The Philodendron 69686 is a plant as mysterious as its name. While there is not much known about the origin of this rare Philodendron hybrid, there is evidence that it does well as a houseplant and requires many of the same care practices as other Philodendron varieties.
So, whether you’re curious about the P. 69686 or have recently brought one home, read this in-depth Philodendron 6986 fact file and care guide to uncover the truth of this seemingly mystical species.
What Is a Philodendron 69686?
Appearance: The P. 69686 has semi-glossy leaves of a dark green hue. The shape of the rounded tri-lobed leaves can vary since it’s a hybrid but is characteristically known for its unique hourglass shape.
Origin & Backstory: The Philodendron 69686 was first studied as a scientific specimen by Dr. Thomas B. Croat, an American botanist who assigned the plant its accession number: 69686.
An accession number is a unique number given to a plant for identification purposes.
Dr. Croat came across this Philodendron hybrid while visiting Roberto Burle Marx’s personal collection in Brazil that was known to consist of plant species mainly from Brazil.
Since Marx was unsure of its origin, Dr. Croat assumed that this hybrid came from the rainforests of Brazil just like the rest of Marx’s plants did. To this day, its origin still isn’t 100% confirmed.
However, it is confirmed as a Philodendron hybrid, making it a part of the Araceae family and an aroid.
NOTE: P. 69686 is commonly confused with a Philodendron Joepii. The two are NOT the same.
Rareness: This variety is considered extremely rare. While it’s not the rarest Philodendron, it is highly coveted by collectors.
Other names: The Philodendron 69686 does not have many common names, but is often referred to as the following:
Abbreviated Name: P. 69686
Commonly Sold As: Philodendron 69686a – some believe the ‘a’ to mean ‘anonymous’, though this hasn’t been confirmed
Your Complete Philodendron 69686a Care Guide
While a P. 69686a is quite rare, collectors and plant-enthusiasts have successfully grown this variation as a houseplant for years just as they would any other Philodendron.
Even if you’re accustomed to growing these varieties or have never touched one in your life, follow this in-depth rare Philodendron 69686a care guide to learn how to tend to this adaptable houseplant.
- Light: medium to bright indirect light
- Soil: well-draining
- Watering: when soil is dry (see details below)
- Humidity: 60% or higher
- Temperature: 60-85 F
- Fertilizer: regularly, during warmer months
The rare Philodendron 69686a thrives in medium to bright indirect light.
The best place in your home for this plant would be near a North or East facing window, but never in a South or West windowsill. Too much light can harm your houseplant and stunt its overall growth.
The best way to make sure your houseplant receives the correct amount of light is to invest in a light meter. Light meters help gauge foot-candles (FC), a measurement of light intensity.
Here’s the correct FC for you rare Philodendron:
Good growth FC: 400 FC
Minimum FC for growth: 200 FC
Your houseplant will do best with a well-draining potting mix specifically designed for aroids.
Try this porous mix to ensure your houseplant gets the right balance of moisture and nutrition:
- 1 Part Orchid Bark
- 3 Parts Perlite
- 6 Parts Coco Coir
One of the biggest mistakes new rare Philodendron owners make is overwatering, which can lead to root rot and other issues that harm your houseplant’s growth.
However, underwatering is equally dangerous.
The key to keeping your houseplant satisfied is finding the sweet spot between too much water and too little water, and only watering when the soil is becoming dry.
The best way to do this is with a quick soil check:
Step 1: With dry fingers, feel the top of the soil.
Step 2: If the soil is moist, do NOT water.
If the soil is dry, then water until moist but not waterlogged.
Step 3: Repeat the check daily and water as needed.
Signs of underwatering: yellowing leaves
Signs of overwatering: crisp, brown leaves
Many Philodendron varieties are known to originate in the Amazon rainforest and other regions with similar climates in South America.
While the rare Philodendron 69686a’s origin is not 100% confirmed, it’s known to prefer temperatures of 70-85 degrees F just like the other varieties.
It can tolerate temperatures as low as 60 degrees when need be, but no lower.
A P. 69686 is adaptable but does require high humidity levels when grown indoors. Make sure your houseplant receives a daily humidity level of 60% or higher to promote growth.
