The Philodendron camposportoanum, also called Philodendron campos, is considered one of the smallest species within the Philodendron genus. Its petite size and alluring foliage makes this plant extra special and quite unique compared to other Philodendron species.
Keeping in mind that this plant hails from the warm tropical jungles of Brazil, this care guide will detail everything you need to know about Philodendron camposportoanum care.
Table of contents
Considered an easy-to-care-for, beginner friendly plant, the Philodendron camposportoanum is a stunning addition to any indoor plant collection. One of the many distinctive features of this philodendron is the leaf shape. Philodendron camposportoanum has tri-lobed or ‘hammer leaves’ which are very distinct from the usual oval-shaped philodendron leaf. The shape is reminiscent of an elongated garden trowel or spade.
Don’t worry if you buy one of these beauties and it has chubbier, heart shaped leaves; this is characteristic of a juvenile Philodendron camposportoanum. As the Philodendron campos matures, the leaves will gradually take on the characteristic tri-lobed form.
Another distinguishing trait is the color evolution of a Philodendron camposportoanum’s leaves as it matures. A young specimen displays velvety dark green leaves which are soft and sumptuous to the touch. As the Philodendron camposportoanum matures it develops a pink-orange satin luster with delightful subtle striations.
I hope this description has left you wanting more so let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of how to care for a Philodendron camposportoanum!
- Common Name: Philodendron campos
- Scientific Name: Philodendron camposportoanum
- Mature Size: 2’-3’ tall with a 2’ spread
- Sunlight: bright, indirect sun
- Water: when 1” of soil is dry
- Soil: well-draining soil
- Temperature: 60°F-75°F
- Propagation: stem cuttings, air-layering
- Hardiness Zone: 10-12
- Toxicity: toxic to pets and humans
Growth Pattern and Habits
The Philodendron camposportoanum is a fast grower and lucky for us, this plant usually reaches maturity and shows off its mature characteristics after one growing season (about a year!). When kept as a houseplant, the Philodendron camposportoanum reaches a maximum height of approximately three feet with a two to three feet spread. Expect for mature leaves to reach one foot in length.
This type of Philodendron is a crawler, not a vining type, so it will grow more out than vertical. As your Philodendron campos ages, it is a good idea to gently gather the stems around a central support stick to prevent the plant from fanning out too wide. This is also a great way to train this natural crawler into a climbing vine!
Even though the Philodendron camposportoanum is a fast grower, I tend to only repot this plant every two to three years. It prefers to have its roots slightly squished together. Too much space can actually cause the plant stress! When repotting, choose a pot that is only one to two inches greater in diameter than the current pot.
Expert Tip – Always plant your Philodendron camposportoanum in a terracotta container with a drainage hole. This helps protect against those of us who tend to overwater our plants!
Because the Philodendron camposportoanum is a small, low growing tropical plant, it is not surprising that it enjoys bright, indirect or filtered light. In its natural habitat, the Philodendron campos is protected from the harsh, direct rays of the sun by the vast canopy above. At home, we want to mimic these light conditions as much as possible.
The ideal place for an indoor Philodendron camposportoanum is in an east or west facing window. Be sure that the room stays bright throughout the day. It is ok for your Philodendron camposportoanum to receive some direct light in early morning or late evening, but avoid any exposure to direct light midday when the rays are harshest.
A north facing window (or south facing if you live in the southern hemisphere) works as well, as long as the room has a lot of diffuse, bright light throughout the day.
Expert Tip – Rotate your Philodendron camposportoanum weekly so it keeps an upright position versus leaning heavily to one side.
I think watering is always the hardest piece of establishing Philodendron camposportoanum care. These tropical plants like to be damp but definitely do not enjoy overly wet soil with excess, stagnant water. To avoid overwatering, I only water my Philodendron campos when the top inch of soil is bone dry. Watering using this rule of thumb means you won’t have a strict watering schedule. Rather, you will listen to what your plant is telling you it needs!
To water, place your Philodendron camposportoanum in a sink or deep container. Pour water into the soil around the base of the plant, thoroughly saturating the soil until you note water running out of the bottom drainage hole. Before repositioning the plant in its normal home, wait for all the excess water to drain out.
Another way to provide a Philodendron camposportoanum with water is by bottom watering. This method really helps prevent overwatering as the soil only draws up as much water as it can hold via capillary action. To bottom water your plant, place it in a large container that is filled halfway up with water. Place your potted Philodendron camposportoanum in the water and let it sit for twenty minutes.
During this time, the soil will draw up water from the bottom drainage hole. After twenty minutes, take the pot out of the water and back on its drainage tray to collect excess water.
Philodendron camposportoanum care would be incomplete without the perfect soil mixture. When choosing the best soil for this plant, you will be looking for a soil that is nutritious, lightweight and porous. You can choose an organic potting soil and mix it with perlite to facilitate adequate drainage. I like to use the following mixture:
- One part organic potting soil
- One part perlite
- One part sphagnum moss or peat moss
Expert Tip – If you use peat moss, add lime to the mixture to neutralize the acidity of the peat moss for a neutral pH. A neutral pH is ideal for Philodendron camposportoanum soil.
Temperature and Humidity
The Philodendron campos is happiest when temperatures are consistently in the 60°F to 75°F temperature range. Most of us keep our houses within this range so don’t worry about adjusting your thermostat just to keep this plant happy!
