The Philodendron Micans is also called the Velvet Leaf Philodendron because of the texture of its heart-shaped leaves.
They make great houseplants because they are relatively easy to care for and do not grow to an unmanageable indoor size.
These plants are quite affordable, and they can also clean toxins from the air in your home.
They can be grown in a pot and allowed to trail, or they can be placed in a basket hanging from the ceiling, with their vines draped over the rim of the basket.
In this article, we will discuss the proper cultural care of the Philodendron Micans plant, and how to propagate it. So, if you are planning to add this plant to your collection, keep reading.
Philodendron Micans care
This plant only really needs to be watered when the top two inches of soil in its pot are dry to the touch. If the top two inches are still damp, wait one or two days before checking the soil again. Allowing the soil to dry between waterings is very important in order to avoid overwatering the plant. Letting the plant’s roots sit in waterlogged soil for extended periods can cause them to drown and die. The dead roots will then rot and become susceptible to opportunistic pathogens which help the rot spread even faster to the rest of the plant until the entire plant dies.
To ensure that you do not overwater your plant, only water it when the soil is dry and use well-draining soil. Also, ensure that your pot has drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to flow out rather than stagnate at the bottom of the pot.
This plant prefers soil that is of good quality and is well-draining, airy and porous. This type of soil will allow the roots to breathe and dry out adequately between waterings. Add sphagnum moss, charcoal, perlite or orchid bark to help make the soil more breathable.
If you need to repot the plant, make sure the new pot is only slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. If the pot is too large, there will be too much room for moisture and that can lead to overwatering. If there is about an inch between the root ball and the wall of the pot, that should be big enough.
Philodendron Micans like bright, indirect light. Direct light may be too much for the plant and can lead to sun damage and burns on the leaves. This usually happens when the plant is kept near a south-facing window, so if this is the only window you have, place a sheer curtain over it to help diffuse the intensity of the sunlight.
Even though the plant prefers indirect light, this does not mean you can deprive it of light. Long periods of low light can cause the plant to become leggy with smaller leaves than normal. The best way to light this plant is to simulate what they would get in their natural habitat, which is bright, indirect light.
You do not really need to fertilize this plant because it is a fast grower naturally, but if you want to, you can do so occasionally to help it reach its full potential. Use an indoor plant fertilizer once a month, only during the spring and summer.
Philodendron Micans propagation
Propagating in soil
There are two methods you can use to propagate this plant in soil.
The first method starts by cutting the vine a quarter of an inch below a node using sharp, sterilized scissors. It is important that you include the node in the cutting because this is where the roots will grow from.
Place the cutting directly onto the soil in a pot. The node needs to be under the soil so that the roots can properly grow out of it. Make sure none of the leaves are under the soil.
Move the pot with the cutting to a spot where it can get bright, indirect light. Keep the soil moist but not boggy. It also helps to put the pot in a Ziploc bag because this increases the humidity around the plant and helps it grow better. Be sure to open the bag every couple of days to allow the plant to breathe.
After a couple of weeks, the roots should be established and there should be new, young leaves on the cutting. You can check whether the new roots are viable by pulling gently on the plant. If you feel some resistance, it means the roots have grown in nicely and you can proceed to care for it like you would a normal plant.
The second soil propagation method is much easier, as long as you have a wide work area that allows the plant to trail along with it. You will still need to remove a cutting from the parent plant, but this time, remove a cutting that has multiple nodes on it. Lay down the cutting with all the nodes facing the soil. If you need to fasten the vine to the soil, you can do so using paper clips. Keep the soil moist and place it in an area with bright, indirect light. Place a plastic cover over the top of the plant to lock in moisture.
After a few weeks, the nodes will all root down, and this way you will have several new plants to choose from.
Propagating in water
Propagating Philodendron Micans in water is also quite easy. You just need to take a cutting a quarter of an inch below a node, making sure the cutting includes at least one node and a few leaves.
Prepare a clear jar with room-temperature water and place the cutting in the water, making sure the node is below the water. Remove any leaves that could become submerged in the water.
Place the container with the cutting in a spot where it can get bright, indirect light. Refill the water in the container if it gets below the roots, and change the water when it becomes slimy or murky.
New roots will appear after a couple of days, but you will need to let them grow to several inches long before transferring them to potted soil. After transferring the plant to soil, keep the soil moist and care for the plant as you would a normal Philodendron Micans.
Philodendron Micans is an inexpensive, low-maintenance plant that makes a great beginner indoor plant. It can be grown as a trailing plant or as a hanging plant in a basket suspended from the ceiling. This plant only needs to be watered when the soil is dry. It wants bright, indirect light and will burn if left in direct light for too long. Plant it in a pot that is only slightly larger than its root ball, using well-draining soil. Fertilize the plant once a month, only during the growing season.
You can propagate this plant easily, either by planting a cutting with a viable node directly in soil, or by letting it grow roots in water first before replanting it in a pot with soil.
Image: istockphoto.com / Firn