How to care for Philodendron Florida Ghost – A Ultimate Guide

Philodendron Florida Ghost White Leaf

Philodendron Florida Ghost: A Hauntingly Beautiful Houseplant for Your Indoor Jungle.

Every houseplant owner is proud to have a Philodendron Florida Ghost in their garden. It is a hybrid plant that belongs to the Araceae (Aroids) plant family. Its botanical name is Philodendron squamiferum x pedatum, a hybrid of Philodendron pedatum.

The origins of this much-valued plant can be traced back to Central and South America. This highly visually appealing and rare tropical plant has become popular since Florida botanist Robert McColley developed it in the 1950s.

The new growth of white leaves resembling ‘flying ghosts’ was the reason behind the name Philodendron Florida Ghost. The whitish color of the leaves is the look desired by most collectors. The Florida Ghost is a rare plant and may not be available at your local nursery and is difficult to obtain.

Many online sources sell this plant with a rather hefty price tag. This plant has a climbing habit and must be supported with a trellis or moss pole. The mature Philodendron Florida Ghost can reach 2-5 ft. tall and will spread around five feet with luscious, shiny leaves.

The Philodendron Florida Ghost has leaves with distinct lobes held up by long red petioles, which are furry. As the leaves first unfurl, they are white or cream. Sometimes, the leaves are variegated or mint colored. When the leaves mature, the color changes to a bright deep green.

The plants with pale green leaves are called Florida Ghost Mint. The leaves are green rather than white when they first unfurl. So, you can see three different versions of the Philodendron Florida Ghost based on the look of the leaves during winter.

Philodendron Florida Ghost

This slow-growing plant’s growing season is spring and summer, and the plant grows till dormancy sets in during winter.

How to propagate Philodendron Florida Ghost.

Having more than one Florida Ghost plant in your collection is always good. Although it is not difficult to grow, it certainly needs attention and more so during propagation. The plant is a slow grower, and it might take some time to obtain stem cuttings from the mother plant.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Seedling

The best time to propagate is during spring, when the growing period starts. Both water and growing media are used to propagate stem cuttings. The following steps will guide you to propagate these plants.

1. Stem cuttings – the ideal size of a stem cutting is 5-6 inches long. Look for a node or two with a few leaves along the way, and use a sterilized sharp knife to cut above a node.
2. Prepare the cutting: clean out debris from the stem cutting. Remove any dead or dying leaves. The leaves below the node can be removed to conserve energy and minimize the chances of root rot setting in. Sometimes, roots can grow from the nodes where they were holding on to the moss pole. These can be extricated carefully.
3. Grow media: water, moist sphagnum moss, or coconut coir suit the plant’s initial growth. The cutting nodes should be covered in water or the soil to ensure a regular supply of nutrients.
4. Growing conditions – Humidity around the plant, temperature, and bright indirect light are all important at this stage. If you feel that the light is insufficient, a grow light can help. The water where the stem cutting is sitting should not be allowed to get cloudy and dirty. Make sure that the plant has clean water regularly refilled. Soil with sphagnum or coconut coir should be kept moist at all times.
5. Roots and sprouts will begin to show after about a month. New leaves are a sign of a healthy plant. When ready, the plants can be transferred into prepared pots with regular potting soil for Florida Ghost plants. Successful plants will put out new leaves.

How to Care for Your Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant.

Philodendron Florida Ghost care is not complex. Plant Philodendron Florida Ghost plants in the spring. All you have to do is ensure the plant consistently gets what it likes. If you neglect the amount of humidity, correct temperature, watering, soil nutrition, and plant light requirements, it will wilt away and die. Check the plants’ health and growth regularly. Maintain your Florida Ghost’s long-term health by pruning, potting, and repotting as and when needed. The Florida Ghost plant care guide below will help you learn some tips that make it easy to care for and keep your Philodendron Florida Ghost healthy and happy.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Handheld

The best soil for Florida Ghost.

The ideal potting mix for this Philodendron plant is rich in organic matter, nutrients drain well and is slightly acidic. The standard indoor potting mix can be used with perlite and peat for better drainage.

Coconut coir, bark, and charcoal can be mixed into the potting soil. If not, you can use a premade aroid mix with all these already incorporated. This plant is also grown in a medium consisting of only peat moss. Ensure the soil is nitrogen-rich for healthy, shiny white or mint green leaves.

Light requirements of Florida Ghost.

The more indirect or filtered light your Florida Ghost gets, the whiter the leaves will be. The plant will put out much-valued creamy white leaves when placed under bright indirect light.

The leaves that start white will eventually mature to a bright green color. Grow lights are also used to make sure the leaves start white. If grow lights are used, ensure they are active for at least 12 hours daily.

Too much sunlight can damage the plant as the leaves will show signs of being burnt out and becoming brown. It is a good idea to allow direct sunlight to filter through a shade cloth to prevent the leaves from scorching.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Yellowing Leaves

Similarly, you can train the plant to grow evenly on all sides by giving equal light. If you want the plant to grow in a particular direction from a hanging pot or along a moss pole, the way you provide light to the plant can make all the difference.

Watering a Florida Ghost.

Philodendron Florida Ghost plants like moist soil. Watering the plant can be done when the potting mix’s top one to two inches have entirely dried out. Water the plant till the water drips onto the drip tray underneath the pot.

Excess water coming out of the drainage holes and collecting here has to be removed as this can lead to root rot and fungal plant problems. Watering can be restricted during fall and winter when the plant enters a dormant stage. Ensure pots have drainage holes that are not clogged. Never overwater your plant. Lack of water will result in limp shriveled leaves and dead plants.

