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Philodendron Micans

Philodendron hederaceum

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Description

The Philodendron Micans is one of our favorite philodendrons! Its gorgeous velvety leaves are somewhat famous in the plant community, but you may not know that it is actually a cultivar of Philodendron Hederaceum! This means that your Micans is a heartleaf philodendron, and its sister cultivars include Philodendron oxycardium, Philodendron scandens, Philodendron miduhoi, and others! It is also essential to note that the iconic red velvety leaves you see on your Philodendron Micans are a product of its adolescence. You can read more in our botany section about its lifecycle, but you must be very careful in allowing your Philodendron Micans to climb. Once the Micans begins to climb, it will also mature, ultimately changing the plant’s leaf shape and color. The first photo below provides an excellent side-by-side comparison of how the Micans matures.

Care Instructions

Care Level

Philodendron Micans is a pretty easy plant to grow.  household humidity is sufficient, and it is able to tolerate somewhat lower levels of light.  Do not be discouraged if older leaves begin to yellow and die. that is normal.  Do be careful not to burn the plant with the sun though, especially if it is not climbing.

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Temperature

Philodendron Micans is not cold-hardy, keep the habitat above 60 F, and ideally 70-80 F.

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Toxicity

The Philodendron Micans is toxic to both humans and pets due to its oxalate crystals.

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Water

Let the top inch of soil dry before watering again.  Water your Philodendron Micans less in the winter, and more during its growing season.

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Fertilizer

We recommend an npk ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. during the Philodendron Micans’ growing season, you should fertilize once a month.  During the winter you should fertilize significantly less frequently.

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Sunlight

Avoid burning in direct sunlight.  Locate the plant in a north or east-facing window.  In the wild, this plant is shielded by the forest canopy.  If need be, place sheer curtains between your plant and the window, or use grow lights a few inches away from your Philodendron Micans.

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Propogation

Cut your Philodendron Micans above a node or an aerial root with sterile sheers.  Let the end dry out for a couple of hours, and then place upright in water.  Plant when rooted.

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Humidity

Your Philodendron Micans will flourish in high humidity, though it is not a necessity.

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Soil

You should pot your Philodendron Grazielae in well-draining soil in order to prevent root rot.  Try coir (or peat moss), crushed limestone, and perlite.

Read more about making your own potting medium here!

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Botany

Native Habitat: Your gorgeous Philodendron Micans is native to Central and South America from Mexico to Colombia/Venezuela (humid equatorial climates).  This little lady is a secondary hemiepiphyte, meaning that your plant grows both subterranean (in the earth) and epiphytic roots (think of air plants and orchids).

Life Cycle: The early part of this plant’s life consists of seeking a suitable tree to climb, using “internodes.” To find a tree, the adolescent Philodendron Micans will grow along the ground toward shady areas rather than the sun.  In the wild, your Micans would be trying to grow along the shadow of a tree to find its base and begin to climb.  Finding a climbable tree marks the end of the plant’s adolescence, and from that point on, the leaves will start to develop larger and greener.  It is typical for some plants to be much more colorful as youngsters and become a more basic green as they mature.  The theory right now is that the colorfulness of young plants comes across to herbivores as the plants being sick or dying.  So essentially, the Micans’ red tint is an effort to play dead.

Botanical Description

Habit: The Philodendron Micans is a herbaceous, climbing vine.

Roots: All Philodendrons are monocots and therefore have a fibrous root system.  Semi-epiphytic Philodendrons, like the Philodendron Micans, have an epiphytic root modification.  These are the roots that you see growing out of the stems of your plant.  They allow the plant to hold onto trees and rocks and soak up the moisture on the surface.

Stem: Herbaceous, cylindrical, reddish-green, and hairy.

Leaves: Cordate, glossy, green, obtuse apex, entire margin, arcuate venation, petiolate attachment, alternate leaf arrangement.

 

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