Philodendron Mamei (Silver Cloud) Care and Growing Tips

Philodendron Mamei is an amazingly low-maintenance, classic heart-shaped Philodendron, making it a perfect choice as houseplant for beginners and those struggling to keep their plants alive. Well, we all plant parents appreciate plants that are not demanding and easy to care for. Don’t we? This lovely evergreen creeping Philodendron features heart-shaped green leaves with stunning silver markings, distinguishing it from other indoor plant collections.

philodendron mamei- silver cloud plant care

With the rising popularity of variegated houseplants, Philodendron Mamei heart-shaped foliage, with its significant silver/gray mottled variegation, offers the equivalent aesthetically pleasing experience but with zero fuss, unlike other popular variegated varieties with the constant fear of variegation fading away.

This exceptional plant with air-cleaning properties makes it the perfect choice for any indoor place. The striking silver variegation on the leaves, which look like hand-painted streaks, makes it appealing and eye catching.

Closely-Related Allied Species: Philodendron Moonlight, Philodendron White Knight, Philodendron White Princess, Philodendron Florida Ghost, Philodendron Verrucosum, Philodendron Squamiferum.

Essential Products

Origin and Family

Philodendron Mamei is a terrestrial plant (crawling) of the Araceae family and is native to the tropical regions of South and Central America- was discovered in Ecuador’s rainforests during the late 1800s.

This striking terrestrial Philodendron is also popular by other names such as Silver Cloud ( a hybrid of Philodendron Mamei) and Quilted Silver leaf plant due to its silver lining in the leaves. 

Botanical Name: Philodendron Mamei
Family Name: Araceae
Other names: Silver Cloud
Plant Type: Crawling perennial
Origin:Ecuador
Color: Dark green with silver Variegation
Leaf ShapeHeart-shaped leaves
Humidity:50% to 70%
Temperature:65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C)
Light NeedBright Indirect light
PropagationStem cutting
Soil type    Well-drained organic soil
Hardiness ZoneZone 9 to 11
PestsMealybugs and Scale insects.

Is Philodendron Mamei the same as Silver cloud?


Philodendron Mamei and Silver Cloud are different plants of the same species that are almost identical and hard to differentiate unless you put them side by side. Silver Cloud is probably a Mamei hybrid, but I could be wrong. The main difference is the leaf shape, amount of silver variegation & the ridges.

philodendron mamei vs. philodendron silver cloud

Philodendron Mamei has elongated heart-shaped pointier leaves, while silver cloud has more rounded heart-shaped leaves. The second difference is the colour of new growth, so in Philodendron Silver Cloud the cataphylls are white while for Philodendron Mamei they are red.

philodendron mamei vs silver cloud difference

Another difference is the colour of the leaf base, the Philodendron Mamei leaf base is more prominently pink compared to Silver Cloud. As the name suggest Silver Cloud Philodendron has more silver variegation on the foliage compared to Philodendron Mamei.

However, the care and growth habits of both Philodendron is the same. Therefore, this guide will cover all the essential care tips of Philodendron Mamei and Silver Cloud.


How to Care for Philodendron Mamei?


The quilted silver is easy to grow and can thrive well with little care and attention. This wonderful beauty’s care requirements are no different from any other common houseplant.

How to Care for Philodendron Mamei

Like most Aroids, it loves to stay in moist but well-draining soil and thrives in warm, humid tropical conditions. Also, this beautiful plant likes bright but indirect sunlight to throw out bigger variegated leaves.

This article will discuss every aspect of Philodendron Mamei care, including repotting, propagation, and common problems that your Philodendron Mamei may encounter! Keep reading to learn about the comprehensive care guide for this striking heart-shaped leafy houseplant.

How big do Philodendron Mamei get?

Philodendron Mamei features huge, heart-shaped dark green leaves with ridges contrasting gorgeous silver speckles along the surface, resembling smearings or smudging silver paint on the leaves exhibiting picturesque variegated foliage.

How big do Philodendron Mamei get?

