The truly glorious and rare philodendron bob cee, sometimes spelled philodendron bob see, makes a beautiful and unique addition to any aroid collection.
This rising star has glossy, dark green, deeply veined leaves that are tooth-shaped. With the right care, you’ll notice that the leaves grow in a dense rosette pattern and can reach up to a staggering 3 feet in length!
But the feature you’ll appreciate the most? It’s a super easy to care for, low maintenance plant that will thrive for many years to come.
This ultimate philodendron bob cee care guide will show you how to keep its jagged leaves and gorgeous foliage looking its best.
Quick Philodendron Bob Cee Care Breakdown
- Soil: Well-draining, loose, airy
- Light: Bright, indirect
- Watering: Soil kept lightly damp
- Temperature: 65-80° F (18-27°C)
- Humidity: 50-70%+
- Fertilizer: Balanced or nitrogen rich
Philodendron Origin and Backstory
A rather strange and unusual background, the philodendron Bob Cee was named after genetics breeder, Bob Cee.
It’s a hybrid, though no one is 100% certain which plants were crossed to result in this rarely-offered beauty since the plant was found after Cee’s death… with no tags or specimen papers.
We truly don’t know a ton about this plant’s parentage or whether Cee already had a name for it!
Where Can I Buy a Philodendron Bob Cee?
Good question! With its ever-increasing demand, you’ll be hard pressed to find one on sale for less than $100, if at all. I buy most of my rare aroids from Etsy. I’ll link a few shops that I love and have used before.
Philodendron Bob Cee Plant Care
Your philodendron bob cee will thrive in well-draining soil that’s also rich in organic matter.
This could take the form of a pre-made aroid potting soil, a reputable houseplant compost (I love and use Fox Farm as well as Noot’s coco coir aroid mix!), or a DIY soil recipe.
Personally, I love buying mixes and then amending with extra perlite or pumice if I need to, but it’s completely up to you which method you use. They all promote great growth!
Recommended DIY Mix
This is a great mix for my philodendron bob cee (amongst lots of others):
- 40% coco coir
- 15% orchid bark
- 15% perlite
- 10% worm castings
- 10% pumice
- 10% activated charcoal
This mix is airy, woody and allows for your plant’s roots to become super strong and healthy.
Recommended Light Intensity
You’ll see the best growth by placing your philodendron bob cee in 6-8 hours of bright indirect light, such as that from a north- or east-facing window.
Despite what many believe, most philodendrons like the bob cee can also handle 1-2 hours of cool direct morning sun (emphasis on cool!) without scorching or bleaching.
In fact, this type of light promotes very fast and healthy growth!
How Much Light Does This Plant Need & Measuring It (The Easy Way)
Gauging light by eye can be tricky, that’s why I use a light meter to know exactly where to place my plants. It measures light in footcandles.
At an absolute bare minimum, this plant should be in 200FC. For optimal growth, you’re looking at 300-500FC.
A Quick Fix for Low Light Locations
This philo will tolerate lower light levels, but growth will be very slow and the leaves will be smaller. You might see a lot of sparse foliage growth if this is the case.
Philodendron Bob Cee’s thrive in evenly moist soil, but the key here is fast-draining.
Overly wet soil will quickly cause root rot, leaf spot, and the dreaded erwinia blight disease.
A high-quality potting mix as mentioned above should prevent most overwatering issues from progressing into a full-blown disease!
How Often Should I Water my Bob Cee?
I like to water my philodendron plants when the top inch of soil is dry. This usually works out to be every 7-10 days, but it completely depends on your plant’s lighting environment, humidity levels, and temperature.
The key is to get to know your plant and regularly test how quickly its potting mix dries out.
How to Tell When your Philodendron Needs Watering
The easiest way to tell when your philodendron needs watering is to stick your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle.
If the soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water. If it feels damp or still very moist, you’re good, give it a few more days.
What Type of Water Should I Use?
