Philodendron Melanochrysum, also known as Black Gold Philodendron, is a beautiful climbing tropical plant that is easy to grow and requires very little care.
Besides their velvety texture, they are known for their large dark green, almost black crystalline leaves crossed by yellow veins.
In this article, I am going to cover the most important care tips for Philodendron Melanochrysum, including a step-by-step propagation guide.
Size & Growth
If grown indoors, Black Gold Philodendrons usually reach a height between three and five feet.
Outdoors they can grow much taller, reaching 20 feet high. The leaves of the Philodendron Melanochrysum can grow two feet in length.
It might sound confusing, but yes, Philodendron Melanochrysum enjoys bright shade. Bright shade stands for filtered sunlight or indirect bright light.
As a tropical plant, Philodendron prefers shady areas. It doesn’t appreciate direct sunlight, but it still needs some light to grow.
Direct sunlight can easily turn the leaves yellow or even burn them.
To give your plant the perfect environment, place it in an east-facing or north-facing window, where it can get enough light to grow and thrive.
When it comes to watering your Philodendron Melanochrysum, you should always make sure that the soil never dries out. You will need to hydrate your plant all the time, but also avoid over-watering.
You can check if it is time to water your Philodendron by digging your finger into the pot, until you hit the soil with your first knuckle.
If it is dry, you will know that it is time to water your plant. If the soil is still wet, you can wait a few days, then check back again.
Over-watering often leads to root rot. With too much water in the soil, oxygen cannot get through the roots. In this situation the roots of your plant will quickly start to decay or rot.
This Philodendron plant enjoys well-drained, but moist soil that is rich in organic matter. Being airy enough to drain water, sphagnum peat moss is an excellent choice for your plant.
It is also important to find a soil mixture that can drain excess water out through the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot but be able to hold enough water to hydrate your plant. Avoid too dry, wet or sandy potting mixes.
Temperature & Humidity
Black Gold Philodendrons can be grown as houseplants or outdoor plants in mild climates.
The ideal temperature they prefer is between 70-80 °F (21-27 °C). Philodendrons can also take temperatures down to 60 °F (15 °C), but keep in mind that this is not an ideal environment for your plant.
As the weather gets colder, make sure to bring inside your plant for the colder months before the first frost.
Regarding the humidity requirements, the Philodendron Melanochrysum doesn’t need high levels of humidity to thrive.
Although humidity won’t influence the growth of your plant, a high humidity environment is still preferable. Why? Because 60% or above humidity levels can help the leaves grow healthier and your plant to become lusher.
To achieve this, you can mist the leaves with water or use a pebble tray. It is very simple, all you need to do is to fill a tray with pebbles and water, then place your plant on the tray. The evaporating water creates humidity that goes right up to your plant.
To help your plant grow, I recommend feeding it with a quality fertilizer that has a high amount of nitrogen. However, there are some important steps to follow before you fertilize your Philodendron Melanochrysum.
The very first rule is to check if the soil is still moist before feeding your plant. Fertilizing your Philodendron when the soil is dry can seriously damage the plant and hurt the roots. If needed, you can water the soil a few days prior to fertilizing.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to never fertilize your plant during the cold months. Try to schedule the feeding during the growing season.
Potting & Repotting
When it comes to repotting your Black Gold Philodendron plant, the one thing you should consider is finding a pot that is bigger than the original one.
It usually takes one or two years for Melanochrysum to outgrow their pots, that is when you will need to repot them and size up their next pot.
Looking at the size of the plant you can easily decide when it needs repotting. Also, when your Philodendron becomes root bound, the growth will significantly slow down.
How to Propagate Philodendron Melanochrysum?
There are two different ways to propagate Philodendron Melanochrysum. You can choose from the method of air layering or you can follow the good old stem cutting process.
Let’s take a look at both:
- Use a knife to make a sharp, two inches deep and long wound on the stem.
- Stick a toothpick inside the wound and try to position it can hold the wound open.
- Prepare some moist sphagnum peat moss and rub it around the wound.
- After you are done with the third step, take a string and tie it around the moss.
- Prepare some plastic wrap and carefully wrap it around the wound as tight as you can. You can use duct tape or any other tape, the purpose is to keep the plastic wrap on the plant, so the sphagnum peat moss can stay on the wound.
- Leave the plant wrapped in plastic for two to three weeks, until roots will grow from the moss. When the roots reach a good length, cut the stem from the mother plant right above and below the moss.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the stem cutting and plant the cutting in a pot filled with well-drained soil rich in organic matter.
- Use pruning scissors to prune a stem cutting from the mother plant. Try to cut a two to four inches long piece, right above a leaf node. Make sure that your fresh cutting has at least two leaves.
- Don’t forget about curing your stem cutting: leave it for five to seven days in a warm area to let it heal.
- Prepare a pot for the new plant. Fill it with well-drained soil. As I have mentioned above, you can use sphagnum peat moss, your plant will definitely enjoy it.
- After your stem cutting calluses, you can plant it. Make a small hole in the pot and place your cutting in it.
- Fresh cuttings are not always able to support themselves, so you can help them by tying a straw to them.
- The last step is to place your brand-new plant in a warm and bright location, where it can get enough filtered sunlight to start growing.
As you can see, taking care of the Philodendron Melanochrysum doesn’t require much time or effort. Yet, this tropical plant will quickly reward you with its stunning growth and its mesmerizing crystalline look.