The Ultimate Guide to Growing and Caring for Philodendron Gloriosum
Philodendron gloriosum has gained tremendous popularity among plant lovers. Unlike many of its genus species, this plant native to Colombia is not an epiphytic climbing plant. These heart-shaped, velvety leaves with striking white veins have a ground-crawling, creeping characteristic. It also has a low-maintenance, forgiving nature that makes it an ideal tropical houseplant for even beginner plant-lovers and is easy to grow at home. Here is an exclusive guide on growing and caring for Philodendron gloriosum.
What is Philodendron Gloriosum?
Philodendron gloriosum is a tropical plant species from the genus Philodendron and the Aroid family Araceae. According to Soiled In, the plant is categorized as a terrestrial plant for its crawling foliage and underground rhizome. It is a superb tropical houseplant with velvety, big green heart-shaped leaves and attractive, white or pink creamy leaves. The terrestrial crawling growth habit of growing horizontally on the ground of the Philodendron Gloriosum makes it a rare type. Most of the Philodendron types are climbers featuring trailing stems.
This plant is native to Colombia and the tropical rainforests in Central and South America. Philodendron gloriosum also grows in Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador. In the humid and warm environment, these creeping foliage plants thrive on the forest floor. Philodendron gloriosum is best used in decorating broad surfaces such as bookshelves and tops. It does not serve well in hanging baskets due to its need for soil contact. Like a low grower, it is best to add tall plants behind it for an attractive display. Outdoors, the plant can be a lovely border plant.
Philodendron gloriosum Care
Like most Philodendron species, these plants are low maintenance. However, this does not mean you should neglect your Philodendron Gloriosum plant. You will still need to provide the plant with ideal soil, moisture, light, and temperature levels to produce a healthy plant.
Bright indirect sunlight is best for your Philodendron Gloriosum to grow big and elegantly veined leaves. Don’t expose your plant to direct sunlight; otherwise, it will result in leaf burn. Exposing the plant to excess direct sunlight can cause leaf scorching and droopy growth. On the other hand, dim conditions mean the slow-growing plant won’t grow well and may become leggy. According to Plant Judo, avoid placing the plant on west or south-facing windowsill as the sunlight might be too intense. Instead, it would be best to use a sheer screen or curtain to filter the light and avoid leaf scorch.
Philodendron gloriosum plants grow best in fertile, moist, well-draining soil with high organic matter levels. Generally, you should have potting soil that remains moist but never soggy. The water should drain fast because the rhizome can easily succumb to root rot, a growing issue that can cause disaster for your costly houseplant. The ideal potting mix is highly available, but you can easily prepare your well-draining soil mix. One part orchid bark, one-part standard potting mix, and one part perlite will work perfectly. Other ideal soil amendments for growing the plant indoors include gravel, charcoal, horticultural coarse sand, and pumice. The perfect soil pH is 6.5 to 7.5.
Philodendron gloriosum requires moderate watering and is very sensitive to overwatering. Wet feet or poorly drained soil often cause root rot in the plant. To avoid this, it is best to wait for the top two to three inches of your soil mix to dry out before watering the plant again. You don’t need to worry if you rarely forget to water the plant.
Temperature And Humidity
Philodendron gloriosum thrives best in warm and high humidity settings. The plants grow best in temperatures between 65°-80°F. During the winter, bringing the plant indoors is recommended to avoid frost. However, the grow light should be around 24 inches away from the leaves to avoid burning. If the place regularly experiences temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you would be better off choosing plants that can handle colder environments. The plant also likes high humidity environments, above 50%. If you are experiencing low humidity, you should consider using a humidifier to enhance the humidity levels or placing your plant on a pebble-filled tray with water.
Philodendron gloriosum is not a heavy feeder. However, you can use a half-strength liquid fertilizer every one or two months during the growing season to encourage more healthy and vigorous foliage on the slow-growing plant. Keep in mind that excess fertilization can cause yellowing leaves and root burn. Therefore, it is essential to stop fertilizing the plant during the fall and resume fertilizing in the spring. According to the Plant Runner, you can feed it once in over three months.
Philodendron gloriosum has no high maintenance needs for pruning. Pruning is just a case of eliminating straggly, unhealthy, or dead foliage. This will encourage the plant to grow new and healthier foliage. You can also prune the leggy stems away to use in propagation. However, you should aim at doing any pruning during the summer and do it sparingly. Gloriosum will take a longer time to recover.
Philodendron gloriosum Propagation
Philodendron gloriosum is propagated by stem cuttings. You can use the sections between leaves to propagate new plants. This is the easiest and regularly used method of propagating the plant. You will require a sterilized pair of scissors, a clean jar, and a container of new soil or filtered water to propagate this plant successfully. Wear your protective gloves when handling the plant to avoid the skin-irritation from toxins in the plant’s foliage.
Choose a healthy stem with two or more leaves. Use sterilized scissors to cut a stem around six inches with two to four leaves. Put the cutting on a paper towel and leave it to dry. This enhances healing and enables the cutting to callus.
Place the severed end of the new cutting into a rooting hormone powder. Tap off the excess powder as just a small amount is needed to activate the stem cutting. Put the cutting in filtered water or a container of fresh soil. If you are using soil, ensure it is well-draining and maintained moist but don’t allow it to be slushy. On the other hand, if you grow the cuttings in water, the leaves should be maintained above the waterline. However, you should change the water every four days to prevent bacteria growth.