Good question! For philodendrons, I always recommend using filtered or distilled water if your municipal water is high in chlorine or fluoride.
These chemicals quickly build up in the soil and prevent your plant from taking up vital nutrients from your fertilizer.
How to Water Your Philodendron Bob Cee
When it comes to watering philodendrons, the pour-and-drain method is best. This means you should water your philo until water fully runs out of the drainage holes and into the saucer below.
Then, simply empty the saucer and discard the water. Absolutely don’t let it sit in the excess water (unless you want a rotting plant on your hands…)
A Little Note on Technique
Make sure to cover all the soil with water. A common mistake beginners make is to only water the top few inches of soil, which over time can lead to a mushy stem.
Plus, did you know that water actually pushes oxygen to your plant’s roots? Ironically, this helps to prevent root rot.
Ideal Temperature Range for the Philodendron Bob Cee :
65-85°F or 18-27°C is ideal. Anything below 55°F (12.5°C) will likely result in wilting, drooping as well as stunted growth.
What Happens if it Gets too Cold or Hot?
If the temperature falls below freezing (32°F or 0°C), your philodendron’s leaves will start to turn brown and crispy (before eventually dying). If it gets too hot (above 95°F or 35°C), the leaves will start to wilt and drop off.
Leaf Drop Caused by Temperature Change? A Simple Fix
If your philodendron is already experiencing leaf drop from extreme temperature, the best thing you can do is to move it away from the heat or cold source and wait for new growth.
There’s not a lot that can be done for old growth once this process starts, unfortunately.
50-60% is fine for good growth, but if you want stellar growth, the higher the humidity the better. Think 80%+.
But, the great thing about philodendrons is that they’re adaptive. They can tolerate much lower humidity levels than most plants and still look great (I’m looking at you calatheas…)
What Happens if the Humidity is Too Low?
If the humidity levels are too low, you might notice your philodendron’s leaves start to brown and crisp around the edges.
The good news is that this is usually a reversible process. Simply raise the humidity levels and new, luscious growth should appear in a few weeks.
How to Increase Humidity Levels Indoors
There are a few different ways you can increase the humidity around your philodendron. The quickest and easiest way is to purchase a small humidifer.
Another way is to group philodendrons together with other plants. This is because when plants transpire, or release water vapor, they also increase the humidity around them.
Best Fertilizer for Philodendron Bob Cee
Philodendrons are pretty heavy feeders and benefit greatly from regular fertilization.
You can use a balanced all-purpose houseplant fertilizer such as 20-20-20 (the actual number doesn’t matter) once every 2 weeks during the growing seasons (summer and spring), once a month during autumn, and cutting back completely in winter.
Unless you can maintain optimal lighting, temperature, and humidity throughout the winter, you don’t need to fertilize your bob cee.
Make sure to check the back of the bottle to see how to dilute it before applying it to your plant!
My Absolute Favorite Philodendron Fertilizer
I love and fully recommend dyna gro (7-9-5 NPK formula), it’s a complete liquid fertilizer that contains all 16 essential nutrients your plant needs to survive, including the 3 major ones: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
It’s also very low in heavy nitrogen salts and free of urea which can change the pH of the soil and lead to root burn when in excess.
What if I Over-fertilize?
If you over-fertilize your philodendron, you might notice the leaves turning a sickly yellow or brown. This is a super common problem.
If you think you’ve over-fertilized, flush the potting mix with water to help remove some of the excess fertilizer.
Growth – What Can I Expect?
Philodendron bob cee’s can grow giant in size, with individual leaves reaching a whopping 1-2m in length! If you allow it to climb, it can grow to around 6-8ft in height when fully matured. This isn’t a plant for small spaces, that’s for sure.
The bob cee is a remarkably fast grower, but as it’s a self-heading variety it doesn’t require a ton of pruning like the philodendron micans does.
I only prune this philo when a leaf is dying, diseased, or infected with pests.
