Philodendron gloriosum is one of the most beautiful plant varieties out there. With large heart-shaped leaves and prominent white-colored veins, it sure catches the attention.
As much as it makes a wonderful addition to your houseplant collection, it’s not the best option. The Philodendron Gloriosum is a toxic plant. It’s not the plant to keep at home if you’ve got children or pets around. If someone ingests it, it can cause severe throat irritation, oral pain, and swallowing problems. If someone ingests a large quantity of this plant, it can also cause seizures, cramps, kidney failure, and coma.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep a Philodendron Gloriosum in your plant collection. It’s one plant that grows equally well outdoors and indoors. If you can keep it out of reach of children and pets, there’s no harm in keeping this stunning plant at home.
If you’re planning to get this Philodendron variety for your home, it’s best if you first familiarize yourself with everything there’s to know about it. It’ll help you in taking the best care of your Gloriosum and ensure that it grows optimally.
Introduction to Philodendron Gloriosum
Philodendron Gloriosum is a member of the Araceae family. It’s a terrestrial plant that crawls along the surface of the ground and spreads horizontally. Native to Columbia, it’s a common plant variety in other tropical regions, including Mexico, Peru, Central America, Brazil, and Venezuela.
Its name originates from the Greek language. The literal meaning of Philo is love, and Dendron means tree – which seems to align well with the large heart-shaped leaves.
Philodendron gloriosum goes by different names in different parts of the world. It’s also referred to as Velvet Philodendron due to its velvety leaves and Anthurium Gloriosum
Characteristic Features of Philodendron Gloriosum
The Philodendron Gloriosum is a perennial plant. It’s mostly found in tropical regions. These Philodendrons are creepers and spread horizontally, something that we’ve already mentioned earlier. While some Philodendrons are climbers, these aren’t. The Anthurium Gloriosum is a type of rhizomatous plant with its rhizomes exposed out in the open rather than being buried under the soil.
If you let it grow outdoors, it can grow up 6 feet tall. However, its average height when grown indoors is 2 to 4 feet. A mature leaf can be pretty big in size with a length of 8 to 15cm. Leaves of Philodendrons can be as long as 36cm in their natural wild habitat.
Although they’ve got a slow growth rate, they exhibit a well-behaved pattern of growth. Despite the horizontal growth pattern, they don’t wander off uncontrollably and stay in their place. They produce characteristic white to light yellow-colored flowers that can appear any time of the year in any season. When it does produce flowers, the Philodendron Gloriosum exhibits a truly stunning sight – one that you would want to behold
The Anthurium Gloriosum are popular indoor plants because of their attractive leaves and beautiful white flowers. If you wish to grow these plants in your home, an indoor plant care guide might help you a great deal.
The best thing about keeping these plants indoors is that they aren’t demanding and just occasional light maintenance is enough to keep them thriving. This is yet another reason why it’s such an adored houseplant variety.
These plants require well-draining soil rich in organic matter, having a pH between 5 and 8 for optimal and healthy growth. You can use a combination of orchid potting mix and perlite and peat to balance the soil and offer better aeration. Adequate amounts of oxygen are vital for the healthy growth of the roots, so make sure your soil is well aerated. Dense soil can lead to the suffocation of the roots. If the roots get suffocated, it may result in root rot and will eventually cause the death of the plant.
You may also add horticulture charcoal which is known to remove the toxins and sweeten the soil to make it more suitable for Philodendron gloriosum. The addition of charcoal to the soil mix provides the soil condition closest to how the soil is in the natural habitat, and therefore, the plant thrives.
The ideal growth medium for these Philodendrons is Sphagnum Moss. However, if you’re planning to grow your Gloriosums in this media, make sure you fertilize them regularly.
These plants grow best in moist soil, which means you’ve got to water them regularly. However, you should be careful and not overwater them because overwatering can lead to root rot. The soil should be damp but not soggy. Occasional overwatering wouldn’t harm them, though.
The leaves of Philodendron Gloriosum droop in case of overwatering and under-watering both. If sufficient water isn’t available for the plant, it’ll show signs, and one of them is drooping leaves. Too much water in the soil will cause the roots to reach the maximum absorption capacity. As a result, the leaves will droop in this case too. In case of drooping leaves, evaluate the soil closely and see if it looks dry or soggy and act accordingly.
