If you like crawling, exotic house plants, Philodendron Gloriosum is the plant for you! With its deep green and heart-shaped, gigantic leaves, it will certainly fill your home with tropical vibrations. This adorable plant is native to Colombia but it can be found in other tropical zones as well.
So, how to care for philodendron gloriosum? Here’s the summary: Philodendron gloriosum is a slow-growing creeper, well known for its air-purifying characteristics. It thrives on vast amounts of humidity and moderate watering. So, make sure the soil is always moist, but never waterlogged. Sunlight exposure is needed if you want the leaves to stay shiny and grow big. Still, never place your philodendron gloriosum under the direct light. Bright places with indirect light would be the best home for your new green friend.
If you want to find out more about how to take care of the “glorious” one, stay with me because I’ve prepared a special guide on this magnificent exotic plant!
Appearance and Origin
Philodendron gloriosum is native to Colombia, but it also lives throughout Central America, Peru, and Ecuador.
Besides that, it can be found in some parts of Venezuela and Brazil.
This plant is a member of the Araceae family, while also belonging to Philodendron genus.
All Philodendron plants are crawling plants, which, by the way, has two main groups – creepers and climbers.
This one is a dark green creeper with pale white veins and heart-shaped foliage.
To add to that, the new young leaves have veins in bright, pale pink color.
Also, the leaves can grow up to be pretty big in natural habitat, up to 90 cm in length.
On the other hand, the flowers are pretty noteless.
They are white and spiky and look more like an unusual leaf than the flower itself.
This plant blooms throughout May and June, but raise no huge hopes.
To develop flowers, most philodendron varieties must reach their full maturity, which can take ten to fifteen years!
Pro-Tip: IIf you can’t differ creepers from climbers, here’s how to tell which one is which! Creepers grow horizontally, by crawling on the ground, while climbers rise vertically. They can’t stand upright by themselves. Instead, they grow vertically with a little support of a tree.
Soil Requirements for Philodendron Gloriosum
When it comes to philodendron gloriosum care, the first thing to pay attention to is the soil mix.
In this case, a well-drained soil is a good choice for this species.
Besides that, it needs nurturing soil filled with organic nutritional elements.
I advise buying orchid potting soil and mixing it with some perlite, active charcoal, and peat.
This way, you’ll form a better airflow in the soil mix and allow your plant to “breathe” properly.
Oxygen should be your main priority since the roots tend to rot if not provided with enough oxygen.
Since the soil quality is one of the main factors in philodendron gloriosum’s life, you should try to keep it as nutritious as possible.
The best pH value would be between five and eight.
Some growers manage to cultivate philodendron gloriosum in Sphagnum moss.
If you want to try it out, you will have to maintain a constant high level of humidity.
Also, you’ll need to add fertilizer more often than regularly since moss doesn’t keep any of the nutrients needed for philodendron growth.
Nonetheless, I wouldn’t recommend this type of growth if you are a newbie – you may end up disappointed.
What’s the role of the active charcoal?
Adding active charcoal to your soil mix might sound strange at first.
Still, believe it or not, it is often used to make soil mix better and healthier.
Besides the fact that it will add to the resemblance of native soil philodendron gloriosum lives in, there are other benefits of its use, as well.
First of all, active charcoal is known as the natural toxin eliminator.
By that, it prevents many pests and plant diseases in general from appearing since it is literally purifying the soil.
Also, you can add it if you have overwatered your plant, as it collects the excess material, including water.
Active charcoal lowers the level of soil density, therefore it allows the air to flow better.
In tropical areas, wildfires are no strange.
After a catastrophe, all that is left behind the dense woods is – charcoal. That’s precisely is the surface creepers like philodendron gloriosum use as their habitat.
All you have to do is basically follow the plants’ instincts and try to recreate its natural environment.
Direct or Indirect Sunlight- Which One Is Better for Philodendron gloriosum?
Do Philodendrons need sunlight? Well, any plant needs certain amount of sunlight to grow, but the main question is how much of it.
Regarding Philodendron gloriosum, this plant likes bright places but keep it away from direct sunlight.
As I have already mentioned, philodendron gloriosum is not such a common house plant, so there are still some disagreements on its light needs.
Namely, some growers claim it thrives best if kept in semi-shaded places, precisely because of its natural habitat, where it lives sheltered under the shadow of large tree canopies around.
On the other hand, some claim it is best kept in bright spots, but under indirect sunlight.
Judging by my experience so far, the second option is better, for two reasons.
The first one, leaves grow bigger when affected by indirect sunlight.
If you leave philodendron gloriosum in shade, the chances are, the foliage will start to get smaller through time.
The second reason is pretty logical – just face it, you’ll never manage to artificially recreate the natural conditions the plant lives in.
A west or north windowsill will be perfect.
