Philodendron Martianum Species Profile & Care Guide

The Philodendron Martianum, commonly known as the Fat Boy, is a rare and exotic tropical plant of the Philodendron species.

Due to its unusually large, heart-shaped leaves and vibrant green color, it’s an excellent addition to any plant collection that adds a dash of tropical allure.

This guide will delve into the meticulous details of the Martianum’s profile, care guide, potential issues, special features, and some helpful tips.

Philodendron Martianum

Profile Overview

  • Common Name: Philodendron Martianum is also frequently referred to as Fat Boy Philodendron, a funny stroke to its larger leaf size.
  • Scientific Name: The scientific name for this plant is Philodendron Martianum.
  • Family: This species belongs to the Araceae family, well-known for flowering plants that most often offer vibrant and eye-catching foliage.
  • Origin/Native Region: The Philodendron Martianum is a tropical plant native to southern Brazil.
  • Growth Habit: Recognized for its petiole-forming habit, its round and green, slightly heart-shaped leaves grow from the petioles instead of the stem, offering a unique feature.


The Philodendron Martianum is a stunning evergreen perennial plant that offers a distinctive aesthetic appeal with its deeply lobed, glossy, and heart-shaped leaves.

Its overall structure is a bit peculiar as it develops a distinctively stout stem constantly swaddled by a cluster of leaves. This unique arrangement gives the Philodendron Martianum a bushy appearance.

The coloration of this species varies from a dark green to a medium green tone, enhancing its versatility in terms of decorative use. Its foliage exhibits a slightly leathery texture, adding to its sophisticated taste.

With appropriate care, the plant can maintain this vibrant and lush visual appeal throughout the year.

Leaf Size

The Philodendron Martianum boasts broad heart-shaped leaves that can reach an impressive size of up to 12 inches long and 7 to 9 inches wide when they are mature.

The leaves not only contribute to the plant’s lush, tropical appeal but also tell a story about its health. Adequate light, water, and nutrient supplies help optimize leaf size growth.

Leaf size also points towards the maturity of the plant— smaller, less developed leaves signify a younger plant while larger, fully unfurled ones indicate a mature Philodendron Martianum.

Leaf Shape

The Philodendron Martianum stands out due to its unique leaf shape. Unlike some other members of the Philodendron family, the Martianum’s leaves boast a rounded heart shape—a characteristic hallmark of this variety.

The edges of the leaves are subtly serrated, adding to the plant’s unique visual appeal. In some instances, leaves may appear slightly folded along the vertical length, appearing almost as rolled parchment when viewed from a distance.

This unmistakable leaf shape amplifies the plant’s charm, making it a focus of interest in your indoor or outdoor plant collection.

Understanding its unique leaf shape is essential when identifying and caring for your Philodendron Martianum plant.

Leaf Color

Philodendron Martianum is revered for its vibrant leaf color. The glossy, heart-shaped leaves display an impressive show of dark green, a characteristic shade for many species in the philodendron family.

This deep green shade contributes to the plant’s overall charm and aesthetic appeal. In some cases, new leaves might emerge as a lighter shade of green but darken as they mature, becoming more consistent with the overall color palette of the plant.

In low light conditions, the leaf color may become slightly less vivid, which makes proper light exposure crucial in maintaining the Martianum’s enchanting hue.

Stem Characteristics

The Philodendron Martianum, unlike some other Philodendron species, possesses a relatively stout and erect stem that supports the growth of its foliage.

This unique characteristic is a key factor in the plant’s overall appearance. Its sturdy stems are generally of a light green to yellow-green color, adding to the plant’s visual interest.

They are able to grow upright or can trail along the ground or surfaces in a creeping habit depending on the growing conditions.

This flexibility in stem growth habits can be leveraged by plant enthusiasts to achieve unique decorative displays with their Philodendron Martianum.

Mature Size

The Philodendron Martianum is a relatively large species among the houseplants. Unlike smaller Philodendron varieties, Martianum can reach a case of robust growth where it can grow up to 5 feet tall indoors.

It exhibits an upright growth habit, with its stem stretching upwards and supporting large, broad leaves. The extended growth and size make it a perfect choice for those who want to add a statement piece to their interiors.

