The philodendron Golden Crocodile has a cheery color and serrated leaf edges, making it fun to grow and care for. This simple guide will cover every aspect of the houseplant’s care.
What are some simple plant care instructions for the philodendron Golden Crocodile? Here are some simple plant care instructions for the philodendron Golden Crocodile: water to maintain moist soil, provide bright and indirect light, use well-draining soil, keep temps at 60-85°F, raise humidity over 60%, and fertilize every month during the growing season.
I know that sounds like a lot, but don’t worry, I’ll walk you through everything ahead. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll feel confident growing your own philodendron Golden Crocodile!
Simple Plant Care Instructions for the Philodendron Golden Crocodile
Watering the Philodendron Golden Crocodile
Let’s begin by talking about the Golden Crocodile’s watering requirements. This unique houseplant prefers consistently moist soil.
That’s no excuse to inundate the Golden Crocodile with water! Like other philodendrons, the Golden Crocodile isn’t such a big fan of standing water, so you must allow the water to drain out before replenishing.
Let at least an inch of soil from the top down dry out. When it does, water the philodendron until its soil feels moist again.
If you’re unsure how dry the soil is, don’t guess. Insert a few fingers into the soil and feel around for moisture. Unlike following a watering schedule, this reliable gauge will never steer you wrong.
Prepare to water your Golden Crocodile more frequently during warmer months or in hot climates.
If you live in a cooler region or experience chilly autumns and winters, you’ll go longer than usual without watering.
If your philodendron seems dry and brittle, you’ve gone too long without water. The philodendron is only moderately drought-tolerant, so you must keep the Golden Crocodile hydrated.
An overwatered houseplant will look droopy and swollen with water. The soil will feel saturated, not only a little damp.
The Right Lighting for the Philodendron Golden Crocodile
Keep the yellow-green coloration of the Golden Crocodile intact by providing bright, indirect light.
You can use a grow light or allow the sun to do its job. The philodendron will use the light for photosynthesis in equal measure, whether it’s artificial or natural.
Installing a curtain in a north or east-facing window will provide bright, indirect light.
Avoid exposing the Golden Crocodile to direct sunlight from a west or south-facing window without a curtain. These windows receive full doses of the harsh afternoon sun that can burn the crimped, colorful leaves of this philodendron variety.
What about dimmer light than bright, indirect light? Periods of low light won’t harm the Golden Crocodile much, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you can help it.
Its coloration can begin to fade, and the plant’s growth will slow.
The Best Soil and Pot for the Philodendron Golden Crocodile
Well-draining soil suits the philodendron Golden Crocodile.
Rather than commercial potting soil, buy loamy soil instead. Loam includes clay (roughly 20 percent), silt (40 percent), and sand (40 percent), so it’s heavier than your average potting mix.
Soil amendments will keep loamy soil well-draining for a long time to come. Try these amendments:
- Vermiculite: Vermiculite can grow in size quickly when heated. This mineral also retains water excellently, keeping it accessible to the Golden Crocodile’s roots so your plant thrives.
- Perlite: Perlite is a chunky volcanic rock that encourages soil drainage. The soil amendment also holds onto water to prevent you from having to water the Golden Crocodile too often.
- Peat moss: A classic soil amendment, peat moss will also promote better drainage when inserted in the soil. Further, it’s good at controlling soil pH.
Speaking of soil pH, that matters to the Golden Crocodile. Its soil should have a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. That’s slightly acidic to moderately alkaline.
Check the pH of any soil amendment you use to keep the philodendron’s pH balanced.
What kind of pot should you grow the philodendron Golden Crocodile in? I’d suggest a glazed ceramic, clay, or terracotta pot with a plastic liner.
Glazing the aforementioned materials reduces their porosity. Glazed ceramic or clay will still absorb water, but not as greedily as usual, so the Golden Crocodile’s soil doesn’t dry out prematurely.
The plastic liner is nonporous and can retain water. Still, a plastic pot would be too nonporous, so you only need the liner.
If your Golden Crocodile is more mature, you can place it in an eight-inch pot. This plant can even grow in a 12-inch pot as it increases in size.
Double-check that the pot has drainage holes, as not all do anymore!
The Philodendron Golden Crocodile’s Preferred Temperature
Keep temperatures in your home or office between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’ll have a happy Golden Crocodile.
If anything, beware temperature extremes in the upper and lower limits.
Do not allow temps to plummet too far below 60 degrees. You can stress out the Golden Crocodile, which may begin wilting, browning, or shedding leaves. In very cold conditions, its cells can even freeze and rupture.
You’d have no choice but to heavily prune your philodendron, as those affected leaves never recover.
An upper temperature limit of 85 degrees is quite generous, I’d say. If you feel like putting your plant outside on a sunny summer’s day or you turn off the AC for a while, don’t let the mercury rise too much.
Your Golden Crocodile will begin to scald in the heat. It will droop and dry out, becoming brittle and papery with brown leaves.
Look out for warm and cold blasts from drafty doors and windows, air conditioning and heating vents, refrigerators, radiators, and the like.
The Right Humidity for the Philodendron Golden Crocodile
The Golden Crocodile loves humidity and prefers at least 60 percent moisture.
How do you know how moist the conditions are in your home or office?
