The Araceae family gives us a lot of wonderful houseplants, some of which are easier to find than others.
One such plant is Philodendron camposportoanum (fil-oh-DEN-dron KAHM-pos por-toh-AH-num), a small perennial thought to have originated in Brazil but are also found in much of Southern and Central America.
More affectionately known as Philodendron Campos or the Campos philodendron, the plant is named after Brazilian botanist Dr. Paolo Campos Porto.
Philodendron Campos Care
Size And Growth
Philodendron Camposportoanum is among the smallest species of Philodendrons but also one of the most distinctive.
Domestically, this plant usually grows to around 18″ inches tall and approximately 12″ inches wide.
Under ideal growing conditions, that size can expand to as much as 25″ inches tall and 20″ inches wide.
It’s a fast-growing hemiephyte capable of achieving its full mature height in a single season.
But the foliage of this little plant truly shines. Each leaf begins as a dark green, velvety oval.
As they mature, they morph to a glossy heart shape with long, black lobes.
The green lightens, causing the leaves to take on a pinkish hue when exposed to bright light.
Many leaves may also develop a third node at the tip, giving them an almost hammer-like appearance.
Each leaf has a potential size range of 2″ to 8″ inches wide, depending on its maturity and the plant’s overall size.
Flowering And Fragrance
As with all philodendrons, it’s extremely rare to get an inflorescence on this Philodendron Camposportoanum plant.
If you can create perfect growing conditions, don’t expect to see the unremarkable blooms until the plant has fully matured at about 15 to 16 years of age.
Light And Temperature
As with other Philos, you should avoid direct sunlight, as the leaves of Philodendron Camposportoanum can easily scorch.
Bright, indirect sunlight is ideal, although dappled sunlight is also an option if you live in an area where the sun is less intense.
Choosing a window that provides morning or evening sun and is shaded at midday can bring out the pink undertones without the risk of damage to the plant.
Talk to 10 people, and you’ll get 10 answers on what humidity level is best for this plant.
It will likely tolerate household humidity levels of 40% percent, but you don’t want to go lower than that.
A good range to aim for is 50% to 70% percent, as this range will ensure good growth.
Avoid levels above 80% percent, as this can increase the risk of fungal infections.
Kitchens and brightly lit bathrooms are perfect for this Philo, although you can also augment the humidity levels with a pebble tray or humidifier.
Avoid misting this plant as misting doesn’t actually help the plant and can lead to fungal infections on the younger leaves.
It’s possible to grow Compos philodendrons outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11, although it’s far easier to provide a stable climate indoors.
The plant can only tolerate a range of 55° to 85° degrees Fahrenheit before it suffers damage.
However, an average household range of 65° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 5° degrees Fahrenheit cooler at night is perfect.
Watering And Feeding
Like most Philos, the soak and dry method will ensure you always give Philodendron Camposportoanum plant the right amount of water every time.
To determine when to water, simply do the following:
- Stick your finger in the soil.
- If it feels dry 1” inch down (approximately at the first knuckle), it’s time to water.
- Use room temperature distilled water or natural rainwater and work your way slowly around the plant.
Try to avoid getting the leaves wet and stop when you see water seeping from the drainage holes or the surface can no longer absorb as fast as you’re pouring.
One would think that a fast-growing plant is also a heavy feeder, but the small size of this plant means it doesn’t actually need that much fertilizer to thrive.
A balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer tends to work best, although you can use one with slightly higher nitrogen to encourage foliage growth.
Feed the plant monthly at half strength, making sure to cut back in the fall and winter when the plant goes dormant.
Soil And Transplanting
The soil is where most growers are likely to kill this plant.
Many online resources recommend a soil pH of 5.0 to 7.0, but this will kill your plant.
Instead, you should aim for a loose, organically rich soil mix with a pH NO LESS THAN 6.1.
A pH of 6.5 to 7.0 is perfect, as this will allow you to adjust the acidity as needed without putting the plant at risk.
An African violet mix with some added perlite works perfectly, and you can also add a little moss to boost the organic content if needed.
Alternatively, you can create your own soil-free mix using:
- 2 parts coconut coir
- 2 parts of orchid bark
- 2 parts perlite
- 1 part activated charcoal
- 1 part peat or sphagnum moss
- 1 part worm castings
Note that peat moss will make the soil slightly more acidic, while sphagnum moss will make it a little more neutral.
Despite its fast growth rate, you will likely need to repot this Philo once every 2 to 3 years in the spring.
The repotting will usually only be needed to replace the spent soil.
However, if you’re seeing roots poking out of the soil surface or through the drainage holes, it will be necessary to graduate the plant to the next container size.
Grooming And Maintenance
Outside of shaping and removing damaged or diseased leaves, pruning is generally not necessary.
When pruning, try to cut at least 1” inch above a leaf node, as this can encourage fuller growth.
Unlike many plants, this Philo can be pruned at any point during its growing season.
How To Propagate Philodendron Camposportoanum?
You will likely not have access to seeds, but that doesn’t mean you can’t multiply your Campos collection.
Both stem cuttings and air layering are effective and easy options to propagate this plant.
Campos Philodendron Pests Or Diseases
This particular Philo has some drought resistance, although not as much as a succulent one.
It also shares the common philodendron trait of resistance to most pests and diseases.
The most common pests to attack this plant are mealybugs and spider mites.
However, you might get an infestation of aphids, scale, thrips, or whiteflies if a nearby plant already suffers from an infestation.
Fungus gnats might appear if there is a fungal infection in the soil.
Leaf spot and root rot tend to be the biggest disease risks, although various fungal infections may appear if the infestation of piercing insects or the plant is overwatered.
As with all philodendrons, this plant contains large amounts of calcium oxalate crystals, making it toxic to both humans and pets.
Philodendron Camposportoanum Uses
Campos Philos are compact enough to be kept on a small table or bookshelf.
They look great in hanging baskets and provide an undeniable conversation starter in dorms or offices.
Looks aren’t all they have to offer these spaces, as philodendrons are classified as clean air plants.
They can achieve a much larger adult size when grown in a terrarium.