Philodendron pedatum Care, Variegated, vs. Florida

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Philodendron pedatum is a rare houseplant with multi-lobed medium to dark green leaves native to tropical Southern America. It is easy to grow, purifies the air, and will give your home a charming tropical vibe.

However, before you buy it, you need to know more about its care (light, soil, temperature, fertilizer, watering, etc.) and any issues or problems. Also, you need to know something about Philodendron pedatum variegated, Reindeer, and Glad Hands.

Lastly, to avoid confusion. you need to tell Philodendron pedatum from Philodendron Florida, Florida Beauty, and Florida Ghost. Why? Because they share some striking resemblance, and some vendors may mislabel them.

Philodendron pedatum
Mature P. pedatum with multi-lobed leaves (with some lobes further lobed), slightly sunken midrib and primary veins, and a smooth green petiole with a slight reddish tinge towards the apex. See latest prices.

Quick overview

  • Scientific name: Philodendron pedatum (syn. Philodendron polypodioides, Philodendron quercifolium or Philodendron laciniatum)
  • Common names: Oak leaf philodendron, Pedatum Philodendron, Philodendron oak leaf
  • Family: Araceae
  • Native habitat: Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Ecuador, Brazil (North, Northeast, Southeast, and West-central), Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador
  • Toxicity: Harmful or toxic to dogs, cats, and humans
  • Care level: Easy or low maintenance

Philodendron pedatum (described in 1841) shows much variation in its appearance. So, it ended up with many other scientific names, including P. polypodioides, P. quercifolium, and P. laciniatum, which are now all synonyms.

Description and identification

1. Growing habits

P. pedatum is a climbing rainforest hemiepiphyte. A hemiepiphyte is a plant that has both terrestrial and epiphytic growth phases.

It is native to South Tropical America, where it grows in moist and wet tropical and premontane forests in the wild. But in Ecuador, it occurs in premontane wet forests. 

It has a relatively fast growth rate and can grow up to 9 feet or more. But to be this long, you should give it a place to climb. Indoors, it will be 4 to 8 feet.

2. Leaves

Baby leaves are oblong-oval. As it grows into juvenile and subadult, they start undergoing morphogenesis, developing a few not well-defined lobes. The base is slightly rounded at this stage, while the apex is tail-like or caudate.

Mature Philodendron pedatum has shallowly to deeply multi-lobed, sub-leathery, semi-glossy medium to dark green leaves with a paler underside. In some mature specimens, the laminas are pedatisect (divided or lobes nearly reaching the midrib). But a new leaf may be paler

The leaf blade sizes vary, i.e., 6.3-27.6 inches long by 5.5-19.7 inches wide. Each lamina has about 1-5 pairs of lobes on the anterior section with some further lobed, while there are up to five lobes on the posterior part of the leaf blade.

Also, the midrib is narrowly or broadly sunken and a little paler. Also, the primary lateral veins on the anterior (9-17 pairs) and posterior (3-5) are narrowly sunken, making the leaves appear slightly quilted or ridged.

Lastly, the terete to subterete reddish-tinged medium to dark green petioles are 6.7-24.8 inches long. Their surface is rough and has straight, slight ridges (striate). But to the apex, these leaf stalks may be flattened or obtusely single ribbed. Also, they have extrafloral nectaries.

3. Stems

P. pedatum has light brown or gray to dark-green semi-glossy to matte stems about 0.2-1.1 inches thick with internodes about 0.6-6 inches. Also, their surface is sometimes slightly rough and has weak fissures across the length.

Cataphylls are deciduous (non-persisting), medium to dark green with a purplish to reddish tinge with dense paler speckles. Also, they are usually unribbed. But, in a few instances, the cataphylls can be double ribbed starting in the middle towards the apex.

4. Flowers or Inflorescences

P. pedatum bears tiny male, female, and sterile male flowers on a spadix surrounded by a spathe. Also, pinkish prophylls subtend these inflorescences, and the supporting peduncle (flower stalk) is medium green and densely lineate (tiny longitudinal tiny parallel depressed lines).