If you don’t already have a hygrometer, I’d recommend picking one up. It’s an inexpensive purchase that will help you master your plant’s preferred humidity going forward.
More than likely, the humidity levels in your office or home won’t suffice.
Most buildings have a relative humidity of 30 to 50 percent tops. The Golden Crocodile risks drying out without more moisture.
If your philodendron needs more humidity, you have several ways to provide it. You can buy a humidifier and plug it in. You’ll breathe also easier with a humidifier, so it’s doubly beneficial.
You can also move your Golden Crocodile to your bathroom if the room has a window that provides bright, indirect light and the plant has enough space to grow.
When you take a shower, the blast of humid air will rejuvenate the Golden Crocodile!
Fertilizing the Philodendron Golden Crocodile
When the Golden Crocodile’s active growing season begins in the spring, it’s time to fertilize your houseplant.
Use a balanced plant fertilizer. Apply a regular fertilizer about every two weeks, following the product instructions (including for dilution if necessary!).
If you use a slow-release fertilizer, you can wait up to three months before fertilizing the philodendron Golden Crocodile again.
This plant is sensitive to excessive fertilization. The salts in the fertilizer can burn the plant’s roots and even cause dormancy, so take a light-handed approach whenever possible.
When the autumn arrives and the Golden Crocodile slows down for the season, fertilize it about every six to eight weeks with a standard fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer. Continue this habit throughout the winter.
Philodendron Golden Crocodile – Avoiding Diseases and Pests
Pests and diseases shouldn’t afflict your Golden Crocodile often, but the plant is not entirely resistant to either.
Here’s an overview of which insects to stay vigilant of.
- Aphids: It’s difficult enough to keep aphids out of outdoor gardens; indoor gardeners have to work just as hard. The soft-bodied, tiny insects will suck all the juice in your Golden Crocodile’s leaves if you let them. A mixture of dish soap and water should kill the swarm.
- Spider mites: It’s just as upsetting to discover spider mites on your Golden Crocodile. These small insects weave white webs underneath the leaves. Here’s a fun fact: spider mites hate the cold! Turn the water temps down to 32 degrees and douse them in icy water.
- Mealybugs: The waxy insects known as mealybugs deposit honeydew, a secretion that can attract mold if left on your philodendron. Neem oil, water and dish soap, and insecticidal soap will all do the trick.
What about diseases? The primary one to worry about is fungal root rot.
Fungal root rot kills houseplants from their roots to the stems. The root system becomes oversaturated with water and can’t get enough oxygen, causing the roots to die one by one.
Overwatering is what leads to root rot in most cases. If not that, then it’s poor drainage. Both issues can come into play at the same time, of course.
Following the simple care instructions I provided above will help.
You’ll learn to water your Golden Crocodile only when it needs it and let its soil dry out in between.
You’ll also amend the Golden Crocodile’s clay-based soil so that despite that it’s somewhat heavy and at risk of compaction, the amendments keep conditions light. Water will travel through the pot, get to the roots, and then the excess can drain right out.
If your philodendron has fungal root rot, all you can do is remove the plant from its pot, prune the dead roots (and plant bits such as dead stems and leaves), and move it to drier soil.
Water more sparingly going forward and continue to monitor the Golden Crocodile. It may bounce back, but it could just as easily not make it.
Philodendron Golden Crocodile FAQs
Do you still have questions about caring for the philodendron Golden Crocodile? I’m here to help with this collection of FAQs!
Is the Philodendron Golden Crocodile Rare?
If you’re looking for a rare plant, you’ve found it in the philodendron Golden Crocodile. This hard-to-find plant has a special look that makes indoor gardeners fall in love.
How Much Does the Philodendron Golden Crocodile Cost? The Average Price in the US
The cost of the Golden Crocodile varies. I’ve seen some of these plants for sale for as little as $45 and others for $400.
On average, you’ll spend about $120 on this plant, but always look for deals if you can find them!
Can You Propagate the Philodendron Golden Crocodile Using Cuttings?
Now that you’ve gotten your hands on a rare plant like the Golden Crocodile, you’re very interested in propagating it. You only need stem cuttings to begin the process.
A good plant cutting is at least three or four inches long but can be longer. Look for a healthy, green cutting, and trim it at a 45-degree angle to optimize its ability to take in water and, later, nutrients.
Can You Grow the Philodendron Golden Crocodile in Water?
The Golden Crocodile happily drinks water but cannot grow in it. The plant needs moistened soil with good drainage.
Will the Philodendron Golden Crocodile Climb If Attached to a Moss Pole?
Indoor gardeners don’t only have to grow the philodendron Golden Crocodile in a pot. If you affix a moss pole around the plant, it will begin to climb!
You’ll have yellow-green, saw-toothed leaves all over your home or office, which will surely put a smile on your face each day.
How Big Does the Philodendron Golden Crocodile Get?
The Golden Crocodile grows between three and 10 feet tall and about three feet wide. It’s not a small plant by any means but still manageable enough that it’s feasible to add to your cubicle or shoebox apartment.
Does the Philodendron Golden Crocodile Grow Fast?
The Golden Crocodile grows at a moderate pace. It might be a bit slow compared to some other philodendrons, but it doesn’t move at a snail’s pace. Fertilizing your plant during its active growing season will certainly help it along!