Philodendron Melanochrysum (Top Tips & Care Guide)

Philodendron Melanochrysum

Philodendron Melanochrysum is an easy to grow and rare vining philodendron popular because of its gorgeous foliage and low maintenance care routine. 

These tropical plants’ velvet leaves come in shades of dark green with brilliantly contrasted yellow veins that are huge! The leaves can get as large as 24 inches. The yellow vein forms a unique pattern throughout each leaf. 

While these plants can be challenging to come across, they are surprisingly easy to care for once you finally have one in your home. 

Philodendron Melanochrysum plants enjoy warm conditions, dappled light, and consistent watering.

The crystalline appearance on the leaves resembles specks of gold. In fact, “melanochrysum” means “black gold.”

Philodendron Melano leaf close up
Philodendron Melanochrysum Close Up

One Plant, Many Names: Philodendron Melanochrysum Verrucosum (scientific name), Black Gold Philodendron, Melano Plant, Philodendron Melano

So, how do you care for a Philodendron Melanochrysum?

Philodendron Melanochrysum Care

Here are the basics of how to care for Philodendron Melanochrysum, which we will detail in this article.

  • Soil: A well-draining potting mix that holds some moisture
  • Pot: Adequate drainage holes and add a moss pole as the plant matures
  • Light: Bright/indirect light
  • Water: Keep moist, let top 1-2 inches of soil dry before watering
  • Humidity: Above 50%
  • Pruning: As needed to maintain the desired look


The best Philodendron Melano soil is a regular indoor plant potting mix with some bark and perlite added in, which will help with drainage.

Alternatively, you can mix your own soil at home. We recommend a combination of these ingredients for a DIY soil mix: 

  • 1 part general potting soil
  • 1 part perlite for excellent drainage
  • 1 part sphagnum moss or peat moss to retain moisture

Perlite helps excess water in the soil drain more quickly. You don’t want your plant sitting in soggy/overly moist soil because root rot can easily set in. Perlite helps the soil to dry out quickly, which will prevent root rot.

To retain moisture, add sphagnum moss or peat moss to your soil. 

Sphagnum moss is a great way to add some pockets of moisture to your soil. The sphagnum moss, along with the perlite, helps to keep the soil soft and airy.

Many indoor plant lovers grow their Melano plants in pure sphagnum moss. It is organic, airy, and retains water well. 


Fertilize your Philodendron Melanochrysum plant regularly during their active growing period (spring and summer). Use a balanced liquid fertilizer.


When choosing a pot for this plant, the most important thing is adequate drainage holes. 

Philodendron Melanochrysum is a climbing plant in its natural environment. Therefore, allowing it to climb in your home will help the leaves grow more prominent and to their full, spectacular potential.

How do you make your Philodendron Melano climb? Add a moss pole to the pot, and after a little while, its aerial roots will start to attach to the moss pole, helping the plant climb.

Read our detailed guide: Moss Pole for Plants | What They Are and Why You Need One

It takes a year to two for one of these plants to outgrow its pot. Once it does, it’s time to repot your plant. 

Melano plant in a pot
Philodendron Melanochrysum In Cute Basket

When Should I Repot Philodendron Melanochrysum?

Repot your Philodendron Melano when it is rootbound. The timing will depend on your plant’s growth rate. Signs of a rootbound plant include: 

  • Roots coming out of the drainage holes
  • A sad-looking plant with stunted growth
  • Roots that swirl around the bottom of the pot

You will need to slip the plant out of its pot to check.

How to Repot Philodendron Melanochrysum

When it is time to repot, follow these steps:

  • Find a cute new pot (with a drainage hole) that’s about 2 inches larger than your current one.
  • Get some fresh potting mix that is well-draining. Add some perlite if desired for extra drainage and moss to retain moisture. Orchid bark is also a great addition. 
  • Carefully remove your plant from the current pot. 
  • Check the root ball for any signs of poor health. Be sure it is not mushy or soft. If you do see anything wrong, carefully trim away the damaged roots. 
  • Add your potting mix to the pot, about ⅓ to ½ full, so that the plant stands out of the pot at roughly the same height it did in the old pot. 
  • Once your plant is in, fill the rest of the pot with soil. Keep the soil loose and not too compact. 

When removing your plant from its old pot, be careful not to damage any roots. Untangle the roots as much as possible and carefully place the plant into its new pot. After repotting, be diligent about watering and ensure your plant gets the right amount of light. 

Sun/Light Requirements

Philodendron Melanochrysum plants need bright/indirect or bright/filtered light. Direct sunlight shining on your plant can cause some severe damage to the leaves.

If you don’t have enough natural light in your home, you can still own one of these beautiful plants. Add grow lights to your collection to get your plant the light it needs. 

How to Water Philodendron Melanochrysum

Water your Philodendron Melanochrysum when the top two inches of soil are dry. If it’s dry down to this level, it’s time to water. If not, wait a few more days and check again.

Then, water your plant thoroughly until water drains from the pot’s drainage holes.

