Philodendron Mayoi: Fern-Like Philodendron Plant Care

Philodendron mayoi is an indoor plant from the Philodendron species with large leaves shaped like palms and a red-colored underbelly.

In this care guide for Philodendron mayoi, we’ll cover topics from watering to propagating as well as some common issues you may encounter when growing them.

What is a Philodendron Mayoi?

Philodendron mayoi is a native of Brazil and a member of the Araceae plant family.

It is found in the wild in the Amazon rainforest. However, it is now growing in other parts of the world, like Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia, as a result of importation.

Origins

The Philodendron mayoi was named in honor of Dr. Simon Mayo, a renowned botanist who worked at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens.

The unconfirmed story behind the Mayoi plant is that it was discovered circa 1940 on an expedition to Manaus (a region in the center of Brazil), where the plant was growing naturally.

Philodendron Mayoi Leaves

What-Is-A-Philodendron-Mayoi

Philodendron mayoi is a beautiful plant, with large, distinctive, palm-like leaves and a crimson underside.

With its palm-like fronds, the Philodendron mayoi is easily identified by its leaves, spade, and spadix.

This means their spikes of tightly arranged flowers are surrounded by a fleshy axis that is enclosed by sheathing or covering.

In fact, Fern-like Philodendron and Palm-like Philodendron are some of the nicknames given to this plant due to its foliage.

In addition, the advantage of growing a Philodendron mayoi is that it can either be a climber and grow upwards, or it can be a creeping plant that spreads and trails along the ground.

Toxicity

Philodendron mayoi is dangerous for both people and animals. It has a toxic compound called calcium oxalate, which cannot be handled and broken down in the body.

If you eat it, you might feel sick, throw up, or have other stomach problems. In addition, it can also cause skin rashes.

So, when you prune or propagate it, and if you have sensitive skin, you should wear gloves.

Bottom line, if you have young children or pets, keep this plant away from them.

Scarcity of Philodendron Mayoi

Not surprisingly, it’s their foliage (flowers and leaves) that makes this plant so attractive to plant enthusiasts and collectors.

But beware, if you want to add this plant to your garden, get ready to pay up for it.

A simple stem cutting can cost as much as $50-75, and a fully grown plant can be upwards of $200.

Though the Philodendron mayoi is not as popular as other philodendrons or monsteras, plant distributors always seem to run out of stock.

How to Care for a Philodendron Mayoi

Philodendrons are renowned as some of the easiest houseplants to care for, and the Philodendron mayoi is no exception.

Following easy steps like giving them bright indirect light, watering regularly but not overwatering, fertilizing during their growing season, and finally pruning any dead leaves and flowers.

We go into more detail on items to note when caring for Philodendron mayoi plants.

Temperature and Climate

Temperature-And-Climate-For-A-Philodendron-Mayoi

As mentioned earlier, Philodendron mayoi is a tropical plant, meaning that the plant does well in warm temperatures and climates.

The best temperature for the plant is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The plant does not do well in cold conditions that are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you have it outside, bring it in when the weather cools.

It definitely likes temperatures to stay somewhat constant, so if you have a big variation in temperature, it will survive, but may not thrive.

Humidity

As for humidity, the Philodendron mayoi plant likes humidity levels between 60 and 80%.

This is relatively high, so you can keep the plant near or in high-humidity areas of the home like the bathroom.

With that said, your plant won’t die, but it won’t thrive.

If you notice your plant getting dried edges, you can increase humidity by misting it, using a pebble tray underneath the pot, or putting a humidifier near the plant.

You can also try grouping plants together to create a mini-tropical forest where other plants will help trap moisture.

Light

Light-For-A-Philodendron-Mayoi

Simply, the Philodendron mayoi grows well in bright indirect light.

However, in contrast to other tropical plants, the Philodendron mayoi can be in direct sunlight for a little while because its foliage is so large.

But, don’t keep it near direct sunlight for too long-a couple of hours in the morning is perfect. The rest of the time, give your plant all the indirect light possible.

If at any time during the year, the sun is not shining as much, you can supplement indirect light with artificial light using grow lights.

Water

Water-For-A-Philodendron-Mayoi

Your Philodendron mayoi requires moist but not oversaturated soil. So, you should water your plant once a week.

When watering, we use the “soak and dry” method, which means soaking the soil until water drains out of the bottom of the pot and then waiting until the soil dries.

However, we suggest that you feel the dampness of the soil. You can tell if the plant needs more water if you stick your finger in about an inch or so to see if the soil is still damp.

If the soil is still wet underneath the surface, then avoid watering the plant for the day.

Overwatering might also cause yellowing leaves, and if you continually overwater the plant, it may lead to root rot.

Yellowing leaves occur because there is too much water and the plant can’t absorb enough nutrients, while root rot is caused by fungi that thrive in moist conditions.

