Philodendron Billietiae, or the mottled philodendron, is a beautiful houseplant that can grow up to 5 feet in height. It is easy to care for and has no serious pest problems! This blog post will teach you how to take care of your mottled philodendron, so it stays healthy and grows well.
- Scientific name: Philodendron Billietiae
- Common name: Sweetheart plant, Heartleaf philodendron
- Family: Araceae (arum family)
- Origin: Southeast and Central Africa and Madagascar
- Flower color: White to greenish-white
- Outdoor or indoor plant: Perennial houseplant
- Height and Structure: This plant can grow up to 5 feet tall and wide! In the wild, it is a vine that climbs by twining its long aerial roots around trees. It has smooth large ovate leaves that are mottled tan on one side and dark green with white spots on the other.
- Foliage: The color of this philodendron is very striking because of the dark green and light spots. The leaves are bluish-green on top with greyish undersides. The blades are arranged oppositely along the stalk that can be up to 2 inches wide.
- Temperature: Prefers average summer temperatures of 70-80 degrees F and winter temperatures of 60-65 degrees F.
Philodendron Billietiae will grow well throughout the year because it is a tropical plant. However, the best results come from planting this plant after it has stopped growing in summer or early fall.
Allow one plant per pot. Do not overcrowd the pot.
You should plant this philodendron at the same depth it was in the previous container. That means you will need to remove some of the soil before planting (consider mixing compost or other organic fertilizer into your potting mix).
Philodendron Billietiae will do well in partial to full shade. It does not require much direct sun to grow, but it will not like very dark spaces. Protect the plant from direct sunlight, or it will become stressed.
Keep this plant away from cool drafts because they can cause your plant to become too cold, which is bad for the leaves. This philodendron will grow well in any room of your house or apartment as long as it gets enough sunlight and does not get too much direct sun.
This is a very adaptable plant, so that you can use a wide range of soil types. It prefers rich, light soil that is well-drained and slightly acidic. You have likely seen this plant growing in the forest, so it is tolerant of damp conditions.
Soils rich in organic matter are ideal for houseplants, so use a good quality potting soil that is light and well-drained.
Philodendron Billietiae grows as a vine that climbs by twining around tree branches in its natural habitat. This philodendron can climb up a trellis or other structure if it is given something to latch onto. Therefore, it does not need to be pot bound.
Because the stems are thin, your mottled philodendron will need some support. You can grow it on a trellis or other piece of furniture without you having to tie the plant up with string, but it is recommended that you stake this plant for extra stability.
Staking also helps to keep the plant from falling over. You can use a stake that is about 10″ longer than your plant’s height.
Because Philodendron Billietiae likes humid conditions, you should only water it from the top. That means do not put this philodendron in a saucer or tray of water.
Instead, water this plant by pouring water directly onto the soil or using a spray bottle to mist the leaves. Water this philodendron once a week and make sure that it drains well after watering it.
You can use lukewarm or room temperature water unless your house is very cold, in which case you should only use cold water.
You can allow the plant to dry out before watering it again, but make sure that you do not let it dry out completely or for too long because this will cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall off.
Philodendron Billietiae has no preference when it comes to soil pH.
For vibrant and lush leaves, you will need to fertilize your plant regularly.
Use a balanced houseplant fertilizer at half the normal strength every week or every other week during the growing season, which is from early spring to fall. You can also use compost as mulch around your plant’s container as a source of nutrients and trace elements.
Fertilizer should be applied after every 4-6 weeks during the growing season, and avoid using it during winter when it does not grow much.
You can also feed your plant compost tea when it is in the growing season. Use a natural, non-chemical compost tea. This will provide your plant with much-needed nutrients that are essential for growth.
You should re-pot this philodendron every two years if you see roots coming out of the bottom of the drainage holes.
If you do not, the roots will eventually grow over and cover up those drainage holes, preventing your plant from getting enough water. This is bad for the plant’s health.
Always use good quality potting soil when re-potting houseplants. You can also use a good quality cacti soil mix with some orchid bark mixed in.
This philodendron does best when there is high humidity in the air. Therefore, indoor plants are recommended because they can help to increase the humidity in your home or office.
You can also use a humidifier to keep the humidity levels up during dry months when it is essential for this houseplant’s health and growth.
Mulching is an essential practice for this philodendron.
Place a layer of about an inch of compost or mulch around the root zone. This will help keep the soil moist during dry months, and it will also provide your plant with nutrients that are essential for its health.
Mulching also helps control weeds, and it will also be a source of organic matter for the compost pile.
It is essential to divide Philodendron Billietiae plants once every two years.
If you keep your plant in the same container for too long, it will begin to lose its vigor and produce smaller leaves.
To divide this particular philodendron, wait until after the spring growing season so that the plant has plenty of time to rest before you start dividing it.
Then, remove the plant from its container and use a sharp knife or shears to cut off all but one of the stems. You can choose which stem is best suited for leaving in the container when you divide your plant.
Divide your philodendron into sections that each have some roots and some of the mother stem. Then, place each section into a small pot with freshly-moistened soil.
You can propagate Philodendron Billietiae by division or stem cuttings.
