Caring For the Adored Golden Dragon Philodendron (What You Really Need to Know)

Philodendron Golden Dragon is one of the most lush and exotic plants you can have in your home. It’s a great addition to any indoor garden and will add a touch of luxury to any room. If you are a busy person with little time to spare, the Philodendron Golden Dragon is the perfect plant for you!

Also known as this hardy plant does not require much care and can survive with your neglect. It is one of the easiest Philodendrons to grow and is known for its golden yellow leaves with ruffled edges. The leaves of this plant are its most beautiful feature and look like a dragon head, the reason behind its name.

Keep reading this article to learn more about Philodendron Golden Dragon care and how to keep it healthy and beautiful!

Golden Dragon Appearance

This gorgeous tropical plant has broad, multi-lobed green leaves variegated with a golden yellow mottled pattern that can disappear sometimes. The leaves can grow up to 1-2 feet long and 8 inches wide, depending on the plant’s maturity.

Being a climber, it displays very fast growth and can quickly fill up any space. In its natural environment, it grows by climbing on other trees with the help of its aerial roots. Under indoor conditions, this beautiful plant can reach up to 12 inches tall. However, if it is provided with moss poles or trellis to grow, it sometimes super passes 25 inches.

This plant is easy to care for, and with the right care, it will thrive for years!

Quick Summary Guide:

Sunlight: Bright, Indirect

Water: Weekly

Fertilizer: Monthly

Temperature: 65-85 degrees F (18-29 C)

Soil: pH tolerate, well-draining

Humidity: high humidity

Toxicity: Philodendron dragon is poisonous if ingested.

Origin and History

Philodendron Golden Dragon belongs to the family Araceae and Philodendron genus that comprises over 400 species of Philodendrons. It traces its origins back to Central, North, and South America, where it is found growing in the wild.

Some resources claim it is a hybrid or cultivar of Philodendron Bipennifolium and Philodendron Brasil. However, this claim is unverified, and the actual parentage of Philodendron Golden Dragon remains a mystery.

This Philodendron was introduced to the world in the early 21st century by Florida-based horticulturist Phil Van Acker. It quickly gained popularity among Philodendron lovers and is now widely available in the plant market.

You will find this plant with many common names, including Philodendron Lime Fiddle, Philodendron bipennifolium ‘Golden Dragon,’ Philodendron ‘Camouflage,’ and Philodendron Minarum. It loves warm and humid conditions and is found in tropical regions all over the World.

Philodendron Golden Dragon Care

Golden Dragon CareThe golden dragon is one of the easiest Philodendrons to care for and is perfect for busy people who do not have time to spare. It is a very versatile plant that can tolerate a wide range of conditions, making it perfect for both beginner and experienced gardeners.

Below are some tips on Philodendron Golden Dragon care:

Light

Being native to tropical forests, this plant grows under the shelter of large trees, receives dappled sunlight, and prefers the same indoor conditions.

It likes receiving bright, indirect light and can tolerate some shade. It will do best near an east- or west-facing window. If you are growing it indoors, make sure to rotate the pot periodically so that all sides of the plant get equal light exposure.

Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so be cautious about placement. If you plant receives too little sunlight it will become etiolated, meaning it will become leggy with long stretches between leaves.

As it is a fast climber, provide it with some support in the form of moss poles or trellis so it can climb without breaking its stems. Grow your plant outdoors if you want to see its full potential but ensure that it receives adequate lighting.

In the darker, winter months, you can use grow lights to supplement the plant’s lighting needs. These work well to provide the correct light spectrum and intensity that Philodendrons need to grow.

Soil

Choosing the right potting mix is crucial while caring for Philodendron Golden Dragon. A well-draining, loose, and airy potting mix is all that this plant needs. Don’t use garden soil or sand only as it will cause more harm to your plant rather than providing any benefits.

Garden soil is too dense and can prevent water from draining, while sand can make the potting mix too dry. This Philodendron likes slightly acidic with a pH level between 4.5 to 6. You can easily achieve this by adding some peat moss or compost to your potting mix.

Use a peat-based potting mix, or you can make your own potting mix by mixing 1 part of peat moss, 1 part of perlite, and 1 part of regular potting soil. Peat moss will help to retain moisture, while perlite will provide drainage and aeration.

You can also add in some worm casting to provide nutrients to your plant. This potting mix will provide Philodendron Golden Dragon with all the necessary nutrients and help drainage and aeration.

Use a terracotta pot instead of a plastic pot as a terracotta pot absorbs excess moisture from the soil and helps prevent root rot.

Water

The art of watering your plant lies in knowing when to water it. Philodendron Golden Dragon is a tropical plant and loves humid conditions; however, it can not tolerate soggy or wet conditions.

Watering at the right time and amount will help keep your Philodendron healthy and beautiful. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out completely before watering it again. The best way to check whether your plant needs watering or not is to stick your finger in the soil up to your second knuckle.

If it feels dry, then it is time to water your plant. If you see your plant wilting, then it means that it is too late and you need to water it immediately.

