Like all of the Philodendrons, caring for a Philodendron Paraiso Verde is really quite simple if you follow the steps that we will be dealing with in this article.
The Paraiso Verde is a sought-after collectors plant, but its care is still quite simple. Although on the expensive side, these plants are a favorite of collectors and make for a stunning house plant.
Despite their initial cost, Philodendron Paraiso Verde are surprisingly easy both to look after and to propagate. Don’t let them become waterlogged or too dry, ensure that they have plenty of humidity and avoid direct sunlight are the three major factors to bear in mind.
What Does a Philodendron Paraiso Verde Look Like
This is a plant that is grown primarily for its stunning foliage. The leaves which can reach seven to ten inches in length are often marbled in different shades of green giving them an eye-catching appearance.
The leaf color is determined by light supply. In their natural habitat, these plants are climbers with quite slender stems so you may need to supply yours with some support as it grows. They can grow large in the wild but in the home tend not to get much taller than fifteen to twenty inches.
Philodendron Paraiso Verde Care Details
|Origin||Tropical America and the Caribbean|
|Common name||Green Paradise|
|Maximum growth||To 15 inches|
|Watering||Likes to be kept slightly moist|
|Light requirements||Bright light but not direct sunlight|
|Humidity||Quite high 55 to 75%|
|Soil||60 % potting soil 40% perlite|
|Feeding||Once a month during spring and summer|
|Season||Slows down during the cooler months|
|Temperature||55 to 90°F (12° TO 32°C)|
|Pests||Mealybug, spider mite, aphids and scale insects|
|Diseases||Brown leaf tips, blight, leaf spots, leaf curl|
|Propagation||Stem cutting in soil or water|
|Pruning||Minor tidying up occasionally|
|Re-potting||When roots totally fill the pot|
|USDA Hardiness||Outdoor 9b to 10|
First Steps After Purchasing Your Plant
The first thing you will want to do when your new plant arrives is to check it thoroughly for any signs of pests or diseases. Don’t forget to check beneath the leaves and in the leaf nodules for any sneaky little stowaways.
Next, you should knock the plant out of its container and examine the root system. This will tell you if the root ball is healthy if the soil is lightly moist, and whether it has started to outgrow its container or not.
Once you have established that your Philodendron Paraiso Verde is in good health you are good to go and you can now move it to its new permanent home.
You will want to position your new housemate somewhere where it receives bright but indirect light and is away from drafts. These plants are fans of humidity and if it is placed near other house plants the humidity levels are likely to be higher.
How to Care for Your Philodendron paraiso verde
This is one of the most critical aspects of plant care and is particularly important with your Philodendron Paraiso Verde.
Because this plant originates in moist tropical environments, it needs to be kept slightly moist but not wet. At first, this might seem a difficult balance to achieve but you will soon get the hang of it.
My solution to maintaining ideal moisture levels is to do a regular finger test of the soil. By pushing your finger into the soil to a depth of about one inch you will be able to feel if the soil is moist or dry.
If it is dry then it is time to water again. Where possible, use captured rainwater or filtered water to prevent a chemical build-up in the soil.
How you water is another important skill to master. It really isn’t difficult. Place your plant in a sink or basin of some kind, and then apply the water at the soil level.
Try not to get any of the water on the leaves. Apply water until it starts to seep through the hole in the bottom of the pot. Only once it has fully drained away should you replace the plant in its plant saucer and return it to its original position.
In terms of what water to use, it is always best to use filtered water or trapped water. Regular tap water contains chemicals that, over time, build up in the soil and can cause problems for your plant.
Many people like to just leave their plant in place and water there but this can lead to problems. If the plant saucer becomes full of water, it slows the speed at which the remaining water will drain away and this can result in waterlogging.
Nothing will kill your precious plant more quickly than allowing it to become waterlogged. Also, don’t fall into the common trap of believing that if you water or feed your plant more often it will grow more quickly.
You will achieve a far better result if you replicate natural conditions and allow the plant to grow at its own speed.
Philodendron Paraiso Verde likes bright light but does not appreciate direct sun. Those delicate and attractive variegations will fade and the leaves will turn dark green if the plant receives too much light.
Remember that what you are trying to replicate is the floor of a tropical forest where all light reaching the plant is filtered by higher trees.
Your plant likes to be kept at between 55 and 90°F (12 -32°C). In some regions, you may even be able to leave your plant outdoors during the summer months.
What this plant will not appreciate will be temperatures below 50° F. Whether the plant is always kept indoors or is moved out for the warmer months, you will need to ensure it never goes below this temperature.
With the Philodendron Paraiso Verde, humidity is more important than it is with many other house plants. They like their humidity levels to fall within the 65 to 75 percent range which is high, especially in the house.
If the leaves start to show signs of becoming soft and floppy, then humidity is the most likely culprit.
- One of the first steps towards raising humidity levels is to group your plants. Together they create a small microclimate where the humidity levels remain higher than elsewhere in the room.
