Philodendron billietiae is one of the most outstanding plants in the genus, and the celebrated variegated form is especially eye-catching! The combination of large elongated arrow-shaped leaves and a profusion of colors explain this plant’s popularity and hefty price tag.
It is not particularly difficult to care for, however, and with the right information, just about anyone can grow this plant with success. Read on to learn more about growing your own variegated billietiae philodendron.
What is a Variegated Philodendron Billietiae?
Philodendron billietiae is a hemi-epiphytic evergreen aroid from South America. It is native to the countries of Brazil, French Guiana, and Guyana where it grows in tropical rainforest habitats.
In its natural habitat, this plant can grow to a substantial size, with stems over 3 feet (0.9m), and petioles to nearly 2 feet (0.6m) in length. The impressive leaves of wild plants measure about 6 inches (15cm) across and nearly 2 feet (0.6m) long on average.
The variegated form of this plant is extremely eyecatching and full of color and personality. Its leaves are randomly colored in shades varying from deep green to chartreuse, yellow, and cream. As if that were not enough, the petioles are distinctly orange, adding to the spectacle.
Does Variegated Philodendron Billietiae Bloom?
This plant can produce spathe and spadix inflorescences, but this is rare indoors. A whole lot of energy is put into flower production at the expense of foliage growth, so many growers will choose to remove the flowers early.
Is Variegated Philodendron Billietiae Toxic?
Philodendrons should be grown out of reach of small children or any pets because they contain irritating calcium oxalate crystals. It is a safe plant to have in your home, but take care to limit physical contact, and do not rub your eyes after handling it. Individuals with sensitive skin may want to wear gloves as an extra precaution.
How to Care for Variegated Philodendron Billietiae
This plant is on the more expensive end, but its care is relatively straightforward. It is a fairly fast-growing plant but not as rapid as some of the other popular philodendrons.
Read on for more information and tips on growing philodendrons indoors.
How much sunlight does Variegated Philodendron Billietiae need?
As with most other varieties of philodendrons, the variegated billietiae is most comfortable in indirect or dappled sunlight. The brighter the indirect light the better, but avoid growing the plant in strong direct sunlight.
Growing the plant on a south-facing windowsill in the northern hemisphere (Europe, North America, continental Asia, etc.), for example, can result in damage to the leaves. Filtering the light with a thin curtain in such a position is a good option, however.
How Often Should I Water Variegated Philodendron Billietiae?
Aim to keep this plant’s roots moist at all times, but never saturated for extended periods. Maintaining a precise level of moisture is both tricky, and unnatural for the plant so take the first few weeks to work out a rough schedule.
Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings and then water the plant through when necessary. This could be once a week or once every two weeks, it really depends on the size of the plant, its growth rate, the growing media it is being kept in, and many other factors.
What is the Optimum Temperature and Humidity for Variegated Philodendron Billietiae?
This plant will be most at home in a warm, humid environment. These conditions are not typical in most homes, however, so it is fortunate that these plants are very adaptable to most indoor environments. That being said, this plant should not be placed where it will be exposed to very hot, cold, or dry conditions.
There are many ways to increase humidity for the plant, ranging from light misting or using a humidifier, to growing it near standing water or on a wet stone tray.
What is the Best Growing/Potting Media for Variegated Philodendron Billietiae?
An airy, chunky potting mix is ideal for this plant. Good drainage is of the utmost importance so mix in some perlite and coco coir to a regular potting mix for a good basic growing medium. Including some orchid bark will create a coarser texture with even more aeration.
Does Variegated Philodendron Billietiae Need Fertilizer?
Provide fertilizer when your plant is actively growing. Under consistent lighting and temperatures, this could be throughout the year or growth could be more pronounced during the spring and summer months.
A balanced inorganic liquid fertilizer is a good option but take care to dilute the fertilizer by about half the recommended dosage just to be on the safe side. Watering thoroughly will help to get the fertilizer down to the root zone and help to flush out unused fertilizer from previous applications.
Does Variegated Philodendron Billietiae need Pruning?
This plant does not require frequent pruning. Simply remove any damaged or diseased leaves as necessary.
Common Pests and Diseases of Variegated Philodendron Billietiae
This plant is not particularly prone to any pests, although you should monitor and inspect the plant regularly to pick up any issues early. Overwatering, overfertilizing, and providing too much or too little light are all potential causes of stress that can result in physical damage or disease.
How to Propagate Variegated Philodendron Billietiae
Stem cuttings of this plant will root easily. Take care when preparing propagules, however, since the nodes are close together on the species.
*image by toeytoey/depositphotos