Philodendron Gigas vs Melanochrysum: Key Differences Uncovered

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Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum are two stunning tropical plants that have gained immense popularity among plant enthusiasts. With their large, velvety leaves and striking appearance, both species have become must-have additions to many indoor and outdoor gardens. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are several key differences between these two magnificent plants that make them unique and appealing in their own ways.

One notable distinction between Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum is their leaf shapes, as Gigas boasts oval-shaped leaves while Melanochrysum has a more heart-shaped foliage. Another difference lies in the color of their young leaves, with Melanochrysum displaying an intriguing orange or copper hue as they start to grow. Additionally, their growth rates vary, with Gigas being known for a faster pace compared to the moderate speed of Melanochrysum.

Understanding the distinguishing features of Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum will not only help you identify them more accurately but also ensure that you provide the best possible care for these captivating plants. Whether you’re an experienced green thumb or just beginning your journey into the world of philodendrons, this comparison between Gigas and Melanochrysum is sure to enhance your appreciation for their distinct characteristics and diverse beauty.

Philodendron Gigas Overview

Philodendron Gigas
Long leaves of tropical ‘Philodendron Melanochrysum’ houseplant

Growth and Appearance

Philodendron Gigas is a tropical plant species known for its large, shiny leaves and rapid growth rate. These leaves can be velvety green with yellow and brown speckles, making them an attractive option for any plant enthusiast. As the plant matures, it can reach up to 3 meters in height, giving it an impressive presence. New foliage tends to have a copper color with white veins, adding even more visual interest to its appearance.

Care Requirements

Fortunately, the Philodendron Gigas is relatively easy to care for, requiring only minimal attention from its owner. This plant thrives in both indoor and outdoor environments, as long as it receives the proper care. To keep it healthy, ensure that it is kept in a location with bright indirect light and high humidity. Water your Gigas regularly, allowing the soil to slightly dry between waterings.

Propagation Techniques

When it comes to propagating Philodendron Gigas, there are a few simple yet effective techniques to employ. One option is to use stem cuttings, which can be taken from healthy plants and placed in water or moist soil until roots begin to form. Another option is to divide the plant at the root, separating offshoots and repotting them into their own containers. With either method, be sure to provide the newly propagated plants with the same care requirements as the original plant, and they should thrive in no time.

Philodendron Melanochrysum Overview

Philodendron Melanochrysum
View of tropical philodendron melanochrysum plant. Photography of lively nature.

Growth and Appearance

Philodendron Melanochrysum, also known as Black Gold Philodendron, is a rare vining houseplant admired for its stunning foliage. Its velvety leaves exhibit dark green shades with brilliantly contrasted yellow veins and can grow as large as 24 inches long. When compared to Philodendron Gigas, the Melanochrysum is known for its slightly more heart-shaped leaves which appear in an orange or copper hue when they first begin to grow, while the Gigas exhibits a more oval-shaped leaf.

Care Requirements

To ensure healthy growth for a Philodendron Melanochrysum, consider the following care tips:

  • Light: Provide the plant with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid exposing it to direct harsh sunlight to prevent scorching its leaves.
  • Water: Maintain consistent moisture in the soil, but do not overwater. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry between waterings.
  • Humidity: Maintain a high-humidity environment for optimal plant health. You can achieve this by placing the plant in a well-lit bathroom or using a humidifier.
  • Temperature: Keep the plant in a temperature range of 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C) for ideal growth.
  • Fertilizer: Feed the plant a balanced liquid fertilizer every month during the growing season, and only once in the winter months.

Propagation Techniques

To propagate a Philodendron Melanochrysum, use the following methods:

  1. Stem Cuttings: Take a stem cutting with at least one leaf and a few nodes. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and place it in a pot with well-draining soil or a water container. Provide bright, indirect light and maintain high humidity around the cutting. Roots should develop within a few weeks.
  2. Air Layering: This method involves making a small cut or notch on the stem, just below a node. Wrap the cut area in moist sphagnum moss and cover with plastic. Secure the plastic with rubber bands or string. Once roots develop within the moss, cut the stem below the new root system and plant in a pot with well-draining soil.

By following these care requirements and propagation techniques, you’ll be able to grow and maintain a healthy and thriving Philodendron Melanochrysum in your indoor garden.

