Philodendron Hederaceum ‘Brasil’ Care Guide (2022)

philodendron brasil plant

Philodendron brasil is an easygoing tropical perennial vine that is very popular with indoor gardeners.

Philodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’ not only has beautifully variegated leaves to enhance your home, but it also requires very little maintenance.

This fast-growing evergreen houseplant will quickly create a lush, tropical feel in even the smallest space. 

Scientific NamePhilodendron scandens oxycardium ‘Brasil’
Common NamePhilodendron brasil
LightBright indirect sunlight
WateringWeekly, water if the top 2 to 3 inches of soil is dry
Temperature60 to 85ºF (16 to 29ºC)
Hardiness Zone11a, 11b, 12a, 12b
Humidity50% and higher
Soil TypeRich, quick-draining, loamy
Soil pH6.5 to 7 (mildly acidic)
FertilizingA balanced feed once a month in spring and summer
RepottingEvery 2 years
PruningBeginning of the growing season
PropagationRoot in water or soil
ToxicityToxic to humans and pets
Mature Size6 to 36 inches as a houseplant. Trailing stems 10 to 20 feet
Bloom TimeRarely flowers indoors

What’s Unique About Philodendron brasil?

The Philodendron brasil plant is a recent cultivar of the Heartleaf Philodendron, with a mutation resulting in its distinctive variegation.

Philodendrons are native to the rainforests of Central and South America, where they grow in the shade of the trees that they climb. 

Philodendron brasil plants have heart-shaped leaves, their deep green background streaked with shades of lime green and yellow.

The quick-growing vines can be trained to climb or left to trail from a high shelf or hanging basket with equal success.

Growing Philodendron brasil can even improve your indoor environment. Philodendrons are effective at filtering out airborne contaminants such as formaldehyde and benzene.

Philodendron brasil Care

In the tropical rainforests where the philodendron family originates, these vining plants thrive in hot, humid conditions under the shade of the tree canopy.

Philodendron brasil plant care doesn’t require creating a dark, tropical atmosphere in your home, however. 

Philodendron brasil will tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, making Philo Brasil care easy, even for beginners.

Light 

In the tropical American rainforests where philodendrons grow wild, the bright sun is filtered by the trees above.

Philodendron brasil light requirements are for bright but indirect light, or between 10,000 and 20,000 lux. You will not usually have to use a grow light to provide this.

Philo Brasil light needs are best accommodated by placing it in a window facing north or east, where the hot afternoon sun will not shine in.

If your only option is a south or west exposure, keep your Philodendron brasil out of the full sun. Either set it several feet from the window, or hang a curtain between it and the window to filter the light.

Watering 

In the rainforest, philodendrons grow in loose, quick-draining soil. Even though there is frequent rain, the soil does not stay soaking wet.

Your Philodendron brasil will need soil that is moderately moist at all times, while never being saturated.

For effective Philodendron brasil watering, check to see when the top couple of inches has dried out, and then gently soak the surface.

Water Philo Brasil with either distilled water or tap water that you have let sit overnight. This warms it to room temperature, and allows chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine to dissipate.

Philodendron brasil’s watering needs are less in winter when it is not actively growing. Let the soil dry out more between waterings.

Temperature 

The Philodendron brasil temperature range is pretty wide, ranging from 60 to 85ºF (16 to 29ºC). You should be able to give it adequate warmth in any heated space without doing anything special.

In hot summer weather, you can move your Philodendron brasil outdoors to expose it to a hotter temperature for Philo Brasil that is more reminiscent of the rainforest.

Be aware, though, that Philodendron brasil has limited temperature tolerance below the recommended range. 

Anything below 55ºF (12ºC), even at night, can cause damage to this tender tropical.

Finally, Philodendron brasil has no frost hardiness at all. Freezing temperatures will kill it.

Humidity 

In the rainforest, of course, philodendrons are used to high humidity, but Philodendron brasil humidity requirements are pretty flexible.

While the ideal humidity for Philo Brasil is over 50%, in most cases it will grow just fine at a normal humidity level for a home.

However, its leaves will be even lusher if you can provide it with supplementary humidity. 

Growing it in a bathroom is one way to ensure higher humidity levels.

You can also mist it daily with distilled water, or place a pebbled tray filled with water under the pot.

