Written By Ellie Jonas

Philodendron Mcdowell Care Guide (2024)

this is a philodendron mcdowell plant with large glossy leaf placed on a green background.

The name Philodendron McDowell was created by John Banta in 1988. He named it after the name of his friend, Dean McDowell. It is a cross between Philodendron gloriosum and Philodendron pastazanum. It is simply referred to as Philodendron McDowell.

This plant belongs to the Araceae family and has large, heart-shaped leaves with prominent lateral veins.  Unlike most varieties of philodendron, it is not a climber but, a terrestrial creeper that grows along the surface of the soil.

In this post, I will share with you every detail of a Philodendron McDowell so that you know more about this plant before buying one.

Philodendron Mcdowell- What is That?

It is a man-made hybrid plant created in 1988. This plant is a cross between two other varieties of philodendron, i.e., Glorisum and Pastazanum.

It is a hardy terrestrial creeper that does not grow very tall. It grows horizontally along the soil and can be up to 3 feet tall. The McDowell has large, heart-shaped leaves, and its roots get deep down in the soil.

Did You Know

Philodendron McDowell is toxic to both humans and animals if ingested.

How Do You Take Care of Your Philodendron Mcdowell?

Unlike other varieties of Philodendron, McDowell needs proper care to grow and survive. Here are a few methods you can follow to keep your plant healthy.

Watering the Plant


Watering your plant is very important to make it grow quickly and last longer. Put your finger in the soil and check its moisture level. If you feel the top 2 inches of the soil to be completely dry, then, water your plant immediately.

Your water should be at room temperature; never use cold water. You can use tap water, rainwater, or distilled water. Pour water only at the base of the plant, and do not let the foliage get wet.

Throw away the excess water that drains out after watering the plant. Avoid overwatering and use water again if you notice the top 2 inches of the soil are dry.

The Size of the Tub

As it is a creeper and has deep roots so, it should be placed in a wide container.


The tub should have a hole for drainage so that water does not get clogged and rot the roots.

Terracotta tubs are quite breathable and can be a good option. The size of your tub should be 10 inches or 25 cm deep and 10 to 20 inches wide, depending on the size of the rootball.

Temperature and Light Require

Unlike other varieties of Philodendron,  McDowell prefers indirect, bright light. You can also use artificial lamps to make it grow faster. Never keep it in direct sunlight, as this plant cannot tolerate it.

This plant grows and survives best in humid weather conditions. It needs to be placed in a location with 65 to 75 percent humidity. Less than 60 % humidity can make its leaves turn yellow.

The McDowell cannot tolerate frost and survives best in temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Level of Humidity

Dry air can make the leaves of the McDowell yellow. So, it should always be placed in a location with 65 to 75 percent humidity.

 If you are in a dry place, then make sure to use a humidifier to increase the humidity around the plant.  Mist can also be beneficial for the plant.

Repotting the Plant

McDowell grows and survives best in well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Using an African violet or a good cactus potting mix can be a good option.

You can also mix 1/3 organic matter and 1/3 vermiculite or perlite with 1/3 of your potting mix for better results.  As the plant grows, you will notice the root coming out of the drainage hole. You need to transplant it every 2 to 3 years as it grows.

Repotting should be done during summer or spring, as it is the growing season of the plant. A mature plant should be placed in a 15 to 20 inches wide pot.

Use a Good Fertilizer

Applying fertilizer during summer and spring can be beneficial for that plant, as it is the growing time of the Philodendron McDowell.


Using diluted houseplant fertilizer monthly can make the plant grow faster and survive longer.

It is perfectly fine if you miss applying fertilizer in a month, as the McDowell does not require too much fertilizer to thrive. In the cold months, this plant restores its energy, so, never use fertilizer during winter.

Growth of the Plant

This plant grows moderately, and new leaves can be seen every 4 to 6 weeks. The McDowell can be 3 to 6.5 feet tall when mature. It has ariel roots that draw nutrients from the air, even if it is not a climber.

How Do I Propagate Philodendron Mcdowell?

The best way to propagate the Philodendron McDowell is through its roots. For this, you need to take out the plant from the pot. The ideal time for propagation is during spring, when, the repotting is done.

Both propagation and repotting can be done during this time, and you do not have to remove the rhizomes separately. Always choose a healthy stem with at least three leaves from the parent plant during propagation.

Here is the step-by-step method to guide you to propagate your McDowell.

Stolon Propagation

  • You need to choose a healthy stolon with at least one leaf and one node.
  • Take a sharp, sterilized knife and cut the identified section of the stolon, including the nodes and leaves.
  • Take a pot and fill it with moist potting mix. Now place the stolon on top of the soil and use your finger to gently press it into the soil. The leaves should be above the soil, and you don’t have to bury the plant completely in the soil.
  • Place the pot in a location with bright indirect light and adequate humidity.
  • Water the soil to keep it moist.  However, avoid overwatering.
  • You will notice new plants coming out from the cut ends within four to six weeks.

What Causes the Leaves of the Philodendron Mcdowell to Turn Yellow?

As you all know, philodendron is a low-maintenance plant and does not require much water or sunlight to grow. The leaves of the McDowell can turn yellow if they do not receive adequate light and are overwatered.

Your plant should be placed in such a location so, that it can get indirect, bright light for 6 to 8 hours. Check the soil to make sure it is moist enough and that you do not have to water it.

Take Away

Unlike all other varieties of philodendron, the McDowell also needs minimum care to grow and thrive. it is a creeper and not a climber, so it never gets very tall and grows along the soil.

It is a hardy plant with heart-shaped leaves and is a cross between pastazanum and gloriosum. So, if you have the McDowell at your home or planning to get one, then, following this article can be an extra advantage for you.


What is the Botanical Name for Philodendron Mcdowell?
It is a cross between Philodendron gloriosum and Pastazanum and is referred to as Philodendron “ Dean Mcdowell”.
is Philodendron Mcdowell Rare?
The McDowell is quite rare and hard to find. Besides being uncommon, this plant can also be quite expensive. You may have to pay $100 or more to get one. However, you will not be disappointed after spending a lot of money on this plant after looking at its overall appearance.
What is the Difference Between Philodendron Mcdowell and Gloriosum?
As McDowell is the cross version of the gloriosum and pastazanum, you will notice many similarities between them. The only difference between them is that the McDowell has more shiny and glossy leaves than the Gloriosum.
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My name is Ellie Jonas, and I’m a writer, editor, and lifelong plant lover. With over 12 years of experience in growing different varieties of philodendrons and other indoor plants, I inspire and educate new gardeners with a focus on planet-friendly gardening practices.

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