Philodendron Florida Ghost Care and Propagation

Philodendron Florida Ghost Care and Propagation

Philodendron Florida ghost plants, with the scientific name Philodendron pedatum, belong to the family Araceae. Their stems are longer than other Philodendron varieties, and the leaves, said to be shaped like ghosts, start out white before eventually becoming yellow-green and dark green. These evergreen hybrid climbers are native to Colombia, the Caribbean, West Indies, Australia, Africa and Asia. They are easy to care for and can be propagated using methods such as air layering, soil propagation and water propagation.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Care and Propagation 

Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant Care 

Like most philodendron varieties, the Florida ghost has medium water requirements. Create a preplanned watering schedule and let the soil dry out between watering. Water the plants at least thrice weekly during summer and once weekly during fall and winter. 

Avoid overwatering these plants, as stagnant water could lead to root rot disease. Droopy leaves also indicate incorrect watering techniques. 

These plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight and thrive if placed indoors near a window. This way they will have access to sunlight but not be directly exposed to it, since too much sun could burn the foliage. Yellowing leaves could indicate overexposure to sunlight, while leggy stems suggest the plants are getting insufficient light.  

Philodendron Florida ghost plants like temperatures of 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. They are not winter-hardy, so make sure you move them to a warmer spot during cold weather. They also do not do well in dry, desert conditions, so always keep them hydrated. 

Philodendrons are aroids, meaning they like a well-draining, airy potting mix. A suitable mix would be an indoor potting mix combined with peat, bark and charcoal, or you can purchase an aroid potting mix. 

Feed the plants with fertilizer at least monthly in spring and summer.  It is not necessary to fertilize on colder days, since winter weather reduces the plants’ nutritional requirements.

Prune yellowing and unhealthy leaves from the lower sides of the plants during spring and summer. This will ensure that both the plants’ appearance and their health are well-maintained. 

Philodendron Florida Ghost Propagation

Propagation in potting mix 

First, use clean and sharp scissors to cut below a node, which is where leaves and roots grow out of a stem. Choose a section with a healthy-looking leaf, or a few sections if possible. Stick the cutting into moistened potting mix or sphagnum moss and see to it that at least one node, without leaves, is buried. This is where the new roots will sprout from. Make sure it stays moist as the roots develop.

Next, place the cutting in bright but indirect light and provide some humidity. You can do this with a humidifier, or by placing a clear plastic bag over the top of the container. Remove the bag every few days to allow the cutting to get some fresh air. 

Finally, gently tug at the cutting after a few weeks to test if roots have developed. If there is resistance, it means a root system is growing. Place the cutting into a permanent pot and start caring for the plant as you normally would with all your plants.

Propagation in water 

For this method, the first thing to do is cut below a node, just like in the previous method. However, instead of placing the cutting into a potting mix, place it in a jar of room-temperature water. Make sure that at least one node with no leaves is under the surface. 

Next, place the cutting in bright, indirect light and change the water whenever it starts to look grimy. Top up the water level when needed. After a few weeks, the roots should start to develop. 

Finally, once the roots are two to three inches long, transfer the cutting to a permanent pot and care for it as you normally would. 

Plant growers also recommend air layering and herbaceous stem cutting methods of propagation. Air layering is a tricky process often used to create hybrids, and is more suitable for experienced growers.  

Conclusion 

Philodendron Florida ghost plants are rare aroids with multi-lobed leaves that have a glossy white color when they are younger. As they mature, the plants start to develop shades of yellow and green until the foliage becomes dark green. These plants are neither winter-hardy nor drought-tolerant, so be sure that they are watered once the soil has dried out in between waterings. Transfer them to a warmer spot during cold weather, and prune off unhealthy leaves during spring and summer.

Image: istockphoto.com / tylim