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Philodendron fibrosum Plant Profile and Care

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Philodendron fibrosum is a rare, lovely climbing houseplant with densely setose-scaly stems, inflorescence, and nearly rounded heart-shaped dark green leaves.

Caring for this Philodendron type is a breeze if you have ever had a Philodendron. Also, it is air purifying and will transform your house or office, giving it a tropical appeal.

Today, we will look at Philodendron fibrosum, including its appearance (mature and juvenile plants) and how it differs from Philodendron verrucosum L.Mathieu ex Schott. We will also give you prices, where to buy it and much more.

Philodendron fibrosum plant care, prices
P.fibrosum plant: Check the latest prices.
  • Fuzzy stems:
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About Philodendron fibrosum

Philodendron fibrosum Sodiro ex Croat is an accepted species first published in 2010 by Dr. Thomas Croat. However, Luis Sodiro (a Jesuit priest and field botanist) first recognized and named it but didn’t describe it. 

  • Scientific name: Philodendron fibrosum
  • Lower classification: Subgen. Philodendron sect. Philodendron subsect. Acropodium
  • Family: Araceae
  • Native habitat: Colombia to Ecuador
  • Care level: Easy or low maintenance
  • Toxicity: Mild to moderately toxic to dogs, cats, and even humans since it has insoluble calcium oxalates.
  • Propagation: Stem cutting (in water or soil) or air layering

1. Growth habits, size, and growth rate

Philodendron fibrosum is an evergreen tropical climbing hemiepiphyte that can sometimes grow terrestrially. It occurs at 900-2200 m (2,952 -7,217 feet) but more often at 1200-1800 (3,937-5,905 feet) m above sea level in the lower montane moist, rainforest, or premontane wet forests.

It has a moderate growth rate and can grow up to 6 to 8 feet at home if you give it a moss pole or a climbing place. In the wild, it can get much taller.

How to identify Philodendron fibrosum – description

a). Stems

It has stems over 3.3 feet with yellow-brown, transversely ridged, scurfy reddish to reddish-brown to brownish short 2.4-7.9″ long internodes. Cataphylls are up to 12.6″ long, unribbed, reddish, sometimes yellowish-green, and densely scaly. These marcescent cataphylls persist as fibers for some time before falling off.

b). Leaves

Mature Philodendron fibrosum plants have large, broadly oval to nearly round, sub-leathery to thinly leathery green leaves, semi-glossy to sub-velvety to matte above, semi-glossy moderately to much paler below with a heart-shaped base and an acuminate apex. The underside is usually not purplish marked.

  • Leaf size: 11.4-28.3″ long by 10.6-22.4″ wide, broadest above where the petiole attaches. 
  • Midrib: Slightly paler, flat at the base, deeply sunken towards the apex on the upper surface, and narrowly round to convex below, also paler.
  • Primary lateral veins: 6-8 pairs per side arising at a 40-45° angle to the midrib, curved upward toward the margin. These veins are paler or the same color, weakly, deeply, and narrowly sunken above, round-raised to convex, paler, or darker below.
  • Posterior lobes: Inward directed
  • Sinus: Usually closed
  • Basal veins: 9-11 pairs, most of which are free to base

Lastly, these aroids have purplish, terete to nearly terete, obtusely flattened toward the apex, 13.7-29.9″, sometimes up to 38.6″ long petioles. These petioles have branched, greenish scales (hairs) with erose to laciniate margins and are a bit longer than lamina in juvenile plants, comparable to leaf blades in adult plants.

Philodendron fibrosum showing fuzzy, hairy or scaly petioles
Fibrosum’s fuzzy, hairy, or scaly petioles: Check the latest prices.

c). Flowers

Mature P. fibrosum usually has two but can have 1 or 3 inflorescences per axil with a reddish-violet or purplish turning brick red peduncle, a spathe, and spadix. The lower peduncle surface and lower part of the spathe tube have minute, nearly reniform erose scales interspersed with hairy green scales, more so toward the apex.