Overwatering can lead to problems like root or stem rot which can be fatal for your plant, so make sure not to overwater it.

You can also use the chopstick method to check whether your plant needs watering. Stick a chopstick or skewer into the soil next to the plant. If it comes out dry, then water the plant.

Bottom watering is the best method to water Philodendron Golden Dragon as it helps prevent leaves from getting wet and developing fungal diseases. To bottom water, simply fill a tray with water and let your plant sit in it for about 15-20 minutes. Allow the excess water to drain out before placing it back in its spot.

Fertilizer

Philodendron Golden Dragon grows very fast and thus is considered a heavy feeder. So fertilizing it is very important if you want it to grow healthy and beautiful. It needs to be fertilized regularly throughout its growing season, from spring to summer.

It should be fertilized at least three times a year. Use a balanced fertilizer with the ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 for this plant. Be sure that its nitrogen levels are not too high as it can lead to the leaves turning yellow. You can also use organic fertilizers like compost or manure. Simply mix it into the potting soil before planting.

You can use a water-soluble fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer. Fertilize your plant once a month during the spring and summer seasons. Apply fertilizer at least 6 inches away from the stem so that it doesn’t burn the roots of your plant.

Avoid fertilizing your plant when it is not actively growing, and also avoid over-fertilizing as it can build up salts in the root zone and harm the plant.

Temperature

Right caring for Philodendron Golden Dragon demands providing it with the right temperature. It is a tropical plant and thus loves warm conditions.

The ideal temperature for this plant lies between 60 to 85ºF (15-30ºC). If you are growing it outdoors, make sure that the temperatures don’t drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit as Philodendron can not tolerate cold or frosty conditions. Move it immediately indoors when the temperatures start to drop.

Don’t move your plant under extreme temperature changes as it can harm your plant. Frost and cold drafts are very harmful to your plant, so make sure that there is no draft near your Philodendron.

Humidity

Like other Philodendrons, Philodendron Golden Dragon loves resting under high humid conditions and warm temperatures. Anything above 50% will do just fine for this plant.

It can thrive below this level also but won’t be as lush and beautiful as it would be under high humid conditions. If you live in an area with low humidity levels, then you can provide your Philodendron with the required humidity by grouping it with other plants, using a pebble tray, or by misting it regularly.

You can also use a humidifier to maintain the right humidity level for your Philodendron. Don’t mist it too often as it leaves the leaves wet and can invite fungal and bacterial diseases. Make sure that there is good air circulation around your plant as it doesn’t like stagnant air.

Growth

Philodendron Golden Dragon is a fast-growing plant and can grow up to 20 feet (60 cm) long. It is a climbing plant and thus needs something to climb on, like a trellis or a pole.

You can also allow it to trail down from a hanging basket. It can grow in both bright indirect light as well as in low light conditions. Philodendron Golden Dragon enjoys being root-bound, so don’t repot it too often.

Pruning

This plant does not need regular pruning; however, pruning is necessary to shape your Philodendron Golden Dragon and to control its growth. It can be pruned anytime during the year but the best time to do so is during the spring.

You can prune it by cutting the stem with a sharp and clean knife or shears. Make sure that the cutting tool is sterilized before using it on your plant to avoid the spread of diseases and infections.

Always wear gloves while pruning your Philodendron as its sap can irritate your skin. After pruning, Philodendron will produce new shoots and grow even more lush and beautiful.

Repotting

Philodendron Golden Dragon will need to be repotted every 3-4 years or when you notice that it has outgrown its current pot. The best time to do so is during the spring, when the plant is actively growing because it gets adjusted to the new environment very easily.

You can use a pot one size larger than the current pot for repotting. Water your Philodendron well a day before repotting so that its roots are moistened and won’t get damaged while repotting.

Carefully take it out of the current pot and place it in the new pot. Fill the gaps with fresh potting mix and water it well.

Your philodendron will take some time to adjust to the new pot and environment, so be patient and don’t worry if it doesn’t start growing immediately.

Philodendron Golden Dragon Propagation

The Golden Dragon can be propagated a few different ways. The easiest way is to propagate it from stem cuttings.

Stem Cuttings

The best time to do so is during the spring, when the plant is actively growing.

  1. Take a cutting of about 4-6 inches in length from a healthy Philodendron plant and make sure that the cutting has at least 2-3 leaves.
  2. Remove the bottom leaves of the cutting, dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone, and plant it in a pot filled with fresh potting mix.
  3. Water it well and place it in a warm and humid place.
  4. The cutting will take some time to grow roots, so be patient and don’t overwater it.
  5. Once it has grown roots, you can transfer it to a new pot and treat it like a typical mature Philodendron plant.

Division

You can also propagate the plant by dividing the root ball.

  1. Carefully take the Philodendron out of its pot and gently divide the root ball into two parts with your hands.
  2. Replant each part in a new pot filled with fresh potting mix and water it well.
  3. Philodendron will take some time to adjust to the new environment, so be patient and don’t overwater it.

