A Philodendron Golden Crocodile is a plant native to the Tropical Forest of South America and is often used as a decorative plant in homes and offices. The plant is a type of Philodendron known for its golden-colored leaves. It is a member of the Araceae family and is closely related to the Philodendron Brasil.
The plant gets its common name from its leaf shape, similar to that of a crocodile. The plant needs bright light and plenty of water to thrive. It is not particularly difficult to care for, but periodic deadheading may be necessary to keep the plants looking their best. One important thing to keep in mind when caring for Philodendron Golden Crocodile is to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other problems
Did you know that the Philodendron golden crocodile is commercially available from nurseries specializing in tropical rainforest plants?
What is a Philodendron Golden Crocodile?
According to Sari, U. F. (2010), Philodendron Golden Crocodile is a vigorous grower, a large, well-branched Philodendron that produces golden flowers in late summer.
This plant can grow up to 2 meters in height and is typically found growing in moist areas near waterfalls or streams. The pot is squat, and the leaves are broad and glossy.
The stem of the Philodendron golden crocodile is typically encircled by a ring of bumps that serve as protective coverings for the stem and leaves. The flowers are large, bell-shaped, and gold in color, arranged in clusters on long stems that grow up to 2 meters tall. They are a bright yellow color and are pollinated by bees.
The leaves of the plant are broad and flat and are covered with a dense layer of rough hairs. They have a golden-yellow color. The plant’s fruit is a spherical capsule containing several tiny seeds.
The Philodendron Golden Crocodile is used in traditional medicine in South America to treat problems such as arthritis and fever. It is also used as an ornamental plant.
The origin and classification of the Philodendron Golden Crocodile
The Philodendron Golden Crocodile originates from South America. It is a hybrid of Philodendron pinnatifidum and Philodendron melinonii. Carl Linnaeus first described it in 1824, and its epithet comes from the Latin word Crocidulus, meaning ‘little crocodile.’
This plant is classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List. The plant belongs to the kingdom Plantae, Family Araceae, and Genus Philodendron.
Features of Philodendron Golden Crocodile
The features of this plant are numerous. They are complete plants with typical characteristics, including stems, leaves, roots, flowers, and fruits. Other scientific features are included as follows.
1. Stems and leaves
The trunk is typically cylindrical, with smooth skin that ranges in color from a light brown to a deep golden hue (Lewis, C. A. 1996). The leaves of the Philodendron golden crocodile are golden, and they are covered in small, dense scales.
The leaves are also slightly serrated on the edges. The philodendron golden crocodile has large, broad leaves up to 18 inches long and 10 inches wide.
The flowers of the Philodendron golden crocodile plant are typically yellow and orange with a green center. It is a cluster of small, brightly colored flowers that resemble miniature chrysanthemums.
The plant mainly undergoes flowering during the late summer months, preparing it for winter. The plants also produce large amounts of flowers, making them popular among gardeners and flower enthusiasts.
The plant is dormant during the winter months. Their leaves turn their color to brown and fall off the plant to allow it to survive the cold weather of winter. The plant grows newly at the beginning of spring, and it flowers during the late summer.
The philodendron golden crocodile plant is toxic to animals and man. The component calcium oxalates are insoluble, and when the plant is ingested, it causes itching in the digestive tract. However, if this happens, call your local poison doctor or rush to a nearby hospital. Failure to do this leads to death or other poisoning-related side effects.
The maintenance of the Philodendron golden crocodile is easy, as they do not require much water or fertilizer. The plants are also tolerant of a wide range of climates and can be grown indoors in most cases.
Philodendron golden crocodile is a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor plants, as they are easy to care for and look beautiful in any setting.
Basic care of Philodendron Golden Crocodile
The plant does not require much care, which is why many people prefer it. Proper watering, fertilization, and light exposure are the primary care requirements for this plant.
When grown in a well-lighted area, Philodendron Golden Crocodile can produce colorful flowers that attract pollinators. The following are essential care taken when handling the plant;
Regular watering of the plant is crucial. The plant should be watered whenever the top layer of the soil is dry. Overwatering results to root rot, while underwatering leads to wilting of the plant and finally death. However, during winter, watering is gradually reduced but not completely.
The plant grows well in relatively high humidity. However, 50 percent relative humidity is required when the plant is kept at home. When your home is dry or under dry conditions, the plant is kept in a humidifier or stone trays to maintain the moisture.
Philodendron golden crocodile does not require direct light. It may also grow in low lights supplemented by artificial lights. Direct light scorches the leaves of the plant, while low lights lead to stunting of the plant. Artificial light is also recommended for users who live in dark rooms.
The fertilizer used for this plant should be a balanced one. It should contain both nitrogen and potassium. This fertilizer should be applied every two weeks.
During the cold season, fertilizing is gradually reduced for one month. The application of too much fertilizer can scorch the roots.