You can put it on the south or east windows as well, but only if you don’t live in too hot areas, because you may damage the plant.
Namely, too much sun will burn the leaves and cause them to become yellow in the first stages, and crispy and dry later.
Also, since the leaves grow bigger in proportion to the acquired sunlight amount, your philodendron gloriosum may begin to grow unequally.
To illustrate, the side that is less exposed to the light will stay less developed, with smaller foliage.
To prevent this, just rotate the pot once in a while, so all the plant parts get an equal amount of sunlight.
What to do when there’s no sufficient sunlight?
If you can’t provide your philodendron gloriosum with the necessary sunlight amounts, it still doesn’t mean you have to give up on growing this plant variety.
There is always a solution!
In this case, it is called – a grow light.
The important thing to remember if you decide to invest in a grow light is the needed distance between the light and the plant.
It has to be at least 60 cm away from the foliage, otherwise, it will burn the leaves, just as direct sunlight would.
Watering and Humidity Requirements
Even though it is a tropical plant, this beauty prefers moderate watering.
That means you should always let the topcoat of the soil dry a little bit before you water your philodendron gloriosum.
Still, never let the soil become dry!
It likes moist ground, but never waterlogged. Too much water may cause eventual root rot.
As for humidity, Philodendron gloriosum is a tropical plant, which, logically, means- high levels of humidity.
In nature, it lives on the ground, where a lot of humidness is kept throughout the day.
The preferred level of humidity is pretty high, 60-80%, but they can survive even lower humidity levels, around 50%.
Still, if the level of moisture in the room drops under 40%, you’ll probably want to buy a humidifier.
Pro-Tip: There are a few ways to preserve a higher level of humidity without using an indoor humidifier. First of all, you can group your plant pots. The second solution is to place a tray with wet pebbles under the pot. Besides, misting is required, don’t forget to do it from time to time.
Temperature Requirements for Your “Glorious” Plant
Your probably wonder- can philodendron grow outside? The answer is positive.
As a tropical plant, it thrives in temperatures from 7 to 35 degrees Celsius.
During the hot months, you may take the pot outside, as your philodendron gloriosum will not only enjoy the outside temperatures, but the occasional rain will do it more than good.
(Rainwater is the best solution for watering plants in general.)
Still, make sure you bring the container in when the temperature drops below the recommended one.
How to Fertilize Philodendron gloriosum?
Besides the amount of sunlight, another factor that impacts the foliage size is fertilizer.
Philodendron gloriosum needs some additional feeding from time to time.
Still, overfeeding can be harmful, so I suggest using a liquid fertilizer since it is considered to be the mildest.
Add it to the soil once a month during the growth season (spring and summer), and once in two months during the cold months.
Although philodendron gloriosum is a slow grower, if you notice that it is barely making progress, it is probably because of the lack of needed nutrients.
Another consequence is too small leaves.
But don’t think that pouring more fertilizer will contribute to bigger leaves or faster growth, not at all!
It could have the opposite effect, and that’s the last thing you want!
Never add a double amount of plant food, just feed it as you would normally and let it take its time.
What Should You Know About Planting?
Since philodendron gloriosum is a crawler, you will want to use a relatively shallow pot.
The container should be long, but narrow.
Besides the shape, you’ll need to take care of another thing – drainage.
Since good airflow is this plant’s main request, make sure your container has enough holes on the bottom.
The problem with round pots and pots of any other shape actually, is both aesthetical and practical.
Once the plant reaches the end of the pot, the roots will have nowhere to spread, since the stems will be falling off downside the pot.
As a consequence, the leaves will shrink and become smaller through time.
Also, don’t let the rhizome confuse you!
“What is it?”- I hear you asking.
That tiny part at the end of the thick stem, the one where the leaves appear- that’s called a rhizome.
This part must always be above the soil level. Always let the roots find their own way through the soil mix. If you bury the rhizome too deep, the chances are, it will rot.
ABCs on Repotting
When it comes to repotting, you won’t need to worry much.
Being a slow-growing plant, philodendron gloriosum won’t require repotting for a few years, that is for sure.
If you notice the pot got too small for your green friend, re-pot it as you would normally do with any other plant.
Here you can find some tips on repotting your house plants.
Still, the most important thing to keep in mind when repotting is to always use a container larger only by one size.
In any other situation, the roots will spread and grow, while the upper plant of the plant will stagnate.
How to Propagate Philodendron Gloriosum?
Like most plants with stem, the best way to propagate philodendron gloriosum is, you’ve guessed it – through stem cuttings.
Other than that, opposite to other Philodendron plants, this species is known to be easy to propagate.
Although the process is pretty much similar in every species, this one is known to give better results than most of the other varieties.
Your biggest asset while propagating philodendron gloriosum is the stems and rhizomes!
