This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.
The Philodendron Verrucosum X Melanochrysum hybrid, also known as the Philodendron Splendid, is a beautiful creation including the best aspects of both plants. This plant can thrive with a medium to high (60%) humidity, above 55℉ temperatures, and a regular watering schedule.
If the jungle vibe is something you’re after, these large dragon scales are a perfect way to introduce color, vibrancy, and love into your home. They are a rare item to find these days and need tons of TLC while learning what they like.
Luckily, this guide will help you figure out the best ways to care for your plant. Whether you’re always overwatering, forgetting when last you’ve fertilized, or simply just want to know more about caring for this beauty. The guide below will help answer all of that and more.
The Philodendron Splendid is a hybrid between the Philodendron Verrucosum and Philodendron Melanochrysum. It is said to have been found in Ecuador around the 1600s.
The two plants are equally evident in this beautiful specimen – a perfect mix of both parents if you ask me.
The Philodendron Splendid is easily identifiable through the leaves and colors that it presents. As a hybrid plant, you can quickly tell which aspects come from which parent plant.
The giant green leaves are signs of the Melanochrysum while the reddish tint on the back comes from the Verrucosum.
A Philodendron Splendid mature leaf will grow larger than your hand (or head, we’re not kidding) and contains deep yellowish veins. It’s a climber that will need a moss pole for support.
Since it can become quite heavy, be sure to place any new roots into the moss pole, or else your plant may topple over.
Philodendron Melanochrysum x Verrucosum contains large dragon-scale like foliage. The reddish tint on the back sets off the deep green foliage. It is beautifully contrasted by the thick yellow veins running through it.
Newer leaves have red coming through to the front of the leaf, and once it matures, the leaf turns into a deep green that pops in any living space. With enough space to grow, this plant can take over and create a jungle look all on its own.
The biggest drawcard is the shimmer and velvet effect that it gets from the Verrucocum genes. It appears to have a glittery effect in the sun and literally dazzles. They’re shaped like elephant ears and drop down into a perfect teardrop shape.
Philodendrons quite commonly flower after reaching maturity. Flowers grow in order to reproduce, so most varieties tend to flower only when grown outdoors.
Their growth tends to be stunted when grown indoors and they will likely not produce any flowers in pots or containers.
For Philodendron flower development, prop your plant outside under a tree and be sure to add lots of natural organic matter to allow proper fertilization. The plant will naturally create a micro-climate and may begin to flower in a year or so.
While the phenomenon is relatively rare, you can probably expect cone-shaped flowers (similar to a peace lily) with a spadix in the center. This is the most common flower type within the aroid family.
As with both the Verrucosum Philodendron and Melanochrysum, your soil needs to be high in natural organic matter and it has to be well-draining. The soil should be dark and loose for the roots to develop freely.
Seasoned houseplant parents can get away with a soilless mix by adding fertilizer to coco peat, orchid bark chunks, and perlite once every second or third watering. Although, if you’re starting as a new plant parent, you’ll want a premium potting soil mix to help feed the plant.
Mix a third of compost, potting soil, and perlite mixed into sphagnum moss. This will guarantee enough nutrients from the compost; perlite will aerate the soil and allow it to drain better, while the peat moss will retain moisture between waterings.
The only downside is that these substances do not contain enough nutrients, and you should use fertilizer more regularly than with soil mixes.
The Philodendron Melanochrysum Verrucosum hybrid is similar to most Philodendron varieties in that it needs to be watered regularly to maintain moist soil without making it too soggy.
Your watering requirements will vary depending on which season it is, the growth stage, and the plants within your household. During summer and an active growth stage, you’ll have to water the plant more often.
About once or twice every 14 days will help keep the plant hydrated enough to produce new growth and allow the leaves to unfurl better.
The colder temperatures and low humidity from the winter season will slow down growth and possibly send the plant into dormancy.
If the plant is not producing new roots or leaves as often, you’ll have to water less to avoid drowning the plant and leaving the roots in overwatered soil.
Suppose you’re in the habit of under or over-watering your plants; it’s best to find yourself a soil meter.
