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Philodendron melanoneuron Plant Profile and Care

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The large, broadly oval, deeply heart-shaped dark green leaves, sometimes sub-velvety and matte, make Philodendron melanoneuron a beauty to add to your home or office. It is easy to care for and air purifying.

Learn more about Philodendron melanoneuron, including care (watering, soil, feeding, pruning, and staking) and growth condition (temperature, humidity, and light). We will also give you prices and where to buy this plant.

However, before all that, let us look at how to identify this plant, where we will talk about mature and juvenile appearance, including leaves and flowers.

Juvenile Philodendron Melanoneuron plant care
Juvenile Philodendron Melanoneuron: Check the latest prices.

About Philodendron melanoneuron

Philodendron melanoneuron Croat is an accepted, recently published species (2016). Its epithet comes from two Greek words, melano and neuron, which mean black and vein, to denote leaf veins that turn black when they dry.

  • Scientific name: Philodendron melanoneuron
  • Lower classification: Section Philodendron, subsection Fibrosa
  • Family: Araceae (aroids)
  • Native habitat: Colombia and Ecuador
  • Care level: Easy or low maintenance
  • Toxicity: Mild to moderately toxic to humans, cats, dogs, and other pets since it has insoluble calcium oxalates.
  • Propagation: Stem cutting in water or soil

1. Growing habit, size, and growth rate

Philodendron melanoneuron is a climbing and terrestrial tropical evergreen plant. It occurs in tropical wet, and premontane rain forests at 449–1457 m (1473-4780 feet) above mean sea level.

Melanoneuron grows moderately fast when in ideal growing conditions and can reach up to 26 feet tall in the wild. However, expect it to be 4 to 8 feet tall at home, but you need to give it a stake.

2. How to identify Philodendron melanoneuron

Some vendors may mislabel or confuse this plant with its look-alike, Philodendron esmeraldense Croat. Let us look at what it looks like before telling you how it differs from esmeraldense.

a). Stems

Stems have semi-glossy, dark green internodes covered with rough white striations that become fissured (coarsely vertically and closely transversally). In preadult plants, internodes are slender and long (7.9-11.8″), while adult plants have thicker, shorter (1.6-3.1″) internodes.

Cataphylls are 9.1-9.8″ pink or greenish, unribbed, sharply D-shaped, or with double shallow acute ribs. They initially persist, turning dark brown and mushy before falling off the stems.

b). Mature and juvenile leaves

Preadult and juvenile plants will have smaller, oval green leaves with shorter petioles. However, as they grow, leaves will gradually become larger and have a slightly different shape.

On the other hand, Mature plants have large, broadly oval, and deeply heart-shaped, sub- to moderately leathery leaves, dark green, sometimes sub-velvety and matte above, slightly paler and glossy below.

  • Leaf size: Usually 16.5–42.9″ long by 12.2–24″, but can be 13.8″ long and 9.5″ wide
  • Anterior lobe: broadly rounded on its margins
  • Sinus: Parabolic to spatulate
  • Midrib: Slightly paler and broadly convex above, narrowly rounded, sparsely lineated, and narrowly rounded below.
  • Posterior rib: Partly naked, short, straight, or nearly straight
  • Primary lateral veins: 12-16 per side, usually arising at 60-70° or up to 80°, paler and obtusely sunken above, convex and slightly paler below
  • Basal veins: 7–9 pairs, 2-3 pairs free to base

Lastly, Philodendron melanoneuron has long (up to 41.3″) glossy, medium to dark green petioles, obtusely sunken at the base and terete at the apex. But it may sometimes be flattened, heavily lineate speckled, obtusely flatted to obtusely three ribbed on the upper surface

c). Flowers and fruits

Mature plants will produce 1-3 inflorescences per axil with a red or whitish peduncle, a spadix, and a weakly constricted spathe.

Spathe: Whitish to purplish pink or pale green outside, sometimes with a greenish back maroon front and closely striate, especially outside the tube.

  • Spathe tube: Dark maroon inside 
  • Spathe blade: Glossy white inside, sometimes maroon with a whitish margin. 
  • Spadix: Has pale green pistillate zone at the bottom, middle sterile male, and upper fertile male
  • Infructescence: Have yellow-green to dark green berries

How does P. melanoneuron differ from esmeraldense?

Philodendron melanoneuron has broader, narrowly oval semi-glossy lamina with veins closer, a feature more evident in preadult or juvenile specimens than melanoneuron plants. Also, juvenile Philodendron esmeraldense is violet, while melanoneuron isn’t.

Caring for Philodendron melanoneuron

Philodendron melanoneuron requires a warm, humid place with bright indirect light. Grow it in a chunky, airy potting mix rich in organic matter and water it when a few top inches feel dry.

Here is a care and growth requirement summary:

  • USDA hardiness zone: 10-11, cannot tolerate frost and move outdoor plants when the temperature falls below 50°F
  • Temperature: 55-80°F. Avoid abrupt changes in temperature, cold drafts, and spots near heat sources or vents.
  • Humidity: They love high humidity, 60% or more but can tolerate 40% plus. If low mist your plants, have a pebble try, buy a humidifier, etc., to help raise humidity.
  • Light: Prefer bright, indirect light but will still grow well in medium. Direct sunlight will burn leaves, and too little will make your plant leggy and have smaller new growth. Buy grow light if your house is not well-lit.
  • Soil mix: Ideal soil mix should be well-drained, aerated, and rich in humus. I recommend an aroid mix. See Etsy.com or mix 50% potting soil with perlite, coco coir, bark chips, and worm castings to make yours.
  • Watering. Don’t follow a watering schedule. Instead, thoroughly water your plant when the potting mix feels dry up to the first knuckle of your finger or your soil moisture meter reads dry. Discard any water that collects on the saucer after 15 minutes.  
  • Feeding: Feed one a month with a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer during growing months only.
  • Pruning: Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased leaves with sterilized gardening scissors, and in growing months, you can cut back a few stems to control growth.
  • Repotting: Repotting is after every 1-2 years or if rootbound. Select a pot 2-3 inches wider in diameter.
  • Support: We recommend you provide and train it on moss poles, totems, trellis, etc.

Issues or problems

P. melanoneuron has no unique problems except those that affect any other plant in this genus. Diseases (southern blight or leaf spots) are uncommon, and so are pests (aphids, thrips, scale insects, mealybugs, or spider mites), especially indoors.

You may face root rot if you don’t water your plant properly or your potting mix doesn’t dray.

Lastly, leaf discoloration (leaves having brown, yellow, or black leaves, including spots), leaf curling, or your plant drooping will indicate improper care, wrong growth conditions, root rot, and sometimes diseases or pests.

Frequently asked question

1. Is Philodendron melanoneuron rare?

Yes. P. melanoneuron is an uncommon or rare houseplant. You will not find it even at your local tropical specialty store, and none of the big box stores or large-scale growers have it. Only a few vendors sell it, especially only/

2. What is the price of P. melanoneuron?

Philodendron melanoneuron’s price ranges from $30 to $80, depending on where you buy it. However, cuttings (rooted or unrooted) and starter plants will cost you less than $30.

3. Where do I find Philodendron melanoneuron on sale?

Start with Etsy.com, then Facebook, Instagram, or eBay. You will find a few vendors who have this plant. Next, search on google for more suggestions on vendors near you.