The most effective method, however, is to use a small humidifier to keep all your tropical plants happy.

Soil 

Philodendron brasil needs a loose, well-draining soil that also holds some moisture.

The best pH level for Philo Brasil is 6.5 to 7, or mildly acidic.

If you can find a commercial aroid mix, that’s the best possible Philodendron brasil soil. An African Violet soil mix will also work.

However, you can also make your own soil for Philo Brasil. 1 part peat moss and 1 part well-rotted compost will give you a rich but well-draining soil.

You can also use equal parts of perlite, orchard bark, and potting soil, or 3 parts of potting soil to 1 part pumice.

Fertilizer 

Using fertilizer for Philo Brasil will give you the best possible foliage and healthy growth.

If you used compost as part of your soil mix, that should suffice to feed your Philodendron brasil.

Otherwise, you should use a Philodendron brasil fertilizer about once a month during its growing season in spring and summer.

A good balanced fertilizer ratio of 10-10-10 will give your Philodendron brasil all the nutrients it needs.

If you use a liquid fertilizer, dilute it to half the recommended strength and apply slowly to the top of the soil to ensure even absorption. 

Always apply fertilizer right after you’ve watered your Philodendron brasil.

Potting & Repotting 

Philodendron brasil grows fast, so you will definitely need to do Philodendron brasil repotting every 2 years on average.

Watch for roots filling up the entire pot and growing out the drainage holes; that’s the sign that it’s time.

The best time for repotting Philo Brasil is in spring at the beginning of its growing season.

When choosing a new container, make sure it’s got good drainage. Only go up one pot size, or at most 2 inches. Anything bigger will stress your Philodendron brasil. 

Always use fresh potting soil, as the old soil may be harboring pests and diseases.

Pruning 

Philodendron brasil pruning will help you shape your vine and encourage full, bushy growth.

If the trailing stems are starting to get a bit leggy and sparse, don’t be afraid to cut them back as much as you want. Cutting Philo Brasil will stimulate new growth, so do it at the beginning of the growing season. 

As well, if your Philodendron brasil vine has grown long enough for your space, you can cut off its growing tip to limit its length. That will concentrate its energies on growing laterally.

Of course you should always trim off dead or damaged leaves whenever they occur.

Propagation 

Philodendron brasil propagation is very easy, and requires no special equipment or skills.

The quickest way to propagate Philo Brasil is by rooting stem cuttings in water.

Cut stems with at least 2 nodes, and remove all but the leaf at the tip.

Put the cuttings in a jar of distilled or rainwater, with the nodes below the surface and the leaves above.

Keep them in a warm spot out of the direct sun, and within a few weeks you should have rooted cuttings that can be planted out in small individual pots.

You can do basically the same thing but put the cuttings in a soilless growing medium such as peat moss to root.

Also, make sure to check out our in-depth Philodendron burle marx care guide.

Common Problems of Philodendron brasil

No houseplant is completely free of issues, but there are very few potential Philodendron brasil problems.

Even better, most problems with Philo Brasil are caused by inadequate growing conditions, and can be resolved by improving its environment.

Keeping an eye on the leaves of Philodendron brasil is the best way to catch problems early.

Pests 

Philodendron brasil pests include some of the common indoor plant bugs.

The best way to protect your Philo Brasil from insects is through preventative measures. 

Wiping down the leaves with a neem oil mixture, or using an insecticidal soap spray regularly will keep insects away.

Aphids are small soft-bodied insects that suck the sap from the underside of the leaves. Use a handheld shower head to spray them off.

Mealybugs look like tiny tufts of cotton under the leaves. Wipe them off with rubbing alcohol.

Scale look like brown bumps, usually on the stem. Scrape them off and use an insecticidal soap spray.

Diseases 

Philodendron brasil diseases are usually caused by poor watering techniques. Always water the soil and not the leaves, and don’t let leaves stay wet too long after misting.

Philo Brasil is susceptible to root rot, a fungal disease that thrives in soil that is too wet. If your leaves are turning yellow and the stems seem mushy, check the roots. 

If some of them are black, cut off all affected roots, stems, and leaves, and repot in fresh soil.

If there are dark, wet spots on the leaves, you’ve got bacterial leaf spot. Cut off all infected foliage, and dispose of it in the garbage.

