Philodendron Spiritus Sancti: Botanical Mystery - Absolute Gardener

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti: Botanical Mystery

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philodendron spiritus sancti

Philodendron spiritus sancti, philodendrons for short (or philo plants), are one of the most popular indoor-outdoor plants. They’re also among the easiest to grow and maintain. With a little bit of care, philo plants can thrive in almost any environment – indoors or outdoors! This article will take you through some philodendron spiritus sancti care guides and tips on keeping these philo plants happy.

What is a Philodendron Spiritus Sancti?

Philodendron sanctum or philodendron spiritus sancti is a plant with many nicknames and uses. It can be called philodendron, philoxeran, septentrionalis erythroxyloides, herbal philodoron, holy weed and philocactus. Some people say philodendron sanctum is a philodoron plant, but others say philocactus is the correct name. It grows to be between 12 and 18 feet tall with bright green leaves that are marked by red veins running vertically down each one. The philodendrons have large, heart shaped leafs that grow up to six inches in diameter.

You can grow philo plants in an indoor terrarium, on your balconies or patios, indoors as a houseplant – you name it! The philodendrons will do well no matter what environment they’re in and philodendrons spiritus sancti, philo plants for short (or philo plants), are one of the most popular indoor-outdoor plants. They’re also among the easiest to grow and maintain. With a little bit of care, philo plants can thrive in almost any environment – indoors or outdoors!

philodendron spiritus sancti
Image: via La Condesa Flora Collective

Origins of Philodendron Spiritus Sancti

The philodendron spiritus sancti is an ornamental plant that has a long history of intrigue. This legend-inspiring plant’s name—which translates to “the philodendron of the Holy Spirit”—comes from its origins in the rainforests near Brazil, where it was first discovered by Jesuit missionaries who dubbed it a gift from God.

With glossy green leaves and strikingly symmetrical white flowers, philodends are coveted for their beauty and rarity—especially philodendrons spiritus sancti, which grow close to the ground with vines so thick they’re often mistaken as tree roots. But these plants are definitely not just for show: philodends produce oxygen at night through photosynthesis like any other plan,t and they’re one of the few plants that can grow in a variety of environments.

Sadly philodendrons aren’t as common outside Brazil, but those lucky enough to have philo plants are often rewarded with more than just amazing flowers: philomes (the fruit) are also edible! In fact, philome juice is a popular drink in some parts of Brazil and philo plants are often cultivated for their fruits.

The philodendron spiritus sancti plant’s rarity has not only led to a fascination with it, but also many rumours and myths about the philo plant – from its purported ability to cure cancer, AIDS, or other illnesses (which may be ascribed to the philodendron’s folkloric history) to its purported ability to ward off evil spirits.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Plant Care Guide

Philodendron spiritus sancti, also known as philo plant, is a common houseplant that people usually combine with air plants in order to create an expressive and decorative composition. Even though philodendron spiritus sancti is a fairly easy plant to grow, some care guides are important to follow. Lets have a look at them!


Philodendron spiritus sancti should be planted in the right soil. If philodendron spiritus sancti is grown as an indoor plant, then a variety of soils will work well for philodendron spiritus sancti care. But if philodendron spritus sancti was instead purchased from a nursery, they may need a specific type of potting soil.

A mix of sphagnum peat moss and sand or perlite is ideal for philodendron spritius santii. This mixture provides the right level of drainage for philodendron spiritus sancti and will also help philodendron spiritus sancti adapt to its new environment. philodendron spritius santii should never be grown in soil that has too much clay or it may suffocate philodendron spritus sancti and stunt it’s growth.

A philodendron spritus sancti should be repotted into fresh soil every two to three years and it’s a good idea to fertilize them once or twice during the growing season with an organic fertilizer.


Philodendron sancti requires bright indirect light, such as natural sunlight coming through a window or an east-facing door. It should not be left in direct sun for too long because it will lose its color and turn pale green.

Lighting Requirements:

  • Give philodendron spiritus sancti bright, indirect light.
  • Do not put philo spiritus sancti in direct sunlight for too long because it may turn pale green.


philodendron spiritus sancti
Image: FantasticGardensHawaii

Philodendrons are typically watered when the top one inch of soil has dried out. It becomes important to water philodendron spiritus sancti more in warmer climates and during periods where it is not getting a lot of natural rainfall or watering (e.g., fall, winter, drought), or when philodendron spiritus sancti has been recently repotted.

