Variegated Giganteum

Variegated Giganteum Plant, Grow & Care Guide 2022

Are you searching for an ideal plant to fill the space in your garden, home, or office? The Variegated Giganteum has become one of the go-to garden plants, and it is not hard to see why.

Its massive yet attractive elephant ear-shaped leaves and ability to adapt to any environment, not forgetting low maintenance, are desirable for any plant enthusiast.

Ready to know more? This post will get you all the information, from its requirements for optimal growth, care tips, and much more. 

What is Variegated Giganteum

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Variegated Giganteum is commonly referred to as Philodendron Giganteum or the giant Philo. This perennial plant has green, heart-shaped, and splashy leaves that decorate any landscape.

Still, it isn’t unusual for the leaves’ color to vary, showing different markings and patterns. So, as you can imagine, it’s a unique and beautiful addition to any plant collection. 

Like all flowering plants in the family Araceae, Variegated Giganteum thrives well in tropical environments with sufficient humidity and heat. Also, they can flourish near swamps, riverbanks, and areas with high altitudes.

Moreover, Philodendron Giganteum is a thermogenic plant capable of raising its temperature above the surrounding air – a relatively rare phenomenon among flora. Another fun fact about this plant is that it emits a sweet odor vital for freshening the air naturally. 

As mentioned earlier, the giant Philo is famous for its massive leaves. On top of that, it has a remarkable climbing effort. The key to ensuring this plant thrives in your home is providing a tropical environment, including moisture, humidity, and heat. Let’s learn more.  

Origin and Classification

Variegated Giganteum is a climbing aroid that has its origins in the Caribbean and South America. Heinrich Wilhelm Schott was the first botanist to describe the plant in 1856. It’s a plant in the genus Philodendron, the second-largest member of the family Araceae. 

Philodendron Giganteum flourishes under high humidity and bright indirect light, hence its origin and natural habitat in the tropical rainforests of South America and the Caribbean. 

Features of Variegated Giganteum

The Philodendron Giganteum is a massive plant and one of the largest in the genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae. Besides the size as its distinctive feature, Variegated Giganteum has splashy Variegata patterns on their leaves, which also happen to decorate any surrounding. 

What’s better, it’s a low-maintenance plant that sprouts promptly, fascinating you with its beauty and fragrance. Here is an extensive overview of the features of Philodendron Giganteum: 

1. Height and Outspread

With optimal maintenance and protection, Variegated Giganteum is a fast-growing plant with leaves that can reach an incredible size of 190cm by 96 cm. In the wild, leaves can grow up to 4 feet in length and 3 feet in width.

The giant Philo can grow up to 5 feet as an indoor plant. Far-fetched as it seems, this plant grows rapidly so that it’s possible to see the leaves increase in size daily.  

2. Flowers and Leaves

Lustrous, rich green fanning leaves are the most notable feature of the Variegated Giganteum. These heart-shaped leaves are a deep green with bright green to creamy white mottling. Like most Philodendrons, the leaves of the giant Philo are borne alternately on the stem. 

In most cases, it’s highly impossible to see the flowers of the giant Philo. This is because the plant only produces flowers during the reproduction period. As such, most indoor Variegated Giganteum lack flowers since their natural growth is somehow stunted.

On the other hand, their peers in the wild produce flowers characterized by robust, smooth, and somewhat cylindrical or terete flattened petioles. 

3. Tolerance and Resistance

Although the giant Philo requires clear indirect light for its healthy development, it can bear low conditions. However, for optimality, it’s best to place your plant in a part of the room that receives 70-85% of indirect sunlight a day.

Insufficient light slows the impeccable growth rate and makes the leaves lose their rich green color. Most importantly, remember not to expose this plant to the full sun; else, you risk burning its beautiful foliage. 

4. Toxicity

The giant Philo has the typical toxicity of most Philodendrons. It’s harmful to humans and pets if ingested. This is because it contains Calcium oxalate, the toxic chemical in all Philodendrons. 

Also, it’s best to wear gloves when handling this plant since it can cause skin irritation. Well, Variegated Giganteum isn’t a life-threatening plant. Still, manage it with care, and importantly, always seek medical attention in case your pet or loved one accidentally ingests it. 

5. Maintenance 

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A top attractive feature of the Philodendron Giganteum is its low maintenance effort. Keeping fauna moist, especially during winter, can be pretty challenging. The good news is that Variegated Giganteum requires minimal watering, once weekly during spring or summer and after ten days for the cold season. 

A practical and efficient hack to determine a good time to water your indoor giant Philo is feeling the topsoil if it’s moist. If so, don’t water the plant; wait until two inches of topsoil is dry. 

Replicating the Variegated Giganteum natural habitat is the best practice to ensure its health. Here is a detailed guideline on its care properties. 

Basic Care of Variegated Giganteum

Although the giant Philo is a low-maintenance species, there are some basic care routines for optimal growth and health of the plant. For a starting point, sufficient humidity, heat clear and not direct light are essential for the plant to thrive. Still, there is more: 

1. Soil and Potting

Using a large container will help grow this plant. Clay or terracotta pots are favorable since they are robust and can manage this giant fauna. Also, ensure the jar contains a drainage hole to allow excess water to run out. 

It’s best to replant your Variegated Giganteum ( as you will learn in the propagating section of this post ) after two or three years to ensure sufficient space for your plant to thrive. Similarly, watch out when the top leaves are bulky and the roots fill the pot. 

The giant Philo thrives well in rich, well-aerated, and draining soil mix. Moreover, soils high in organic matter and sphagnum peat moss ensure your plant is healthy. Alternatively, invest in a succulent or cacti mix, and add peat moss or perlite as a solid base. 