- If that isn’t sufficient, your next move should be to stand your plant on a gravel tray. A gravel tray is simply a plant saucer filled with gravel and then with water. The gravel allows you to keep the base of the plant clear of the water and the humidity level will rise as the water evaporates from the tray.
- If that still doesn’t work, you may look at purchasing a plant humidifier. These gadgets are not particularly expensive and they allow the home gardener to regulate the humidity level around his plants to quite an exact degree. This item should be used in conjunction with a humidity meter.
- Humidity meters have become quite cheap over the years. Placed near to your plant, they will give you a digital readout of both the humidity and the temperature. This allows you to precisely create the perfect environment for your plants.
When potting any plant, it is a good idea to know what sort of moisture level the plant prefers so that you can adjust the drainage capacity of the soil accordingly. We already know that the Philodendron Paraiso Verde likes to be kept quite moist but not wet.
- For starters, choose a good quality houseplant potting soil that is high in moisture-retentive plant material such as coconut husk.
- After that, combine it with forty percent vermiculite. What you now have is a soil that retains moisture but also drains well. This should make it easier for you to keep the soil moist (doing the regular finger test) without the risk of it becoming waterlogged.
Be aware that after a while the plant material in the soil will start to break down. At this stage, the soil’s water carrying capacity will decrease and you may need to water more often than with fresh soil.
This will not be a problem as long as you continue to carry out regular moisture tests with that high-tech finger of yours.
All plants need to be repotted from time to time. Firstly the plant grows and the root ball becomes too large for the container that it is in, and secondly, the soil itself becomes denuded of nutrients as the plant absorbs them.
Philodendron Paraiso Verde needs only be repotted when they are quite tightly root-bound. If you notice that the roots are becoming tight in their pot or that they are starting to sneak out of the hole in the bottom of the pot.
Then it is time to think about placing them in a bigger container. If you can wait until the start of the growing season the plant will adapt more quickly, but this is not a necessity.
- Firstly, you will need a container that is the next size up from the one that your plant currently inhabits. You don’t want to increase the diameter size of the container by more than one or two inches.
- Please make sure that there is an adequately sized drainage hole in the new container. The reason not to just plop the plant into a much larger container is that it means the roots are surrounded by lots of water-retaining material. This can cause root rot and that is one of the worst scenarios for your plant.
- Next, make sure that you have some new potting soil combined with perlite to the percentages mentioned above.
- Now gently tap the plant from the old container and examine the roots carefully. Healthy roots are white and have a firm fleshy texture to them.
- You can remove any loose potting soil that may be clinging to the roots but don’t get so diligent about that that you damage the roots.
- You can now place your plant into its new home and gently fill in around it with the potting mix.
- Firm the mix down with your fingers and make sure that the plant is replanted to the same depth as it was in the previous container.
- Water in, allow excess water to drain away and you are done.
Unlike with some of the Philodendrons, these plants tend not to become too rampant. Most of the pruning you will need to do will be simple tidying of any leaves that become damaged.
Think of it more as grooming than pruning. Because the plants have relatively thin stems in relation to the leaf size, the plant will benefit from having some form of support. A moss stick allows the plant to root as it climbs which is similar to what it would do in the wild.
These plants are still quite rare for the domestic home grower and therefore they are expensive, as you may have discovered already. The good news is that you can propagate them really easily yourself and therefore increase your collection at no extra cost.
They are grown from simple stem cuttings and these can be started off either in a soil medium or in water.
- You will need to take your cutting just below a leaf node. I find that a clean sharp knife is the best tool for this job.
- Once you have taken the cutting, retain only one or two leaves. I generally keep only one. Plant it into the same potting mix as you use for growing the parent plant and place in a position that offers bright but indirect light.
- Within two weeks the plant will start to put out roots. Don’t take any further action at this stage, but make sure that the soil is constantly moist.
- After that, you may start to see increased growth at the top of the plant.
- It is likely to be at least another two to three weeks before the plant will need to be potted up into a larger pot.
Initial growth will probably be slow while the plant gets established, but after that, it will start to grow rapidly.
As an alternative to planting into soil, you can just pop your cutting into a glass container filled with water. Again, reduce the leaf to plant ratio so that the tiny new roots do not struggle to try to sustain an unrealistic leaf mass.
You can leave the plant in the water until you can see that there are plenty of roots and then plant it up into a small pot. While waiting for the roots to grow large enough to pot up, change the water from time to time.
Common Problems and How to Fix Them
Pests and How to Combat them
The main defense that the Philodendron Paraiso Verde has against pests is an invisible waxy cuticle that covers the leaves. The healthier your plant is, the thicker the cuticle and the more able your plant is to defend itself.
If you can keep your plant in good health, you are less likely to need to deal with predatory pests as nearly all of these are sap-sucking insects.
They need to be able to insert their tiny mouthparts through the protective cuticle in order to access the sap. If they can’t do that easily, they move onto another more vulnerable plant which hopefully resides in your neighbor’s house.
Regularly doing a close inspection of the leaves and leaf joints is critical to warding off an attack. If just a few pests are spotted early on, it is far easier to ward off an infestation than once the creatures become established. When doing an inspection, a magnifying glass is a useful tool to have on hand.