Soil

Philodendrons prefer a soil mixture that drains quickly, and the Philodendron mayoi is no different.

The soil you choose to plant in is crucial for providing the highest level of care.

It is definitely worth paying a premium for high-quality potting soil that is rich in soil amendments such as bark, coconut coir, perlite, and peat moss (sphagnum moss).

The perlite and bark will help with drainage, while the coco coir and peat moss will help retain some moisture for the plants’ roots to absorb water and nutrients.

This will ensure moist soil that is not waterlogged.

If you are thinking about making your own potting mix, we suggest you start with 70% base potting soil, 20% coconut coir, 10% perlite, and 10% orchid bark.

To make it even better, you can add a handful of organic materials such as compost or worm castings to boost the nutrients in the soil mix.

However, we usually just buy this fast-draining potting soil. It’s a little pricier than your general potting soil, but it’s worth it. It’s premixed and well-draining. We use it for our special houseplants and it seems to work because they thrive in it.

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Fertilizer

Philodendron mayoi can be fertilized once every one to two months.

Fertilizer has come a long way, and you have several options when fertilizing your houseplant.

Whatever fertilizer you use, we suggest you dilute it to half strength because the last thing you want to do is overfertilize it.

Some fertilizers include high amounts of nitrogen that may burn your plants from the inside.

We suggest you keep it simple by using a simple, balanced liquid fertilizer. We go even further and just use this slow-release fertilizer. It’s super simple to use, and you don’t need to worry about it once you set it in the soil. It’s been a game-changer for our indoor houseplants.

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Repotting

Repotting-Philodendron-Mayoi

When Philodendron mayoi plants outgrow their pots, the roots will start creeping out of the drainage holes and will not grow any further.

The best solution is to repot the plant to a larger pot to allow it to continue to grow.

The initial step is to prepare the potting soil. Use a well-draining potting mix.

The Philodendron mayoi is a fast-growing plant, so a large container should be considered.

Additionally, the pot should definitely include drainage holes to let any excess water drain out. This will go a long way in preventing overwatering.

The plant will be a little weak after replanting as its roots expand in the potting soil.

So, you are growing your Mayoi plant. If you see your plant leaning a bit, help it with some additional support like a moss pole.

The plant grows rapidly, so if it receives proper care, it will flourish in a short amount of time.

Pruning

Pruning your Philodendron mayoi plant is a good idea.

By cutting (pruning) your leaves and stems, you can control diseases, cut off dead leaves, and control the growth pattern of your plant.

Philodendron mayoi leaves are normally dark green in color and resemble palm leaves, so when you start noticing the leaves turning yellow, the affected leaves should be pruned.

The other reason for pruning is to have space for new growth and to avoid air layering.

Finally, pruning will help control disease problems if your plant is infected. If any stems or leaves are affected by bacteria or fungus, you should immediately cut them off before they spread further.

Propagation

Propagating-Philodendron-Mayoi

Propagating Philodendron mayoi should be done during the plant’s growing season, which is spring through summer.

These plants are best propagated by stem cuttings.

Before you begin, make sure you wear gloves and use a clean knife or shears; the gloves are for your own safety since the plant contains calcium oxalate crystals harmful to both humans and animals.

First, find a healthy stem with two or three nodes. The nodes are where the roots and leaves meet. Cut right below the nodes.

The next step is to place the cuttings in a vase of lukewarm water. Place the vase in a warm and bright location away from direct light.

To increase humidity, plastic wrap can be used over the stem cuttings.

After three to four weeks, you should expect to see new roots develop.

When the roots get to about an inch to two inches long, you can transplant them into their own pot.

Problems With Propagating Philodendron Mayoi

If you don’t see any roots after several weeks, you might want to consider using a rooting hormone (root powder).

Root hormone will stimulate the plant’s rooting system to help it sprout out roots.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of rooting hormones, we suggest using this particular rooting hormone. We’ve used it in the past; it’s easy to use and it simply works. We see roots sprout every time we use it.

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Pests

Philodendron mayoi is fairly pest-resistant if you keep your plant healthy.

However, there are times when pests will infest your plant. Common pests include spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs—all of which are sap-sucking insects.

Mealybugs and Other Scale-Like Insects

Mealybugs and other scale-like insects are widespread.

On the stems or branches of a plant, scale insects may appear as lumps. The small insects, which may be green, gray, brown, or black, like to remain on a plant once they’ve established themselves.

Neem oil and other insecticides may not kill the pests on contact, but they will prevent new pests from reproducing.

Diseases

Most common plant diseases are rooted in the fact that overwatering and high humidity create perfect conditions for plant diseases to fester and grow—to the detriment of your Philodendron mayoi.

