Enter center stage the Philodendron gloriosum; this soft velvety giant has stunning heart-shaped leaves.
The leaves are deep green with distinct white vein patterns, which account for why plant lovers globally have fallen in love with this plant.
It is found creeping along the tropical forest floors of Columbia, western Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico.
This rare plant is different from other Philodendrons because of its underground rhizome and the fact that it creeps along the soil surface rather than climbing and trailing.
This tropical plant species belongs to the genus Philodendron and the aroid family Araceae.
How do you care for Philodendron gloriosum? Use a light soil with perlite added, and place the plant in a room with bright filtered light. Keep temperatures between 65 and 85℉ and humidity levels around 60%. Only water when the top inch of soil is dry, and apply a houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength monthly in spring and summer.
Caring for Philodendron Gloriosum: Basic Guidelines
The following care guide provides concise information on how to properly care for your rare Philodendron gloriosum.
The helpful hints section is brimming with practical, easy-to-follow tips for maintaining the health of your Philodendron gloriosum.
If you have any additional pressing questions, consult the Common Questions section for quick answers to common concerns about caring for your gentle giant.
Complete Care Guide for Philodendron Gloriosum
The preceding table provides a basic overview of the sections covered in this comprehensive care guide.
Continue reading for an in-depth look at care guidelines and follow our successful growing steps if you’re interested in discovering how to keep your Philodendron gloriosum gloriously healthy and happily creeping along.
Philodendron Gloriosum at a Glance
- Scientific Name: Philodendron gloriosum
- Plant Type: Tropical
- Average Height: 3 feet (1 m)
- Average Width:
- Growth Rate: Slow
- Produces Flowers: Flowering in native habitat
- Common Pests: Spider mites, aphids
- Level of Care: Moderate
What To Do When You First Get Your Philodendron Gloriosum
Place the plant in a well-lit room where it can receive bright indirect or dappled light. Check that the soil is moist to the touch, and ensure the plant pot has sufficient drainage.
If you live in an arid climate, place the plant on a water-filled pebble tray (like this sturdy black tray) to increase humidity levels to at least 40% or more.
Ideal Soil for Philodendron Gloriosum
The Philodendron gloriosum is sensitive to saturated soils and can quickly develop root rot.
Therefore, it prefers a loose soil that retains moisture and drains well. Use a potting mix that contains perlite to prevent root rot as perlite improves drainage.
Ideally, pH should be between 6.5-7.5.
However, to take the guesswork out of which soil is the best use, you could mix your own potting mix using two parts peat moss, one part perlite, and worm castings for added nutrients.
Philodendron Gloriosum Water Requirements
As with all Philodendrons, overwatering is the number one reason for root rot and subsequent plant death.
Use room temperature filtered water or tap water that has stood for 24 hours as this allows chlorine and fluoride found in tap water to disperse naturally.
Water when the top 1 inch (2 cm) of soil is dry when tested with your finger.
Use your finger to press into the soil to check if the soil is moist. If it is dry to the touch, then add water until it drains freely from the container’s drainage holes.
Philodendron Gloriosum Lighting Needs
Avoid direct sunlight to prevent scorching the sensitive foliage. Instead, use a screen or sheer curtain to filter the light if placed near a window for warmth.
This slow-growing plant needs the maximum amount of light to encourage healthy growth.
Therefore, the use of a grow light (this one is programmable and adjustable) is advised in areas with low light levels.
Ideal Temperature Range for Philodendron Gloriosum
The tropical Philodendron gloriosum thrives in warm temperatures. Optimum temperatures are between 65-85℉ (18-29℃) and should not drop below 60℉ (16℃).
The Philodendron gloriosum is best positioned away from heating vents and cold drafts.
Ideal Humidity Level for Philodendron Gloriosum
The best humidity level for this plant is 60%. However, it can adapt to humidity levels of between 40% and 50%.
Brown leaf tips and sickly looking foliage are an indication that the humidity levels are too low in your home.
Try grouping plants together or use a humidifier (this small, quiet model is perfect) or pebble tray to increase humidity levels.
