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 fertilizer
Fine, reddish webbing and pale leaves – Spider Mite problem
How much light for a philodendron micans: A philodendron micans prefers bright, indirect light, but no direct sun. Direct sun harms the beautiful, velvety leaves. This plant can survive in lower light but grows very slowly, the leaves tend to be much smallerl, and the plant becomes leggy as it stretches towards the light.
How to water a philodendron micans: Like many indoor houseplants, over watering a philodendron micans and not allowing the soil to dry out a bit, is the fastest way to kill the plant. Allow the top 1/3 of the soil to dry out before watering. When you do water, water well enough so that the water drains out the drip holes in the bottom of the pot. Never allow the plant sit in the excess water. During the winter, when the plant is resting, the soil needs to dry out even more. Always remember, the soil at the bottom of the plant container is wetter than the soil at the top.
How to fertilize a philodendron micans: Feed a philodendron monthly, in the spring and summer, with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Fertilize every other month in the fall and winter. A philodendron micans is a fast growing plant; if the new leaves appear small or the plant is not growing well, it’s an indication that the plant needs to be fed more often.
Best temperature for a philodendron micans: A philodendron micans likes warm temperatures between 65°-75ºF (18.3°-23.9ºC) during the day and above 55º F (12.8ºC) at night.
Humidity for a philodendron micans: A philodendron micans grows in basic household humidity, but looks better and grows faster in higher humidity.
Does a philodendron micans flower: A philodendron micans does not flower when grown as an indoor houseplant.
Plant pests that attack a philodendron micans: Aphids, spider mites, mealybugs and scale are plants that can cause problems for a philodendron micans. Learn how to identify and treat these plant pests in the Glossary of the website.
Philodendron micans plant diseases: Root-rot from over-watering is the main disease problem for a philodendron micans.
Best soil for a philodendron micans: Use a loose soil that is high in organic matter and drains quickly.
Proper pot size for a philodendron micans: Re-pot a philodendron micans when the roots of the plant have filed the existing container. Move the plant to the next size pot and nothing larger. Be sure there are drip holes in the bottom of the pot so excess water can drain out. Be careful not to over water; since there is more soil, it will take longer for your philodendron micans to dry out.
How to prune a philodendron micans: Prune the long vines aggressively and frequently so the plant stays full and doesn’t become leggy. Do not use leaf shine products on a philodendron micans; they will ruin the velvety texture of the leaves.
How to propagate a philodendron micans: Propagate a philodendron micans using stem cuttings in the spring and early summer. Cuttings root very well in water. Read more about propagating plants using stem cuttings in the Glossary of the website.
Clean Air Plant
Is a philodendron micans a clean air plant: A philodendron micans is a clean air plant that removes formaldehyde from the air. Formaldehyde is a harmful chemical found in insulation, floor coverings, cleaning agents, pressed wood, and even paper towels.
Poisonous Plant Info
Is a philodendron micans a poisonous plant: All philodendron plants, including the philodendron micans, contain calcium oxalate crystals and are toxic to children, cats, dogs, and other pets.