Growing Philodendron atabapoense Indoors can be a rewarding experience. Read on to learn about its requirements.
Endemic to the wet, tropical biome of Venezuela and the Amazon rainforests, Philodendron atabapoense is highly prized for its exotic foliage color, impressive appearance, and easy maintenance. Learn everything about growing this rare tropical beauty with this extensive care guide!
- Botanical Name: Philodendron atabapoense
- Popular Names—Atabapo Sword, Heart Leaf Philodendron
- Reaches a height of 3-4 feet indoors
- Prefers bright, indirect sunlight
- Grows in a temperature range of 60-85 F or 16-29 C
- Toxic to pets and humans
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What is Philodendron atabapoense?
Member of Araceae family, Philodendron atabapoense is a tropical epiphyte plant with foliage displaying a unique, elongated lanceolate shape. The foliage can grow up to 18 inches long and about 4 inches wide, with new leaves unfurling in a striking red hue before maturing to a deep, glossy green. While the exotic burgundy undersides, along with the stems, create an exotic contrast with the dark green.
With an impressive height of upto 4 feet, the aroid’s easy maintenance nature makes it a wonderful addition to apartments, condos, and co-working spaces.
Is Philodendron atabapoense Rare?
Yes, Philodendron atabapoense is a rare tropical plant native to Colombia and Venezuela’s Atabapo River region. Its limited distribution, slow growth, and specific environmental requirements contribute to its scarcity in cultivation. Additionally, conservation efforts and strict export regulations protect the species from overharvesting, further enhancing its rarity in the market.
Philodendron atabapoense vs billietiae
- Appearance: Philodendron atabapoense has larger, elongated leaves than Philodendron billietiae, which has smaller, more rounded, heart-shaped foliage. The former has reddish-purple stems, while the latter sports green stems.
- Growing Habit: Philodendron atabapoense tends to grow in an upright pattern, while Philodendron billietiae has a more trailing growth habit.
- Native Place: Philodendron atabapoense is native to South America, specifically Colombia and Brazil, while Philodendron billietiae is native to Central America, specifically Costa Rica and Panama.
- Ease of Care: Philodendron atabapoense is generally considered easier to care for than its competitor, as it is more adaptable to different light conditions and soil types. Also, the plant is easier to propagate due to its larger stem size.
Ideal Pot Size
When growing Philodendron atabapoense indoors, it is important to choose the right pot size to allow the plant to thrive. A pot that is too small can lead to root crowding and stunt the plant’s growth, while one that is too large can cause overwatering and other issues. The best bet is to get a pot that is slightly bigger than the plant’s root ball.
To start with—a 4-6 inches pot with ample drainage holes is good enough. You may repot it to a one-size bigger container when you find the roots outgrowing the pot. Ceramic, terracotta, or plastic pots—you may opt for any of them suitable options as long as they have drainage holes in the bottom to prevent water buildup.
Philodendron atabapoense Propagation
Propagating Philodendron atabapoense through stem cuttings is an easy and efficient method. Follow these steps for successful propagation:
- Select a mature stem that has several nodes and is free of disease and pests.
- Use a clean and sharp pair of pruning shears to cut a stem of about 10-15 cm long just below the node.
- Dip the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone powder, brushing off the excess.
- Fill a small pot with a well-draining potting mix and plant the cutting into it.
- Water the cutting thoroughly and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Place the pot in a bright spot but away from direct sunlight. Check the cutting regularly for root growth, and hold back on watering when you find the stem developing roots that will take a few weeks.