Keep in mind that the growth size might vary depending upon the care provided and the environmental conditions. Hence, it is essential to follow the specific care guidelines to ensure healthy growth.

Care Requirements

Taking care of a Philodendron Martianum requires attention to its basic needs. The plant thrives best in specific conditions that mimic its natural habitat.

Light, water, temperature, and soil type are among the significant factors influencing the health and growth of this species. It’s important to understand each component to ensure proper care and maintenance.

Additionally, monitoring these variables can help prevent potential issues, ensuring your Philodendron Martianum stays healthy and lush.

In the subsequent sections, we will go through each of these requirements, providing you with an all-inclusive understanding of what your Philodendron Martianum needs to flourish.

Light Needs

Philodendron Martianum, like most Philodendrons, prefers bright, indirect light. However, it is resilient and can tolerate low-light conditions as well.

It’s best to avoid direct sunlight because it can burn the Martianum’s leaves, causing them to turn yellow and wilt. Bright, filtered light is the ideal condition.

If you’re growing it indoors, a spot near a north or east-facing window is perfect. Artificial light sources can also help supplement its light needs, making it an ideal office plant.

Remember, insufficient light can stunt its growth and lead to leggy stems, while too much can burn the leaves.

Watering Frequency

The Philodendron Martianum is a tropical plant that thrives in moist conditions. It is crucial to maintain a consistent watering schedule. Overwatering may lead to rot or fungal problems, while underwatering can cause wilting.

Thus, it’s recommended to water the plant when the top 1-2 inches of soil feels dry to touch. Depending on the environmental conditions, this could mean watering once or twice a week during the growing season and less frequently during winter.

Always use a well-draining soil to prevent water logging. Remember, it’s better to underwater than overwater these exotic beauties.

Humidity Preferences

Philodendron Martianum is a tropical plant, which means it thrives in high humidity conditions. It thrives best in humidity levels of 60% or higher.

But, if such a condition is hard for you to maintain, worry not. It manages to adapt to typical indoor humidity levels. However, if the air is too dry, the leaf edges might brown.

To increase humidity, you can place your plant on a humidity tray, group it with other plants, or use a room humidifier.

Misting is not recommended as it tends to create much jittery change in humidity conditions around the plant.

Temperature Range

The Philodendron Martianum prefers a warmer temperature range, between 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 29 degrees Celsius). The plant is quite heat-tolerant and thrives in tropical climates, but it does not fare well in colder conditions.

Ensure to protect it from temperatures that dip below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius), as this can cause the plant to go into shock and possibly die.

If you’re growing this plant indoors, make sure that the room temperature is consistent and is not too close to air conditioners or heating vents as sudden temperature changes can harm the plant.

Soil Type & pH Preferences

The Philodendron Martianum prefers well-draining, rich, and slightly acidic soil. The ideal soil mixture should consist of peat moss or perlite for drainage with a touch of organic matter for nutrition.

As these plants are native to South American forests, they prefer a slightly acidic environment. To reciprocate this, make sure the pH of your soil ranges from 6.0 to 7.0.

Maintaining this pH level will ensure healthy growth and a rich, vibrant foliage. This plant is quite forgiving and can adapt to less than ideal soil conditions, but providing the best environment will encourage optimal growth.

Growth & Propagation

Growth and propagation refer to the development and reproduction of Philodendron Martianum. The growth rate of this plant is normally moderate, but it can potentially be slow depending on the prevailing conditions.

The propagation methods are crucial for expanding your plant collection. Philodendron Martianum typically grows actively in the warmer months and can be propagated through stem cuttings or division.

Proper potting and repotting recommendations need to be followed to foster healthy growth. The plant thrives best when repotted in the early spring, just before the growing season starts.

These factors significantly influence the overall health and appearance of your Philodendron Martianum.

Growth Rate

The Philodendron Martianum is popularly known for its relatively slow growth rate. Being a tropical perennial, this species tends to grow more slowly compared to its cousins, particularly when grown indoors.

However, the growth rate is influenced by a variety of factors, including light conditions, soil type, watering frequency and overall care.

