Your Philodendron Camposportoanum is one of those Aroids that transform over time. It’s a delight to watch (…more on that in a bit!) 🙂
When fully mature, the plant reaches around 25 inches (0.6 meters) tall while propped up by a moss pole or trellis. A perfect size for a small indoor plant!
Native to Brazil, this little terrestial vine is low maintenance and easy to grow. It thrives in bright, indirect light but can endure lower light conditions. Place it in mild indoor temperatures and high humidity (70% is ideal) for rapid growth. Potting soil should be well-draining but never allowed to dry out through its pot.
In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to know to help your Philodendron Camposportoanum thrive.
But first – let’s take a look at its transformation so you know what you can look forward to!
Transformation and Growth
Like all Philodendrons, new leaves emerge from cataphylls (a protective sheath), and unfurl. Young leaves are small, slightly velvety with a dark reddish-orange hue. This orangey hue shimmers in the light.
In this state, their heart-shaped leaves resemble that of a Philodendron Micans.
Over time, the reddish-orange darkens to a blackish hue. (see the bottom leaf in the photo below.)
As leaves enlarge, its shape starts to change. The Philodendron Camposportoanum starts to develop “ears”, 2 lobes on the top. At this point the leaf has a hammer shape. 😛
Alas, ears continue to branch out horizontally until the leaf’s length (8 inches, 20cm when mature) is approximately matched by its width. By now the leaves are deeply lobed.
At the same time, leaves start to lose their velvety texture and become slighty glossy. When the light hits, it lets out a pinkish shimmer (no kidding – can’t be captured in photos so you’ll need to get one for yourself!).
This trilobed leaf completes its transformation. Its mature leaf looks nothing like its baby leaf!
Whew. Amazing isn’t it? Because of its changing shape, color, size and texture, at any one time, your plant can have a few different looks in the same plant. 🙂
Caring for your Philodendron Camposportoanum
Lots of bright, indirect light is wonderful for your understory Philodendron Camposportoanum. This encourages rapid growth and lush leaves.
You also want to choose a location that isn’t exposed to more than 3 hours of harsh direct light, as this causes sunscorch. Direct afternoon light is the harshest.
For these reasons, East-facing windowsills, with plenty of indirect light and a limited direct morning light, are ideal.
Using a grow light is a good option if your home doesn’t receive much natural light, especially in the winter.
Your Philodendron Camposportoanum is a thirsty plant, often requiring us to water it 2-3 times a week during the active growing season…. and much less in winter! But the trouble is that it is also sensitive to being waterlogged, as overwatering suffocates its roots and causes root rot.
How do we make sure that it gets the water it needs but isn’t waterlogged? For one, it’s best to not blindly follow a watering schedule (eg, X times a week), but get into the habit of checking whether your plant needs watering.
To do so, use your fingers to check if the top 2 inches of soil is dry.
- If the topsoil is completely dry, water your plant slowly and deeply, until excess water escapes from the drainage hole.
- If the topsoil is still slightly moist, your plant is not thirsty yet. So don’t water. Check back again in a day or two.
Another important point: use a planter with drainage holes. This is a plant that needs excess water to drain out quickly. Trust us – it saves a lot of headache and heartbreak later.
Your tropical plant loves humidity. 70% or higher is ideal, though it can tolerate between 50-70%. Use a humidifier if you live in a dry climate, and all your tropical plants will thank you.
We are partial to the LEVOIT 6L. Because, well, it’s great. Quiet, large capacity, energy-efficient and covers an area of up to 753 square feet (70 square meters). With inbuilt humidity settings and a remote control.
Just saying. If you’re in the market for a humidifier, this is the one you’ve been looking for 🙂
For other tips on increasing humidity levels, click the link.
Your Philodendron Camposportoanum will grow happily in most indoor temperatures. Anything between 65 – 85 degrees F (18 – 29 degrees C) is ideal. Keep your plant in a spot sheltered from winds, cold chills or drafts… unless you want to see its leaves drop!
If you live in the warmer weather, you can keep your Philodendron Campos outdoors year-round. USDA harziness zones 10-12 are suitable.
Aroids like the Philodendron Camposportoanum aren’t typically grown for their flowers. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, flowers aren’t showy and ornamental, so aren’t much to look at. They consist of a spathe and spadix.
Secondly, when kept away from their native habitat, and especially when grown as a houseplant indoors, they very rarely flower.
Best to let this one slide. Enjoy your Philodendron for what it does best, that is, grow amazing foliage!
While your Philodendron Camposportoanum is considered a terrestial plant, its long vines need support from a moss pole, totem or trellis. Without climbing support, the plant tends to grow messy and droop.
The moss pole also helps it reach its ultimate height, around 25 inches (0.6 meters). While they aren’t big, they grow rapidly… especially during the spring and summer months.
Alternatively, you can let it grow from a hanging basket, allowing its long vines to cascade down. 🙂
Soil or Growing Medium
Your Philodendron Camposportoanum loves a well-draining mix, but one that also holds some moisture.
Nutrients are also important. Living close to the forest floor in the wild means they are also accustomed to soils that are high in organic matter.