Comparing Gigas and Melanochrysum


Both Philodendron Gigas and Philodendron Melanochrysum belong to the same plant family and share some similarities in their care requirements. They both prefer bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and regular watering. Additionally, these plants thrive in environments with high humidity and consistent temperatures.


While these plants share some similarities, there are a few key differences between them:

  • Leaf Shape: The Philodendron Gigas has more oval-shaped leaves, while the Melanochrysum has a slightly more heart-shaped leaf structure.
  • Younger Leaf Color: Gigas has oval to narrowly oval leaves that are copper as they emerge. On the other hand, Melanochrysum’s juvenile leaves are heart-shaped and appear bronze, sometimes with copper-red or orange-red hues.
  • Mature Leaf Shape and Color: The mature leaves of Philodendron Gigas are lighter compared to Melanochrysum. The dark green leaves of Melanochrysum are also distinct with their yellow or gold veining.
  • Flower Color: The flower color differs between these two Philodendrons, although this information is not readily available.
  • Plant Size and Stalk Features: There are variations in the plant size and stalk features between Gigas and Melanochrysum, contributing to the unique appearance of each plant.

In conclusion, while Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum share some similarities in terms of care requirements, their differences in leaf shape, color, and overall appearance make each plant stand out.

Choosing Between Gigas and Melanochrysum

Aesthetic Preferences

When deciding between a Philodendron Gigas and a Melanochrysum, you may want to consider the differences in their appearance. For the Gigas, its leaves are oval-shaped and slightly lighter in color, whereas the Melanochrysum features a more heart-shaped leaf that starts copper or orange before maturing to dark green. In either case, the velvety leaves and stunning foliage are sure to make a statement in your space.

Care Factors

Another important aspect when choosing between these plants is the care they require.

  • Light: Both Gigas and Melanochrysum appreciate bright, indirect light, and they can also tolerate lower light conditions. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch their leaves.
  • Watering: Make sure the soil is kept moderately moist, but not soggy. Allowing the top few inches to dry out between waterings is beneficial for their health. They have similar watering requirements, which means you won’t have to adjust your routine if caring for both species.
  • Temperature and humidity: Both plants prefer warmer temperatures and moderate to high humidity. You might find it helpful to mist their leaves occasionally or to place them near a humidifier in order to maintain their lush appearance.
  • Pruning: Frequent pruning can promote denser growth and prevent leggy stems. However, it is important to avoid excessive pruning as it may negatively impact the plant’s overall development.

Considering these factors, it’s evident that both the Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum have relatively similar care requirements. Ultimately, your choice between the two may come down to personal aesthetic preference, as well as how well you can provide the necessary light, temperature, and humidity levels in your space.

Common Problems and Solutions

Pest Control

Keeping Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum healthy requires proper attention to pest control. These plants can attract common pests like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. Controlling these pests involves several steps:

  1. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation.
  2. Remove affected leaves or portions of the plant promptly.
  3. For infestations, natural remedies such as neem oil, insecticidal soap, or a mixture of water and dish soap can be used as a treatment.

  4. Introduce beneficial insects, such as ladybugs or lacewings, to help control the pest population.

Disease Prevention

Both Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum are susceptible to certain diseases, such as fungal and bacterial infections. Overwatering and poor air circulation are common causes of these problems. To prevent disease, follow these guidelines:

  • Water appropriately: Yellowing leaves can be a sign of too much or too little water. Water your plant evenly and not too frequently, ensuring that the soil mix is well-draining.
  • Light and temperature: Maintain the right balance of light and temperature to avoid stressing the plant. Both plants require bright indirect light and consistent temperatures.
  • Air circulation: Ensure good air circulation around your plants to prevent fungal growth and bacterial infections. Avoid overcrowding and keep humidity levels in check.

By carefully monitoring your Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum plants for pests and diseases, and implementing these preventive measures, you can help them thrive and avoid common issues.


Philodendron Gigas and Melanochrysum are both stunning and popular choices for plant enthusiasts. While they share similarities, there are some key differences between them that can help you decide which one is the right fit for your home or garden.

Some notable differences between these two beautiful plants include:

Despite their differences, both species have similar care requirements, such as:

  • Preferring bright, indirect light
  • Requiring well-draining soil
  • Needing consistent temperature and humidity levels
  • Regular watering

By considering the unique features and care requirements of each plant, you can choose the one that best suits your space and preferences. No matter which one you select, these striking plants are sure to make a captivating addition to your home, bringing a touch of tropical charm to your environment.

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