A photo of a table that compares the three main types of philodendron elephant ear plants, showing their appearance

How to Grow and Care for Philodendron Elephant Ear Plants: A Complete Guide

– Philodendron elephant ear plants are tropical plants that have large, spade-shaped leaves resembling elephant ears.
– There are three main types of philodendron elephant ear plants: Philodendron domesticum, Philodendron selloum, and Philodendron bipinnatifidum.
– Philodendron elephant ear plants are easy to grow and care for, as they require moderate light, water, soil, and fertilizer.
– Philodendron elephant ear plants are toxic to humans and animals, so they should be kept away from children and pets.
– Philodendron elephant ear plants can be propagated by stem cuttings or seeds.
philodendron elephant ear plant types

Do you love plants that have lush, green, and glossy foliage? Do you want to add some tropical flair to your home or office? If you answered yes to these questions, then you might want to consider growing philodendron elephant ear plants.

Philodendron elephant ear plants are a group of plants that belong to the philodendron genus, which is one of the largest and most diverse genera of flowering plants in the world. Philodendron plants are native to tropical regions of the Americas, where they grow in rainforests, swamps, and riverbanks. They are popular as houseplants because they are easy to care for, adaptable to various conditions, and purify the air by removing toxins.

Philodendron elephant ear plants are named after their large, spade-shaped leaves that resemble the ears of an elephant. They come in different types, sizes, and colors, and they can add a lot of beauty and interest to any space. In this article, we will introduce you to the different types of philodendron elephant ear plants and how to grow and care for them. We will also provide you with some tips and tricks on how to propagate them and how to deal with common problems and pests. By the end of this article, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of having these amazing plants in your home.

What are Philodendron Elephant Ear Plants?

A photo of a close-up of a philodendron elephant ear leaf, showing its spade shape

Philodendron elephant ear plants are a common name for several types of philodendron plants that have large, heart-shaped, or spade-shaped leaves. Philodendron plants are tropical flowering plants in the family Araceae that are popular as houseplants for their lush foliage and easy care.

Philodendron elephant ear plants have some common characteristics, such as:

  • They have large, spade-shaped leaves that can range from green to red to variegated. The leaves can grow up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) long and have prominent veins and lobes.
  • They are evergreen plants that can produce flowers, but they are rarely seen in cultivation. The flowers are enclosed in a spathe, which is a modified leaf that surrounds a spadix, which is a spike of tiny flowers. The flowers are usually white, green, or pink, and they have a pleasant fragrance.
  • They are either vining or upright plants that can grow up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) tall. The vining types have aerial roots that help them climb and attach to other plants or structures. The upright types have thick stems that support their large leaves.
  • They are adaptable plants that can tolerate a range of light, water, and soil conditions. They prefer bright, indirect light and moist, well-draining soil. They also like high humidity and moderate temperatures.
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Philodendron elephant ear plants have many benefits, such as:

  • They are air-purifying plants that can remove harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene from the air. They can also increase the oxygen levels and reduce the carbon dioxide levels in your space.
  • They are mood-boosting plants that can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. They can also improve your concentration, creativity, and productivity.
  • They are decorative plants that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your space. They can add color, texture, and contrast to your home or office. They can also create a tropical and exotic vibe in your space.

Philodendron elephant ear plants are easy to choose, as they come in different types, sizes, and colors. You can select the type that suits your space and preferences. Here are some tips on how to choose the right type of philodendron elephant ear plant for you:

  • Consider the size of your space and the size of the plant. If you have a large space, you can choose a large and upright type of plant that can make a statement. If you have a small space, you can choose a small and vining type of plant that can hang or climb on a trellis or a pole.
  • Consider the light and temperature of your space and the light and temperature requirements of the plant. If you have a bright and warm space, you can choose a type of plant that can tolerate direct sunlight and high temperatures. If you have a low-light and cool space, you can choose a type of plant that can tolerate shade and low temperatures.
  • Consider the color and pattern of your space and the color and pattern of the plant. If you have a plain and neutral space, you can choose a type of plant that has colorful or variegated leaves that can add some pop and interest. If you have a colorful and busy space, you can choose a type of plant that has green or solid leaves that can create some balance and harmony.