In optimal conditions, you might notice new leaves sprouting every few weeks. This allows you to monitor its health and adjust care procedures accordingly.

Understanding its slow and steady pace is key in setting realistic expectations for the growth of your Philodendron Martianum.

Propagation Methods

Propagation of Philodendron Martianum is typically done through stem cuttings. You need to cut a section of stem that includes at least one mature leaf and a couple of nodes.

After making the cut, place the stem cutting in a glass of water, ensuring that the nodes are submerged. Change the water weekly and within a few weeks, you should see roots beginning to form.

Once the roots have developed, transplant the cutting into a pot with well-draining soil. This method of propagation is generally successful, and it’s a great way to propagate your Philodendron Martianum plant and grow your indoor jungle.

Season of Active Growth

For the Philodendron Martianum, the active growth period typically commences in the warmer season, mainly during spring and summer. It is during this time the plant gains full strength and showcases rapid growth development.

However, during the colder months, such as in fall and winter, its growth pace significantly slows down. So, it’s advisable to slow down watering and reduce fertilizer application during this dormant period.

Timely understanding and adapting to your Philodendron Martianum’s active growth season ensures its health and vibrant appearance, as this is when it is best capable of absorbing nutrients and expanding in size.

Potting and Repotting Recommendations

When it comes to potting and repotting your Philodendron Martianum, selecting a pot that accommodates the plant’s vigorous growth is crucial.

Start with a container just slightly larger than the root ball and repot approximately every two years to account for growth.

For the potting mix, employ a well-draining soil blend of peat moss, perlite, and compost, which will provide the necessary nutrients. When repotting, gently remove the plant from the container, detangle the roots, and replant in fresh potting soil.

As a precautionary measure, avoid overpotting, which could increase the risk of root rot due to excess moisture.

Potential Issues

The Philodendron Martianum, like many other indoor plants, isn’t without its potential issues and determining these is an essential part of its care routine.

These are primarily related to pests, diseases, and general care sensitivities. Constant vigilance can help manage these issues and keep the plant healthy.

Knowledge of what to watch for paves the way for preventative measures and precise intervention when necessary. Here are some problems that might occur when growing a Philodendron Martianum.

Common Pests

Philodendron Martianum, like many houseplants, can often fall victim to a variety of common pests. You might find your plant besieged by mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, and scale insects.

These pests can latch onto the plant, sucking on its sap and hindering its overall growth and vitality. In severe infestations, they can lead to the yellowing of leaves and stunt growth.

Regular inspections of your Philodendron Martianum are crucial to spot any signs of these pests early, making them easier to manage and treat.

Thankfully, these pests can often be controlled using organic insecticidal soaps or neem oil sprays.

Common Diseases

Philodendron Martianum can be affected by various diseases, primarily those connected with overwatering and poor air circulation.

Root rot is one of the most common disorders, often resulting from excessively waterlogged soil conditions. Another disease, leaf spot, can be seen as brown or yellowing spots on the foliage due to excessive moisture.

Mildew, a powdery white growth, might affect your plant if there is too high humidity and inadequate ventilation.

It’s important to quickly identify and treat these diseases to prevent your Philodendron Martianum’s health from deteriorating. Note that maintaining the proper care routine is key to disease prevention.

Other Sensitivities

The Philodendron Martianum can be sensitive to various environmental factors. Overexposure to direct sunlight can cause the leaves to burn or scorch.

Additionally, keeping this plant in a low light environment for extended periods can slow down its growth and cause the leaves to become leggy.

Also, it’s essential to note that this plant does not tolerate overly dry air or cold drafts. Similarly, salty and hard water can lead to brown leaf tips or edges.

Thus, these sensitivity factors should be considered and managed carefully in order to maintain a healthy Philodendron Martianum.

Special Features & Uses

Philodendron Martianum possesses a variety of unique features and potential uses that distinguish it from other indoor plant species.

This section of the Philodendron Martianum care guide will delve into these intricate attributes, which range from the plant’s unique characteristics, its usage as a decorative houseplant, to its toxicity level.

Being aware of these factors can guide you in maximally utilizing the plant while simultaneously protecting yourself and your pets.

