Philodendron Gloriosum | Plant Care Guide

Philodendron Gloriosum

Philodendron gloriosum is a terrestrial plant belonging to the Araceae family. It is a crawling Philodendron best known for its pale to striking white veins and heartleaf-shaped green velvety foliage. The plant grows by crawling along the ground and sends leaf stems up.

Botanical NamePhilodendron gloriosum
Common NamePhilodendron gloriosum
Size2-3 feet tall
DifficultyEasy
Pet FriendlyNo. Toxic to pets
Air CleanerYes

Philodendron Gloriosum Origin

Colombia is the origin of Philodendron gloriosum. Additionally, you will find this plant in Central America, including Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. They are also commonly seen in the western parts of Venezuela and Brazil. It grows well in places with a tropical climate.

How to care for Philodendron Gloriosum?

Do you want to grow Philodendron gloriosum in your home? Remember, it requires proper maintenance to grow quickly. From getting the light and temperature right to checking the soil, you need to know the dos and don’ts of gloriosum maintenance before keeping one in your house. Here are a few tips for taking care of your gloriosum.

Light and Temperature

This plant thrives in indirect sunlight. Don’t keep it near windows or outside in the garden where it gets direct sunlight exposure. It should get 70 to 85% of indirect sunlight to grow big, beautifully-veined leaves. Exposing the plant to direct sunlight will result in leaf burns. It’s best to keep it under a shade or put a translucent cloth in front of this plant to protect it from direct sunlight.

Besides excessive sunlight, you should also keep the average temperature in mind to grow this plant properly. It grows quickly in climates between 65°-80°F. You should bring the plant indoors during winter to avoid frost. Experts recommend keeping the plant indoors and using grow lights as a substitute for sunlight. Remember to keep the grow lights at least 24 inches away from the leaves to prevent leaf burns. This is a light and temperature-sensitive plant. 

Water

The first trick to keep in mind in this step is not to overwater this plant. But how will you determine when it needs water? Try sticking your finger in the soil. If the topsoil is dry, it means you need to water the plant immediately. But don’t water it daily. This plant needs watering up to two times a week and not more. Overwatering may cause the roots to rot prematurely. It will eventually destroy the plant after a few months.

This plant requires a misty environment. The environment must have at least more than 40% humidity. You can use an indoor humidifier to provide the appropriate moisture the plant needs to grow.

Fertilization

One of the advantages of this plant is it doesn’t require frequent fertilizing. Moreover, it doesn’t need a combination of various fertilizers to produce flowers and beautiful leaves. The best time to fertilize this plant is from spring to fall. You should fertilize your gloriosum at least once every month. Buy a container of liquid NPK fertilizer with 20-20-20 proportions.

You can create the fertilizer alone by sourcing the materials and adding them according to their appropriate ratios. But remember, you must dilute the fertilizer before adding it to your plant. For example, you take one glass of fertilizer and mix it with two glasses of water. Spray the fertilizer in the soil, stem, and leaves. Don’t water the plant immediately. Let the fertilizer dry, and then water the plant after a couple of days.

Flowering

A mature Philodendron gloriosum will produce white flowers between May and July. The flower consists of a spathe and a spadix.

Pruning

You need to prune the dead leaves as the plant grows. Use scissors to cut the old, yellow leaves if they don’t fall naturally. Pick and throw them in a garbage bag. Experts recommend not leaving dry, dead leaves in the pot. Besides picking old leaves, you should also prune the stems if the plant takes up too much space. These plants can grow fast if you maintain them properly. You may not want the plant dangling on your furniture and fixtures. Cut the base of these stems to restrict their growth.

Don’t forget to water the plant after pruning. It minimizes the stress you put on the plant by cutting some of its leaves and stems. Try not to touch the main stem. Instead, work around the stems that grow and reach unwanted places like the back of the television or shoe cabinet. Prune them down to keep the plant’s growth under control.

Repotting

You should keep this plant in a long, rectangular pot containing multiple drainage holes. You may question why it’s not suitable to keep it in a round pot? Well, gloriosums are creepers. The stems could reach the pot’s edge quickly, and you would need to repot it immediately. Using a round pot means frequent repotting. A long, rectangular pot delays this process by a few weeks.

You need to repot the plant when it goes over the pot’s edge. It means that the plant won’t be able to grow roots into the soil anymore. One symptom of roots not growing is if the leaves become smaller. This is the best time to repot. Choose a slightly bigger and longer pot to allow the roots to grow and help the plant flourish. You will again notice larger leaves sprouting from the stems.

Pests and Disease

You may experience mealybug, fungus, and aphid infestation in this plant. The best way to get rid of them is by using natural pesticides like neem oil. Using chemical fertilizers may pollute your precious soil mixture. Instead, dilute neem oil with water and spray it once every two weeks. Alternatively, you can collect neem leaves and boil them. Strain the water and dilute it with cold water before spraying it on the plant. It works like magic for keeping mealybugs, fungus, and aphids away.

How to propagate Philodendron Gloriosum?

There are four steps to propagate your gloriosum. Make sure you follow these steps carefully to propagate a new plant from the existing one.

• Start by finding a long and healthy stem. The best way to identify this type of stem is to check the stem’s length. A healthy stem ranges between 3 and 6 inches and contains leaves and roots.

• Take a knife and dissect the stem from its joint that meets the main crown. Do this carefully to avoid slashing other stems or leaves. It’s best if you use a small knife that you can work in small spaces.

• Take the cut stem and place it in a prepared pot of soil. Use similar soil that you already have for the other plant. This ensures that the cut stem gets a similar environment as its mother plant.

