This stunning yet relatively unknown plant is the philodendron mayoi. You can easily understand why enthusiasts who discover this rare treasure are thrilled to have it in their collection with its large, palm-like leaves and reddish underside. 

I’ll teach you how to maintain your new and oh-so-rare companion looking its best in this comprehensive philodendron mayoi care guide, as well as how to avoid some frequent philodendron mayoi care problems.

The Origins and History of Philodendron Mayoi

The philodendron mayoi, a native of Brazil, belongs to the Arum or Aracrae family and may be found in various sections of the Amazon rainforest, Goias, and Manaus, while escapees have been observed as far as Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, all of which were introduced by man.

Philodendron mayoi, also known as the Mayo’s Philodendron, was named in honor of Dr. Simon Mayo, a renowned botanist who works at the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew.

The mayoi was thought to have been found on a study voyage to Manaus in the 1940s when several adult individuals were discovered. However, this has yet to be validated by biodiversity information systems.

Philodendron Mayoi Care


It’s likely that your philodendron mayoi has been instructed that it should never be exposed to direct sunlight. In actuality, this isn’t always the case, but for the most part, it’s the only method to save a little dying mayoi.

This plant can live in 1-2 hours of cold direct morning sunshine or late evening light without burning or bleaching and will thrive in plenty of indirect light.

Apart from sunshine, the plant has little nutritional benefit. Its development is fully dependent on it, more so than fertilizer, water, or any other aspect of care; thus, getting the light just right is critical.

Plants in this genus need temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit to live. Their optimal growth temperature is 200-400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Watering Your Philodendron

A well-draining soil, without being too dry or too wet, is essential for the growth of philodendron mayoi. Try to get into the habit of checking if your plant really needs water instead of sticking to the ‘once every x days’ rule like many guides says to do.

As with any skill, it takes time to develop, but it is so rewarding! When you nail the watering schedule, you can avoid so many problems. 

Here are some tips on watering Philodendron mayoi

As someone who has worked in a botanical garden, I learned how to water plants the right way to keep them from getting bacterial and fungal infections. When you water, always make sure you water enough so that water runs through the drainage holes every time.

It’s better to give the plant a lot of water once in a while than to give it small amounts all the time. Your plant needs water to stay healthy, but water also pushes oxygen through the soil and to your plant’s roots.

Watering a little all the time stops water from getting to the bottom layers of soil, which can quickly cause crown rot to form on the base of the stem. This can happen very quickly. Also, make sure to water from the bottom and not above.

Soil Conditions

Philodendrons thrive in soil that is well-drained, and this makes all the difference. There are a lot of things I’ve tried to use as potting soil: pure sphagnum moss, a mix of peat and perlite, and a soil-based potting mix. The plants either wilted and died, or the mixture dried out so quickly that I had to water them every day to keep the leaves from curling.


When you think about this plant’s tropical background and prehistoric look, it should come as no surprise that it likes to be wet. Anywhere from 70% to 100%, it will give you bigger, longer leaves and a bigger plant.

However, it doesn’t die or turn yellow at low humidity levels, like 40% to 50%. New growth just seems to come in smaller amounts. You shouldn’t worry too much about humidity levels. It’s part of taking care of your plants, but it’s not as important as things like light, water, and fertilizer.


When houseplants eat the nutrients in their potting mix or soil, they don’t have a way to get more nutrients. It’s because they need a lot of fertilizer.

The best fertilizer for Philodendron mayoi

When you buy fertilizer, you’ll want to pick one that has a lot of nitrogen. Nitrogen is what makes foliage grow. Then, you’ll want to check for other macronutrients like potassium and phosphorus. You’ll also want to check for some micronutrients like calcium and magnesium.

Low nutrient houseplant fertilizer is a little tagline on the back of some cheap all-purpose houseplant fertilizers. This means it won’t do much.

I think dyna grow (7-9-5 NPK formula) is the best liquid fertilizer for your plant because it has all the 16 nutrients it needs to stay alive. It is urea-free and has very few heavy nitrogen salts, which can change the pH level of the soil and cause root burn if left on top of the soil.

Philodendron mayoi: How to Fertilize It

My plant gets a very small amount of high-quality fertilizer every time I water it, instead of just fertilizing once a month like I used to. After all, in the wild, plants get a steady flow of nutrients over a long period of time. They don’t gulp down one big slurp every month.

In order to do this, I mix 1/8 teaspoon of dyna gro with 1 gallon of water (4.5 liters). I then use this solution to water my plant every time I water it in the spring and summer. I cut back on both waterings and feedings in the fall, and I don’t feed them at all in the winter to avoid oversaturating them during the dormant part of their growth cycle.

Growth – What Should I Expect?

Individual leaves can grow up to 7-10 inches (17-25cm) long when the philodendron mayoi grows inside. It can grow up to 4 feet tall (1.2m). This isn’t exactly a small plant because it’s a vine-like variety that climbs.


