trim yellowed, brown, and decayed leaves throughout the growing season.
It will make sure that your plant looks neat and healthier year-round. However, avoid pruning the plant in winter when the leaves are resting, preventing open wounds and risk of diseases.
Do you want your Philo to become bushy? Here is an article outlining How to Make a Philodendron Bushy?
Propagation Methods for Philodendron Subhastatum
Philodendron Subhastatum is less challenging to propagate than other houseplants.
Attempt reproducing Philodendron Subhastatum in early spring and summer when the plant is at its most active stage.
The most common and successful propagation techniques involve stem and tip cutting methods.
1. Stem Cutting Method
A stem cutting method is relatively easy and gives out quick results.
Here is how you can obtain stem cuttings from the plant.
- Identify a healthy-looking stem with multiple leaves on it and choose one at least 2-3 inches in length.
- Use a sharp pruning shear or knife to cut just below a node.
- Remove leaves from the stem, except for a pair, and set it aside for a while.
2. Tip Cutting Method
The tip cutting method is another way to obtain healthy cuttings from the plant for propagation.
It involves taking the apex (plant tip) and a small portion of the main stem.
- Choose a similar stem section with a plant tip and cut just below the node.
- Ensure that it has multiple leaves on it.
Choose a Propagating Medium
You can propagate stem and tip cuttings in either water or soil.
a. Water Propagation
Known as Hydroponics, it involves rooting the cutting in fresh, chemical-free water.
- Get a small jar or transparent glass and fill it with clean, distilled water.
- Place the stem or tip cutting with one or two bare nodes submerged into the water (ensure the leaves do not touch the medium).
- Place the cutting in a warm location with indirect sunlight.
- Replace the water every 5-6 days until 2-3 weeks.
- Once the 1-2 inches long feeder roots appear after a month or two, transplant them to a potting mix in an appropriately sized container.
b. Soil Propagation
Propagating the cutting directly in the potting mix will avoid rooting it in water.
- Prepare a suitable soil mixture into a small pot (2-3″ extensive).
- Apply some rooting hormone to the fresh cutting’s end to quicken the rooting process.
- Insert the cutting into the potting mix and cover the pot with a clear plastic bag for added moisture (Air the bag once in a while to prevent microbial growth).
- Place it in a warm location with indirect sunlight.
- Water it every even day to keep the soil moist and hydrated.
- Check for new feeder roots after a month or two by gently tugging on the plant, where it should resist.
- Grow it in the same pot or transplant it to a large pot with the same potting mix.
Learn more about Propagating Philodendron Plant.
Toxicity of Philodendron Subhastatum
Philodendron Subhastatum is toxic to both humans and pets; hence you should keep it away from their reach.
It contains active ingredients like calcium oxalate that may create health problems when ingested, but the concentration and toxicity vary from intake to plant portion and growing season.
It can cause burn and swelling lips, tongue, or throat in humans, and burning sensation, diarrhea, vomiting in dogs and cats.
In the case of small children, bring the attention of a pediatrician or physician immediately or call Poison Control at US (800) 222-1222.
Similarly, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA at US (888) 426-4435 for pets.
Common Problems in Philodendron Subhastatum
Philodendron Subhastatum stays healthy when provided with utmost care.
However, it does not remain free from common pests and diseases that usually attack weak plants.
1. Common Plant Pests
Factors such as wrong growing environment, too little lighting, or too much fertilizer will deter the growth and invite pests on weak plants,
An unkempt and sick plant is more likely to attract pests like mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, and scale.
In some cases, infected potting mix, newly purchased plants, or garden plants may bring pests.
Here is a brief table describing the pests and their problems.
|Mealybug||They mostly infect root and foliage.
They suck the sap from the leaves, leaving them wilted and discolored.
|Aphids||Aphids are cricket-like creatures with back legs that suck up saps from the plant leaves and stems.
When the infestation grows, your plant wilt and starts dying.
|Spider mite||The insect causes Silverly dots in the leaves.
It is accompanied by yellowing, bleaching, and drooping leaves.
|Scales||Scaly insects are tiny, waxy pests that infest on leaves.
Yellow or rust-colored spots will start developing on the leaves, and the sap will begin drying up.
- Most visible pests like spider mites and aphids can be handpicked and disposed of.
- Soak a cotton ball in 98% Ethyl Alcohol diluted in water and wipe the infected parts.
- Pests like scales can be scraped off with a blunt knife.
- Alternatively, spray the plant using a water hose to dissipate insects.
- Wash the plant with warm soapy water or insecticidal soaps.
- Apply Neem oil on the infested plant to effectively remove all kinds of pests.
- Apply pyrethrin insecticidal spray to kill and prevent pest infestation effectively.
- Follow the plant care guide around the year to prevent pest infestations.
- Always inspect new and garden plants before bringing them inside the house.
