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The Beautiful Philodendron Billietiae, Care, Tips, and Must Know Facts

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The Philodendron billietiae Crout is a rare plant found in the Amazonian rainforests near Manaus and in French Guiana, a small country neighboring Brazil.

The Philodendron billietiae Crout is a rare plant found in the Amazonian rainforests near Manaus and in French Guiana, a small country neighboring Brazil. Frieda Billiet is said to have discovered the Philodendron Billietiae in French Guiana in 1981, but it was only named ten years later.

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6 Light Loving Plants | Give These ...
6 Light Loving Plants | Give These Plants High Light

Can I Cluster Different Philodendron Species?

The members of the aroid plant family (Arecaceae) make great indoor plants, and the Philodendron species is unsurpassed.

While the Philodendron billietiae is spectacular, the genus has several other plants that are excellent options for beautifying your home. Variety is life’s spice.

Here are a few of my Philodendron Care Guides if you want to expand your indoor collection.

The combination of Philodendron colors, leaf shapes, and climbing habits allows you to create a little tropical paradise – with heart-shaped leaves and the Philodendron billietiae plant’s arrow-shaped leaf (much like the Syngonium podophyllum)

Variegated Philodendron Billietiae Care Specifics

Our success in growing any plant in an environment foreign to the plant depends on:

  1. How precisely can we replicate its natural habitat?
  2. How capable are we of defending them against local threats (pests and diseases)

The essential elements vary according to plant species and their evolutionary adaptation to the specific conditions of their natural habitat.

The care of philodendron billietiae is similar to most philodendrons.

The table below outlines the essential care variables for most philodendrons and can be used confidently for your philodendron billietiae.

Light:The Philodendron billietiae plant likes bright indirect sunlight. Especially the variegated Philodendron billietiae sub-cultivar needs bright but indirect sunlight.
Watering:Avoid scheduled watering, but rather be informed by the dryness of the soil. Excess water may cause root rot. Most problems with philodendron billietiae are water-related.
Soil:Use a well-drained potting mix that’s rich in organic materials – see the detailed guide below
Temperature:Night: 54 to 68 °F (12 to 20 °C)Day: 68 to 85 °F (20 to 30 °C)
Humidity:Philodendron billietiae plants prefer higher humidity levels, but require adequate air circulation to avoid spreading diseases.
Propagation:Propagate Philodendron billietiae by stem cutting or division in warm temperatures. Air layering is possible but an avoidable hassle.
Pruning:Only prune this tropical plant to limit growth or harvest cuttings to propagate.
Fertilizer:Use slow-release fertilizer in spring. The ideal Philodendron billietiae fertilizer is a diluted liquid used more frequently.
Repotting:Repotting is generally required every two years and is best done in spring, summer, or early fall. Let root density inform repotting schedules. Use well-draining soil in pots with enough drainage holes for your Philodendron billietiae plant.
Pests:Common pests include mealybugs, scale, and aphids. Sprinkle them off with a bit of water. Diseases include fire blight.
Toxicity:All Philodendrons contain calcium oxalate crystals that are poisonous if ingested. To keep your pets or children safe, place the Philodendron Florida Ghost plant out of their reach. 

The Philodendron billietiae plant is a rare native to Brazil’s warm, humid regions of the Amazon rainforest. To match the plant’s natural habitat, provide ample humidity and keep temperatures above 54 °F (12 °C).

Philodendron plants are epiphyte aroid plants in various forms, sizes, leaf shapes, and colors, including variegation. Aerial roots are common for epiphytes, as they use them to climb trees.

Even individual plants can have leaf shapes that morph as the plant matures – from oval to heart-shaped leaves that can be fenestrated.

Location Needs of Philodendron Billietiae

Your Philodendron billietiae plant’s origin (see above) is a helpful hint of what kind of environment it may need. Four external environmental conditions affect the well-being of your Philodendron billietiae plant.

  • Available light
  • Average and minimum temperatures
  • Relative humidity levels and air circulation  
  • Providing a moss pole to strengthen growth

Light Requirements

Philodendrons can grow in various light conditions, which is why they are so popular as house plants.

Your Philodendron billietiae plant is no exception and will thrive in medium and bright sunlight environments.

You should avoid direct sunlight, but your philodendron billietiae plant will thrive in bright indirect sunlight.

If you can’t place your Philodendron billietiae plant close to a south-facing window, consider boosting light levels using artificial lights.

