Philodendron Plowmanii Species Profile & Care Guide

The Philodendron Plowmanii is an intriguing tropical plant species hailing from the Philodendron family. Renowned for its stunning foliage and unique characteristics, this specimen is a favorite among plant lovers and enthusiasts.

Its resilience and adaptability make it an ideal choice for home and garden decoration. In this article, we’ll delve into the distinctive features, care requirements, and propagation of the Philodendron Plowmanii.

Philodendron Plowmanii

Profile Overview

  • Common Name: Philodendron Plowmanii
  • Scientific Name: Philodendron Plowmanii
  • Family: Araceae
  • Origin/Native Region: Tropical areas of South America, notably Peru and Ecuador
  • Growth Habit: This species presents as a creeping plant, typically sprawling along the ground or other surfaces. Its unique growth habit contributes to its ornamental appeal, making it a popular choice for indoor gardening and landscaping. Despite its spread, it remains a modestly sized plant, making it suitable for cultivation in containers for indoor gardeners. It tends to grow horizontally, with its petioles elongating as it matures, aiding its creeping habit.


The Philodendron Plowmanii is a stunning masterpiece of nature, capturing the attention and admiration of plant enthusiasts. Its aesthetic appeal lies in its unique combination of leaf size, shape, color, stem characteristics, and mature size.

The plant displays a unique gray-green color with waves along the leaves’ edges producing a ripple effect. It can be identified through its heart-shaped leaves on long, pendant-like stems creating an attractive cascading appearance that enhances any interior space design.

Leaf Size

The leaf size of the Philodendron Plowmanii is quite significant. This plant species is loved for its large, decorative leaves which can sprawl generously over the sides of a pot or basket.

A mature Philodendron Plowmanii leaf typically stretches from 8 to 12 inches in length, exhibiting a beautiful rippled texture that adds to the visual appeal of the plant.

However, the size of the leaf will depend on the care and environmental conditions provided to the plant. Ensure optimal growth conditions for your Philodendron Plowmanii to achieve its maximum leaf size potential.

Leaf Shape

The Philodendron Plowmanii boasts of distinctly shaped leaves that set it apart. Broadly speaking, the leaves exhibit a beautiful, heart-shaped form also referred to as ‘peltate’ leaf shape.

What’s more, the expansive size of the leaves is considerably enhanced by their unique curly form, giving the Plowmanii its nickname: the ‘Wave of Love’.

These appealing attributes of the leaf shape make this plant a much-loved specimen for plant enthusiasts seeking unusual and attractive foliage for their indoor or outdoor gardening space.

With good care, these leaves can reach impressive sizes, adding to the overall aesthetic appeal of your Philodendron Plowmanii.

Leaf Color

The Philodendron Plowmanii exhibits leaves that come in a beautiful variety of shades of green, making it a visually stunning addition to any space. These plants typically sport rich, emerald green leaves, with the top surface showcasing a glossy finish.

The underside, however, is a lighter shade of green providing a brilliant contrast. To complement this palette, matures leaves often feature a grey-green wavy pattern along their margin, adding to its charm.

Keeping a Philodendron Plowmanii in low light will result in a darker green color, while exposure to bright, indirect light can lead towards a lighter, more vibrant green.

Stem Characteristics

The Philodendron Plowmanii possesses stems that are just as appealing as their prominent leaf feature. These stems can grow to be quite thick and sturdy in maturity, which is necessary to support the large rolling leaves.

They typically express a mixture of green and white hue, often resembling a painted stripe pattern. The stem’s distinct aerial roots emerge along its length, gripping onto surrounding surfaces for support.

This climbing nature adds interest and verticality to the plant’s overall appearance. However, they also fuel the plant’s growth, absorbing nutrients and moisture from the atmosphere. Keep in mind that a healthy stem often indicates a healthy plant.

Mature Size

In the context of the Philodendron Plowmanii, the term ‘Mature Size’ refers to the size the plant reaches when it is fully grown. As a medium sized plant, a mature Philodendron Plowmanii typically achieves a height of about 12 inches (30 cm) and a spread of around 24 inches (60 cm).