Philodendrons can be watered more generously than most houseplants during spring and summer months, but should not be allowed to sit in water for long periods of time as this will promote the development of root rot. Philodendrons should be watered early in the day to avoid water spotting on leaves.

Philodendron spiritus sancti can also be topped off with rainwater or distilled water during times of drought, but philodendron spiritus sancti will not tolerate salt buildup from regular tap water and must have all traces of salt rinsed off the leaves before philodendron spiritus sancti can be re-exposed to water.


Philodendron is comfortable living in a temperature range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, although philodendron prefers to stay around 70 degrees. If you live in an area that gets extremely hot or cold philodendrons will need to be inside and away from the heaters/air conditioners respectively. The best way to keep philodendron comfortable is to keep the philodendrons in a room away from major heat sources or cold drafts. They will need at least four hours of sunlight per day, but they prefer filtered sun for two reasons: philodendron needs less light and philodendron has sensitive skin that can be damaged by too much direct sunlight.


Spiritus sancti philodendron natural environment is one that is typically quite moist. They require a humidity level in the range of 65-80%, philo should have no problem staying happy, healthy, and hydrated. However, it must be understood that philodendrons are also very tolerant of dry conditions. When philodendrons are in a drier environment, they have the ability to store water and keep their leaves from drying out too much. In fact, philo can be grown as far north as zone five (with protection), where winter temperatures often dip below freezing!


Fertiliser is one of the key requirements for philodendron spiritus sancti. Fertilisers help to provide your philodendron with all the nutrients it needs from a variety of sources, which can include potting mix and leaf litter. As philodendrons are epiphytes they do not need a soil-based growing medium, and philodendron’s will grow in shallow or deep containers.

When it comes to fertiliser there are a few options for you to consider:

Fertilisers designed specifically for philodendrons typically contain micronutrients including iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn). These nutrients are important for philodendrons as they have a unique requirement.

If you’re looking to keep costs down, fertilisers that contain micronutrients can be expensive so instead consider these other options:

  • A standard houseplant fertiliser is good for philodendrons because it contains these micronutrients.
  • A standard houseplant fertiliser with the addition of a slow-release pellet, or organic filler such as rice husks, is perfect for philodendrons.

If you want to try something different then consider one of these options:

  • A liquid fertiliser that is applied to philodendrons every few weeks can be used instead of standard houseplant fertiliser.
  • Worm compost tea, which is created by brewing up worms and their castings in water for 24 hours before use on philodendrons, will provide your philodendron with all the nutrients it needs.


Philodendrons are toxic plants to pets, people and other animals with the exception of birds, which often eat them as a part of their diet. Cats and dogs are more sensitive to philodendron poisonings than humans but it’s still not recommended for any animal to ingest philodendron leaves or flowers. Philodendra plants have a sap that can cause skin irritation so wearing gloves is advised when handling philodendron plants.


Pruning philodendron is a complicated process that can easily go wrong if not done properly. In order to do it, you’ll need an electric clipper and leather gloves for protection against the sharp blades of the plant’s leaves. These are vital because philodendrons will grow back anything you cut off of it, and you don’t want to accidentally get cut.

Additionally, philodendron will grow in many different directions depending on how the stem is pliable. This means that pruning should happen throughout the year as necessary rather than at one time because this won’t allow for any sort of growth pattern or uniformity with your philodendron.

Propagation and Growth

Philodendron spiritus sancti are propagated by division or from stem cuttings. A philodendron plant can be divided into two parts and each part will grow to become a new philodendron plant on its own roots in just six weeks time. Cuttings of philodendrons should be taken during the spring or summer when the plant is in active growth. The philodendron cutting should be taken from a healthy, vigorous shoot and can be planted directly into potting mix, with its leaves removed for faster rooting.


To repot the Philodendron spiritus sancti plant, fill the new pot with soil that has been well-moistened–the roots will be easier to remove from the old container. Set philodendron in the pot and fill any spaces between the roots with soil. Water philodendron well, allowing water to drain out of the drainage holes at bottom of new container before returning it to its original location.

