Philodendron Melanochrysum: Black Gold Philodendron Plant Care

Black Gold Philodendron (Philodendron Melanochrysum) is a vining houseplant that has dark velvety leaves. It can grow taller than 3 to 5 feet (indoors) and up to 12 feet (outdoors).

With its dark green leaves and gold flowers, this plant is perfect for adding color and texture to any room.

Black Gold Philodendron care is not difficult, but there are a few things you need to know in order to keep this plant healthy and happy.

In this blog post, we will answer the questions about what a Philodendron Melanochrysum is and how to take care of it.

What is a Philodendron Melanochrysum?

Philodendron melanochrysum, also known as Black Gold Philodendron or Melano Plant, is a vining houseplant with dark velvety leaves.

Young incoming leaves are at first scarlet or brown. But as the plant matures, it develops a bronzy color before finally turning deep green.

The leaves are heart-shaped, dark green with creamy yellow or pale green veins.

Because of its dark-colored foliage, the name Melanochrysum originates from the Greek words melano and chrysum meaning black and golden, respectively—thus it has been commonly known as the Black Gold Philodendron.

What-Is-Philodendron-Melanochrysum

Philodendron melanochrysum care is easy once established. Each leaf can reach a maximum length of 24 inches (60 cm).

It reaches heights and widths of twelve feet and eight feet as an outdoor garden plant.

But you will mostly find it as an indoor potted plant where it reaches a maximum height of three and five feet and a width of two feet.

In the summer season, greenish-white flowers will adorn your plant.

Some growers do not find these green spathe blooms attractive, so they prune them right away to conserve plant energy.

How to Care for Philodendron Melanochrysum Plants

Philodendron melanochrysum needs plant care like any other philodendron plant.

They require a moderate amount of light and need to be watered regularly. If you notice the leaves wilting or drooping, it may be time to water your philodendron plant more frequently.

It is also important to propagate philodendrons by rooting new stems from root cuttings taken in late winter or early spring.

Repotting your philodendron every two years will help it grow healthy and full-sized.

Finally, prune off damaged or spindly stems in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

Read on for more detailed information on how to care for Black Gold Philodendron plants.

Temperature and Climate

Black Gold philodendron plants should be grown in temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 27 degrees Celsius).

Philodendron melanochrysum can be planted outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b.

As for humidity, this tropical plant appreciates a high humidity climate.

If you grow it with a moss pole, you can spray the moss now and then to increase the humidity. Adding a pebble tray underneath the pot also works for increasing humidity.

Light

Light-For-Philodendron-Melanochrysum

Philodendron Melanochrysum prefers growing under partial sunlight or bright shade because, as an understory plant in the tropical forest, it receives indirect light through the trees and other large plants.

However, when grown indoors, Philodendron melanochrysum plants need the same type of light as outdoors—indirect, bright light.

Do not allow the plant to sit in direct sunlight for too long because that will damage the velvety leaves.

If your house does not have sufficient natural light, you can use grow lights as an alternative.

But grow lights should be placed at a distance so as to avoid burning the leaves.

Watering

Philodendron melanochrysum needs moist soil (not waterlogged) to grow its velvety leaves and thrive.

There is no fixed time to water your potted Black Gold Philodendron, but a simple rule is to water it when 2-3 inches of soil are dry.

This usually takes five to seven days, depending on the weather and temperature.

The amount of sunlight also impacts the watering schedule of Philodendron Melanochrysum.

To avoid root rot, use a pot with drainage holes and a tray at the bottom. You can keep adding water until it starts coming out from the drainage hole.

Wait for a few minutes after watering to collect and drain excess water.

Soil and Fertilizer

Soil-For-Philodendron-Melanochrysum

Loamy or sandy potting mixes are best for Black Gold Philodendron plants.

In addition, the soil should be well-draining, be able to stay moist and the soil pH should be slightly acidic.

You can enhance the potting mix by adding organic soil amendments like peat moss.

Alternatively, Philodendron melanochrysum plants can also grow and trhive in sphagnum peat moss because it’s organic, has nutrients, and has excellent water retention properties.

Peat moss has pockets of air that ensure good air circulation and oxygen supply for the root system.

Lastly, a DIY potting mix can be created using three simple ingredients in equal parts: sphagnum peat moss, potting soil, and perlite.

This plant needs nutrients in the soil throughout the growth cycle, and therefore, you need to fertilize it during the growing season.

You can use a balanced houseplant fertilizer in liquid form once every month or use a slow-release fertilizer.

We highly suggest this slow-release fertilizer that is made for houseplants. It’s super simple to use, and you don’t need to worry about it once you set it in the soil.