However, when grown in the right conditions, these plants can occasionally exceed this size. The relatively compact size of this species, along with its attractive foliage, makes it a popular choice for indoor planting where space might be limited.

Care Requirements

For your Philodendron Plowmanii to thrive, there are specific conditions under which it flourishes best. These range from light needs, watering frequency, humidity preferences, temperature range, to soil type and pH preferences.

Understanding these requirements is crucial in providing ideal growth conditions and ensuring your plant’s health and aesthetic appeal. Doing this will give your Philodendron a good shot at reaching its full potential.

Light Needs

Philodendron Plowmanii is a fan of bright, but indirect sunlight. You should avoid positioning it directly under harsh sunlight as it can burn the foliage and destroy the plant over time.

An eastern or northern window is usually the ideal spot to place your Philodendron Plowmanii. However, if you don’t have such a location or if it’s winter, artificial light sources like fluorescent lights can make excellent alternatives.

Remember, good lighting does not only promote healthy growth, but also enhances the leaf’s exceptional colors and texture.

Watering Frequency

The Philodendron Plowmanii enjoys a good drink, but like most plants in its family, it’s susceptible to root rot if left sitting in water for too long. Therefore, it’s best to water your Philodendron Plowmanii when the top two inches of soil have dried out.

Depending on your environment, this could range from once a week to once every couple of weeks. Always ensure to drain any excess water, and remember it’s better to underwater than overwater.

Adjust your watering schedule with seasons because it will need less water in the winter. The frequency of watering can significantly affect the overall health and growth of your plant.

Humidity Preferences

Your Philodendron Plowmanii thrives in a high-humidity environment, reflecting its tropical origins. A relative humidity level of 60-80% is ideal, although it can tolerate as low as 40%.

If your home lacks high humidity, you can increase moisture levels by misting the plant daily with distilled water or using a humidity tray. Place your plant near a humidifier, or group it with other plants to benefit from the shared transpiration process.

However, ensure good air circulation to prevent mildew and other diseases associated with stagnant, overly moist air. In general, maintaining high humidity is key for achieving luscious, vibrant growth.

Temperature Range

The Philodendron Plowmanii, like many tropical plants, appreciates a warm climate for healthy growth. This resilient plant can tolerate a range of temperatures but thrives best in a temperature range of 60°F – 75°F (15°C – 24°C).

However, Plowmanii can tolerate temperatures as low as 55°F (13°C) and as high as 85°F (29°C), making it quite adaptable. Extreme high or low temperatures can damage the plant’s growth and overall health.

In the winter months, make sure to maintain indoor temperatures within the optimal range and protect from drafts and sudden temperature drops. Maintain even temperatures for best results.

Soil Type & pH Preferences

The Philodendron Plowmanii prefers well-draining soil that retains some moisture without becoming waterlogged. A mixture of peat moss, perlite or coarse sand, and regular potting soil should work well.

As for pH, this plant thrives best in slightly acidic to neutral soil, which is a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. It’s essential to maintain the right soil condition for your Philodendron Plowmanii, as it can significantly influence the overall growth, health, and vibrancy of your plant.

Remember that you can easily adjust the pH of your soil using lime (to increase pH) or sulfur (to decrease pH).

Growth & Propagation

Philodendron Plowmanii showcases moderate growth habits that require specific care for optimal propagation. This section delves into this plant’s rate of growth, preferred time for active growth, and various propagation methods suitable for it.

Moreover, to help you take the best care of this plant, we will provide tips on potting and repotting recommendations. Understanding these aspects is crucial for any plant owner looking to maintain a healthy and thriving Philodendron Plowmanii.

So, whether you’re a novice or experienced gardener, this guide is tailored to ease your gardening journey with this exquisite plant.

Growth Rate

The Philodendron Plowmanii exhibits a moderate to fast growth rate, depending on its care and environment. Under optimal conditions, you’ll notice new leaves emerging every month. However, during the colder season, the growth rate may slow down.

It’s noteworthy that Plowmanii’s growth is vertical, unlike many other Philodendron species that grow more horizontally. Also, remember that the ultimate height of the plant will largely depend on the quality of care it receives.