Air Layering

Air layering is another method of propagation that can be used for Philodendron Golden Dragon. This method is best done during the spring or summer.

  1. To air layer, take a stem cutting of about 12 inches in length from a healthy Philodendron plant and make a small cut in the middle of the stem.
  2. Apply rooting hormone to the cut and wrap it with a moist piece of sphagnum moss.
  3. Secure the moss with plastic or aluminum foil and make sure that it is in contact with the stem.
  4. Keep the moss moist by misting it with water every day.
  5. The Philodendron cutting will take some time to grow roots, so be patient and don’t overwater it.
  6. Once it has grown roots, you can carefully remove it from the stem and plant it in a pot filled with fresh potting mix.

Toxicity

Philodendron Golden Dragon is poisonous for both humans and animals if ingested. It can cause irritation and burning sensation in the mouth and throat, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, and diarrhea.

If you suspect that your Philodendron Golden Dragon has been ingested, immediately contact your doctor or veterinarian.

Common Problems

Philodendron Golden Dragon care is very easy and doesn’t experience many problems. It is a very tough plant and doesn’t bother you frequently.

Diseases

Philodendron Golden Dragon is very resistant to diseases and pests. However, it can be affected by root rot if overwatered or if the pot doesn’t have proper drainage.

If you notice that the leaves of your Philodendron are turning yellow or brown, immediately check the roots. If they are mushy and black, then it is a sure sign of root rot.

The best way to deal with it is to carefully remove the plant from the pot, trim off the affected roots, and repot it in fresh potting mix.

Philodendrons are also susceptible to fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and leaf spot. These diseases are usually caused by overwatering or high humidity. If you notice any white powdery substance on the leaves or brown spots, immediately take action to improve the drainage and reduce the watering. You can also treat the plant with a fungicide.

Pests

Philodendron Golden Dragon is mostly pest-free but it can be affected by mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. These pests are usually found on the underside of the leaves and can suck the plant’s sap, causing the leaves to turn yellow or brown.

If you notice any of these pests on your Philodendron, immediately take action to get rid of them. You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to get rid of these pests.

A good homemade recipe for pests consist of:

  • One cup of water
  • One tablespoon of dish soap
  • One tablespoon of neem oil

Spray this mixture on the Philodendron leaves and stems, making sure to reach the underside of the leaves. Repeat this process every week until the pests are gone.

You can also use organic pest control methods such as ladybugs or praying mantis. These predators will help to get rid of the pests without harming your Philodendron.

You can purchase them at your local garden center or online. Just be sure to place your plant outside before releasing them onto the plant!

FAQ

Philodendron Golden Dragon Q: Why are the leaves of my Philodendron Golden Dragon turning yellow?

A: Philodendron Golden Dragon leaves can turn yellow due to several reasons such as over watering, nutrient deficiency, or pests. If you notice that the leaves are turning yellow, check the undersides of the leaves

Q: Why are the leaves of my Philodendron Golden Dragon turning brown?

A: Philodendron Golden Dragon leaves can turn brown due to several reasons such as overwatering, pests, or too much direct sunlight.

If you notice that the leaves are turning brown, check the roots and see if they are mushy or black. This is a sign of root rot and the plant needs to be repotted in fresh potting mix. If the roots are healthy, then it is most likely due to pests or too much direct sunlight.

Q: Where Can I buy a Philodendron Golden Dragon?

A: Philodendron Golden Dragon is a very popular plant and is widely available in garden centers, nurseries, and online. You can also buy it from Amazon.

Q: What happens if I forget to water my Philodendron?

A: Philodendron is a very tough plant and can tolerate some neglect. If you forget to water it for a week or two, the leaves will start to droop but will recover once you water it again.

However, if you forget to water it for too long, the leaves will turn brown and drop off.

Q: Can my variegated Philodendron Dragon change to all green?

A: Philodendron Dragon is a variegated plant, which means that the leaves have white and yellow markings on them. However, if the plant is not getting enough light, the leaves can revert back to all green. To avoid this, make sure to give your plant, indirect light.

Q: What is the difference between a Philodendron Dragon and a Philodendron Brasil?

A: Philodendron Brasil is a hybrid of Philodendron Golden Dragon and Philodendron Gloriosum. It has the same care requirements as Philodendron Golden Dragon but the leaves are more deeply lobed.

Q: Can I keep my Philodendron Dragon outdoors?

A: Philodendron Golden Dragon is not frost-tolerant so it should be brought indoors or kept in a greenhouse during the winter. However, Philodendron Brasil can tolerate some frost and can be kept outdoors year-round in warm climates.

Conclusion

Now you have all the information you need to take care of Philodendron Golden Dragon. This plant is easy to care for plant that can brighten up any space.

It is very tough and can tolerate your neglect also, so it is perfect for those who are new to plant care. Just with some basic care and maintenance, your Philodendron Golden Dragon will thrive well and grow very beautifully.

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