Philodendron Quercifolium – #1 King Care Guide

With massive, unusually shaped leaves, Philodendron Quercifolium stands out among houseplants and other Philodendrons. If you are blessed enough to have this rare houseplant in your collection, we are here to help you be the best plant parent.

Philodendron Quercifolium care is relatively easy; the most challenging part is actually finding one of these magnificent plants in the first place!

Also commonly known as an Oak Leaf Philodendron, this is a climbing, vining variety of Philodendron. As it matures and climbs, the leaves become wider, longer, and more impressive. This is one plant that definitely gets better with age!

The individual leaves are huge, emerald green, multi-lobed, and usually deeply cut. However, the deepness of the lobes varies significantly depending on the age of the leaves and the overall maturity of the plant.

The average Philodendron Quercifolium leaf is 1-foot long and 8-inches across at its widest point. The leaf blades are narrowly segmented, not uniform, and look very much like they belong in a tropical rain forest.

The segmentation gets narrower while the plant matures, giving the appearance of long, arching fingers. The leaves extend from the thick vines on long, thin, upright stems, enhancing the foliage’s overall magnificence. This Philodendron is a fast grower, quick climber, and extraordinarily ornate.

Philodendron Quercifolium Origins & History

This species of Philodendron is native to tropical South America, including Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, and Suriname. The original species is Philodendron Pedatum, and Philodendron Quercifolium is a cultivar of this original. At least, this is what most sources agree upon.

Some nurseries list Quercifolium as a synonym of Pedatum, meaning it is the same plant with a variance in leaf growth. The first scientific descriptions of Philodendron Pedatum appeared in 1841.

Philodendron Quercifolium Care – From Basics to Advanced

Light

Like most Philodendrons, Philodendron Quercifolium thrives on lots of bright, indirect, or filtered sunlight. Quercifolium is accustomed to light being partially blocked by taller, denser growth as a tropical understory plant. It does well in partial shade, although it won’t grow as vigorously if sunlight is lacking.

In the wild, Quercifolium uses its vining nature to climb trees and take in more sunlight. This is one of the reasons each leaf can vary so significantly in shape and size; the ones closer to light grow larger with a more pronounced form, while those in the shade don’t.

The best light for your Philodendron Quercifolium is in an east or west-facing window with the plant placed a little away from the source, so it doesn’t receive any direct sun on its leaves. A light or sheer curtain also helps a lot to filter the direct sun.

The leaves will burn if the plant is placed in direct sunlight. It is better to err on the side of too little light as opposed to too much. An east or west-facing window provides excellent early morning sunlight and evening sun while avoiding the heat of the midday sun.

Soil & Mixture

Use an organic, rich, well-draining potting soil mix for your Philodendron Quercifolium. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite is perfect, as this provides plenty of aeration and allows water to flow easily. Don’t skimp on soil quality. This is the primary nutrient source for your Quercifolium; make sure it is the best. A monstera or philodendron specific potting soil provides all the essentials and is an excellent high-quality choice.

Water

All Philodendrons are susceptible to overwatering, and Philodendron Quercifolium is no different. Only add water when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry. And, always check the soil before watering. If this Philodendron is overwatered, the leaves will turn yellow and the roots may root, which will, in turn, kill the plant.

How to Properly Water Your Plant

Water your Quercifolium at the base of the plant. Don’t water from above as wet leaves encourage fungal growth and diseases. If you have a saucer underneath the pot, be careful not to let water sit in it since that causes the roots to get soggy. Instead, place the plant in a sink or bathtub and thoroughly water it there. Add water until it runs out the drainage holes, then let it sit for half an hour to allow any excess to drain out fully.

Temperature

This tropical plant doesn’t like cold; the ideal temperature is between 60-88F and definitely shouldn’t be lower than that when the plant is actively growing. During the winter months, when Quercifolium is dormant, it is okay if the temperature drops to 50F, but it should never be colder than that.

Humidity

The optimal humidity range is between 60-80%. This is a struggle to upkeep in many homes, and you may find you need to supplement the humidity to keep your Philodendron happy.

How to Increase Humidity in Your Home Naturally

A simple DIY method for increasing humidity is to create a humidity tray. Line a metal baking sheet with small stones and pebbles. Put the Quercifolium pot on top of the rocks, and then fill the tray with water. Refill the water as it evaporates so there is always some in the tray. If you’ve got lots of houseplants that need a high humidity level, you may want to invest in a humidifier.

Fertilizer

During the growing season, apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month. Don’t add more than this because it is possible to overfertilize plants. Once a month is sufficient to provide the necessary nutrients and micronutrients for optimal growth.

Use a fertilizer with an NPK rating of 10-10-10; the numbers indicate nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels. These are the essential elements of plant growth. Mix the fertilizer at half the recommended dose at the beginning to see how the plant responds. Usually, this is plenty for a Philodendron Quercifolium. You can always increase it later if you want, but it is impossible to remove if too much is added!

Always use a high-quality fertilizer as many cheap fertilizers contain excess salts, which may damage the roots.

Growth Rate – What to Expect

Philodendron Quercifolium is a fast grower, especially when provided with enough light. If it is located in a low-light area, it will grow much slower.

A large vining plant, Philodendron Quercifolium easily reaches 8-10 feet long at full maturity. Give it a bamboo rod or pole to climb, and it will be a happy houseplant!

