As the plant care trend continues to grow rapidly, more plant owners are discovering the joy of keeping philodendrons.
With over 450 types – some climbers and some not, with varying leaf patterns, shapes, colours and sizes – it’s no surprise some hobbyists have become a bit… obsessed. And why not? Even the rarest types of philodendrons are a breeze to maintain!
Take the Philodendron Sodiroi for instance. It requires all the same care as other Philo varieties, despite being one of the most sought after, rare, and expensive.
Sounds worth the investment to me, but I may or may not be one of the “obsessed hobbyists” I mentioned.
Philodendron Sodiroi Origin and Overview
Also well-known as the Sodiroi Ornatum Silver, the Philodendron Sodiroi is a stunning climbing variety with a unique leaf shape and colour.
It can be identified by its large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves that are covered in silver, shimmery patches.
The amount of silver varies throughout the plant, with a sheen so unique it will certainly stand out in any plant collection – if you can find one. Not only is the P.Sodiroi a rarity it’s one pricey plant, so be prepared.
If you don’t have space in your house or your pocket for this larger variety, you can also look for its more compact sibling.
The Sodirini or Sodiroi “mini” was cultivated by Bill Rotolante using radiation on the Philodendron Sodiroi and introduced around 2015. It has much smaller leaves, a more diluted colour, and is essentially a Philodendron Sodiroi with Peterpan Syndrome – it never grows up.
Like most other philodendrons, the Philodendron Sodiroi is from the Araceae family and is native to South America, specifically French Guiana.
They thrive best in warm, humid conditions that replicate their natural tropical climate but are very hearty and adaptable. Philodendrons are known to adapt well to drier, cooler conditions, making them great indoor houseplants that are easy to care for.
Philodendron Sodiroi Care
Although the Sodiroi Ornatum Silver is very resilient, it’s still a living plant that needs to be properly cared for to thrive. Luckily, this plant is not very demanding at all, as with most Philo varieties.
With careful attention to proper lighting, soil, fertilization, and watering this rarity is sure to flourish and sprout many gorgeous silver leaves.
The Best Soil Mix
If you’re a plant owner looking to invest in a Sodiroi Ornatum Silver, you might as well invest in a high-quality well-draining soil mixture too.
These Philo’s have ariel roots that prefer a soil that is not too heavy or compact, letting air and water circulate well.
Most garden centres or greenhouses carry a specially formulated aroid mix that contains all the best components for philodendrons.
Another option is to mix your own substrate by using a few different materials. Although Philo’s like to have room to breathe, they also need nutrient-dense soil that can retain some moisture.
To create your own soil mix, simply mix equal parts of 2-3 of the materials listed below with quality potting soil.
Combine 2-3 of the following with your potting soil;
- Peat moss
- Orchid bark
- Coarse sand
Philodendrons grow at the base of large trees in the rainforest and use their aerial roots to climb their trunks in seek of light. Sheltered by the large canopy of leaves, the floor-dwelling plants became accustomed to diluted light and shadier conditions.
To experience strong, healthy growth from your Philodendron Sodiroi, provide them with bright, indirect sunlight, like in their natural habitat.
Find a spot near a window that receives plenty of natural sunlight. Be selective – not enough light and your plants’ growth may be stunted, but too much direct light can scorch their leaves.
If you notice signs that your plant is getting too much sun, such as crispy brown leaves, move it farther from the window, or look for a spot with less light.
A philodendron that doesn’t get enough light may experience a slowed growth rate or be a victim of overwatering. It can be a fine line, but your Philodendron Sodiroi will flourish once you find a sweet spot with plenty of indirect light.
Knowing When to Water
A philodendrons biggest weakness is overwatering, which tends to be a common issue experienced by new Philo owners.
To avoid overwatering and potential root rot, check the soils moisture before watering your Sodiroi, or any philodendron variety for that matter.
Using your finger, toothpick, support dowel or another piece of wood, simply stick it in the soil 1-2 inches deep.
These plants are known to be low maintenance where water is concerned. Don’t worry about watering your Philo until the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry. It’s also important to ensure the water has a place to run off so the roots are never left in standing water. T
o help with this, make sure all your philodendrons’ pots have drainage holes in the bottom and a tray beneath to catch excess water.