Leaf Spot

Leaf-Spot-Philodendron-Mayoi

Diseases like leaf spot are caused by bacteria or fungi that thrive in damp places.

Symptoms of leaf spot are that leaves may get brown or black spots, which is primarily caused by giving your Philodendron too much water and keeping it in a dark and humid place.

Try to prevent this difficult-to-treat disease before it damages your philodendron. Start by not watering the leaves of the plant.

You can use a solution of baking soda (one teaspoon) and dish soap (one drop) and some water to treat the leaf spot directly on the Philodendron.

Spray the solution right on the leaf and keep it away from direct sunlight. If this does not help, using a commercial fungicide to treat the leaf spot may help.

Root Rot

Overwatering is by far the most common cause of root rot in Philodendrons.

Signs of root rot in your Philodendron mayoi can be slow growth, squishy stems, and drooping, yellow, deformed leaves.

The soil may also have a funky and bad smell, and the roots may appear to be rusting.

If your Philodendron has root rot, remove it from its pot immediately. Next, evaluate the quality of the roots.

If the plant’s roots are dry and intact, there is no root rot. However, if the roots seem mushy and emit a rancid odor, then your plant probably has root rot.

Wash the roots and remove all (cut off) infected areas. Next, spray some fungicide and repot it in fresh potting soil.

Unfortunately, if the disease has spread through the root system, you may not be able to save your plant.

FAQ

Is Philodendron mayoi rare?

Yes, globally, Philodendron mayoi is a rare plant. They are scarce because the demand for the plant surpasses the available supply. As a result, the plant fetches a high price, easily costing hundreds of dollars. However, they are abundant in the wild.

Does Philodendron mayoi need a lot of sunlight?

Philodendron mayoi needs bright, indirect lighting. It can withstand 2 or 3 hours of direct sunlight, but more like morning sunlight. Afternoon direct sunlight is just too intense and harrowing; in fact, the afternoon sun can actually burn the plant. The plant needs enough light for its development. During its initial stages of development, the plant requires low light conditions.

Is Philodendron mayoi and Philodendron tahiti the same plant?

The easiest way to tell the difference between a Philodendron mayoi and a Philodendron tahiti is by the shape of their leaves. The Philodendron tahiti has huge, deeply cut leaves and has a deep green hue and a mounding growth pattern due to its semi-cascading growth style. On the other hand, Philodendron mayoi has deeply lobed leaves and vivid green foliage that look like palm leaves.

Is Philodendron mayoi toxic?

Yes, Philodendron mayoi is a toxic plant. In fact, all Philodendrons are toxic. The toxin is located within the leaves of all Philodendrons. The leaves contain a compound called calcium oxalate, which if eaten can be poisonous to both humans and pets.

Conclusion

Philodendron mayoi is a pretty houseplant that can grow upwards or can trail from a hanging basket.

It is native to Brazil, so it thrives in warm and humid climates but can be grown in any household for great home decor.

Currently, the demand for the plant can not be met, making the plant a rare find.

So if you get yourself a Philodendron mayoi plant, make sure you take care of it and, once mature enough, it is easy to propagate so that you can share it with your friends and family.

Other Philodendron Plants

Philodendron mayoi is just one kind of philodendron plant to grow. They come in a variety of sizes and leaf shapes and patterns. Below is a sample of other Philodendron plants to consider for your home, office, or outdoor garden.

Philodendron Hope Selloum: The Tree Philodendron, also known as Philodendron bipinnatifidum or Philodendron selloum, is a big, South American-native plant. It is a popular climbing houseplant since it is an easy-to-grow plant with wide, sprawling leaves that lend a tropical atmosphere to any area.

Philodendron Gloriosum: Due to its velvety leaves, the Philodendron gloriosum is commonly known as the Velvet Philodendron. It is a slender plant that grows in the wild on the ground in South America. It has heart-shaped leaves with a velvety feel, pink margins, and noticeable white, pink, or pale green veins.

Philodendron Melanochrysum: The Black Gold Philodendron is a rare species of vining philodendron that has acquired popularity due to its attractive foliage. Their dark green velvety leaves are contrasted by bright yellow veins that can reach a length of 24 inches. It is really a beautiful plant for any home.

References

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  • University of Connecticut Extension. (Eds.). (2019). Philodendron. University of Connecticut Home & Garden Education Center Perennials Guide. URL: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/FactSheets/philodendron—-.php
  • Moorman, G. (2016). Philodendron Diseases. Pennsylvania State University Extension, College of Agricultural Sciences. URL: https://extension.psu.edu/philodendron-diseases
  • Steil, A. (2022). How do I propagate philodendron? Horticulture and Home Pest News, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. URL: https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/how-do-i-propagate-philodendron
  • About/mentions: Philodendron mayoi, Philodendron, houseplant

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