Philodendron Mamei vs Plowmanii: 9 Main Differences

Philodendrons are a must-have for every plant collector around the world. This plant genus offers something for every taste and preference.

Rare philodendrons , in particular, are even more attractive. This is why many collectors seek out Philodendron Mamei or Plowmanii. Unfortunately, some collectors need help to distinguish them.

At first, glance, comparing Philodendron Mamei to Plowmanii seems impossible. You might think you are looking at the same plant.

But an in-depth look can guide you into knowing the differences between them. This article will give you some insight if you need to know which plant is which.

Philodendron Mamei vs Philodendron Plowmanii
The main differences between Philodendron Mamei and Philodendron Plowmanii are their leaf shape, leaf size, plant size, growth style, growth speed, variegation, flower colors, stalks features, and maintenance requirements. Both plants have green petioles, but the petioles of the Philodendron Mamei are smoother and do not feature ruffles.

What is Philodendron Mamei?

Philodendron Mamei falls into the category of tropical plants. This Philodendron, Mamei is commonly known as the silver cloud philodendron. It is an excellent option for those looking for variegated philodendrons.

Although, there are better options for first-time or busy growers. Philodendron Mamei is somehow a demanding plant.  

Philodendron Mamei features evergreen cordate leaves. It is considered a basic philodendron with standard green leaves. It is native to tropical areas of South and Central America, which includes Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru. 

It likes humidity and warmth, which could be readily available indoors. However, if you decide to grow it outside, you must live in a hardiness zone between 9 and 11.

The leaves of Philodendron Mamei are deep green with a touch of silver blotches. The variegated spots are usually small. However, they create a pleasant visual contrast with the green foliage.

Just like any other philodendron, this Mamei variety produces tiny white flowers. However, it barely blooms when kept indoors.

What is Philodendron Plowmanii?

It is another philodendron variety that has stunningly big yellowish-green leaves. It is another epiphytic plant that naturally climbs onto tree trunks. This plant is native to South American rainforests in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador.

This plant is famous for its leathery, glossy foliageThis plant grows big, so make some decent space for it to thrive comfortably.

This plant appreciates moisture and humidity. Drought won’t make it grow properly, as it kills it. Despite being a natural climber, Philodendron Plowmanii grows differently. It prostrates as its stem grows and creeps flat along the ground.

Plowmanii loves indirect light, as direct exposure is bad for foliage. The plant’s flowers are usually yellow, but they can bloom purplish red flowers on rare occasions.

Differences between Philodendron Mamei and Plowmanii

Philodendron Mamei and Plowmanii are closely similar due to their glossy green leaves. Also, they have almost similar needs. Also, they are both big plants, but the Plowmanii ends up much bigger.

Both plants feature obvious veins on their leaves, but those on the Plowmanii leaves are more obvious. Identifying Philodendron Mamei and Plowmanii can be tricky but possible.

1. Leaf size

The leaves of both plants are the number one cause of confusion between them. They have large green leaves. However, there is a difference in their sizes. The leaves of Plowmanii grow a lot larger than the Mamei leaves.

A mature leaf of Mamei reaches 15 cm long and 10 cm wide. On the flip side, the length of Philodendron Plowmanii ranges between 18 and 38 cm.

2. Leaf shape

Both Philodendron Mamei and Plowmanii feature the classic leaf shape of this genus. However, there are fine differences in the details of each one. For instance, the veins of Mamei leaves are deeper, darker, and more visible.

Such a thing gives those leaves more texture compared to the leaves of Philodendron Plowmanii.

3.  Plant size

Both plants are large growers compared to the average houseplant. However, the Plowmanii reaches bigger heights. A mature Philodendron Mamei is usually half the size of Plowmanii.

It can be about 1.2 meters long. On the other hand, a fully grown Philodendron Plowmanii can reach a height of 2.4 meters.

4. Growth style     

This is another defining mark for correct plant recognition. You will notice that both epiphytes grow differently. The Philodendron Mamei is a standard climber that thrives vertically. The Philodendron plowmanii, on the other hand, grows flat and parallel to the ground.  

5. Growth speed

When it comes to growth speed, both plants show opposite characteristics. The Philodendron Mamei is one of these fast-growing philodendrons.

The Philodendron Plowmanii, on the other hand, is a slow-growing vine, which could be due to its larger mature size.  

6. Variegation

Comparing the variegations of Philodendron Mamei and Plowmanii is very useful in deciding which plant is which. The former has silver variegations on its leaves, while the latter has a cream or light yellow variegations.

7. Flower colors

Both plants produce tiny flowers. Also, they seldom bloom if grown indoors. But the flowers of each plant have different shades.

The flowers of the Philodendron Mamei are white or creamy, while Philodendron Plowmanii is more on the yellow side.

8. Stalks features

Looking at the petioles of each plant is a guaranteed way of identifying it. The stalks of Philodendron Mamei are way softer than those of Plowmanii. The edges of Plowmanii stalks are wavier. This is due to the presence of ruffles on their surfaces.

9. Maintenance requirements

This is another comparison point where both plants stand on opposite ends. Caring for Philodendron Mamei is difficult for first-time growers, as it requires high maintenance. For instance, it likes frequent watering.

Also, it wants bright indirect light for most of the day, as poor light can significantly stall the plant’s growth. Philodendron Plowmanii is a low-maintenance perennial plant but keep it away from any dry atmosphere.

Philodendron Mamei vs Philodendron Plowmanii: are they the same?

No, Philodendron Mamei and Plowmanii are not the same plants. They are both philodendrons with big green cordate leaves. Additionally, they are both toxic and variegated. However, you can find significant differences in their leaves, stalks, and mature sizes.

The Philodendron Plowmanii has larger leaves and a bigger mature size. In terms of care, the Philodendron Plowmanii is less demanding than the Philodendron Mamei.

As for variegations, the Philodendron Mamei has silver blotches, while the Plowmanii has yellow spots. The leaves of Plowmanii have more profound and textured veins.

The philodendron Mamei grows vertically, while Plowmanii grows parallel to the ground. Last but not least, the former has white flowers, while the latter has yellowish ones.

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