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Complete Philodendron Patriciae Plant Care and Prices

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Philodendron Patriciae is one of the most spectacular Philodendron species ever. Those are the words of Dr. Thomas Croat. And indeed, it is true the very long pendent, quilted-sunken or pleated dark green makes this plant look incredible.

What better way to make a statement and create an enigmatic tropical appeal than to add one or two of these plants to your home? Moreover, these aroid is easy to care for and purify the air.

Here is everything about Philodendron patriciae, including its care, prices, appearance (juvenile and mature), and how it differs from Philodendron esmeraldense Croat. We will also tell you where to buy it.

Philodendron patriciae care
Philodendron patriciae: Check the latest prices.

About Philodendron Patriciae

Philodendron patriciae Croat is an accepted species, first published/described by Dr. Thomas Croat in 2010. Regarding it as the most spectacular Philodendron species he had seen, he intended to call it Philodendron splendidum. However, he later named it patriciae after his wife Patricia for her support throughout his work. 

  • Scientific name: Philodendron patriciae
  • Lower classification: Subg. Philodendron sect. Philodendron subsect. Canniphyllum.
  • Family: Araceae (aroids)
  • Native habitat: Colombia
  • Care level: Easy or low maintenance
  • Toxicity: Mild to moderately toxic to cats, dogs, and humans due to sharp, needlelike insoluble calcium oxalates.
  • Propagation: Stem cutting in water or soil and air layering

1. Growing habits, size, and growth rate

Philodendron patriciae is an evergreen, appressed climbing hemiepiphyte that grows in the wet tropical biome. Today, it is known to occur at Chocó Department (Tutunendo and Río Atrato on Lloró road) at 150-400m (492-1312 feet) elevation.

Patriciae has a moderate to relatively fast growth rate and can grow up to 10 feet in the wild. At home, expect it to be about 6-8 feet tall, and you will need to give it a place to climb.

2. How to identify Philodendron patriciae – description

Philodendron patriciae resembles Philodendron heterocraspedon Croat & D.C.Bay and Philodendron lentii Croat & Grayum, not, of course, with some differences.

Here is a description (leaves, stems, and flowers) of patriciae to help you tell these plants apart.

a). Stems

Patriciae has short stems with short internodes, aerial roots on nodes, and 12.2-20.1″ long unribbed, initially persisting (up to 9 nodes) but eventually falling green cataphylls.

b). Leaves

Juvenile plants have smaller, barely quilted oval elliptical leaves with shorter petioles. However, as the plant grows into maturity, they become muchly elongated.   

Mature Philodendrons will have pendent, large, thinly leathery, oval-lance-shaped to elliptic leaves matte dark green above, glossy below, with a rounded or nearly heart-shaped base and a cuspidate apex. These leaves appear somewhat pleated or quilted as they harden or age.

  • Leaf size: 13.4″ (sometimes 7.5″) – 38.1″ long by 2.4″(sometimes 1.2″)-7.5″ wide, 3.9-6 times longer than wide, 1.5-2.5 longer than petiole.
  • Midrib: Convex, whitish above, bluntly triangular on the underside
  • Primary lateral veins: 12-19 pairs departing at a 70-75° angle, quilted-sunken on the upper side, convex on the lower side.
  • Basal veins: 1-3, free to the base per side

Lastly, the firm, thinly winged green petioles with a sulcate base are 5.5″ (sometimes 3.5″)-22″ long and always shorter than the lamina.

c). Flowers

Mature Philodendron patriciae will produce 1-2 inflorescences with a short peduncle, a barely or not constricted spathe, spadix, and subtending deciduous intact by long prophylls.

The spathe lacks obvious resin canals and is semi-glossy, light-green outside with a purplish tinge on the base. The tube section is weakly glossy and dark red on the inner part. The area above it gradually becomes glossier and paler to red-violet at the blade center with the apex and upper margin white.

Philodendron patriciae vs. esmeraldense

Philodendron esmeraldense Croat is a much recently described species. Before its formal publishing, some houseplant vendors labeled it as Philodendron patriciae Esmeraldas owing to their resemblance.

However, these are different plant species with some easy-to-notice differences. Here is how to tell them apart.

Firstly, Philodendron patriciae has narrower, oval-lance-shaped to elliptic leaves with a rounded or nearly heart-shaped base and a cuspidate apex. In contrast, Philodendron esmeraldense has relatively broader, narrowly oval-elliptic leaves with deeply lobed bases and a narrow to moderately acuminate apex.

The other difference is that patriciae has more (12-19 pairs) primary lateral veins and only 1-3 basal veins free to the base, while esmeraldense has a partly nude basal rib, 7-9 basal ribs with only 1, 2, and sometimes, three free to the base, others fused.

