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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Thaumatophyllum - Best Indoor Plants

I would like to introduce a New Series on Indoor Plants
and hope to come up with 10 Best Indoor Plants for Beginners.

I'm guessing that if you had already had hands on other hardy plants and you are ready for a new challenge - these fall in more less as medium level plant to grow and maintenance.

Let me introduce these plants - Thaumatophyllum Species
formerly known as a Philodendron species.

Philodendron Xanadu & Hope Philodendron have been renamed.
It's no longer considered philodendron species

Here picture top :
Thaumatophyllum Xanadu
I used to have this had zealously given it away and now deeply regretting why I had done that. 

This unique one has a papaya shaped foliage. 
They are not easy to propagate and may easily succumb to crown rot if proper care is not maintained.

Xanadu is miniature version of this kind, 
I would recommend this for small garden space.

Here picture top :
Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum 

Formerly known as Philodendron selloum or Philodendron bipinnatifidum,
commonly known Hope Philodendron, Tree Philodendron, Horsehead philodendron or Fiddle-leaf philodendron
(OMG! Such a mouthful!!)

Anyway, I understand that these are more accurately reclassified because of their DNA.

Regardless their names, they are indeed a beautiful ascetic plant to consider to give a feature effect. This particular species are the large foliage type. They are indeed a huge plant and so do consider the required growth space when introducing this in your garden or living space.

This one tend to lose their leaves as they grow and the crown can be huge. As the plant ages the centralized trunk will appear more like a banyan tree with snake like roots trailing everywhere. It can appear to be very messy if it had taken roots along wall side gripping for support and all.

For this reason, it would be very necessary to continuously pruning and maintaining the ideal height and shape so that it will not revert to its wild side.

How to Care for Hope Philodendron 
(let's call it Hope Philodendron for now)

I believe this is a juvenile version of this plant, (picture below)
currently the plant market labels them as such but basically it is the same plant.

Philodendron selloum or Philodendron bipinnatifidum

Eventually when it grows bigger with thick cylindrical trunk - It will eventually look like a Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum plant.

However, it is a good thing to buy them in this size for the plant to establish itself when it start growing and also - it is very affordable and more stable when planted in this size. Bigger plant do tend to stress out easily when their aerial roots had fastened itself outside the main pot.

The Main Key Element:
Bright Indirect Light, Fast Draining Medium & Well Balanced Watering Regime.
This dictates the success of growth & maintenance of this particular genus.

Similar to Monstera Deliciosa species care,
these require bright indirect light with good humidity.
It's a tropical plant and therefore adequate watering is necessary.
The best way is to observe how it behaves in your living space and handle care as what is required.

After sometime (in few months) the plant will adjust to the surrounding and acclimatize. Just make sure the optimum ideal watering regime and good lighting is available for this plant. This one requires good bright indirect light - too dark and it would succumb to root-rot or crown rot.

Too bright (as exposed too much to sun) may cause foliage burns.
The plant can face shock and may shed off it leaves.

How to Propagate Thaumatophyllum:

Unlike most plants, this one rarely form seeds.
The best practical way to propagate them is through stem cuttings. The only setback is that this one is considered more sensitive and so more care is required as the cutting do not succumb to stem rot.

1) Always (I mean the Emphasis) Sterile the Tools before using them.
You can either wash them first soap and soak the cutting tool (scissors or knife) with alcohol or heat up on fire.
Again, do not immediately use a hot burning scissors, wait for it to cool down.
 (I almost forgot and was about to cut a plant - almost cooked it in the process)

2) Rooting in Water.
To change the water often on daily basis if you are rooting the cutting in water. This will keep the water fresh from harboring bacteria that might cause further damage in stem or root rot.

3) Gentle on the New Roots
Keep the medium ready, Put in the plant first and pour in the medium and compress gently. I had seen people roughly force the cutting into a hardened potted medium and the stem snaps in that process.

I'm pretty sure its had been updated, reclassified and some new cultivar and species been discovered.
The one thing that make a difference is to chose and have a collection based on what pleases you and the availability of space and plant management on your side.

Do share with me your thoughts and experience with your Thaumatophyllum in comment box below:
Why you find them special and gives you that joyful, fulfilling garden experience.

Monstera deliciosa vs Monstera borsigiana vs Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum (Video)

Basically I just want to highlight the difference between some of the philodendron species together with Monstera sp.

What I would recommend is to buy a perfect specimen where you can note the fully formed adult plant of Monstera deliciosa as the juvenile can be tricky to be identified as it may be a different form of phillodendron or tetrasperma which all may have similar looking foliage shape when their are a seedling.

It also may be slightly more expensive than a seedling but it is still worthed it considering the years you may have to wait to see the foliage formation taking place. Knowing another factor of being a seedling - they are still sensitive and may die easily in comparison to a fully matured stable plant.

Also in this video:
Monstera borsigiana, Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum, Hope Philodendron, Philodendron Rojo Congo & Monstera seedling.


Antonio said...

Great plant, one of my favorites.
Thanks for the data.

James David said...

Glad to know Antonio, thanks for the comment

Unknown said...

Hi, will the parent plant grow anew if you cut the plant off? My plant's shoots are all close together, so there is no cutting above the node business. And I really do want to propogate this.


James David said...

Hi Francis,
The parent plant will grow as long as the root system is established and stable, however it may take months for you to see any new growth appearing as it will go through dormancy and shock. I don't understand what you mean by "no cutting above the node business" It is important to cut including the node as the roots will develop just at the node line. Removing the node from the cutting will not form root and in most cases may be susceptible to stem rot.

Just like most philodendron, their behavior is very much similar.
Hope this helps

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My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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