Prolonged exposure to favorable conditions and attentive maintenance can lead to a larger, more luxuriant plant over time.

Propagation Methods

Propagation of Philodendron Plowmanii is typically done through stem cuttings. This entails cutting a healthy stem segment that contains at least one node or leaf joint, slightly below the node.

It’s important to use a clean, sharp tool to prevent infection. Once cut, the stem is often left out for a day to allow the cut end to callous over, reducing the risk of rot when planted.

The cutting can then be placed in water or moist soil and with proper care, it will soon begin to growth roots. This method is most successful in the plant’s active growth phase, typically spring or summer.

Season of Active Growth

The Philodendron Plowmanii’s season of active growth typically occurs during spring and summer months. During these periods, you’ll witness an inspiring spurt in the growth-rate, primarily induced by the optimal light, temperature, and humidity conditions, characteristic of these seasons.

This can also be an ideal time for propagation. However, it’s crucial that you adjust care routines in alignment with this growth phase, including increased watering, sunlight exposure, and potentially, a shift to a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Remember, every Philodendron Plowmanii can exhibit slight variations in growth patterns, so it’s vital to keenly observe yours and mould its care regime accordingly.

Potting and Repotting Recommendations

For Philodendron Plowmanii, it’s important to begin potting in a container that allows for good drainage. You might prefer standard terracotta pots or those with slits or holes along the sides.

As for repotting, they do not need it often because they handle being root-bound well. However, if you see that the growth has noticeably slowed or the roots start to grow out of the drainage holes, it’s a sign that your plant requires a larger pot.

You should generally repot every 2-3 years, ideally, during their growth season, to minimalize stress and allow faster recovery. Use fresh, high-quality potting soil each time you repot.

Potential Issues

Managing a Philodendron Plowmanii does pose a few challenges. These typically come in the form of pests, diseases, and several other sensitivities that you need to be on the lookout for.

It’s important to spot these early on and address them promptly to ensure the continued health and robustness of your plant. In this section, we will touch on the different threats that you might encounter and provide you with some of the best solutions you can employ to keep your Philodendron Plowmanii thriving.

These common issues are not unique to this species alone, as many other plants are susceptible to the same hazards.

Common Pests

The Philodendron Plowmanii, similar to other indoor plants, can be vulnerable to a variety of pests. Most common among them are Spider Mites, Mealybugs, and Aphids.

Spider Mites are tiny spider-like pests that form webs on the undersides of the leaves and suck the plant’s sap, making the leaves look speckled and eventually, they turn yellow and die.

Mealybugs infest plant stems and leaves, leading to curling, yellowing, and dropping of the leaves. Aphids, on the other hand, suck the sap and secrete a sticky substance called honeydew, which promotes sooty mold growth.

It’s crucial to frequently check your Philodendron Plowmanii for these common pests for early detection and control.

Common Diseases

Philodendron Plowmanii, like many houseplants, can be affected by a few common diseases. These include root rot, which is often caused by overwatering or poor drainage.

Symptoms of root rot are yellowing or wilting leaves. Another disease is bacterial blight, presenting as water-soaked spots on leaves that turn dark green or brown.

Similarly, fungal diseases such as leaf spot can also trouble the plant. This disease manifests through darkened spots on leaves surrounded by a yellow halo.

Practicing proper care and maintaining good hygiene can prevent these diseases and keep your Philodendron Plowmanii healthy. If infected, isolate the plant and treat with appropriate fungicides or bactericides.

Other Sensitivities

Philodendron Plowmanii, like other members of the Philodendron family, is particularly sensitive to chemical salts that can accumulate in the soil, especially when using synthetic fertilizers.

Over time, these salts can build up and damage the roots, stunting growth and leading to yellow, brown, or scorched-looking leaves. Over-watering and poorly draining soil can also lead to root rot, which is another sensitivity to be aware of.

Lastly, keep the plant away from drafts, as sudden, extreme shifts in temperature can stress the plant. Regular flushing of the soil with water can help keep salt levels low.

Special Features & Uses

The Philodendron Plowmanii is not just known for its ornamental appeal, it also touts a range of special features that make it a beloved plant among enthusiasts. Unique characteristics include its wrinkled, heart-shaped leaves that provide an eye-catching texture.