This kind of probe will be able to quickly let you know just how moist your soil is on a scale of one to nine. If the scale is anything less than three, feel free to water until the water reaches the bottom of the pot.
Philodendron Melanochrysum x Verrucosum hybrids are typically accustomed to darker settings. On the contrary, these tropical plants enjoy more bright indirect light than we give them credit for.
In most cases, the plant will survive in a darker space. If the plant receives some filtered morning light, it will grow faster and produce more prominent, profound foliage.
The light has to be filtered through a window, trees, or another medium not to burn the plant’s leaves.
If you’re noticing slower growth or dull leaves, this could signify that your plant is not receiving the right amount of light. You can adjust the position of the plant or get a couple of grow lights to help you out.
Be sure to check the settings and instructions of your lights, as their placement is equally as important. If the plant receives too much light, it could burn, and if the lights are too far away, the light will make less than no difference.
The temperature is a significant concern for many plant parents. As the Philodendron Splendid is a tropical plant, you’ll have to ensure that your plant receives adequately warm temperatures above 55℉.
It does best in hardiness zones nine and upwards. This means that the plant will remain warm enough to photosynthesize, transpire and respire (which is everything it should be doing).
The environmental temperature around the plant during the day should be around 10 – 15℉ higher than at night. This will make up for any extra work the plant has to do during the day.
During wintertime, the plant will usually receive warmer temperatures at night (thanks to heaters and furnaces); this can hinder the plants’ development and need to be relocated.
While temperature usually gets overlooked compared to humidity and light, it plays an important role. These factors should all work in harmony to provide a balanced environment for the plant. When you’ve noticed unhappy plants, these factors are usually out of balance.
Philodendron Melanochrysum x Verrucosum thrives in higher humidity percentages. As long as the area has around 60% humidity, the plant will reward you with happy and healthy leaves. Low humidity will dry out the plant and create a dull appearance.
If you’re fond of having your plant babies dotted around the house or have just a few plants, you can also invest in a humidifier to increase the moisture levels in the air.
The tropical plants are accustomed to high humidity levels as they’re usually surrounded by lots of wildlife and, of course, other plants.
You could also add a pebble tray beneath the plant in order to increase the humidity. Find a large enough tray to hold about an inch of pebbles. Cover this in water and place your Philodendron Splendid above it.
This will allow water to evaporate into the air and improve the humidity.
It’s best to simulate these conditions for optimal plant survival (and success). Humidity allows the plant to retain more moisture in its leaves. A good humidity means more vigorous and healthier leaves.
The Melano X Verru Philodendron requires a decent fertilizer with a solid nitrogen level. Since the plant puts out substantial green leaves, the nitrogen will assist the plant in sending energy and nutrients exactly where it needs to go.
It may be best to use a liquid fertilizer as this fast release allows you to monitor how well the plant is doing efficiently.
You can also use a granular fertilizer if you’ve got it on hand, but it’s best to use these once you’ve had enough experience with your plant to understand its distress signals.
Mix a quarter dose of the recommended amount with some water and thoroughly water the plant. Do this around once every four to six weeks.
You can continue to increase the dosage if your baby doesn’t seem to be reacting to the fertilizer in an intended way.
Be sure to get a general liquid fertilizer or plant food high in nitrogen. The NPK ratio should be somewhere around 10:10:10. Just to be safe, chat to your local nursery if you’re unsure of what’s on offer.
The plant can survive with no fertilizer (unless in an inorganic substrate); it may be best first to allow the plant to acclimatize before throwing too much fertilizer at it.
With tropical house plants, some chemicals can be a bit too harsh for them – which can burn the roots, cause yellow leaves and ultimately drown the plant in unnecessary chemicals.
Start with a quarter of the recommended dosage first and build your way from there when fertilizing.
Obviously, this kind of trial-and-error needs careful observation from you. As you’ll have to figure out whether the fertilizer has worked, if it is helping, and just how much is too much.
Repotting new plants is a bit tricky for beginners, especially if you’ve got such a rare collector’s item. Repotting the plant too soon will stunt growth and could send your baby into transplant shock.
