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If you are searching for a houseplant that is easy to grow and maintain, then a philodendron super atom would be a great choice. If you care for your Thaumatophyllum Selloum well, it remains green all year round. In this article, I will take you through all the steps you need to take good care of your philodendron super atom.
Here is a care guide for your super atom philodendron:
- Philodendron Super Atom Plant Watering Requirement
- Philodendron Super Atom Plant Soil Requirement
- Philodendron Super Atom Light Requirement
- Philodendron Super Atom Repotting
- Common Problems with Philodendron Super Atom
- Yellow or Brown Leaves
- Not enough sunlight
- Pests – spider mites and mealybugs
- Frequently asked questions about Philodendron Super Atom on people also ask
As mentioned earlier, the philodendron super atom is an easy plant to handle and maintain. If you want your philodendron super atom to thrive and continue beautifying your space for years, give it appropriate care. This article is a philodendron super atom or super atom philodendron care guide.
Your philodendron super atom will thrive in properly hydrated soil, which means soil that is not too dry or too wet. Watering the plant once a week in the hot growing seasons is best to keep it well hydrated. When watering the plant weekly, do it thoroughly until the water flows out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
It is good to reduce the watering schedule during winter because the plant retains water for longer due to low humidity levels. However, you shouldn’t allow the soil to dry out completely in winter, water the plant at least once a month.
Watering your super atom philodendron around the pot and close to the soil is best. Avoid watering from above since this plant does not absorb water through its leaves.
It is good to develop a watering schedule to avoid overwatering or underwatering your plant.
As explained later in this article, overwatering or under watering your super atom can have adverse effects and could even lead to the death of your plant.
Your Thaumatophyllum ‘Super Atom’ needs nutrient-rich, well-draining soil to flourish. You can use high-quality houseplant potting soil with a draining substance like peat-moss for best results. In addition, ensure that the potting soil has a pH of 7 or more as super atoms thrive in such alkaline soils.
You should also ensure that the pot where you grow your plant has drainage holes at the bottom; the holes drain the excess water from the soil to avoid waterlogging.
If the soil becomes waterlogged, the excess water can cause root rot. Root rot can damage or kill your plant if it goes unchecked.
One great thing about the Philodendron Selloum is that it can flourish in different lighting, as shown below:
The plant does well in bright, indirect light; place it in a location that receives bright but indirect sunlight. If you put it in a position that receives direct sunlight, the sun’s rays can burn the leaves.
If the leaves get burned by excess sunlight, they can turn yellow, and the plant could eventually die.
There is a simple way of knowing whether your super atom philodendron receives sufficient light. If you can read in the room where your plant is during the day without turning on the lights, then the lighting is ideal for your super atom.
Your super atom can also thrive in a well-lit, shady area like a patio or hallway. So long as the plant receives enough light, it will flourish regardless of whether the position has shade.
When you place your super atom philodendron in a well-lit shaded area, the plant’s leaves will become a bright, deep green color.
It is interesting to note that the philodendron super atom also responds well to artificial lighting.
However, suppose you expose it to only artificial light; in that case, it is best to expose it to artificial lighting for approximately 10 hours per day. Since this plant can flourish under artificial lighting, it is ideal for your home and office.
The philodendron super atom is a sub-tropical plant and therefore loves a warm environment. However, excess heat can interfere with the moisture absorption of the plant; this can make the leaves dry out.
It is, therefore, best to keep your plant under normal room temperatures ranging between 21 °C to 28 °C (69.8 °F and 82.4 °F).
In addition, cold temperatures below 12 °C (53.6 °F) are not ideal for your super atom philodendron; the cold can scourge the leaves. Therefore, you should put the plant inside the house when the temperatures outside dip.
In addition, you should avoid placing the plant near heating units or air conditioners because these units produce very dry and hot air. This air can affect your plant; the plant can become stressed, burned, or damaged.
As mentioned earlier, the super atom is a subtropical plant, and it, therefore, prefers a humid environment. To maintain its bright green leaves, your plant requires an average humidity level of 50%.
During the warm months, the humidity levels in your home or office easily reach this level.
However, during the cold months, the humidity levels are lower than 50%, which could negatively affect your plant. During the cold months, you can do the following to increase the humidity levels:
- Use a humidifier: You can increase the humidity levels in your home using a humidifier. When you do so, you enjoy increased humidity in the cold seasons. The super atom philodendron also enjoys increased humidity; thus, it flourishes.
