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The Quilted Silver Leaf Plant, known to some as the Silver Cloud, and is officially called the Philodendron Mamei Silver. It is a beautiful tropical plant with long quilted leaves and silver variegation. The crawler needs above 70% humidity and temperatures above 55℉, as well a regular watering schedule and fertilizer once every six weeks to thrive.
Usually, philodendrons (meaning tree lovers) climb trees and attach themselves to support structures to survive. However, this Quilted Silver Leaf Plant is a crawler and acts as a ground cover outdoors.
The Philodendron Mamei is relatively easy to care for indoors, especially for beginner collectors. It provides a lovely way to learn more about temperature requirements, watering schedules, and humidity before expanding your collection.
This plant guide will help you understand precisely why the leaf edges bronze up and why your leaves aren’t unfurling as quickly as you’d hoped. You’ll also have a peek into all the care your Philodendron Mamei requires to ensure a happy and healthy plant.
The best way to identify a Philodendron Mamei plant is by the petioles, leaves, and variegation.
The petioles are broad and furry looking, similar to a Monstera Deliciosa. The Mamei is also easily identified by the new growth you’ll find, which comes out red and unfurls into a broad green leaf, with deep veins and silver speckles.
The variegation looks similar to satin Pothos (without the texture).
Yes, the Philodendron Mamei Silver Cloud is a hybridized plant. Hybrids usually occur when two plant species cross-pollinate to create a new type of plant. Cross-pollination is expected in the wild, where many Philodendrons flower and pollinate.
It is similar to other hybrids like Philodendron Plowmanii and Silver Cloud.
The Philodendron Mamei is a tropical plant that requires well-draining nutrient-rich soil. It will thrive in a container filled with premium potting soil, compost, peat moss or coco coir, and perlite.
You can buy a decent indoor potting soil and consistently top it up with fertilizer to ensure that it holds enough nutrients. Or, create your own potting mix for your Philodendron.
Simply combine a third of potting mix, a third of compost, and one-third comprised of peat moss mixed with a handful of perlite or mulch chunks.
The mulch chunks will hold nutrients that are easily accessible to the plant, so it lessens the need to fertilize as often. The peat moss has moisture, making the soil moist but not soggy (as elements like perlite and chunks create enough air pockets for water to drain efficiently).
Watering your Philodendron Mamei will vary based on the time of year and the plant’s location in your home. It’s advisable to keep your watering schedule to once every 7 to 14 days. Tropical plants require consistently moist soil.
Although, levels of moisture are seemingly subjective. All it means is that the plant needs moisture but not too much free-flowing water, as this can easily cause root rot. If the soil is too dry, this may stress out the plant and cause leaf damage.
To accurately measure your soil’s moisture, it may be best to get a soil meter. Dip the stick end into the soil (around the pot, not just in one place), and let the meter do the talking.
Be sure to drain any excess water from the bottom to avoid water clogging up the air pockets in the soil.
If you’re looking for DIY-friendly options, simply get a stick (any stick will do) and prop it into the soil when you’d like to check the moisture.
If the soil sticks, you’re in the clear. Just be careful not to prod too hard as you may perforate one of the roots.
You can choose to water your plant normally (from the top), which means that you’ll have to keep an eye on it to ensure regular moisture is within the soil. Or, you can water it from the bottom.
The bottom watering method is excellent for tropical plants, as it allows a bit of humidity to enter the air.
With bottom watering, you can add water to the bottom of the tray, and the roots will soak up what it needs.
The soil will retain a considerable amount of water as each soil clump gets moist. But you’ll have to be conscious of excess salt, calcium, or other minerals forming deposits on the top layer of soil. Wash this away with a regular shower or occasional top-watering.
The Philodendron Mamei sun requirements are as you’d expect with most Philodendrons. A happy amount of bright indirect light will ensure that your plant retains the glorious leaves that these plants are known for, as well as the unique variegation that makes them so striking.
If the plant is in an area that’s too dark, you may notice greener leaves instead of the ones dotted with silver. If this is the case, you will need to relocate the plant or add some grow lights near the plant.
If the plant receives too much direct light, this can cause sunburn and bronzed edges around the leaves of the Philodendron.
To avoid this, you’ll have to follow the instructions of the grow light to be sure that it doesn’t burn the leaves. Or simply place it in an area with at least five to seven hours of bright indirect light.
Coming from the tropical jungle of the Americas, this plant requires a significant level of consistent humidity.
Anything around 70% will suffice. Luckily, with some constant monitoring using a thermometer nearby, you can easily manage any humidity issues that may arise.
Low humidity can cause yellowing leaves to shrivel up, dry out and fall off. A few valuable tips and tricks are available for any beginner plant parent on any budget.