How To Propagate Philodendron Quercifolium

You may find your plant-loving friends pleading with you to propagate this rare gem. Thankfully, it’s not difficult to do. And, who knows, you may make a ton of new friends once you start propagating it. Or, you can keep them to yourself and turn your home into a tropical wonderland with this spectacular houseplant.

Propagating From Stem Cuttings

  1. Examine the plant closely and choose a healthy stem to cut.
  2. Using clean, sharp, disinfected (so as not to transmit disease) shears and cut a 6-inch piece off.
  3. Fill a jar halfway with water and place the stem in it.
  4. Put the jar in a warm location where it will receive indirect sunlight.
  5. Change the water every week.
  6. In 2-3 weeks, roots will begin growing.
  7. When the roots reach 2-inches, transfer the baby Quercifolium to a pot with potting soil.

Repotting

Plan on repotting your Philodendron Quercifolium every spring. Repotting replenishes the soil nutrients (a significant source of your plants’ food) and gives the plant space to grow. Since this Philodendron is a fast grower, it is essential to make sure it has adequate space to stretch out.

If you’re unsure whether your plant needs to be repotted, check the bottom of the pot to see if the roots are emerging out the drainage holes. This is the sign of a root-bound plant and a desperate cry from the plant for a bigger growing space.

Do I Need To Prune My Philodendron Quercifolium?

No, this houseplant doesn’t need pruning. However, you should regularly remove dying or dead leaves (this happens naturally) to keep it healthy.

Plant Toxicity

Sadly, all Philodendrons are toxic to people and pets.

Common Pests, Diseases & Issues

Philodendron Quercifolium doesn’t suffer much from pests or disease, and usually, you can rectify any problems with slight adjustments in temperature, light, or watering.

Why are the leaves turning yellow?

A plant with yellow leaves is getting too much water or being exposed to direct sunlight. Revisit the watering schedule, and don’t forget to always check the dryness of the soil before watering.

Why are the leaf edges turning brown?

Your Philodendron isn’t getting enough humidity, and the leaves are drying out. Set up a humidity tray to rectify this problem.

Pests & Diseases

Mealybugs, Aphids, Spider Mites

These troublemakers damage the leaves and may completely defoliate your Quercifolium if left untreated. Use a solution of 1-liter water mixed with 1 teaspoon dish soap and spray it on the leaves. Continue the treatment until the pests are gone.

Root Rot

Root rot happens when plants get too much water or are left to sit in soggy soil for an extended period of time. At first, it slows down plant growth, but eventually, it will kill your plant. Compacted soil or overwatering can cause root rot. It’s best to repot the plant with fresher, aerated soil, and be sure only to add water when the top 2-3-inches of soil are dry.

Erwinia Leaf Spot

This is a bacterial blight that causes brown or black spots on the leaves. There is no treatment. Remove any infected leaves and keep your plant away from other houseplants to prevent the blight from spreading.

FAQS – Your Common Questions Answered

Are Philodendron Quercifolium rare?

Yes, this Philodendron is very difficult to acquire. It’s prized for its unique and dazzling beauty which many avid collectors are willing to pay a pretty penny for. Cultivators just can’t keep this beauty in stock long enough.

Where can I find a Quercifolium?

There aren’t many folks or nurseries propagating this plant, and those that do, sell out extremely quickly. Etsy is one of the best resources for snagging a rare plant specimen such as this one. If this plant is on your wishlist, I recommend adding yourself to a reputable seller’s waiting list now.

How much do they cost on average?

This is a pricey one! Due to their rarity, the cost ranges from $99-$300.

Philodendron Quercifolium vs. Philodendron Pedatum vs. Oak Leaf Philodendron – What’s the Difference?

This is a little complicated. Basically, they’re all the same plant. Still, there is some disagreement about whether Philodendron Quercifolium is a cultivar of Philodendron Pedatum or whether it is a synonym for precisely the same plant, and some just grow differently. Oak Leaf is a common name applied to both Philodendrons.

Philodendron Quercifolium vs. Philodendron Glad Hands – What’s the Difference?

Glad Hands is another common name for Philodendron Pedatum, which may or may not be the exact same plant as Philodendron Quercifolium (see above explanation).

Should I mist my Philodendron Quercifolium?

A lot of Philodendron care guides recommend misting, and the real answer is; it depends. Overmisting can cause bacterial and fungal infections, especially if there isn’t adequate airflow in the room. Most homes have relatively stagnant air, which means water will just sit on the leaves.

Does the Philodendron Quercifolium climb?

Yes, and vigorously! It can reach upwards of 10-feet long. Give it a trellis, bamboo pole, or structure to spread out, and you won’t be disappointed.

photo of Charlotte Bailey founder of Oh So Garden

Author

Charlotte Bailey

Charlotte is a Qualified Royal Horticultural Society Horticulturist, plant conservationist, and founder of Oh So Garden. Armed with a background in Plant Science (BSc Hons, MSc) and 5 years of hands-on experience in the field, her in-depth guides are read by over 100,000 people every month.

For her work, she's been awarded the title of Yale Young Global Scholar, and been featured as a garden and houseplant expert across major networks and national publications such as Homes and Garden, Best Life, Gardeningetc, Today.com, BHG, Real Homes, and Country Living. You can find her on Linkedin.

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