On the outside, the spathe has reddish to medium green and has purple-marked lineate, while the inside is dark maroon or whitish.

Lastly, like other Philodendron plants, the spadix has a creamy white female potion hidden inside the spathe tube, a middle sterile male and upper fertile male zones.

Philodendron Pedatum types or forms

Since it is highly variable, this plant has forms or types. Also, there is a variegated form. Here is more:

1. Philodendron Glad Hands (Narrow form or Philodendron Quercifolium)

Philodendron pedatum ‘Glad hands’ is one of the variations of P. pedatum characterized by hand-like, multi-lobed medium to dark green leaves. The lobes are narrower, so some label it as P. pedatum Narrow Form.

However, if you look at its petiole and other features, including its flower, it resembles P. pedatum.

Philodendron Glad Hand
P. pedatum ‘Glad Hands’ plants have hand-like, multi-lobed leaves with narrower lobes. See latest prices.

2. Philodendron pedatum Raindeer

Philodendron pedatum Raindeer is yet another multi-lobed variation with medium to dark green leaves whose shape looks like Reindeer minus the eyes and nose and green petiole.

Philodendron pedatum Reindeer
P. pedatum Reindeer has multi-lobed leaves shaped like a reindeer head and smooth green petioles. Check the latest prices.

It is a little rare and will cost slightly higher than a regular P. pedatum. If you need it, check Etsy.com. Other vendors who have it are:

  • Spokane Plant Farm (Spokane Valley, WA) – $34.99
  • California Tropicals – $85.99

3. Variegated Philodendron pedatum

Variegated Philodendron pedatum is a rare form. It has multi-lobed medium to dark green leaves with cream, whitish or yellowish marbling, streaks, sectors, and half-moon markings or variegation.

Please don’t confuse this plant with Philodendron Florida Beauty, which has wart-like bumps on its reddish petiole.

Variegated Philodendron Pedatum
This lovely variegated P. pedatum has yellow-green, yellow, and cream sectors, streaks, and marbling. Also, the greenish, red-tinged petiole should be smooth. Check the latest prices.
Variegated Philodendron Pedatum Not Florida
This P. pedatum variegated form has mainly cream or off-white marbling, steaks, and sectors. Check its latest prices.

If you want to buy this P. pedatum variegated form, prices range from $450 to $1300, depending on the size and location. Etsy.com has excellent price offers. The other vendor who has it is Tennessee Tropicals (Springfield, TN), going for $825. Yellowish

Philodendron pedatum vs. Florida, Florida Beauty, and Florida Ghost

Philodendron Florida is a Philodendron pedatum x P. squamiferum hybrid created by Robert McColley in his 1950s breeding programs.

It has medium to dark green multi-lobed leaves somewhat resemble P. pedatum. The main difference between Philodendron pedatum and Florida is the petiole. Pedatum has medium to dark green smooth petiole with a reddish tinge, while Florida has dark reddish petiole with wart-like bumps. However, the Florida petioles are not as hairy or fuzzy (scaly or bristle-like) as those of Philodendron squamiferum.

Philodendron Florida, Florida Bronze, Compacta
Philodendron Florida has green to dark green multi-lobed leaves and dark-reddish petioles. New leaves are often a little paler. See the latest prices.

On the other hand, Philodendron Florida Beauty is a variegated cultivar of Philodendron Florida. It has multi-lobed medium to dark green leaves with cream, yellowish, mint, pale, or lime green splotches, speckles, marbling, sectors, or half-moon markings. However, if labeled as Florida Beauty Green, it isn’t variegated.

Philodendron Florida Beauty
Check this lovely Philodendron Florida Beauty with dark green leaves and cream variegations, i.e., marbling, sectors, and half-moon leaves. See the latest prices.

Lastly, Philodendron Florida Ghost is another Florida cultivar whose newly emerged leaves are whitish, cream, or light green. But as they age, they will transition to various hues of light green or yellow-green before becoming green to dark green when the leaf has hardened.