Here’s how to keep the humidity consistent.
- For one quick fix, a humidifier will help put water droplets into the air, increasing the humidity around the plant. A humidifier will also help you manage the humidity if you’ve got a dynamic and unreliable climate.
- Some plant parents love to group their plants to create a microclimate. A microclimate is a more natural way to increase humidity and allows you to see all of your plant babies on one beautiful shelf. If you’ve only got a few plants, don’t fear. There’s another way!
- A tray filled with pebbles and water underneath your current pot will work similarly to that of a humidifier. Just be sure to keep a second tray between the pebbly tray and the bottom of the pot, as the soil can absorb water from the bottom of the pot. This method could add too much moisture to the soil and causes conditions for root rot.
- Finally, misting your plant is a quick way to fix the humidity for a short period. However, you’ll have to do it quite frequently as water will eventually dry up and leave the air. Too much water on your plant’s leaves can also attract bacterial infections. So, only mist your plant if all other options aren’t a good fit for you.
Along with light, humidity, and watering, the temperature surrounding your plant can help your plant develop beautiful leaves at a quicker rate. Be sure to keep your plant in temperatures above 55℉.
A lower temperature will cause stunted plants, significantly colder temps, and windy drafts at night. Plants do most of their respiration at night (and photosynthesis during the day).
So, a warmer temperature at night will allow the plant to better use the natural foods and sugars stored during the day – which ultimately helps them grow more at night.
Adequate nighttime temperatures coupled with low light conditions at night can help your Philodendron Mamei grow faster and develop healthier leaves.
Based on where you live, you may not be able to provide the perfect temperatures naturally. In this case, you can do a few things to help your plant:
- Place your plants on a compost pile: This is usually done with herbs and vegetables. Since compost needs to disintegrate, it gives off a warmer temperature as it does so. Most farmers (and sometimes gardeners) create a compost bin with a sturdy top so that heat-loving plants can sit atop and benefit from the natural heat given off.
- Get a heating mat: This is a little mat, usually connected to an electrical outlet that will warm your plant from the base (like an electric blanket). While this method is most familiar with younger seedlings, there’s no reason why it cannot help your Philodendron babies during the wintertime.
Fertilizing is one answer to the question: “how to get bigger leaves on a Philodendron?”
Fertilizer guarantees the plant 12 nutrients and minerals it needs to remain balanced and healthy. It also adds extra nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to the soil so that you can be guaranteed great big leaves with bright colors and uniform growth.
Most plants can survive with little to no fertilizer, a change of soil can still provide the space for a healthy plant to thrive, especially if you don’t have fertilizer on hand.
Most Philodendron plants do well with liquid fertilizers. It is also the easiest to administer and manage (in over-fertilization). Be sure to add a fertilizer solution once every six to eight weeks (or whenever you feel the plant may need a pick me up).
Fertilizer is often categorized by the NPK ratio, usually noted on the packaging. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are three of the most crucial elements in a thriving plant.
Nitrogen assists with foliage growth, phosphorus aids in flowering and fruiting plants, and potassium increases the plant’s overall vitality.
You need a fertilizer high in nitrogen and potassium with extra trace minerals. Or, you’ll have to invest in a general all-purpose fertilizer like a 10:10:10 NPK ratio.
If in doubt, a general fertilizer is always best as you can then use it around the house for any kind of plants (even some succulents too).
On the flip side, too much fertilizer – and too close to the main stem and roots – can cause chemical burns.
As with humans, plants can only take in as much food as they need; giving them too much will cause an imbalance and force them to put out discolored and disfigured leaves.
If you’re afraid that you’ve added too much fertilizer, consider changing the soil or simply running the plant under water until the fertilizer washes out of the soil (you’ll usually notice a change of color in the water)
It’s also a good idea to place your plants in the rain, on occasion, as rainwater contains the necessary elements naturally and does wonders for indoor houseplants.
Repotting your Philodendron Mamei is best done once you notice it is root-bound. If the roots are sticking out the bottom of the pot, it’s best to repot the plant into a pot one size bigger.
Repotting can be pretty stressful on plants, so do it carefully and follow the steps correctly.
- Step one: Prepare a clean pot and clean soil mix. Try not to reuse old soil to transfer pathogens and unhealthy bacteria.
- Step two: Take the current pot and squeeze the sides. This will allow the root ball to fall out easily without breaking any roots attached to the side of the pot.
- Step three: Tip the pot over slightly while holding the base of the stem and be careful not to shake too hard. A quick jiggle will help remove the plant from the pot and keep the root ball intact.
- Step four: Loosen any old or dying roots gently without breaking off the new and healthy roots. If the roots are thick and yellow, you’ve got healthy roots. If the roots are flat and brown, those are older roots.
