Variegated Pedatum, a Philodendron with a flair for the dramatic, swoops in and steals the show in any plant collection. With its eye-catching marbled leaves that range from cream to deep green, it’s no wonder this tropical climbing plant has become the talk of the town among foliage aficionados.
Originating from the exotic realms of Brazil, Columbia, and Venezuela, the elusive Oak Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron Pedatum) has baffled botanists for generations.
However, they don’t seem to mind too much, as they are constantly in awe of its stunning variegations and remarkable adaptability.
As prices for the variegated Pedatum can range from a modest $450 to a staggering $1,300, it’s clear that these leafy celebrities are making a substantial impact on the wallets of plant enthusiasts worldwide.
While it’s difficult to say whether the variegated Pedatum’s popularity will continue to soar, it’s evident that, for now, they’re the reigning royalty of the botanical world!
Variegated Pedatum, also known as Philodendron Pedatum Variegated, is a rare and beautiful variety of the Philodendron Pedatum plant. This plant becomes an eye-catching addition to your home with prominent green and white leaves that can grow up to 18 inches long.
Originating from tropical regions like Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela, the Oak Leaf Philodendron thrives in a humid environment. To ensure it grows healthy and strong, it is essential to replicate these conditions to the best of your ability.
The plant, commonly known as Philodendron pedatum, goes by several scientific names, including Philodendron polypodioides, Philodendron quercifolium, and Philodendron laciniatum.
Quick Care Summary
- Light:Variegated Pedatum needs bright, indirect light to maintain its vibrant leaf color. Avoid direct afternoon sunlight.
- Water:Maintain a damper soil environment during its growing season while reducing watering in the winter months.
- Humidity: This plant loves humidity! Keep the surrounding area humid with a pebble tray, humidifier, or frequent misting.
- Soil: A well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix is ideal. You can also create a custom mix with equal parts perlite, peat moss, and potting soil.>
- Fertilizer: Feed your Variegated Pedatum with a balanced liquid fertilizer during its growing season, approximately every 4-6 weeks.
History and Origin
The Philodendron Pedatum, also known as the Oak Leaf Philodendron, has a fascinating history from the middle of the 18th century.
This tropical climbing plant, native to countries like Brazil, Columbia, and Venezuela, has long attracted botanists’ attention due to its intriguing foliage and growth patterns.
Over the years, the plant has been discovered, named, and renamed multiple times due to the different appearances its foliage naturally produces.
In the 1840s the Philodendron Pedatum was first classified and tagged, and since then, it has gone through numerous reclassifications within the Araceae family.
Despite its complicated history and the occasional confusion surrounding its classification, the Philodendron Pedatum remains a cherished plant in the world of horticulture. Not to mention a highly rare prized houseplant.
Its beauty, ease of care, and adaptability have secured its place as a favorite among novice and experienced plant lovers.
Variegated Pedatum Description
Leaves and Foliage
The Variegated Pedatum lobbed leaves can range from solid neon yellow to deep green, making it look eye-catching in any indoor or outdoor garden setting.
The deep green leaves often have pale yellow or white variegation that hardens off to lighter shades of green as they mature.
When in its initial stage, Philodendron pedatum features oblong-oval-shaped baby leaves. As it matures into the juvenile and subadult stages, morphogenesis occurs, resulting in a few, not well-defined lobes.
During this stage, the base of the leaves becomes slightly rounded while the apex takes on a tail-like or caudate shape.
This vining plant grows well up a trellis or moss pole, showcasing its attractive leaves with shorter node spacing.
The stems of the Variegated Philodendron are also notable for their green color, often striped with yellow, adding an extra touch of interest to this already beautiful plant.
Philodendron pedatum is a climbing rainforest hemiepiphyte that undergoes terrestrial and epiphytic growth phases.
It is primarily found in South Tropical America which thrives in moist, wet tropical, and premontane forests. However, in Ecuador, it is typically found in premontane wet forests.
With a relatively fast growth rate, this plant can reach 9 feet or more, but it requires a structure to climb to achieve this height. When grown indoors, it typically grows to 4 to 8 feet.
The stems of Variegated Philodendron Pedatum range from light brown or gray to dark green and have a semi-glossy to matte appearance.
They are typically 0.2-1.1 inches thick and have internodes ranging from 0.6-6 inches long. The surface of the stems is occasionally slightly rough and may have weak fissures running along their length.
The cataphylls are deciduous and usually medium to dark green with a purplish to reddish tinge. They also have dense paler speckles. Generally, the cataphylls are unribbed, but in rare cases, they may have double ribs that start in the middle and extend toward the apex.
