Philodendron scandens ssp. oxycardium ‘Frilly Philly’

in HortScience

Philodendron scandens ssp. oxycardium (Araceae family), referred to as heartleaf philodendron, has been one of the most economically important ornamental tropical foliage plant crops since the 1930s (Chen et al., 2005; Smith and Scarborough, 1981). It is an evergreen, herbaceous vine with heart-shaped leaves often used for potted plants, totem poles, and hanging baskets. Currently, three heartleaf philodendron cultivars are grown commercially. These include the standard green-leafed cultivar, a dark green and yellow-leafed cultivar named Brasil (PP 12956), and a cultivar with uniform chartreuse leaves called Lemon Lime. Cultural requirements for heartleaf philodendron have been well documented previously (Conover and Poole, 1974). Heartleaf philodendron is normally propagated asexually by single eye cuttings. Vines do not develop secondary branches; growers stick multiple eyes per container to obtain a full appearance in the final product. Mature plants rarely flower; therefore, no reports of hybridization exist for this species or its cultivars.

Origin

Because of the commercial importance of heartleaf philodendron to the foliage plant industry and the difficulty in its hybridization, we initiated a program at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) in Apopka, FL, to induce mutations for this crop. Philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ is a selection from that program.

Philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ is a mutation selected from a standard green heartleaf philodendron vine (Philodendron scandens ssp. oxycardium) that was irradiated a single time with 6.5 gray of gamma rays from a Cesium 137 source that emitted 9.18 gray/min. The ‘Frilly Philly’ mutation appeared as a single uniform stem mutation 9 months after exposure to the gamma rays. The mutant was isolated and asexually increased by tip cuttings for 2.5 years to produce stock plants for further evaluation. During this process, it was determined that the novel growth habit and appearance were stable and that philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ was suitable for introduction as a new cultivar.

Description

The appearance of philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ is dramatically different from the original heartleaf philodendron plant that was irradiated (Fig. 1). The small lanceolate-shaped leaves of ‘Frilly Philly’ average 7.0 cm long × 1.5 cm wide compared with a standard heartleaf plant whose cordate leaves average 12 cm length and 8 cm wide. New leaves are held strongly upward giving the plant an erect and clumping form. Philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ vines produce secondary lateral branches as they mature, a trait no other heartleaf philodendron displays. Leaves, petioles, and stems of philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ are uniformly green, RHS 137A (Royal Horticultural Society, 1995).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Philodendron scandens subsp. oxycardium ‘Frilly Philly’: (A) grown in a 0.6-L pot for 12 weeks with 15 cuttings per pot; (B) grown as a hanging basket; (C) grown on a totem pole.

Citation: HortScience horts 45, 5; 10.21273/HORTSCI.45.5.830

Performance

Philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ stock plants maintained in a shaded greenhouse at MREC, Apopka, FL, were used as a cutting source for two experiments to evaluate growth and performance of the new cultivar.

Test 1.

In July 2007, 1-tip cuttings 3 to 5 cm long were stuck directly into 0.6-L pots containing Fafard 2 Mix (Conrad Fafard, Inc., Agawam, MA; 55% Canadian peat : 25% : perlite : 20% vermiculite). Cuttings were rooted in a high-humidity propagation chamber (maximum irradiance of 80 μmol·m−2·s−1) within a shaded greenhouse (maximum irradiance of 125 μmol·m−2·s−1) under natural photoperiod within a temperature range of 15 to 34 °C. Cuttings rooted in 4 weeks and were removed from the propagation chamber and then fertilized with Nutricote (18N–2.6P–6.6K; 140-d formulation; Chisso-Asahi Fertilizer Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) at 2.0, 2.5, or 3.0 g per 0.6-L pot. Plants were set on raised benches in a completely randomized experimental design with five replications and hand-watered as needed. Data recorded after 12 weeks of growth included pulled-up height, canopy height and width, and length and width of the largest leaf.

Test 2.

