Dean McDowell Plant

Dean McDowell Plant: A Guide to Growing and Caring for this Rare Philodendron

Would you name a plant after your buddy? Well, this plant was. The Dean McDowell plant is a rare hybrid plant that has been gaining popularity among plant enthusiasts (me included!). It is a cross between Philodendron gloriosum and Philodendron pastazanum, created by John Banta in 1988 and named after his friend Dean McDowell.

This plant is known for its stunning velvety texture, extra large glossy green leaves with white veins, and a striking red stem.

The Dean McDowell philodendron is a slow grower, but it is worth the wait as it can grow up to four feet tall and two feet wide, making it a statement piece in any room.

If you are a plant lover looking for a rare and beautiful addition to your collection, the Dean McDowell philodendron is definitely worth considering.

In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide on how to care for this stunning plant, including tips on watering, soil, light, and humidity. Whether you are a seasoned plant parent or a beginner, we’ve got you covered!

Overview

The Dean McDowell philodendron plant is a rare hybrid of the Philodendron Gloriosum and Philodendron Pastazanum. It was created in 1988 and named after the creator’s friend, Dean McDowell. This plant is known for its attractive glossy green leaves with white veins, and a stunning stem.

With stems that grow along the surface of the soil, this Philodendron sends down deep roots and grows giant, heart-shaped leaves.

The Philodendron McDowell plant likes moist, warm environments and requires bright, indirect sunlight and moderate watering about once a week. Maintain a temperature between 55 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 to 26.6 degrees Celsius). Optimal humidity levels lie between 65-75%.

The Dean McDowell Plant

Named after the creator’s friend, Dean McDowell, here is some information about its physical characteristics, cultivation, and propagation.

Physical Characteristics

The McDowell philodendron is a glossy tropical plant that can grow up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The leaves are large, heart-shaped, and can reach up to 2 feet long and 1.5 feet wide.

The leaves are dark green with white veins that run through them, making them a striking addition to any indoor garden. The stems of the plant are thick and can grow up to 6 feet long, crawling along the surface of the soil. As a houseplant, you will need a trellis or sturdy moss pole to help this plant climb and grow.

Cultivation

The philodendron McDowell is an easy plant to care for and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor cultivation. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight, and a temperature range of 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant likes moist, warm environments, so it’s important to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged.

Use a well-draining soil mix containing perlite, peat, and orchid bark to ensure that the potting mixture is light and airy.

When it comes to fertilizing, use a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 months during the growing season. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop off. Pruning is not necessary, but you can trim back any yellow or brown leaves to keep the plant looking neat and tidy.

Propagation

The Dean McDowell philodendron can be propagated through stem cuttings.

  • Take a stem cutting that is at least 6 inches long and has 2-3 leaves attached.
  • Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone
  • Plant it in a pot filled with a well-draining soil mix.
  • Keep the soil moist and place the pot in a warm, bright location.

In a few weeks, you should see new growth emerging from the stem cutting.

Another way to propagate the plant is through division. When the plant has outgrown its pot, gently remove it from the pot and separate the roots into two or more sections. Plant each section in a new pot filled with fresh potting soil and water well.

Dean McDowell Plant Care Guide

Dean McDowell Plant Sunlight Requirements

The Dean McDowell philodendron plant thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it is best to place the plant near a window that receives filtered light or in a shaded outdoor area.

If the plant is not receiving enough light, it will become leggy and the leaves may turn yellow.

Soil & Fertilization Requirements

The Dean McDowell philodendron plant prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and potting soil works well.

It’s best to mix ⅓ of your soil or potting mix with ⅓ perlite or vermiculite and ⅓ organic material.

Some possible organic components include:

  • Coconut coir
  • Orchid bark
  • Compost
  • Peat or sphagnum moss

Since these plants can get so large, its important to size up whenever you see roots beginning to poke from the drainage holes.

Fertilize the plant every 2-3 months during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Avoid over-fertilization, as this can cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown.

Watering Requirements

The Dean McDowell plant prefers to be kept moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

During the winter months, reduce watering frequency. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so make sure the soil has good drainage.

Temperature and Humidity Needs

The McDowell philodendron plant prefers temperatures between 55 – 80 degrees F (13-27 degrees C). It can be kept outdoors in mild climates, but is not frost-tolerant.

In terms of humidity, the plant prefers higher levels. You can increase humidity by misting the leaves or placing a humidifier nearby.

Toxicity

The Dean McDowell plant is toxic to pets and humans if ingested. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and swelling if ingested or if the sap comes into contact with the skin or eyes. Symptoms may include burning or itching of the mouth, lips, and throat, as well as vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

It’s important to keep Philodendrons out of reach of children and pets and to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the plant. If you or someone you know ingests any part of the plant, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

Benefits

Philodendron Dean McDowell is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for plant that offers several benefits. Here are some of the benefits of having this plant in your home or office:

  • Air-purifying: Philodendron are known to be excellent air-purifying plants. They can remove harmful toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air, making it a great addition to any indoor space.
  • Improves mood: Having plants in your environment has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress levels. Dean McDowell’s lush green foliage can help create a calming and relaxing atmosphere.
  • Easy to care for: The Dean McDowell plant is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. It can thrive in a variety of lighting conditions and only needs to be watered once a week.
  • Decorative: Beautiful heart-shaped leaves that can grow up to 26 inches long. When several plants are grouped together, it creates a spectacular sight. It can be used as a decorative piece in any indoor space.