Best Location for Philodendron Gloriosum
When positioning the plant indoors, choose a bright room with adequate filtered light. The area should be warm and free from sudden cold drafts.
Avoid placing the plant on a south- or west-facing windowsill as the sunlight levels may be too intense. Instead, use a sheer curtain or screen to filter the light and prevent leaf scorch.
Philodendron Gloriosum Growth Habits
Philodendron gloriosum is extremely slow growing. New leaves can take up to a month to develop fully.
The leaves of indoor plants can grow up to 24 inches (60 cm) in length with stems growing to an impressive 3 feet (1 m) in length.
Fertilization Type & Schedule for Philodendron Gloriosum
Too much fertilizer can burn the plant’s roots resulting in death. Instead, use a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half its strength.
Fertilize once monthly during the growing season to encourage the plant to grow large, beautiful leaves.
Do not fertilize in the winter as over-fertilizing can cause mineral salts to build up in the soil.
Signs of Nutrient Deficiency
Nutrient deficiency can present in many ways. However, the most common signs are yellowing leaves, drooping leaves, and long stems with small leaves (leggy growth).
You can choose to repot your Philodendron gloriosum in fresh nutrient-rich potting mix or apply a diluted household fertilizer to the soil.
Pruning Philodendron Gloriosum
Pruning is rarely required for Philodendron gloriosum because of this plants’ exceptionally slow growth.
However, pruning should be done to remove dead or diseased leaves and reduce the plant’s size if it starts to take up too much space.
Does Philodendron Gloriosum Produce Flowers?
Philodendron gloriosum are only known to flower in their tropical habitats, where the conditions for flowering are perfect.
The plant produces a flowering spike or spadix of white flowers from May to July.
Is Philodendron Gloriosum Toxic?
The plants’ leaves and stems contain insoluble calcium oxalates that can harm pets and humans if ingested.
Symptoms of exposure to this toxin are swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, drooling, and swallowing difficulties.
Philodendron Gloriosum Propagation
The easiest way to propagate the Philodendron gloriosum is by cloning the parent plant.
You can do this using stem cutting grown directly in water or soil. It’s best to propagate stem cuttings during the summer months when the plant is actively growing.
Propagation of Philodendron Gloriosum Using Stem Cuttings
This is the most frequently used and easiest method of propagating Philodendron gloriosum.
To successfully reproduce this plant, you’ll need a clean, sterilized pair of scissors, a clean jar, and filtered water or a container of new soil.
Additionally, protective gloves should be worn when handling this plant due to the presence of skin-irritating toxins in its foliage.
1. Select a Healthy Stem With Two or More Leaves
Use the sterilized scissors to cut a stem that is 6 inches (15 cm) long. The stem should have two to four healthy leaves.
2. Place the Cutting Onto a Piece of Paper Towel
Gently place the new cutting onto some paper towels, and allow it to dry. This promotes healing and allows the cutting to callus.
3. Dip the Cutting Into Rooting Hormone Powder
Dip the severed end of the new cutting into rooting powder (I have consistently good results with this one).
Tap off the excess powder as only a small amount is required for it to activate.
4. Place the Cutting Into a Container of Fresh Soil or Filtered Water
If you are using soil for propagation, ensure that it drains well and is kept moist, but do not allow it to become slushy.
For cuttings grown in water, the leaves should be kept above the waterline, and the water should be changed every three to four days to prevent the growth of bacteria.
5. Keep the Cutting in a Warm Well-Lit Area
Place the cutting in a toasty area with access to lots of bright, indirect light. The roots can take a few weeks to form, but patience is needed as this can sometimes take a little longer.
Place a clear bag over the container to maintain warmth and humidity levels.
Once the roots are more than 1 inch (2 cm) long, plant the water propagated cutting into fresh potting soil, and provide the same care as you would for the parent plant.
Repotting Philodendron Gloriosum
The Philodendron gloriosum is slow growing, so repotting may not be required as regularly as with other houseplants.
Repotting should be done in the summer months when the plant is growing and only if the plant has become rootbound.
When To Repot Philodendron Gloriosum
If you notice that there is a significant drop in normal growth or if growth is abnormal at all, your plant may need a slightly larger pot and fresh soil.