In Dec. 2007, tip cuttings 3 to 5 cm long were harvested from MREC stock plants and stuck directly into 0.6-L pots in the same potting mix as Test 1. Individual pots received five, 10, or 15 cuttings per pot. Plants were rooted and removed from the propagation chamber after 5 weeks. All pots received 2.5 g of Nutricote (18N–2.6P–6.6K; 140-d formulation) and were placed on raised benches in a completely random design with 10 replications per treatment. Data taken after 12 weeks included canopy height and width, length and width of the largest leaf, length of the longest vine, and a visual plant quality rating in which 1 = dead, 2 = fair, 3 = acceptable (saleable quality), 4 = good, and 5 = excellent quality. Once final growth data were collected, plants from both experiments were moved to an interior growth room with a light level of 25 μmol·m−2·s−1 for 12 h daily at a constant 24 °C to test for ability to tolerate the low light levels of interiorscape environments. Three months later, plants were removed and evaluated again for visual quality. Data from tests were analyzed using analysis of variance procedures of SAS (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC).

Results

Philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ grew well and remained phenotypically stable in both tests. In Test 1, cuttings rooted in 4 weeks and produced a saleable-quality10-cm pot plant 12 weeks later. There was no significant difference in canopy leaf size among fertilizer levels (Table 1). In Test 2, number of cuttings per pot did not affect canopy height, leaf size, or length of the longest vine (Table 2). Canopy width measurements showed a significant linear and quadratic effect as width increased at 10 cuttings compared with five but decreased slightly at 15 cuttings per pot treatment. Visual plant quality increased linearly as the number of cuttings per pot increased. Vines did branch with maturity. The branching closely followed the original direction of the mother vine. Any widening effect resulting from branching was minimized by the overall small plant size and the strongly erect growth habit. These results indicate that philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ should be grown with multiple cuttings per pot. The actual number of cuttings per pot will depend on container size and grower preference, but at least 10 to 15 cuttings per 10 cm pot should be used to achieve a full appearance in a commercial product. After 3 months in simulated indoor conditions, plant quality was rated good to excellent with 15 cuttings per pot but was reduced in pots containing fewer cuttings (Table 2).

Table 1.

Pulled-up height, canopy height, and width and largest leaf length and width of heartleaf philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ after 12 weeks of growth in 0.6-L pots containing 10 tip cuttings.

Table 1.
Table 2.

Canopy height and width, largest leaf length and width longest vine, and visual quality of heartleaf philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ after 12 weeks growth in 0.6-L pots with 5, 10, or 15 cuttings.z

Table 2.

Availability

Philodendron ‘Frilly Philly’ is intended for commercial producers growing finished ornamental tropical foliage plants. Trademark and Plant Patent Rights issued through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will be assigned to the University of Florida, Board of Trustees. Stock plants will be released to licensed Florida growers for propagation. Inquiries regarding licensing may be sent to Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc., P.O. Box 110200, Gainesville, FL 32611. Plants for research purposes may be obtained directly from the authors.

Literature Cited

  • ChenJ.McConnellD.B.NormanD.J.HennyR.J.2005The foliage plant industryHort. Rev. (Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.)3147112

  • ConoverC.A.PooleR.T.1974Influence of shade and fertilizer source and level on growth, quality and foliar content of Philodendron oxycardium SchottJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.99150152

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  • Royal Horticultural Society1995The Royal Horticultural Society's colour chart3rd EdRoyal Hort. SocLondon, UK

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  • SmithC.N.ScarboroughE.F.1981Status and development of foliage plant industries139JoinerJ.Foliage plant productionPrentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

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Contributor Notes

Professor.

Associate Professor.

Biologist.

To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail hennyrjz@ufl.edu.

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    Philodendron scandens subsp. oxycardium ‘Frilly Philly’: (A) grown in a 0.6-L pot for 12 weeks with 15 cuttings per pot; (B) grown as a hanging basket; (C) grown on a totem pole.

  • ChenJ.McConnellD.B.NormanD.J.HennyR.J.2005The foliage plant industryHort. Rev. (Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.)3147112

  • ConoverC.A.PooleR.T.1974Influence of shade and fertilizer source and level on growth, quality and foliar content of Philodendron oxycardium SchottJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.99150152

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Royal Horticultural Society1995The Royal Horticultural Society's colour chart3rd EdRoyal Hort. SocLondon, UK

    • Export Citation
  • SmithC.N.ScarboroughE.F.1981Status and development of foliage plant industries139JoinerJ.Foliage plant productionPrentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

    • Export Citation
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