Thaumatophyllum species & cultivars
Thaumatophyllum species & cultivars
Thaumatophyllum is a genus of plants that belong to the Araceae family, which also includes popular houseplants like philodendrons and monsteras. Thaumatophyllums are known for their striking foliage and easy-to-care-for nature, making them a great addition to any indoor plant collection. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about Thaumatophyllum care, including their origin, habitat, popular cultivars, and how to keep them healthy.
Origin and Habitat:
Thaumatophyllum is native to South America, where it grows in tropical rainforests. The plant was formerly known as Philodendron bipinnatifidum, but in 2018, it was reclassified as Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum. Thaumatophyllums are commonly found growing in the understory of the rainforest, where they receive dappled sunlight and moderate humidity.
Habit: Medium to very large, sometimes semi-woody evergreen perennial plants producing small to large lobed green leaves.
Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 30ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C will result in the death of the plants.
Light Exposure: Thaumtophyllum plants mostly grow best in bright, indirect light locations. Plants may survive in medium, indirect light but they will not thrive and may, overtime, decline.
Watering: Plants like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and usually twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great.
Humidity: Thaumatophyllums prefer moderate to high humidity levels, which can be difficult to achieve in dry indoor environments. To increase humidity, place a tray of water near the plant or use a humidifier. You can also mist the leaves with room-temperature water to increase humidity levels.
Fertilising: Plants are generally heavy feeders and give them a well balanced fertiliser twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).
Pruning/Repotting: Thaumatophyllums prefer well-draining soil, so make sure to use a potting mix that includes perlite or sand to improve drainage. When potting up your plant, choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one to allow for growth. Thaumatophyllums have a shallow root system, so a wider pot is better than a deeper one.
Remove yellowing, brown or heavily damaged leaves as necessary and occasionally the tip growth will need to be pruned out if growing well above the climbing pole. Repotting of the plants will depend on its growth rate but plants usually indicate that they should be repotted once the roots really start growing out the bottom of the pot. Ideally repot in the spring into a pot one or maybe two sizes larger than what it is currently growing in.
Pests/Diseases: Thaumatophyllum are relatively resistant to pests and diseases if well looked after and happy; however, they can be attacked by thrips, mealy bug and spider mites if the plants are stressed. Diseases that affect the plants are usually caused by overwatering which can invite fungal and bacterial pathogens that cause root rots and leaf spot problems.
In conclusion, Thaumatophyllums are a beautiful and easy-to-care-for plant that can add a tropical touch to any indoor space. By following the tips in this guide, you can ensure that your Thaumatophyllum stays healthy and thriving for years to come.