Humidity and temperature

Coming from the tropical climate of Central and South America, this plant thrives in warm temperatures and high humidity levels. The plant does not do well in cold climates and must be protected from the cold. Keep it away from cold and frost. High humidity is welcome for these plants. The Florida Ghost will benefit from being placed on or near a pebble tray that helps to increase moisture in the air around the plant.

How to fertilize a Philodendron Florida Ghost.

The Florida Ghost leaves require nitrogen for healthy growth of leaves and to increase the size of the leaves. Fertilizer that adds nitrogen is recommended for these plants during the growing season. Nitrogen also adds a green glow to the leaves.
Fertilize your plant after ensuring the soil is moist. Feeding while the soil is dry can damage the root system. Fertilizer helps to boost the slow growth pattern of the Philodendron plant. It can be done once a month or more frequently using half the fertilizer. A standard fertilizer mix suitable for aroids is ideal for the Florida Ghost.
Winter is the dormancy period for this plant. No feeding is done during this time. Never overfeed a Philodendron, as this will kill the plant.

Pruning Philodendron Florida Ghost plants.

Pruning is one way to keep your Florida Ghost in shape and spread desired foliage. Pruning this plant is easy. Plants are trimmed and pruned in the spring as the growing season starts. Use clean, sharp knives or cutters for this. First, clean around the plant and eliminate excess foliage and dead leaves. When the plant outgrows its given space or shows signs of being leggy, it is time to prune. The parts that are cut off when pruning can be used to propagate new plants. Growing Philodendron Florida Ghost plants can be fun as each plant is unique.

Philodendron Florida Ghost White Leaf

How to keep the Philodendron Florida Ghost leaves white.

The new leaves start white or creamy and change to a darker green as they mature. The green color of the leaves can be minimized or even reverted by placing the plant where it receives plenty of indirect and bright light. The more light, the better it is. Turning green leaves to white takes a few weeks, but the result is worth the wait. Grow lights can be used to supplement the light the plant gets. Although ghostly white leaves are more valued, the bright green leaves are also attractive.

Potting and repotting.

The slow-growing Florida Ghost must be repotted only once in two to three years. When you notice roots growing out of the drainage holes or out of the nodes in the stems, it is ready to be repotted. When the plant is repotted, the same rules apply when potting new plants.

The pot or container should be about one inch larger than the old one. The potting mix should be fresh with the proper nutrients. Philodendron Florida Ghost is easy to maintain as houseplants once they are established.

Philodendron Florida Ghost root

Diseases, pests, and other problems with Philodendron Florida Ghost.

  • There are several things that you need help with when maintaining the plants. These have to be addressed and remedied separately for healthy house plants. Below are some tips for dealing with these Philodendron Florida Ghost problems.
    1. Brown leaves that are crisp and brittle to the touch are a sign of extreme dryness caused by underwatering, a lack of humidity, or both. If the soil is dry to the touch, water the plant more. Humidity also can be increased by using a humidifier or a pebble tray with water near the plant.
    2. Yellow leaves – this is a sign of overwatering. Check the soil before watering and the drainage of the soil. Stop watering till the soil becomes dry again. Sometimes, this can signify that your plant needs more indirect light.
    3. Drooping leaves – this is also a sign that the watering schedule is unsuitable for the plant. It can be too much water or even too little water. Check the moisture condition of the soil and proceed to adjust the watering.
    4. Root rot – this is caused by overwatering. Stop watering, remove the plant’s affected parts, and repot if necessary, using a fresh potting mix. Cut back on watering till the plant gets back to normal. Check the first two inches of soil with your fingers, and if dry to the touch, it is time to water the plant.
    5. aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are the most common pests on your Florida Ghost. Neem oil and an organic insecticidal spray will remove these bugs.
    6. Bacterial leaf spot, fire blight – the affected parts should be removed. Sterilize the tools between plants and dispose of the diseased parts away from your Florida Ghosts. Also, remove any dead or dying leaves, which can be helpful to bacterial growth.

Toxicity.

Care should be taken when placing these plants indoors, as the Philodendron Florida Ghost is toxic to people and pets. It is best to keep it away from their reach.

Frequently Asked Questions. (FAQ).

What is the best way to support a climbing Philodendron Florida Ghost plant?

Philodendron Florida Ghost’s climbing habit needs to be supported when grown upright. The best method is to use a moss pole. The moss pole also helps to keep the humidity and moisture levels as it can be misted easily. Alternatively, a trellis can be used to support the plant.

Can I stop the leaves of the Philodendron Florida Ghost from turning green?

The leaves are white or cream as they start and tend to change to a darker green as they mature. However, this can be arrested and reverted by providing more indirect bright light to the plant and supplementing with grow lights if needed. The change in color takes a few weeks.

Are Philodendron Florida Ghost and Philodendron Florida Ghost Mint two different species?

No, they are the same cultivar and the same species. It is the names used that differ. The names are based on the color of the leaves. The Florida Ghost unfurls white leaves, and the Florida Ghost Mint leaves unfurl pale green rather than white.

Is Florida Ghost an indoor plant?

Yes. This plant is an excellent choice for indoors. Anywhere there is indirect bright light suitable for it. Direct sunlight will burn its leaves.

Is there a particular way to water the Philodendron Florida Ghost?

Watering the plant must be done only when the soil is dry. Water in the soil can be tested by checking the first two inches of the soil. If it is dry to the touch, it is time to water. Watering should be done at the plant’s root and along the moss pole if one is used and not on the leaves. Wipe away excess water from the leaves as it leads to fungus issues. A fungicide can be used to alleviate the problem.

Can Philodendron Florida Ghost be propagated using air layering?

Yes, this is possible and very successful, although not resorted to often, as propagating by stem cuttings is easy.

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