This species is commonly used to augment the aesthetic of indoor spaces, serving as a lush, focal point in various interior decorative styles. However, caution is advised when it comes to kids and pets, as the plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause intense irritation and discomfort upon ingestion or contact with the skin.

Yet, with the right safety measures in place, the Philodendron Plowmanii can surely add a splash of nature to any space. Its unique features and uses are discussed further in the following sections.

Unique Characteristics

The Philodendron Plowmanii showcases several distinctive qualities that set it apart from other houseplants. The first notable characteristic is its crawling growth habit, which has a wave-like rhythm also called ‘ondulation’, and resembles a rolling hill landscape when viewed from the side.

The second unique aspect is the plant’s velvety leaves—a stunning feature that adds texture and aesthetic appeal to any space. Lastly, this plant has a long growth cycle, allowing it to grow into substantial, breathtaking specimens if given ample time and care.

These instruments make the Philodendron Plowmanii a fascinating addition to any plant collection.

Decorative use

The Philodendron Plowmanii is highly prized in the world of houseplants for interior decoration. Its show-stopping, ornamental foliage, featuring wave-like leaves of deep green, transforms any space into a tropical haven.

It makes an impressive standalone ‘specimen’ plant, but can also be grouped with other tropical houseplants for a lush, jungle aesthetic. Being adaptable to a variety of light conditions, it can add a touch of greenery to dim corners.

It also makes a gorgeous centerpiece on coffee tables or desks, bringing a soothing, natural element to work or living spaces. Its trailing growth habit can be accentuated by placing it on shelves or using hanging pots.


The Philodendron Plowmanii, like many plants in the Philodendron family, contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which can be toxic if ingested or in contact with the skin.

Consumption can cause irritation to the mouth, lips, and throat, while contact with the skin can lead to swelling or an allergic reaction. Therefore, it’s not deemed pet-friendly, and care should be taken if you have small children.

It’s advised to handle this plant with gloves and wash your hands after maintenance tasks to avoid irritation.

Additional Tips & Tricks

When caring for a Philodendron Plowmanii, there are more subtle nuances to consider that can help your plant thrive. This includes tailored fertilization practices or how to effectively prune and maintain your plant, and whether a support structure is necessary.

This is an integral part of guiding your plant to its full potential. Follow these particular recommendations and you’ll be well equipped to cultivate a healthy and vibrant Philodendron Plowmanii.

Fertilization Recommendations

For optimal growth of your Philodendron Plowmanii, it’s recommended to fertilize during the active growing season (spring and summer). Use a diluted balanced-water soluble fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20 mix, every two weeks.

Before applying, ensure the soil is damp to avoid root burn. Additionally, ensure to flush the soil thoroughly every few months to remove any fertilizer salts build-up. In the non-growing season (fall and winter), reduce the feeding frequency.

Always remember, it’s better to under-fertilize than over-fertilize, as excess nutrients can lead to problems such as leaf burn. Do not fertilize a stressed plant, such as after repotting.

Pruning & Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your Philodendron Plowmanii involves occasional pruning. Pruning allows the plant to have a fuller appearance and stimulates fresh growth. This is also helpful in maintaining the size and shape of the plant.

Cut back any leggy vines or excess growth during the active growth period using a clean, sterilized knife or shears. Dead or yellow leaves should also be removed to keep the plant healthy.

Ensure you never prune more than 20% of the total foliage at once and remember, every cut invigorates new growth from the node beneath it. Always prune right above the leaf node.

Support Structures

Philodendron Plowmanii, being a climbing species, occasionally needs a bit of help to thrive and maintain its aesthetic appeal. Support structures like moss poles, stakes, or trellises are often used.

They not only encourage vertical growth but also support the plant’s large and weighty leaves. Wrapping the pole with a moist sphagnum moss can enhance the humidity around the plant which it greatly enjoys.

If your Plowmanii is getting too bushy or extending too much sideways, a support can guide its growth upwards, providing your plant the look of lush vibrant foliage spilling downward. Just ensure the support structure is sturdy enough to bear the weight.

Philodendrons   Updated: October 24, 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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