Poor water retention, yellow leaves, and visible roots are also indicators that it is time to repot.
Signs That It’s Time To Repot
- Reduced and leggy growth
- Roots become visible above the soil
- Roots appear through the containers drainage holes
- Yellowing foliage
How To Repot Philodendron Gloriosum
Prepare your workstation with these essentials when repotting Philodendron gloriosum: protective gloves, new plant pot, fresh potting mix, and some water.
Since this plant is toxic and can cause skin irritation, it is recommended that you use protective gloves when working with the plant.
1. Select a Wide Pot 2-3 inches Larger Than the Current Pot
This plant creeps along the floor of the forest; therefore, a deep round container is not suitable as it will have less space to crawl.
The more space it has to crawl, the less repotting is required.
2. Fill the Container Halfway With Fresh Soil
Use a good-draining potting soil, or mix your own potting soil. Ensure that it contains perlite to improve drainage and peat moss to retain moisture.
Use your hand to scoop a well in the soil for the roots.
3. Tip the Plant out of Its Old Container Into Your Hand
Gently pry the plant out of its container and brush off the excess soil using your fingers to detangle the roots carefully.
Check for signs of root rot and disease. If you notice any black mushy or slimy roots, use a pair of sterilized scissors, and carefully trim them off the main root system.
Wipe the blades with rubbing alcohol after each section is trimmed to prevent the spread of bacteria.
4. Place the Philodendron Gloriosum Into the Soil
Once the roots have been inspected, place the roots into the soil, and fill the container with the fresh potting mix.
Ensure the rhizome is placed on top of the soil as this will prevent root rot. Water thoroughly and place the plant back in its favorite spot.
Philodendron Gloriosum Common Problems & Solutions That Work
Philodendron Gloriosum Common Pests
All plants suffer from pests at some point in their green leafy lives.
This is not down to lousy plant parenting but rather because pests love juicy green leaves and will congregate where they find their next tasty snack.
Signs of Trouble
The first sign of spider mites is foliage that is yellow or pale in color. Spider mites attach their wispy white webs, which can easily be seen, to the leaves.
However, the spider mite itself is tiny and usually hard to spot.
Keep the plant separate from other household plants. Then, spray the leaves with a spray bottle or shower head to dislodge as many bugs as possible.
Following that, spray the plant with a neem oil solution. Repeat the process in a two weeks to ensure you get rid of bugs that were in the egg stage at the first treatment.
Neem oil is all natural, and while toxic to many bugs, it won’t hurt your plant. I recommend this organic neem. I use it all the time with great results.
Inspect the plant regularly for signs of pests. Spider mites tend to hide on the underside of leaves and along the stems.
Signs of Trouble
New leaf growth is damaged or stunted.
Make your own eco-friendly insecticidal soap. Mix 1 quart of lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon of dish soap.
Pour into a spray bottle and apply generously to the plant’s upper and lower leaf surfaces. Ensure the spray comes into contact with these sap-sucking bugs to eradicate them effectively.
Regularly inspect the leaves and stems for signs of pests to help prevent an infestation.
Philodendron Gloriosum Common Diseases
The Philodendron gloriosum is prone to diseases caused mainly by the damp conditions of overwatering.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
Signs of Trouble
Spots develop on the leaf margin that turn rusty brown in color with yellow rings encircling them. Damaged foliage wilts and eventually dies.
Isolate and remove all infected foliage from the infected plant. Diseased leaves should be discarded away from healthy plants.
Repot the plant if necessary with fresh potting mix to assist in reviving the plant. Copper fungicide (I like that this one is organic) may be beneficial in controlling the disease.
Avoid overhead watering and check the soil is semi-dry between watering sessions.
Before applying additional water, the top 1-2 inches of soil should be dry to the touch.
Other Common Problems
The Philodendron gloriosum is not often beset with problems.
However, sometimes issues occur that, with some careful attention and patience, can be swiftly resolved.
Yellow or Brown Leaves
Signs of Trouble
Yellow leaves signify overwatering and poor lighting conditions, while brown leaves tips are a sign of underwatering and too much direct sunlight.
