If you're looking for a big-leaf houseplant with straightforward plant care, then Philodendron Billietiae is your plant! It has enormous leaves - mature leaves can reach 3 feet long! Not only are the leaves massive, but Philodendron Billietiae is a variegated vine climbing plant with the mature plant reaching heights of over 5 feet! And like other variegated plants in this family, they make a stunning focal point in any space!
Caring for Philodendron Billietiae is easy, but the conditions will impact this plant directly. Below, we tell you everything you need to know to take care of Philodendron Billietiae plants.
Bright indirect light
What Is Philodendron Billietiae?
Philodendron Billietiae is part of the Philodendron genus. Like most Philodendron plants, it is native to the tropical regions of South America, where it uses its aerial roots to climb up tall trees. This particular variety has large, strap-shaped leaves connected to long and prominent petioles. The leaves start out flat, but the edges will start to ruffle and ripple as the plant matures.
Variegated Philodendron Billietiae is available but expensive to source. Variegated Philodendron Billietiae is also a climbing plant, but it doesn't spread and grow as big as Philodendron Billietiae. They have orange stems and leaves speckles with beautiful yellow colors.
Philodendron Billietiae Care Requirements
Philodendron Billietiae is native to tropical rainforests, where it grows underneath the canopy of large trees. As such, it is used to receiving an abundance of bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight will cause the leaves to burn, although your Philodendron Billietiae plant requires ample sunlight to support its large leaves. Consider placing it near the north-facing window or east-facing window where the morning sun is mild.
It's important not to overwater Philodendron plants. They like moist soil but not saturated soil. Always check the plant's soil prior to watering by sticking your finger 2 inches into the soil. If the soil is dry, water your plant. Be sure that the plant pot has drainage holes to let excess water flow out.
Like all tropical plants, Philodendron Billietiae needs warm temperatures. The ideal range is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and if temperatures dip below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant will die. Be sure to avoid locations in the house with a colder temperature than you might realize, like near an air conditioner vent or a drafty window.
Philodendron Billietiae is a tropical plant and requires high humidity levels to thrive. Your home likely has a lower minimum of 60% humidity, but it's easy to boost the air moisture around your plant. Here are some ways:
Use A Humidifier
You can use a large humidifier to increase the air moisture of a whole room or a small one set next to your plant.
Mist the leaves with filtered water regularly. Take care, however, not to overdo it, or you could find yourself with fungus issues!
Pebble Tray Method
Set your plant on a pebble tray. Fill a tray with pebbles, then fill the tray with water. The water should not come up over the top of the pebbles! As the water in the tray evaporates, it increases the humidity around the plant.
Place In Bathroom
Place your Philodendron Billietiae in a bathroom can add humidity to your plant. It's typically the most humid room in the house!
Any well-draining soil works well for your Philodendron Billietiae. However, you can add compost, perlite, and sphagnum peat moss to your potting mix to create a perfect growing medium for this plant. The compost adds nutrients, and the perlite adds aeration. The peat moss retains moisture and releases it slowly.
While not strictly necessary, fertilizing your Philodendron Billietiae regularly will ensure the plant grows healthy and strong. The taller plants take a lot of nutrients to support that large foliage - plant fertilizer helps!
Apply a slow-release fertilizer every 2 to 3 months, so the plant absorbs it slowly. Be sure that the fertilizer contains plenty of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. After applying, water your plant thoroughly to help spread the fertilizer throughout the soil and avoid burning the plant's roots at the top of the pot.
There are two main ways to propagate Philodendron Billietiae - through stem cuttings or the air layering process. Here's how to do it:
Use clean pruning shears to cut a length of stem between 2 and 4 inches long. Be sure the stem cutting has at least two strong leaves at the end, and cut it directly after a leaf node.
Let the cutting sit out in a warm area for at least a week to let the cut end callous over. Plant the stem cutting in a small pot, supporting it with a straw if necessary. Keep the soil moist and set it in a warm, sunny location. You'll see new and healthy leaves in a few weeks!
Cut into a healthy stem using a sterilized knife. The cut should be 2 inches deep and 2 inches long. Use a toothpick to keep the plant's wound open. Wrap moist sphagnum moss around the wound, then wrap plastic wrap around the stem and moss together. The plastic wrap needs to be tight enough to keep it all together but loose enough to allow for airflow. In a month, you should notice roots beginning to grow. When these new roots are a few inches long, you can cut the stem from the rest of the plant and plant the roots in a new pot.
Tip: To quicken the root growth, you can place a rooting hormone compound at the end of the stem. While this step isn't required, it can result in greater success with propagation attempts.
Philodendron Billietiae isn't a finicky plant to care for, but there are a few pests and diseases you should keep an eye out for.
There are very few pests that can lead to an infested plant. The two main culprits are aphids and mealybugs, both of which feed from your plant's sap. Be sure to be on the lookout for signs of possible pest infestation. Treating the plant with neem oil regularly will take care of them.
Philodendron Billietiae doesn't likely overly wet soil, and wet soil suffocates its roots and leads to root rot. It's hard to catch root rot early because there aren't many early symptoms readily noticeable in the leaves. However, if your leaves are turning yellow and brown, you need to unpot your plant, cut away dead roots, and repot in dry soil.
Curling leaf tips mean that you've been over-fertilizing your plant. V-shaped stains on the leaves can eventually lead to brown necrosis and indicate a magnesium deficiency - treat it by mixing Epsom salts with water and spraying your plant! White leaves signify cold shock, so move your plant to a warmer area.
Is Philodendron Billietiae Pet-Friendly?
No, Philodendron Billietiae is toxic to both animals and humans, and this is due to its high concentration of calcium oxalate crystals found in both the stems and leaves. If ingested, these will lead to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, skin irritation around the mouth, and swelling of the mouth and throat.
Is Philodendron Billietiae Fast Growing
Philodendron Billietiae is a moderately fast-growing plant with leaves growing faster than the vine.
Why is Variegated Philodendron Billietiae So Expensive
On average, Variegated Philodendron Billietiae can cost between $2,500 to $20,000, and this is because they are rare in the wild. For every 100,000 plants, only 1 has foliage with natural variegation.