Philodendron gloriosum grows best in bright, indirect sunlight. The best spot to keep this plant in your home is close to a window. If the plant continues to get bright but indirect sunlight, the leaves will grow bigger and shinier. However,the leaves will be long-legged and will be further away from each other if the plant isn’t getting sufficient light,
As much as bright light is important for optimal growth of these Philodendrons, direct sunlight would burn the leaves. Instead of the characteristic green, the leaves will turn yellow and eventually die.
If the leaves of your Gloriosum have started to appear dull, change its location and place it by the window so that it is exposed to the bright, indirect sunlight that it needs.
These Philodendrons fall in the USDA hardiness zone 11. They grow best in temperature between 7 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius. Night temperatures in the range of 16 degrees Celsius and 21 degrees Celsius are ideal.
If you want your Philodendron Gloriosum to thrive, make sure you’re providing them with a sufficiently humid environment. They thrive best when the humidity level is between 60 to 80%. These plants are quite resilient and will do well if the humidity levels are between 40 to 50%, but that’s not ideal. If you live in regions that are usually dry, you’ll have to invest in a humidifier to keep the humidity levels maintained for your Gloriosum.
The most prominent characteristic feature of Philodendron Gloriosum is its big, velvety leaves. The right amount of the right fertilizer results in the growth of beautiful and bigger heart-shaped leaves. If the leaves of your Gloriosum don’t grow too big, it may be a sign that your plant needs fertilizer. During the spring and summer season, half-strength of liquid fertilizer every month and once every 8 weeks in winter months will ensure that your plant gets all the nutrients it needs for maximum growth.
Potting and Repotting
A rectangular pot is ideal for these Philodandrons since they spread horizontally. If you plant them in a round pot, the space in the pot will soon become insufficient. A rectangular pot will offer sufficient space for the stems to spread. However, when you see the stems reaching the edges of the pot, you should repot your Philodendron Gloriosum immediately. This is because, at this point, there won’t be any more room for the roots to grow, and even if the stems continue to spread, the leaves that’ll grow will be smaller in size. Another point that you should keep in mind when potting or repotting is to use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. If there are no drainage holes, the soil will become waterlogged, and the roots will soon start to rot.
Always remember that Philodendron Gloriosums are toxic plants, and they shouldn’t be handled with bare hands. Make sure you’re wearing gloves during the entire process.
The propagation of this plant variety is through stem cuttings. In fact, the propagation of these Philodendrons is easier than many other Philodendrons.
This plant first grows a rhizome that sits over the surface of the soil, exposed to light. These rhizomes develop roots and develop leaves. When you’re taking a stem cutting to plant it elsewhere, make sure you’re cutting it at the point of the rhizome. By doing so, you’re ensuring that the part of the stem that you’re getting has some roots already grown.
This step-by-step propagation guide will help you propagate your Philodendron Gloriosum successfully.
Step 1: Find the Right Spot to Cut
This is the most important step. Cut a section of the step that contains a rhizome between 2 leaves. It’ll ensure that you’re getting some already developed roots with the rhizome, so further growth of the stem is ensured.
While you’re cutting the section of a stem, make sure you’re leaving at least 3 leaves behind on the stem. It’s not necessary to include a leaf on the stem cutting. A rhizome alone would do.
Step 2: Cut the Rhizome
Once you’ve obtained a stem cutting with a rhizome, make an even cut on the rhizome and let it be for a while till it develops a callous over it. It usually takes a couple of hours for the cut rhizome to develop a callous.
Step 3: Allow the Rhizome Wound to Heal
You should give the rhizome enough time to heal before planting it in a pot. To fasten up the process of healing, you can sprinkle some cinnamon powder over the wound. It’ll act as a disinfectant and will prevent the wound from getting infected.
Step 4: Prepare the Pot
Take a pot with drainage holes at the bottom and fill it with slightly moist Sphagnum moss. Make sure the soil is moist and not wet.
Step 5: Plant the Cutting
Now that you’re pot is ready, gently plant the stem, cutting gently into the soil. Be gentle during the process because the roots of rhizomes are extremely delicate, and you wouldn’t want to damage them. Try not to bury the rhizome too deep into the soil. Keep it close to the surface because being buried in moist soil will cause the rhizome to rot.
