Philodendron Fun Bun (or Philodendron goeldii), is a rare and exotic plant from Brazil’s tropical rainforest. It is a beautiful plant with dark green leaves and bright yellow veins. Philodendron goeldii is a popular choice for indoor plants, as it is easy to care for and does not require a lot of sunlight or water.
This dream plant with its star-shaped leaves is the perfect choice for beginners or anyone who doesn’t have a green thumb. This arrangement of leaves on a single stem also looks like the fingers of a hand; therefore, the plant is also known as ‘Finger Leaf.’
This unique leaf pattern makes it a visually appealing plant that will certainly spruce up your space. Being an epiphytic plant, it loves to climb and develops climbing vines as it matures.
These vines climb and spread over the moss poles, nearby trees, or walls they find. Under the proper care and conditions, it can grow up to 5 feet tall and looks aesthetically pleasing. Its air-purifying properties make it an excellent choice for indoor spaces.
Quick Summary Guide:
Sunlight: bright, indirect sunlight but can also tolerate low-light conditions.
Water: water when the topsoil is dry.
Humidity: 60% or higher
Fertilizer: once a month during the growing season.
Pests and Diseases: Can be susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and root rot.
Growth: a fast-growing plant that can reach up to five feet tall
Toxicity: highly toxic to humans and pets.
Origin and History
The Philodendron goeldii plant is native to the tropical rainforests of South America. Commonly found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and French Guiana and grows under the canopy of taller trees. It belonged to the family Araceae and was first discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott in 1859. It was placed in a new genus Thaumatophyllum. Later it was moved to the Philodendron genus, and thus its common name ‘Philodendron Goeldii’ came into being.
Plant Debate: Again, a debate started on whether this plant belongs to the Philodendron genus or the Thaumatophyllum genus. However, recent phylogenetic analysis has suggested that this plant differs from the philodendrons and belongs to the genus Thaumatophyllum. So this plant is known by many names!
Additional names the Goeldii goes by:
Philodendron Finger Leaf
Philodendron Five Fingers
Philodendron Hand Philodendron
Philodendron “Fun Bun”
Although the plant is easy to care for, there are certain things you need to keep in mind to ensure its long and healthy life. This article will discuss everything you need to know about the Philodendron fun bun plant, including how to care for it.
Philodendron Fun Bun Care Guide
It is crucial to find a balance when it comes to the light requirements of this plant. It loves sitting in bright, indirect sunlight for 4-6 hours of a day. The ideal location for this plant is near a north-facing window that gets plenty of light but isn’t in direct sunlight.
If you live in an area with intense sunlight, it’s best to provide some shading to prevent the leaves from getting damaged. You can hang a sheer curtain in front of the window or place the plant 6 feet away from a window that receives direct sunlight for most of the day.
If your plant is getting low light, the leaves will become small, and the plant will start stretching out in search of more light. So keep a balance between low and intense sunlight.
While caring for Goeldii, remember that it does not like to sit in soggy soil, so be careful while choosing a potting mix for your plant. It prefers well-draining soil that is packed with organic matter.
You can either use a potting mix for indoor plants or make your own mix by mixing equal parts of perlite, sphagnum peat moss, and vermiculite.
This mixture will provide the perfect drainage that the plant needs and will also hold moisture long enough for the roots to absorb it.
Add sphagnum peat moss to the mix, providing your plant with the necessary nutrients. Perlite soil will help to aerate the roots and prevent them from rotting. Vermiculite will help to retain moisture and keep the roots hydrated.
The pH of the soil should be between 5-8. Don’t use sand only as a potting mix because it will not hold moisture, and your plant will dry out quickly.
Philodendron goeldii is a tropical plant and loves humid conditions. It would be best if you watered it regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
The best way to water this plant is to use the bottom-watering method. Fill the sink with water, and let the pot sit in it for about 15 minutes or until the topsoil feels moist. Don’t let the plant sit in water for too long, as it can lead to root rot. Allow the excess moisture to drain out before placing the pot back in its spot.
The watering frequency will depend on various factors like the size of the pot, type of potting mix, temperature, humidity, and light exposure. You should generally water your plant 1-2 times a week or when the topsoil feels dry to the touch.
Plant Tip: Use room-temperature water to water your Philodendron Goeldii plant. Cold water can shock the roots and damage the plant.
Though this plant can thrive without fertilizer, feeding it will help it grow faster and stay healthy. A monthly feeding of a balanced liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer months will help it thrive.
Use a fertilizer that has an NPK ratio of 10-10-10. You can also add some organic matter like compost or manure to the potting mix to provide some extra nutrients to the plant.
Do not fertilize the plant during the fall and winter as it is the plant’s dormant period, and adding fertilizer may burn the roots. Remember to dilute the fertilizer to half the strength recommended on the label before using it.
This plant loves warm conditions and will not do well if the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C). It is best to keep the temperature between 59-86 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth.
So indoor conditions are perfect for this plant as the temperature is usually regulated. But if you live in a cold climate and plan on keeping your plant outdoors, bring it indoors before the temperature drops below 50°F because anything below this temperature can damage the plant.
Philodendron fun bun loves humid conditions and does best in a room with humidity above 60%. The ideal range is between 60-80%. If the air in your home is too dry, the leaves will start to turn brown and crispy.
To increase the humidity around your plant, you can use a humidifier, pebble tray method, or group your plant with other plants.
For the pebble tray method, take a shallow dish and fill it with gravel or stones. Add water to the dish until it reaches just below the rocks. Place your plant on top of the stones, and the evaporation of water will increase the humidity around the plant.
