Philodendron micans care doesn’t have to be complicated. Growing these plants indoors has been a trend on the rise for a few years and shows no sign of slowing. Even if you don’t have a set of green thumbs, you can still grow healthy houseplants that will thrive for years to come.
Philodendron micans care
These tropical plants appreciate bright, indirect light; well-draining soil; and regular watering. While the philodendron micans does produce flowers in the wild, it is extremely rare for them to flower indoors. These plants look great hanging in planters or climbing trellises.
|Botanical Name||Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum|
|Common Name||Philodendron micans, velvet-leaf philodendron|
|Mature Size||8 in. tall, 24 in. long|
|Soil Type||Loamy, moist but well-drained|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Green, white|
|Hardiness Zones||10a, 10b, 11a, 11b|
|Native Area||North America, Central America|
|Toxicity||Toxic to cats, toxic to dogs|
How often should you water your philo micans?
Over-watering is one of the most common causes of houseplant death. If you're not sure how much to water, it's better to err on the dry side than to give your plants too much moisture. Too much water will cause root rot, which is irreversible.
All houseplants have slightly different watering requirements so it's best to water on an as-needed basis rather than by a set calendar schedule. In general, plants grown in well-drained soil in an appropriate-size container should be watered when the top ½ to 1 inch of soil feels dry. Most would prefer being slightly dry than soaking wet. Think about the plant’s natural environment and try to recreate it in your home.
Try to water your philo micans the way they would get moisture in their natural environments. These plants are sensitive to over-watering. Make sure the roots never stay soaked in water. Wait until the leaves start to slightly curl before watering.
Do micans like humidity?
Misting with a spray bottle is also helpful for houseplants. A light misting once or twice a day is usually beneficial. Remember that we’re trying to duplicate the natural environment for these plants, and that means humidity and misting for tropical plants. Consider placing these houseplants in your bathroom. These plants will love the extra moisture and humidity from your daily shower.
Placing a tray underneath the potted plant’s container is the best way to catch that excess water and prevent a mess.
How much light do they need?
These plants typically need bright indirect light. Too much hot, direct light can burn the leaves. Not receiving enough light won’t necessarily harm the plant but it may slow its growth.
Grow lights for house plants
If you place your houseplants in a room that doesn’t get a lot of natural light or you live in an area that gets dark early in the winter you may need to invest in a few grow lights to keep your plants happy and healthy.
In order to grow, plants need:
- Blue wavelength light for foliage growth.
- Red wavelength light for flowering and fruiting.
- Plants have little use for green wavelengths and reflect them back, which is why leaves appear green.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive grow lights.
Fluorescent lights are by far the most economical and easy choice for houseplants. They come in tubes or compact bulbs (CFL) that screw into regular lamp sockets, and they’re cool enough to put close to plant foliage.
Generic fluorescent tubes and bulbs are higher in blue wavelengths, so look for “full-spectrum” or include a mix of “cool” and “warm” bulbs. When in doubt, buy “cool white” products, since white light contains the full spectrum of wavelengths. For maximum effect, position fluorescent bulbs about a foot away from plant foliage.
Try this easy method to add light for plants in a room with low natural light:
- Find a standing lamp with three bulbs, ideally one with moveable or goose neck fixtures.
- Use one incandescent bulb and two compact fluorescent bulbs of the highest wattage you can within the safe wattage rating for the fixture.
- Aim the lights toward your plant table. If each fixture is separately movable, then put the fluorescent bulbs closer than the incandescent to avoid heat damage.
- Place a mirror or other reflective surface underneath your plants, to reflect light back up onto the foliage.
- Attach a timer set to 16 hours per day.
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How to repot philodendron micans?
Not sure if your houseplants need re-potting? Check the root systems. If the roots are circling the inside of the container, it may be time to re-pot the plant. When the plant has outgrown its pot you can transplant it into a slightly larger container. If you'd like to keep it in the same pot, trim off some of the roots with a sharp knife and replant it into the container using fresh potting soil. When you are putting it into a new pot, only transplant it into a pot that is one size larger.
Spring and summer are the best seasons for re-potting your houseplants. As you re-pot your houseplants, it's also a good time to divide those with multiple stems to get new plants. We will go over different methods of propagation in a moment.
What type of soil should you use to re-pot houseplants?
This plant requires an airy, moist, well-draining soil mixture that is rich in organic matter. While it can technically survive in a standard potting soil, the philodendron micans will thrive in a custom soil mix designed to meet its needs. Try mixing together 1 part potting soil, 1 part orchid bark, 1 part perlite, and 1 part peat moss or coco coir to create the ideal potting mix for your philodendron micans.
How to propagate
Climbing houseplants such as philodendron and form new roots where their stems come into contact with soil.
These gorgeous plants may be difficult to come by, but once you have one in your possession they are easy to propagate. Easily create new plants with stem cuttings in just a few simple steps:
- Using a pair of sharp scissors or shears, take stem cuttings from a healthy philodendron micans, ensuring that each cutting has approximately 4-5 leaves/nodes (a node is where a leaf attaches, though sometimes there are nodes with no leaf on them).