Overall, Philodendron Dean McDowell is a great plant to have in your home or office. It offers several benefits and is easy to care for. Whether you’re looking to purify the air, improve your mood, or simply add a decorative piece to your space, Philodendron Dean McDowell is an excellent choice.

Common Problems

Pests

Philodendron McDowell is generally a hardy plant, but it can be susceptible to pests. Here are some common pests that you might encounter:

Pest Description Treatment
Thrips Small, winged insects that suck the sap from leaves and flowers. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Spider Mites Very tiny insects that suck the sap from leaves. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Mealybugs Small, white, cottony insects that suck the sap from leaves and stems. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Aphids Small, soft-bodied insects that suck the sap from leaves. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Diseases

Philodendron McDowell can also be susceptible to diseases. Here are some common diseases that you might encounter:

  • Root Rot: This can occur if the plant is overwatered or if the soil doesn’t have proper drainage. The roots will turn brown and mushy. To treat, remove the plant from the soil, cut away any affected roots, and repot in fresh, well-draining soil.
  • Leaf Spot: This is a fungal disease that causes brown spots on the leaves. To treat, remove affected leaves and treat the plant with a fungicide.
  • Bacterial Blight: This is a bacterial disease that causes yellowing and wilting of the leaves. To treat, remove affected leaves and treat the plant with a copper fungicide.

Prevention is key when it comes to diseases. Make sure the plant is in well-draining soil, and avoid overwatering. Also, avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can promote the growth of fungal diseases.

FAQs

McDowell PhilodendronHere are some frequently asked questions about Dean McDowell philodendron plant:

Q: How often should I water my philodendron plant?

A. Dean McDowell plants like moist soil, but make sure not to overwater them. Watering once a week is usually sufficient, but you should adjust the frequency depending on the temperature and humidity levels in your home.

Always make sure the soil has dried out a bit before watering again.

Q: What kind of light does my Dean McDowell plant need?

A. Philodendron plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves. If you notice that the leaves are turning yellow or brown, it may be a sign that the plant is getting too much light.

Q: How big will my McDowell philodendron plant grow?

A. Dean McDowell philodendron plants can grow up to 3 feet tall and 6.5 feet wide. They have heart-shaped leaves that can grow up to 26 inches long. The plant grows moderately when grown under optimal conditions, putting out a new leaf every 4-6 weeks.

Q: Is my philodendron plant toxic to pets?

A. Yes, Dean McDowell philodendron plants are toxic to both humans and animals. This is mainly due to the calcium oxalate crystals found in the plant. Make sure to keep the plant out of reach of children and pets.

Q: What is the difference philodendron mcdowell vs pastazanum

A. Philodendron McDowell and Philodendron Pastazanum are two different species of plants that belong to the same genus Philodendron.

Here are some differences between the two:

  • Leaf Shape – Philodendron McDowell has elongated, heart-shaped leaves that taper to a point, while Philodendron Pastazanum has large, round leaves with a pointed tip.
  • Leaf Texture – The leaves of Philodendron McDowell are smooth and glossy, while the leaves of Philodendron Pastazanum have a rougher texture.
  • Leaf Color – Philodendron McDowell has dark green leaves, while Philodendron Pastazanum has lighter green leaves with prominent veins.
  • Size – Philodendron McDowell is a smaller plant that grows up to 1-2 feet tall, while Philodendron Pastazanum can grow up to 4-6 feet tall.
  • Habitat – Philodendron McDowell is native to the rainforests of South America, while Philodendron Pastazanum is found in the Amazon basin of Ecuador and Peru.

Overall, while both plants are beautiful and make great houseplants, they have distinct differences in their appearance and natural habitat.

Q. What are Some Similar Plants?:

A. If you are interested in the Dean McDowell plant, there are a few other Philodendron species that have similar features and may be more readily available. Here are a few examples:

  1. Philodendron bipinnatifidum (also known as the “Split-leaf Philodendron“) – This plant has large, glossy green leaves with deep, irregular splits and holes. Like the Dean McDowell Philodendron, it is a climbing plant that can grow quite large. It prefers bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.
  2. Philodendron gloriosum – This plant has large, heart-shaped leaves with velvety green surfaces and prominent white veins. It is a climbing plant that prefers bright, indirect light and moist, well-draining soil.
  3. Philodendron hastatum (also known as the “Silver Sword Philodendron”) – This plant has long, narrow leaves with silvery-green surfaces and pointed tips. It is a climbing plant that prefers bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.
  4. Philodendron melanochrysum – This plant has large, velvety green leaves with prominent white veins. It is a climbing plant that prefers bright, indirect light and moist, well-draining soil.

These are just a few examples of Philodendron species that have similar features to the Dean McDowell Philodendron. There are many other Philodendron species and cultivars that are also quite beautiful and may be easier to find.

Conclusion

The Dean McDowell Philodendron is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for plant that can add a touch of tropical elegance to any home or garden. With its heart-shaped leaves and unique growth pattern, this plant is sure to be a conversation starter.

When caring for your Dean McDowell Philodendron, remember to provide it with the right amount of light, water, and nutrients. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and avoid over-fertilizing. With proper care, your plant will thrive and grow for years to come.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, the Dean McDowell Philodendron is a great choice for anyone looking for a low-maintenance, high-impact plant. So why not add one to your collection today and enjoy the beauty and elegance of this stunning tropical plant?

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