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The Hope Philodendron or Philodendron selloum plant is an easy-to-care-for plant. Popular with experienced botanists, it is also a great choice for those wanting to get their fingers green for the first time.
With dark green, shiny leaves, and deep lobes, the plant has quite a distinctive look about it. The shiny leaves look as if they have been coated with some kind of wax and, when the sun shines, they glisten proudly amongst other greenery.
Hope Philodendrons are native to South America but have been grown in Florida for many years. As with any plant, they require due care and attention to keep them healthy and alive. While they are easy to care for, there are some important factors and tips to consider before you add one to your collection.
There is no doubt that these plants help to spruce up homes thanks to their interesting, broad leaves. Whether you live in a small space or in a colder region, Hope Philodendrons will certainly provide a beautiful, tropical vibe.
To ensure your Hope Philodendron lives a happy life with you, we have compiled some useful tips to help keep it thriving. Today, we will be looking at some interesting facts about this unique plant, how to grow it properly, and, of course, how to care for it when it has made your home, its own home.
What is Hope Philodendron (Philodendron selloum)?
Hope Philodendron, also known as Philodendron selloum, originates from the plant family of aroids. Hailing from South America, it is a truly beautiful tropical plant.
As with many horticultural plants, the genus name “Philodendron” is from the Greek word “Philo” and “Dendron” meaning “tree loving.” It is also known as lacy tree Philodendron and horsehead philodendron. Take your pick how you want to call it!
Hope Philodendron is grown for its foliage, as most philodendron species are. These plants are particularly prized for their evergreen leaves that are deeply lobed. Some of these leaves are known to grow up to 1.5 meters long and are quite a sight to behold.
Their huge, shiny leaves grow outward from a small-sized base and create a unique but very interesting silhouette. Because of this silhouette, the leaves are grown as cut foliage. If the plant is left to grow and mature, without any cuttings, the base can grow into a tree trunk-like structure which is most often seen in the wild.
Is Hope Philodendron toxic?
Philodendrons. They are beautiful to look at. They can make any surroundings look tropical, no matter where you are. However, most species of Philodendron are actually toxic to humans and other animals. Therefore, you must be very careful if you have pets as they can become violently ill if any part of the plant is consumed.
Calcium oxalate crystals are found in these plants which are known to cause skin irritation as well as swelling of the tongue and even the throat if ingested. Always be extra vigilant when growing any form of Philodendron. We will discuss the best placement and spaces for these plants further below.
Do Hope Philodendron plants bloom?
Seeing any flowers blooming from Hope Philodendron plants is quite rare, especially when they are grown indoors. If you want to wait for these plants to mature and bloom, you better get your waiting hat on. It can take up to 15 or 16 years before these plants reach maturity but, once they do, the flowers are magnificent.
They have a white spadix inflorescence that appear under the shiny, broad leaves. Worth the wait? Absolutely!
How to Grow Hope Philodendron
The Hope Selloum prefers a warm, humid environment. This is no surprise when you consider its origins in South America. It also appreciates a moderate supply of light and water.
For the best growing results, these plants should be placed in a spot where they can receive a medium to bright indirect light every day.
If you place a Hope Selloum in a low light area, it will struggle to grow and maintain its health. While it can tolerate very high levels of light, it will probably require additional care.
We recommend rotating its container every 2 to 3 days to ensure the plant gets even sunlight and the stem doesn’t begin to slant.
Hope Philodendron grows best in rich, slightly alkaline soil. This soil should be well-draining so overwatering doesn’t occur. These plants are known to grow well in 100% sphagnum peat moss or in a 1:1 peat-perlite mix or a peat-vermiculite mixture.
While they are a hardy species, Hope Philodendron plants can be troublesome when growing and being cared for. But, with a little time and knowledge, they are some of the easiest plants to keep and care for that you’ll ever own.
When we consider what temperature you should grow your Hope Philodendron in, it will be happiest in a well-controlled environment with temperatures around 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).
Ensure that the plant is not in a direct line of contact with any air conditioning or heating vents as this can damage the leaves and stem.
If you’re growing your Hope Philodendron outside, you’ll be pleased to know that it is resistant to wind. Therefore, you can place it in its containers on terraces, balconies, or backyards.
As long as there is some sort of shade, the plant will be happy whether it’s in indirect or full sunlight. However, too much sunlight can see the leaves start to lose their bright green characteristics and begin to turn yellow.
On the other hand, if not enough light reaches the plant, the stems can become leggy and their growth can become stunted.
How often should Hope Philodendrons be watered?
Out of all plants in the Philodendron family, this one tends to appreciate moist soil the most. However, this soil can not be too wet or soggy as this can easily cause root rot.
Keep moisture at the right level by flooding the pot with excess water. This will then drain. The surface should eventually be dry enough to touch before the next watering takes place. During the winter months, keep the soil barely moist.
Best Temperature and Humidity for Hope Philodendron
For the best possible growth, Hope Philodendrons must be in average to warm temperatures. These should be approximately 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 29 degrees Celsius).
Due to the leaves being thinner on Hope Selloums than other Philodendrons, they require more humid climates. During winter months when the humidity may be lower, occasional misting could help the plant deal with the drier air.
Fertilizer or no fertilizer?
Hope Philodendrons do not require much fertilizer as they are moderate feeders. However, too little fertilizer can see their leaves turn yellow which is not a great sign.
On the other hand, if you add too much fertilizer, salt can build up in the alkaline soil and cause the tips of the leaves to burn.
You should feed the plants from spring to fall with a plant fertilizer that contains high levels of nitrogen. This will ensure the leaves stay green and healthy. When winter rolls in, simply feed the plant once every six weeks.