Placing it in a pot that will hold the roots and leaves without ballooning out of the container, too large or too small is crucial for philodendron’s health. When choosing a new pot make sure there are drainage holes on the bottom, and it has a saucer to catch excess water. They should be repotted with fresh soil by removing most of the old roots each time. The philodendrons will send new root growth down into the fresh soil.

Plant Disease

philodendron spiritus sancti
Image: via Etsy HippieHouseplant

Plant diseases are often the consequence of an infected plant. Plant disease caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi can result in leaf spotting or discoloration, wilted leaves, dead areas on stems and fruit production from plants may be stunted or absent altogether. There are many different ways to combat plant disease including: isolating sick plants, preventing the spread of disease, using pesticides and fungicides to combat fungi and bacteria; in an organic garden use companion plants or compost.

The philodendron spiritus sancti plant is not immune from this as it has a few common problems that can be seen with philodendrons including: leaf spotting, brown spots on leaves, leaf drop and philodendron stem dieback. When it comes to philodendrons, these are pretty common problems that can be easily dealt with as they seem to have a strong resilience against plant disease infestations. To combat philodendron leaf spot, brown spots on leaves and philodendron stem dieback it is best to use a fungicide like copper bordeaux.

Other solutions include isolating sick plants, preventing the spread of dying using pesticides and fungicides; in an organic garden use companion plants or compost. Some people also believe philodendrons are so resistant they do not need to use plant disease treatments.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Variegated

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Variegated, also known as philocactus orchid, is a philodendron variety that was discovered in Ecuador. It has green leaves with white leaf variegation and it flowers two to three times per year. Philodendrons are easy houseplants for beginners because they do not need high levels of light and they are not picky about water. The philodendron family is very large, containing more than a thousand species – but philocactus orchid’s unique variegation makes it a standout plant in any home.

Common Issues

Philodendron spiritu sancti plant is a philodendron species native to South America. It has smooth, dark green leaves and small white flowers that bloom in the summer time. Philodendrons are popular as houseplants because they’re easy to look after and don’t need direct sunlight for long periods of time; however, philodendron spiritus sancti is a little more temperamental and has some unique care needs.

Philodendrons are susceptible to spider mites, which can be difficult to get rid of once they’ve taken hold. Spider mites have small bodies that make them hard to see by the naked eye; if you happen to find any, it’s best to treat philodendron spiritus sancti immediately.

Despite philodendrons being easygoing plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight, philodendron spiritus sancti will do best with bright indirect light; the more sun they get the happier and greener their leaves will be.

Tips for Keeping Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Happy

Philodendron spiritus sancti are generally easy to care for

  • Philodendron spiritus sancti grow well in bright, indirect light and prefer warm temperatures (low 60s)
  • They like humid environments–mist them with a hand sprayer twice daily or set the pot on a humidity tray
  • They like to grow up and out, so provide a wide container with ample room for the roots, but be sure that it is well drained–too much water will cause them to rot

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Frequently Asked Questions

Why is philodendron Spiritus Sancti so expensive?

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti is so expensive because it’s a very rare plant. It’s also one of the most difficult philodendrons to grow, which makes its rarity even more desirable.

Why is philodendron Spiritus Sancti so rare?

This philodendron is one of the rarest plants on earth, with only a few hundred being sold each year at nurseries around the world. Unlike other philodendrons, spiritus sancti has an incredible variegated leaf pattern that makes it popular among collectors and gardeners alike. Its natural habitat is the tropical highlands of Ecuador and it’s not found anywhere else in the world.

How much does a Spiritus Sancti cost?

Philodendron spiritus sancti is one of the most expensive plants in the world. Philodendron spiritus sancti price are usually around $150 to $200 an inch or more, depending on how large they are and where you buy them.

What is the rarest Philodendron?

Philodendron spiritus sancti is known by botanists to be one of the rarest philodendron plants. It can be found in tropical forests of Central America and it is getting more rarer as time goes on.


Philodendron spiritus sancti is a philodendron plant that has caught the attention of many. Despite being rare, it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to care for philodendrons. Follow these simple steps and you will see your philodendron thrive!

You can get them at your local nurseries or alternatively, you can also plant philodendron spiritus sancti seeds.

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