Types of Philodendron Elephant Ear Plants

A photo of a table that compares the three main types of philodendron elephant ear plants, showing their appearance

There are three main types of philodendron elephant ear plants: Philodendron domesticum, Philodendron selloum, and Philodendron bipinnatifidum. These types have different appearances, sizes, and growth habits, and they can be compared with other elephant ear plants from different genera, such as Alocasia, Colocasia, and Xanthosoma. These types also have different light, water, soil, and fertilizer requirements, and they can be affected by different pests, diseases, and problems. These types also have different toxicity levels and propagation methods. Here is a table that summarizes the main features of these types:

TypeAppearanceSizeGrowth HabitComparisonLightWaterSoilFertilizerPestsDiseasesProblemsToxicityPropagation
Philodendron domesticumElongated, glossy leaves that are tinted with pinkish-redUp to 6 feet (1.8 meters) tallViningSimilar to Alocasia odora, but with narrower and more pointed leavesBright, indirect lightMoist, but not soggy soilWell-draining, peat-based soilMonthly during the growing season, with a balanced liquid fertilizerSpider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, aphidsLeaf spots, root rot, bacterial blightYellowing, browning, or curling of leaves, due to overwatering, underwatering, or low humidityHigh, can cause irritation, swelling, and difficulty breathing if ingestedStem cuttings or seeds
Philodendron selloumLarge, deeply lobed leaves that can reach up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) longUp to 15 feet (4.5 meters) tallUprightSimilar to Colocasia esculenta, but with more lobed and less fleshy leavesModerate to bright lightMoist, but not soggy soilWell-draining, rich soilMonthly during the growing season, with a balanced liquid fertilizerSpider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, aphidsLeaf spots, root rot, bacterial blightYellowing, browning, or curling of leaves, due to overwatering, underwatering, or low humidityHigh, can cause irritation, swelling, and difficulty breathing if ingestedStem cuttings or seeds
Philodendron bipinnatifidumSimilar to Philodendron selloum,but with more pronounced lobes and splits on the leavesUp to 15 feet (4.5 meters) tallUprightSimilar to Xanthosoma sagittifolium, but with less triangular and more arrow-shaped leavesLow to bright lightMoist, but not soggy soilWell-draining, peat-based soilMonthly during the growing season, with a balanced liquid fertilizerSpider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, aphidsLeaf spots, root rot, bacterial blightYellowing, browning, or curling of leaves, due to overwatering, underwatering, or low humidityHigh, can cause irritation, swelling, and difficulty breathing if ingestedStem cuttings or seeds

How to Grow and Care for Philodendron Elephant Ear Plants

A photo of a step-by-step guide on how to grow and care for philodendron elephant ear plants

Philodendron elephant ear plants are easy to grow and care for, as they do not require much attention or maintenance. However, they do need some basic care to thrive and look their best. Here are some steps on how to grow and care for philodendron elephant ear plants:

