Looking for Philodendron Mayoi care tips? Learn about this gorgeous variety, including how to identify a Mayoi, what kind of light it needs, if it can climb, and more.
How to care for the lovely Philodendron Mayoi
Philodendrons are fan favorites because with just a little bit of love, they grow fast and look gorgeous! The Philodendron Mayoi is no exception—it is arguably one of the easiest to take care of.
Their unique leaves and low maintenance care requirements put them in very high demand, which means it might be hard to get your hands on one. But if you can grab one, they are tropical plants that will reward you endlessly with lovely leaves year round.
Where is the Philodendron Mayoi from?
This tropical plant hails from the rainforests of Brazil. It was recently identified by and named P. Mayoi in honor of Dr. Simon Mayo, an aroid botanist who dedicated his career to Brazilian Philodendrons.
Philodendron Mayoi grows abundantly along rivers and streams in Brazilian rainforests, particularly the Distrito Federal. As a hemi-epiphyte, it can grow as a vine atop trees and other plants or sprout roots in the soil.
How do I identify a Philodendron Mayoi?
At first glance, you might have a hard time identifying an immature Philodendron Mayoi. However, the mature plants are pretty easy to identify.
The leaves don’t grow very large, typically 8 or so inches long, and have a delicate curve and great shape. The leaf surface is dark green, and the underside veins and stems are crimson red.
Their pinnatifid leaves look like miniature palm fronds, meaning they have lobes that extend deep into the leaf—almost to the center of the leaves. Very neat looking and dramatic leaves that remind me somewhat of the Philodendron Selloum—though those leaves can get VERY large (see pic below).
Is Philodendron Mayoi rare?
Philodendron Mayoi is somewhat hard to get your hands on. I’ve never seen it in a local nursery, but that doesn’t mean you won’t. It’s starting to pop up here and there as the plant grows more popular.
The large grower Costa Farms has also been playing around with growing the plant and has sold a limited supply. They look very large and lovely, but I haven’t seen them in person.
How much light does a Philodendron Mayoi need?
Like nearly all Philodendrons, bright, indirect sunlight is the best lighting condition for healthy new growth. These plants need around 6 hours of daily sunshine, but not at the height of day.
Brown, brittle leaves are a sign of sun damage. As are white scorching patches that eventually fade into brown. If you’re able to, placing your Mayoi near a very bright window with a curtain or shade would be your best option.
Definitely don’t skimp on the light or else you’ll notice slow growth and leggy stems! You also may want to rotate this plant every few weeks to ensure it grows evenly and not to one side.
This plant loves to climb, so the light source will determine the direction it grows in. One way to avoid a tall, tangly vine is to make it a hanging plant instead. You can also train it up a moss pole to help encourage a certain growth direction.
How often does Mayoi need to be watered?
Less is more when it comes to watering the Philodendron Mayoi. I wasn’t kidding when I said these plants were low-maintenance! You only have to water this guy once every 7-10 days, if that.
You should only water deeply once the top several inches have dried out. If you don’t wait until the top portion of the soil dries out before watering, it’ll leave the soil soggy and possibly lead to root rot.
Make sure your planter or container has proper drainage holes beforehand. Keep an eye out for yellowing leaves as well. If they are accompanied by wet soil, they are a tell-tale sign of overwatering.
In the winter when temperatures drop and days are shorter, you’ll likely need to water this plant less. That’s why it’s important to check the soil’s moisture before watering instead of sticking to an arbitrary timeline.
What is the best soil?
The key to success with hemi-epiphytic plants like the Mayoi is well-aerated soil. Their roots aren’t equipped for dense, thick soils. Instead, soils should be fast-draining and allow for oxygen to pass through.
High-quality potting soil mixed with bark, peat, or even perlite will help retain just enough water and nutrients to grow healthily. Adjusting the perlite content will also adjust the amount of moisture retention.
You can play around with the mix as necessary, but for the most part a good potting soil mixed with some bark will do the job. Read more about soil amendments in my houseplant soil 101 post.
Temperature & humidity
The rainforests of Brazil are very warm and muggy, which fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, isn’t what our living rooms are like. The ideal temperature range is 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is around room temperature.
If you’re growing your Mayoi indoors (which I recommend for most growing zones in the U.S.) then you won’t have to worry about spikes in temperatures. Just keep it away from drafty windows and heater vents since this could easily dry out their pretty leaves.
This plant is also not cold or frost hardy. If you have it outdoors for the spring and summer, make sure to bring it in once temperatures are dropping consistently into the low 50s at night.
As far as humidity goes, the more, the better. But again, this is hard to achieve indoors. We’re talking optimal humidity levels of 60-80%. As with other houseplants that need lots of humidity, you can use a humidifier, a pebble tray with water, and frequent misting throughout the week.
Low humidity levels (below 50%) will affect the growth rate and appearance so keep that in mind when purchasing. Avoid using tap water to mist because it could cause mineral buildup and spotting on the beautiful leaves.
Philodendron Mayoi propagation
Once you own a Philodendron Mayoi, you’ll probably want to venture down the propagation road. Thankfully Philodendron propagation is straightforward and easily done using stem cuttings.
Find a stem with healthy leaves and cut directly beneath a node with clean scissors. This node is where new aerial roots will sprout from. Place the cutting a few inches deep in a container with fresh, damp soil.
Now that the hard part is done, move the new Mayoi to a warm place that gets indirect light. Keep the soil moist, and increase the humidity as much as possible for it. Like I said, the Mayoi grows fast so you should see new growth and rooting take place in less than a month!