The leaves are soft and glossy that can get really, really massive, with a tiny bit of pink at the end of the ruffled-edged petiole right in the middle at the leaf base and deep, prominent veining resulting in a pleated appearance of the leaves.

Philodendron Mamei is a flowering plant that rarely blooms like the rest of the family members. Its inflorescences aren’t significantly beautiful as its foliage and are usually pale white spathe and spadix, resembling Peace Lily flowers that can be pollinated to produce seeds.

Is Philodendron Mamei a climber or crawler?

Philodendron Mamei is considered a terrestrial plant as these plants grow and crawl on the jungle floor in nature, acting as a ground cover, unlike epiphytic Philodendrons (Philodendron Verrucosum, Florida Ghost) that crawl up a tree.

is philodendron mamei a climber or crawler

However, they can be tamed to climb a moss pole, but I found them enjoying creeping and growing the roots along the surface of the potting medium producing significantly large leaves.

As Phlodendron Mamei or Philodendron Silver cloud prefers creeping, so I would suggest not giving it a moss pole; instead, giving it a pot that gives it enough room to actually just crawl along the surface of the potting medium e.g., a nice-looking rectangular self-watering pot. When the plant is deep in the pot, the new vines that come up will have very short internodes, and all these nodes will root well into the potting soil encouraging the plant to push up bigger and bigger leaves.

Is Philodendron Mamei a fast grower?

The evergreen beauty Philodendron Mamei is not a fast grower and can also climb if you provide it with sphagnum moss pole support. However, the plant may not produce huge leaves as it may produce as a crawler.

Is Philodendron Mamei a fast grower?
humidity and temperature

Temperature and Humidity

It’s not a surprise that the Mamei plant loves high humidity as it’s a tropical plant and thrives in a highly humid environment. Therefore, for the healthy and fast growth of the plant, a 50% to 70% moisture level is ideal, and in such humid conditions, the plant can produce vibrant, huge textured leaves.

You can obtain the desired level by placing a plant humidifier near the plant or using a pebble tray half filled with water and place the pot on top to increase the humidity. Another effective way to increase moisture naturally is to group the plants together. The plant leaves evaporate water droplets through a process of transpiration which increases the local humidity level around the plants. Moreover, you can place your plant in the bathroom or kitchen where it is more humid.

  • Pro Tip: Remember, always maintain the moisture levels for your lovely plant to avoid crispy edges and tips of leaves.

Temperature

This tropical perennial loves a warm environment and prefers a temperature range between 68F to 80F. It can tolerate the low temperature to some extent, but if it drops below 55F, it can affect the plant’s health. That’s why you always try keeping the plant in warmer areas where it can grow well and maintain its health.

temperature need of philodendron mamei

This plant cannot withstand cold or frosty weather; please avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature fluctuations as the frigid environment is more detrimental to your plant. Bring this plant indoors in the fall when the temperature drops below 50F at night. Moreover, using heating pads and frost blankets during winter helps maintaining the optimal temperature.

  • Alert: Remember to keep the plant away from heaters and Ac vents; otherwise, the plant may wilt.

If you notice that your Philodendron Mamei or Silver Cloud shows no new growth in months, it is most likely your plant is in a spot that is too chilly. You can use mulch, straw or dried grass for chilly places to cover the soil beneath the plant. It will act as insulation, preventing the heat from escaping to prevent stunted growth.

  • Pro Tip: Use a hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity for optimal plant growth care.
watering requirements

Watering

Appropriate watering is essential for the philodendron Mamei’s healthy growth. This houseplant variety loves moist soil but prefers to avoid soggy and waterlogged soil, as it can result in several problems. I would suggest watering your Mamei when bone dry, as I noticed if you water while the soil is moist, the leaves may show signs of yellowing.

This plant doesn’t favor wet soil and likes to be watered when the soil dries out completely. Thus, water it only when the top two inches of the soil is dry. If you notice lower leaves showing signs of yellowing, you might be over-watering the plant or need to move to a brighter spot.