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Repotting

If the roots of your Philodendron Melanochrysum plant are growing out of the drainage hole, it needs to be repotted.

Repotting your Black Gold Philodendron will determine how big and how fast it will grow.

Generally, if good care is given it can take one to two years before it outgrows its container.

Repotting should be done in spring or summer so that the plant can better adjust to the new environment.

You can add a trellis or moss pole to the pot to train them as climbing plants. As the plant grows, the aerial roots will start attaching to the moss pole.

If you’re looking for a moss pole, we like this particular moss pole. It’s worked with all our trailing and climbing plants. Plus, they’re made out of coco coir, so you know it’s organic.

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Propagation

Propagation-Philodendron-Melanochrysum

The easiest method to propagate Philodendron melanochrysum plants is by stem cuttings.

In fact, you can utilize the leftover cuttings after pruning your Black Gold Philodendron.

Start by choosing the healthiest stem on the mother plant with the leaf node.

Trim this section using clean pruning scissors. Make sure the tools are sharp to avoid damage.

You can take multiple cuttings if you have a bushy Philodendron melanochrysum plant.

All the leaves in the bottom section of the stem cutting should be removed; however, each cutting should have at least 1-2 leaves on the top.

For water propagation, submerge the lower part of the Philodendron Melanochrysum cutting in water, and for soil propagation, bury it in a well-draining soil mixture such as sphagnum moss.

The stem cutting needs light to grow, so place the jar or pot in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight.

The root development should take two to three weeks.

But once the watery roots are about 1 inch long, it’s recommended to transfer the cutting to the soil to have a healthy plant.

Keep the soil moist to help the cutting grow new leaves.

As an aside, if you’re having issues propagating your plant, try using some rooting hormones. Rooting hormones help new cutting develop roots faster. We suggest this particular rooting hormone. We’ve used it in the past and it seems to work every time because we see roots sprouting.

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Common Problems Affecting Black Gold Philodendron Plants

Philodendron melanochrysum is largely safe from most pests and illnesses if you grow them indoors.

With that said, you should keep an eye out for common houseplant pests like scale, mealybugs, fungus gnats, and spider mites, as well as diseases like root rot, bacterial leaf spot, and fungal infections.

Pests

Pests that affect Philodendron melanochrysum plants are mealybugs, scales, red spider mites, and fungus gnats.

In general, all these pests will feed on the foliage and plant juices and make your Philodendron weak.

In most cases, pest infestations that affect Black Gold Philodendrons are exacerbated by overwatering the soil, not allowing the soil to dry between waterings, or when the foliage remains wet for too long.

For common house pests like mealybugs or spider mites, firstly move your plant away from other plants; pests can spread from one plant to the next.

Next, with some rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton balls, remove as many pests as you can see by hand, followed by spraying an insecticide or Neem oil will help keep pest infestations at bay.

Be forewarned that if some insecticides and Neem oil are very pungent, they are effective.

Plant Diseases

Plant diseases that affect Black Gold Philodendron include root rot, fungal infections, and bacterial leaf spot.

By far the most common cause is overwatering. By overwatering your plant, you create a perfect environment for bacteria and fungus to grow. Furthermore, if you water your plant from above, thereby wetting the leaves, the wet leaves may breed bacteria or fungal diseases if left moist for too long.

If you don’t treat common plant diseases like bacteria-based leaf spot or root rot immediately, your plant will suffer and may possibly die.

Leaf Spot on Philodendrons

Symptoms of leaf spot include transparent spots that become reddish-brown with yellow halos. The bacteria that is most likely responsible for the leaf spots Xanthomonas campestris pv. dieffenbachiae. [1]

To avoid leaf spot on your Philodendron, obviously, purchase only disease-free plants.

Avoid watering your plant from above. Rather water the soil directly and stop watering once you see the excess water drain out of the bottom of the pot.

If you do see leaf spot disease, immediately move the plant away from other plants. Bacterial leaf spot can easily infect other nearby plants.

Next, cut and prune away any disease leaves or stems that you see. Then follow up with a cooper-based fungicide spray.

Keep regular plant care, like sunshine and water, and hopefully, the bacteria will have been killed off and your plant should be on its way to recovery.

Philodendron Root Rot

Though there are several fungi or bacteria that can cause root rot in your Black Gold Philodendron.

A fungus called Pythium is one example-especially for philodendrons.

The first sign your plant has been affected by root rot is the appearance of yellow leaves that become brown but remain connected to the stem.

The uppermost leaves of the plant may also start to wilt.

What Does Root Rot Look Like?

If you notice any of these initial signs mentioned above, gently pull your plant out of the pot to inspect the roots. Most of the time you can just tell if it is rotted.

