Big-leaf philodendrons are something special. But today’s two guests are an even more unusual sight. They differ from most members of their family in their colorful foliage, the way they grow, and other characteristics.
Philodendron Mccolley’s Finale was obtained more than 60 years ago by hybridizing unknown philodendrons. The author of the variety is Robert McColley. Another name of the plant is also Philodendron Cherry Red.
Philodendron Prince Of Orange was introduced in the 1980s. The author of the variety is Cora McColley, wife of the previous hybridizer. These philodendrons can be called ‘family plants’.
Despite the superficial similarity, they are actually two quite different varieties. From here you will learn about their differences and it will surely help you to choose the plant that is best suited for you.
|Philodendron Mccolley’s Finale||Philodendron Prince Of Orange|
|USDA Hardiness zone||10-11||10-11|
|Mature height||1-3′ (0.3-0.9 m)||1-3′ (0.3-0.9 m)|
|Mature width||1-3′ (0.3-0.9 m)||1-3′ (0.3-0.9 m)|
|Watering||1-2 times per week||1-2 times per week|
Leaf color is different
The first thing you immediately notice when you compare these two philodendrons is the color of the leaves.
The young leaves of McColley’s Finale appear bright red and are very contrasting with the old green foliage. As they mature, the red gets darker and darker until it turns green. Eventually, the leaf turns dark green. You can see all the stages of leaf maturity in the photo.
Prince Of Orange, on the other hand, has bright orange young leaves, which also look very pretty. Over time, the orange fades and slowly turns to green. But not as green as in the competitor but light green with a yellow tinge and so remains until the end of life. This is also clearly visible in the photo.
It is difficult for me to judge which of the philodendrons looks better in terms of color. They are both beautiful and unique in their own way.
The shape of the leaves is also different
The leaf surface of both of these philodendrons is shiny but their shape is different.
Mccolley’s Finale has oval-shaped leaves. The leaves average 15 inches long and 8 inches wide. That is, the length is twice the width. The ovality is especially noticeable on the mature, fully opened leaves.
At the same time, Prince Of Orange has about the same length but less width. The proportions are about one to three. As a result, the leaves have an elongated shape. Also, the sharp tips on a narrower leaf are more noticeable.
Of course, what I say next is a matter of taste, but I like the wide leaves of Mccolley’s Finale better. It looks larger and more solid.
The vast majority of philodendrons are climbing plants. They cling to the trunks of large tropical trees and grow upwards. Neither Prince Of Orange nor McColley’s Finale is like that, their growth habit is like a normal bush with a rosette in the center.
The size of both philodendrons is about the same 1-3 feet tall and the same width. Depending on growing conditions, the size may even be larger.
Prince Of Orange has a more strict shape. Its leaf petioles are more upright as the leaves are slightly lighter due to the smaller area. As a result, the foliage and petioles do not sag. The leaf tips are more upward-pointing.
As you may have guessed with McColley’s Finale it is a little different. Its leaves are larger than those of the competition, so they are heavier. The result is that the petioles and leaves sag and the bush becomes more spread out.
The growth rate of both varieties is quite fast. But you don’t have to worry about them becoming leggy. The height of the rosette increases slowly.
Philodendron Mccolley’s Finale more disease resistant
Mccolley’s Finale is more disease resistant than Prince Of Orange. Under the same growing conditions, the former is affected by diseases much less often than its competitor. Besides, the process of recovery is faster.
This is particularly true of Erwinia caratovora. This disease occurs when the air is very humid and the plant is overwatered. The pathogens penetrate through the pores of the leaves and begin to multiply. External signs are dark green spots on the leaves and petioles. There is also an unpleasant odor coming from the plant.
The second disease is Fungal Leaf Spot. As in the first case, the spores enter the leaves through the stomata or wounds. As a result, the leaves are covered with dark brown dry spots.
Apart from the differences described in detail above, Philodendron Mccolley’s Finale and Philodendron Prince Of Orange have many similarities. Knowing all aspects of the plant will help you to keep them healthy in the future.
They are toxic
Unfortunately, the first thing they have in common is toxicity. According to the ASPCA, both of these plants contain some calcium oxalate. Once in a pet’s mouth, they cause a lot of discomforts. The first is intense salivation, as well as pain and irritation in the mouth. In the worst case, the pet may vomit. The more serious consequences are not to be feared.
To avoid this, you should place philodendrons at a height out of reach of pets. You also need to keep an eye on them. Puppies are most at risk. If something like this does happen, take a pet to the vet immediately.
One of the great advantages of both philodendrons, in addition to their wonderful appearance, is their ability to purify the air. As they live, they recycle carbon dioxide and release oxygen. As a result, you will have more clean air in your home.
