Philodendron collections will give you precisely what you need if you are looking for a rare houseplant. This is a significant genus that contains countless unique plants. Unfortunately, many philodendrons look alike. This includes both Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum.
Both plants have attractive and almost identical foliage. This is why many growers confuse one for another.
So, if you need clarification about which plant, this article will help break down the differences between Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum topic. So, keep reading to learn all the differences between both plants.
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What is Philodendron Gigas?
This plant is rare as a houseplant. This is not because this plant is not beautiful but because of its rarity. The Gigas plant is among the largest varieties of this genus.
It is famous for its velvety, large foliage. Also, it has large leaves that can exceed one foot long under ideal growth circumstances.
Philodendron Gigas is native to the tropical forests of Panama. This plant is a climber and grows pretty tall. Like almost all the other philodendrons, Gigas have heart-shaped leaves, but they do not start this way.
This plant’s newly unfurled leaves have an oval shape. However, they become cordate as they grow.
Also, the grown leaves of the Philodendron Gigas have a deep green color, but they start out more on the copper color side.
When caring for this plant, you won’t face any difficulty. It is one of these low-maintenance plants. Philodendron Gigas is a fast-growing houseplant.
What is Philodendron Melanochrysum?
Philodendron Melanochrysum is a unique and beautiful plant. This plant is highly praised for its evergreen crystalline leaves. It is commonly known as the black gold philodendron or Melano Philodendron.
The contrast between the dark green leaves and their yellowish veins makes this plant extra beautiful.
This plant is native to various tropical countries in South America, such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. Melano philodendron is an easy-to-care-for plant.
Just give it proper indirect light and a temperature of at least 21 degrees Celsius, and your plant will do a good job. Outside its natural habitat, this plant grows in hardiness zones 9a and 11b.
It requires high humidity levels of at least 60%. Avoid placing this plant where it gets direct sun exposure, as it can burn the leaves. This is also a climber by nature and grows tall outdoors.
Back home, Philodendron Melanochrysum can reach 7 meters tall. But indoors, it grows on a much smaller scale. It can grow up to 1.5 meters tall.
Differences between Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum
Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum look alike. Some growers think they are the same plant. In this Philodendron Gigas vs. Melanochrysum comparison, you will understand their differences. Understanding these differences begins with looking closely at their leaves.
1. Leaf shape
The mature leaves of both plants are heart-shaped, but things are different in the earlier stages. The juvenile phase can help you quickly identify each plant.
Younger Philodendron Gigas have pretty distinct leaves, beginning their life cycle with an oval shape. Young Philodendron Melano plants, on the other hand, have been cordate since day 1.
2. Younger leaf color
Another notable difference between young Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum is the leaf color. Both plants have dark green leaves as they mature, but juvenile versions differ.
The newly produced Gigas leaves have a copper color. The leaves of the Melanochrysum have a reddish-orange or bronze color.
3. Mature leaf color
Both plants indeed have dark green foliage, but there is a notable difference in their shades. The leaves of Philodendron Melanochrysum are darker and tend to be more on the black side.
This explains why this plant is nicknamed “black gold philodendron.” The leaves of Philodendron Gigas are lighter if they are put together with the Melano leaves.
4. Mature leaf shape
The shape of both plants’ leaves significantly changes through their life cycles. For instance, the mature leaves of Philodendron Gigas lose their elongated shape and become broader.
Also, they look more like arrows or aces. The leaves of Philodendron Melano become more elongated instead of broader without losing the cordate details.
5. Flower color
You get Philodendron Gigas or Melanochrysum for their beautiful leaves, not their flowers, although they can bloom during the summer or spring. Both of them produce flowers that differ in their color.
The Philodendron Gigas’s flowers are either pink or white. They also have reddish centers, while the flowers of Philodendron Melano are green.
6. Plant size
In the jungle, both plants grow big, but indoors things can be a bit different. A mature Philodendron Gigas is much larger than a Melanochrysum.
Gigas can grow to be twice the size of Philodendron Melano. The Philodendron Gigas can reach 3 meters, while the Melanochrysum can get around 1.5 meters long.
7. Stalk features
Looking closely at these plants’ leaf stalks or petioles can reveal some differences. You will find slight striations along the short lines of each petiole of the Philodendron Gigas.
However, This is not the case with the Philodendron Melano. It has almost cylindrical stalks with striations that give them some texture.
Philodendron Gigas vs Melanochrysum: Are they the same?
Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum are not the same plants. They both originate from the same Araceae family and the same genus. Both of them have very similar large and deep green leaves. However, specific details distinguish one plant from the other.
The leaves of both plants change drastically in terms of shape and color throughout their life cycles. The leaves of Philodendron Gigas start off oval with coppery foliage, but then they turn heart-shaped and dark green as they grow. Still, the leaves of Philodendron Gigas are not as dark as those of P. Melano.
The stalks of Philodendron Gigas are shorter than those of Melanochrysum. The stalks of Philodendron Melanochrysum have more obvious striations and visible white lines. The petioles of Philodendron Melano are less soft than Philodendron Gigas.
Additionally, both the flowers of P. Gigas are pink or white, while P. Melano has green flowers. Last but not least, the Philodendron Gigas grows indoors bigger than the Philodendron Melanochrysum.