Philodendron Melanochrysum Care Guide
Philodendron Melanochrysum Care Guide

Houseplants have become increasingly popular in recent years as people seek to bring a bit of nature and greenery into their living spaces. And of all the houseplants available, few are as stunning as the Philodendron melanochrysum. With its striking foliage and distinctive coloring, this vining plant is a real head-turner. Despite its rarity, these plants are actually relatively easy to care for—making them a great option for anyone looking to add a touch of beauty to their home. In this article, we’ll explore the unique characteristics of the Philodendron melanochrysum and offer some tips for keeping it healthy and thriving.

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    Features of Philodendron Melanochrysum

    Philodendron melanochrysum is a plant that stands out. Owners of this plant often take pride in displaying it, and it’s easy to see why. The Melano plant boasts stunning dark-green crystalline foliage with yellow venation that runs through the leaves. Additionally, the leaves have randomly distributed gold specks on their surface.What makes the Philodendron melanochrysum particularly interesting is that it is native to Colombia but can be found in Costa Rica, Peru, and the tropics of Ecuador. The name “melanochrysum” actually means “black gold,” likely due to the appearance of the plant.

    This unique plant is an excellent choice for a houseplant since it adds texture and vibrance to any room, sprucing up dull spaces.

    Appearance of the plant

    Foliage

    The Philodendron melanochrysum is a highly sought after plant due to its appealing appearance. Its lush foliage and scadent stems make it an ideal ornamental plant that can add life to any dull space and bring an element of the jungle into your home. The foliage of Philodendron melanochrysum is made up of scandent and slender stems that are approximately 10 cm long, robust petioles that are 9 to 15 cm long, and leaf blades that expand up to about 20 cm long and 12 cm wide. The leaves are elongated and heart-shaped, ranging in color from dark green to almost black. In the juvenile stage, the leaves are smaller and broader, while the velvety texture is highlighted by gold specks and light-green venations. Given a moss pole or any stake, the Philodendron melanochrysum can climb over time.

    Flower

    Flowering occurs rarely in the cultivated Philodendron melanochrysum, and is considered an unimportant feature by most growers. The priority is usually placed on foliage development, with some even removing the floral initials to focus all the energy on lush foliage. In the wild, flowers can be observed in the form of a set of inflorescence covered by a spathe and accessorized by a spadix. However, the blooms are not as beautiful as the foliage, with colors ranging from light green to white. The blooming period usually occurs during early summer.

    Size of the plant

    The size of Philodendron melanochrysum can reach up to 26 feet, especially when climbing support such as a moss pole is provided. The growth rate of the plant is considered slow to moderate, increasing at a rate of approximately 8 to 12 inches during the growing season. If the growth rate of your Melano plant is not satisfactory, you can adjust the rate of fertilizer application while regularly pruning the spent foliages and decaying plant parts to ensure that your plant efficiently grows and develops more leaves.

    Fragrance

    There is little report about Philodendron melanochrysum’s fragrance, or whether it has a recognizable scent. However, be aware of bacterial infections that can cause blackened soft lesions on the leaf surface, often accompanied by an unpleasant fishy odor. Prune off immediately the infected plant parts and wipe the leaves with alcohol or neem oil. Root rotting, often caused by overwatering, can also emit strange odors from the base of the plant. It is important to maintain a proper watering cycle to avoid this problem.

    Scientific NamePhilodendron melanochrysum
    Common NameBlack Gold Philodendron, Melanochrysum Plant, Melano Philodendron
    FamilyAraceae
    OriginBrazils
    Heightheight of 100 up to 120 cm
    SoilWell drain soil
    WaterWhen the soil dries deep two inches
    SunlightDiffused bright light
    Temperature70 to 80°F (21-27°C)
    HumidityMore than 60%
    Toxic to Cats & DogsYes
    Hardiness zoneUSDA Zones  9a to 11b
    PestsAphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites
    DiseasesRoot rot

    How to care for Philodendron melanochrysum?