Only replant when you’ve noticed that the new foliage is visibly smaller than the old.
Smaller leaves and roots growing out of the bottom indicate that the plant is root-bound. Simply move your plant over to a bigger pot, and watch it transform. Be gentle during the transplant and keep the roots as untouched as possible.
- Step one: Gather your supplies, a new pot, some clean soil mix, a trowel or spade, a watering can, and possibly some shears.
- Step two: Loosen the soil on the inside of the old pot by gently squeezing it around the pot.
- Step three: Prepare some soil mix at the bottom of the new pot; about a third of the way should suffice.
- Step four: Gently tilt the old pot and hold the plant at the base of the stem. Slide it out of the pot and shake off any excess soil at the bottom of the roots.
- Step five: If the roots are tightly bound, you can loosen them slightly (be careful not to untangle them or handle them too much)
- Step six: Place the roots and plant into your new pot and gently start packing in new soil mix around the plant.
- Step seven: Water the plant vigorously and repack any soil that may have drained to the bottom.
- Step eight: Keep the plant in a shaded area for a week while it becomes accustomed to the new pot.
Repotting can be pretty traumatic for some plants (especially those with more delicate hairs on their roots), be sure to repot your plant during the shoulder seasons when the weather is cooler. It’s best to repot in the evening as well.
Philodendron Verrucosum Melanochrysum hybrids need to be pruned regularly to maintain the desired height and get rid of dead and unwanted leaves. Since this is a fast grower, you’ll want to propagate any cuttings. So proper pruning is vital.
When pruning, you’ll have to use clean and sharp shears. Be sure to cut at the base of the plant and cut at an angle so that the dying stem doesn’t cause any further complications.
Cutting the stem at an angle allows any water to run right off instead of pooling there, creating a ground for bacteria, mold, or pests.
It’s best to cut off the sections that have already started dying to those leaves that are a bit too in the way. If you’re pruning your plant and notice that it only has one or two good leaves, allow the others to remain (it’ll help the plant photosynthesize and produce better foliage in the future).
Propagating tropical plants is relatively simple once you’ve got the hang of it. With Philodendron Splendid, you may be afraid to propagate because of how perfect they are – yes, their beauty is that intimidating.
Most Philodendron Melanochrysum Seeds and Philodendron Verrucosum Seeds will be harder to germinate, cross-pollinate and eventually create a Philodendron Splendid.
So, most major nurseries have started tissue cultures as a means of propagation.
For a DIY plant parent, tissue cultures in your garage seem a bit much. So, instead, gather your pruning shears, a sterilized jar with room temperature water, and let’s get to propagating.
- Step one: Identify a healthy leaf node (aerial roots are great starters as well)
- Step two: Chop it off as close to the base as possible
- Step three: Place it in some water (you can add a rooting hormone if necessary, although this is optional)
- Step four: Place in a warm dark place for a few days
- Step five: Check on it regularly and change the water every few days
Eventually, your cutting will begin to root. Once the roots are long and robust, you can put them into a new pot with clean soil.
Slowly harden it off as you move it to a brighter location. A dramatic change in area will shock the plant and may kill your new cutting.
The worst part about looking after a big and beautiful green garden is ensuring that all bad things stay away. For parents, that’s a cold, flu, or a couple of bullies. That means spider mites, root rot, and too much sunlight for plant parents.
Yellowing leaves on your Philodendron Splendid is usually because of over-watering. Brown or bronzed edges are generally because of too much light.
If your plant remains in moist soil or a tray of water, this could be a clear-cut sign of root rot.
Root rot occurs when the roots sit in uncirculated water for too long. The best way to fix this is by repotting the plant and carefully cutting away any dead necrotic root tissue.
If the leaves are brown and old – no problem, you’ve got a happy plant. If the leaves are still limp and not wrinkled, you’ve probably got too much sunlight. Be sure to move your plant away from direct light or adjust the grow lights.
While too much direct sunlight is harmful, your plant will starve if there is not enough indirect light as well.
You’ll begin to notice stunted growth and sometimes dull-looking leaves, especially if there should be coloration on the leaves (sunlight makes things colorful).
