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Philodendron Brasil: Simple Care and Propagation Steps

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Philodendron Brasil is one of the many beautiful and easy to grow Philodendron varieties out there. The variegated foliage is delightful! Keep reading to learn how you can grow this plant beautifully. Also learn how to keep your Philodendron bushy, and make more plants to keep for yourself or give to friends!

philodendron brasil

Sometimes you’ll see this plant listed as Philodendron Brazil (with a z) instead of Brasil (with an s). It is the exact same plant and they are completely interchangeable.

Before getting into care information, it is also worth mentioning that the care for this plant is absolutely identical to the plain old Heart Leaf Philodendron that has solid green leaves and seems to be everywhere.

PHILODENDRON BRAZIL CARE

LIGHT

Although many Philodendron varieties are labeled as low light plants, you’ll want to give your Philodendron Brazil a little more light since it is variegated.

In many cases, the variegated version of a plant needs more light than the non-variegated version of the same plant. Otherwise you may lose your variegation, which is probably the reason that you obtained this plant in the first place!

Philodendrons in general like bright indirect light. For best results, a little bit of direct sun probably will help your plant look even better.

Just don’t cook your Philodendron Brasil in full sun all day. They are not meant to take excessive amounts of direct sun.

A bright North window would work, as would East windows where they can get a little bit of morning sun.

I keep mine hanging in a warm room in front of an Eastern facing window and it loves it. The newest leaf is even completely variegated!

This could eventually be a problem though so keep reading the entire post to learn about how to manage your plant’s variegation.

Philodendron Brasil

Avoid giving your plant excessive amounts of direct sun. If all you have are very sunny Western or Southern windows (which is a good problem to have!) you may want to either set your plant slightly off to the side or a little further away from the window.

Another option for very sunny windows is to use sheer curtains or blinds to diffuse the sun. Again, depending on where you live, Eastern windows should work well for you (unless you live close to the equator or in areas with strong sun).

Just be observant and see how your plant responds to the conditions that you are providing for it.

TEMPERATURE

In general for many houseplants, if you are comfortable, they will be comfortable! These plants definitely like it on the warmer end. Avoid nighttime temperatures much below 55F (approximately 13C).

This is a good general, safe rule of thumb for most houseplants. Of course there are always exceptions.

WATERING

As far as watering your Philodendron Brasil, I like to use my “standard” approach for most of my houseplants.

Use your finger to judge the dryness of your soil in order to help you determine when to water your plant. This plant hates extremes in moisture.

Never, ever let your Philodendron Brasil completely dry out. I know life happens and it’s hard sometimes, but if you can avoid it, it would be best! If you keep doing this repeatedly, your lower leaves will yellow and turn brown and the plant will get leggy.

On the other end, be sure to provide excellent drainage and never let this plant sit in water otherwise it may rot or stay wet for too long.

If you have your plant in a hanging basket, let me give you a tip for making sure that your hanging baskets are being properly drained.

Check out the bottom of the hanging basket that my plant is growing in below.

Does the bottom of your hanging basket look like this? Many of the pots that are used for hanging baskets will have reservoirs at the bottom of the pot and it’s pretty deep.

Since my Philodendron Brasil is hanging right over a couch, I like to take it to the sink to water it so I don’t get water all over our couch.

I’ll thoroughly soak the pot and allow all the water to drain out. Make sure you water around the entire pot and not just in one area.

Additionally, I will tip the pot over at a 45 or 60 degree angle or so, so the water that collects at the reservoir completely drains away. You may need to give it a minute or two to make sure all the water has gotten a chance to drain away.

If you don’t do this, your plant may be sitting in water for a while and stay wet for too long! This same procedure would apply if you have any kind of saucer that your plant sits in. Discard any excess water.

WATERING METERS?

I’ve noticed a trend lately of people using watering meters, or moisture meters. You simply stick the device in the soil and it tells you the moisture level. If that helps you, by all means do it.

But I honestly would not trust those devices (especially the inexpensive ones).

I don’t trust them for multiple reasons. One, they make plant care too black and white and take your powers of observation away. And if you blindly trust the meter, when something goes wrong, you don’t know why.

Secondly, I just don’t trust the readings that it gives you.

My comments apply to the inexpensive moisture meters. There are good ones out there, but they will be quite expensive and I don’t think it’s necessary at all to use these devices.

Stick with just using your senses. Use your finger to feel the surface of the soil. A good rule of thumb for ANY tropical foliage houseplant is to allow the top inch or two of the soil dry out, and then water thoroughly.

In my opinion, this works much better than any “fancy” gadgets and your finger is free! No need to buy any junky equipment that you can’t rely on.

FERTILIZING

If you follow me closely, you know how I prefer to fertilize my houseplants. Dilutely and with every watering.

An absolutely fantastic fertilizer that I now use for most of my houseplants is Dyna Gro Grow (available in this link from Amazon).

It is a premium fertilizer which offers a complete formulation for your plants. It contains all the necessary macro and micro nutrients and is urea-free.