Feeding your plants on a proper schedule is crucial to growing strong, thriving plants all year round. Just like with water, less is more when it comes to fertilizing your Philodendron Sodiroi.
Feed your plants 3-4 times per growing season, Spring through Summer, with diluted liquid fertilizer. You should average every 6 weeks or so, more often than that and you could cause more harm than good.
Excessive fertilization can result in a salt build up in the plants’ soil, which increases its pH. Philodendrons thrive at a neutral pH between 4.5-6, which is why you must be cautious when applying fertilizer.
Make sure to read the directions of the fertilizer product you choose, to ensure it’s appropriate for indoor potted plants and that you’re diluting it enough.
This is where caring for philodendrons becomes a little more care-free. Although they’re a bit picky where light, water, and fertilizer are concerned, there’s little room for error with temperature and humidity.
So long as you keep your home’s temperature between 65-80°F (18-27°C) your Sodiroi Ornatum Silver will be plenty happy.
To avoid stunted growth or cold damage during the winter months, be sure the temperature doesn’t get below 60°F (16°C).
Philodendrons can sometimes experience shock from sudden temperature changes as well, so don’t place them near your A/C, heating vents, or drafty windows.
Even though the tropical habitat of a philodendron is quite warm and humid, they’re known for thriving in less than natural conditions.
The ideal humidity level for any Philo is around 80%, however, they’ll grow just fine between 40-60% humidity – provided the rest of their needs are met.
To measure the humidity in your home, purchase a hygrometer at any hardware store, garden centre, or pet store.
To increase the humidity near your plant, try one of the following methods.
- Move your plants to a more humid space, like your laundry room.
- Keep your plants grouped together to increase transpiration and evaporation.
- Place a humidity tray under your plants, using rocks to keep the pot out of water.
- Purchase and install a humidifier in the room you keep tropical plants.
What You Can Expect
The Philodendron Sodiroi is a climbing variety that naturally uses trees as anchors for their strong aerial roots. To get the most out of your plant, make sure it has strong support such as a moss-wrapped totem.
When it reaches full maturity the P.Sodiroi can reach 3-4 feet in height, or even larger in an optimal environment and conditions.
With gorgeous silvery leaves that can get up to 5-8 inches (12-20 cm), this Philo is known to be wider than it is tall! It’s no wonder this philodendron variety is so popular.
Rate of Growth
On average, the Sodiroi can grow anywhere from 1-3 feet during the growing season. Of course, the rate of your plants’ growth directly depends on their conditions overall.
The closer their environment is to their natural habitat, the better your Sodiroi will thrive, and the faster it will grow.
If your plant isn’t producing new leaves when it should, review this care guide to ensure it has everything it needs. Your plant could need more light, fertilizer, or an upgrade to its pot to get it growing fast again.
However, slowed growth is expected during the Autumn and Winter months, so don’t be alarmed if you see fewer new leaves during that time.
Repotting a Philodendron
There’s absolutely no need to rush the repotting of a new philodendron. Philo’s like their roots to have plenty of room and air in their soil, but they are very resilient.
To keep your plant at its healthiest, it’s in your plants best interest to avoid bound roots. Wait until you notice roots creeping from the drainage holes before upgrading to a bigger size though, as a pot that’s too big isn’t good either.
When you see roots escaping from the pot, feel free to upgrade it to a new pot that’s 1-2 inches bigger.
Choosing a pot that’s too big, can result in overwatering, so don’t rush it. Since Philodendron Sodiroi is a fast-growing variety, you’ll likely need to repot it once every 1-2 years, so pay close attention to the condition of its roots.
Philodendrons are low maintenance in terms of pruning as well. Unless you see damage or disease present in your plant, there’s no reason to prune it.
To keep your plant healthy, carefully use a pair of clippers that have been sanitized with alcohol, to remove any damaged, yellowed, or brown crispy leaves.
Of course, you can also clip some leaves from your P.Sodiroi to propagate – which is a great way to start a beautiful collection without breaking the bank!
Check your plant for a healthy stem that has plenty of large leaves. Ideally, you want to leave behind 1-2 healthy leaves on the plant, and have a clipping with at least 3 healthy leaves and a node. The more leaves the better chance both plants will absorb plenty of light to grow strong.