Unlike other Philodendron cultivars, your Philodendron billietiae plant will not do well in indirect light from east or west-facing windows.

This is especially true for variegated Philodendron billietiae plants that need more light to photosynthesize – low-light levels can cause variegation to revert.

Left in a low-light environment, a variegated philodendron billietiae plant will revert to dark green leaves to maximize solar energy harvesting potential.

A grow lamp can be used in places where natural light is not accessible, as long as it is not too close to the plant. Between 12 and 24 inches (30 – 60 cm) is ideal. White LED light is an efficient alternative to indirect light, doesn’t produce heat, and is cost-effective.

Preferred Temperatures

The preferred temperature range for your Philodendron billietiae plant is between 54 and 85 °F (12 to 30 °C). Keep this houseplant indoors during freezing temperatures to prevent it from dying.

Preferred Humidity Levels

The Philodendron billietiae plant grows best when humidity levels are above 60%. For many people who keep indoor plants, maintaining high humidity is one of the hardest things to do. If you have high-humidity plants, you may want a humidifier. 

Another method often suggested to increase relative humidity is pebble trays.

While they sound as though they may offer a solution, a pebble tray cannot raise the 10% humidity levels found in air-conditioned rooms to the required 60% plus.

Why Does Your Philodendron Billietiae Plant Needs a Moss Pole?

Moss poles mimic the porous, natural surfaces that epiphytes climb in the wild. Once vines have successfully attached, leaf sizes typically increase significantly, and fenestration improves.

Growing Philodendron Billietiae

We’ve looked at our billietiae’s environmental needs, as it may affect the visible part of the plant. Now let’s explore our Philodendron billietiae plant’s unseen needs – root health. We’ll explore the following essential factors:

  • The preferred soil and how to avoid root rot.
  • How to ensure our plant gets the right amount of water, not too much, yet adequate?
  • And providing fertilizer to grow new and healthy leaves.

Preferred Soil

A potting medium that drains well and has a pH of between 6.1 and 7.3 is ideal for a Philodendron billietiae plant.

While a potting mix enriched with compost and bark or peat moss would suffice, I prefer to make my own with coconut coir instead of sphagnum peat moss. 

The balance between moisture and air availability is essential to adequate soil. Other soil factors include:

  • Nutrient management – an ability to store and release essential plant nutrients
  • The most undervalued attribute – a hospitable environment for soil microorganisms
  • Plant requirements for acidic or alkaline soil (pH requirements)
  • Plant anchorage – ensuring the media isn’t so light that the plant cannot remain reasonably erect as it grows.

A carefully graded soil allows the water to drain to the bottom of the pot, where it builds up a little before escaping the drainage holes.

Once drained, the pot will have moist soil that is not wet.

A soil mix with at least 33% cured compost boosts soil water retention, giving you moist soil that still drains well. Low compost soil, like sand, allows water to drain but soon dries out – not what you want. 

Mixing organic and inorganic materials helps get the balance right, keeping the soil moist over an extended period.

Orchid bark is an excellent addition to boost organic content in the plant’s soil.

Water Needs

The Philodendron billietiae grows well in soil that is occasionally dry. Check the soil by inserting your finger into a third of the pot depth. Is the soil moist? Then don’t water and check back in a day or two.

If the roots remain underwater for an extended period, they will rot. Catch root rot early by checking for the base of the stem for sogginess and repotting as soon as you discover it.

Of all potential Philodendron billietiae plant diseases, root rot is the most common and preventable.

Allow the plant to dry out if it becomes soggy completely, and inspect the roots by removing the plant from the pot. Repot using the same pot while you’re at it – just wash it first. 

Use a fresh potting well-draining soil mix, and avoid using peat moss. Peat moss retains more water than indoor plants need than coconut coir.

Root Rot

A fungus that thrives in anaerobic soil conditions causes root rot. It’s not easily detectable, as overwatering and under-watering have similar foliage symptoms.

Potting Pots

A Terracotta plant pot is ideal because it absorbs moisture, is heavier, and is easy to add holes too – ideal for vining tropical plants.

If terracotta pots don’t fit your aesthetic, place them in a pot of your choice after allowing the water to drain to avoid stressed roots.

Plant Repotting

Generally, repotting needs to be done every two years, and it is best to carry out this process during spring, summer, or early fall.

Let root density inform repotting schedules.

For your Philodendron billietiae, use well-draining soil in a pot with enough holes to flush water through. 