Mature x-Large Philodendron Florida Ghost
Extra-large mature Philodendron Florida Ghost with multi-lobed cream newly emerged leaves, light green older and dark green hardened leaves. Check the latest prices.

Philodendron pedatum care

Philodendron pedatum requires a warm (65- 85°F), humid place with bright indirect light. Ensure the soil is well-draining, airy, and high in organic matter, and water it when a few top inches of the potting mix feel dry.

Also, don’t forget that this plant needs feeding, pruning, repotting, and support (moss pole, trellis, etc.).

Here are details of Philodendron pedatum care needs and growth requirements:

1. USDA hardiness zone

USDA hardiness zone for P. pedatum is 10-12. It is not frost-resistant, and freezing temperatures will kill it. Only grow it outdoors all year if you are in these zones or 9B that doesn’t have frost.

2. Temperature

This tropical plant grows best in a warm place with ideal temperatures of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18-29°C). Avoid temperatures below 55°F, cold drafts, sudden dips, or spikes.

Also, never place your plant next to a cold or heat source or vent, including your space heaters or air conditioners.

3. Humidity

P. pedatum loves humidity. So, if possible, keep it at 60% or more. However, it can still tolerate lower humidity, 40-50%.

If yours is too little, mist plants, move them to humid rooms (bathroom or kitchen), or use a pebble tray. Also, you can group plants (creates a microclimate) or buy a humidifier.

For humidifiers, go for a cool mist not warm mist. Also, consider coverage. A good brand to consider is AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier. It is ideal for small to medium rooms and will run for up to a day without a refill. Also, it is silent and affordable.

4. Light needs

It grows best in bright indirect light for about 12 to 14 hours a day but can tolerate medium levels. A little morning sun on the east-facing window won’t do any damage. But avoid direct sun as it will scorch leaves.

On the other hand, too little light will make your plant leggy and have smaller, paler, or yellowish leaves. GooingTop LED Grow Light5-Level Dimmable is a good pick. It has a lifespan of up to 30 hours, covers a large area (up to 1 to 2 square meters) and produces full-spectrum, sun-like light. 

5. Best soil or potting mix

The best soil for P. pedatum should be well-drained, aerated, and high in organic matter. Also, it should be slightly acidic to neutral, pH 5.5-7.3.

Find an aroid mix at your local plant store or Etsy.com. Also, you can make yours at home by adding perlite, moss peat (or coco coir), compost, and bark chips to your potting soil to make an aroid mix.

6. Watering

They love moist soil. Soggy and heavy soils will cause root rot. Also, don’t let the soil bone dry or until your plant starts drooping.

We recommend watering this houseplant when the top 1-2 inches, up to the 1st finger knuckle, feels dry or reading is in the dry zone if you have a soil moisture meter. I recommend XLUX Soil Moisture Meter.

Lastly, slowly saturate the soil until excess water flows from drainage holes when watering. Afterward, discard any that collects on the saucer

7. Fertilizer

Feed your plant with an all-purpose, balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer once a month in growing months to boost growth and ensure lush green leaves.

A 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 will do. But it doesn’t have to be balanced strictly. A brand like Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food (Liquid) with NPK 1-1-1 is perfect. But being dilute, you may have to feed a bit more often.

Besides liquid, you can go for a slow-release formula for a houseplant. Start applying in spring and follow what the manufacturer says

8. Pruning and grooming

Cut damaged, dead, or diseased leaves with sterilized gardening shears, and in growing months, especially spring, you can cut back the stems (not more than 25% at one go to control size, growth, or shape. Also, remember to clean dusty or dirty leaves.

9. Repotting

You should repot this plant every 2-3 years, or if rootbound, i.e., your plant has outgrown its current pot, and roots are growing from drainage holes and spiraling around its wall. Use a pot that is 2-3 inches wider in diameter.

