Philodendron Micans


Philodendron Micans (Philodendron hederaceum var. Hederaceum), also called a Velvet Leaf Philodendron, is a member of the Araceae family of plants.  Like other plants in this group, such as the alocasia, caladium, and dieffenbachia, all parts of a Philodendron Micans contain calcium oxalate crystals in the form of raphides which makes it a poisonous plant. This very attractive, easy care plant  is native to Mexico and the Caribbean, and looks beautiful in a hanging basket or spreading out on a table. You can also train the plant to grow up a trellis or moss pole.

Philodendron Micans Description

Although the leaf shape and growing pattern closely resembles that of the heart leaf philodendron, a Philodendron Micans does not have glossy, green leaves. This unique looking plant has velvety, heart-shaped, greenish bronze leaves with reddish- brown undersides. The leaves grow on long, graceful, vining stems. When young, a Philodendron Micans closely resembles the Philodendron Melanochrysum, but there are some major differences. A Philodendron Micans is a vining plant with draping stems while the Philodendron Melanochrysum is a climbing plant that grows upwards and needs a pole for support.  Although both plants have velvety, heart shaped leaves, the Melanochrysum, a much rarer plant, has creamy white veins.

Quick Care Tips for a  Philodendron Micans

Provide bright, indirect light, but avoid the direct sun

Be careful not to over water, but do not allow the soil to totally dry out. Water less in winter

Feed monthly during the warm months and every other month in cooler weather

These plants are not cold tolerant, avoid temperatures below 55°f (12.8°C).

Prune frequently to keep the plant full

Problems and Causes

Rotting stems – too much water, too little heat

Brown, dry leaves fall off – too much heat especially from being near a heater or fireplace in winter

Leaves are small and far apart on the stems – plant needs more light or more fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.

Fine, reddish webbing and pale leaves – Spider Mite problem