    Philodendron melanochrysums are native to the tropical areas of South America and thrive in warm surroundings with filtered light. For Melano plant care it is necessary to maintain temprature ,humidity level and consistent watering.

    Light requirement for Philo Melanochrysum

    The Philodendron melanochrysum typically requires dappled or partial sunlight, much like other Philodendrons, as it naturally grows as an understory plant in the wild. When kept indoors, it’s best to position the plant a few feet away from the window to ensure it gets the right amount of light. If growing outside, it’s important to provide the plant with some afternoon shade to avoid damaging the foliage due to excessive exposure to full sun. Those who have experience growing tropical ornamental plants should have no difficulty meeting the Melano plant’s light requirements.

    Temperature

    The Philodendron melanochrysum thrives in temperatures between 70 to 80°F (21-27°C). It lacks tolerance for cold temperatures, so keeping it below 60°F can impede its foliage formation and overall growth.The plant is suited for outdoor growth in USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b, but if grown indoors, exposure to cold drafts should be avoided as it can harm and injure the plant.

    Maintaining the ideal temperature for the Melano plant will make it flourish and reach its full potential.

    Watering requirement for Philodendron melanochrysum

    When it comes to watering Philodendron melanochrysum, there is no set schedule.

    To avoid over-watering, it’s best to check the soil first by using your index finger to feel the top 2-3 inches. Once the soil is dry to that depth, which typically takes 7-8 days, you can water your Melano plant.

    The amount of sunlight and the season can also affect the watering needs of your plant. During summer, you may need to water more frequently, while during winter, you can reduce the frequency.

    It is crucial to use a pot with proper drainage and an appropriate potting mixture to prevent root rot.

    Repotting Melanochrysum Philodendron

    When it comes to Philodendron melanochrysum, repotting is typically necessary when it becomes rootbound or when its roots start to protrude from the base of the plant.

    The frequency of repotting may vary based on the plant’s growth rate and conditions. Expert tip: It is recommended to repot during spring or summer for a smoother transition.

    To begin, gather a potting mix and a container that is at least twice the size of the current pot. Fill the container halfway with soil, carefully place the root ball in the center, then fill in the remaining soil and water thoroughly.

    Humidity requirement

    When caring for the Philodendron melanochrysum, it’s essential to keep in mind the plant’s natural environment, which requires high humidity levels.

    To maintain this plant’s health, aim to keep humidity levels at or above 60%, taking care not to let it surpass the optimum range, as excess humidity can lead to pest infestations and disease.

    For optimal results, consider using a pebble tray as a solution for maintaining the ideal humidity levels for your Melano plant. Simply place the plant over a tray filled with pebbles and water, which serves as an efficient and practical method to provide consistent and appropriate levels of moisture.

    Adding occasional misting to your routine can also help keep your plant adequately hydrated.

    Fertilizing Philodendron Melanochrysum

    For optimal growth of the Philodendron melanochrysum, it is crucial to provide appropriate fertilizer during the active growth period.

    It is advised to use a balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20-20-20 and avoid cheap options that may lead to the accumulation of harmful minerals in the soil over time.

    In addition to chemical fertilizers, natural amendments like biochar and vermicasts can be used to enhance plant growth.

    As a pro tip, slow-release fertilizers are often preferred by novice gardeners as they are more efficient and beginner-friendly.

    Perfect Soil

    For the best soil for Philodendron melanochrysum, it’s recommended to create a mix that is light and airy, using fresh garden soil, peat moss, perlite, and charcoal.

    To improve the texture and drainage, you can also add in orchid bark. Alternatively, you can use a commercial orchid mix as the soil for your Melano plant. To prevent overwatering, it’s important to use a soil mix that drains well. This way, only the right amount of moisture will stick to the soil, preventing damage to the root system.

    Additionally, the recommended ph level for Melano plants is between 5.5 to 6.0, which is on the acidic side.

    Pruning Philodendron melanochrysum mature plant

    Pruning a Philodendron melanochrysum is usually done to remove spent foliage and decaying parts of the plant. However, if you are using it as a climbing plant, pruning may not be necessary.