The plant requires acidic soils. The best soil is well-drained loam soil. The average pH of the soil should be 7.0. sand is added to the soil that is not well-drained. To correct the alkaline soil, peat moss is added to it.
6. Grooming and pruning
Pruning and grooming the plant makes it look good and attractive. Yellow and brown leaves should be trimmed off whenever they occur. Pruning also allows light penetration and good aeration of the plant. Additionally, cutting back the stems is required to maintain the shape and size of the plant.
Philodendron Golden crocodile is repotted every two years. A pot one size larger than the existing one is used during repotting. However, do not over pot since this causes plants to be root bound. Watering gradually is done after repotting.
How to propagate Philodendron Golden Crocodile
Propagation is the process of growing new plants from seeds, cuttings, root sections, or stem tissue. With Philodendron golden crocodile plant, propagation is done by stem cuttings following the below steps;
- Choose a healthy plant.
To choose a healthy plant, Inspect the plant for any physical damage. Check the leaves for yellowing or wilting. Look for signs of parasites and diseases, such as brown patches on the leaves, stunted growth, or wilting flowers. Check for dried-out roots.
Take a leaf sample and test it for thrips or white flies. Check the plant for any signs of pests or diseases that could damage it, such as aphids, borers, or slugs. All these checkups will help you know a healthy plant.
- Cut a six-inch-long stem.
To cut the stem for the propagation of the Philodendron golden crocodile, use a sharp knife to cut about 1″ above the soil line. Make sure the stem is clean and free of any pests or diseases.
- Remove the lower leaves from the stem.
The lower leaves of the stem are trimmed. These may have touched the soil and may carry soil-borne microorganisms. They are also trimmed to allow the growth of a new root system.
- Put the lower part of the stem into the rooting hormone
The rooting hormone stimulates the growth of new roots. The stem grows and roots in about one week. The rooting hormone is mixed with water for easy absorption.
- Plant the stem in a pot with moist soil
The moist soil in a pot helps maintain the plant’s humidity. New plants may emerge in the pot, or roots start to grow, transforming the stem into a whole new plant.
- Transfer the pot to a warm place with no direct light
Keeping the pot in warm places prevents drying off of the soil. However, as discussed earlier, direct sunlight scorches leaves and the pot should be kept off it.
Common problems in caring for Philodendron Golden Crocodile
Philodendron Golden Crocodile, just like other plants, is susceptible to many agricultural problems. the problems may be both pests and diseases, and the following are the commonly encountered ones;
Some pests can affect Philodendrons, including mealybugs, aphids, scale, and whiteflies. These pests can cause leaf yellowing, stunted growth, and loss of flowers.
You can treat these pests with various pesticides but be sure to read the product labels and follow all instructions carefully. If you notice any damage or problems with your Philodendron, it is best to contact a professional grower or plant specialist for help.
2. Stem Rot Disease
This disease is caused by too much water in the soil, which results from overwatering. The symptoms of the disease include stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and wilting. The only solution is to allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
3. Root Rot Disease
Root rot is often caused by moisture and soil problems, so it’s essential to keep your philodendron golden crocodile plant healthy by maintaining good drainage and keeping the soil moist but not wet. You can also aerate the soil occasionally to help improve airflow and reduce moisture accumulation.
4. Leaf Rot Disease
The disease is caused by very little light. The symptoms of this disease are brown spots or yellow spots on leaves. Sometimes the spots turn black, and the leaves drop off. To counter the problem, transfer the pot to a slightly brighter or warmer place but not direct light.
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In conclusion, the Philodendron golden crocodile is a highly attractive houseplant that can grow quite large. It is easy to care for and has a long flowering period. Overall, this is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an attractive and easy-to-care-for plant that can decorate their homes.
The plant can be purchased on Amazon and Etsy with varying market prices. However, to get the most affordable price, visit both market places.
Check the links below;
Check the price on Amazon
Check price on Etsy
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make my Philodendron golden crocodile grow faster?
There is no certain way to make a philodendron golden crocodile grow faster. However, you can provide the plant with the ideal growing conditions to encourage growth. These include bright, indirect light; well-drained soil; and ample water.
You can also fertilize your Philodendron with a plant food designed explicitly for philodendrons. Finally, be sure to prune your plant regularly to keep it manageable and promote healthy growth.
What is the best fertilizer for philodendron golden crocodile?
The best fertilizer for philodendron golden crocodile is a balanced nitrogen fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10. Apply the fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
Avoid fertilizers with high nitrogen levels, as these can cause foliage and flowers to become brown and brittle. Philodendrons are susceptible to fungal diseases, so adding a fungicide to the fertilizer is also recommended.
How much water does a philodendron golden crocodile need?
A philodendron golden crocodile needs about 1 to 2 inches of water per week. However, they will need more water during the summer months. It is essential to ensure the soil is always moist but not wet. Over-watering can cause root rot.
If the Philodendron receives too much water, it may be tipped over or have leaves that are wilted and brown. Check the soil moisture level at least once a week and make necessary adjustments as needed.
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