10. Stake or support

As a climbing Philodendron species, provide and train it on a moss pole, trellis, totem, or pole like bamboo.

Philodendron pedatum propagation

Philodendron pedatum propagation is by stem cutting, air layering, or using seeds. But seeds are rare or hard to find.

If you opt for stem cutting propagation, it must have a node (the knobby part where leaves attach or grow aerial roots), and you can use either water or soil (potting mix). The steps are the same as those you follow in propagating any climbing Philodendron species.

On the other hand, air layering will involve wrapping moist sphagnum moss on a selected node to allow it to root while still attached to the mother plant. Keep the sphagnum moss moist and airy. Once roots are long enough, cut and transplant the stem to a growing pot.

Problems and issue

1. Pests and diseases

Pests like aphids, thrips, spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects or diseases (fungal and bacterial leaf spots and blights), are not a big challenge. Nonetheless, check for their signs.

You can manage pests with neem oil, insecticidal soaps, or horticultural oil spray. And for diseases, isolate new plants, remove affected parts, and practice proper sanitation (wash hands and sterilize gardening tools).

2. Root rot

Root rot presents a considerable challenge to people who over-water their P. pedatum or have heavy, poorly draining soils. Roots will become mushy and black or brown. Repot your plant, cutting off decayed parts with sterilized gardening shears.

3. Leaf discoloration

The other issue is leaf discoloration, turning yellow, browning, or having brown tips and edges. Also, brown, black or yellow spots are possible.

The yellowing of leaves is a sign of overwatering. However, too little or much light, underwatering, cold drafts, heat stress, and other things may cause this discoloration.

Brown tips, edges, and patches indicate moisture issues or anything that causes rapid leaf moisture loss. Reasons include underwatering, low humidity, too much light, heat stress, fertilizer burns, etc. Any reason that affects water absorption is a possible cause too.

Lastly, if you brown, black or yellow spots, the likely reasons can be pests and disease. But other things may be a reason too.

4. Plant drooping and leaves curling

Drooping occurs when cells don’t have enough water to keep them rigid, while leaf curling reduces moisture loss or protects against damage.

Reasons are underwatering, low humidity, too much light, and heat stress. Others are those that make roots unable to absorb water like fertilizer burns, root rot, etc.

Where to buy Philodendron pedatum

If you are looking for Philodendron pedatum on sale, the best places to hunt for this plant are Etsy.com, eBay, Facebook, and Instagram. These online marketplaces and social media sites have sellers from the US and other locations. People in the UK, NZ, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, etc., will find vendors near them or those willing to ship.

Besides the above, more places and prices for this plant include the following:

  • Amazon.com – 45.00 (California Tropicals)
  • Peace Love and Happiness Club (Seattle, WA) – $ 32.00
  • Gabriella Plants (Oviedo, Florida) – $39.99
  • Plant Circle (Berlin, Germany) – 16,82 € – 51,40 €
  • Fair Child Tropical Botanical Garden (Miami, Florida) – $30
  • The Victorian Atlanta (Atlanta, GA) – $65
  • Happy Houseplants (Ongar CM5 9PY, the UK) – £89.99 -£99.99
  • Indoor Plants (East Sussex, UK) -£180.00
  • Plant Wagons (Karnataka, India) – Rs. 349.00
  • The Ginger Jungle (London, UK) – £85.00
  • Centered by Plants (Ontario, Canada) – CAD$19.00 (Plantlets)

If you still haven’t gotten a vendor, try searching “Philodendron pedatum for sale” on any main search engine. You should get some results, including those near your location.

Frequently asked questions (FAQS)

Is Philodendron pedatum rare?

Yes. Philodendron pedatum is a rare and hard-to-find houseplant. Most of the local tropical plant stores don’t have it. Also, none of the large-scale horticultural growers have it.

What is the Philodendron pedatum price?

The price of Philodendron pedatum ranges from $15 to $90 for unrooted cutting to a large established plant. These plants are expensive in the UK, with large ones costing as much as £180.00 ($226).

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