Lastly (importantly!), they also need a NEUTRAL pH (pH 7), unlike many other Philodendrons.
Don’t worry, we’ve got a recipe for the ideal mix that ticks all those boxes:
- 1 part indoor potting mix
- 1 part pumice or perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
- a handful of horticultural charcoal and lime
Mix well together. Then, feed this to your Philodendron Camposportoanum and see it thrive.
Pumice, orchid bark and charcoal improve drainage, while indoor potting mix provides a rich, organic nutrient base. Lime de-acidifies the potting soil, bringing it to neutral.
When it comes to fertilizing, choose a gentle but nutritionally complete mix. We love Dyna-Gro Grow, and use it for most of our houseplants.
Less is more in the case of Philodendrons, especially since there are some nutrients in the potting mix already. You don’t want to do overdo it and risk fertilizer burn.
Apply Dyna-Gro Grow monthly at half strength during the spring and summer months, when your plant is actively growing. Hold off fertilizing in autumn and winter.
If you see a thin white crust forming on the soil line, this indicates a build-up of excess fertilizer salts. Flush the plant with a steady stream of room-temperature water for 2-3 minutes to wash away.
When you see roots peeking out the drainge hole, it’s time to repot! Remember that repotting a plant is a stressful event… so do this in the spring. Then, your plant can bask in warmth, light and humidity to recover quickly.
When it comes to repotting,
- ensure the new pot has drainage holes.
- ideally, use a terracotta planter as these are porous, allowing air to pass through, allowing roots to breathe. It also lets excess water evaporate from its surface quickly.
- choose a pot about 2 inches (5cm) bigger than the original. Don’t overpot – this leads to too much unused soil that holds on to too much water, leading to (you guessed it!) waterlogged roots.
- use fresh soil, as nutrients deplete over time.
- water your plant 24 hours prior to repotting – this helps your wriggle your plant free from its pot more easily, and reduces the risk of transplant shock.
Like many from the Araceae family, your Philodendron Camposportoanum contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals (sometimes called raphides) in its stems and leaves. These crystals are toxic when ingested by animals and humans.
Symptoms include: skin burns and irritation, gastrointestinal pains, nausea, vomitting.
A solution is to grow your Philodendron Campos as a trailing plant, from a high hanging basket away from kids and fur kids.
Good news! Propagating your Philodendron Camposportoanum is easy. Stem cuttings are the way to go. Do this in spring.
Propagating via Stem Cuttings in Water
- Identify a healthy part of the stem 5 inches (13 cm) long with at least 2 nodes and 1 leaf.
- Cut just below the node using clean garden shears.
- Pluck off any leaves from the bottom half of the stem cutting.
- As an optional step, dip the stem cutting in rooting hormone. This kills fungi and bacteria, and contains a growth hormone to encourage root growth.
- Prepare a water jar half-filled with room temperature water.
- Place your stem cutting into the water jar. Ensure no leaves are submerged, but at least one node is under the waterline. (Little roots will start growing from the nodes – or “bumps” as we call them!)
- Place the water jar in a warm and bright spot, but one that is away from direct light. If you have a humidifier, set it next to the jar at 80% humidity.
- Replace the water every few days to prevent it turning murky.
- After about 2 weeks, you’ll see little roots growing from the nodes.
- Once the roots grow 2 inchs (5cm) long, it’s time to plant your cutting in its permanent home.
- Prepare a small pot and add potting mix (see Soil section for details). Water the mix so that its evenly moist.
- Plant your rooted cutting in its new home.
- Treat as you would any other Philodendron Camposportoanum. 🙂
You can also choose to plant your stem cutting directly in potting mix instead of propagating in water as an intermediate step. It’s up to you!
Being a fast-growing vine, your Philodendron Campos can grow messy! You’d want to use sterilized shears (we use 70% isopropyl solution to sterilize) to snip off leggy vines.
Doing so encourages your plant to grow from the base rather than adding length, giving your plant a bushy look. 🙂
Also, snip off any yellowed or wilted leaves, cutting just above the node. This is so that the growth point stays on the plant.
As usual, pruning is best done in spring.
Common Pests and Diseases
Your Philodendron Camposportoanum is pretty resistant to pests and diseases. For most part, they are trouble-free.
However, if there is an issue, these are usually:
- leaf spots of blight that result from persistent overwatering; or
- spider mites, mealybugs or white flies, which are attracted to the sweet sap of your Philodendron and feed on it.
As usual, prevention is better than cure. Ensure you have your watering practices down and are using a well-draining potting mix. Also, regularly inspect your plants for pests.
Spider mites, Mealybugs or White Flies
Here’s how to identify each bug:
- Spider mites – Being less than 1/50 inch (0.5mm) long, spider mites are hard to see without a microscope. However, fine webbing under the leaves and stems indicates the presence of spider mites. You may also observe leaves with little transparent holes, as spider mites suck out the chlorophyll, which give your plant its green color.
- Mealybugs – appear like bits of white cotton balls with clearly segmented bodies around 1/10 – 1/4 inch (0.3-0.6cm) long. They like clustering together and are commonly found around new growth and hard-to-reach spots.
