Welcome to the ultimate guide on taking care of Philodendron Micans! This plant is a big hit with plant lovers because of its awesome velvet-like leaves that change from green to bronze. Since it’s from Central and South America, you’ve got to know some special tricks to keep it happy inside. In this guide, you’ll get the scoop on everything you need to know about taking care of Philodendron Micans, like how much light it needs, when to water it, what kind of soil to use, how to make more of them, and what problems you might run into. Whether you’re new to plants or an old pro, you’ll find everything you need to keep your Philodendron Micans looking great. So, let’s dive in and learn how to care for this beautiful plant!
Introducing about Philodendron Micans
A Philodendron Micans, or Velvet-Leaf Philodendron, or even Philodendron Hederaceum ‘Micans,’ is a super cool trailing plant that’s originally from Central and South America. People really love this plant because of its show-stopping leaves and how easy it is to take care of.
The heart-shaped leaves of this plant are soft like velvet and can change from deep green to bronze or even purple, depending on the light. The leaves sort of shimmer, making them look even cooler. The plant also grows these unique long roots and dainty, spade-like flowers.
Taking care of Philodendron Micans is a breeze because it’s happy in a lot of different indoor situations. It likes regular humidity, soil that drains well, and a spot out of direct sunlight. Plus, it’s easy to make more plants from stem cuttings.
History of Philodendron Micans
The history of Philodendron Micans is long and, well, kind of confusing! This little beauty comes from places like Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Seychelles, and loves being warm and moist. It was found way back in 1760, but people think it’s been around for centuries before that. In 1790, some plant scientists in Europe named it “Arum Hederaceum”.
It was moved to the philodendron family in 1829, but it didn’t get its current name until 1850. It’s had a whopping 20 name changes since then. Why? Because it varies radically as it ages, botanists in the 1800s and early 1900s found it incredibly difficult to define. It loses its trademark burgundy hue as it ages, its vines thicken, and it even loses its velvet texture, making it appear to be a completely other plant.
Philodendron Micans care overview
|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|
|Native Area||North America, Central America|
|Temperature||65 to 75°F|
|Light||Bright, indirect light|
|Fertilizer||Fertilize 1 times per month|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and toxic to pets when ingested|
How to care for Philodendron Micans?
Taking care of Philodendron micans isn’t hard, but you’ve got to know a thing or two to keep it happy and healthy. With the right attention, Velvet leaf philodendron can be your buddy for years, whether it’s at home or the office. Here are some pointers to look after your Velvet leaf philodendron.
Philodendron micans prefer bright indirect light. Stick it somewhere too shady, and it’ll get all long and leggy, with big gaps between the leaves and not many stems.
To make your Velvet leaf philodendron really happy, put it near a window that gets a bunch of indirect light, like by a sheer curtain or behind some furniture. No good windows? No problem! Fake lights will do just fine for philodendron micans. LED grow lights are great and should be about 10-14 inches away from the plant so it gets plenty of light but doesn’t get scorched.
Whatever light you pick, make sure the philodendron micans gets 12-14 hours of bright indirect light every day, and it’ll do just fine. Don’t forget, light’s super important for growing philodendron micans, so keep an eye on it!
Philodendron Micans loves soil that drains well but stays a bit damp and doesn’t get all waterlogged. You want a good mix of air, drainage, and moisture in the soil for this plant. Here’s what you can toss together to make the perfect mix:
- Peat moss or coco coir: These bits help make the soil light and fluffy and hold onto some water. They’ll be the main part of your soil mix, about 40–50% of it.
- Perlite or pumice: These inorganic components—perlite or pumice—improve aeration and drainage in the soil mixture. Pumice or perlite should make up 20–30% of the mixture.
- Orchid bark or fine bark chips: These pieces help with air and water too, and they make the plant feel at home. Throw in about 10-20% bark chips.
- Worm castings or well-composted organic matter: A little bit of this (5-10%) adds some food for the plant and helps the roots grow strong.
Mix these bits together to make soil that drains well but keeps a little moisture, just right for Philodendron Micans. You can also buy ready-made soil for philodendrons or other tropical plants at the garden store, but make sure it’s got what you need for drainage and air.
A Homemade Soil Mix Recipe (If You Want to Go It Alone)
- Coco coir (40%) (or high-quality potting soil)
- Perlite (at 20%) (drainage)
- 10% orchid bark (philos LOVE this, acts as a hotspot for roots to attach)
- 10% fine pumice (drainage)
- Activated charcoal 10% (purifies soil and helps beneficial bacteria)
What Each Element Is Made For
- Coco coir is more environmentally friendly than peat moss because it retains nutrients and moisture while also draining well.
