The Philodendron Grazielae is a rare plant but one that is gaining popularity thanks to its thick and brittle heart-shaped leaves. Kept indoors, it doesn’t grow more than 3 feet (91cm) tall, making it perfect for small spaces.
Caring for the Philodendron Grazielae is a cinch. It needs bright indirect light, well-draining soil, monthly fertilizing, and average room humidity (though >60% is best). Indoor temperatures between 65-85 degrees F (18-29 degrees C) are ideal.
Truly, the hardest part of caring for a Philodendron Grazielae is waiting for it to grow. We consider it a slow-poke compared to many other Philodendrons! But its stubby heart-shaped leaves are well worth it. 🙂
The Philodendron Grazielae is part of the Araceae family. This tropical climber is native to South Colombia, Peru and North Brazil, where it grows upright on thick stems.
Caring for your Philodendron Grazielae
This plant isn’t too fussy when it comes to light requirements. If you’re keeping the Philodendron Grazielae indoors, choose a bright spot that receives indirect light. Direct light should be limited to no more than 3 hours per day.
Be warned: too much direct light causes leaves to develop brown, sun-scorched spots…. and inevitable heartbreak!
If you’re placing this beauty outdoors on a patio, balcony, or garden, opt for a location that has no direct light. Partial shade or dappled light is best. Remember, light intensity is far greater outdoors than indoors.
Ours is sitting pretty on the balcony, where it enjoys loads of filtered light.
Use the “soak and dry” watering method.
When the top 2 inches of soil is dry, water your Philodendron Grazielae. Water deeply – don’t be afraid to give it a good soak! Then, make sure the topsoil is completely dry before watering again. 🙂
You’d find that watering frequency changes over time, as seasons, growth rate, and evaporation rates change. Even your choice of potting mix determines how quickly your plant needs re-watering.
That’s why it’s far better to check the soil moisture to ensure your plant NEEDS watering. Don’t stick to a fixed watering schedule of “X times a week”… that’s a sure-fire way of getting it wrong!
Signs of Overwatering and Underwatering
- Droopy green leaves, alongside cakey soil is a sign that your Philodendron Grazielae is underwatered.
- Yellow bottom leaves usually indicates an overwatered Philo Graz, though check the soil moisture to confirm.
If you’ve been here long enough, you’ll know we are a stickler for choosing pots with drainage holes. This is because many popular houseplants, your Philodendron Grazielae included, are susceptible to overwatering.
Watering well is important, as is choosing a well-draining potting mix. But if your pot doesn’t have drainage holes then its all for naught. Excess water stays stagnant at the bottom of the pot!
This cuts off airflow to the roots, causing them to decay. Moisture-loving fungi start feeding on the rotting roots and your plant goes downhill from there.
Your Philodendron Grazielae tolerates normal household humidities. But for best growth, aim for >60% humidity.
Using a pebble tray, or grouping plants together are ways to naturally increase humidity levels. (Check out our step-by-step guide on setting this up).
If you have the budget, invest in a humidifier – all your tropical plants will thank you!
Keep your plant in mild temperatures between 65-85 degrees F (18-29 degrees C).
Your Philodendron Grazielae isn’t cold-hardy, so bring it indoors when the temperature drops below 60 degrees F (16 degrees C).
As usual, keep your tropical plant away from vents, heaters, and radiators.
While blooming is a rarity outside of its native environment, it can happen. Inflorescences emerge in thin, slender pairs. Spathes are creamy-white, with red flowers growing along the spadix.
The Philodendron Grazielae is a slow grower, so you’ll need to be patient. When mature, they grow up to 3 feet tall (91cm). Leaves typically stay rather compact, spanning just 2-5 inches (5-13 cm).
They tend to grow upright, and have heavy leaves and stems, so need a moss pole or trellis for support.
They can also be left to trail in a high hanging basket. In this case, they grow upright until their tops are too heavy for the plant and start cascading downwards. The choice is yours 🙂
Soil or Growing Medium
Choose a potting mix that is well-draining. Buy a high-quality indoor potting mix, but make sure you add chunky amendments like bark to improve airflow and drainage properties.
We like using this DIY mix for our Philo Graz:
If you don’t have orchid bark, other chunky amendments like charcoal, cedar chips and pumice (choose at least 1/4 inch size) work well too.
This plant also does well growing in 100% sphagnum peat moss, or equal parts peat and perlite.
Apply a liquid houseplant fertilizer at 1/2 strength, once every 4 weeks during the active growing season. Don’t fertilize during the fall and winter months.
Personally, we like using Dyna-Gro Grow for most of our houseplants, but your Philodendron Grazielae isn’t too particular.
Any gentle houseplant fertilizer will do. Preferably, choose one that is nitrogen-heavy, as this encourages healthy leaf growth.
Repotting isn’t a frequent occurrence since your plant is slow-growing compared to many other Philodendrons.
But, when you see little roots poking out of your Philodendron Grazielae pot, you’ll know it’s time. In the lead-up to this, you may also notice slower growth than usual.
- Water your plant the day before repotting to reduce the risk of transplant shock.
- Look for a pot that is just 2 inches (5cm) bigger than the original. Don’t overpot – this leads to overwatering as there is too much “unused” soil relative to the size of the rootball. The larger volume of soil holds on to too much water.
- Choose a pot with drainage holes.
- Refresh the soil mix, as nutrients in the mix deplete over time!
- Refrain from watering just after repotting – give your plant a few days off. This gives any damaged roots time to heal.
Unfortunately, all Philodendrons are toxic when ingested by animals and humans. Many in the Aroid family contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in their stems and leaves. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal pains, and skin burns.
