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Philodendron Florida Ghost – Everything You Need to Know

by gardeningit
Philodendron Florida Ghost

Philodendron Florida Ghost plant gets its name from its white leaves that turn into a lighter green color as it grows old. It is a climber plant so you need to give it sturdy support like a bamboo stick so that it grows to its full potential. This particular species of philodendron is well known for its air-purifying characteristics and how beautiful it looks displayed indoors.

Classification

  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Genus: Philodendron

About the Genus

The name Philodendron translates to the tree hugger in the Greek language. These plants are called so because they grow alongside trees and their branches, climbing up to taller heights.

About 400 species fall into this category all of which are well known ornamental house plants. Philodendrons are quite famous for their beautiful foliage however each one is different from the other. The genus has a variety of plants with different sizes, structures, and shapes. However, one thing remains constant. All of these plants have thick, leathery leaves that prevent loss of moisture in hot windy climates. All around the world, Philodendron plants have been cultivated to create several variations such as Philodendron Squamiferum, Philodendron Subhastatum, and Philodendron Pedatum.

Origin and Distribution

When the first Philodendron was discovered in 1644, it was found to be native to Colombia and the Caribbean. However, these plants have a vast population growing in the tropical rainforests of the West Indies and America. Another common habitat is river banks and swamps especially in Australia, Africa, and Asia.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Features

Foliage and Stem

Juvenile Florida Ghost Philodendron starts with white spooky foliage which turns into yellow and lime green as it matures. Sometimes, these leaves have variegation on them. These leaves can grow from 4 to 8 inches long.

Evergreen

Good news for Philodendron lovers, these plants are evergreen and all they need is good care in a favorable environment to stay beautiful all year long

Height

If given the right Philodendron Florida Ghost care, these plants can grow from inches to several feet of height. Remember that these are climber plants, so giving them support such as a brass or bamboo stick can be a good idea.

Temperature Tolerance

These plants like to grow in moderate or average warmth and are especially sensitive to a colder environment, so make sure that you keep them away from direct exposure to frosty temperatures such as in front of an open window, an air conditioner or a fan.

Humidity Tolerance

In contrast to the temperature, these plants are fairly tolerant of humidity and will appreciate the extra amount of moisture in the air. So, if you live in an area with high humidity, these plants will not complain.

Drought-resistance

Remember that these Philodendrons love humidity in the air and their soil, so they will not do well in dry, desert conditions. Hence, make sure that you keep them hydrated otherwise they will start to look unwell very quickly.

Pressure Tolerance

They may not look like it but Philodendron Florida Ghost plants are fairly delicate and will not tolerate any acute or constant pressure. Being stepped on or being kept in small spaces where they are pressured by objects around them, will stop or severely slow down their growth. It is better that you keep the plant in an empty corner or next to a wall, to give it proper support and let it grow.

Disease and Pest Resistance

Unfortunately, Philodendron plants are not entirely disease or pest resistant. The most common problem is Erwinia Blight. Others include Pseudomonas leaf spot, aphids, and mealybugs. With Philodendron plants, once the roots catch a disease, it gets very tough to bring them back. Hence, prevention is better than cure.

The best way to avoid these problems is to make sure your plant stays clean and dry at all times. Regular inspection and thorough examination around the stems and leaves can help make sure that your plant is healthy.

Growth

Florida Ghost Philodendron plants are slow-growing in general so if you are propagating or cultivating these plants at home, and they are not showing quick progress, do not be alarmed and do not overfeed or overwater them. This will not make them grow faster but it might kill them sooner.

Toxicity

Philodendron Florida Ghost is very toxic because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. This toxic substance can cause mild to severe physical symptoms if ingested or mishandled. These symptoms include a possible stomach ache, swollen mouth and tongue, and even the inability to breathe. Mishandling these plants can induce skin irritation and allergies. Hence, keep them away from your pets and children. If accidentally ingested, seek immediate medical attention.

Durability

These Philodendrons can live for years due to their perennial life cycle, so they are very durable plants.

Maintenance

Apart from being extraordinarily beautiful, Philodendron Florida Ghost plants are fairly low-maintenance as well. So, beginners and busy plant owners will love this species.

Dormancy

These plants go dormant during the winter season. Being dormant means that the plant stops growing and just falls asleep. The plan of care during this phase is to care for them as needed and avoid overwatering and overfeeding. Just wait for them to wake back up in spring. It is best that you avoid grooming or propagating the plants while they are dormant.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Care

Philodendron Florida Ghost requires warm temperatures and a well-lit environment with lots of filtered sunlight. Give it food every few months and water every few days. Make sure the plant stays well-hydrated by misting it occasionally. You do not need to re-pot it until two to three years at least.

Water Requirements

Philodendron Florida Ghost is a moisture-loving plant. You can water it as regularly as you think appropriate. Just make sure that the soil is damp or dry up to 3 centimeters on top of the soil before you water it again. You can use your finger to check the moisture level of the soil. Some people prefer to use a moisture meter for added accuracy. Stay away from overwatering as that can quickly kill your plant.

Soil

A well-draining, organic soil is good for a Florida Ghost Philodendron plant. It should consist of bark, charcoal, and peat. Compost is also a suitable soil amendment. A soil with slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH (5-8) is preferred. Make sure that the soil does not hold water because a water-clogged soil is a huge rival of these plants.

