The Philodendron melanochrysum, sometimes known as black-gold philodendron, is a lovely tropical plant. It is by far the best Philodendron species and is regarded as one of the most effective climbing plants. It’s known as the best conservatory climbing foliage. They’re an uncommon variety of vining philodendron that’s grown in popularity as a houseplant thanks to their lovely foliage.
“Melanochrysum” is Greek for “black gold.” The leaves have a crystalline sheen that looks like gold flecks. When the plants are younger Plants with copper-red leaves grow into magnificent plants as they get older. The velvety blackish-green blades with sharply contrasted yellow veins produce an eye-catching show. The foliage is heart-shaped and can grow up to 24 inches long.
- Scientific Name: Philodendron melanochrysum
- Common Names: Black-gold philodendron or melano plant
- Origin: South America in the provinces of Antioquia and Choco
- Indoor or Outdoor Plant: Mostly indoors
- Height and Structure: 8 feet wide and 12 feet tall for outdoor plants and 1-2 feet wide and 3-5 feet tall for indoor plants
- Temperature: It thrives between 70°F (21°C) and 80°F (27°C)
- Flower Color: White, green
Philodendron Melanochrysums are easy to plant and take care of, just like other plants of similar species such as Philodendrons and Monsteras. Below are all the requirements needed to grow and take care of your plants successfully.
The best time to plant Philodendrons Melanochrysums is during spring. It is because they are tropical plants that need warmth, and they love sunlight to grow well and thrive. Once they have grown and established their roots in the warmer months of spring and summer, they need to be taken into the house outdoors.
When put indoors, they adapt to the conditions inside and readjust to continue growing and thriving. They will do this without wilting or any other adverse effect.
The vines on the Philodendron Melanochrysums grow pretty long, and the plant itself will grow very fast. You will need enough space to ensure that the plant has enough room to grow and flourish. If the vines grow too much for the available space, the best thing to do is take some vines from the plant.
However, do not remove more than a third of the plant’s vines from the root. When you remove a third of the vines, it gives room for the remaining plant to grow and remain blanched, so the plant is not too heavy at the top part.
Ensure that the plant is in a large enough pot to allow healthy growth. With plenty of space, the roots will have space to grow. With limited space, the roots bind together, so they will not grow as fast and as large as it has the potential to.
Philodendron melanochrysum are house plants that love sunlight but when they are in a shaded area. The best light conditions for the plant to thrive are indirect bright light or sunlight filtered through shades, or it sits in an area in the shade but where there is bright sunlight.
Direct sunlight is too harsh for Philodendron Melanochrysum as it can burn the leaves and become yellow. However, if it does not get enough sunlight, it will not grow. In the winter months or indoors, it ensures that the plant is exposed to light. You can use grow lights, but even standard LED light bulbs are sufficient to ensure that the plant grows.
Philodendron melanochrysum plants need soil that has good drainage. This kind of soil will help the roots remain healthy as they will not be waterlogged, which can cause root rot and control the fungus in the soil that helps keep the roots and the plant healthy. The best soil mixture for Philodendron melanochrysum needs soil that is bulky but drains well.
Some recommended mixtures include 60% forest ocean soil, 20% pumice, 20% orchid bark or 40% coco coir, 20% orchid bark, 15% perlite, 10% activated charcoal, 10% worm castings, and 5% pumice. The thing to look out for is to use a soil mixture that allows air, is woody, and drains well.
The woody and bulky nature of these soil will enable the roots to attach to these lumps of soil to get the support that the plants need. Peat moss is another great option to include in the soil mixture.
Philodendron melanochrysum can grow up to 20 feet annually. If the plant is indoors, it will grow between three to five feet tall annually. It can grow up to 20 feet high outdoors, while the leaves can average 2 feet long. Because the plant grows tall and long, it will need plenty of space to grow to its full potential.
Staking is great for Philodendron melanochrysum because the plant climbs naturally. When it climbs, the leaves can grow as large as they possibly can. Staking can be done in different ways that include using wire loops and plant cages. For Philodendron melanochrysum, moss poles are the best.
To do it, you can put a moss pole in the pot with the plant, and with time, the aerial roots of the plant will attach to the moss on the pole, and the plant will start climbing. Ensure that the pole is moist so that the moss does not dry out before the plant roots have a chance to attach to the pole. You can also tie the plant to the stake.
The best type of ties to use is nylon strips or special plant ties. These will not cut into the plant and ensure you do not tie the plant too tightly to the stake. It is important to note that the best time to place a stake in the pot is when the plant is young and needs support. Older plants that begin staking when mature may have root damage.
Philodendron melanochrysum requires just enough water to hydrate the plant, but it is important not to use too much water. The best time to water the plant is when the top two inches of the soil are dry. Check by putting your finger down to the knuckles and if the soil is dry, water the plant.
Be careful not to put too much water as overwatering can cause root rot. Root rot happens because the water prevents the roots from getting enough oxygen and begins to die. The best water to use should be between 5.5 pH and 6 pH.
The best kind of fertilizer for Philodendron melanochrysum is one with plenty of nitrogen. The growing stage during the spring and summer months is to use a liquid fertilizer because if the plant is fertilized when the soil is dry, the roots can get damaged, which will cause the plant to have stunted growth.
The best way to fertilize is to water the soil, wait a few days, and add fertilizer. The best time to fertilize is in the warmer months rather than cold months. Use little fertilizer at least six inches from the bottom of the pot and use a slow-releasing fertilizer to release nutrients over time.