Step 6: Maintain Humidity Levels
Cover the pot with plastic or keep the pot in a plastic container so that the plant receives a humid environment that’s ideal for its growth. Open the mouth of the plastic or the lid of the plastic container to make sure the air inside doesn’t get stale.
Step 7: Provide the Required Warmth
Apart from humidity, you need to provide the optimum temperature that’s required for the healthy growth of Philodendron gloriosum. It can be achieved by placing a heating map underneath the plastic container. The increased warmth will speed up the process significantly. It’ll take about 2 to 4 weeks for the roots to grow and leaves to start growing.
Step 8: Transfer the Plant into Planting Pot
Fill a rectangular pot with moist potting soil. After the step has developed a considerable number of roots and grown 2 to 3 leaves, you should move it from the pot with Sphagnum moss into a pot containing potting soil.
Step 8: Allow the Plant to Grow
Now that you’ve potted your Gloriosum allow it to grow. Ensure you’re providing it with everything it needs to grow optimally, including the right temperature, humidity, water, and light.
Common Problems to Look Out for and How to Remedy Them
Like every other plant, Philodendron Gloriosum is prone to various problems. If these problems aren’t addressed on time, they can exacerbate and lead to plant death. If you’re planning to plant this variety of Philodendrons, you should know about the most common problems that are often observed in these plants and how they can be remedied.
If the leaves of your Philodendron Gloriosum appear yellow, or they aren’t unfurling, or they appear smaller, it might be due to the rotting root system. It can happen if your soil is too dense and too wet, and poorly aerated. In this case, the soil stays wet for too long and doesn’t dry as it should, and that leads to the roots rotting. When roots start to rot, they become inefficient, and the leaves don’t get the water and nutrition that they need.
It’s always better to check the roots by pulling out a stem or two to inspect the roots if you suspect that the yellowing of leaves or stunted growth is due to root rot. This condition can lead to plant death, and therefore, you shouldn’t take your suspicion lightly. Even if a single root is rotting, it’ll soon affect all the other roots, and it won’t be long before the plant dies.
If the roots you pulled out appear mushy or blackish in color, be alerted because that’s how rotting roots look. Immediately remove that part of the roots. Wash the remaining roots and plant them in a fresh soil mix. The pot should contain drainage holes at the bottom.
Another extremely common issue that’s found in Philodendron Gloriosum is the yellowing of leaves. If the leaves of your Philodendron are turning yellow, you should immediately understand that something’s not right. While it’s normal for old leaves to turn yellow before they die, the yellowing of fresh leaves is not normal. It could be due to various reasons, including excessive exposure to direct sunlight and over-watering.
The velvety leaves are delicate and can burn under direct sunlight. If you recently placed your plant in sunlight that has caused the yellowing of leaves, you should change the location of the pot right away. Place it somewhere it receives bright but indirect sunlight.
However, if your plant isn’t exposed to direct sunlight, yellow leaves could be a sign of overwatering. In this case, reduce the frequency of watering. Check the soil before watering. Water it only if it appears to be dry. It’s also a wise step to evaluate your soil mix to ensure it’s well-draining and not too dense.
Sometimes, the leaves of your Gloriosum, that are its highlighting feature will start to droop. Leaves droop due to incorrect watering pattern. If the leaves are dropping, re-visit your watering routine; are you watering it too much or too little? If you’ve been overwatering, reduce the frequency. If you’ve been missing out on watering, start watering your Gloriosum more frequently. The best practice is not to stick to any one watering routine. Keep a check on the soil and water accordingly.
Leggy stems are a common occurrence in all plants. The stems are leggy, or they grow too far apart or at very wide angles. This might be due to a lack of adequate sunlight. It’s a way of the plant trying to reach the sunlight. In this situation, change the location of the pot and place it somewhere it gets enough sunlight.
Have the leaves of your Philodendron been tearing too often lately? If yes, it might be due to insufficient humidity and moisture that make leaves brittle.
Remedying this situation isn’t so hard. All you’ve got to do is increase the humidity level in the environment. You can do so with the help of a humidifier or by placing the plant pot on a tray of wet pebbles. You can also mist your plant every few hours. This should solve the problem and give the leaves of your beloved Gloriosum a refreshed look.