Philodendrons are especially good at this because they have large leaves and can recycle more oxygen than plants with smaller leaves. And here Mccolley’s Finale has a slight advantage over its competitor, since it has a larger leaf area it does a little better job of cleaning the air.
They need indirect sun
As I mentioned above, philodendrons grow in the shade of large trees. Accordingly, they need diffused or indirect sun. Never place them in direct sunlight, because otherwise, they will get sunburn.
It’s best to put the pot in a room to the east or west but not too close to a window. In a southern room the plants should be at the side of the window and only in a northern room can they be placed directly in front of the window.
It is also worth mentioning that total shade is contraindicated for them. There should be a medium amount of indirect sunlight in the room.
Some of the roots of these plants in nature are above ground level, so they are not afraid of short drying out. But on the other hand, rainforests are quite humid places.
To keep philodendrons comfortable, you need to water them on average twice a week during the growing season. In times of extreme heat, perhaps a little more often. But during the winter dormancy watering should be carried out no more than once every 10 days and the soil in the pot should be almost completely dry before watering.
Never overwater philodendrons as otherwise, they will respond with yellowing of the leaves or even death.
They need warm temperature
Both of these philodendrons are heat-loving plants. The optimal growing temperature is 65 to 70 °F. They will grow more slowly at lower temperatures. If it is too cold, the plants may even be damaged. Too much heat is just as bad as cold because in extreme heat they will stagnate.
From this, you might conclude that it is almost impossible to grow them outdoors in the U.S. Only a very small part of the area is suitable for growing them in the garden under certain conditions.
But on the other hand, you can easily keep them indoors. In the summer you can take them outdoors in a shady spot.
The soil must be well-drained
The next important condition is the soil. Philodendrons need well-drained soil because stagnant moisture can easily kill them. They also do not tolerate heavy soils, so you need to give them a loose substrate.
If you like to experiment then you can make your own substrate. Take half the potting soil and mix it with half the compost. All ingredients must be of good quality and free of both disease and pests.
Or you can make it easier and buy a ready-made philodendron soil mix. Peat moss also works well as a substrate, but then you will have to bother with additional watering.
The acidity of the soil should be in the range of pH 6.4-7.3.
They need moderately humid air
The ideal humidity for growing philodendrons is 70-80%. But it can also tolerate humidity in the range of 50%, which is more common at home. But this does not mean that the plants can be placed near heaters.
During hot and dry summers, the philodendron may lack humidity and may react with dry spots on the leaves. If you notice something like this, you should mist the leaves from time to time. Or you can install a humidifier.
On the other hand, you should not place these plants in a bathroom because it can be too humid, and fungal diseases can develop on the leaves.
Philodendrons are known to love to feed. And this is no coincidence since they have large foliage, which takes a lot of energy to create. For this reason, you need to fertilize them quite often.
The optimal fertilization schedule would be once a month during the active vegetation period. In the fall, fertilizing should be reduced to once every two months. In winter, you should not fertilize at all, since the plant is dormant and fertilizer can wake it up earlier than necessary.
Both liquid and granular fertilizer will work well as fertilizer. There are even special fertilizers for aroids or philodendrons. These plants need a little more nitrogen than the other elements since nitrogen is used to produce larger leaves.
Philodendrons have two major pests – aphids and mites. You shouldn’t really expect a significant spread of these insects indoors, but you still need to be prepared for anything.
Aphids are one of those pests that are quite easy to detect and control. If you get aphids on your philodendron, you will immediately notice spots on the foliage that will be sticky. If you look closely you will see small green bugs. A few sprays of neem oil are enough to get rid of the aphids.
Spider mites are more difficult because they are very small and hard to spot. If you see a small cobweb on the plant, pick it up with your fingers and crush it. If your fingers are red, it is definitely mites. Keeping the leaves moist will make the mites leave, but if that doesn’t work, spray the plant several times with acaricide.
Pruning is good for philodendrons. But you only need to trim the older leaves closer to the base of the plant. This will give the plant a boost of vigorous growth and renewal.
Also, cut back diseased yellowed leaves as soon as they appear. It is often the case that a plant is healthy but one leaf can yellow for some reason. To prevent anything bad from happening, remove the leaf immediately.
Use a sharp and sterile instrument when pruning. Make the cuts as close to the stem as possible but do not damage it!
Both of these varieties rarely need to be replanted, but the root system will increase over time and you will need to replant them. The new pot should be twice as big and have at least 4 drainage holes.
It is best to transplant in late winter or early spring before the philodendron begins to grow actively. When transplanting, try not to damage the roots. Afterward, water the plant with liquid fertilizer and moisten the leaves every day for a week or two.