  • Spathe: Setose or scaly reddish-tinged dark green outside
  • Tube: Dark violet-purple to deep maroon inside, heavily purplish-tinged outside.
  • Spathe blade: lance-shaped with a whitish tip and lower 2/3 cherry red

Philodendron fibrosum vs. verrucosum

Philodendron verrucosum, a species native to Costa Rica and Peru, resembles fibrosum. Both have heart-shaped leaves with setose-scaly stems, petioles, and inflorescences. Some people, including plant vendors, confuse these two.

However, P. verrucosum oval leaf blades are narrower than fibrosum and have a publish tinge on the underside, between primary veins. Also, as they emerge, leaves have a bronze-green blackish appearance.

The other obvious difference is that while fibrosum has mostly free-to-base basal veins, in verrucosum, they merged (with 0, 1, or two free-to-base), and it has a more conspicuous posterior rib.

Caring for Philodendron fibrosum

Philodendron fibrosum needs a warm, humid place with bright, indirect light. Grow it in fertile, airy, well-drained soil and water it when the top few inches feel dry.

Here is more on care and growth requirement for this adorable aroid:

  • USDA hardiness zone: 10-11, not frost hardy, cannot withstand prolonged freezing. Move it indoors when the temperature falls below 50°F.
  • Temperature: 55-80°F. Avoid sudden temperature dips or spikes, places near heat sources/vents, or cold drafts.
  • Humidity: Prefers high humidity, 60% plus, but can tolerate up to 40%. If yours is too low, mist it, have a pebble tray, buy a humidifier or try other ways to raise humidity.
  • Light: This aroid grows best in bright, indirect light but won’t mind medium. Direct sunlight will burn light; if it’s too little, consider buying grow lights to avoid stunted growth with paler, smaller new leaves.
  • Soil: Choose a well-drained, aerated potting mix rich in organic matter. I use an aroid mix (see Etsy.com).
  • Watering. I only thoroughly water my plant when the soil feels dry up to the first knuckle or the soil moisture meter reads dry. I use the XLUX soil moisture sensor.
  • Feeding: Feed this plant once a month with a balanced, like NPK 10:10:10 or 20:20:20, liquid houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing months. Bonide 10:10:10 is an excellent pick.
  • Pruning: Cut any dead, damaged, or diseased leaves/parts with sterilized gardening scissors, and if it gets too large, you can cut back a few stems during the growing months.
  • Repotting: I repot this plant after 1-2 years or if rootbound (roots growing from drainage holes or circling inside the pot). Use a pot 2-3 inches wider.
  • Moss pole: Provide and train this plant on a moss pole, trellis, or any climbing surface.

Problems or issues

P. fibrosum is not susceptible to specific diseases or pests except those affecting the species. So, you can expect spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, scale insects or thrips, diseases like leaf spots, southern blight, etc. Luckily, they are uncommon.

One problem we must warn you about is root rot for those that overwater this plant, or their potting mix doesn’t drain.

Also, leaf discoloration (yellowing, browning, or turning black, including spots), curling, falling, or your plant drooping are common issues. They occur due to improper care, wrong growth conditions, and sometimes root rot, pests, or diseases.

Where to buy P. fibrosum

We bought out Philodendron fibrosum from Etsy.com. It has many trustworthy vendors worldwide and offers excellent prices.

Other places include eBay, Facebook, Instagram, Ecuagenera.com, and other smaller online vendors. Google should help you find some of these vendors near you.

Frequently asked questions

1. Is Philodendron fibrosum rare?

Yes. P. fibrosum is a rare and uncommon plant that only a few vendors have, even on large marketplaces like Etsy.com or eBay. You will not find it in your local tropical house seller, and none of the large-scale horticultural growers or big box stores have it.

2. What is the price of P. fibrosum?

Philodendron fibrosum price ranges from $50 to $100, with some selling starter plants or rooted/unrooted cuttings for much less than $50 and larger, established plants for more than $100.