Lastly, patriciae has initially persisting but eventually falling cataphylls, while in esmeraldense, the basal part of the cataphylls stays intact.

Caring for Philodendron patriciae

Patriciae will thrive in a warm and humid place with bright indirect light. Grow it in a well-drained, airy, and humus-rich potting mix and water it when the top few inches feel dry. Don’t forget it also needs feeding, pruning, repotting, and a moss pole.

Here is how to care for your Philodendron patriciae plant:

1. Ideal growing conditions – temperature, humidity, and light

Patriciae will grow best at a temperature of 55-80°F with no cold drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations. Also, don’t place it near hot air vents or heat sources/emitting appliances.

Also, this plant loves humidity, so you should grow it at 60% or more. But it will still tolerate 40% or more. But if your humidity is too low, get a humidifier, mist, or group your plant, have a humidifier among other means to raise it.

What about light? It needs bright, indirect light but won’t mind moderate. Direct sunlight will burn leaves, and too little will slow growth and make leaves smaller and paler. Please consider grow lights if your room doesn’t have enough light.

Lastly, people in USDA hardiness zone 10-11 can grow this plant outdoors. The rest, return the plant indoors when temperatures fall below 50°F.

2. Best potting mix

The best soil mix for P. patriciae should be well-drained, aerated, and rich in organic matter. One with a pH of 5.5-7.0 is the best. I use an aroid mix from Etsy.com.

However, you can make yours by adding perlite, coco coir, bark chips, and compost/worm castings to your potting soil. Your object is to ensure it is airy, fertile, and well-drained but holds moisture.

3. How to properly water your patriciae plant

These plants prefer moist, not soggy, or bone-dry soil. So, I recommend you water this plant when the potting mix feels dry up to the first knuckle of your finger, and if you have soil moisture, water it when it reads dry.  

Don’t follow a watering schedule, as water needs vary with many factors, including conditions. Instead, always feel or test the soil.

Lastly, when watering, slowly saturate the potting mix until excess water flows from drainage holes. After 15 minutes, discard any water that collects in the saucer.

4. Does it need feeding?

Yes. P. patriciae needs moderate feeding, like once a month, with a balanced (like NPK 10:10:10 or 20:20:20) liquid houseplant fertilizer during the growing months. Bonide is such an excellent pick.  

You can still use slow-release or unbalanced brands as they are equally good. Just make sure you follow what manufacturers recommend. Oscomote, Joyful Dirt, JObe’s, J. R Peters, etc., are all good brands.

5. More care needs

  • Pruning: Regularly check for and remove any dead, damaged, or diseased parts with your sterilized gardening scissors. If it gets too large or you want to control its growth or shape, you can cut a few stems (no more than 25) in the early growing season.
  • Repotting: Change the soil once in two years and repot if rootbound. Use a pot 2-3 inches larger in diameter.
  • Support: Since it is a climber, give and train this aroid on a moss pole, trellis or totem if you want to see those long, mature leaves.

Problems or issues

There are no issues specific to this species other than those that affect other Philodendron species, which may include:

  • Diseases: Fungal or bacterial leaf spots, southern blight, or dasheen mosaic virus are uncommon. However, practice proper sanitation and isolate new plants to prevent them.
  • Pests: It may get aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, or spider mites. Luckily they are uncommon indoors. Also, you can easily manage them with horticultural oil sprays, neem oil, or insecticidal soaps.
  • Root rot: A rather common problem if you overwater these plants or your potting mix doesn’t drain.
  • Leaf discoloration: Leaves may turn yellow, brown, or black due to improper care or wrong growing conditions. Also, root rot, diseases, and pests may be rare causes.
  • Leaves curling or plant drooping: Occur due to moisture issues, too much light, heat stress, or low humidity. Also, other care issues, pests, or diseases may be reasons.

Where do I find Philodendron patriciae on sale?

The first place I recommend is Etsy.com. It has excellent prices and vendors all over the world. Also, Facebook, eBay, Instagram, NSE Tropical, and Ecuagenera are great places.

If you don’t find this plant in these places, try getting vendors near you using the google search engine.

Frequently asked questions

1. Is P. patriciae rare?

Yes. While prices have eased up, Philodendron patriciae is still a rare and hard-to-find houseplant. Only a few rare aroid plant collectors have it. I bet you will not find it in your local tropical plant vendors, and I haven’t seen any big box store or large-scale horticulturists selling it.

2. What is the price of Philodendron patriciae?

P. patriciae price ranges from $50 to $200 in the USA, a drop from last year’s cost, which was as high as $500. However, it is still expensive in some places like Australia, fetching as high as A$1000.