I simply add 1/4 teaspoon of the fertilizer to a plastic gallon that I reuse. I After adding the fertilizer, I fill it with tap water, and water my plants with it. Don’t eyeball the amount.

Use a measuring spoon and a gallon jug. You can run into trouble if you eye ball things.

I’m achieving wonderful results with Dyna-Gro Grow. You can use any all-purpose fertilizer out there and get good results, but you will have even better results with this fertilizer.

And if you are not fertilizing, then you should start! Nutrients will be depleted very quickly in our indoor pots. Our soil indoors will not be replenished with organic matter like it is in nature, so we have to do nature’s job and provide fertilizer.

It is an important part of your houseplant care routine.

I fertilize all my houseplants from about late winter through the beginning of Autumn, and then I stop fertilizing during the winter months.

HUMIDITY

Philodendrons love higher humidity, but many of them are very tolerant of average indoor conditions, so you don’t have to worry too much.

If you do want to learn about how to increase humidity, check out my humidity blog post and learn good and bad ways to increase humidity. You may be surprised!

POTTING SOIL

Any well draining potting mix will do. Potting mixes really are endless and many different mixtures will work for you, as long as they’re well drained.

I rarely use any potting mixes as-is. I like to take a good all-purpose potting mix, or whatever you have on hand, and add perlite or even orchid bark chunks to make the blend very well draining for your foliage tropical plants.

PROPAGATING PHILODENDRON BRASIL

Propagating this plant is very easy! Simply take cuttings from your vines and place them in water.

Take a look at the illustration below from my plant.

Philodendron Propagation

See where my finger is? You can see to the right of my finger a few roots growing out of what is called a node. The node is where the leaf attaches onto the vine. This is where roots will grow.

Simply take cuttings long enough so that at least one or two nodes are in water. You’ll also want to make sure that your cuttings still have at least one or two leaves on them.

Like in the photo above, the nodes already have roots, so these will start growing in water. Once they are about an inch long or so, you can transfer them to soil.

You can also dip the Philodendron cuttings in rooting hormone and plant them directly in soil as well. This is a perfectly good method too, but I like to see my roots in water so I know it was successful and then transfer to soil.

OTHER TIPS TO GROWING PHILODENDRON BRASIL

Tip #1: Remove any dry or dead leaves when you notice them. A clean plant is a healthy plant.

Tip #2: You can grow this plant as a hanging plant, or as a climber. Many Philodendrons in nature are climbers! So don’t be afraid to experiment and give your plant a post or something to climb on. Your leaves will eventually get larger if you grow them this way.

Tip #3: If your plant has gotten a little sparse and leggy, don’t be afraid to trim the plant back. This will force new growth, and you can then root the cuttings and either make more plants, or plant them back in the original pot to make a fuller plant.

Tip #4: Has your plant started growing either too many all green leaves, or maybe too many all variegated leaves? You’ll need to trim your plant back to remove all the all green or all variegated leaves otherwise you’ll lose the balance.

Your plant will either be overrun by too many green leaves and revert back to the all-green variety. Or if there are too many all-variegated leaves, those leaves won’t survive too long.

You’ll want a balance for a healthy plant. Be sure to read more details on this topic below.

I interviewed the gentlemen that run Steve’s Leaves, a fantastic tropical plant nursery based in Texas, and they taught me how to manage variegated plants.

Read my blog post and scroll down to the “Managing Variegated Plant Growth” Section to see what they have to say! It was a very eye-opening and interesting interview and definitely learned a lot so don’t miss it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Do you grow Philodendron Brasil?

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:

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Charlotte

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

Hey, I love this article so much! Do you have a link to a hanging pot with a saucer attached? I see them everywhere but I cant find one online. Thank you so much.

Raffaele

Sunday 26th of July 2020

Hi Charlotte! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. The pot was the one it came with so I didn't actually purchase that separately.

May

Thursday 11th of June 2020

Great article, thank you. My Brasil is going the other way! There’s more and more yellow. Should that be a concern? How do I encourage some more green back in?

Raffaele

Thursday 11th of June 2020

Glad you enjoyed the article! What you can do is start at the tip of the vine and continue down until you find a leaf with acceptable variegation (or more of a balance) and then snip it right there to remove the end part of your vine that has too much variegation. When it grows back, it should help encourage a more balanced variegation! Did that make sense?

Marie

Thursday 21st of May 2020

Amazing information! Very well written. Thanks for the help

Raffaele

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Thanks Marie! I'm glad you enjoyed the post :-)

Marla

Thursday 23rd of April 2020

You may be aware of this but it was quite some time before I figured it out myself. The bottom of those pots will twist off so you can empty it easier or if you prefer to bottom water. They're my favorite pots due to this.

Raffaele

Friday 24th of April 2020

Good to know Maria! I never tried to twist them off! :-)

Gwen

Friday 28th of February 2020

how big of a pot do I need to keep my Brasil in? I'd like to keep it relatively small in a 4-6" pot.

Raffaele

Saturday 29th of February 2020

Hi Gwen, it just depends on the size of the root system. Eventually you'll have to either repot your plant into a larger pot, or root prune and trim your plant in order to keep it in the same size pot.