The Leaves Don’t Unfurl
You may notice that the spikes of the leaves aren’t unfurling. As long as they don’t unfurl, they won’t reveal the new leaf. This is most likely due to a lack of humidity. You can remedy this issue by misting your plant, placing the pot on a wet pebble tray, or installing a humidifier nearby.
One of the worst nightmares for any plant owner is pest infestation, and Philodendron Gloriosum is quite prone to it. Now, that’s bad news. This variety of Philodendrons is most likely to get infested by spider mites. These pests feed on leaves. You can identify spider mite infestation by holes in leaves or by dusty-looking leaves. When spider mites infest your Gloriosum, it’ll appear stippled.
These pests may not be visible right away because they’re present on the underside of the leaves more than often.
But the good news is – you can get rid of this pest infestation. All you need is a spider mite miticide. Simply wipe the leaves to get rid of any mites or mite eggs that may be sticking to the surface, and then spray the miticide.
These Philodendrons can also suffer from infestations by aphids, fungus gnats, and mealy bugs. All of these pests affect the appearance and overall health of the Gloriosum. However, these infestations aren’t untreatable. You can use rubbing alcohol and neem oil to get rid of them. Simply dilute the neem oil and spray it on the plant thoroughly twice every two weeks. Neem oil is a natural pesticide.
Rubbing alcohol is a cheaper solution to getting rid of pest infestation but is far more laborious. Cotton swabs wetted in alcohol are rubbed on every part of the plant, from stem to foliage. The process has to be repeated every few days.
Interesting hybrids with more enhanced qualities and features have been producing by cross-breeding the Philodendron Gloriosum with different species of Philodendrons. There are four hybrids out there, but only two are common. We have discussed them below:
Philodendron Glorious is more popular among the four known hybrids. It’s a cross between Philodendron Gloriosum and Philodendron Melanochrysum. While Gloriosum is a creeper, the Melanochrysum is a climber that features huge leaves that can be as long as 4 feet. The leaves of the Melanochrysum are oval in shape and darker in color.
The resulting Philodendron Glorious is similar to Gloriosum in appearance, but its leaves are more towards oval shape than the characteristic heart shape of the Gloriosum. The leaves of the resulting cross-breed are also larger and are more of a climber. In fact, the Glorious breed grows more vigorously as compared to its creeper parent variety.
Philodendron Dean McDowell
The Philodendron Gloriosum and Philodendron Pastazanum were crossbred. The resulting hybrid crawler got the name Philodendron Dean McDowell. This hybrid variety has characteristic bright green-colored leaves that aren’t as dark as the parent Gloriosum. However, the leaves of the resultant hybrid are glossier and feature a silver veining. The size of the leaves is smaller than the Pastazanum and wider than Gloriosum. The leaves retain the heart shape of the Gloriosum.
Care Tips in a Nutshell
After covering nearly everything that you must know about these splendid Gloriosums, let’s take a quick walkthrough of the care tips. It’s important to give plants the care they need to thrive.
Do not place these Philodendrons in a spot that receives direct sunlight. Instead, pick a spot that receives bright but indirect light. This type of light suits them best!
Do not fix a watering schedule. Inspect the soil and see for yourself if the plant needs water. If the soil appears moist, skip the watering for some time. However, if the soil appears dry, water the Gloriosum only enough to make the soil moist. Never overwater.
When you’re potting your Gloriosum, make sure the rhizome is over the surface of the soil. Don’t bury it underneath. Also, always choose a rectangular pot with holes on the bottom. It allows enough space for the stems to crawl. When you think the stems have grown too long for the pot, prune or repot.
Always cut the stem at the node when you’re propagating your Philodendron gloriosum. Bury the cutting gently into Sphagnum moss and allow it to develop roots and leaves before transferring it to a pot with soil. Planting the cutting directly into the soil mix isn’t the right practice.
Philodendron gloriosum is one of the most stunning plant varieties that grow perfectly well indoors and outdoors. The only concern about these slow-growing creepers is their toxicity. If you think you can take the necessary precautions, there’s absolutely no harm in keeping these Philodendrons in your home or growing them in your garden!