Philodendron melanochrysum needs plenty of humidity, and ideal conditions are when the plant has at least over sixty percent humidity. The higher the humidity percentage, the better for the plant. Humidity helps the leaves unfurl without breaking off partly or ripping because the humid air creates a smoother surface for the leaves to unfurl.
The velvet surface of the leaves causes them to get stuck, and humidity helps the unfurling process to be smoother. You can increase humidity by misting the leaves with a spray bottle. When the leaves get dry, spritz them again.
Mulching is best done while the plant is waiting for replanting. The mulch helps to keep the soil moist enough for the plant, and the plant remains upright. It also provides stability for the plant during this time.
The Philodendron melanochrysum does not need much pruning and trimming. The time to prune the plant is when you see the plants are diseased, infested with pests, and damaged because they will spread the disease or damage. Use a clean pair of pruning scissors or shears.
A Philodendron melanochrysum should be potted in a big pot to allow the plant to grow as it should. Re-potting, on the other hand, is based on how fast the plant grows. It is best to report Philodendron melanochrysum every year because this is the time it experiences the most exponential growth.
However, you should re-pot the plant if it grows too much for the pot that it is in. If the plant is re-potted in good time, the roots can bind together, causing a slowdown in growth. To re-pot, use a container that is bigger than the one the plant is currently in, but it should not be too much larger such that the plant seems to be lost in it, which can affect the plant’s growth.
To re-pot, take some new soil with the necessary nutrients and some soil from the previous pot. This combination is the best option for the healthy growth of the re-potted plant. If you would like to control the plant’s growth rate, you can leave the plant in the old pot but remove most of the old soil and put it in new soil. It is best to re-pot in spring and water the plant adequately afterward. If the roots are bound together, do not untangle them.
Philodendron melanochrysum can be propagated in various ways. The first one is stem cutting. To do this, use pruning scissors and prune a stem cutting from the mother plant. Cut above the leaf node, a piece of about three inches. The piece you cut should have some leaves. Leave the mother plant in a warm area after cutting the piece so that it can heal. Five to seven days are sufficient.
Fill the pot for the cutting with appropriate soil and watered sufficiently. When the stem cutting has calluses, you can plant it in the pot, make a small hole in the soil and place the cutting inside. Tie it to a straw to help support it to grow upright. Place the pot in a lit, warm area.
The other method is to use air layering. In this method, cut the stem of the mother plant. The cut should be two inches deep and long enough. Put a toothpick in the cut and ensure it holds the cut open. Take some peat moss and rub it around the cut, then tie the moss with a string.
Wrap the cut with plastic wrap tightly to keep the peat moss in place in the cut. Let the roots form in the moss, a process that will take a couple of weeks. When the roots have grown long enough, cut the stem of the new plant from the mother plant around the peat moss. Then remove the plastic wrapping from the stem, cut, and plant the new plant in a pot with soil rich in nutrients and well-watered.
To ensure the cuttings are ready for transplanting, they should have at least two or three leaves. If you cut them too soon, the plant may not be able to survive on its own in the new pot.
The best time to divide and transplant a Philodendron melanochrysum is during early spring because the roots will recover from the divisions and grow well in their new transplanted place. During spring, the weather is warmer, making it easier for the plant to grow. During winter, the roots take longer to recover and grow.
To prepare the plant for the process of dividing and transplanting, water the plant one week before dividing so that the root ball is adequately watered. Ensure that the water goes through the whole root by watering it until the water goes through the pot’s drainage holes.
To divide it, remove the plant from the pot gently without tearing the roots from the pot’s side of the soil. If the plant is in the ground, dig about ten inches around the plant to ensure there is no root damage.
Divide the roots by checking for natural divisions along with the root ball and crown. Use a sharp, clean knife along the natural divisions to cut the root ball into two. Replant the two plants in different pots with new soil with nutrients and well-watered.
Use smaller pots and preferably sterilized to prevent any bacteria or fungus from moving with the plants to the new pots. Place the pots in indirect light but bright and warm enough. Fertilize both plants after a month.
Philodendron melanochrysum does not suffer from too many diseases and pests’ attacks, but it is likely to be infested by spider mites. They are small spiders, red or brown, found in clusters. The plant is also attacked by scale, which feeds on the plant sap and is small and white.
Aphids and mealybugs may also attack the plant as they feed on the sap. Neem oil deals with all these pests as it destroys the body covering of these pests.
- Philodendron Scandens Micans- this is a purple-leaved plant with a unique design.
- Philodendron Angustisectum has leaves that look like fingers and, with space, grow to become very large.
- Philodendron Selloum- the leaves are different from the other philodendrons.
- Philodendron cordatum- this plant has large shin leaves that grow into massive lengths.
Good neighbours to Philodendron melanochrysum are also known as companion plants with similar light, nutrition, and water needs. Some good options for philodendrons are plants such as Schefflera, peace lilies which thrive with average light, plenty of humidity, and water so that cand can grow well together in one pot.
Philodendron melanochrysum is toxic for small children. It can cause side effects such as stomach problems, vomiting, and mouth puffiness if it is eaten. The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals which cause adverse reactions.
Yes, it can cause some mild adverse reactions such as irritability of the mouth and vomiting.
The Philodendron melanochrysum plant is a beautiful plant that does not require excess care. Once you get the hang of it, it is pleasurable to see the leaves grow and the plant thrive to its magnificent size and beauty. Good care will go a long way to ensure your plant grows well.