- Orchid bark aerates the potting mix, adds structural strength, serves as a breeding ground for beneficial microbes, and allows roots to grow naturally.
- Perlite – aids in aeration of the soil and the prevention of root rot in philodendrons.
- Worm castings (worm poop) are an organic fertilizer with a limited but complete nutrient palette.
- Activated charcoal absorbs soil impurities, repels some pests, and protects against mold.
- Pumice is yet another aerator and drainage component.
Watering Philodendron Micans properly is essential to maintain its health and prevent problems like root rot. Follow these guidelines to water your Philodendron Micans effectively:
- Check soil moisture: Before you water, stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If the top inch feels dry, it’s time to water the plant. If it still feels moist, wait a day or two before checking again.
- Water thoroughly: Make sure to give it enough water so the soil gets wet all over. Water it till you see water coming out of the holes at the bottom of the pot. This makes sure the roots get all the water they need.
- Drain excess water: After watering, dump out the extra water from the saucer under the pot so the plant’s not sitting in it. This keeps the roots from getting all soggy and rotten.
- Adjust watering frequency: How much you need to water depends on things like where the plant is, how big the pot is, and what time of year it is. Your Philodendron Micans might need water once a week or more when it’s warm, and less when it’s cooler and not growing as much.
Keep in mind, these rules aren’t set in stone, and you might need to change them to fit your plant’s needs and where it’s living. Watching your plant and changing how you water it when you need to is key. Giving it too much water can cause problems, so finding the right amount for your Philodendron Micans is really important.
Philodendron Micans, like many tropical plants, appreciates moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 50% and 70%. It can deal with drier air, but getting the humidity right helps it grow nice and strong. Here’s how to keep the air moist for your plant:
- Misting: Spray the leaves with clean water, usually in the morning, so it can dry up before night. This helps keep the air damp, but might not be enough if the air’s really dry.
- Pebble tray: Put a tray with rocks and water under the pot, but don’t let the pot sit in the water. As the water goes away, it makes the air around the plant more humid.
- Group plants together: Putting a bunch of plants near each other can make the air more humid, since they all let moisture into the air.
- Humidifier: Using a humidifier where your plant is can help keep the air damp. Keep an eye on the humidity with a gauge so you don’t make it too wet.
- Enclosed spaces: Putting your Philodendron Micans in something like a terrarium or greenhouse helps keep the air damp.
But remember, while your Philodendron Micans likes damp air, it also needs fresh air to stop mold and other bad stuff from growing. Make sure it’s in a spot where the air moves and it’s not too packed in with other plants. Also, keep an eye on how your plant’s doing and change the humidity if you need to.
When you’re dealing with feeding Philodendron Micans, you’ll want to go for a liquid fertilizer that’s got a good mix of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. Think 7-9-5 (NPK). Feeding your Philodendron with this NPK mix is gonna give it what it needs to grow strong and do well.
Feed it regularly, and you’ll see more growth and real nice leaves too. You’ll want to keep those leaves clean by wiping off any dust or junk with a wet cloth, and give them a spray now and then to keep ’em looking good.
When you’re putting on the fertilizer, don’t forget to read the label to get the mix and amount right. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll end up with salt build-up that could hurt the plant. So, be easy with it to get the best results.
Repotting’s a big part of looking after your Philodendron Micans. You’ll want to do it every year or two since they outgrow their pots pretty quick. Repotting gives ’em more room to grow and freshens up the soil, making it drain better. When you’re repotting, make sure to use something that drains well and has plenty of air in it.
The following are signs that your philodendron micans needs to be replanted:
- Roots have become tightly bound in the pot
- The plant has outgrown its current pot
- Foliage is wilting or looking droopy
When you repot, just use a container that’s a bit bigger than the last one, and make sure it’s got holes in the bottom. Don’t repot too often, or your plant won’t do so well. Wait for those signs above before you go for it.
And don’t forget to give it a good water after you repot. Repotting can be hard on your Philodendron Micans, so be gentle with it.
You can prune anytime, but better to stick to a regular plan so you don’t take too much off at once. Pruning your Philodendron Micans does stuff like:
- Helps to maintain the shape of the plant and encourages new growth by removing dead or damaged leaves, stems, and roots.
- Encourages air circulation around the foliage which helps prevent diseases from developing.
To prune right, use some sharp scissors or pruning shears, and cut the stems at a 45-degree angle an inch above the node. Pruning also keeps the air moving, which stops diseases and bugs from getting to your Philodendron Micans. Keep up with it every 6-8 weeks, and your plant will stay healthy and look awesome.