Move the plant to a brighter location – the more indirect light, the better. Although, try to cap that at around six or seven hours maximum. Plants have a circadian rhythm as well, and too much light will, in turn, hinder their intrinsic biological processes.
While most bugs are easy to find, spider mites are tiny and a bit tricker. Some people use magnifying glasses, whereas others comb through their plants with a figurative fine-tooth comb.
Either investigative approach you choose, it’s best to protect your plant with a natural insecticide like Neem oil.
If you spot any of these critters across your plant, the first thing you need to do is quarantine your plant so as not to impact the rest of your collection. Be sure to place it under the shower and rinse thoroughly.
If the infestation is terrible, you’ll have to prune off the worst of the leaves and repot it into clean soil. Be sure to sterilize all of your equipment as these little buggers are pretty pesky and can easily hop, skip or jump from one place to another.
Here’s a quick list of our favorite products to help you get your Philodendron Splendid thriving:
FAVOURITE PLANT SUPPLIES
- Best Potting Soil: Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix
- Best Sphagnum Moss: SuperMoss Sphagnum Moss
- Best Peat Moss: Miracle-Gro Peat Moss
- Best Perlite: xGarden Horticultural Perlite
- Best Mulch: DirtCo Houseplant Mulch
- Best Moss Pole: Blooming Jungle Moss Pole
- Best Liquid Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food
- Best Organic Pesticide: Bonide Neem Oil Insecticide
- Best Water Meter: XLUX Soil Moisture Meter
- Best Watering Can: Whale Life Indoor Watering Can
- Best Humidity Meter: ThermoPro TP50 Digital Hygrometer
- Best Humidifier: AquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier
- Best Pruning Scissors: VIVOSUN 6.5 Inch Gardening Hand Pruner Pruning Shear
- Best Grow Lights: Tri-head 126 LED Plant Lights
- Best Single Pot Stand: Eden Products 14” Large Planter
- Best Multiple Pot Stand: Bamworld Store Corner Shelf
Keep reading for some more answers to your most frequently asked questions, from where to buy the Philodendron Splendid to how rare it is and some common issues.
The Philodendron Splendid is quite a rare find and is pretty hard to come by. A few online stores and rare plant shops will ship a cutting to you for an exorbitant price. It may be best to liaise with the seller beforehand to ensure the quality of the cutting and the shipping standards.
Be sure to ask for pictures and learn as much as you can about the cutting quality before paying the seller – this could be a great bargaining chip for a lower price.
The Philodendron Splendid vs. Melanochrysum is quite a rare find. Said to have been discovered in the 1600s, the plant is a cross between two already unique philodendrons.
Mass-producing these kinds of hybrids can be quite a challenge. So, you’ll most likely only find them in the form of cuttings from mother plants.
The Philodendron Splendid is a vining plant. If you’ve got one, it can be trained to trail up a moss pole (or tree) and will continue to climb up until the plant reaches maturity.
They tend to grow quite quickly and can get around 6 feet tall.
As with most Philodendron plants, the sap contains calcium oxalate crystals. This can become toxic to pets if ingested.
The crystals can cause irritable bowels and reactions in the mouth and throat. It can be treated and is rarely fatal.
It’s normal for a Philodendron Splendid to drop older leaves. These will usually be shriveled up and brown.
If you’re dropping newer leaves, you may have an issue with humidity and watering. Be sure to check in on your plant regularly in case of pests as well.
The Philo Melanochrysum is quite a gorgeous plant. The leaves can grow bigger than your face with dark greens and a velvety shimmer that is utterly to die for. Certain plants are just worth all of the effort, and this is one of them.
The Verrucosum x Melanochrysum hybrid requires medium to high humidity, adequate watering, and warm temperatures to thrive and retain their giant leaves.
Be sure to fertilize at least once every six weeks, and don’t be shy to pick at your plant looking for pests.
If you’re looking for a true Philodendron beauty, this plant offers you so many varying degrees of perfection that it will complete that empty corner in your living room, so why not treat yourself?