Philodendron McDowell: Care & Propagation Guide

Philodendron McDowell is a hybrid plant that was created by John Banta in 1988. It is a cross between Philodendron gloriosum and Philodendron pastazanum, two species of tropical plants with large, heart-shaped leaves. Philodendron McDowell inherits the attractive features of both its parents, such as the dark green foliage with white veins and the slightly ruffled edges.

Philodendron McDowell is a popular houseplant because it is easy to grow and care for. It can adapt to various light conditions, from bright indirect light to low light, as long as it is not exposed to direct sun.

It prefers moist but well-drained soil, and does not need frequent watering or fertilizing.

It can also tolerate moderate humidity and temperature levels, making it suitable for indoor environments.

Philodendron McDowell is a stunning plant that can add beauty and interest to any space with its eye-catching leaves and trailing stems.

Philodendron McDowell Care & Propagation Guide
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    Care Tips for Philodendron McDowell

    Sunlight Requirements

    Philodendron McDowell is a hybrid variety of philodendron that has large, glossy leaves with red stems. This plant prefers bright, indirect light and can tolerate some direct sun in the morning or evening.

    Avoid placing it in direct sun during the hottest part of the day, as this can scorch its leaves and cause them to lose their color.

    Philodendron McDowell can also adapt to low light conditions, but it may grow slower and have less vibrant foliage.

    Soil Requirements

    Philodendron McDowell prefers a well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

    You can use a potting mix that contains perlite, peat moss, orchid bark, or coco coir to create a light and airy medium for the plant.

    The soil should retain some moisture but not become soggy or waterlogged.

    You can also add some compost or worm castings to provide extra nutrients and improve the soil structure.

    The ideal pH range for Philodendron McDowell is between 5.5 and 6.5.

    Water Requirements

    Philodendron McDowell likes to be watered regularly, but not too much. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy.

    A good way to check the soil moisture is to insert your finger about an inch deep into the pot. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it feels wet, wait until it dries out a bit.

    Overwatering can lead to root rot and fungal diseases, so make sure the pot has drainage holes and empty the saucer after watering.

    Philodendron McDowell may need more water during the summer and less water during the winter, depending on the temperature and humidity of your home.

    Humidity Requirements

    Philodendron McDowell loves high humidity levels of 65% or more.

    You can increase the humidity around your plant by misting it regularly with a spray bottle, placing it on a tray of pebbles and water, or using a humidifier.

    Alternatively, you can group your Philodendron McDowell with other tropical plants to create a humid microclimate. Avoid placing your plant near air vents, heaters, or fans that can dry out the air.

    Temperature Requirements

    Philodendron McDowell prefers warm and humid environments, but can tolerate temperatures between 60°F and 85°F (15°C and 29°C).

    Avoid placing it near drafts, heaters, or air conditioners that can cause temperature fluctuations.

    You can increase the humidity around the plant by misting it regularly, using a humidifier, or placing it on a tray of pebbles with water.

    Fertilizer Requirements

    It needs a balanced fertilizer to support its growth and health.

    You can use a liquid or granular fertilizer that is diluted to half-strength and apply it every four to six weeks during the spring and summer seasons.

    Avoid fertilizing in the winter when the plant is dormant. Also, make sure to water the plant well before and after fertilizing to prevent root burn.


    Philodendron McDowell is a fast-growing plant that may need repotting every year or two.

    The best time to repot is in spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. To repot your Philodendron McDowell, choose a pot that is one size larger than the current one and has drainage holes.

    Gently remove the plant from its old pot and shake off any excess soil.

    Fill the new pot with fresh potting mix and place the plant in the center. Adjust the soil level so that the plant is at the same depth as before.

    Water thoroughly and place the pot in a bright spot away from direct sunlight.


    There are two main methods of propagating Philodendron McDowell: stem cuttings and air layering.

    For stem cuttings, you will need a sharp knife or scissors, a pot with well-draining soil, and rooting hormone (optional).

    Cut a stem section with at least one node and a few leaves.

    Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone if desired.

    Insert the cutting into the soil and water well.

    Keep the soil moist but not soggy and place the pot in a warm and bright location.

    You should see new roots and growth in a few weeks.

    For air layering, you will need a sharp knife or scissors, a piece of plastic wrap, some sphagnum moss, and twist ties or string.

    Make a small cut on the stem below a node and gently pry it open.

    rap some moist sphagnum moss around the cut and secure it with plastic wrap.

    Tie the ends of the plastic wrap with twist ties or string.

    Keep the moss moist by spraying it occasionally.

    After a few weeks, you should see roots emerging from the moss. Cut the stem below the roots and pot it up as usual.

    Philodendron McDowell Planted Outside

    Where to Buy?

    You can find an affordable option by visiting Etsy, there you can find also cuttings. I get most of my plants from there. You can check out the prices and sellers’ reviews and decide if you want to try this option instead of other places where you will be paying much more.

    Common Pests & Ilnesses

    It can also attract some common pests such as mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects.

    These pests can damage the plant’s appearance and health by sucking its sap and leaving behind sticky honeydew.

    To prevent and treat these pests, you should inspect your plant regularly and use a combination of methods such as wiping the leaves with alcohol, spraying with insecticidal soap or neem oil, or introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs or lacewings.

    Is It Toxic To Cats?

    Philodendron McDowell is a beautiful hybrid plant that has large, velvety leaves with prominent veins. It is a climbing philodendron that can grow up to 6 feet tall if given enough support.

    However, like most philodendrons, it is toxic to cats and other pets. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause irritation, swelling, and pain in the mouth and throat of animals that ingest it. If your cat shows signs of drooling, vomiting, or difficulty breathing after chewing on the plant, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

    Philodendron McDowell Vs Gloriosum

    Philodendron McDowell is often confused with Philodendron Gloriosum, another large-leaved philodendron that has a similar appearance.

    However, there are some differences between the two plants that can help you tell them apart.

    Philodendron McDowell has more elongated and pointed leaves than Philodendron Gloriosum, which has more rounded and heart-shaped leaves.

    Philodendron McDowell also has more prominent veins that are lighter in color than the rest of the leaf, while Philodendron Gloriosum has more subtle veins that are darker than the leaf surface.

    How To Differentiate Philodendron McDowell vs Pastazanum

    Philodendron McDowell Vs Pastazanum

    Philodendron McDowell is a hybrid of Philodendron gloriosum and Philodendron pastazanum, however, there are also some differences between Philodendron McDowell and Philodendron pastazanum that can help you identify them.

    One difference is the size and shape of the leaves. Philodendron McDowell has larger and more elongated leaves than Philodendron pastazanum, which has more rounded and compact leaves. Philodendron McDowell can grow up to 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide, while Philodendron pastazanum can reach up to 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

    Another difference is the growth habit of the plants. Philodendron McDowell is a crawler, meaning it grows along the surface of the soil and sends down deep roots. Philodendron pastazanum is a climber, meaning it grows upright and attaches itself to a support with aerial roots. Philodendron McDowell can be grown in pots or as a ground cover, while Philodendron pastazanum needs a trellis or a pole to climb on.

    Is Philodendron McDowell A Crawler?

    As mentioned above, Philodendron McDowell is a crawler, not a climber. This means that it does not need a support to grow on, but rather spreads horizontally on the ground. This makes it ideal for potted gardens or indoor spaces where you want to create a lush and tropical look.

    However, being a crawler also means that Philodendron McDowell needs more space than a climber. It can cover a large area with its long stems and big leaves, so you need to give it enough room to grow without crowding other plants. You also need to prune it regularly to keep it in shape and prevent it from becoming leggy or unruly.

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