You can group your indoor plants together and create your own mini jungle. The plants will help to increase the humidity for each other. Just make sure to place them in a spot where they’ll all get enough light.
Philodendron goeldii is a fast-growing plant that can reach up to 12 feet. But when grown indoors, it usually only reaches a height of about three to six feet.
This plant can also spread wide, so make sure you have enough space for it to grow. If you want to control its growth, you can do so by pruning the plant.
Pruning is not a necessary step in Philodendron Goeldii care, as this plant does not take much space. But if you want to control its growth or shape it, then pruning is the way to go.
You can prune the plant whenever you see yellow or brown leaves to keep the plant healthy. You can trim the plant anytime during the year, but the best time to do it is during the spring or summer.
Use a sharp and sterile pair of scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts. Also, make sure to disinfect your tools before and after use to prevent spreading diseases.
This plant does not need to be repotted too often as it likes to be a bit root-bound. You can repot the plant every 2-3 years or when it has outgrown its current pot. To report the plant:
- Choose a pot that is only 1-2 inches larger than the current one.
- Be careful not to select a pot that is too big as it can lead to overwatering.
- Use a well-draining potting mix and water the plant well after repotting.
- Don’t repot your plant too often as it can stress the plant and restrict its growth.
- Spring is the best time to repot your plant.
Propagation of the Philodendron Fun Bun
There are several methods that you can use to propagate this plant, like stem cuttings, air layering, tip layering, and compound layering. The easiest and most common way is stem cuttings.
For stem cutting, follow these simple steps:
- Choose a stem that is 4-6 inches long and has at least two leaves.
- Cut the stem just below a leaf node using a sharp and sterile knife or scissors.
- Remove the lower leaves from the cutting so that only 2-3 leaves are left.
- Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and plant it in a pot filled with well-draining potting mix.
- Water the soil and place the pot in a warm location with indirect sunlight.
- The cutting will take 2-3 weeks to root. Once it has rooted, you can water it and fertilize it like a typical plant.
Air layering is another popular propagation method, and it is advantageous if you want to propagate a large Philodendron fun Bun.
To air layer, Philodendron Goeldii, follow these steps:
- Choose a stem at least 12 inches long with many leaves.
- Cut halfway through the stem at a leaf node.
- Dip the cut in rooting hormone and wrap it in moist sphagnum moss.
- Wrap the entire stem in plastic, ensuring the moss is covered.
- Tie the plastic around the stem to secure it.
- The Philodendron Goeldii air layer will take about two months to root.
Once it has rooted, you can remove it from the stem and pot it like a standard plant. Philodendron goeldii is a wonder plant because of its easy care and fast growth.
Philodendron goeldii is toxic to both humans and animals if ingested. The leaves contain insoluble calcium oxalates, irritating the throat and digestive system.
If ingested, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Contact your local poison control center immediately if you suspect your plant has been consumed.
Philodendron goeldii is a hardy plant, but it can still experience some problems. Some common issues include:
Leaf drop: This problem is usually caused by water stress, transplant shock, or winter damage. Look for the cause and treat it according to the caring tips above.
Brown or Yellow Leaves: This problem is usually caused by too much direct sunlight, low humidity, nutrient deficiency, or over-watering.
Your plant sometimes gets infested with pests like mealybugs, spider mites, or aphids. These pests can be controlled by using insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Mealybugs: These pests are small, white, and fuzzy. They suck the sap from the plant, which can lead to yellowing and wilting of the leaves.
Spider mites: These pests are tiny spider-like creatures that feed on plant sap. They usually live on the undersides of leaves and can cause stippling or discoloration.
Aphids: These pests are tiny, soft-bodied insects that suck the sap from the plant. They can cause the leaves to curl, distort, or yellow.
Q: Why are the leaves of my Philodendron Goeldii turning yellow?
A: There are several reasons why the leaves of your Philodendron Goeldii might be turning yellow. It could be due to too much direct sunlight, low humidity, nutrient deficiency, or aphids. Try to identify the problem and solve it accordingly.
Q: Why are the leaves of my Philodendron turning brown?
A: There are several reasons why the leaves of your Philodendron Goeldii might be turning brown. It could be due to too under watering, or disease has started affecting the plant. Check the soil to see if it’s dry and light- if so, give your plant a good watering.
If the leaves are spotted brown, then it’s most likely diseased. Take it outside and clean the leaves well with rubbing alcohol and water. Be sure it’s away from other plants so it won’t infect them as well.
Q: Is Philodendron Fun Bun toxic?
A: It is toxic to humans and animals if ingested. The leaves contain insoluble calcium oxalates, irritating the throat and digestive system. If ingested, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Contact your local poison control center immediately if you suspect your plant has been eaten.
Q: Is the Philodendron Fun Bun a rare plant?
A: Philodendron Fun Bun is a rare plant but can be found in some specialty nurseries. These plants are under many names, such as Philodendron Fun Bun, Philodendron Goeldii, or P. Goldie.
Q: What are similar plants to Philodendron Fun Bun?
A: Many Philodendron species are similar in appearance to Philodendron Fun Bun. These plants include Philodendron erubescens, Philodendron hederaceum, and Philodendron crassinervium.
So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about how to care for your Philodendron Fun Bun: this plant is a beautiful addition to any home and, with the proper care, can last for years.
Keep light, soil, water, temperature, humidity, and pruning in mind when caring for your Goeldii, and enjoy watching it grow!