- Step five: Add some new soil to the bottom of the new pot. Place the plant on top of the soil, and pack new soil into the rest of the pot.
- Step six: Pat the soil down and add some water. Allow the water to drain out so that the soil can settle. Pack in some more soil mix and water again.
- Step seven (optional): Mix some plant vitamin solution into water and water thoroughly to prevent transplant shock.
Be sure to allow the soil to completely dry out before watering again, especially with newly potted plants. This allows the roots more space to develop. Too much water early in root development will smother the new roots and compact the soil.
Pruning your Philodendron Mamei is best done during shoulder seasons before the weather changes too drastically. This will allow your plant to revitalize and prepare for a new season.
Be sure to chop the dead Philodendron Mamei petioles (stems and leaves) off at the base. If the plant has started flowering, you could also cut off dead flowers and sow the seeds.
It’s best to use clean and sterilized shears to avoid transferring bacterial infections or pest infestations from one plant to another.
Chopping stragglers and replanting them is a great way to make philodendron babies and add new additions to your home.
Propagating your Philodendron is easily accomplished by propping cuttings into water. This will allow it to root and transfer to a pot later on.
Before propagating, be sure to find a warm, dark area for the plant to develop roots. Too much light at this point will only dry out your cuttings and will hinder any root development.
It’s best to change the water every few days as algae can build up, which will suck the oxygen right out of the water.
For best results, try to add a root growth hormone at the tip of the cutting.
The Philodendron Silver Cloud Mamei has stunning green leaves with silver speckles dispersed over the outer regions of the leaves. The most prominent feature is the deep veins that run right through the leaves, giving it a pleated look.
The Philodendron Mamei rarely flowers while kept in pots. It prefers a lot more space before developing flowers.
However, with the right conditions, you can expect small white flowers at the base of the leaves. You can expect blooms after around a year of caring for the plant outside.
The best way to ensure a flowering philodendron is to plant it straight into the ground. This will allow the plant to acclimate accordingly and create a microclimate conducive to flowering.
Be sure to add enough fertilizer when necessary and ensure that it receives only morning sun (if you cannot plant it in a place with sufficient indirect light).
As with any plant, a Philodendron Mamei is susceptible to common issues. These are mostly related to overwatering, not enough sunlight and heat, or pests like scale, spider mites, and mealybugs.
Each of these issues is often easily treated and can be avoided. Keep reading to learn more about which problems you may face and how to combat them better.
A Philodendron Mamei with brown leaves is relatively normal if the leaves have been around for a while and are naturally dying off. A Philodendron’s yellow leaves are slightly different as this usually signifies one of a few things:
Yellowing leaves can be a result of overwatering. The excess water in the soil can cause root rot. This is decided by the leaves and, of course, checking the roots. If the roots are brown and flat, they’re dead.
You can change the soil and run the roots under some water to wash and cut away any dead roots to fix this.
The plant will definitely go into shock and needs a good prune to help it survive. It will also be best to place the plant in a dark and warm room to allow it a chance to grow some new roots. Be sure to feed it with a light fertilizer or plant food to help it retain some vigor.
Nitrogen deficiency or Over-fertilization
Another reason for yellowing leaves is a nitrogen deficiency or over-fertilization. The cure here is the same as with root rot.
The only difference is that your plant will probably not survive after root rot unless there are healthy roots. But a change of care and some TLC can fix a nutrient issue.
Since the Philodendron Mamei green leaves with silver variegation need indirect light to remain intact, you’ll easily be able to note when the plant is not receiving enough sunlight. The leaves will usually look dull and revert to a pure green leaf.
To fix this, you’ll have to adjust the grow lights or relocate the plant to a new area with at least five hours (minimum) of indirect and bright light.
You’ll have to slowly build up the plant’s tolerance for more light. Otherwise, you could cause sunburn or dry out the leaves.
The tropical Philodendron Mamei is quite accustomed to cohabitation with insects. Pests like spider mites, scale, and mealybugs are somewhat different.
These pests tend to suck out the plant’s nutrients and diminish the glorious green beauty synonymous with tropical plants.
You can simply wash off the plant if you notice some white (or red) insects hopping about.
Quarantine it from the rest of your collection, and be sure to add an organic insecticide solution regularly. Most gardeners lean towards using neem oil as it naturally curbs pests without introducing too many harmful chemicals into your home jungle.
Mix some water and a couple of drops of dishwasher liquid with some onion and garlic juice. Mix this around, add some paprika for flavor (kidding – paprika works as an insect repellant and antifeedant), and spray this on your plant regularly. Be sure to add more water than onion juice as the strength of the onion could also burn the plants.
