Give any space a tropical vibe with this vibrant, glossy Philodendron species. Philodendron Atom is a compact, easy-to-care-for houseplant. Its gently crinkled leaves will help add texture to your interior decor without taking over the room like other larger varieties of Philodendron sometimes can!
There are many different cultivars of this species in existence. One of the most popular cultivars of the Philodendron Atom is Philodendron “Super Atom.” The main difference between Philodendron Atom and Super Atom is that the Super Atom is a dwarf variety, so it grows shorter and has smaller leaves.
Either of these plants would make a great ornamental plant for desks and tables. Let’s take a closer look at their differences and similarities.
What is the Difference Between Philodendron Atom and Super Atom?
Philodendron Atom originates from the tropical rainforests of Paraguay and Brazil. Unlike other Philodendron species, which can reach staggering heights, Philodendron Atom has a maximum height of just 3 feet (1 m). It is a slow grower, so once it reaches maturity, it maintains this general height throughout its lifespan.
Philodendron Atom leaves start relatively flat and become more glossy and crinkled as the plant matures.
Philodendron Super Atom is a dwarf cultivar of Philodendron Atom. It has identical compact growth habits and glossy crinkled leaves. However, this dwarf cultivar only has a maximum height and width of 1 foot (30 cm).
Dwarf cultivars are popular for plant lovers that live in small spaces. They have the same qualities as their full-sized counterparts but in a tinier package. Who wouldn’t want that?
Dwarf cultivars are typically a result of selective breeding. This practice is common not only for houseplants but also in apple orchards. Shorter apple trees are easier to spray and pick and take up less space!
How Do You Take Care of an Atom Plant?
Do you love the look of this plant’s shiny evergreen leaves? If you’re ready to get one of your own, here are all the care requirements you need to know.
The shiny leaves of Philodendron Atom are easily burned by direct sunlight. It’s best to provide your plant with indirect light. Keep direct sunlight to a maximum of three hours a day.
The shadier the room, the deeper green your houseplant’s leaves will be!
Like many tropical plants, Philodendron Atom prefers nutrient-rich soil that is well-draining to accommodate its high humidity needs. A general potting soil will be sufficient, but if you want to give your plant a boost of nutrients, try a mixture of 1/2 potting soil and 1/2 peat moss.
Peat moss helps the soil retain nutrients so that they aren’t washed away when you water it.
Tropical plants like Philodendron Atom need a moist environment to thrive. You can water this plant up to three times a week, with intermittent misting to hydrate the leaves. Ensure your Philodendron has a well-draining pot with a drainage hole in the bottom.
Philodendron Atom prefers at least 50% humidity but thrives in 70% humidity or more. Keeping the soil moist alongside daily misting will help maintain a high humidity level. Remember that air conditioners and forced heating can dry out the air. If you run your heater or air conditioner often, you may need to place your plant near a humidifier.
Philodendron Super Atom Care
Since Philodendron Super Atom is a dwarf version of the Philodendron Atom, it doesn’t have any special or separate care requirements.
What you do have to worry about is correctly watering your plant. Most watering guidelines are designed for Philodendron Atom, double the size. A Philodendron Super Atom in a 5-inch (13 cm) pot can handle 1 cup of water every one and a half weeks.
As always, check your plant’s soil before you water it. The soil will dry out faster the more light your plant receives.
How Big Does Philodendron Atom Get?
Philodendron Atom has a maximum height and width of 3 feet (1 m) and a minimum height and width of 2 feet (50 cm).
For comparison, Philodendron Super Atom grows to a maximum height and width of 1 foot (30 cm). This is a pretty staggering size difference. It’s the difference between a plant that must be displayed on the floor and a plant that can live on a desk!
Philodendron Atom could be a great choice if you have a spacious house with empty spaces to fill. Philodendron Super Atom is a much more manageable size for dorm rooms, apartments, and bedrooms.
Is Philodendron Super Atom Rare?
The dwarf cultivar Philodendron Super Atom is not a rare plant. These varieties of Philodendron can be easily purchased from online plant retailers for a reasonable price.
If you can, try to find this plant at your local nursery. Sometimes online retailers mislabel dwarf plants and regular-sized plants. Then you’re stuck with a much bigger houseplant than you anticipated!
Philodendron Super Atom Propagation
Whether you’re trying to propagate Philodendron Atom or Super Atom, the process is the same. Both can be propagated with stem cuttings in water or soil. If you’re interested in duplicating your beloved plant as a gift or for yourself, here’s how to do it.
- Find a healthy stem on your plant, preferably with several leaves and 1-2 nodules.
- Cut the stem away from the mother plant, just above the nodule.
- Place the stem cutting in water or moist soil.
- Wait 1-2 weeks for your cutting to begin showing roots.
- Once roots are 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) long, you can transfer the cutting from water to soil. If you are starting your cutting in soil, you can leave it in its pot at this point or transfer it to a bigger pot.
Why Does My Philodendron Have Yellow Leaves?
The most common cause of yellow leaves on a Philodendron plant is overwatering. Ensure you only water your plant once the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil are dry. Too much water will deplete your plant of vital nutrients. When the plant lacks nutrients, it cannot produce chlorophyll, which is what makes foliage green.
Too much direct light can also cause yellow leaves. Philodendron Atom and Philodendron Super Atom prefer all-day indirect light, with short stints of direct sunlight. Sunburnt leaves will appear yellowish orange, with crispy brown patches. If you notice your plant has sunburns, immediately move it to a shadier location and prune any affected leaves.
Remember that plants naturally shed old leaves to make way for new, healthier ones. This often happens during a plant’s growing season. If you notice old leaves turning yellow, use a pair of shears to remove them. This will help direct your plant’s energy toward producing new growth.
What is the Most Expensive Philodendron?
Philodendron is a wide-ranging genus of houseplants, with 450 species in total. You can bet that a small handful of these species are rare and expensive!
Philodendron billietiae variegata (Variegated Philodendron billietiae) is a cultivar that can run you thousands of dollars if you can get your hands on it. This species is known for its unique lance-shaped leaves. The variegated variety has beautiful lemon-lime and dark green coloration, with stark orange petioles. It can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall as an epiphyte!
Philodendron spiritus-sancti is another species coveted for its rarity and unique deep green leaves resembling a sword. In the wild, this species can reach staggering heights of up to 65 feet (20 m)! It’s a challenging plant to grow indoors because it requires such high humidity. It’s also an endangered species, which may be why its price tag is so high. Seedlings on Etsy go anywhere between $600 – $1000.
We’re always on the lookout for compact, dwarf plants to decorate spaces. Small plants like Philodendron Atom and Super Atom can invoke that breezy tropical feel without turning your apartment into a jungle.
The main difference between Philodendron Atom and Super Atom is that the Super Atom is a dwarf variety, so it grows shorter and has smaller leaves.
Philodendron Atom is a relatively small species of Philodendron, with a maximum height of about 3 feet (1 m). The difference between Philodendron Atom and Super Atom is that Super Atom is a dwarf cultivar, so it grows smaller. The maximum height and width of the Super Atom is just 1 foot (30 cm).
If you’re looking for a small, slow-growing plant that you won’t have to repot every year, the Philodendron Super Atom is a great choice!