In general, for a healthy plant, you should not water on a set schedule. 

Over-watering often leads to root rot. With too much water in the soil, oxygen cannot get through the roots. In this situation, your plant’s roots will quickly start to decay or rot.


Philodendron Melanochrysum is native to Colombia, and as a tropical plant, it likes increased humidity. They will do just fine in a home with average moisture, but a humidity range above 50% will help them thrive. The leaves will grow healthier, and your plant will become lusher.

There are a few ways to increase the humidity surrounding your plants.

You can mist the leaves with water or use a pebble tray. A pebble tray is very simple:

Fill a tray with pebbles and water 

Put your plant on the tray

The evaporating water creates humidity in the air surrounding your plant. 

Our favorite way to add humidity is to use a humidifier for plants. They are easy to set up. You can set them to the right humidity level and let them do their job. 

Pro Tip: An inexpensive hygrometer is a wise investment in testing the humidity level in your home and adjusting it accordingly for your plants. 

If the above methods of adding humidity sound like too much work, consider purchasing a humidifier for your plants.

We have two fantastic articles detailing humidifiers for plants:


Philodendron Melanochrysum prefers warmer temperatures but will do just fine in average household temperatures. In general, this tropical plant is happy in a range of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.


Regular pruning is usually not necessary when these plants are grown indoors. Still, you may choose to prune your plant occasionally if it is getting too large for your space. 

Size and Growth of Philodendron Melanochrysum

Philodendron Melanochrysum plants grow quite large for a house plant. You will need to have a room that can comfortably fit both the height of the plant and the length of the leaves.

How fast do philodendron melanochrysum grow?

Philodendron Melanochrysum plants have a moderate growth rate. When they are well cared for, they can grow as much as 6-12 inches per year.

The leaves of Philodendron Melanochrysum should be pretty large. When the leaves aren’t growing, it means you aren’t fertilizing your plant enough. It’s not getting all the nutrients needed. You’ll need to start fertilizing it more often.

Black Gold Philodendron in a pot close up

Common Issues With Philodendron Melanochrysum

Common problems with Philodendron Melanochrysum usually come from improper light or watering. Luckily, these plants are pretty resilient. If you catch the issues early enough, they will likely make a full recovery. 

Watch out for signs of common houseplant pests such as scale, mealybugs, fungus gnats, and spider mites; and diseases such as root rot, bacterial leaf spot, and fungal infections.

Leggy Vines

Leggy vines are a common issue with vining plants and usually occur when the plant is stretching out to find more light. Try increasing the light for your plant, while still making sure it’s not sitting in direct sunlight.

Root Rot

Overwatering causes root rot. Root rot will kill your plant. Remember to always to feel the soil before you water your plant.

Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves are most often a sign of overwatering in a Black Gold Philodendron. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix. Feel the soil every time you water your plant. If the top few inches are still moist, wait and recheck the next day. 

FAQ’s: Philodendron Melanochrysum

Is Philodendron Melanochrysum Plant Rare?

The Philodendron Melanochrysum is a rare indoor plant.

Is Philodendron Melanochrysum Toxic?

Yes, Philodendron Melanochrysum is toxic to dogs, cats and other pets. This plant is poisonous if ingested, and it can also cause skin irritation. Keep it out of reach of pets and small children.

Other Philodendron Varieties to Check Out

Philodendron Melanochrysum vs. Micans

Is Philodendron Micans the same as Melanochrysum? While these velvet-leaf philodendrons may look similar at first glance, there are distinct differences that will help you tell them apart. 

First, Philodendron Micans leaves are much smaller and thinner than the leaves of the Philodendron Melanochrysum, which can reach up to 24 inches long. 

Second, Philodendron Micans leaves have a burgundy undertone, while Philodendron Melano leaves are dark green with yellow or gold veining.

Philodendron Melanochrysum vs. Micans

Philodendron Melanochrysum vs. Gigas

The Philodendron Melanochrysum has darker green (almost black) leaves than the Philodendron Gigas. Both plants feature huge leaves. 

Philodendron Melanochrysum vs. Gigas

Even More Philodendron Varieties

Hundreds of philodendron varieties are known for their large leaves and aerial roots. Beyond Philodendron Melanochrysums, here’s the top list of Philodendrons to grow as houseplants:

Where to Buy Philodendron Melanochrysum

Philodendron Melanochrysums can be expensive. The high price is because these gorgeous vining plants are rare and highly sought after. 

They can also be pretty tricky to find at most garden centers. Lucky for you, they are readily available on Etsy

Philodendron Melanochrysum 
Philodendron Melanochrysum Available on Etsy

Final Thoughts on Philodendron Melanochrysum

If you’re looking for an indoor plant that is easy to grow with gorgeous foliage, this is it!

Some items we discussed that will help you with Philodendron Melanochrysum (Black Gold Philodendron) care to keep it growing strong:

Good luck growing your Philodendron Melanochrysum plant and making it part of your cozy, fresh, and green home!