Growing Problems 

Other growing problems are simply a result of imperfect growing conditions, and you can cure your sick plant by improving them.

If the leaves of your Philodendron brasil seem to be getting smaller, increase humidity levels, move it to a brighter spot, or feed more frequently.

Brown leaf tips indicate a need for higher humidity.

When the leaves start to curl, it’s a sign the soil is too dry. Increase your watering frequency.

If new leaves are not variegated, your plant may be reverting back. Cut off the stems to where the last variegated leaf has grown, and you may be able to bring back the mutation.

Toxicity of Philodendron brasil 

Like all philodendrons and other members of the araceae family, Philo Brasil is toxic to humans and animals.

This toxicity is caused by the calcium oxalate crystals found in all parts of the plant. The tiny crystals pierce delicate tissues and cause pain and swelling.

Reactions can range from mild to severe, depending on how much is ingested.

For Humans 

Philodendron brasil is toxic to humans.

While adults are unlikely to eat any of the plant, young children can get curious and try anything they can get their hands on.

A mild reaction will result in localized pain around the mouth. Clean away as much as you can with a washcloth, and rinse their mouth thoroughly with water. Soothe the pain with something like a popsicle.

However, if the child has a swollen tongue or airway, take them to the emergency room at once.

Adults are more likely to get the sap on their skin, and may develop a rash. Wash all traces off your skin with soap and water.

For Pets 

Philodendron brasil is toxic to pets, and they could suffer serious internal damage if not treated.

If your cat, dog, or rabbit starts drooling, wheezing, or vomiting or has diarrhea, take it to the veterinarian immediately. High doses of calcium oxalate can cause renal failure.

It’s a good idea to keep your Philodendron brasil out of reach in a home shared with pets and/or children. 

Luckily, Philodendron brasil is perfect for growing in a hanging basket, or along the tops of kitchen cupboards. 

You should be able to easily find a spot for your Philodendron brasil where you can appreciate it but little ones can’t get to it.

Philodendron brasil Appearance

The Philodendron brasil appearance is why it’s such a popular houseplant for indoor gardeners.

The lovely variegated foliage adds a fresh, tropical touch in any home or office.

Its vining habit makes it possible to use it as a climbing or trailing plant.

While it rarely flowers, the beauty of its leaves are the main attraction.

Foliage 

The foliage of Philodendron brasil is evergreen, meaning that leaves remain for a long time before eventually dying. 

Even in its dormant season in winter, the foliage will look fresh and attractive.

The heart-shaped leaves are about 4.5 inches long and 3.5 inches across. 

Each leaf has streaks of brilliant lime green and yellow against a darker green backdrop. The underside is solid green. 

The stems and petioles are pink when young, changing first to orange and then finally turning light green at maturity.

Leaves have a smooth, glossy texture, and should be wiped down regularly to keep them looking their best.

Flowering 

Philodendron brasil flowering is very rare on plants grown indoors in temperate zones.

Blooming is more likely if a Philodendron brasil is grown outdoors in the ground in a tropical region where temperatures remain warm year-round.

However, the flowers are small and insignificant, with no scent. 

You also cannot use seeds from fertilized flowers to propagate new Philodendron brasil plants. The mutation that causes the variegation is only likely to be found in cloned stem cuttings.

Many growers who do see flowers developing cut them out. That way, their Philodendron brasil can focus its energies on pumping out its lush foliage instead.

Size and Growth 

Philodendron brasil is a vining plant. The eventual size of Philodendron brasil can be between 10 to 20 feet long, with a spread up to 3 feet across. 

It has a fast growth rate and can grow several feet in one year.

Philodendron brasil can be grown in a hanging planter or pot on a high shelf, with stems hanging down to your preferred length. Simply trim the ends when they get too long.

Otherwise, you can train your Philodendron brasil up a sphagnum moss pole. Some growers have observed that leaves seem to be bigger when trained this way. 

Philodendron brasil Fragrance

There is no Philodendron brasil fragrance. 

Even the rarely seen Philo Brasil flower has no scent, and the evergreen foliage is fragrance-free.

This is not a drawback in many public spaces, where fragrances are not allowed because of allergic reactions in some people. 

You may prefer this for your own home as well, especially in a small space where a strong scent could be overwhelming.