• Place the new pot away from direct sunlight. Water it twice a week. Always check the topsoil before watering. The plant may not need fertilizer or pesticide during the initial few weeks. Start fertilizing once you see the plant grow and sprout a few leaves.

How do you Clean Philodendron Gloriosum Leaves?

The leaves of this plant may become an eyesore if you don’t clean them properly. Its waxy heart-shaped leaves look beautiful in their rich, lush green color. But dust accumulating on the leaves over time makes them grey. It’s ideal to clean the leaves at least once a month. The best part is you don’t have to buy special leaf cleaners to take care of this plant. Instead, follow the steps below to clean the leaves easily:

• Take a feather duster and dust the leaves thoroughly. You can do this every day to prevent the leaves from accumulating dust.

• Soak two lint-free rags or two clean sponges in warm water. It’s also okay to use baby wipes, provided they don’t contain lanolin. Take one of the sponges and place it under one leaf. Use the other sponge on top of the leaf and gently wipe both sides together. Go from the stem to the tip to clean the leaves and make them shiny. Repeat this step for every leaf.

You can also put the plant in your shower and turn the shower on, simulating rain.  The water will remove debris and dust from the leaves within a few minutes. But the drawback of showering your plant is the soil receives too much water. It will take days for the topsoil to dry. Washing with lint-free rags or sponges ensures the soil doesn’t receive too much water.

• You can dip the sponge in soapy water made from lukewarm water and mild soap. Rinse the leaves later with clean sponges. This step works brilliantly if you have philodendron leaves with grime and dirt that doesn’t go away if you sprinkle water on them lightly.

• Wipe the leaves with a clean, lint-free rag. This step is crucial to avoid water spots. Gently wipe the leaves’ bottom and top with a dry rag or sponge to make them dry. Some people even use a sable brush or soft cheesecloth to buff the leaves gently.

Frequently Asked Questions about Philodendron Gloriosum

This plant prefers approximately 70 to 85% bright, indirect light. You shouldn’t keep the pot outside where it gets direct sunlight. It should remain under a shade or away from direct light. Direct exposure to sunlight increases the chances of leaf burns.

On the other hand, keeping the plant away from adequate sunlight may result in small and weak leaves. It’s a sign that the plant is about to die. You can place a shade around the plant to avoid direct exposure. Alternatively, you can use grow lights but keep them at least 24 inches away from the plant.

To make a Philodendron gloriosum fuller you will need to constantly prune your plant. To create a fuller look that adheres to the shape of the pot, prune any leaves that start to grow long like a vine. Find the part of the stem right where it touches the soil and make a cut. This new cut will create its own root system and grow into the soil producing small leaves to help create a compact, bushy look.

Philodendron gloriosum roots grow within two to four weeks. But make sure you don’t make the soil moist enough to stunt the root’s growth. If you are propagating your gloriosum from a mother plant, use a plastic cover to wrap around the pot initially. This allows the root to grow strong within four weeks. You should remove the plastic cover every two days to prevent the air inside from becoming stale. Repeat this process for at least two to four weeks.

Yes, Philodendron gloriosum loves coffee grounds. Coffee grounds work as a natural fertilizer for this plant because it contains a high percentage of nitrogen. Nitrogen is crucial for plants as it helps to produce chlorophyll. Your gloriosum will grow quicker and develop better if you use coffee grounds as fertilizer.

Soil nitrogen usually comes in three forms: ammonium, nitrate, and organic nitrogen. Nitrate dissolves in soil water and precipitates soluble salts. They don’t deliver as much nitrogen as your gloriosum needs. Soil nitrogen consists of 95% organic nitrogen available from animal or plant residue. This is where coffee grounds are helpful. They contain high amounts of organic nitrogen.

Coffee grounds prevent your gloriosum’s stems from becoming thinner. Sometimes you may notice plants lose their colors over time. This is because of the unavailability of nitrogen. The absence of nitrogen may lead to the plant’s stunted growth and eventual death. Apart from nitrogen, coffee grounds are a rich source of potassium and phosphorus. Both potassium and phosphorus are crucial elements that keep gloriosums healthy.

Gloriosums are toxic to dogs, cats, and even humans. It’s best if you keep the plant away from your pets. Don’t let dried leaves lay around near the pot. Your pet may want to chew on those leaves. Chewing the leaves or stems may lead to various toxicity symptoms like vomiting, swelling, cramps, and diarrhea. You shouldn’t wait to contact your veterinarian if you notice these symptoms in your pet. This plant’s toxins may cause severe kidney damage or may even kill your beloved cat or dog.

Apart from pets, you should also keep the plant from your children’s reach. Your kid may unknowingly put a small leaf in his mouth. Although the heart-shaped leaves look marvelous, you shouldn’t allow your kids to play with them or put them in their mouths. Make sure you wash and sanitize your hands carefully after pruning or tending the plant.

Final Thoughts

Gloriosums are excellent home plants that need care and maintenance to flourish. It doesn’t produce too many flowers like other flowering plants. Instead, it is popular for its large, heart-shaped, lush green leaves. But you need to keep various things in mind if you want to grow this plant in your house. Make sure you follow the watering schedule religiously. Water the plant according to its size and moisture level in the soil. Don’t overwater to prevent the roots from rotting.

Additionally, don’t expose the plant to direct sunlight. It will destroy the beautiful leaves and may also make the stems dry. Keep it under a shade where it gets approximately 70 to 85% of indirect sunlight. Apart from light and temperature, pay attention to the fertilizer and pesticide also. Use organic fertilizer like coffee grounds or liquid NPK fertilizer. To keep pests away, neem oil is your best option.

If you do all this, you’ll have a fun and stress-free time growing Philodendron gloriosum.

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