Philodendron sodiroi (name unresolved) is a lovely, easy to care for, and air purifying climbing houseplant native to Colombia. It has beautiful, large, heart-shaped leaves with silvery-grey mottling and light green prominent veins and margin.
Learn what P. sodiroi looks like (leaves, stems or flowers) and its growing habits. We will also talk about how to care for it (light, humidity, temperature, soil, etc.) and propagation.
That is not all. This post has insight on Philodendron sodiroi vs. mamei, Philodendron sodiroi x verrucosum (Philodendron Majestic), and where to buy this lovely aroid, Etsy.com being the best place.
- Quick overview
- Description and appearance
- 1. Growing habits
- 2. Growth rate and size
- 3. Leaves
- 4. Stems
- 5. Flowers
- Philodendron sodiroi x verrucosum (Philodendron majestic)
- Philodendron melanochrysum x sodiroi
- Philodendron sodiroi x ornatum
- Philodendron sodiroi vs. mamei
- Variegated Philodendron sodiroi
- Philodendron sodiroi care
- Problems and issues
- Where to find Philodendron sodiroi on sale
- Frequently asked questions
- Scientific name: Unresolved but likely Philodendron sodiroi (N.E.Br.). Some people denote it as a hort., meaning it’s just a horticultural name.
- Common names: Philo sodiroi or Sodiroi ornatum
- Family: Araceae
- Native habitat: Colombia
- Toxicity: All plant parts are toxic or poisonous to dogs, cats, and humans. Why? Because it has sharp, needle-like insoluble calcium oxalates.
- Care level: Low maintenance or easy
This beautiful aroid is named after Luis Sodiro, a Jesuit priest and botanist accredited for describing many species in the Quito area in Ecuador.
Lastly, in the horticultural trade, people often mislabel it as Philodendron variifolium. Other as Philodendron ornatum. But these plants are different.
Description and appearance
Yes, it is still undescribed but let us talk about its appearance and growing habits.
1. Growing habits
Philodendron sodiroi is a climbing plant native to Colombia. This tropical rainforest plant grows as an understory plant, receiving mainly dappled light from taller tree canopies.
Like most Philodendron species, it has a distinct juvenile form with smaller, oval leaves that have bold silvery markings. As it grows to maturity, the leaves become larger, heart-shaped and the silvery markings or grey cloud-like mottling become less prominent.
2. Growth rate and size
P. sodiroi is a moderately fast-growing climber. At home, it can be about 4 to 6 feet. But if you want it to grow larger, you need to give it a place to climb. Also, don’t forget to maintain ideal growing conditions.
The juvenile plant has smaller, oval-shaped green leaves with prominent grey or silvery mottling or markings. No two leaves form the same pattern.
On the other hand, mature Philodendron sodiroi has larger (up to 18-20 inches long) heart-shaped green leaves with less conspicuous gray or silvery mottling. Also, these leaves appear glossier and have light green, margin, midrib, and primary veins. But on the underside, the veins are reddish.
Besides the glaucous green leaves, you can quickly identify sodiroi by looking at its petioles. These leaf stalks are warty, nearly round, and appear reddish or pinkish, especially towards the apex and on emerging leaves. But they may also be green.
It has green stems with fiber-forming persisting cataphyll, pinkish towards the top, and brownish on the lower nodes. Also, the internodes are longer in juvenile plants, and these plants will grow aerial roots at the nodes.
Philodendron sodiroi produces inflorescence with a spadix and spathe, supported by a peduncle. The spathe has the upper open blade, a constricted area at the middle, and a lower tube.
The blade has a red tinge and numerous minute paler streaks on the outer side. On the inside, it is cream.
On the other hand, the spathe tube is purplish-green with paler streaks but reddish towards the base. Also, the base area has longer white striae on the outside, while the inner side is greenish.
Lastly, the spadix that bears tiny inflorescence flowers has the female part at the bottom, a sterile male in the middle, while the upper part has a fertile male part.
Philodendron sodiroi x verrucosum (Philodendron majestic)
Philodendron majestic is Philodendron sodiroi x verrucosum hybrid. Please don’t confuse it with Philodendron majesty, which has dark purplish-green leaves. P. majesty is one of the three that have dark foliage. The others are Philodendron Red Heart and Philodendron Dark Lord. We noticed many people confuse P. majestic and majesty.
Philodendron verrucosum x sodiroi creator is unknown, but Neil Crafter named it majestic due to its lovely foliage. Did you know it has gained popularity internationally?
Mature plants have large, glaucous, heart-shaped dark green leaves with a silvery-green mottling, resembling sodiroi on the upper surface. But on their lower surface, leaves have a reddish tinge. Also, as new leaves emerge, they are bronze and have lime-green veins.
That is not all. Their petiole is reddish with a rough surface, juvenile plants have more visible silvery mottling, and their cataphylls are deciduous.
Lastly, this hybrid is a bit more costly than sodiroi going for $150 to $350 depending on where you buy it and its size.
Philodendron melanochrysum x sodiroi
But it does have a bit elongated heart-shaped green leaves with some pale gray mottling.
Philodendron sodiroi x ornatum
Philodendron sodiroi x ornatum is probably another hybrid that we haven’t been able to find anywhere on sale. The creator is also unknown. Only Easterntropicals.uk has a picture on its Facebook page, and it resembles a juvenile sodiroi.
Philodendron sodiroi vs. mamei
P. sodiroi and mamei have heart-shaped, green leaves with silvery grey mottling. However, they have a different growth habit, petiole appearance, and intensity of mottling.
P. mamei is a ground creeping plant with a dark to medium olive-green petiole and more silvery mottling. Sodiroi, on the other hand, is a climbing plant with a pinkish or reddish warty petiole and less silvery mottled leaves.