Philodendron Micans Propagation
These beautiful plants may be hard to find, but once you have one, you can easily grow more of them. With a few straightforward techniques, you can quickly grow new plants from stem cuttings:
- Take stem cuttings from a healthy philodendron micans using a pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears, making sure that each cutting contains about 4-5 leaves or nodes (a node is where a leaf attaches, though sometimes there are nodes with no leaf on them).
- Remove the bottom two leaves from each stem cutting to reveal the nodes that run the length of the stem.
- Place the stem cuttings in water, making sure that only the bare stem is submerged, and then set them in a spot that gets medium to strong indirect light.
- It should take a few weeks for roots to start to form. Make sure the nodes on the bare stem are always submerged by regularly checking the water level.
- Cuttings can be replanted in soil once the roots are at least one inch long.
- Pre-moisten the ground before planting the cuttings, and then bury the roots.
- To assist the cuttings in acclimating, keep the soil continuously moist (but never soaking wet) during the first two to three weeks. After that, gradually cut back on your watering until you are back to your regular watering routine.
Velvet leaf philodendron Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Velvet leaf philodendron are prone to some common pests and plant diseases. The ones you run into most are aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale.
- Aphids are these tiny things (1-3mm) with soft bodies that can be anywhere from black to yellow. They like to hang out on the underside of leaves and can mess up the leaf shape or slow down growth.
- Spider mites are small, dark bugs that make webs on the leaf, stem, and flower parts of a plant. They suck on plant sap and can hurt plants if you don’t do something about it.
Mealybugs are small, white bugs with waxy stuff on them; you often find them in groups on the stems and undersides of leaves. They eat plant sap, which can make the leaves turn yellow or fall off.
- Scale insects, a kind of armored scale, are tiny crawling bugs that can be reddish-brown to black and have a protective wax thing going on. Having scale around can make leaves yellow, slow down growth, and make the leaves fall off. Ways to get rid of these bugs include picking them off, using bug spray or some horticultural oil as something to keep them away.
In really bad cases, you might have to toss the plant. Keeping an eye on your plants is key so you can catch any problems early and keep bugs from taking over.
Philodendron Micans Care Common Problems
Philodendron micans, like a lot of other philodendron types, is pretty chill and easy to look after. Any problems usually come from not enough water, drainage, or light.
If the leaves are curling, your micans might need more water. Maybe a quick watering will fix it, but sometimes it might mean that your plant doesn’t have enough roots (because they rotted or dried up) and can’t suck up the water right. If water doesn’t do the trick, check the roots of your plant. If the roots are messed up, you can put it in water to help it grow new ones. To get your plant to grow new roots, just follow the propagation steps 3-7.
Plant Leaves Dropping
Sometimes the plant’s leaves drop off naturally as it gets older. If older leaves are falling off here and there, it’s probably no big deal. But if a bunch of leaves drop off all at once, or if new leaves are falling off, you might not be giving it enough water. Make sure your plant doesn’t dry out too much between waterings.
If your micans has mushy stems, you’re probably giving it too much water or it’s not draining right. Make sure your plant’s in a pot with drainage holes, and let the top 2-3 inches of soil dry out between waterings.
FAQ about Philodendron Micans care
Q: Can philodendron Micans grow in low light?
A: Micans can deal with low light, but they won’t really grow well like that. If you want ’em to grow best, put them near a bright window but not in direct sunlight so they get enough light but not too much. If your house doesn’t have enough natural light, you might need to use a grow light. Also, you should turn the plant now and then so all the leaves get their share of light.
Q: Do philodendron Micans like to dry out?
A: Micans like to be kind of moist but not soaking wet. Let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again, and don’t over water, or you’ll end up with root rot. If the plant starts wilting or the leaves turn yellow, it might need more water. Micans might need water more often when it’s hot out.
Q: How do you make Micans Fuller?
A: Pruning your Micans helps it look fuller and grow new parts. Get rid of any dead or damaged leaves, and trim stems that are too long. You can even cut stem pieces and put them in water to make new plants with more leaves. Also, make sure your plant has enough light and water to keep growing well.
Q: Why is my Micans turning pink?
A: That could be because of bugs or too much light. Check for aphids or mealy bugs, and treat them if you find any. If bugs aren’t the problem, maybe your plant’s getting too much direct sunlight. Move it somewhere with indirect light so it doesn’t turn pink.
Taking care of Micans is pretty easy, but you’ve got to watch the light, water, temperature, humidity, fertilizer, repotting, pruning, and making more plants.
If you follow these easy tips about taking care of Micans, you’ll have a healthy and happy plant in no time. But like all plants, Micans can get bugs or diseases. The most common problems are stem rot and root rot. If you see any of these problems, you might want to get some professional help.
As always, feel free to reach out to FamiPlants if you have any questions or need more guidance – we’re always happy to help!