Follow these tips if you live in a drier climate and need some extra humidity in your home:
- Lightly mist leaves with distilled water from a spray bottle
- Place your plant in the bathroom when you shower
- Group tropical plants together (increases a process known as transpiration)
- Invest in a humidifier
Your houseplant will benefit from a slow-release fertilizer with well-balanced nutrients. A nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium ratio of 20:20:20 is most desirable.
Fertilize during actively growing seasons in the spring through early fall months and only a maximum of once a month. Too much fertilization and choosing to fertilize in non-growing months can harm your houseplant.
Growth – What to Expect
Q. How Big Does a Rare Philodendron 69686a Get?
This variety is known to have leaf blades of up to 2 feet in length, and can grow between 2 to 4 feet in height as a houseplant once mature.
Q. Does the Rare Philodendron 69686a Produce Flowers?
Yes! Since this plant is an aroid, it produces an inflorescence once matured, and flowers from May to June.
How to Propagate a Philodendron 69686
The best way to propagate this variety is with the stem cutting method:
Step 1: Use clean pruning shears or scissors and cut a stem about four inches long with a minimum of two leaves.
Step 2: Root the bottom half of the cutting in room temperature water. Ensure water is clean and not murky at all times.
Step 3: Once roots form, transfer to soil and follow the same practices as you would for a mature P. 69686.
Q. When Should I Repot My Rare Philodendron?
Philodendrons rarely need repotted.
Only repot when roots start sticking out of the draining hole—this is a sign that your houseplant has outgrown its pot.
When this occurs, upgrade your plant’s home to a new pot that’s 3 inches deeper and wider than its old pot to allow the roots room to grow.
Q. Does My Rare Philodendron Need Pruned?
Like with repotting, philodendrons rarely need pruned. Only use sanitized clippers to cut away black or crispy leaves directly at the node as needed.
Plant Toxicity – What Do I Need to Know?
Human: highly toxic
Animals: highly toxic
Ingestion of a Philodendron 69686a should be avoided at all costs. Their leaves include calcium oxalate, a toxin that can cause any of the following symptoms when eaten:
- Swollen lips, tongue, and throat
Luckily, ingestion is highly preventable as long as you keep your plant in a location where small children and pets can’t reach it.
Common Pests, Diseases & Issues
Like any other plant, a rare Philodendron isn’t invincible even if proper care practices are followed. While some pests and diseases are easier to care for than others, there’s no need to lose hope if your plant falls victim to common pests and diseases.
Here are some of the common issues you should look out for as a rare philodendron owner and how to solve them:
- Root Rot
Issue: If your plant’s roots are always moist and emit a rancid odor, then it’s most likely experiencing root rot.
Solution: Adjust your watering frequency! Root rot in philodendrons is mainly caused by overwatering.
Issue: Spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and other pests commonly infest philodendrons.
Solution: Spray neem oil onto the infected area to remove all pests.
- Mosaic Virus
Issue: If your plant’s leaves start to take on a splotchy or mosaic discolored pattern, then it’s being attacked by a parasite that cannot be viewed by the naked eye. It’s highly dangerous to plants.
Solution: Unfortunately, there is no known cure. Once infected, the plant will have the virus the rest of its life. The best thing to do is immediately dispose of your plant so that the virus doesn’t infect any others.
Philodendron 69686a Care Guide FAQ
Q. Philodendron 69686 vs. Philodendron Joepii – What’s the Difference?
The P. 69686 is commonly confused with the P. Joepii, but the two are quite different. The P. Joepii is a tri-lobed species with two lobes at the top pointing upwards, but the P. 69686 has narrower upper lobes and main lobes that are much wider.
Q. Philodendron 69686 vs. Philodendron Mexicanum – What’s the Difference?
The P. 69686 and P. Mexicanum are visually different philodendron varieties and are identifiable by the leaves’ undersides. A P. Mexicanum’s leaves are dark pink on the undersides, while a P. 69686 is a dark green.
Q. How much does it cost to buy a P.69686?
Prices vary depending on maturity. Cuttings average around $100, while slightly more mature plants tend to cost about $150, but can cost up to $500 when fully grown.