2. Light and Watering

As mentioned above, optimal watering is paramount for this plant to thrive. Excess water is at risk of root rot disease, while little water increases its chances of drying up.

Therefore, it’s essential to find a balanced watering schedule. A general rule of thumb is to insert a finger in the container, and if the top two inches of the soil are not moist, water the plant. 

Unfortunately, the light requirement of the giant Philo can be pretty complicated. This fauna requires 70-85% of indirect sunlight. Remember its initial habitat in the tropics, under the canopy of towering tropical trees.

As a result, it requires limited access to direct sunlight and a surplus of cool shade. Replicate this low filtered lighting needs, and your plant will be striking. 

Direct sunlight scorches its enormous leaves. Indoor gardening also might make the Philodendron shed some intensity in its foliage and inhibit its growth. Therefore consider moving it nearer a light source or use fluorescent lights. The latter is especially useful for individuals living in cold regions or during the winter. 

3. Temperature and Humidity

The ideal growth condition for Variegated Giganteum is similar to the warmth experienced near the equator or in the tropics. A temperature range of 55 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit ( 13- 27 degrees Celsius. The Philodendron Giganteum is a plant that thrives in 60% or higher high humidity. 

4. Fertilizer

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Being a gigantic plant, the Variegated Giganteum consumes nutrients fast from the soil, requiring frequent fertilization. Feed the giant Philo with a standard houseplant fertilizer twice a month during its growing season.

Also, liquid plant feed is a perfect alternative for Philodendrons since they offer fast nutrients to cater to their rapid metabolism. It’s best to halt feeding this plant with fertilizer during the winter and instead opt for moisture management. 

Ideally, organic fertilizers are perfect for the giant Philo. Mature compost and worm castings are slow releasing and safe for the plant. Also, they provide enough support for the plant throughout the growing season. 

Propagating Variegated Giganteum

Propagating the giant Philo is quite an easy task. Still, considering it’s a climber plant, it might be complex, especially for first-timers. Not to worry, here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to efficiently handle the process:

  • First, water the plant until you ensure the aerial roots are flexible. 
  • Find a pot with drainage holes and fill it with a few tile pieces of coarse gravel at the bottom. Next, add layers of bark or coconut shells and a mixture of perlite and substrate. 
  • Then, just under the nodes, remove the top of the stem at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Place the stem cutting in a cool and shady place for three hours to dry. Also, consider dipping the stem cutting in hormone powder to enhance root development. 
  • Then immerse the stem cutting in the new pot while bending aerial roots to keep them inside the container. 
  • Finally, fill the pot with substrate and water it occasionally. Remember to place the plant in a warm, bright, and shaded area. 

Easy-peasy right? Remember to propagate your plant during the growing months. 

Common Problems in Caring For Variegated Giganteum

Indoor plants enhance the overall appearance of space; notably, they are morale boosters, stress relievers, and eliminate air pollutants. Nevertheless, proper care can be overwhelming for some individuals. 

The good news is that the giant Philo is a low-maintenance plant and, better, has a low risk of pest and disease infestation. However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect to care for this plant. Also, be wary of the following prevalent issues that may attack Philodendron Giganteum: 

1. Pale Color Leaves

Pale color foliage might be an indication that the plant lacks sufficient lighting. Please place it in bright, indirect light or use artificial lighting. 

2. Brown / Yellow Leaves

Brown or dry leaves indicate that you are underwatering the plant. On the other hand, yellow leaves might be a sign that you are overwatering. Therefore, it’s vital to water the giant Philo adequately by referring to the two-inch finger in the pot rule. 

3. Tan Patches on the Leaves

Irregular tan patches on the leaves could signify bacterial infection, Erwinia blight, or Pseudomonas leaf spot. Also, the plant will release a putrid smell. In such a scenario, isolate the plant and trim the affected leaves. Additionally, minimize watering and maintain the foliage dry. 

4. Other Pests and Disease

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Although pests and diseases are rare when caring for Variegated Giganteum, it’s not uncommon for aphids, scales, mealybugs, Fungus Gnats, moths, shore flies, and white flies to pop up. An effective control measure to curb this is to apply neem oil and insecticidal soap once every month.

Still, a severe infestation might require extensive treatment using chemicals. Always consult a plant pathologist in such scenarios. 

See a similar post: Dark Lord Plant

Final Thoughts on Variegated Giganteum

The giant Philo is an excellent choice for plant enthusiasts and first-time plant owners. The lustrous rich green heart-shaped leaves and remarkable climbing effort ensure your space gets filled in no time.

Add to it the fact that it’s an easy-to-maintain plant, and there is no doubt you will lavish getting the best out of Philodendron Giganteum. Always remember to replicate their natural habitat; high humidity, bright indirect light, and a balanced watering schedule. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Variegated Giganteum Grow From Seeds? 

Yes, the giant Philo can develop from seeds. However, this is a practice best suited for experienced nursery growers instead of indoor gardeners since the plant needs to bloom, and seeds have a limited lifespan unless properly processed and vacuum-packed. 

Is Philodendron Giganteum Rare? 

No. You can purchase the giant Philo in most nurseries worldwide or online shopping. Still, it can be pretty challenging to acquire some variegated versions of the Philodendron Giganteum. 

What’s The Best Soil pH for The Giant Philo? 

Variegated Giganteum thrives under a pH of roughly 5.5 to 6.5, which is neutral to acidic. Always check your soil with a simple online pH test to get the facts right about your soil’s pH.

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