Since the rhizome likes to stay on the soil, but not under it, that is precisely what you will do – place it on the soil surface.
While separating the stem, the chances are, you’ll already get the roots on it. Still, pay attention – you must leave at least three leaves on the original plant. The cutting doesn’t have to have a leaf – you can use a rhizome solely.
The cut must be clean and impeccable. Use a sharp, disinfected tool and make a sharp cut.
Having done that, you can leave the cut to rest a bit (but not for too long, a couple of hours will be enough).
I suggest dipping the bottom of the stem in some active charcoal. As a natural disinfectant, it will stop any harmful substances or pests from appearing. In case you don’t have it, no worries, you can use some cinnamon powder, as well.
Fill the container with soil mix or Sphagnum moss. Make sure the ground is wet enough, but not soaking wet.
The importance of covering a cutting
Once you place the cutting, cover the container with a see-through plastic cover, or simply use some stretch foil.
As a replacement, you can use a grocery plastic bag, it will do the job, as well.
Still, you have to keep an eye on the quality of the air – it mustn’t get stale. To prevent it, you can pierce a few holes on the foil/bag, using a toothpick.
If you put a plastic lid, you’ll have to remove it every few days for fifteen minutes or so, just to let the fresh air in the container.
Since it is a tropical plant, your main goal through the propagation process is to maintain a needed level of humidity.
This is why you need to cover the container.
Place the container in a sunny, warm spot, but away from direct sunlight. You can place a heating mat or even a piece of styrofoam under the pot, just to ensure additional warmth.
The roots should appear in two to four weeks. Once you notice they have nicely developed and you see the foliage appearing, it is time to plant them.
There is one more way to propagate it, and that is in water. Simply place the cutting in lukewarm water and leave it under indirect sunlight. Once you notice new roots appearing, just plant it in the soil.
Pro-Tip: When choosing a propagation stem, it is best to use a rhizome cutting without any leaves on it. The reason for this is simple – the leaf might become moldy in these humid conditions. Also, if you want to secure the best possible outcome, you should not only a plastic cover but also a plastic container. It will create a greenhouse effect.
If you notice that the leaves are dropping, there are two main causes for it. You are either overwatering or underwatering your philodendron gloriosum.
In the first case, let the soil nicely dry before you water it again. Of course, this is only if the soil is overwatered once or twice.
If you have been doing it for too long, it has probably already caused root rot. In this case, you must carefully remove the rotten parts and re-pot the plant into new, fresh, and healthy soil.
On the other hand, if you doubt that you haven’t been watering the plant enough, simply put a finger in the soil and see whether it is at least a little moist.
If not, let the roots soak up nicely and thoroughly in water.
In case you are not sure whether you are providing too much water, here are the ten signs you’re overwatering your plants.
Why do philodendron leaves turn yellow?
If you notice old, mature leaves becoming yellow, there is not much to worry about.
On the other hand, if you notice the young ones yellowing, you should react as soon as possible.
There are a few possible causes of this.
The obvious one would be too much (direct) sunlight. Place the pot into a different spot. Since the plant has been under a negative impact of sunlight, it is best to keep it in a shady place for some time. Avoid windowsill at this point, as well.
On the other hand, an opposite routine may be the cause of leaf yellowing – overwatering. In this case, let the soil dry out for some time and then continue watering as usual.
Overwatering may cause root rot, as well. In that situation, you’ll probably need to replant your philodendron gloriosum.
Unfortunately, like many members of its family, philodendron gloriosum is prone to pests such as fungus gnats, spider mats, mealybugs, scale, etc.
There are a couple of methods to try out in this situation.
You can start by simply misting the plant with some water. If it doesn’t help, use some alcohol. Soak some cotton wool in alcohol and rub the leaves and stems thoroughly. Pay special attention to the bottom and top part of the foliage. You can use some dissolved liquid soap as well, and treat damaged areas with it.
Still, mind the water–soap ratio since too much chemistry from the soap may burn the leaves Insecticidal soap is also one of the solutions.
Of course, if none of this helps, there are more efficient soaps, miticides, or some similar chemical products. In this case, it is best to consult the seller in your local floral shop and see what would be the best option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although it isn’t considered to be a low-maintenance plant, philodendron gloriosum isn’t a needy plant either.
Once you learn and master all its needs, you won’t be buying a new plant any time soon. It is a beautiful, extraordinary plant that will bring that jungle vibe to your cozy home.
All you need to take care of is large amounts of humidity and well-drained soil. Those two are the alphabet of philodendron gloriosum care. There is another important thing – enough indirect sunlight.
Fulfill its requirements and watch it thrive and make progress in the most beautiful way!
Which fertilizer do you use for your philodendron gloriosum? Hit the comments section below, I’d like to hear from you!