- On each stem cutting, remove the bottom two leaves to expose the nodes along the stem.
- Put the stem cuttings in water, ensuring just the bare stem is submerged, and then place the cuttings in a location that receives medium to bright indirect light.
- Roots should begin to develop within a few weeks. Regularly check water levels to ensure that the nodes on the bare stem are submerged at all times.
- Once the roots are at least an inch long, the cuttings can be planted back in soil.
- Before planting the cuttings, pre-moisten the soil and then bury the roots.
- For the first 1-2 weeks keep the soil consistently moist (but never soaking) to help the cuttings acclimate. Then, slowly reduce your watering until you have resumed a normal watering schedule.
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Why is my philodendron micans dying?
If your plant looks like it has seen better days, don’t stress. There are things you can do to help save your beloved houseplant before it is too far gone.
Dead leaves, stems, & branches must go. Use a pair of scissors or shears to trim away any dead leaves from the plant, then trim away all dead branches. Getting rid of anything dead will help the plant focus its energy on new growth.
Check light and humidity conditions. Make sure that sunlight is coming in direct contact with your plant, but not more than it needs.
Make sure you are not over watering or under watering your plant. See the guidelines above for how much water you should be giving your plants. Remember: over watering is the most common cause of plant death.
How do you maintain your philo mican?
Almost all houseplants look better with regular grooming. Part of houseplant care is maintaining your plants to keep them lush and healthy. Dust collects on leaves, so wash them with a gentle shower of room-temperature water or dust them with a soft brush. This improves the plant's appearance and keeps the leaf pores unobstructed so that the plant gets more light.
The main reason for pruning houseplants is to make them look better. If one of your plants has a branch that's too long, cut it back to a side shoot or main stem. Also remove any dead or diseased leaves and stems to help prevent the problem from spreading.
Rejuvenate overgrown houseplants by cutting them back to 4 to 6 inches tall.
Pinching means you remove stem tips, either with your fingernails or pruners. Pinch out the tip of a stem and the topmost leaves to promote growth of side buds. Plants that grow rapidly often look best with frequent pinching to keep them compact and bushy.
Trim faded flowers from your plants to keep the plant blooming and help prevent disease problems. While you're at it, be sure to remove yellow, brown, or withered leaves. Use a narrow-blade hand pruner or sharp scissors to make a clean cut without tearing the plant's stem.
Remove and destroy diseased houseplants or affected leaves or stems as they develop to prevent spread of the disease. Some diseases spread by insects, so keeping the insect population in check helps prevent disease problems.
Fertilizer for houseplants
Like watering, there isn't an easy guideline to know how much to fertilize. It depends on plant's growth rate and age, and the time of year. Avoid feeding houseplants when they're not actively growing or if they are stressed.
Most philodendrons put on a growth spurt in spring and summer. This is the best time to fertilize them. During the short days of fall and winter, most houseplants go through a dormant period and need little, if any, fertilizer. Follow label directions to know how much plant food to use.
Fertilizers come in a broad array of formulations, and it's important to avoid over-fertilizing your houseplants. Too much fertilizer can burn their roots and stunt their growth.
Pest control for indoor plants
Several insects commonly attack houseplants. Insecticidal soap is an easy-to-use, effective treatment for most soft-bodied pests such as aphids and spider mites. A forceful spray of water from the hose may knock down the population of these pests, too. Rubbing alcohol is effective on insects with waxy coatings such as scale and mealybugs.
An all-natural way to help prevent and get rid of pests is to use a solution that contains neem oil. Dust and grime can also attract and harbor spider mites and other insect pests. Wash smooth-leaved houseplants with a moist, soft cloth and some insecticidal soap, such as Neem Oil Spray. For plants with many small leaves, use a hand sprayer or sink sprayer to douse them with water.
No matter what treatment you use, be consistent. For fast-reproducing pests such as aphids and spider mites, you may need to treat plants once a week for a month to be rid of the pests (see also 'Silverfish In Bathroom').
Fungus gnats are tiny black flies that buzz around the soil; they're often confused with fruit flies. You typically see fungus gnats in large numbers when plants are over-watered. Allow the soil surface to dry between waterings.
Philodendron Micans can tolerate dry conditions so a basic household humidity will be fine. However, providing a higher humidity will encourage your plant to grow bigger and healthier foliage.
You can remove leggy vines and create a more bushy plant by pruning the vines to encourage new growth. When pruning, use sterilized pruning shears to cut about a ¼ inch above a node.
The velvet leaf philodendron has very low pruning needs, but trimming the stems can help give the plant a fuller look. That's because cutting the ends off of stems encourages new growth out of the side of the stem, just above the cut.
Schedule repotting to early spring just before the plant enters into the new growing season. Deeply water the plant the day before repotting to make it easier to dislodge the plant from the pot and to reduce stress. Choose a pot that's around 2-3 inches bigger than the current pot, so that you don't oversize the pot.
Whether you are a beginner plantsman or a more experienced home botanist, collecting houseplants like philodendron micans can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Do you have a houseplant collection? Let me know some of your best tips for houseplant care in the comments!