The Philodendron Mamei and Sodiroi are incredibly similar in comparison. However, the Sodiroir is a climber and needs vertical support like a moss pole or tree, whereas the Mamei is a crawler.
Besides this main difference, the leaves vary in variegation. The variegation of Sodiroi covers less leaf surface area than the Mamei.
The Philodendron Plowmanii care is identical to that of the P. Mamei. Although, the Plowmanii vs. Mamei does show a few characteristic differences.
The Plowmanii has fewer veins running through the leaves and presents differently to the pleated look. Also, the Plowmanii doesn’t have any silver variegation.
The Mamei and Silver Cloud vary in different categories. New growth in the silver cloud is white, whereas an ordinary Mamei can be red.
The Mamei has light speckles of variegation instead of the silver cloud, and the silver cloud’s leaves are also bigger and rounder.
Here’s a quick round-up of some of our favorite products to use on our favorite plants:
FAVOURITE PLANT SUPPLIES
- Best Plant Shelf: Tribesigns 5-tier Plant Stand
- Best Propagation Stand: XXXFlower Hydroponic Terrarium
- Best Grow Lights: Frenan Red-Blue Spectrum Grow Lights
- Best Liquid Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food
- Best Hygrometer: XLUX Soil Moisture Meter
- Best Plant Food: Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes
- Best Potting Soil Mix: Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix
- Best Pruning Shears: VIVOSUN Gardening Pruning Shears
- Best Perlite: xGarden Horticultural Grade Premium Perlite
- Best Heating Mat: AC Infinity SUNCORE Heat Mat
- Best Peat Moss: Miracle-Gro Sphagnum Peat Moss
- Best Pot: Homenote Flower Pots (in various sizes)
- Best Coco Coir: SpongEase Pro Coco Coir Brick
- Best Vitamin Solution: SUPERthrive Vitamin Solution Liquid Concentrate
- Best Mulch Chunks: Sun Bulb Better Gro Orchid Bark
- Best Humidity Meter: ThermoPro Digital Thermometer
- Best Humidifier: Pure Enrichment MistAire Humidifier
These days, Philodendron Mamei is not as rare as it once was a couple of years ago. It is still quite a problematic collector’s item to find because it has not yet penetrated the local nursery market.
On the other hand, it will become much more readily available as major companies use tissue cultures for propagation instead of outdated cutting methods.
While Amazon and local outlets are yet to catch up with the trend, there are many places online that will offer you a young plant or cutting. Be prepared to spend a couple of hundred dollars, though, as online stores still hold the monopoly.
Have we missed anything? Keep reading to see if we’ve answered any of your other frequently asked questions:
Yes. As with most Philodendron varieties, the Philodendron Mamei contains calcium oxalate crystals within the sap.
Ingesting these crystals can cause irritation and vomiting for humans and pets. This is often not fatal but may need medical treatment.
The Philodendron Mamei is different from other Philodendrons as they tend to crawl rather than climb.
They grow like ground covers and sprawl across the jungle floor, unlike Philodendron Verrucosum varieties that climb trees.
Yes, the Philodendron Mamei is quite a rare plant. It has become rather popular in recent years, which has directed leading nurseries to promote tissue cultures for faster propagation.
It is possible that in a year or two, the Philodendron Mamei may be as common as a Philodendron Birkin.
Philodendron Mamei will drop leaves if the plant receives too much light or water. Usually, the plants will yellow first, which will help you better determine which problem you’re sitting with.
If the plants are uniform in color but dropping before reaching their time, you’ve most probably got too much light around the plant.
Philodendrons have long been known to improve air quality. Thanks to a NASA study that confirms plants can remove toxins from the air.
However, one must note that the amount of clean air produced from one plant is relatively inconsequential based on how many toxins are in the air. The percentage will also fluctuate based on the room volume the plant is in.
Yes, you will need to get flowers from your Philodendron Mamei and allow nature’s workers (birds and bees) to pollinate it first. It may be best when you’ve got multiple plants as this will increase the chances of pollination.
Growing any Philodendron from seed is trickier than propagating and is not usually advisable to beginner plant parents.
Yes, misting is a well-established way of increasing the humidity around your plant. It does, however, create a breeding ground for bacterial infections.
So, it may be best to use other methods of increasing humidity, especially if you don’t have excellent air circulation.
The Philodendron Mamei is quite a collector’s item. With its beautiful, variegated silver leaves and long stems that allow it to crawl, there’s no second-guessing just how striking this plant can be.
Ensure that you’ve got it in a big enough pot to allow ample growth, along with nutrient-rich and well-draining soil.
Try to water it regularly and fertilize it once every six weeks to thrive. Be sure to keep the humidity and temperature relatively constant and prune when necessary.
Add it next to self-heading plants like the Philodendron Red Emerald for a genuine and unique jungle collection.