- Misting the plant: Misting is when you spray the plant with water using a canister or spray bottle. It temporarily increases the humidity levels around your houseplant. For best results, mist both the underside and the top of the leaves in the early morning or late afternoon.
- Put the plant in the bathroom: Your bathroom has high humidity levels even in the cold months because of the hot water there. You can put your super atom in the bathroom during cold weather so that it can enjoy the higher humidity levels in the bathroom.
- Place the plant on a tray with pebbles: Since the pot that holds your super atom has drainage holes, place it on a tray so that the excess water can settle on the tray instead of flowing to the floor. You can put many pebbles on the tray; as the excess water from the plant evaporates from pebbles,the humidity levels around the plant rise.
Your Philodendron super atom does not need a lot of feeding as it is a hardy plant. So, if you fertilize the plant several times a year, it will be just fine. For instance, fertilize your super atom after eight weeks during the warm seasons of spring and summer because the plant grows most in these months and thus needs the fertilizer.
In addition, it is better to feed the plant with fertilizer once every eight weeks in winter because the plant does not experience much growth in this season.
The best feed for your super atom philodendron is a well-balanced liquid fertilizer. A fertilizer with magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen is ideal for this plant. These micronutrients enable the super atom to grow healthy and strong.
If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, your plant will remain healthy and strong throughout the year and also experience new growth.
The philodendron super atom is a slow-growing plant and does not need regular repotting.
However, sometimes you may notice that the plant’s roots have filled the bottom of the container, or they are poking out of the container’s drainage holes. When this happens, you should repot your philodendron super atom.
Ideally, it is best to repot your super atom after two years, but you should check your houseplant at the end of every growing season to see if the roots are alright.
Repotting your philodendron super atom is crucial as it gives the roots breathing space, and as a result, your plant thrives.
Below are a few things to bear in mind when repotting your philodendron super atom:
- Use a slightly larger pot: When repotting your super atom, go for a container a few inches bigger than the older one. As this plant grows slowly, it will take time before the roots fill the new pot.
- Choose an ideal pot: The best pot to repot your super atom is a clay, ceramic, or terracotta pot. The materials in these pots allow aeration of the soil and enable your plant to flourish.
- Use a pot with drainage holes: When choosing a container to repot your super atom, go for one with drainage holes at the bottom. The holes enable excess water to drain from your plant, thus preventing waterlogging, which can cause root rot.
As mentioned earlier, the philodendron super atom is a dwarf plant; you do not have to prune it as often as other larger houseplants. However, you may have to remove old, discolored, or dead leaves once in a while. You might also want to prune your plant occasionally to improve its shape.
Before pruning your super atom, look closely at it to see if it requires pruning. When pruning your super atom, always wear gardening gloves to protect your hands. Use clean and sharp kitchen scissors to cut off old, leafless stems; sharp scissors make a clean cut.
If you need to remove any leaves, cut them off just before the leaf nodes to encourage new growth. You can also pinch out the leaves just above the leaf nodes instead of using scissors.
If you want to grow an additional philodendron super atom, you can propagate using two methods: seeds or cuttings. Below is an explanation of the two methods:
Growing a super atom using seeds can take longer than using other methods. The reason is that the seeds could take between four and eight weeks to germinate.
If you decide to propagate a super atom philodendron using seeds, you can purchase the seeds from reliable houseplant seeds suppliers.
Follow the growing instructions on the packet carefully as they may vary from one seed supplier to another.
It is best to put two or three seeds in each pot to ensure that at least one of them sprouts. Space the seeds out sufficiently in the container to give the roots enough room to develop and when the seedlings are ready, transplant the super atom.
You could also propagate the plant using cuttings from an existing super atom philodendron. If you decide to reproduce using cuttings, this is what you should do:
- Water your super atom a day before taking the cutting. Doing so ensures that the cutting is well hydrated; it is thus able to absorb nutrients and will not suffer from transplant shock, which could negatively impact your plant.
- Use a clean knife to take the cutting and ensure you have cut a stem with leaves and several nodules. The leaves in the cutting help the new plant to absorb chlorophyll for fast and healthy growth.
- Place your cutting in a small container. Make sure you use moist, good-quality houseplant potting soil.
- Place the pot in a bright place. Keep it away from direct sun rays.
If you do the cutting correctly, you should expect to see new growth in your propagated super atom within two to four weeks.
