Philodendron Silver Sword
Philodendron Hastatum/Silver Sword
This aroid is a beauty with shimmery silver leaves. It's native home is Brazil and it, like many other plants, are being wiped out by clear cutting of rainforest. It is listed as endangered although it is popular in plant collections. It grows on the forest floor and sometimes on trees as a secondary epiphyte. It is a climber and should have a moss pole or trellis in captivity. The arrow shape of the leaves appears with plant maturity.
Toxicity: Moderately toxic causing stinging around the mouth and digestive upset if consumed in large enough amounts. Causes stinging and burning of mouth and digestive upset
Light: Moderate to bright indirect light
Soil: to mimic their natural habitat a mix that retains moisture without being soggy and drains well is required. A good mix is 3 parts orchid bark, 1 part perlite, and 2 parts peat moss or coco coir. Peat moss or coco coir is a great substrate because it holds it's own weight in moisture, allows the excess to drain, and then releases that moisture to the roots slowly over time.
Humidity: above 50% supplement with humidifier or misting if needed
Watering: Allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry between waterings
Fertilizer: The roots are sensitive so a mild fertilizer is good. Something around 5-2-3 NPK ratio fertilizer, though you'll find various info on the internet. We recommend using Gold Leaf diluted to 1 TBSP/gallon every two to three weeks from spring to end of summer. You can continue to fertilize every six weeks during the winter when the active growth is slower or skip it until spring.