Overwatering can cause various pest problems and diseases, such as root rot and stem rot. Whereas underwatering can also have devastating effects on the plant, and it can drive its slow growth and brown and curly leaf edges.

The Philodendron Mamei plant needs frequent watering in summer as the plant is exposed to bright indirect light for most of the day. In contrast, the frequency decreases in winter as the soil takes a long to dry due to lower temperatures and shorter days.

You might find online people suggesting watering the Philodendron Mamei weekly. However, this isn’t a practical approach as the watering needs vary depending on several factors, such as temperature and amount of light. Sticking to a schedule can cause trouble for the plant.

How to Determine soil Moisture?

Therefore, the best watering technique is to let the topsoil dry between the watering sessions. The ideal method to determine the dry soil is to dip fingers in it and check the moisture. Using a moisture meter or moisture sensor is quite helpful in examining soil desiccation if you are not sure. Once the top soil dries, water your plant thoroughly, and wait until the excess water drains out from the drainage holes to prevent any root rot or fungal disease.

IPPINKA plant soil moisture sensor

Bottom watering or using a self-watering pot for Philodendrons has been proven successful in my experience.

  • Pro Tip: We recommend using rain or distilled water to prevent the crispy tips of the leaves.
sunlight requirement

Light Needs

Being a tropical plant, the philodendron Mamei in its natural habitat, grows under tree canopies where it doesn’t receive direct sunlight. If you want your plant to flourish indoors, provide it with all native conditions and witness its wonders. The silver cloud loves bright indirect light; that’s why it needs constant indirect or filtered light for 7 to 8 hours a day. But avoid putting it in direct sunlight as it can cause irreversible damage to the plant foliage.

light need of philodendron mamei

Mamei plants can’t tolerate direct sunlight, as their leaves scorch and turn yellow. Too much light can also cause result drooping leaves. If you plan to grow this plant outdoors, plant it under a tree or other shaded spots that receive dappled sunlight.

The perfect place for your Mamei plant would be an east-facing window or a glass door where your plant can receive gentle morning sun rays. If you place your plant in south or west-facing windows, use sheer curtains to filter intense direct light during the day that may burn the striking foliage.

If you notice tiny yellow or brown spots on the leaves, chances are the sunlight is intense for the foliage, and you need to move your plant a few feet away from the window.

  • Alert: The foliage damage is permanent if plant leaves are burnt by direct intense sunlight.

Effects of low Light

On the other hand, if the plant does not receive sufficient light, its leaf edges may turn brown and plant will be leggy with smaller leaves and longer internodes. Although Mamei can tolerate low light conditions, too little light will slow the growth and result in smaller and narrow leaves. Also, the leaves can lose their silver dustings and turn to dark green color only.

Moreover, low light exposure means the plant will not photosynthesize efficiently and won’t absorb the soil’s complete water, which may cause root rot.

If you don’t have a bright spot at your place, using grow lights helps achieve the required light.

  • Pro Tip: In addition, you can also use Lux Light Meter for Indoor Plants to determine the light intensity of plant’s surroundings. A place with almost 400 FC light intensity is suitable for your Philodendron.
soil requirement

Soil Requirement

As your philodendron plant is very sensitive to overwatering but you cannot achieve the balanced watering if the soil is wrong. Most water sensitive plants prefer well-draining and aerated soil and so does philodendron mamei also enjoys airy and nutrient rich soil that helps in water drainage.

Avoid garden soil as it isn’t drain well, also regular potting mix can’t work for this pant as its made for outdoor plants. You need a potting medium for this philodendron that contains all the right materials in right proportions that allow the soil to drain well and also retain the required moisture for the plant development.

To achieve the required results, you can also make your own potting soil with all important ingredients. It’s an easy process and all you need is a

  • Pro Tip: For healthy and thriving plants, keep the soil loose and organic rich at all times. 

Besides that, you can also choose from our recommended potting mixes available in the market, such as:

Fertilizing

Indoor plants also need fertilizer for extra nutrients and healthy growth, Philodendron Mamei isn’t different from other houseplants, but it’s also not a heavy feeder. The spring and summer months are the best time to feed the plant as it’s a growing season, and the Philodendron needs additional nutrients for its growth.