To propagate your Philodendron Sodiroi Ornatum Silver, follow these steps:
- With sharp, sanitized scissors cut a stem with 3 leaves, below a node.
- To reduce stress to your mother plant, water it immediately.
- Here you have 2 choices, you can plant your stem directly into moist, well-draining soil, or you can root the clipping before planting to increase its chance for survival. Root your clipping by placing it in water near a window with indirect sunlight. Change the water often and plant it in soil once the root is 1-2 inches long.
- Keep your clipping in bright, indirect sunlight. You should notice new growth in 2-3 weeks.
Common Problems and Pests
Like with any plant, there can be troublesome pests that like your plants as much as you do. Although philodendrons are known to be pretty resistant to pests, you should always keep an eye out, just in case.
Gnats, spider mites, scale, mealybugs, and whiteflies are the most common problems. Watch out for pests as well as small holes in leaves, yellowing or spotting.
To help prevent pests, keep their leaves free of dust by wiping them with a damp cloth regularly.
Misting or spraying can increase the chances of overwatering your plant, but if you already have an infestation a shower with a little pressure will help clear them away quickly.
You may need to resort to using Castille soap, Neem oil, or a diluted alcohol solution if the problem continues.
Disease and Distress
All plant owners get a little nervous when their plants start changing colour unexpectedly. There could be several issues causing pale coloured leaves, yellowing, or brown curling tips.
Before you start panicking, take a minute to investigate the overall conditions of your P. Sidoroi.
Plants with pale coloured or yellowing leaves are likely experiencing the most common philodendron issue – overwatering. Check the moisture of the soil, if it’s soaking there is a good chance your plant could be experiencing root rot.
Like we mentioned before, Philo’s aren’t picky plants, but they do have certain needs. If the plants’ pot has no drainage, the soil is not well-draining, or your plant is not getting enough sunlight, you will run into some discolouration.
Prevent overwatering and root rot by checking your soil before each watering, and by making sure it has enough indirect light.
If your Sodiroi Ornatum Silver is looking less than lustrous with has browned crispy edges on its leaves, you have the opposite problem – not enough water, or too much sunlight.
Remember to check the moisture of soil often, move your Philo away from the window, or try a new area of the house that is more humid and gets less light during the day.
You can also use plant lights with special growing bulbs along with timers to help regulate the light they receive.
If you keep philodendrons of any variety, always remember to keep them in a safe space away from children and pets.
Nearly all Philo’s contain calcium oxalate, which is a toxic substance that can cause severe reactions. Look out for rashes or any changes to the lips, mouth, or throat and seek medical attention immediately if contact is suspected.
FAQs – Your Care Questions Answered
Q: Philodendron Sodiroi vs Philodendron Mamei – What’s the Difference?
A: At first glance, these two philodendrons may look alike, but they’re quite different. For one, the Sodiroi is a climbing variety, where the Mamei is not. Though, if you’re looking at juvenile plants at the garden centre, that may be hard to tell.
You can also tell by the “petioles”, which are the leaf stems that join a leaf to the main stem of the plant. On a Sodiroi Ornatum Silver, the petioles are reddish in colour and are rough to touch. A Philodendron Mamei has petioles that are green and smooth.
Q: Does the Philodendron Sodiroi climb or crawl?
A: This variety is a vining climber that naturally uses its ariel roots to wrap around trees. Be sure to provide your P.Sodiroi with strong support like a moss totem, so they can reach their full potential.
Q: Where can I buy a Philodendron Sodiroi and what do they cost?
A: This is the hard part. With a little research, you may find some private sellers on Etsy, other plant hobbyist forums, or auctions selling the Sodiroi Ornatum Silver.
The toughest part is making sure you’re purchasing from a reputable source, that’s not going to send you a look-a-like. There are some reputable websites with positive reviews, such as Plant Circle, but they’re often listed as “Out of Stock.”
If you manage to source one, small plants around 5-6 inches (13-15cm) can be around $130 USD (£100) or more. The cost of this variety is so vast, as it depends on the size of the clipping or plant, how far it is being shipped to you, and the reputation of the grower.
This is another great reason to propagate your healthy, thriving P.Sodiroi if you get one! Not only can you share with other hobbyists, but it could also be a fun way to make some extra money.