Repotting is required when the plant’s roots emerge from the holes at the bottom of the pot. Soil compaction reduces the ability of the soil to remain moist, compacting the soil and reducing nutrient availability.

Repotting allows you to include a growing stake upon which the plant can grow. Always choose a stake that can be extended for taller plants.

Adding or removing stakes may damage plant roots. Most plants prefer stakes added when still small, but you can do it with a mature plant as long as you take care. 

Nutritional Needs in Philodendron Billietiae Care

A Philodendron billietiae requires very little fertilizer. A regular feed of diluted liquid fertilizer is better than the occasional extensive application of slow-release fertilizer.

The addition of some Epsom salt can help address any magnesium deficiency.

Even though they are naturally slow-growing plants, exaggerated slow development may suggest an inadequate food supply.

Remember that leaf color is not a good indicator of feeding requirements, even with fertilization.

If you are forgetful in water and feeding your plant, consider slow-release fertilizer as an alternative, but remember it’s dependent on water and temperature to work.

The plant absorbs nutrients via water uptake from its root hairs.

The Dormancy Season

The dormancy season for the Philodendron Billietiae typically falls between Winter and Spring. You should stop feeding and reduce watering your plant during this time.

Place it out of direct sunlight and water when the top soil is dry – it expects shorter days and lower levels of rainfall in winter.

Propagating Philodendron Billietiae Plants

Like any Philodendron plant, the Philodendron billietiae plant can be propagated by stem cuttings and root division.

Seed propagation does not transfer any mutations like variegation. A stem cutting allows you to clone the plant from which it’s taken.

It’s always with some dismay that I read other ranking sites advising growers to grow seeds to reproduce a variegated Philodendron billietiae. It’s not possible. 

Propagate Philodendron Billietiae Using Stem Cutting

Propagating Philodendron Billietiae is a fantastic method to expand your plant collection! This plant can be reproduced asexually by air layering, dividing, and rooted stem cuttings.

Root Division

The simplest way to multiply your Philodendron billietiae is by division. When the plant actively grows, cut the rhizome into two or more portions using a sharp knife or pair of shears. 

Each area should have at least one leaf and one sound root system. Following that, replant each portion in a pot with moist soil and leave it there till it becomes established.

Air Layering Process

Air layering is a more time-consuming but potentially more successful method of Philodendron Billietiae propagation. In Spring, when the plant is actively growing, remove the leaves from around a new leaf node. 

Expose a section of stem about two inches on either side of the leaf node, and using plastic wrap, cover the stem with damp peat moss.

Within a few months, you should start to see roots emerging. After the roots have grown to be about 2 inches long, cut the rooted section from the stem and pot it for further growth.

Stem Cutting

This plant propagates well from stem cuttings. Follow these simple steps to propagate your Philodendron billietiae:

Steps in Propagation

  • Clean your pruning shears to prevent plant infections from surface bacteria and fungi. Never propagate a stressed or infested mother plant.
  • Cut off a few inches of the mother plant’s apex, including at least three leaves and a growth node. Cut at a 45° angle to maximize the exposed plant surface area.
  • After planting the cutting (see steps below), remember to treat the plant’s wound with some wax.
  • Remove the lowest leaf (closest to the cutting). Any leaves attached 
  • Dip the cutting into the allocated rooting hormone compound and shake any excess off. Don’t dip it into the jar, as you risk contaminating the batch.
  • Emerge the cutting into water or damp perlite potting mix, and start the wait for the cutting to grow roots.
  • Ensure the cut tip has continuous access to water and the leaves get adequate light.
  • Wait until root development is visible and about one inch long. Expect it to take as long as three months, so be patient.
  • Plant the clipping in the soil advised above in a 12-inch pot.

Philodendron Billietiae Care

Pests

Pest infestations are rare on philodendrons. Treat any insect infestation with neem oil, but take care not to get it into the soil. Also, check on the leaves’ undersides for any pest infestation.

Diseases

Erwinia blight (fire blight) disease is more difficult to treat once it has started than to prevent it from happening in the first place. It’s caused by too much overhead watering or leaf misting.

Toxicity

All Philodendrons are toxic and should be kept out of reach of pests and children curious about their dark green leaves.

Philodendron Billietiae FAQ

Here are a few common questions about caring for your Philodendron billietiae:

In Summary

The Philodendron billietiae plant is rare and grandiose, making it a highly sought-after houseplant. This plant will be a beautiful addition to your home with minimal effort if you’re attentive to its watering and light needs. 

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