Philodendron camposportoanum likes high humidity greater than 60%. There are a couple of ways to achieve the optimal level of humidity for this plant. You can group your Philodendron campos together with other high humidity loving plants. Most philodendrons such as the Philodendron gloriosum & Philodendron Burle Marx like humid environments and would be great grouping partners for a Philodendron camposportoanum.
You can also increase humidity by adding a pebble tray beneath your pot. Alternatively you can position your Philodendron camposportoanum in the bathroom if this room receives bright, indirect light throughout the majority of the day.
Do not mist your Philodendron campos to increase humidity!
Because the Philodendron campos is a fast growing plant, it does require extra nutrition to reach its full, stunning potential! Use a balanced liquid fertilizer or one that is high in nitrogen and fertilize per instructions every four to six weeks when you note active growth on the plant.
The natural growing season for a Philodendron camposportoanum is in the summer. Because you are keeping this as an indoor plant, it may not receive the normal environmental cues to enter dormancy and therefore continue to grow throughout the year. So before fertilizing in the winter, take a close look at your Philodendron camposportoanum to determine whether you should continue the above noted schedule or not.
Using propagation as a way to accumulate more Philodendron camposportoanum plants is great because these can be relatively hard to find.There are two ways in which to propagate a Philodendron camposportoanum. These two ways are by stem cuttings and by air-layering. Let’s take a closer look.
Propagation by Stem Cuttings
Philodendron camposportoanum propagation by stem cuttings is easy and as long as you have a healthy growing parent plant, you shouldn’t have much trouble. Any time you prune your Philodendron campos because it is becoming unruly, save the healthy stems for propagation instead of throwing them away.
- Identify healthy stems that are at least three inches long and contain at least one node. A node is the place along a stem where a new stem or leaf will grow. They look like small bumps or discolorations along a normally smooth stem.
- Using sterile scissors, cut each stem below the bottom most node. If there is enough stem, it is good to cut one inch below this node.
- Allow the Philodendron camposportoanum cutting to sit out on a counter to dry out for three to five days.
- Plant the Philodendron camposportoanum cutting in fresh soil, burying the stem at least two inches. You may need a small support stick to keep your cutting upright until roots form. Keep soil moist during this time and position in bright, indirect light.
- Within four to six weeks a new root system will have begun to form. At this time, care for your new plant as you would a mature Philodendron camposportoanum.
Propagation by Air-layering
Another technique utilized in Philodendron camposportoanum propagation is air-layering. This is a method of propagation of new baby plants from stems that are still attached to the mature plant.
- Look for a healthy, established stem that is at least three to four inches long. Try to find the thickest stem possible. This will make your life much easier!
- Using a sterile knife, cut ⅓ of the way into the stem in an upwards motion at a 30°F angle.
- Wrap damp peat moss around the stem. Ensure that peat moss is positioned to keep the cut open. If needed, use a toothpick to separate the two sides of the cut so they do not touch.
- Loosely wrap plastic wrap or a plastic bag around the peat moss and secure with string or tape. I like to poke a couple small holes in the plastic.
- Mist daily to keep the peat moss damp.
- You will note new roots coming out of the peat moss ball at approximately four to six weeks.
- Once the new roots are two to three inches long, separate the newly rooted section from the original Philodendron camposportoanum and plant in fresh soil.
Note – When you propagate a Philodendron camposportoanum using the air-layering technique, you are essentially creating a new set of roots in the middle of a stem, not a whole new separate plant. These new roots high on a stem allows you to plant growth that has already been established on a mature Philodendron camposportoanum.
Let’s talk about some common issues that a Philodendron campos may experience and how to troubleshoot these problems!
When I say a plant is leggy I am describing a plant that has large spaces between leaves. A Philodendron camposportoanum will get leggy if not exposed to enough bright, indirect light. If it is in a dim room, you will likely have this issue.
Over a two week period, gradually introduce your Philodendron camposportoanum to brighter light. Because legginess can be unattractive, prune your plant and use the stem cuttings for propagation.
Brown, Curly Leaves
This is a sign that your plant needs more water! You are most likely letting the Philodendron camposportoanum’s soil dry out too much. Increase the frequency of watering to when the top inch of soil is dry.
Pale Philodendron campos leaves can be a symptom of a couple issues. The most likely culprits are overwatering, too little nitrogen or too much sun (especially if you start to see some brown around the yellow spots). To solve the problem, evaluate your plant’s environment and only change one thing at a time.
The three most common pests that enjoy snacking on a Philodendron campos are mealybugs, spider mites and white flies. The former two can be treated by removing all signs of the insects with an alcohol soaked cotton ball, followed by regular treatments of neem oil per manufacturer’s instructions.
White flies can be treated using a mixture of one tablespoon of dish soap in one gallon of water. With a mister, saturate all parts of the plant. Repeat every three to four days to kill the hatching larvae.
The Philodendron camposportoanum is toxic to both pets and humans. If ingested, the individual may have mouth/throat swelling, vomiting or burning. Other serious reactions could occur so swiftly remove all traces of the plant from the individual’s mouth and contact the appropriate emergency provider immediately.
Try and take on this beautiful plant so you can enjoy this unique species. With its changing colors and velvety texture, the Philodendron campos will stand out amongst your plants. Be consistent in providing great Philodendron camposportoanum care to enjoy the plants full display of beauty.