Nothing makes a home seem cozier than pictures on the walls and plants to add life to the rooms. One of the most popular houseplants is the philodendron. It’s tolerant and easy to grow, even for those with brown thumbs. The Philodendron Brasil (Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium 'Brasil') is no exception. It is one of roughly 450 species in this genus.
Many of these plants are popular houseplants because of their ease of care and beauty. If you’re new to the hobby, this species is an excellent place to start.
Description of the Philodendron Brasil
If you think this plant resembles the Heart-Leaf Philodendron, you’d be right. It is a cultivar of that species. This one has the same type of foliage with variegation added for interest. It also happens to resemble the national flag of Brazil, hence, its species name. To understand its best uses, it’s helpful to understand the type of plant that it is, along with some information about its care.
The Philodendron Brasil is a perennial vine that can reach lengths up to 6 feet long. That’s something to keep in mind when deciding where to place it. However, it’s relatively slow growing and will take 5–10 years to get that size. The plant thrives best in partial to dappled shade. It produces green and white flowers in the spring and summer but usually doesn’t bloom when grown indoors.
Pros and Cons of Having Philodendrons
Every plant has its pros and cons. Some are easier to take care of, while others are challenging. The traits of the Philodendron Brasil apply to many other species in its genus, particularly its parent plant. It lives in rainforests with low-light conditions in the wild. That helps explain why philodendrons do so well in indoor settings with similar lighting.
One of the overwhelming benefits of philodendrons is their carefree maintenance. It is humidity-tolerant, but it needs well-draining soils, nevertheless. That’s not surprising for a species that hails from South America. It will do well in average household temperatures over 60℉. It’s also easy to propagate from stem cuttings if you want more plants in your home.
Philodendrons stand out from many other plant species because of their beneficial effects on air quality. The NASA Clean Air Study found that these plants do an excellent job of removing potentially harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde, thus, reducing indoor air pollution. Researchers specifically identified the Philodendron Brasil’s parent plant, the Heart-Leaf Philodendron.
Its lighting requirements give you a lot of freedom about its location. It doesn’t need full or direct sun. It fares better if it doesn’t receive that much sunlight. You can also keep this species outdoors if you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 11a, 11b, 12a, or 12b. Be sure to bring it inside if the temperatures drop below 60℉ since it’s not a cold-tolerant species.
Another advantage the Philodendron Brasil offers is that it’s relatively disease-free. It usually thrives in the right setting with regular watering. However, it’s always a good idea to monitor your houseplants for the usual suspects, such as spider mites or mealybugs. Remember that prevention and early detection are the best ways to ensure that your plants thrive.
There are few things that would persuade anyone not to get a Philodendron Brasil, save for one overriding fact. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic to animals if ingested. The crystals are an irritant and can affect kidney function by binding to other minerals, like magnesium and calcium, leading to reduced blood levels.
If your cat likes to eat plants, you should probably stick to more pet-friendly plants, like the Spider Plant or Calathea 'Rattlesnake,' to avoid any issues. We also recommend washing your hands after handling your Philodendron Brasil to avoid irritating your skin.
Best Ways to Use Philodendron Brasil
As you may surmise, the best way to show off a Philodendron Brasil is in a hanging basket that’ll allow its long vine to cascade out of the container. This setup will keep it out of harm’s way if you have small children or pets. Make sure you can get to the plant easily to water it as necessary. Allow it to dry slightly in between waterings. Once a week should suffice.
You can also get the same effect by placing it in a pot on top of a bookcase. An attractive arrangement of books and trinkets inside can make this piece of furniture an interesting focal point for a room. Its variegated foliage is sure to attract some attention.
We also suggest placing houseplants like the Philodendron Brasil in a home office or other work area. Research has shown that plants can reduce stress even if you are just around them. The benefits apply to children and adults alike. Since the plant is evergreen, you’ll have some welcome color year-round to take advantage of these benefits.
Your Philodendron Brasil may offer other unexpected advantages. One study looked at the long-term benefits of keeping houseplants in an office setting. The researchers found their presence improved job satisfaction and productivity. That’s an excellent reason to keep them for remote workers and perhaps to spur your children to do their homework.
A Philodendron Brasil can make a beautiful addition to an indoor plant display because of its form. You can create a tropical theme with species of varying heights for a garden room or display in your home. Occasional misting and pruning will encourage new growth and keep your plant healthy.
The Philodendron Brasil is a good-looking houseplant that will make an attractive addition to any home. Its low maintenance and beautiful foliage are just a few of the many benefits this plant and similar ones have to offer. We suggest putting its lovely vine on full display in a hanging basket or a high profile location to get the most out of what it has to offer.