To prune, simply cut back the philodendron’s stems with a sharp pair of shears. Make sure to make your cuts is just above a leaf node (where new leaves will grow).
How to Propagate the Philodendron Bob Cee
You’ll be glad to know that philodendrons are some of the easiest plants to propagate! I’ve even managed to get philodendron cuttings to root in a glass of water.
To propagate philodendron bob cee, simply take a stem cutting of a mature bob cee that includes a healthy offshoot of around 6-8 inches long and place it in a potting mix of equal parts perlite and peat moss.
Water the cutting well and place it in a warm, bright spot out of direct sunlight. I like to put mine under a grow light or near a south-facing window.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy and within a few weeks, you should see new roots beginning to form.
Once the roots are a few inches long, you can transplant the philodendron cutting into a pot of its own.
Pests and Diseases – Common Ones to Watch Out For
Philodendrons are relatively tough plants and don’t succumb to pests or diseases very easily. However, they can still fall victim to the occasional infestation or fungal infection.
Some of the most common philodendron pests are mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. These can all be treated with a mixture of water and dish soap sprayed directly on the affected leaves.
For more serious infestations, you might need to use an insecticide such as neem oil.
Symptoms include yellowing leaves, wilting, and stunted growth.
If you think your philodendron has a form of root rot, the best course of action is to remove the affected leaves and stems, and repot the plant in fresh potting mix.
Preventing philodendron problems is always easier than treating them, so make sure you’re not over-watering or fertilizing your plants.
Inspect new philodendrons for pests before bringing them home, and quarantine them in a different room if necessary.
Potting this Plant Outdoors? Here’s What You Need to Know
The Bob cee can tolerate US hardiness zones of 9a-11, so the deep south and beyond. It doesn’t take well to cold temperatures so should be brought indoors when the temperature begins to drop in Autumn.
If you live in an area with clay soil, you can improve drainage by adding sand or perlite to the soil.
You’ll also want to monitor your soil’s pH (which isn’t something we tend to do with indoor plants), making sure it stays within the 5.6 to 7.5 range. Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.
FAQ – Philodendron Bob Cee Care Questions
Does the philodendron bob cee climb?
Yes! Given a moss pole or cedar stake, this philodendron will climb.
Philodendron Bob Cee vs Philodendron Jungle Boogie – What’s the Difference?
The philodendron bob cee and philodendron jungle boogie look remarkably similar, though they are different plants. The only real difference you might notice is your jungle boogie produces more compact leaves that are tightly bound together.
Why Does My Philodendron Have Pale Leaves?
There are a few reasons why your philodendron’s leaves might be pale. It could be due to too much sun, insufficient nutrients (mainly magnesium), or pests.
If the leaves have become pale with green veins, it’s likely due to too much direct sunlight. Move your plant to a spot with indirect light and check if new growth is appearing normal again.
Why Does my Philodendron Have Yellow Leaves?
Yellow philodendron leaves can indicate a nutrient deficiency (again usually magnesium), too much direct sunlight, or pests.
If the philodendron is receiving too much direct sunlight, the leaves will develop yellow patches. Move it to a spot with indirect light and see if new growth appears normal again.
Too little magnesium in the soil can also cause philodendron leaves to turn yellow. You can solve this by fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer or adding Epsom salt to the soil (1 tablespoon per gallon of water).
Pests can also cause philodendron leaves to turn yellow. Check for signs of pests such as aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, and spider mites. If you find any, treat them with a mixture of water and dish soap sprayed directly on the affected leaves.
Does philodendron bob cee like to be pot-bound?
Sort of. On the whole, philodendrons prefer to have their roots slightly restricted so they don’t need to be repotted too often. Repotting every 1-2 years is usually sufficient.
How fast does philodendron bob cee grow?
Philodendron bob cees can grow quite quickly. They can add several inches of growth per month during the growing season. Growth will slow down as the plant matures, but it will still put out new leaves and stems regularly.