The leaves will remain gloriously green by maintaining a balance of adequate watering, humidity, warmth, and light.
For yellow leaves, check the soil is draining well and reduce watering sessions if the soil is soggy. Reposition the plant so that it receives enough filtered light.
If the soil is too dry and the leaf tips have become brown, place the plant in the sink and soak the soil thoroughly.
You may need to reconsider the position of your plant if it is receiving too much direct sunlight. Alternatively, a sheer curtain or screen can be used to filter direct sunlight.
Water the plant when the top layers of soil are touch dry. Position the plant in bright, indirect or filtered light.
Maintain humidity levels of no less than 40% with the use of a humidifier or pebble tray.
Philodendron Gloriosum Common Questions
How Much Does Philodendron Gloriosum Cost?
The Philodendron gloriosum is exceptionally costly and has been known to carry heavy price tags of three and four-figure sums.
Why Is Philodendron Gloriosum So Expensive?
This species of Philodendron is the only one to grow along the ground rather than creeping and trailing like other members of the Philodendron family.
Aside from its gorgeous foliage, its unique growth habits make it a very rare plant. As a result, this plant is not often available for purchase, and supply can be very limited.
How Do You Identify Philodendron Gloriosum?
The Philodendron gloriosum has massive heart-shaped leaves that feel like velvet to the touch. The leaves are a rich green with snow-white leaf veins.
Young leaves have pink leaf veins that transition to white as they slowly reach maturity.
Does Philodendron Gloriosum Climb?
Philodendron gloriosum are ground creepers and will not climb trellises or moss poles.
In its natural habitat, the plant’s stems grow horizontally from the soil as it creeps along the ground.
Is Philodendron Gloriosum Vining?
The Philodendron gloriosum does not vine like other Philodendrons. Instead, its large green leaves creep close to the ground.
Are Philodendron Gloriosum Easy To Care For?
Caring for the Philodendron gloriosum is relatively easy. However, this plant does require a certain amount of care to ensure healthy growth and foliage.
The Philodendron gloriosum thrives in a warm, humid environment with access to lots of bright filtered light.
Follow a good watering schedule and fertilize during the growing season to ensure a happy, healthy plant.
Why Is My Philodendron Gloriosum Yellow?
Overwatering or too much direct sunlight can cause yellow leaves. Check that the soil is moist but not soggy, and reposition the plant if it’s receiving too much direct sunlight.
Note yellowing of older leaves is perfectly normal as older leaves do eventually die.
How Can I Make My Philodendron Grow Faster?
Philodendrons are naturally fast growing, but the Philodendron gloriosum is the exception and prefers to take things easy in the growing department.
It can take over a month to unfurl just one leaf. If you are looking for a fast-growing plant, this is not the plant for you.
To maximize the growth of the Philodendron gloriosum, provide the plant with lots of indirect light, and ensure the soil is nutrient rich and high in organic matter.
Where Can I Buy Philodendron Gloriosum?
You can purchase the Philodendron gloriosum from most nurseries and online suppliers, but you may need to order this beauty in advance to avoid disappointment as stocks can be limited.
Philodendron ‘Gloriosum’ vs. ‘Glorious’
Young Philodendron ‘Glorious’ can closely resemble the Philodendron gloriosum. The main difference between these plants is seen in the foliage of mature plants.
The petiole of the Philodendron gloriosum is shaped like the letter D and is flat on the top, while the Philodendron ‘Glorious’ has an oval petiole.
6 Key Tips for Success With Philodendron Gloriosum
- Avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf damage.
- Use a humidifier or pebble tray to keep humidity levels above 40%.
- Position the plant away from cold drafts and heating vents.
- Check the soil moisture level between watering sessions.
- Avoid overhead watering to prevent bacterial leaf diseases.
- Keep the rhizome above the soil to prevent root rot.
This gentle velvet giant requires a moderate amount of care to ensure it remains a healthy indoor plant.
By ensuring you provide an environment that is balanced with nutritious soil, adequate light, and toasty humid temperatures, your Philodendron gloriosum will remain gloriously green and velvety soft.