The roots damaged by root rot will appear and feel dark and mushy.

When affected roots are handled, they may fall off the plant or the outer layer will easily separate from the inner root core.

In addition, the roots may have a bad smell to them.

In contrast, the roots of a healthy plant may be black or white, but they will be solid and flexible.

Treatment for Root Rot

If your Philodendron has root rot, immediately take it out of its container and wash the roots to remove any infected areas.

Next, apply a fungicide, and repot it in fresh potting soil. If the root rot is severe, your plant might be too far gone and there’s nothing much you can do.

However, you can propagate the plant using a stem or leaf cutting to preserve it.

Neem Oil to Treat Pests and Plant Disease

To combat both pests and fungal plant infections, you can use a Neem oil spray as it is used as both a pesticide and a fungicide in the garden.

It suffocates insects by coating their bodies with oil, which plugs their breathing passages, and as for fungal treatment, it prevents fungal spores from germinating and penetrating leaf tissue.

Neem will not cure a plant already affected by a fungal disease, but it can help prevent the illness from spreading to healthy tissue; hence, you’ll need to prune off any diseased foliage first.

We suggest this particular Neem oil spray. It’s nothing fancy, but we’ve used it on our pest infestations and it works very well.

Just a quick note that to some people Neem oil has a very pungent smell. So be forewarned.

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FAQ

Why are Philodendron Melanochrysum Plants so expensive?

Philodendron Melanochrysum is expensive because they are rare and very hard to find. The gorgeous leaves make it a high-demand plant. Plus, they are not usually sold at your local nursery and garden shops. These two factors are the main reason Philodendron Melanochrysum is expensive.

Is Philodendron Micans the same as Philodendron Melanochrysum?

No, Philodendron Micans is not the same as Philodendron Melanochrysum. Philodendron Micans have smaller and thinner leaves compared to Philodendron Melanochrysum. Another difference between the two Philodendron plants is that the Micans leaves have a burgundy shade, whereas the Melanochrysum leaves are green.

How fast does Philodendron Melanochrysum grow?

On average, Philodendron Melanochrysum plants grow 6-12 inches per year. Philodendron Melanochrysum has an average growth rate which makes it an ideal houseplant for indoor container gardening.

Conclusion

Philodendron melanochrysum needs regular watering, warmth, and filtered sunlight to replicate its natural habitat.

The velvet leaves in shades of brown and green make this plant a decorative houseplant.

Lastly, Black Gold Philodendron plants are considered toxic and may cause skin irritation. Therefore, handle it carefully and watch out if you have pets in the house.

Other Philodendron Plants

Although Black Gold Phildendrons have unique velvety leaves, there are other Philodendron plants you can grow indoors.

If you can’t get your seem to find a Philodendron melanochrysum, below is a list of alternative Philodendrons to get for your home, office, or outdoor garden.

Philodendron Brasil: Philodendron brasil is an excellent house or office plant. It may be placed on the countertop or in a holding container. This plant is even capable of climbing a trellis or moss pole. It requires so little care that it is ideal for novices.

Philodendron Hope Selloum: This philodendron is also known as Philodendron bipinnatifidum, and it has a variety of common names, including Hope Selloum, Horsehead Philodendron, Lacy Tree Philodendron, Philodendron Hope Selloum, and the most common, Tree Philodendron. It is a non-climbing philodendron, which means it grows horizontally instead of upward.

Philodendron Gloriosum: Commonly known as the Velvet Philodendron because of its velvety leaves, the Philodendron gloriosum is a slender, ground-dwelling plant native to South America. It has heart-shaped leaves with a velvety feel, pink margins, and noticeable white, pink, or pale green vein

References

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  • Rathmell, J. (n.d.). Philodendrons. Northeast Home Horticulture Fact Sheet. Cooperative Extension Services of the Northeastern States. Pennsylvania State University. URL: http://cag.uconn.edu/communications/freePublications/cooperative-extension-publications/general-horticulture/philodendron.pdf
  • Horticulture Center Demonstration & Community Gardens at East Meadow Farm. (n.d.). Philodendron. Cornell University Cooperative Extension Nassau County. URL: http://ccenassau.org/resources/philodendron
  • Russ, K. & Pertuit, A. (Revised 2016 by Smith, B.). Philodendron Factsheet. HGIC 1509. Clemson University, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. URL: https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/philodendron-pothos-monstera/
  • Moorman, G. (2016). Philodendron Diseases. Pennsylvania State University Extension. URL: https://extension.psu.edu/philodendron-diseases
  • About/mentions: philodendron melanochrysum, philodendron, houseplant

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