- White Flies – soft-bodied wing insects, white flies can be smaller than 1/12 of an inch (1.5–2.5mm) and are usually found clusted together on the underside of leaves. Because of their small size, identification is difficult.
To get rid of these sap-sucking pests,
- Thoroughly inspect all your plants. These bugs love to hide in hard-to-reach corners!
- Quarantine any infected plants away from all other plants to prevent cross-infection.
- Using sterilized garden shears, trim off any visibly damaged or heavily-infested parts of the stems and leaves. We use 70% isopropyl solution to sterilize our gardening tools; this is important as cross-contamination is a common cause of spread.
- Apply an Insecticidal Soap spray to the remaining stems and leaves. Reapply as necessary and as the instructions dictate until you see that the infestation has been eradicated.
- Apply a dilute neem oil solution to all other plants as a preventative measure against infestation. Neem oil disrupts the growth of larvae and prevents pests from feeding, growing, and reproducing.
Leaf Spot or Leaf Blight
If your plant is infected by leaf spot or blight, you’ll need to act quickly. Here’s how to save your infected plant:
- First, gather and destroy any fallen damaged leaves and dispose of them securely. Growth on affected leaves can re-infect other parts of the plant or new healthy plants it comes into contact with.
- Isolate your plant from other plants to prevent contamination.
- Trim off any damaged leaves, again carefully disposing of them. Make sure to sterilize your garden shears using 70% isopropyl before and after use.
- Apply a fungicide that contains chlorothalonil to contain the spread of the infection. Chlorothalonil is an effective broad-spectrum fungicide.
- Yellow leaves. Commonly due to overwatering – check soil moisture to confirm.
- Leggy growth with small leaves. Likely due to insufficient sunlight. Vines also tend to get leggy when not given a climbing support. Add a moss pole.
- Curling leaves. Usually due to underwatering – check the soil moisture to confirm, and adjust your watering practices accordingly. Can also be due to too-low humidity.
- Brown, crispy tips and edges. Too much sunlight is the most common reason. Otherwise could be due to improper watering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Philodendron Camposportoanum a climbing plant?
Philodendron Camposportoanums are mostly terrestial plants, rather than epiphytes. So, in the wild they stay relatively low. They don’t climb up hosts trees and reach for light higher in the canopy the way epiphytes do.
Having said that, they still sprawl, so benefit from a moss pole or trellis to grow to their ultimate height, which is not very tall at all, around 25 inches (0.6 meters). Plus, you’ll sometimes need to use garden ties to help prop them up against the pole or trellis.
Is the Philodendron Camposportoanum rare?
Yes, the Philodendron Camposportoanum is rare. They aren’t easy to find.
Small starter plants usually go for around US$20. Larger plants start from US$50 and can go up to US$200+ depending on size and maturity. Try Etsy for reputable sellers.
Philodendron Camposportoanum vs. Philodendron Micans
When juvenile, leaves of the Campos and Micans look very similar. They are small, heart-shaped with long tips, and are slightly velvety. To tell the difference between two young leaves, bring them into the light.
Philodendron Camposportoanum leaves have a orangey-red shimmer, while Micans have a more purple undertone, appearing with a reddish-maroon hue.
Alternatively, wait for the plant to mature! A mature Micans looks similar to its juvenile leaf, while the Camposportoanum transforms into a tri-lobed shape, loses its velvety texture and grows much larger.
Philodendron camposportoanum Variegated
There is a Philodendron Camposportoanum variegated version that has patches of bright pinkish-red on their leaves. The version we saw was more densely pinkish-red on along the edges and fades into a green color toward the midrib.
These will be even more difficult to find! Try Etsy.
The Philodendron Camposportoanum is a small plant perfect for indoor spaces. The ultimate transformer, this little plant is fun to watch grow, as it changes leaf shape, texture, size and color.
- Provide bright, indirect light in mild indoor temperatures.
- A well-draining, neutral pH potting mix is key. Add a little lime to typical Aroid mixes to bring the pH down to neutral.
- Water only when topsoil is dry.
- Fertilize monthly at half strength during the growing months.
- Provide as much humidity as you can; >70% is ideal.
Other Philodendrons we Love
Well, if you love the tri-lobed Philodendron Camposportoanum, might we introduce you to the Philodendron Florida Ghost?
- Philodendron Rugosum – Philodendron that has textured leaves like Pig Skin, or a cantaloupe melon.
- Philodendron Pink Princess – for a pop of pink!
- Philodendron Birkin – another easygoing houseplant with long stripey variegation.
- Philodendron Mamei – a bigger plant with large, heart-shaped foliage with silvery patches.
- Philodendron McDowell – another heart-shaped beauty with giant leaves.
- Philodendron Brandtianum – a vining plant with silvery foliage.
- Philodendron Atabapoense – an unusual pick; elongated, sword-shaped leaves for a tropical feel.
- Philodendron Tortum – palm-like fronds on twisted stems give a tropical vibe 🙂
- Philodendron Brasil – vining plant with heart-shaped leaves the colors of the Brazil flag!
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.