To take stem cuttings, simply remove a shoot from the mother plant in spring or early summer when they are shooting out new growth tender shoots with some leaves. Make sure your stem cutting has at least 2-3 leaves and a short stem section with no leaves on it.
Place the cutting into a good-quality potting soil that has been perused with compost and place it in a warm location where it will receive indirect sunlight. Keep the cutting moist until new growth is seen – usually within 1-2 weeks. When they are ready, your cuttings can be moved into direct sunlight and fertilized regularly.
To propagate your Philodendron Billietiae by division, divide your plant between the spring or early summer when they are most actively growing. Simply make a clean cut with a sharp knife and pot up each section of the plant. Be sure to keep them moist until new growth begins – usually within 1-2 weeks.
Philodendron Billietiae does not produce seeds for propagation very often, so you will probably have to buy seeds.
You can choose to germinate your philodendron’s seeds indoors or outdoors. If you choose to germinate the seeds indoors, you will have to wait until at least 2 ½ months of cold weather before they will germinate.
If you wish to start them outdoors instead, they can be started anytime during the growing season as long as it is around 2 ½ months before the first frost. Be sure to place them in a warm location for best results.
For indoor germination, soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours and then sow them at a depth of about ¼ inch into moistened seed starting mix or a good-quality potting soil that has been perused with compost. Place them in a warm location and keep them moist. Once the seedlings begin to emerge, move them into indirect sunlight and maintain good soil moisture levels so that they can continue growing without any interruption.
Indoor germinated philodendron seeds will be ready to transplant outdoors once they are about 8 inches tall – usually after 2-3 months.
For outdoor germination, plant the seeds in well-prepared soil about ¼ inch deep. Keep them moist and maintain good soil levels for best results.
They should be ready to transplant outdoors once they are at least 6 inches tall – usually after 2-3 months.
Philodendron Billietiae is not prone to any serious pests or diseases. If you follow proper cultural practices, these plants should be able to grow well for many years.
Minor problems can include aphids, mealybugs and leaf spot fungus.
You can control the population of these pests by simply wiping them off with a damp cloth and applying an insecticide if needed.
You can treat leaf spot fungus by wiping the foliage with neem oil or kelp extract.
Fungicides like captan and copper-based products can be applied as well, but you should always read and follow all label instructions before using any pesticide product.
Apart from that, these plants should not require any additional care or treatment that is not mentioned above.
They include Tree Philodendron, Devil’s Ivy, Philodendron erubescens, Swiss Cheese Plant, Philodendron scandens, Prayer Plant, Philodendron selloum, Philodendron hastatum, Philodendron gloriosum, Philodendron rugosum, Philodendron cordatum, Philodendron grazielae, Philodendron domesticum, Philodendrum verrucosum, Philodendrum melanochry, Philodendrum brandtianum, Philodendrum plowmanii, Philodendrum tripartitum, Philodendrum maximum, and Fiddle-leaf fig.
Philodendron Billietiae is commonly grown as a companion to other plants. They also make beautiful additions to tropical foliage plant displays or collections.
They are commonly used in cages or containers with Bamboo Palms, Dracaena Lemon Lime, English Ivy, Dwarf Banana, Dwarf Orchid tree, Schefflera Arboricola, Wandering Jew, and other attractive foliage.
Philodendron Billietiae can also be trained to grow over a fence, wall, trellis, or column.
In warmer climates, these plants make excellent outdoor container or landscape specimens in shady areas with well-drained soil. They should only be grown indoors in areas with cooler temperatures.
If you live in zones 8 or higher, they can be grown outdoors all year long. If you live in zones 6, 5, 4, 3 or 2, the philodendrons should be brought inside during the winter season.
Philodendron Billietiae contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause skin irritation and pose a health risk if swallowed or ingested.
Pets, children, and adults should avoid consuming these plants. And it is not advisable to use them as indoor houseplants around young children.
Philodendron has been used as traditional medicine. It is supposed to be an anti-hypertensive, anti-convulsant, diuretic, digestive aid, antidepressant and analgesic. But it can also cause nausea and vomiting.
Therefore, you should never use it without consulting your doctor or health care provider first.
Philodendron Billietiae can cause mild to moderate symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested by animals. In some cases, it may also result in more severe symptoms like tremors, increased heart rate or other cardiac problems, breathing difficulty or even seizures.
So, if your cat or dog accidentally chews on a philodendron plant, it may be best to take the animal to the vet immediately to be on the safe side.
But if your pet ingests soil that contains pieces of philodendrons or its roots, there should not be any problems at all.
Philodendron plants are actually among some of the safest plants you can have around your pets at home. But you should always be observant and take action if necessary to ensure that everything is fine with them.
Philodendron Billietiae – commonly known as Heartleaf Philodendron – is a very popular and well-loved houseplant, both for its ease of growing and good looks.
It is very easy to propagate with cuttings and can be grown indoors in bright filtered light or outdoors in shady locations. It is not prone to serious pests or diseases but may experience problems with aphids, mealybugs and leaf spot fungus.
If you keep an eye out for these things and take proper measures to control them when needed, then your Heartleaf Philodendron will grow well for many years.