Feeding your plant with high nitrogen-based all-purpose liquid fertilizers diluted to half strength once a month is ideal in the growing season, while the fertilizer’s frequency should be reduced in the colder months.

Moreover, some plant parents prefer granular slow-release fertilizer as it is also very effective for its growth and reduce the chances of foliage and root burn. These granular fertilizers dissolves slowly as the plant needed, so you can’t over fertilize the plant.

If you are new to plant parenting I highly recommend trying Miracle-Grow Indoor Plant Food Spikes. These pellets are really easy to use and will not burn any foliage of your plant.

Here are some good fertilizers for your Mamei available on the market:

Be careful with the usage, as over-fertilization may burn the plant.

Repotting

Potting

Philodendron Mamei thrives in a pot container with drainage holes so air can flow through the roots to provide oxygen. Please avoid using large containers for your plant because, in big containers, the soil doesn’t dry and may stay soggy, increasing the risk of root rot.

potting philodendron mamei
  • Pro Tip: Remember to choose the pot size depending on the root ball size.

As Philodendron Mamei and Silver Cloud are crawlers, therefore I would suggest using a nice long rectangle pot, preferably a self-watering container so the plant can crawl along the pot, and you can help bury most of the nodes in the potting mix to encourage enormous leaf growth.

Repotting

Repotting Philodendron Mamei

The Philodendron Mamei is not a fast grower, loves to be root bound slightly, hence doesn’t need repotting often. The recommended time to repot the plant is once in one or two years, but you should only transplant it when you witness the signs such as root bulging out of drainage holes, the roots growing on the soil surface, or the plant has stunted growth despite care.

Another sign to look for in the case of Philodendron Mamei is when it starts to hang over the pot because it wants to crawl, you need to repot it into a bigger container so that it can crawl along the potting medium and can extend its aerial roots into the soil to absorb more nutrients.

The best time to transplant the plant is in spring or summer as it’s a growth season and may help to adjust the plant to a new place.

Repotting Guide

Here is a step-by-step guide to repot your Philodendron Mamei;

  • Watered your plant 2-4 days prior to repotting to prevent transplant shock and easy removal of the plant.
  • Gently uproot the plant from the pot and inspect the roots for any signs of rotting or disease. 
  • Use a sterilized pair of scissors to trim any damaged roots.
  • Gently tease your plant roots to loosen them.
  • Choose a new pot that should be larger in size than the current one to provide enough space for the roots to develop and the plant to crawl.
  • Place a layer of fresh potting mix in the bottom of the container to provide all essential nutrients to the plant.
  • Since Philodendron Mamei and Silver Cloud are crawlers, they will be crawling along the pot; therefore, place your plant’s root ball into one side of the container so that the plant can grow and crawl along the potting medium.
  • Now cover the roots of your Philodendron Mamei plant with potting mix
  • Gently press the soil with your hands ensuring not to compact the roots.
  • At this stage, you can get some garden wires and make some large u-shaped pins to push down the plant stem into the soil to sort of training it to where you want it to grow. This makes the aerial roots come into contact with the potting medium, which will essentially root at every node resulting in immense leaf growth.
  • After repotting, I usually water my plants with Clonex Clone solution. It builds a healthy, strong, and robust root system, so it helps reduce the transplant shock when you’re transplanting your plants.

Propagation

Philodendron Mamei Propagation

Since Philodendron Mamei and Silver Cloud are crawling philodendrons with lots of aerial roots and multiple growth points or nodes, they can easily be propagated via stem cuttings and air layering with 99% success rate.

Stem Cutting Propagation

I prefer stem-cutting propagation for this crawling philodendron as this is simple and has a high success rate. As the leaves are enormous, single-node cuts are just fine for propagation.

propagation of philodendron mamei and silver cloud

Follow a step-by-step guide for Philodendrons Mamei propagation via stem cutting.

