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Re: Propagation of Self Heading Philodendrons

  • Subject: Re: Propagation of Self Heading Philodendrons
  • From: brian lee <lbmkjm@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2013 00:31:26 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Wayne,


I am assuming that you are referring to Philodendron subgenus, Meconostigma.  Check out Airlan's Meconostigma website.   Just google: Meconostigma and it will pop up.  Part of it is in Malay, but, most of the information is in English.  There are photos of many of the known species and some stories that you will enjoy.  Click and on each section, for photos, articles, and a list of species and descriptions, etc.

Philodendron bipinnatifidum ( synonym : Philodendron selloum) is one most popular landscaping plants.  Philodendron xanadu may be overtaking it in popularity because of it's beauty and small size.  If you have attempted to root a top cutting, you may have discovered that it is not so easy.  It can be done, but, percentage rates of success can be low.  Meconostigma have adventitious roots that emerge out of the stem.  These roots are very fragile and bending one too much often will cause that root to die back.  When one of these roots begin to emerge out of the stem, I guide it into a pot with well drained media.  New roots can be carefully teased into a pot which I then wire on to the stem.  This has to be done early in the root emergence period.  Once that root sends out fine feeder roots in a few months, you can cut the top off from the mother plant, always being careful not to break the main root.  You can then remove the small pot and transplant the tip cutting in an appropriate sized pot, supporting it so that the root does not break.  Once you cut the top off, a new growing bud may develop slowly.  Sometimes this causes basal branching which is also good in that small buds are easier to root than mature tip cuttings in general.  There are always exceptions.  

If you wrap barely moist sphagnum moss on a stem with tough plastic, sort of like an airlayer without girdling the stem, an adventitious root may emerge and send out feeder roots.  The tip can be cut and then transplanted in a pot.  This works sometimes.  

Some people with mist benches on timers can sometimes root tip cuttings by laying the cuttings directly on wire benches in mist until they start rooting.  This is not as dependable a technique.  You could also lay the cuttings on pure perlite in flats. just a bit of rooting hormone on the stems may help.  The liquid hormones are easier to use for this.  I normally do not have enough material to spare to do this.

The easiest time to root a Philodendron xanadu is while they are in the multiple bud, juvenile stage.  You can separate the young plantlets and root those with relative ease.  Some of the divisions may have their own roots and care should be taken to preserve as many of these as possible.  You may wish to divide the plants as small clumps.  Plant in a well drained mix and keep warm and evenly moist in bright light.  Once Philodendron xanadu gets to the older stage with the stem, they are much harder to root.

Seeds can be easy or difficult to raise depending on the species.  Pollinating requires timing and at least two inflorescences.  The female flowers are receptive first and they are at the bottom of the spadix in the swollen part of the spathe.  Then there is the sterile zone of the spadix and the tip are the male flowers that shed the pollen.  You must collect pollen from the first inflorescence.  When the spathe first opens on the second inflorescence, you take the pollen gathered earlier and smear it down on the the female flowers with a cotton swab or your finger if that is possible.  If you are successful, the inflorescence will persist for a few weeks to months and swell with ripe fruit.  When the infructescence falls off, the ripe fruits can be harvested and the multiple seeds collected.  Clean those seeds and sow them on top of well drained media and keep evenly moist until they germinate.  You must separate the seedlings before the roots get too long and subject to transplant damage. I normally transplant them into 2 inch pots.  Once they fill a two inch pot, most are easy to raise.  Be aware that some species are not easy to raise, no matter what you do.  

The only Meconostigma I ever set seed on without actually pollinating it myself, was a potted plant of Philodendron stenolobum that had multiple inflorescences.  Ants are the suspected pollinators as they were attracted to the blooms.

Good luck.  Remember that there are many variations on the themes I mentioned.  Be creative and experiment.



From: Warren Payne <philoluver@gmail.com>
To: "aroid-l@www.gizmoworks.com" <aroid-l@www.gizmoworks.com>
Sent: Monday, July 8, 2013 8:47 AM
Subject: [Aroid-l] Propagation of Self Heading Philodendrons

How are self-heading philodendrons propagated?

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