Philodendron is a vigorous vining plant with luscious heart-shaped leaves. This three-step tutorial shows how to boost philodendron growth using Keiki Paste.
Keiki paste contains plant hormones called cytokinin that encourage cell division in plants. Using Keiki paste, you can encourage your Philodendron to grow new shoots, stems and leaves. This will leave you with a bushier plant with plenty of extra material for stem cuttings.
Step 1: Find nodes
First, select ‘nodes’ to apply the Keiki paste to. Nodes are parts of the plant where new leaves emerge from. Keiki paste contains growth hormones that encourage cell division in the nodes.
Stem nodes are very easy to find on Philodendron's long, segmented stems. The nodes will show up as raised, pale rings or woody notches around the stem. Usually, stems will be bent slightly from where the node is. Younger plants with shorter stems (as in the photo) will have fewer nodes, and they may be nearer to the soil.
Step 2: Apply Keiki paste to nodes
Score the nodes slightly with a needle, pin, or knife, making sure not to sever the stem. Scoring the stem will expose the plant better to the hormones contained in the Keiki paste.
Dip a cotton bud in the Keiki paste and dab the paste onto the scored nodes. You only need a tiny amount.
Step 3: Wait
The Keiki paste can take up to a month or two to work. During this time, place the plant in optimal light conditions. Philodendron do best in dappled light, so a window facing a tree or on a windowsill behind net curtains.
A new shoot on the Philodendron. It will unfurl into a leaf.
Philodendron are a rainforest plant and needs lots of humidity. This is even more important while you are waiting for new growth. Ideally, humidity around the plant should be 60%. Mist heavily every day or place on a tray of pebbles half-filled with water. Make sure the pot is not touching the water however, since this will waterlog the soil.
Water philodendron only when the top two inches of the soil is completely dry.
If it is the growth season (spring and summer), continue your regular fertilizing regime as usual but add one dose of balanced fertilizer right after you use the paste to help the plant push out new growth. You should be fertilizing every month in the growth season. If you have applied Keiki paste to many nodes, add a few more drops of fertilizer to your usual amount each time you fertilize.
In fall and winter, you should be fertilizing your philodendron only every two months. Add only one very dilute dose after paste application on top of this normal fertilizer routine.
Soon, you will see new shoots and leaves emerging from the nodes you applied the paste to.