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Philodendron melanochrysum is a rare type of philodendron with a vining habit and a set of velvety dark-green foliage. The leaves can grow up to 24 inches long and have a distinctly yellow to green venation. Such attributes make the Melano plant a highly covetable green ornament – ideal for houses and gardens.
|Black Gold Philodendron, Melanochrysum Plant, Melano Philodendron
|Partial to moderate sunlight
|Water if the top 2-3 inches of the soil is already dry to the touch
|70 to 80°F (21-27°C)
|USDA Hardiness zones 9a to 11b
|Well-draining, high in OM
|5.5 to 6.0 (acidic)
|A balanced feed during the growing season
|When the plant becomes root bound
|Beginning of the growing season
|Toxic to humans and pets
|Can grow up to about 18 feet in height
|Rare; Early summer
What’s Unique About Philodendron melanochrysum?
When you have a Philodendron melanochrysum plant, you can’t be blamed if you want to display them proudly. This is because, the Melano plant features a beautiful set of dark-green crystalline foliage with a yellow venation that runs through its leaves, which also have some gold specks that are randomly distributed on the surface.
Interestingly, the Philodendron melanochrysum plants are native to Colombia but are widely distributed in Costa Rica, Peru, and the tropics of Ecuador. Owing to the look of the plant, the “melanochrysum” actually means ‘black gold’.
With their unique look and pattern, they are an ideal houseplant that can add texture and vibrance to any room and utterly dull spaces.
Philodendron melanochrysum Care
The Philodendron melanochrysum plant care involves the use of a rich and well-draining soil that is high in organic matter. Provide the plant with bright indirect light and maintain a temperature of 70-80°F. Below is more information that will give you a head start in your Melano plant care journey.
Similar to most Philodendrons, the Philodendron melanochrysum light requirements are dappled or partial sunlight – as they would often grow as an understory plant in their wild habitat.
In an indoor setting, you may want to place the plant a few feet away from the window for them to receive just the right amount of light. If grown outside, you certainly want to let the plant receive some afternoon shade. Remember that full sun exposure hurts the plant’s foliage and may cause unpleasant discoloration.
If you already have some experience in growing a tropical ornamental plant, you may not have any difficulty maintaining and meeting the Melano plant light needs.
There is no fixed time when it comes to Philodendron melanochrysum watering. The best way to ensure that you are not overdoing it is by checking first the soil with your index finger. You should feel that the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil are already dry. Ideally, it takes 7 to 8 days before you can water Melano plant.
The amount of sunlight and the prevailing season also influence your plant’s watering needs. You can increase watering when it is summer and decrease it during winter. In order to prevent the occurrence of root rot, use a pot with sufficient drainage along with an appropriate potting mix.
The Philodendron melanochrysum temperature range lies between 70 to 80°F (21-27°C). With no efficient cold temperature tolerance, it is not recommended to let the plant sit at a temperature below 60°F for this can affect their foliage formation and overall growth.
Consequently, the plant can be grown outside in USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b. If grown indoors, exposure to cold draft must be avoided as it can still harm and cause injury to the plant.
However, when an optimum temperature for Melano plant is properly observed, you can expect the plant to grow well and thus attain its full potential.
Considering the wild habitat from which the plant originates, it is no doubt that the Philodendron melanochrysum humidity requirements are quite high. Hence, if you are tending to this plant, you must maintain a humidity level above 60%.
Note that you should also make sure that the percent humidity will not go much higher than the optimum as this can increase the incidence of pests and diseases.
Pro tip: You can attain the ideal humidity for Melano plant with occasional misting, but setting up a pebble tray proves to be more efficient and practical. You can do this by placing the plant above a tray filled with pebbles and water.
The best Philodendron melanochrysum soil consists of an airy mix of fresh garden soil, peat moss, perlite, and charcoal. An orchid bark may be added to improve texture and drainage. You can also purchase a commercial orchid mix and use it as soil for Melano plant.
As previously mentioned, the key to avoiding overwatering is through the use of a well-draining soil mix. This will ensure that only sufficient moisture will adhere to the soil, preventing damage to the root system. Moreover, the reported ph level for Melano plant is between 5.5 to 6.0, which is quite acidic.
Several reports indicate that the Philodendron melanochrysum fertilizer needs are critical in the first growth stage, or more precisely during the active growth period. Be sure to use a balanced fertilizer ratio such as NPK 20-20-20.
Avoid using cheap fertilizer for Melano plant for this tends to accumulate in the soil over time, causing toxic accumulation of minerals such as iron and aluminum. Aside from chemical fertilizers, you can also use natural amendments to boost your plant’s growth, such as biochar and vermicasts.
Pro tip: A slow-release kind of fertilizer is most often preferred by home gardeners as they tend to be more efficient and beginner-friendly.
Potting & Repotting
Ideally, Philodendron melanochrysum repotting is done when it has become rootbound or if some of the roots are already coming out of the base of the plant. Depending on the plant’s growth rate and growing environment, repotting Melano plant may take a few years.
Pro tip: Repotting is typically done in spring or summer as this enables the plant to easily adapt to the new environment. To do this, prepare a potting mix and a container that is at least twice the current pot size. Fill the pot with half of the soil and gently place the root ball in the center, fill in the remaining soil and water thoroughly.
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