Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Plant Care

Table of Contents

If you want a majestic houseplant, it is time to add the Philodendron Spiritus Sancti to your wish list.

The stunning Aroid is part of the endangered species, and you find it native in the Brazilian state. Unfortunately, finding one of these plants is rare. So if you do have one, count yourself lucky.

However, how do you make sure your plant survives? You stay a while and make sure to read our primary care needs right until the end.

What is the Philodendron Spiritus Sancti, a rare specimen?

Are you looking for the holy grail of houseplants? You have it! Compared to having the Monstera Adansonii or Monstera Obliqua, this plant tops them all. Unfortunately, it is hard to get one and very expensive if you find one. The tropical plant originates from Espirito Santo, found in Brazil.

You can only see a handful of these plants left. It is ultra-rare, and doing your best to care for it will help it to keep thriving.

The plant is a hemiepiphyte vine that can begin as seed climbing trees or grow downward to set a root in the soil. The leaves are supported on petioles ranging from 12.75 to 23.6 inches in length.

The dark blades look green and dull, while the Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Juvenile has roughly elongated triangle blades.

Another popular name known by Brazilians is the Philodendron Santa Leopoldina.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Classification


Philodendron Spiritus Sancti


Philodendron Santa Leopoldina  


Hemi-epiphytic Vine


Spring to Summer




Leaves Grow up to 23.6 inches


Espirito Santo  


Bright Indirect Light


Well Drainage


Airy Soil Mix  


Humans and Pets

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Care Basics

While the Philodendron Spiritus Sancti tissue culture is found in cultivation more than in the wild, it remains hard to find the original one. You will rarely find it sold in a garden center or nursery.

Furthermore, according to the SS care sheet, some growers say they are easy to grow if you can prevent root rot from happening.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Humidity and Temperature Requirement

temperature and humidity requirement

Before we even get to the other Philodendron Santa Leopoldina plant care, it helps if you have the proper humidity and temperature in your home. The exotic plant does not enjoy escalating temperatures, and holding a constant one is essential.

While searching for the ideal temperature, we found no related information and best to imitate it as in its habitat. As you discover the foliage growing in Domingo Martins, it is 567 above ground with a tropical climate. Their average temperature is 70.7 degrees F, with the highest 75.74 degrees F.

The lowest is 66.02 degrees F, so it is best to keep the temperature between 66 to 76 degrees. When growing in Brazil, the humidity is below 80%, but it does well in average humidity inside your home. Furthermore, it does depend on where you live. For this reason, if you keep a constant 20% humidity level, it should be sufficient.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Lighting Requirement

plant lighting requirement

Now, where should you place your tropical queen? The plant thrives on bright indirect light with a few hours of direct sunlight during the morning. The light needs to be received from above to direct the leaves towards it. You do not want to end up with a strange-looking plant unless you keep rotating it but not recommended.

What Size Pot Does the Spiritus Sancti Need?

If your Philodendron Santa Leopoldina is still in its juvenile stage, there is no need for concern now. However, as with any Philodendron, you need at least a two-inch-sized pot bigger when the time comes for transplanting. Make sure to check our repotting section out later when your plant outgrows it home.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Soil Requirement

potting mix with coco peat

Whether you have a Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Juvenile or a full-grown one, it needs the proper humidity and temperature to grow. As with the majority of Philodendron plants, this one needs an airy soil mix. While the specimen grows best as an epiphyte, the soil needs to drain fast, according to Exotic Rainforest.

Many growers in Brazil use dried leaves, sphagnum (shredded moss) with minimal bark. Alternatively, you can use orchid bark with charcoal in it to hold the moisture. In contrast, most growers plant it in sphagnum moss with perlite and a mix of coco chips.  

What the Spiritus Sancti needs air pockets to prevent root rot from happening.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Water Requirements

plant watering requirement

Watering the Spiritus Sancti is the trickiest part, as you do not want it to die from root rot, right. We recommend keeping it moist with a wet feel. However, it should not stand in water or be soggy. The root must not be too dry, long, or too wet.

You will say goodbye to your pendent friend and many grand. Plantly recommends investing in a tensiometer to test the moisture in the soil to help ensure it gets the water it needs.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Fertilizer Requirement

The Aroid does well with little to no fertilization. In nature, it survives the water, fallen leaves, wind, and rain. The fallen leaves provide the nutrients it needs.

Furthermore, it depends on the water you use as well. If you use distilled water, you will need to provide it with a liquid fertilizer now and again.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Repotting

Whether you have the original or a Philodendron Spiritus Sancti variegated one, the pot needs ample airflow. The water needs to drain fast and well. Some growers have added holes to the side of the pot as well.

Furthermore, it needs something like a podium to vine along or even works well in a hanging basket. Moreover, you need to repot your plant once you notice the roots growing through the water holes.

How to Propagate Philodendron Spiritus Sancti

plant propagation

Here is where the tricky part comes. Growing the plant seems simple but propagating them is challenging. You can reproduce using cuttings from the root, but it takes very long, as the new cuttings are not eager to grow.

Here air layering is a better option as it helps produce leaves first. Now, we are not saying it is impossible.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti Diseases & Pests

As with most houseplants, you can find concerns rising from spider mites, mealybugs to root rot. For spider mites and mealybugs, a good shower with water followed by a soap insecticide removes these critters. You can follow it up using Neem oil to make sure they do not return.

To prevent root rot, make sure the pot has enough water drainage holes and follow the steps mentioned in providing your plant with the right amount of water.

Philodendron Spiritus Sancti and Santa Leopoldina

While you can find some juvenile versions going around, and the Brazilians refer to the Spiritus Sancti as Santa Leopoldina, it is not always the same. There are many sellers online stating that their plant, the Santa Leopoldina, is the real thing.

However, many of them use the name for a wide selection of flora sold online. Therefore, if you see the name and sell it for under $35, it is not genuine as the original goes for thousands of dollars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Philodendron Spiritus Sancti rare?

Yes, it is a scarce plant not easily found online, and you can expect to pay up to $1500 for it. So best make sure you get the real thing.

Is Philodendron Spiritus Sancti poisonous?

Yes, Philodendron plants are toxic as they have calcium oxalate crystals, an irritant to the mouth.

Why does the Philodendron Spiritus Sancti leaves curl?

n most cases, the leaves curl if the plant is cold or too dry. To prevent this, do not place it in a draft, and during warmer months, you can mist it with water.

here to Buy Philodendron Spiritus Sancti?

The plant is hard to find, and there is a nursery in the US that does have it available from time to time. Alternatively, you can check in countries such as the Philippines or Thailand. Or you can buy from a collector, but the challenge is to find the original plant and price. You can also find specimens sold by IAS, or you can check out our buying list on Plantly here.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!


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