- Avoid bringing fresh cuttings, twigs, and grasses into the house.
- Always buy a certified Aphid-free and moisture-controlled potting mix from the market.
- Wash the plant with clean water once a month to prevent pest infestation.
- Avoid over-fertilizing the plant with nitrogen-rich fertilizer that may weaken its health.
2. Horticultural Diseases
Around 85% of plant diseases are caused by fungal or fungal-like organisms present in infected soil and plants.
In some cases, excessive humidity and moisture level may also invite fungal diseases such as root rot and leaf spots.
Philodendron Subhastatum will most likely attract bacterial diseases from other plants in the garden.
Here is a brief table describing the diseases.
|Root rot||Drooping and rapidly yellowing leaves, stunted growth and a rotten brown base is the primary sign of possible root rot.
Brown and mushy texture on the root is another sign.
|Rust Spots||Tiny specks or spots on leaves that range in color from orange to rusty-brown, brownish-yellow, purple and red.
|Fungal Infection||A fungus that invites a range of plant diseases; mildew, fusarium wilt, rhizoctonia rot, etc.
It may cause plant stress, stunted growth, and drooping leaves.
- Trim the infected parts or dispose of the plant in a severe infestation.
- Remove the plant with severe root rot or trim the infected roots before repotting it in a fresh soil mix.
- Apply effective fungicides containing copper, Benomyl, or Mancozeb to treat fungal infections.
- Treat rust spots with a low-toxic fungicide containing Flutriafol.
- Alternatively, spray Agrimycin to treat bacterial infections.
- Avoid harmful factors such as placing the plant in a moist, damp, or low-light place.
- Use a commercial potting mix meant for aroids.
- Avoid misting the plant leaves in the evening and winter.
- Maintain adequate humidity levels around the plant using an electric humidifier.
- Use an excellent cultured technique for healthy plant growth.
3. Algal Leaf Spot
Algal leaf spot is a foliar disease common in Philodendron Subhastatum grown in high humid conditions.
A parasitic alga called Cephaleuros Virscens is primarily attracted to moist leaves and stems. You would know it by a grayish-green scar on the leaf surface, usually 1/2″ in diameter.
Without immediate intervention, the parasitic alga will transfer to other leaves, causing tissue damage and drooping.
As a solution, always use the good cultured technique for healthy plant growth to ward off the disease.
Maintain the humidity level by installing an electric humidifier in the room and improving air circulation.
Some slight infestations can also be treated by chemical fungicides containing copper.
4. Cold-Stressed Plant
Philodendron Subhastatum is susceptible to cold stress caused by dropping temperature and cold drafts.
A cold-stress plant will exhibit stunted growth with wet-looking and discolored foliage. At the same time, the severely infected leaf and stem will grow lesions.
Ensure to maintain an ideal temperature between 59-85°F at all times.
Otherwise, move them indoors under grow light or use heat mats and heat blankets to ward off the risks of cold drafts.
5. Magnesium Deficiency
Philodendron Subhastatum often runs the risk of magnesium deficiency, causing the plant’s dwindling chlorophyll production.
Magnesium, as a micronutrient, plays an essential role in maintaining plant vigor and the color of the leaves.
Without it, the plant will suffer from yellowing foliage and stunted growth.
As it cannot naturally obtain magnesium from the soil, you should use the correct fertilizer.
When choosing a fertilizer, pick one with enough macro and micronutrients, including magnesium.
Otherwise, provide rich organic compost such as fish or bone meals annually in the growing season.
FAQs About Philodendron Subhastatum
Can Philodendron Subhastatum Grow Without a Trellis?
Indeed, you can choose to grow Subhastatum without a trellis or any other kind of support.
It is a hardy plant that will keep increasing on any surface. When grown in a pot, it will continue up to 6-feet without any difficulty.
Does Freshly Repotted Philodendron Subhastatum Require Fertilization?
Fresh potting soil is rich in organic matter and essential macro and micronutrients required for plant growth.
Therefore, you should avoid fertilizing the plant for at least six months after repotting.
A slow grower manages to retain nutrients throughout the year; hence, requiring only yearly repotting.
However, if you do not wish to repot it every year, consider using mild fertilizer to boost its growth.
Can Philodendron Subhastatum Lose its Variegation?
Yes, a mature plant may lose the red color on leaves due to many factors.
The loss of variegation is primarily due to low lighting and seasonal problem.
Although most leaves retain their signature color upon proper growth and care, some may lose the variegation forever.
Philodendron Subhastatum is a perennial plant that will live for many years.
Keep your rare and beautiful Philo thriving around the year by strictly following the care guide given above.
It is a low-maintenance plant that does well with minimal upkeep. However, keep an eye out for a plant suffering from pests and diseases to administer immediate treatment.
Related Article: Philodendron Geoldii -Ultimate Care Tips