  • Choose a healthy stem and leaf for propagation cutting. Avoid propagating the cuttings with any spots or pale, yellowish-colored leaves.
  • Use a sterilized pruning shear or knife to snip the Philodendron stems. Make a sharp cut at an angle on the internode.
  • For successful propagation, your cuttings must include a leaf, at least one growth point, a node, and some aerial roots.
  • Remove the extra part of the internode of the stem piece.
  • At this point, you can root your cuttings in different growing mediums such as water, sphagnum moss and potting soil.

Propagation in Water

For a cutting with very little roots, I usually put it in water because it does need to absorb more water to support the leaf and the new node from where new vine will appear.

  • Fill half a clean glass jar or any plant propagation station with distilled water.
  • Place your stem cuttings into the glass of water, ensuring the bottom nodes of stem cuttings are entirely submerged.
  • Keep your cuttings in a warm, humid place with medium indirect light. You don’t want to expose your cutting to bright indirect light initially, as the cutting has minimal roots.
  • Keep changing the water every few days until you notice enough roots (an inch or two long).
  • Now, you can transplant your cuttings into the potting mix to start as new plants.

Propagation in Sphagnum Moss and Potting soil

You can also use sphagnum moss and aroid potting mix for rooting your cuttings. I prefer using sphagnum moss for cuttings that have a little bit of roots and potting mix directly if they already have a lot of roots.

propagating philodendron mamei in potting mix

Before putting your cuttings in sphagnum moss or potting mix, you might need to seal the edge of your cutting by applying cinnamon powder, anti-fungal powder, or activated charcoal to prevent rotting.

Choose a small plastic pot, put the cutting in it, and cover the node with a little potting mix. You don’t want to bury the node too much in the potting mix as it will increase the incidence of over-watering. Therefore, only put like half a pot of potting mix, and when the new vine comes up, you can always add more potting soil later.

When you pot the cutting in potting mix, please ensure the growing eye is facing up so that the growth can find its way up and continue growing leaves facing up.

Air Layering Propagation

Philodendron Mamei grows aerial roots along its stem and can be propagated using air layering method. However, this is less common method but possible if you don’t want to cut your plant .

  • Find a node with some aerial roots on the Silver Cloud stem where you want to cut the stem.
  • Take some moist sphagnum moss and wrap it around the node.
  • Now, take plastic bag and wrap it around the sphagnum moss to keep the moss in place and moist.
  • You can also apply a cloning or hormone paste on the node before wrapping to aid the growth.
  • keep the sphagnum moss moist.
  • Once you notice roots coming out of the plastic wrap, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sphagnum moss covering the new roots.
  • Use a sterilized pruning shear to cut the stem half an inch below the node with newly grown roots.
  • You can seal the cutting edge using activated charcoal or anti-fungal powder.
  • Plant your propagated philodendron cutting in a well-draining potting mix and keep it in a warm, bright place.
maintenance and cleaning

Pruning and Maintenance

Philodendron Mamei is not a fast grower; therefore, it doesn’t require frequent pruning. However occasional pruning encourages healthy growth by producing new leaves.

To encourage bushier growth, you can trim the infected, old, and damaged leaves. Always use disinfected shears for trimming to avoid the spread of any infections. As mentioned earlier, the plant has enormous leaves that quickly gather dust. It’s essential to clean the dust as it hinders transpiration and reduces photosynthesis; hence, clean the leaves regularly with a damp cloth. Regular cleaning also helps to keep an eye on potential pests and infections.

Moreover, you can propagate the cuttings and replant them in the pot to make the plant bushier.

  • Pro Tip: Never forget, always use gloves and disinfected shears and scissors for Pruning. 

toxicity

Toxicity

You need to be very careful with this plant if you have children and pets at home. Philodendron mamei is poisonous to humans including cats and dogs as they contain calcium oxalate. This substance is responsible to cause several side effects in pets and human if it’s ingested. The expected symptoms are vomiting, swelling of mouth, GIT and esophagus. Keep it out of reach of kids and pets.

common problems

Diseases & Pests

Under proper growing conditions, this plant is resistant to pests, but it doesn’t mean it can never have any issues. It would be best to understand what common pests can attack your plant and how to prevent their occurrence. 