  • Prepare the pot, soil, and drainage for the plant. You can use a plastic, ceramic, or terracotta pot that has drainage holes at the bottom. The pot should be large enough to accommodate the root system of the plant, but not too large that it will retain too much water. You can use a well-draining, peat-based soil that is slightly acidic and rich in organic matter. You can also add some perlite, vermiculite, or sand to improve the drainage and aeration of the soil. You can also place some gravel, rocks, or broken pottery pieces at the bottom of the pot to prevent the soil from clogging the drainage holes.
  • Plant the stem cutting or seed in the soil and water it properly. You can propagate philodendron elephant ear plants by stem cuttings or seeds. To propagate by stem cuttings, you can cut a healthy stem that has at least one leaf and one node (the point where the leaf attaches to the stem). You can dip the cut end of the stem in some rooting hormone to speed up the rooting process. You can then insert the stem into the soil, making sure that the node is buried. You can also place the stem in a glass of water until roots develop, and then transfer it to the soil. To propagate by seeds, you can sow the seeds in the soil, covering them lightly with some soil. You can then water the soil thoroughly, but not excessively, and keep it moist but not soggy. You can also cover the pot with a plastic bag or a dome to create a humid environment for the seeds to germinate.
  • Place the plant in the best location for optimal light and temperature. You can place philodendron elephant ear plants in a bright spot that receives indirect or filtered sunlight. You can also expose them to some direct sunlight in the morning or evening, but avoid the harsh midday sun that can scorch their leaves. You can also place them in a low-light spot, but they may grow slower and have less vibrant colors. You can also keep them away from cold drafts, heaters, or air conditioners that can damage their leaves. You can also maintain a moderate temperature for them, between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 29°C).
  • Maintain the humidity and air circulation around the plant. You can mist the leaves of philodendron elephant ear plants regularly with water to increase the humidity and prevent them from drying out. You can also place them on a tray of pebbles and water, or near a humidifier or a fountain, to create a humid atmosphere. You can also group them with other plants that have similar humidity needs, such as ferns, orchids, or bromeliads, to create a mini greenhouse effect. You can also ensure that there is enough air circulation around the plant, but avoid strong winds or fans that can damage their leaves.
  • Fertilize the plant monthly during the growing season and reduce it in the winter. You can feed philodendron elephant ear plants with a balanced liquid fertilizer that is diluted to half the recommended strength. You can apply the fertilizer once a month from spring to summer, when the plant is actively growing. You can reduce the frequency of fertilizing to once every two months in the fall, and stop fertilizing in the winter, when the plant is dormant. You can also avoid over-fertilizing the plant, as this can cause leaf burn, salt buildup, or root damage.
  • Prune the plant in the spring to remove dead or damaged leaves and stems and maintain its shape and size. You can use a sharp and sterile pair of scissors or pruners to cut off any yellow, brown, or wilted leaves and stems. You can also trim any leggy, spindly, or overgrown stems to encourage bushier and fuller growth. You can also remove any flowers or fruits that may appear, as they can drain the energy and nutrients from the plant. You can also dispose of the pruned parts properly, as they can be toxic to humans and animals.
  • Repot the plant every two to three years or when it outgrows its pot. You can check if the plant needs repotting by looking at the roots. If the roots are circling around the pot or poking out of the drainage holes, it is time to repot the plant. You can use a slightly larger pot that has drainage holes and fresh soil. You can gently remove the plant from the old pot and shake off any excess soil. You can also trim any dead or damaged roots. You can then place the plant in the new pot and fill it with soil. You can water the plant thoroughly and place it in a shady spot for a few days to help it adjust.
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These are the basic steps on how to grow and care for philodendron elephant ear plants. By following these steps, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of these plants in your home.

Conclusion

A photo of a beautiful and healthy philodendron elephant ear plant in a pot

Philodendron elephant ear plants are a wonderful addition to any space. They have large, spade-shaped leaves that come in different types, sizes, and colors. They are easy to grow and care for, as they require moderate light, water, soil, and fertilizer. They are also air-purifying, mood-boosting, and decorative plants that can enhance your home and well-being.

However, you should also be aware of the potential problems and pests that can affect these plants, such as leaf spots, root rot, bacterial blight, spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, and aphids. You should also be careful of the toxicity of these plants, as they can cause irritation, swelling, and difficulty breathing if ingested by humans or animals. You should also know how to propagate these plants by stem cuttings or seeds, if you want to multiply them or share them with others.

We hope that this article has given you all the information you need to grow and care for philodendron elephant ear plants. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to leave them below. We would love to hear from you and help you with your gardening journey. Thank you for reading and happy planting!

About The Author

Samantha
Samantha

I'm Samantha, a plant enthusiast who has been growing plants for years. I believe that plants can make our lives better, both physically and mentally. I started growit.wiki to share my knowledge about how to grow plants. I want to help others enjoy the beauty and benefits of plants.

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