Variegated Philodendron sodiroi
If you don’t want the ordinary Philo sodiroi with silvery-gray mottling, you can go for the mint variegated Philodendron sodiroi. Besides the usual green and silvery mottling, it also has mint (light, vibrant green) variegation, with some looking a bit yellowish-green.
The price of these variegated plants is between $350 and $450, and they are scarce. But you may find a few at Etsy.com.
Philodendron sodiroi care
Philodendron sodiroi requires a warm (65-85°F) and humid (50% or more relative humidity) place with bright, indirect light. Grow it in a well-drained airy potting mix and water it when the top few inches of the potting mix begin drying
Don’t forget it needs support (moss pole or trellis), pruning, repotting (after 2-3 years or when rootbound), and monthly feeding with a balanced fertilizer for houseplants in the growing months.
Here are the P. sodiroi care needs:
- USDA hardiness zone: 10-11, not frost-hardy and cannot tolerate freezing conditions for long.
- Humidity: Average to above-average 50% or more, but it can tolerate slightly lower levels. If too low, move your plant to humid rooms like the bathroom, have a pebble tray, or buy a humidifier.
- Temperature: Keep the temperature range at 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18-29°C) for optimum growth. Avoid sudden dips or spikes, cold drafts, and temperatures below 55°F (12.8 °C). Also, don’t place your plant near a heat source.
- Light needs: P. sodiroi needs bright, indirect light but won’t mind medium indirect light. Avoid direct sun and if in too little light, buy a grow light with 10,000 to 20,000 lux (1,000-2,000 footcandles) like Relassy 15000Lux Sunlike Full Spectrum Grow Lamp.
- Soil mix: The best soil mix for Philodendron sodiroi should be well-drained, aerated, and high in organic matter. Buy an aroid mix (see Etsy.com) or add perlite, peat moss or coco coir, bark chips, worm castings, or compost to your premium potting mix.
- Watering: Thoroughly water this plant when the top 2-3 inches of the potting mix (up to the first knuckle) feels dry or when your soil moisture meter like Gouevn or XLUX points on dry zone. And when watering, saturate the potting mix until excess water flows from drainage holes, then discard any that collects on the saucer.
- Feeding: Feed your plant once a month using a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer like Jacks Classic No.1.5 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer at ½ recommended strength in growing months only.
- Pruning and grooming: Regularly prune dead, damaged, or diseased leaves with sterilized gardening scissors and wipe or clean dusty or dirty leaves. Also, you can cut back the plant stems in spring or summer to control growth.
- Repotting: Repotting is after every 2-3 years or rootbound (roots growing in circles inside the pot and from drainage holes). Use a pot 2-3 inches wider in diameter.
- Support or stake: Provide and train your sodiroi on a moss pole, totem, trellis, or any other climbing stake or support.
The best way to propagate P. sodiroi is by stem cutting in water or soil. But you can also use air layering.
To propagate, you need to use a healthy stem cutting with at least one or two nodes (the knobby part where leaves attach and aerial roots grow). The rest of the steps are the same as those you follow in propagating any other climbing Philodendron.
Lastly, while not mandatory, we recommend propagating this plant in spring or early summer. Why? It will root faster and establish itself before the colder months.
Problems and issues
Pests, diseases, root rot, leaf discoloration or curling, and your plant drooping or wilting are some of the issues you may experience. Let us have a brief overview of each of these problems.
- Pests: Your sodiroi can have aphids, thrips, spider mites, scale insects, or mealybugs, but they are uncommon indoors. If this houseplant has any bugs, use neem oil, horticultural sprays oils, or insecticidal soaps to kill these bugs.
- Disease: This aroid may have fungal and bacterial leaf spots and blights. But they, too, are uncommon. To prevent instances, isolate new plants and ensure proper sanitation by washing hands before touching plants, using sterilized equipment, etc.
- Root rot: Philodendron sodiroi root rot is a prevalent problem for people fond of overwatering their plants or whose potting mix doesn’t drain. Use a sterilized gardening scissor to cut any decayed roots and repot your plant. But ensure you amend the potting mix and never overwater your plants.
- Leaves are turning yellow: You are likely overwatering your plant. Less likely reasons are too much or too little light, underwatering, low humidity, and nutritional deficiencies. Look at other signs to know the cause.
- Browning leaves: If your plant has brown margins or tips, it indicates underwatering, low humidity, too much light, or heat stress. But it may be overfeeding, repotting shock, etc. Brown spots signify pests and disease, and splotches indicate overwatering. Frostbite in winter is another cause.
- Leaves are curling: The curling of leaves is a response to prevent moisture loss or protect leaves. Causes include low humidity, underwatering, heat stress, too much light, root rot, overwatering, etc.
- Drooping and wilting: It happens when plant cells don’t have enough water to keep them firm. The causes are the same as those for curling leaves.
Where to find Philodendron sodiroi on sale
Etsy.com is the best place to buy Philodendron sodiroi online. At this marketplace, you will get vendors from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, etc., or those willing to ship to your location. eBay is a great Etsy alternative, but it doesn’t have so many vendors.
Besides Etsy and eBay, Facebook and Instagram also have many vendors. More places to buy include Logee’s, Carnivero, Plant Proper, and Ecuagenera.com (Ecuador).
Lastly, try searching for “Philodendron sodiroi for sale” on Google or any major search engine for a recommendation of sellers near you.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. Philodendron sodiroi is a rare and hard-to-find houseplant. You are unlikely to get it even in your local tropical specialty plant stores, and none of the big box stores or large horticultural growers has it.
The price of Philodendron sodiroi ranges from $50 to $100. But if you want a variegated P. sodiroi, it goes for about $350 to $400. Also, larger and more established will cost more, some going for as high as $400.