Sunlight

Always keep these plants away from direct sunlight. They majorly dislike it. Direct sun exposure can burn their leaves. Indirect, diffused lights are particularly best to grow Philodendrons. If you do not have access to abundant natural sunlight in your house, you can use artificial growing lights instead and they will grow perfectly. And, if you must put the plant directly under the sun, make sure that you put it behind sheer curtains or shade cloth. This helps to mellow the light hitting the leaves and prevent damage. The plant adapts well to shady areas but grows healthy leaves in medium sunlight. Also, make sure that all parts of the plant are getting an equal amount of light. This is important for growth in equal symmetry. Keep rotating the plant to expose all parts of it equally.

Temperature Requirements

These plants like to live in warmth, preferable from 16.5 to 24.5 degrees Celsius. They do well in regular room temperatures. However, Florida Ghost Philodendron plants are not fond of frosty environments and will start to look upset under colder temperatures. Make sure you put them in a more suitable spot during the autumn and winter seasons.

Humidity

These plants love humidity. If you live in a particularly dry area or if the weather is rough, you can mist these plants every once in a while. You can also opt for indoor humidifiers if you live in an area where the climate is dry most of the year. Another trick is to group a couple of water-loving plants to add to the moisture in their surroundings, collectively.

Another good home-remedy is the pebble tray method.  Put your plant in a pebble tray and pour some water into the tray. Put the pot on top of the pebbles making sure it does not touch the water directly. The water will evaporate and increase humidity around the foliage. You must keep the plant well-hydrated, but at the same time, make sure that the water on its surface dries in a couple of hours and does not stay on for too long as that can result in rot.

Fertilizer

You can fertilize your Philodendron with a balanced liquid fertilizer. It is suggested that you do this once every month, especially during spring and summer. During the fall and winter, you can shift to a 6 or 8-week routine. One of the reasons why your plant is growing abnormally slow or has smaller leaves than usual is because it needs more fertilizers. Plants that are deficient in nutrients like calcium and magnesium also grow pale, unhealthy leaves. They, too, need more fertilizer.

Re-potting

Even though these plants grow slowly and you do not have to worry about them outgrowing their pot very soon, they are still very sensitive to being root-bound and you need to be careful about that. Keep an eye on the drainage holes of the pot to make sure the roots are not coming out of the holes. Every 2-3 years, repot the plant. Remember that if your plant becomes root-bound, it will stop growing.

Grooming and Pruning

When the plant grows out too much for your liking, you can prune or trim the excess parts. Remember to use clean, sanitized equipment so that you do not transfer any germs or infections. Also, be careful to not cut off too much. Excessive trimming can stunt the plant’s overall growth. Keep your plants clean and dry to avoid pest attacks and diseases. This will not only make your plant look neater and healthier, but it will also stimulate healthier new growth.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Propagation

Once they come out of dormancy in the spring season, it is the best time to propagate these plants. There two methods to do this: stem cuttings or tip cuttings. Simply place the desired cutting in the medium. Put it under the required conditions and give it the recommended Philodendron Florida Ghost care.

  • Sterilize and sanitize all your tools and equipment and wear protective clothing on your hands and face because you do not want to spread any germs and infections.
  • Using a knife, blade, or a pair of scissors, carefully remove a stem cutting at least 2 to 3 inches long. If you want to use a tip cutting instead, cut off a section of a stem but make sure it has leaves attached on its tip.
  • Prepare a pot with suitable soil mixture and just put the cutting on it.
  • To add to the factor of moisture, you can cover the pot with a clear, plastic bag. Make sure you air the bags out every once in a while to prevent unwanted microbial growth and root rot.
  • Water the growing plant and keep it moist and hydrated under warm temperatures and natural sunlight.
  • To make sure that the roots have started growing, gently tug on the plant and feel the resistance it gives you. If you feel certain that strong roots have developed, you can switch the plant to a bigger pot.
  • Some home remedies to boost the plant’s growth are to dip the growing end of the cutting in growth hormone before planting it and dipping the cut end in cinnamon. Cinnamon is also a great substitute to fungicide and protects your plant from damage.

Timeline

Day 1-7: Plant your cutting in the soil and place it under the recommended conditions.

Week 2-3: By this time, roots will visibly start to grow.

Month 2-4: You can now shift the cutting to a bigger pot. Treat it like a mature plant and care for it accordingly.

Displaying Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant

These plants are very easy to display because of their beautiful, unique foliage. You can place them in an empty corner or next to other plants in your collection. There white and light foliage can create a beautiful contrast among all the other house plants. It can also adapt to a shady environment. Just make sure that it gets optimum temperature and humidity. Put it somewhere high where your pets and animals cannot reach it and let it do its job: purifying the air and looking gorgeous.

Philodendron Florida Ghost For Sale

If you are looking to buy one of these, make sure that the plant is perfectly healthy before you bring it home. Inspect the plant thoroughly and examine the leaves and stem of the plant. Look around and underneath for any signs of bugs, diseases, or infections. If you bring an infected plant home, it will spread to other plants in your collection.

Final Thoughts

Philodendron Florida Ghost plants are unique, beautiful climbers that grow well in regular indoor environments. They are easy to take care of and maintain, and propagating them is not a complex task either. Just put them somewhere open, so they can grow freely, and somewhere high, so the pets and children don’t reach them.

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