Tiny sap-sucking insects that can breed incredibly fast, aphids are a pest to look out for. They tend to favor new growth where the leaf parts are soft.
Once they become established they breed very quickly. It is estimated that if all of the progeny from just one aphid were to survive for a year, their combined weight would be enough to throw the planet off its access.
Fortunately, these little critters are really fragile and so we can sleep at night without fear of suddenly spinning off towards another universe. They can be wiped from the leaf with anti insecticidal soaps or Neem oil placed on a soft cloth.
If you notice tiny white blobs on your plant’s leaves, it may well be mealy bugs. These pests are very small insects that look like tiny blobs of cotton wool or a light dusting of flour.
They like to hide out in leaf joints and suck the sap of the target plants from there. You may be able to blast them off with a jet of water or use the Neem oil or insecticidal soap.
These insects can sometimes get away without being noticed because they look like tiny light brown scabs on the surface of the leaf or the stem. Hidden beneath their hard little shells, they too are sucking away at the sap and weakening their host plant.
If caught early, they can often be removed simply by scratching them off with your fingernail or the back of a knife. In greater numbers, dip an earbud in Neem oil and wipe them with that.
These tiny mites are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Often the first time you become aware of their arrival is when you spot a fine web near the base of the leaf or when you see leaf portions that have become brown and desiccated where they have sucked out all of the sap.
These creatures lay their eggs on the underside of leaves. A good place to start addressing an attack is to place the plant in a sink and then carefully wash away their webs with warm water. After that wiping down with Neem oil should keep them at bay.
One of the reasons that spider mite is not very common in Philodendron Paraiso Verde is that they like dry conditions.
We already know these plants prefer high humidity so if you do see spider mites it might actually notify you that you need to check on those humidity levels. Philodendron Paraiso Verde is an expensive plant and so it is worth paying them that extra little bit of attention.
A weekly wipe down with Neem oil will keep those leaves in spectacular form which is their trademark and should prevent pests from ever becoming something you need to deal with.
If you do run into a pest problem, isolate the infected plant so that the pests can’t access the rest of your collection.
Diseases and how to Combat Them
With Philodendron Paraiso Verde, most of the diseases that you encounter are likely to have something to do with incorrect watering procedures.
Brown Leaf Tips
This problem is often the first indication that you are under watering your plant. The brown tips become crisp and dry. Check your watering regime.
The tips will not recover but if you get the moisture level right the problem should not go any further. Black or brown spots on the leaves may be caused by bacterial fungus.
This is often because of damp conditions. When watering your plant, apply water only to the base of the plant and not to the leaves.
Ensure that there is good air circulation and avoid overwatering. You can treat the problem with a horticultural fungicide available at plant suppliers and nurseries.
This one can be caused by low humidity, underwatering or over-fertilizing. Stick to feeding with a balanced fertilizer and only during the growing season from spring to mid-summer. Once a month should be perfectly adequate.
Leaves Floppy and Wilting
This can be caused by a lack of humidity or lack of water. It will be easy to confirm which the problem is by doing that famous finger test again. If the soil is too dry, then water immediately. If the soil is moist then increase the humidity.
Brown Soggy Marks on Leaves
If you start to notice brown watery patches on the leaves or signs of rotting on the stems, then your plant may be experiencing root rot.
This is extremely serious and will need to be addressed immediately. It is almost always the result of excess water in the root ball.
- The first thing you should do is to tap the plant out of its pot and lay it on a sheet of paper out of the sun. Allow it to dry out and then examine the root ball closely. Any brown or soggy root material can be cut away as it serves no purpose other than to harbor fungal pathogens.
- Next, re-pot the plant into a new potting mix but don’t water it for several days. Hopefully, the plant will start to show signs of perking up.
- After that, keep the soil moist but not wet, and make sure to drain all excess water away after watering.
Unfortunately, these plants contain calcium oscillate crystals which can be toxic to both children and pets if consumed.
You will, therefore, need to take the necessary precautions if you share your home with anyone who might be inclined to nibble on your house plants. There are no adverse effects from brushing against the leaves.
Quick Access Care Tips
- Get to grips with a watering regime that keeps your plant moist but not wet.
- These guys like it humid so experiment with techniques until you hit the ideal range.
- Bright light is essential but avoid direct sunlight.
- Observation is key to spotting pests early.
- Don’t overfeed your plants and don’t feed them at all during the cooler dormant months.
- A regular wipe down with Neem oil will keep leaves in prime condition and allow you to spot any pest invasion early. It is an excellent pest deterrent.
- Re-pot only when the current container is root-bound.
- Use a good house plant potting mix combined with 40% perlite for best results.
- If leaves start to lose their variegation, then consider a slightly less bright position.
- Get propagating as soon as your can.
You have chosen a great plant. Not only are Philodendron Paraiso Verde great on the eye, but they are also really easy to look after. As an added benefit, they offer the opportunity to propagate new plants readily will mean you can increase your collection, or even regain some of your initial outlay by selling a few of the plants you cultivate.