Spider mites 

Your silver cloud is more prone to spider mite attack if you are underwatering and keeping it in a low humid environment as these insects develop in dry conditions. The common symptoms of these mites are small brown or yellow dots on the leaves. Webbing on the leaves is another sign. 

To prevent the spider mite infestation, provide your plant with the required humidity and water. In case of infestation, shower your plant to flush the mites from the leaves, and if that doesn’t help, apply insecticidal oil on the leaves. 

You can also treat the leaves with a solution of one part isopropyl alcohol and four parts water. Continue spraying the leaves once a week for at least four weeks.

Scale insects

These tiny insects appear on the branches and stems of Philodendrons and are attached to those areas. They are harmful to the plant’s health and may cause by external factors such as dirty pots and contaminated potting mix. 

To treat these insects, take a teaspoon of neem oil in 4 cups of water and spray it on the affected areas of the plant. 

Cleaning leaves with a damp cloth every two weeks is very important to spot such issues. 

Moreover, in case of spider mites and mealybugs attack, you can treat them with insecticidal soap spray. 

Mealybugs

These tiny parasites can weaken and kill your plant by sucking the plant’s sap. The main causes of mealybugs are overwatering and over-fertilizing. If you see white, brown, or cream fuzzy stuff on the plant leaves, it indicates your plant is infested with mealybugs. To treat this issue, wipe the leaves and other parts of the plant with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. 

Don’t forget to check the underside of the leaves as Mealybugs love to cluster there and usually go unnoticed by plant parents.

Diseases

The plant is also susceptible to root rot due to roots’ suffocation because of overwatering and low light exposure. Let’s see what causes this disease and how we can overcome it. 

Root rot

Root rot is a serious disease that can kill your plant. The root rot is caused because of overwatering and poor drainage of the pot. To avoid this problem, always use a container with enough drainage holes and well-draining potting soil, and don’t overwater the plant. 

The common symptoms of root rot are yellow leaves and mushy roots. If your plant depicts these signs, remove it from the pot and examine its roots; if you see black and mushy roots, your philodendron is suffering from root rot.

Remove the affected parts and repot the plant in a fresh well, draining a chunky potting medium. Moreover, placing your plant in a spot where it receives bright indirect light for at least 6 to 8 hours helps it photosynthesize effectively and lets it absorb all the water from the soil.

Common Problems

The common problems that philodendron Mamei may encounter are 

Brown leaf tips

If your plant has brown leaf tips, it depicts that it has been exposed to too much sunlight or been placed in a low humid area where it doesn’t get enough humidity. Using a plant humidifier or grouping your plant with other tropical plants helps increase the humidity.

Drooping leaves

Some factors can cause leaf drooping in Mamei plants, such as over-watering or over-fertilizing and the mealybug’s infestation. 

Yellow leaves

Many factors can cause the yellowing of the leaves of Mamei Philodendron. If the plant is getting too much or too little water, or it is exposed to too much sun or getting too little light. 

faq

Common Queries

Is Philodendron Mamei rare?

The philodendron Mamei is sold as a rare house plant featuring heart-shaped green leaves contrasting shiny silvery variegation, which earned its nickname Silver Cloud- which is actually a hybrid of the Philodendron Mamei plant. 

Are Philodendrons high maintenance?

The philodendrons are not very fussy plants and don’t encounter pests’ problems quite often, making them great indoor houseplants. If you are a beginner and want to collect low-maintenance and easy-growing plants, the philodendrons are the best options. 

final words

Conclusion

Philodendron Mamei is a classy houseplant with stunning and unique foliage that can enrich your home ambiance with its spectacular looks and beauty. It’s a low-maintenance plant, hence perfect for new plant parents or people with brown thumbs.

We hope you have liked this detailed article about the care guide for the subtle Philodendron Mamei and Silver cloud Philodendron.

So, what are you waiting for, grab this beauty and lit your home with its exquisiteness.

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