Place the cutting in a warm area with bright, indirect light. The roots take a few weeks to form, but patience is required as it can sometimes take longer. Put a clear bag over the container to maintain ideal warmth and humidity levels. Once the roots develop to more than one inch long, put the propagated cuttings in freshly potted soil and tend to it similar to the parent plant.
Potting And Repotting
With its crawling and spreading growth habit, a pot that is more wide than deep is valued by the Philodendron gloriosum. A long and narrow pot that is rectangular in shape functions well. It should also have good drainage holes to avoid wet feet. However, the Philodendron Gloriosum plant has a slow-growing habit, so you probably won’t be required to repot the plant more than every two and three years. Look for signs such as the plant beginning to lean over the pot edge, slow growth rate, and reduced size of new leaves. These are signs that the plant is becoming rootbound and need repotting.
Gloriosum is a slow-growing plant. The plant often takes more than one month from a leaf spiking to revealing a new leaf. The leaves of indoor plants grow up to 60 cm in length, and the stems grow to an impressive three meters in length. According to Exotic Rainforest, the Philodendron Gloriosum leaves don’t get up to 90 cm in their natural environment.
Philodendron gloriosum Blooming
The Philodendron Gloriosum flower is white and features a spathe and a spadix. It can produce a white inflorescence from May to July. The plant will flower once it becomes more mature when well taken care of. However, it is rare for these flowers to emerge in domestic plants and almost impossible when the plants are grown indoors. The flower of the Gloriosum plant undergoes a female and then male anthesis. Once it starts, the plant produces sticky sap on the white flower. This is when the plant can be propagated through pollen grains. After undergoing the female phase, the male phase begins, where the plant will begin to produce collectible pollen. The Philodendron Gloriosum flowering will last several weeks. However, the male and female phases will last for just several days, and particularly the female phase can easily be missed. The Philodendron Gloriosum is just receptive when there is a sticky residue, and the plant gets on the spadix.
Common Issues with Philodendron Gloriosum
Philodendron gloriosum is trouble-free and low maintenance, but it still requires the ideal conditions to thrive. The issues reviewed below are some common signs that you are not offering the plant with the right conditions.
If your Philodendron Gloriosum plant has yellowing leaves, it is not necessarily something severe to worry about. The old foliage at the plant base can begin to turn yellow and drop as a part of the natural cycle. However, if it is occurring with newer foliage, this indicates under or overwatering or overfeeding your plant.
When the tips of your Philodendron Gloriosum start to turn brown, this is a sign that it is not getting enough moisture via humidity or watering. It could also be a subject of too much direct sun and then leaf scorch, beginning on the tips. Consider your plant location carefully, and consider using a humidifier if your home has a low humidifier.
If you start seeing drooping leaves, it’s likely because the leaves are not getting the right moisture levels. Wet feet and subsequent root rot are the most severe problems but allowing the plant to dry out too much is another reason.
Pests Affecting Philodendron Gloriosum
Plant pests are a nightmare to every indoors and outdoors. Getting rid of these pesky pests can be very tedious. Like other Philodendron species like the Philodendron Selloum or the Heartleaf Philodendron, the Philodendron Gloriosum is susceptible to pests. The common pests that affect the plant include; scale, aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, whitefly, and Fungus Gnats. Fortunately, there are natural ways to get rid of these pests.
Neem oil is a natural remedy to pests used for spraying on your plant indoors. This is a great benefit as you don’t have to bring your plants outdoors and ensure you are not inhaling a harmful substance. To use the neem oil, spray it on your Gloriosum until all the plant parts are fully wet. Apply it and repeat the spraying on a two-weeks frequency. This way, you will eliminate all pests that might have missed your first neem oil.
Alcohol is another effective remedy for pests. Rub the alcohol on a cotton swab and run it on the plant’s leaves, top, and bottom, including the stem, to eliminate pests. Do this for two weeks until you stop spotting any more pest signs or pests.
Are Philodendron Gloriosum Plants Toxic?
Yes. Philodendron gloriosum is toxic to pets and people. The plant can cause throat irritations, swallowing issues, oral pain cramps, and others if ingested. According to Leafy Place, the plant can cause seizures, cramps, coma, and kidney failure when ingested in higher amounts. Therefore, always keep the plant out of reach of the curious four-legged friends, including dogs, cats, and kids.
Why Is Philodendron Gloriosum So Costly?
Philodendron gloriosum is the only species to grow along the ground instead of trailing and creeping like other member species of the Philodendron family. The plant has gorgeous foliage and a unique growth habit that makes it a rare plant. This makes it rarely available for purchase, and the supply is often very limited. According to All About Gardening, the plant grows natively in seven regions worldwide. It has even been listed on the IUCN’s international red list as a threatened species.
Ultimately, Philodendron Gloriosum is easy to care for the plant, and its velvety green leaves are very attractive. Offer it with well-draining soil for aroids, regular watering when the top two inches of soil are dry, a temperature range of 65-85°F, and ample humidity of over 50 percent. By ensuring you provide an ideal environment as described above, your Philodendron Gloriosum will grow healthy and stay splendidly green and velvety soft.