Flowers and Blooms
The P. pedatumis is admired for its vibrant leaves and blooms. Originating from tropical America, this plant produces white flowers that stand out against the dark green foliage, featuring a striking purple center.
The flowers are rare, as the main focus of this plant is usually the impressive variegated foliage.
However, the occasional bloom adds a layer of beauty to any space where the P. pedatum is grown.
Cultivation and Care
Variegated Philodendron Pedatum thrives in indirect light, which allows it to maintain its beautiful variegation while promoting healthy growth.
Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves and cause damage to the plant.
The plants need sunlight for approximately 12-14 hours daily, although they can also tolerate medium light. A bit of morning sun from an east-facing window is acceptable but avoid direct sunlight.
Insufficient light will produce a leggy plant with smaller, paler, or yellowish leaves. Consider purchasing a Grow Light, which emits full-spectrum, sun-like light during the winter months or if you live in a location with minimal daylight sun.
This tropical houseplant prefers warmer temperatures, ideally between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not frost-resistant and should be protected from freezing temperatures.
P. pedatum is suitable for USDA hardiness zones 10-12 and is not tolerant of frost, as freezing temperatures can be fatal to the plant. It is recommended to cultivate it outdoors year-round in these zones or zone 9B if frost is absent.
As a tropical plant, variegated pedatum enjoys high humidity. Aim for 50-60% humidity levels to keep the plant happy. You can achieve this by placing a humidifier nearby or using a pebble tray filled with water to create a more humid microclimate.
Water the variegated Philodendron Pedatum about once weekly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot and other diseases.
Soil and Potting
The Pedatum plant requires well-draining and moisture-retentive soil that is aerated and rich in organic matter. It also prefers a slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH range of 5.5-7.3. If you spend a few hundred dollars on this plant – you will want to give it the best soil possible.
You can easily find an aroid mix for your plant at your local plant store or online marketplace. Alternatively, you can create your aroid mix at home by incorporating perlite, moss peat, or coco coir, compost, and bark chips into your potting soil.
When potting or re-potting your plant, ensure the container has drainage holes to prevent standing water and root rot.
Variegated Philodendron Pedatum is a heavy feeder and requires regular fertilization during the growing season. This will help promote healthy growth and vibrant green leaves. Apply a diluted 10-10-10 (or 20-20-20) fertilizer solution every two to three weeks during spring and summer to encourage lush growth.
Consider a slow-release fertilizer formulated explicitly for houseplants. Begin applying it in the spring and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
Variegated Philodendron Pedatum can be easily propagated using a few methods. This section will discuss stem cuttings and seed propagation, providing the information you need to reproduce your plant successfully.
Taking stem cuttings is one of the easiest and most preferred ways to propagate your variegated Philodendron Pedatum. The best time to do this is during late spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. To reproduce using stem cuttings, follow these steps:
- Choose a healthy stem tip and cut a 6-8 inch section using a clean, sharp pair of gardening shears.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom 2/3 of the cutting, leaving only a few leaves at the top.
- Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone to encourage root growth and improve the chances of successful propagation.
- Plant the cutting in moistened potting mix, ensuring the soil covers the cut end.
Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and provide bright, indirect light. You should see new growth within a few weeks.
Propagation by Seeds
Propagation by seeds is slower, but it can still be rewarding. Seed-grown plants may take 5 to 7 months to become well-established and decorative. To propagate variegated Philodendron Pedatum using seeds, follow these steps:
- Obtain dry, unsoaked seeds from a reputable supplier. They should be readily available in the market.
- Plant the seeds 1/3 inches deep in an appropriate soil mix, following the instructions provided by the seed supplier.
- Maintain consistent moisture, but avoid overwatering. Seedlings may rot if the soil becomes waterlogged.
Patience is critical when propagating by seeds, as it takes longer. However, the process will ultimately reward you with beautiful, healthy variegated Philodendron Pedatum plants.
P. Pedatum plants can experience infestations of common pests such as mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. These pests can damage your plant by sucking sap, causing leaves to wilt and turn yellow.
To prevent and treat these issues, it is essential to monitor your plant for early signs of infestation diligently. Methods to control these pests could include:
- Regularly inspecting and wiping down leaves to remove pests and their residue.
- Using a soapy water solution to spray the plant and treat minor infestations
- Introducing beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, to control spider mites naturally
- Applying insecticidal soap or neem oil in case of a more extensive infestation
Aside from pest infestations, P. pedatum plants can also suffer from diseases and other issues related to their care. Some common problems include leaves turning brown or yellow due to poor watering practices, over-fertilization, or insufficient lighting.
