Philodendron micans, also referred to as the velvet-leaf philodendron, is a sought-after trailing plant with heart-shaped leaves in striking hues of green and bronze. This tropical stunner is easy to maintain, making it excellent for both novice and experienced plant lovers.
In this guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know to cultivate and nurture Philodendron micans.
in this article:
About Philodendron micans
Philodendron micans is a vining plant from the Caribbean and Central and South America. It is known for its heart-shaped leaves with a unique velvety texture and a color that ranges from dark green to a deep, reddish-bronze. The leaves can grow up to 4 inches long, and the plant’s trailing habit makes it a perfect option for hanging baskets or as a climbing plant with proper support.
|Philodendron micans, Velvet-Leaf Philodendron
|Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum
|Bright, Indirect Light
Philodendron micans Care
Caring for Philodendron micans is relatively simple, as it is a low-maintenance plant that adapts well to various indoor environments.
Philodendron micans prefers bright, indirect light. Exposure to direct sunlight can scorch its delicate leaves. If the plant doesn’t receive enough light, its growth may become leggy, and the leaf color will lose its vibrancy.
A well-draining potting mix is essential for Philodendron micans. A mix of peat moss and organic soil in equal parts will provide adequate drainage and aeration, preventing the roots from becoming waterlogged.
Water your Philodendron micans when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so try to let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Keep in mind that the plant may require more frequent watering during warmer months and less frequent watering during cooler months.
Philodendron micans thrives in temperatures ranging from 65°F to 80°Fahrenheit. It can tolerate slightly lower temperatures but should not be exposed to temperatures below 50°F (10°C). Avoid placing the plant near drafts, air conditioning vents, or heating sources.
As a tropical plant, Philodendron micans prefers higher humidity levels, ideally around 50-60%. If your indoor environment is dry, using a humidifier is the easiest way to fix your issue. You can also try water trays or misting as alternatives.
Fertilize your Philodendron micans every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength. Reduce fertilization during the fall and winter months, as the plant’s growth slows down.
Pruning Philodendron micans helps maintain its shape and encourages bushier growth. Trim any leggy or overgrown vines using clean, sharp shears. You can also pinch back the tips to promote branching.
Potting and Repotting Philodendron micans
To prevent waterlogged soil, it’s important to select a pot with drainage holes. You should plan to repot your Philodendron micans every 2-3 years or when the roots start to outgrow the current pot. Spring is the ideal time for repotting, as the plant is entering its active growth phase.
Propagating Philodendron micans (Step-by-Step)
Propagating Philodendron micans is easy through stem cuttings:
- Choose a healthy vine with at least one leaf and use clean, sharp shears to cut a 4-6 inch section just below a leaf node.
- Remove the lower leaves, leaving only the top two or three leaves on the cutting.
- Submerge the leaf node of the cutting in a glass of water and place the container in a bright spot.
- After a few weeks, roots should start to develop. Once the roots are 1-2 inches long, the cutting is ready to be potted.
- Prepare a small pot with well-draining mix and make a hole in the center for the cutting.
- Gently plant the cutting in the hole, ensuring the roots and leaf node are covered with soil.
- Water the newly potted cutting thoroughly and place it in a bright, indirect light location.
Provide the same care as you would for mature Philodendron micans. The cutting should establish itself in the new pot and begin to grow within a few weeks.
While the primary appeal of Philodendron micans lies in its stunning, velvet-like foliage, it can also produce blooms when grown under ideal conditions. The flowers of this species are similar to those of other Philodendron varieties, featuring a spathe and spadix inflorescence. Blooming typically occurs in mature plants, with the flowering period taking place in late spring to early summer. The spathes are usually greenish-white, while the spadix contains numerous tiny flowers.
Although the blooms are not as eye-catching as the foliage, they still add a unique and interesting touch to an already attractive plant.
As with other Philodendron species, Philodendron micans contains calcium oxalate crystals throughout its leaves and stems. These crystals can cause irritation and swelling in the mouth, throat, and gastrointestinal tract if ingested. Symptoms may include drooling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Due to its toxic nature, it is crucial to keep Philodendron micans away from children and pets who might be tempted to chew on the leaves.
NOTE: This page is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. The toxicity of an ingested substance varies depending on the amount ingested, the animal’s weight, and its sensitivity to specific allergens. Contact your veterinarian or local animal poison control center immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance.
It’s essential to inspect Philodendron micans regularly for common houseplant pests, including spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs, as this plant can be susceptible to infestations. In case of infestation, treat the issue with insecticidal soap or neem oil to keep the pests at bay.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
Yellow leaves are often a sign of overwatering. Make sure to let the soil dry out partially between waterings, and ensure the pot has proper drainage.
Leggy or spindly growth can result from insufficient light. Move your Philodendron to a location with bright, indirect light to encourage bushier growth.
Dropping leaves can be caused by a variety of factors, including temperature fluctuations, drafty conditions, or a sudden change in light levels. Ensure your Philodendron is placed in a stable environment with consistent temperature and light conditions to minimize leaf drop.