Philodendron Fuzzy Petiole is a fast-growing climbing plant with gorgeous ribbed green leaves. Learn how to keep it happy as a houseplant with this guide!
How do you take care of a Fuzzy Petiole Philodendron?
Philodendron Fuzzy Petiole plants are famous for their fuzzy petioles—who would’ve thought 🙂 If you’re new to plant terminology, petioles are the part of the plant that attaches leaves to the stem.
These unique plants grow petioles that are fuzzy and actually change over time. As the plant matures, the petioles become red and velvety, contrasted beautifully by their deep green foliage. This is very similar to a plant I’ve written about before, Philodendron Squamiferum.
The Fuzzy Petiole is a somewhat rare philodendron in that it isn’t being mass produced (at least as of writing this), but recently plant lovers have taken a liking to it, and for good reason! I have seen it popping up left and right this year at local nurseries and specialty plant shops for decent prices.
Pro tips for Philodendron Fuzzy Petiole care
- The Fuzzy Petiole is a climbing plant, so you can shape it upward into a vine by using climbing poles or a trellis, and its leaves will actually grow bigger!
- Yellowing leaves are often a sign your plant is getting either too much water or light.
- Brown spots on the leaves are often a sign your plant is NOT getting enough water or light.
- As the plant grows, you might notice the leaves closest to the stem (the oldest leaves) turn yellow. This is normal, and you can remove those to encourage more growth.
- Fuzzy Petioles are easy to care for and perfect for beginners!
Philodendron fuzzy petiole origins
This tropical plant is native to the rainforests of Central America, specifically Ecuador. It can be found there growing like wild on the forest floor up trees and branches. This climbing species thrives off of humidity, dappled sunlight, and warm temperatures.
There are hundreds of philodendron species, which can make them hard to differentiate from one another. One plant the Fuzzy Petiole might get mistaken for is the Philodendron Nangaritense.
They appear very similar, but Fuzzy Petiole’s leaves are smaller and more heart-shaped instead of oblong—Fuzzy Petiole’s leaves remind me of Philodendron Gloriosum. They are both low maintenance tropical plants that make a lovely addition to any room.
How much sun does a Philodendron Fuzzy Petiole need?
Like most tropical plants, the Fuzzy Petiole prefers bright indirect light for 6-12 hours out of the day. The amount of light a Philodendron gets can really affect the growth and shape of their leaves, and this variety is no exception.
If it gets fewer than 6 hours of light daily, the leaves will not grow as large and the vines will become leggy and scraggly in search of more light. However, too much direct light can cause leaf-burn.
I’ve found that an east-facing window has the best lighting. This all might sound tricky, but don’t worry, once you find the right spot for your Fuzzy Petiole you can set it and forget it!
When it comes to watering, Philodendrons live life right on the edge of moist, but not soggy. How to water the Fuzzy Petiole depends on the season and the placement. During the growing season (spring and summer) you need to water more often.
Water the soil deeply once every 7-10 days and let the water drain out through the bottom of the pot. You should wait until the top few inches of soil is completely dry before watering again.
During the winter you can reduce the frequency. Plants that get more light and heat will require more water than those in low-light, and light and temperature naturally drops in the fall and winter. Take caution to not overwater since it’s prone to root rot.
What is the best soil for a Philodendron Fuzzy Petiole?
Lucky for you, Fuzzy Petioles aren’t picky about their soil. Just make sure that the soil you use is well-draining and nutrient rich, which most pre-mixed soils for indoor plants/house plants are.
If you want to go the extra mile, organic matter like coco coir is a nice and more sustainable alternative to peat moss, and it can help mimic the rainforest floor they are native to. To improve drainage and aeration of store bought soils, add perlite.
Other than that, just keep an eye out when watering for clumping and how quickly (or slowly) water drains. And speaking of—make sure to plant in a pot with a drainage hole so the extra water can flow out.
How big does a Philodendron Fuzzy Petiole get?
From what I could find online, the Philodendron Fuzzy Petiole can top out at a couple feet tall when grown in a pot as a houseplant. But remember to give it something to climb if you want the plant to mature.
Does philodendron fuzzy petiole climb?
Yes! As mentioned earlier in the post, giving your Fuzzy Petiole something to climb will help it grow best. I got my plant when it was pretty young, and it was already flopped over. It definitely needed something to climb.
I added a tall skinny moss pole to the pot by just sticking it down into the soil. Then I used a little zip tie that came with it to tie the plant up to the pole at one point. As it grows, I’ll use vinyl plant tape to continue tying it up the pole.
Temperature & humidity
And speaking of things you can do to help your Fuzzy Petiole grow and mature, let’s talk about temperature and humidity needs. These plants need warmth to grow their lovely heart-shaped leaves.
Their optimal temperature range is 65-85℉, which means it should do great in the average household temperature, especially near a bright window. If you choose to grow this philodendron outdoors, make sure to bring it in during the winter and cold nights since it has little to no frost tolerance.
As with any plant, if it’s kept in warmer temperatures just remember you will need to water more often. Continue to monitor the soil moisture levels if temperatures are changing, as watering needs will change, too.
Average household humidity should be more than enough for the Fuzzy Petiole. However, if you want it to grow faster, you’ll have to crank up the humidity above 60%. You can artificially enhance the humidity by placing it near other plants, in a greenhouse-like environment like a glass cabinet, or near a humidifier.
How to propagate this plant
There really isn’t much to propagating philodendrons. It’s a very straightforward and simple process, especially for climbing philodendrons like this one. Why? Because the growth points are very well exposed.
The Philodendron Fuzzy Petiole propagates best via stem cutting. During the growing season, clip a stem that has a few healthy leaves. Remove them at one end of the stem cutting since these growth points/nodes are important for rooting later on.
Dip those nodes in rooting hormone and prepare fresh soil in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. Place your newbies in indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist. If you feel resistance from lightly tugging the plant, then rooting has begun.
You can expect rooting in only 3-4 weeks. Once rooting has happened, you can care for this plant as you would normally. You could also root the cutting in water before transitioning to soil if you’d like to monitor the root development.