Addressing these issues typically involves adjusting your care practices, such as:
- Ensuring proper watering by allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings, as over-watering or under-watering can cause leaf issues
- Avoiding over-fertilization by using a well-balanced fertilizer, applying it during the growing season, and following the recommended dosage
- Providing adequate lighting by placing your plant in a bright, indirect light source for optimal growth
You can maintain a healthy and thriving plant in your home by monitoring your Philodendron Pedatum plant for pests and adjusting care practices when necessary.
Uses and Benefits
Variegated Philodendron is admired for its beautiful foliage and unique growth habit, making it a popular houseplant with various uses and benefits.
One of the primary uses of this plant is as an attractive ornamental houseplant that can add a touch of nature to indoor spaces.
Aside from its aesthetic appeal, the variegated Philodendron pedatum is also known for its adaptability to different humidity levels. It can thrive in various environments, making it an ideal choice for novice and experienced plant enthusiasts.
Maintaining a humidity level of around 60% or more is ideal for these plants, but they can still tolerate lower levels if necessary.
In addition to its visual appeal and easy maintenance, the variegated Philodendron pedatum also has potential medicinal uses. The closely related Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum) is believed to have specific medicinal properties.
Although direct evidence is limited for the Philodendron pedatum, this plant may share some health benefits.
Regarding propagation, variegated Philodendron pedatum is relatively easy to reproduce from cuttings. This process allows growers to expand their collection or share their beloved plants with friends and family.
In summary, variegated Philodendron pedatum offers many benefits, including its striking appearance, adaptability to various humidity levels, and potential medicinal properties, making it an excellent addition to any indoor plant collection.
Q: What is a variegated pedatum?
A: A variegated P. pedatum is a cultivar of the P. pedatum plant species with variegated foliage, meaning its leaves have different colors or patterns.
Q: What colors do variegated P. pedatum leaves have?
A: Variegated P. pedatum leaves can have shades of green, white, cream, or yellow. The patterns can vary from speckles to stripes or even a marbled effect.
Q: How do I care for my Philodendron pedatum?
A: Variegated P. pedatum requires similar care to the regular P. pedatum. It needs bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and regular watering. Fertilize once a month during the growing season.
Q: Can I propagate my variegated P. pedatum?
A: Yes, variegated P. pedatum can be propagated through stem cuttings. Ensure the cutting has at least two nodes, dip it in rooting hormone, and plant it in well-draining soil.
Q: Is variegated P. pedatum toxic to pets?
A: Like many other philodendrons, variegated P. pedatum is toxic to pets, specifically cats and dogs. Keep it out of reach, or consider choosing a pet-friendly plant.
Q: Why are variegated P. pedatum more expensive than regular P. pedatum?
A: Variegated plants are generally more expensive due to their rarity and difficulty propagating them. The variegation trait is also unstable, meaning it’s challenging to produce consistent variegation in every plant.
Q: Where is it native to?
A: The variegated pedatum is native to South Tropical America, where it grows in moist and wet tropical and premontane forests as a climbing rainforest hemiepiphyte.
Q: What is the difference between Pedatum Variegata and Florida Variegated?
A: Pedatum Variegata is a variety of Philodendron Pedatum with shorter node spacing and more consistent variegation. It has green and often yellow-striped petioles.
On the other hand, Florida Variegated has red petioles, and its leaves vary from solid neon yellow to deep green. This plant tends to be stringier, and maintaining its variegation is more challenging.
Q: What are some similar houseplants?
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) – This trailing plant has variegated leaves and is easy to care for.
- Monstera deliciosa – This popular plant has large, perforated leaves and is also known as the Swiss cheese plant.
- Philodendron Brasil (Philodendron hederaceum) – This plant has variegated heart-shaped leaves and is low maintenance.
- Philodendron Birkin (Philodendron hederaceum ‘Birkin’) – This plant has striking white variegation on its dark green leaves.
- Calathea ornata – This plant has beautiful pink stripes on its leaves and is a bit more challenging to care for than the previous plants on this list.
So, if you’re looking for a plant that’s easy to care for, has beautiful variegated leaves, and can even tolerate a little neglect, then the variegated pedatum philodendron is the plant for you!
It’s like having a low-maintenance friend who always looks stylish and never complains. While more pricey, this plant has a lot to offer.
So, go ahead and add this fun-loving plant to your home and let it bring some tropical vibes and a touch of fun to your space!