Our favorite way to propagate a Philodendron Grazielae is through stem cuttings. It’s easy:
- Snip off a 5-inch (13cm) portion of healthy stem that contains at least 2-3 leaves. Cut just BELOW the node – this is the thickened part of the stem.
- Dip the stem cuttings in rooting hormone and then leave the stem cuttings out on a paper towel overnight. This gives the cuttings time to callous. Rooting hormone encourages root growth and reduces the chances of infection.
- Place the stem cuttings in a jar half-filled with water.
- Change the water whenever it gets murky. High humidity helps – so if you have a humidifier, place it next to the water jar and set at 80%.
- When the roots grow around 2 inches (5cm) long, replant in potting mix.
An occasional trim in the spring or summer helps your Philodendron Grazielae to stay bushy and healthy. Trim off:
- any dead or damaged leaves or stems;
- any leggy stems;
- any vines you feel are messy or unwieldy!
Cut above the node.
However, avoid pruning off more than a third of the length of the plant, as this causes too much stress. At the same time, use sharp shears to minimize trauma when cutting.
Common Pests and Diseases
Though your Philodendron Grazielae isn’t particularly susceptible to pests, no plant is immune. Here’s what to do if you encounter the usual suspects.
Spider Mites, Mealybugs, Fungus Gnats, Scale, Aphids
Houseplant pests rarely originate in the home, rather are often introduced into the house by an infected plant. For this reason, it’s good practice to inspect your plant for pests before bringing it home and at regular intervals after that.
You can also choose to apply a dilute solution of neem oil as a preventative measure to ward off pests. But, the best way to reduce the risk of infections is to keep your plants healthy!
Here’s what to look out for:
- Aphids – these are light green and pear-shaped, about 1/8 of an inch (0.3cm) long. However, there are over 5,000 species of aphids that also come in black, pink, and white.
- Spider mites – they are about 1/50 inch (0.5mm) in size, so it’s not easy to observe them directly without a microscope. Instead, look out for pale, grey stipplings on leaves or fine webbing on leaf undersides and near the stems as signs of an infestation.
- Mealybugs – these sap-suckers look like little bits of cotton wool. While easily recognizable, they like to cluster together in hard-to-reach corners of the plant.
- Fungus Gnats – attracted to overwatered plants, fungus gnats are black flying insects, usually around 1/8 inch (0.3cm) long, and look like fruit flies.
- Scale – scale often look like immobile shell-like bumps that are clustered together, usually between 1/16 (0.2cm) to 1/8 inch (0.3cm) long. They come in many colors.
We recommend the Bonide Insecticidal Soap Spray to kill houseplant pests. Insecticidal soap penetrates exoskeletons and dries out cells. We keep it on deck in case of pest emergencies – it is also convenient to tackle all these pests in one product!
- Thoroughly inspect all your houseplants for infection. These pests travel from plant to plant.
- Use a water spray to dislodge or wipe down any visible pests.
- Thoroughly apply Insecticidal Soap to stems and leaves. Make sure you cover the bottoms of the leaves and hard-to-reach corners – pests tend to crowd in these areas.
- Re-apply per the instructions on the bottle. Persistence is as important as early detection!
- Yellow leaves. Usually a sign of overwatering.
- Droopy leaves and cakey soil. Usually a sign of underwatering.
- Wilting leaves. Could be a sign of underwatering. Check soil moisture to confirm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Philodendron Grazielae vs. Microstictum
At first glance, the Graz and the Microstictum look similar. Both are upright growing Philodendrons with green heart-shaped leaves. To tell them apart, look at their:
- Leaf texture. The Grazielae has thicker, succulent-like leaves that are stiff and brittle compared with thinner, more flexible leaves of the Microstictum.
- Leaf shape. The Grazielae leaves that resemble a stubby heart-shape. They have defined sinuses, while the Microstictum has less defined sinuses.
- Size. The Grazielae has smaller leaves than the Microstictum.
- Growth rate. The Grazielae is a MUCH slower-grower than the Microstictum.
Is there a variegated Philodendron Grazielae?
Not that we know of. Variegation can result from spontaneous genetic mutations, so it’s technically possible for any plant to be variegated.
But we haven’t seen evidence of stable variegation in the Philo Graz being sold online or otherwise.
Where can I buy a Philodendron Grazielae?
We like buying rare houseplants from Etsy. We’d had positive experiences shipping and receiving plants through this platform. But of course, do your homework and find a reputable seller.
Other Philodendrons we Love
- Philodendron Rugosum – another heart-shaped Philodendron with an interesting “pigskin” texture and leaves that appear corrugated!
- Philodendron El Choco Red – a beautiful heart-shaped Philodendron with bright red undersides.
- Philodendron Imperial Red – a rare, upright growing Philo with long oval leaves – green on the top and red on the bottoms.
- Philodendron Tortum – a tropical plant with deeply lobed leaves resembling a palm.
- Philodendron Warscewiczii – known as the snowflake Philodendron for its snowflake-shaped mature leaves.
- Philodendron Giganteum Variegata – a very large leafed, climbing Philodendron with marbled cream variegation.
The Philodendron Grazielae is a compact plant that’s easy to care for. To help it thrive:
- Provide bright, indirect light.
- Choose a well-draining potting mix. We like adding orchid bark, perlite, and charcoal to indoor potting soils to improve drainage and airflow.
- Don’t water on a schedule. Water only when the topsoil is dry.
- Use a pot with drainage holes.
- Keep it in mild indoor temperatures.
- Ideally, keep humidity >60%.
- Fertilize lightly using a gentle liquid houseplant fertilizer, once every 4 weeks at 1/2 strength. Only during the growing seasons.
- Repot only when root-bound.
Want to check out another plant with heart-shaped leaves? Try the Hoya Kerrii.
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.