    To properly prune the Melano plant, ensure that you use sterilized pruning shears or knives. Trim a few stems, approximately 25% of the plant, starting from the older leaves and stem. This will help to remove any infected parts and prevent the spread of disease to other houseplants.

    Additionally, it is beneficial to regularly wipe the leaves of the Melano plant to maintain its healthy appearance and vibrancy.

    Propagation

    Propagation of Philodendron melanochrysum can be easily achieved through stem cuttings. Firstly, select a healthy stem with a minimum of 2 to 3 small leaves and a leaf node. With sterile scissors or a grafting knife, separate the stem from the mother plant.

    In case you want to propagate the Melano plant in water, you need to remove some of the bottom leaves while keeping those on top intact. For rooting in soil, simply plant the cuttings. In any case, make sure that the new plants are exposed to ample light. This allows the roots to develop within 3 to 4 weeks.

    Also, don’t forget to have a look at our comprehensive guide on Philodendron micans for more tips and care instructions.

    Is Philodendron melanochrysum Toxic to Pets?

    The Melano plant, is considered toxic to both humans and animals due to its calcium oxalate content. These compounds resemble crystal shards and can cause adverse reactions and severe irritations when ingested. This level of toxicity is especially alarming for small children.

    In humans, calcium oxalate crystals can cause intense burning sensations leading to swelling of the mouth and tongue, skin irritation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, and swallowing. To ensure the safety of small children, it is recommended to place the plant out of reach or grow it outside. If any symptoms occur, seek immediate help by calling the nearest poison hotline.

    For pets, such as cats, birds, and dogs, it may be best to grow the Philodendron melanochrysum outside since they tend to nibble on almost anything. Symptoms of ingestion include drooling, blood in urine and stool, diarrhea, pawing of the face, loss of appetite, and restlessness. Consuming large amounts of the plant can be fatal to pets. If you suspect that your pet has ingested any part of the plant, immediately call the vet or any local pet poisoning hotlines.

    Common Issues

    Philodendron melanochrysum may encounter various problems, including pests, diseases, along with leaf curling, drooping, and discoloration. These issues can be easily managed by following the appropriate cultural techniques like maintaining proper watering cycles, avoiding over-fertilization, and maintaining a suitable temperature and humidity.

    Philodendron melanochrysum pests, including spider mites, scale bugs, aphids, thrips, and fungus gnats, can cause significant damage if left uncontrolled. These insects feed on the plant sap, causing a nutrient flow disruption and making the plant lifeless.

    Regularly cleaning the leaves with rubbing alcohol and wiping off debris with neem oil. You can also use citronella oil to eradicate insects.

    Fungal and bacterial leaf spots are the most common diseases that affect Philodendron melanochrysum. Symptoms like rusts, dark brown or black lesions, and yellow halos can significantly damage an infected plant.

    Overwatering is one of the significant causes of fungal diseases, so it is essential to avoid this. To prevent the spread of diseases, always use sterile equipment when tending to any houseplants and remove infected plant parts.

    Growing issues

    When growing Philodendron melanochrysum, it is crucial to follow proper watering schedules. Furthermore, apply a balanced fertilizer appropriately, and maintain the ideal temperature and humidity.

    Improper cultural management is often the leading cause of growing issues with Melano plants. Thankfully, P. melanochrysum plants are quite resilient and can quickly recover.

    However, if a plant appears unhealthy, it’s essential to investigate the underlying cause to administer the appropriate treatment.

    Helpful tip: Pruning is often the best way to eliminate infected areas and nurse your plant back to health. If symptoms persist, using a fungicide may be necessary, but it’s crucial to use it minimally.

    FAQ

    From where I can buy Philodendron Melanochrysum plant?

    You can buy it easilly from Etsy , Amazon and other plant shops.

    How big can my Philodendron Melanochrysum plant grow?

    It is usually 3 to 5 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide when placed indoors, while 12 feet tall, and 8 feet wide when growing outdoors.