On the other hand, Philodendron brasil filters contaminants such as formaldehyde out of the air. So, while it may not perfume the air, it does make your home environment a healthier one to be in.

Suggested Uses for Philodendron brasil

There are very few buildings that would not benefit from the addition of a Philodendron brasil plant.

Its long vines are perfect for a multi-story space such as an atrium. There, it could either cascade down from on high, or climb up poles towards the ceiling.

Grown indoors in even a small studio apartment, it will take up hardly any floor space as you train the vines to your preferences. 

If you are in a tropical region, you can plant your Philodendron brasil in moist, well-drained soil under a shady tree. Let the vines climb the trunk just as they would in the rainforest.

FAQ

What is Philodendron brasil? 

Philodendron brasil is a modern cultivar of the evergreen Heartleaf Philodendron, which is a tropical perennial vining plant native to South and Central American rainforests. 

How to identify Philodendron brasil? 

Philodendron brasil has heart shaped, glossy dark green leaves streaked with lime green and yellow. It is a vining plant that can trail or climb.

How to care for Philodendron brasil? 

Philodendron brasil plants should be grown in bright, indirect light in well-draining but consistently moist soil, at normal room temperatures with moderate to high humidity.

How to grow Philodendron brasil indoors? 

Philodendron brasil can be grown as a trailing or climbing vine indoors. Keep it out of full sun and water regularly to keep the soil moist.

How to grow Philodendron brasil outdoors? 

Philodendron brasil can be planted outdoors in tropical zones. Plant it in a shady spot under a tree, in rich but well-draining soil. Water regularly in dry spells.

How fast does Philodendron brasil grow? 

Philodendron brasil has a fast growth rate and its vining stems can grow two or more feet within one growing season in spring and summer.

How tall does Philodendron brasil grow? 

While it may only grow a foot tall, Philodendron brasil stems can grow 10 to 20 feet long, with a spread of up to 3 feet.

How to make Philodendron brasil grow faster? 

Philodendron brasil will grow its fastest when kept in bright light out of the full sun in a warm, humid environment, with regular watering and fertilizing.

How to stake Philodendron brasil? 

Philodendron brasil can be trained to grow up a sphagnum moss pole, which its aerial roots will grab onto for vigorous growth and large leaves.

How to pot Philodendron brasil? 

Philodendron brasil should be potted in porous soil that retains a moderate amount of moisture, in a pot with holes on the bottom to allow excess water to drain away.

How to revive Philodendron brasil? 

If your Philodendron brasil has completely dried out, you can saturate the soil by submerging the pot in a pail of room temperature water before draining all excess water away.

Why is my Philodendron brasil dying? 

Your Philodendron brasil may have a fungal or bacterial disease from too-wet conditions. Cut away all infected parts and repot in a fresh, porous soil mix.

Why is my Philodendron brasil drooping? 

Your Philodendron brasil may be over or under-watered. If its soil has dried out, soak the pot to revive it. If it’s too wet, repot it in fresh, porous soil.

How cold can Philodendron brasil tolerate? 

Philodendron brasil is a tropical plant and will not grow well at any temperature below 55ºF (12ºC), and it will be killed if exposed to freezing temperatures.

How to get rid of pests on Philodendron brasil? 

Philodendron brasil pests can be prevented by using insecticidal soap and neem oil regularly. To eliminate existing infestations, wipe, scrape, or spray them off, depending on the bug.

Is Philodendron brasil toxic to cats? 

Yes, Philodendron brasil is toxic to cats when ingested. You should take your cat to the veterinarian if it starts drooling, vomiting, or having diarrhea.

Is Philodendron brasil toxic to dogs? 

Yes, Philodendron brasil is toxic to dogs. If your dog starts wheezing, drooling more than usual, or throwing up, take it to the veterinarian for emergency care.

Is Philodendron brasil toxic to children? 

Yes, Philodendron brasil is toxic to children. If your child has difficulty breathing or their tongue swells up, take them to the emergency room immediately.

Is Philodendron brasil toxic to humans? 

Yes, Philodendron brasil is toxic to humans. If you get sap on your skin, rinse it off to avoid a skin irritation or rash from developing.

Does Philodendron brasil have a scent? 

No, Philodendron brasil plants do not have any scent. The rarely seen flowers have no fragrance, and the foliage is likewise free of any smell.

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