Philodendron Jose Buono

Philodendron Jose Buono is one plant that comes with mesmerizing variegation. The variegation has many variations. It can produce speckled, patchy, half moon, 3/4 moon, or even full moon white creamy variegation. The leaves can grow very large as well.

Jose Buono is from the Araceae family. It prefers to climb up a tree, stick or moss pole. It prefers bright indirect light and moderate soil moisture. The leaves are paddle-shaped and as I said above, the leaves can grow big of about 60cm (2 feet) in length on maturity.

This plant is pricey in my region. Easily priced in the lower to mid 3 digits depending on the size. As it does not grow very fast (compared to an Monstera Adansonii), the waiting time to propagate this plant can be slightly longer.

Its care routine is rather easy as they are neither finicky nor fussy. For my case, It occasionally does attract some spider mites whenever there are drier periods.


Let’s dive in to a little more details about caring for it.

SOIL

Similar to most philodendron, this plant does well in a fast draining soil. Add chunks of pine bark, coco chips, perlite, pumice or zeolite, etc., with soil to make sure it is well-drained enough for the roots to breathe. There are nurseries that sell ready-to-use aroid mixes which will work just as well too.

Based on experience, if you are thinking of keeping the plant indoors; it will be better to use a soil-less substrate. Stuff such as coconut chip/husk/fiber/peat will decompose and break down over time as it comes into contact with water. This process can attract pests to nest on them which can be undesirable especially in an indoor setting.

Therefore, for planting indoors, I would simply recommend to just mix 50% pumice with either 50% peat moss, vermiculite or vermicast or all together. Of course, you can also use chunky stuff such as leca balls or zeolite rocks in place of pumice. I will usually judge the percentage of the mix based on how well-drained I want the substrate to be and also the size of the pot I am using.

Do add a stick or pole for it to climb on as it get bigger and as aerial roots starts to develop.


WATERING

Water the plant frequently but make sure not to overwater and/or flood the roots. Let the soil have enough time to dry before each session. Use the moisture meter if possible to gauge the best way to determine the amount of moisture in the soil. Alternatively, you can feel the texture of the soil with your fingers to make sure that the top level of the soil is dry. Only then you can water the plant again. If the soil gets water-clogged, the roots will suffocate and rot.

If you give this plant the right growing conditions, it will grow more leaf after leaf, which in turn will require shorter intervals between watering. So do check the moisture level of the soil regularly. It is never recommended for the roots to stay dry for too long before it starts showing dry edges on leaves. Try to keep a regular watering schedule.

Generally, I would wait for the soil to dry off between 4-7 days before I start watering my plants again. If the soil does not dry up much in about a week, the risk of root rot increases.


LIGHT

As this is a variegated plant, it will prefer bright indirect light to keep pushing out beautiful variegated leaves. It can withstand short periods of morning sun but avoid giving it harsh afternoon sunlight as it will burn the leaves and it’s variegation sections on the leaves. Grow lights will work fine for them too.


HUMIDITY

It should do well in places where humidity is around 65% and above. Their leaves will unfurl just well between this range.

You can always increase humidity indoors with the following:
i) Place and use a humidifier near the plant.
ii) Wrap a wet towel around the base of the pot to increase the humidity.
iii) Mist the plant lightly every morning


GROWTH RATE

The growth rate of this species depends largely on the conditions it is growing in. Generally, if you keep the plant happy with good lighting, proper watering schedule and scheduled fertilizing, it will reward you with some very lush foliage.

Small Jose Buono when
I first acquired it.
Size after 5 months of growing in
my home conditions.
The growth is subjected to the growing conditions.



TOXICITY

This species contains a harmful substance and is toxic to humans and animals. They are not to be ingested at any cost. If ingested, it can cause some severe illnesses.

FERTILIZER

Use organic fertilizer like worm castings and/or foliage type slow-release fertilizers should do well. Since this plant is grown for its foliage, you will want a fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen. The nitrogen helps to produce healthy leaves expand and for some, help them to expand.


PESTS

Pests like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and scales can attack the plant. The best way to keep pests away is to keep the plant healthy. In any case, if the leaves were to be attacked by the above mentioned pests, one of the recommended methods will be to use neem oil as a periodic control to eliminate them. Spraying it down and wiping the leaves with diluted neem oil every few days will eliminate them from the foliage instantly. Follow up with watering the soil with diluted neem oil which will further clear up the pests and their eggs that are residing in the soil. Doing this can also send neem oil into the leaf’s vascular system and when the sucking pest feeds on them, it will be killed and thus, preventing an infestation of sorts. Watering with neem oil can be done every month as periodic prevention.


PROPAGATION

Like all other philodendrons, the best way to propagate these plants is by cutting the stem. Depending on how much it has grown, the stem nodes can be very close to each other which makes it slightly harder to propagate. You should cut about 1-2 inches below a node with aerial roots. In this way, with the aerial roots, the cutting can root much faster in water or its new media.

Do remember to sterilize your cutting tool before making the cut to prevent bacterial infection.

If the cutting has aerial roots longer then 1-2 inches, you can either pot it straight into soil, spaghnum moss, leca, perlite, water, etc. Keep whatever media or substrate you use moist but do not make it overly wet. If you decide to grow it in water, once you notice additional 2-3 inches of root growth, you can pot it straight into soil

It will take about 2-4 weeks for it to be well rooted and maybe produce a new leaf.


The information above is based on my experience with growing the Philodendron Brule Marx Variegated. If you have any questions for me regarding this plant, please leave them at the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

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