Like any other plant, your philodendron super atom can experience problems if you do not care for it properly.
Keeping an eye on your plant for any issues that arise is a good way to maintain its health. Below are some common issues with the philodendron super atom:
Sometimes you may notice yellow or brown leaves in your super atom philodendron. If one or two leaves are yellow or brown, there is no cause for alarm; leaves change color as they age. In such a case, remove the discolored leaves so that fresh green leaves can grow in their place.
However, if many leaves on your philodendron super atom are yellow or brown, then there could be an underlying problem. Some of the issues that cause yellow or brown leaves on your super atom include:
Overwatering your super atom is one of the causes of the yellowing of the leaves. When you overwater your plant, the soil becomes waterlogged, and the roots cannot breathe enough oxygen to function well. When this happens, the leaves of your super atom start turning yellow.
When you notice that some of the leaves of your super atom philodendron are turning yellow, it is best to remove them and throw them away.
By doing so, your plant stops looking unsightly, and you also create room for new leaves to grow.
In addition, avoid watering the plant until the first two inches of the topsoil is dry; you can test this by inserting your finger in the soil. You should then develop a weekly watering schedule and stick to it so that your super atom philodendron can flourish again.
Underwatering super atom philodendrons is one of the causes of the browning of the leaves. Underwatering means you are watering your plant too lightly or not watering it for long periods.
If this is the case, remove the brown leaves to allow new leaf growth and give the plant a new lease of life.
Water your plant thoroughly until the water flows out of the drainage holes. After that, water the plant every week, and your super atom should develop new leaves gradually. If you stick to a regular, weekly watering schedule, your plant will thrive.
As mentioned earlier, super atom philodendrons can survive in shady places and artificial lighting. However, avoid denying your plant sufficient light. If you observe your philodendron super atom closely, you can tell whether it is getting enough sunlight or not.
When the super atom is not getting enough sunlight, the stems will become leggy and long, with several inches between the leaves.
The plant will also look stunted, and the leaves will be small with a yellow or pale green color. If you see these signs on your plant, you must act quickly to save it.
It is best to place your super atom in a bright place with indirect sunlight. Remember to rotate the pot occasionally if there is only one light source so that all the plant’s parts can get sufficient light.
Your philodendron super atom is susceptible to pests like other houseplants. Below are the most common pests that can attack your super atom philodendron.
If you notice tiny, round-shaped red or black-colored insects on the underside of the leaves, it is a sign of spider mites.
The spider mites feed on the sap of the plant, and if you do not act quickly, the leaves of the plant begin to curl and droop, and the plant could eventually die. You can use a houseplant insecticide to get rid of the mites.
Mealybugs are pests that suck the sap of your super atom philodendron and other plants, leaving the leaves discolored and wilted. If they go unchecked, they can ultimately damage your plant.
You can shower the plant with water to flash out the mealybugs, and if they persist, you can apply insecticidal soap to the leaves.
Suppose you plan to grow a philodendron super atom or are already growing one. In that case, you could have many questions about the plant.
Below are some of the questions people frequently ask about the philodendron super atom and the answers:
The philodendron super atom is different from other philodendron species because the super atom is a dwarf plant. It could grow to a maximum of 30 centimeters wide and 50 centimeters long.
In comparison, other species can grow up to 180 centimeters wide and 600 centimeters high.
In addition, the super atom grows very slowly compared to other philodendron species.
You should not use tap water to water your super atom philodendron because tap water is usually cold, and this could affect your plant. Tap water also has fluoride, which can negatively impact your plant.
If you water your super atom frequently using cold tap water, the leaf-edges of the plant could turn yellow over time.
If you have to water your super atom philodendron using tap water, put the water in a container for about 24 hours before using it. Within 24 hours, the tap water in the container will be at room temperature, and the fluoride will dissolve. The water is thus okay to use on your plant.
Alternatively, you can use distilled water or rainwater to water your super atom philodendron. Either way, be mindful of the water you are giving your plant.
The philodendron super atom is one of the most popular houseplants because it is naturally beautiful and easy to maintain.
This plant with lobe-shaped, glossy, green, and wavy leaves is small and stays small even when it matures. Super atom, therefore, beautifies your space without taking over and is ideal for your home, patio, and office.
So long as you provide appropriate care and proper growing conditions for your philodendron super atom, it will flourish beyond your imagination. A well-nurtured super atom has a long life, and it can thus beautify and purify the air in your space for years.