When the temperature is warm, this plant grows well. The philodendron mayoi is a fan of the heat. Try to keep it between 60-80F or 16-29C, but if you can stand the heat, you can go even warmer.

If the temperature drops below 55° Fahrenheit (12.5°C), most philodendrons will grow too small or die. This is according to the field notes from GBIF.

It’s time to talk about pruning. Do I need to cut down on this plant?

As the philodendron mayoi grows moderately to quickly, it will need to be cut back from time to time to keep it looking tidy and in shape. It won’t need to be cut back as much. Using a clean pair of pruning scissors, cut back any foliage that is damaged, diseased, or has grown too long.

Is the plant philodendron mayoi toxic?

Sadly, that’s true. There is a lot of poison in the leaves of all the Philodendrons. People in my family do that. The leaves have a lot of calcium oxalate crystals in them, which makes them dangerous for both humans and animals if they eat them. You can get nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if you eat something, as well as mouth swelling and inflammation in your intestines.

How to Propagate Philodendron Mayoi Plants – A Simple Method

With a mature vine-like philodendron, it’s easy to start new plants because it grows beautiful aerial roots from its nodes. Taking cuttings from the stem or air layering the nodes are the best ways for home growers and hobbyists to get their plants to grow.

At the beginning of spring, or at least when it’s warm, you have a better chance of your plant having strong and healthy roots if you do it. In the winter, when there is less light, I would not do this.

Step by Step: Philodendron Mayoi Propagation Methods – How to Do It

Step by step, I’ll show you how to cut your plant.

How to Cut a Stem

  • When you’re ready to plant, put some moist potting soil in a small pot (see soil section above). Alternatively, you can use a mix of 80 percent perlite and 20 percent sphagnum moss. When the roots start to grow, you’ll have to move the plant again.
  • Healthy stems have 2-3 nodes on them (this will come from the main stem). Nodes are the places where the roots of the leaf meet with the roots of the leaf’s leaf.
  • With a clean pair of pruning scissors, cut the stem just below the nodes. Do this with the scissors. If the stem is too big, rot can start quickly.
  • Dip the newly cut stem/aerial roots into a solution or powder that helps them grow.
  • When you’re done making potting soil, put the stem into it and then plant it in the ground (2-3 inches into the mix). The nodes should be well hidden in the mix. This is where the roots will grow.
  • It’s time to fill the rest of the pot with the moist potting mix you made.
  • The best place for this is in a warm place that gets a lot of bright but not direct light. It doesn’t matter how bright the sun is outside.
  • Wrap a clear plastic bag around the pot to make it more humid. This will help the plant grow.

Roots tend to “hit” the mayoi pretty quickly, but they don’t always. A few good roots should start to grow in about three to four weeks.

Common Philodendron Mayoi Problems

Leaves Turning Yellow

You should watch out for root rot, which is caused by overwatering. Yellow leaves can also be caused by magnesium deficiency and pests. It is a sign of stress if the edges of the leaves are turning yellow. Check the roots at the base of the plant for black, mushy, and bad-smelling roots as well as change the potting mix if necessary. Consider salvaging a few cuttings and propagating them if root rot is present.

Pale Leaf Color

When a plant has leaves that aren’t as green as they should be, they’re usually caused by low light. This is called chlorosis type 1 in plant terms, and it will get better if you move it to a brighter place. Not getting enough light is the number one reason these plants die. It all comes down to not really understanding how bright, bright, and indirect light really is, and that’s why so many plants die.

If your light meter shows that you’re getting enough light, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough important nutrients, magnesium, and calcium being the main ones. Take a look at your fertilizer and make sure it’s complete. If your fertilizer doesn’t have magnesium and calcium, add some dolomite to the mix.

Leaf spots that are wet and mushy

It’s possible that you have erwinia blight or pseudomonas leaf spot. Bacterial infections frequently result in black or tan patches on leaves, as well as a foul odor in the soil. Both illnesses require moisture to spread and are caused by overwatering from above.

You can try to rescue your plant by changing the potting mix and cutting the leaves that are damaged. To avoid spreading the disease to the rest of your collection, isolate your plant as quickly as feasible. Unfortunately, using a bactericide like copper sulfate has been proved to delay but not cure the infection, so I wouldn’t waste your money.

Browning Leaf Tips

If your plant starts to wilt, it could be due to too much direct sunlight or being overwatered.

Common FAQ – Your Questions Answered

Is philodendron mayoi rare?

Is it rare? Without a doubt, the philodendron mayoi is a rare aroid. While it grows abundantly in the wild, its commercial demand greatly surpasses its supply. On the rare plant index, it ranks alongside the philodendron red moon, for example.

Is philodendron mayoi fast-growing?

Philodendron mayoi is known for its rapid growth. One of the main reasons for this is that they are the plant that adapts the most to their living conditions at home! As a result, I’m seeing fresh growth every few weeks, which is probably definitely due to having all of the aforementioned parameters right.

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