Remember, understanding a plant’s unique qualities can subsequently enhance its usage and also streamline its care routine. Explore the following sections to familiarize yourself with these aspects.

Unique Characteristics

Philodendron Martianum is bestowed with several unique characteristics that not only make it aesthetically pleasing but also a joy to grow.

Its heart-shaped, large leaves in glossy, deep green hues are undeniably eye-catching. But what sets this species apart is its long, pendulous, pipe-like inflorescences – a rare trait among Philodendrons.

Furthermore, with age, it forms node clusters around the base, an interesting feature adding to its appeal.

However, this plant isn’t just about looks. It’s known for its resilience, growing healthily even with minimal care, making it particularly suitable for neglectful or novice gardeners.

Decorative Use

The Philodendron Martianum is a popular choice for interior decoration due to its attractive foliage and distinct characteristics.

Its large, heart-shaped leaves with impressive coloration make an excellent focal point in living rooms, personal offices, and other indoor spaces that can accommodate its size.

The Martianum is also often used in landscaping, particularly in tropical-themed gardens. It’s not only an aesthetic addition but also contributes to a healthier indoor climate as it’s known for its air-purifying properties.

The plant can be displayed solo, or paired with other tropical or subtropical plants for a vibrant, natural arrangement.


Despite its lush beauty and captivating shape, you ought to be mindful of the Philodendron Martianum’s toxicity. Much like other members in the Philodendron family, it contains calcium oxalate crystals.

Ingestion of this plant, either by humans or pets, can cause irritation to the mouth, tongue, and throat. Symptoms may include vomiting, drooling, difficulty swallowing, or, in severe cases, difficulty breathing.

Always ensure this plant is kept out of reach of children and pets. Further, when handling for care or propagation, it’s advised to wear gloves to avoid skin irritation or accidental ingestion. It’s certainly a plant to appreciate with your eyes, not your mouth.

Additional Tips & Tricks

When it comes to enhancing your care for the Philodendron Martianum, there are few additional tips and tricks to take into consideration.

These include understanding the role of fertilizing in promoting healthy growth, knowing how and when to properly prune and maintain your plant, and the importance of providing the suitable support structures.

These aspects, along with the fundamental care requirements, can significantly enhance the overall wellbeing and aesthetic appeal of your Philodendron Martianum.

It’s not just about keeping it alive; it’s about facilitating optimal growth and displaying its unique attributes. Let’s delve deeper into each of these aspects.

Fertilization Recommendations

The Philodendron Martianum thrives on regular fertilization and appreciates semi-monthly feedings during the growing season. It prefers a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength.

Always ensure you apply the fertilizer to damp soil to avoid root burn. During the dormant winter period, you can reduce fertilization to once every month.

A periodic introduction of organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure can also enrich the soil and boost the plant’s vitality. Over-fertilization can lead to salt build-up, which can harm the plant, so ensure to flush the soil occasionally.

If the leaves start turning yellow or brown, it might be indicative of over-feeding, so adjust your fertilization schedule as necessary.

Pruning & Maintenance

Proper pruning and consistent maintenance are crucial for the health and aesthetics of your Philodendron Martianum. Prune any yellow or brown leaves at the stem to encourage new growth.

Always use sterilized pruning shears to avoid transmitting diseases. This plant is largely maintenance-free but ensuring that it is not overwatered and that it is kept in the optimal temperature and humidity ranges can promote its health and longevity.

With regular checks and appropriate care, your Philodendron Martianum will thrive and continue to beautify your space.

Support Structures

Being a climbing philodendron, your Philodendron Martianum will need some form of support to grow happily. This can take the form of a moss or coir pole, or even a trellis.

This provides the plant the means to exhibit its natural climbing habit and allows the leaves to mature to their full size. As it grows, you may need to use ties to secure it to the support.

Remember, this isn’t a type of plant that can support its own weight independently. The support you provide not only helps it grow but even contributes to its overall health.

Houseplants   Philodendrons   Updated: November 11, 2023
avatar Hi, I'm Amy, a devoted horticulturist and the creator of, where I use my expertise to help beginners foster their green thumbs. My blog is a vibrant community where I unravel the complexities of gardening and share my profound love for nature.
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