There are many types of philodendrons out there, but Philodendron Gloriosum is particularly unique! It sets out large, dark, nicely veined leaves directly from a rhizome, and these stunning leaves inspired its glorious name!
In this Philodendron Gloriosum care guide, we'll tell you everything you'll need to know about this stunning plant.
What Is Philodendron Gloriosum?
Philodendron Gloriosum is unique in that it's a creeping philodendron, not a climbing one! Classified as a terrestrial plant, its leaves emerge directly from an underground rhizome rather than from leaf nodes found along vines. It's native to Central and South America, where it grows along the ground in rainforests. Each heart-shaped leaf is large, dark green, velvety to the touch, and features contrasting white veins. Philodendron Gloriosum grows very slowly, taking upwards of a month for a leaf spike to open after it appears! Philodendron Gloriosum flowers during the summer, but it's rare for a Philodendron Gloriosum to flower indoors.
Very light, aerated potting mix
Philodendron Gloriosum Plant Care
The crawling Philodendron Gloriosum grows naturally under the canopy of large rainforest trees. This means that all of the light it receives would be filtered and dappled when you care for your Philodendron Gloriosum indoors. Philodendrons need lots of bright, indirect light, and too much direct sunlight will lead to scorched, yellowing leaves. Great locations for indirect sunlight are near a south-facing window or an east-facing window if your morning sun isn't harsh.
Philodendron Gloriosum plants like soil kept consistently damp - but not wet! They are prone to root rot, so don't overdo it. On the other hand, they don't like the soil to completely dry out between waterings either. Use your finger to test the moisture of the top inch or two of soil. If it feels dry to the touch, water your Philodendron plant. Usually, this winds up being twice a week during the spring and summer, and weekly during the dormant months. Be sure that all excess water has a way to drain out by using a pot with drainage holes!
As a tropical plant, Philodendron Gloriosum prefers temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Below that, they are susceptible to cold injury so pay extra attention in winter when temperatures drop. In USDA Hardiness Zone 11, Philodendron plants can be grown outdoors.
A humidity level of at least 60% is best for all philodendron species. If your home is typically drier than this, there are ways to boost the moisture in the air directly around your plant.
Place in Bathroom
Place your Philodendron plants in the bathroom, where the bursts of steam during showers provide adequate moisture.
Group plants together. Every plant slightly elevates the air moisture around them.
Mist the heart-shaped leaves regularly with distilled water.
Use Pebble Tray
Use a pebble tray. Fill a tray with pebbles, then with water until the pebbles are almost covered. Set your Philodendron Gloriosum pot atop the pebbles. As the water in the tray evaporates, it increases the humidity around the plant above it.
Get a Humidifier
Use a humidifier for the whole room or a small one set next to your plant.
Because Philodendron Gloriosum grows through rhizomes underground, it has different soil needs than other plants in the philodendron genus. Mix the perfect well-draining soil yourself by adding sphagnum moss, perlite, orchid bark, and horticultural charcoal to a standard orchid potting mix. The charcoal is a particularly important (and unique!) addition. Their natural habitat is on the rainforest floor, and forests burn down naturally from time to time. Charcoal, then, should play a part in any soil mix for a Philodendron Gloriosum.
Potting and Repotting
Philodendron Gloriosum will appreciate a pot that is more wide than deep. Because this Philodendron is a horizontal spreader, it will appreciate a long rectangular container instead of a round.
When selecting a pot, ensure there is a drainage hole so excess water can drain quickly.
Repot the plant when it becomes rootbound or when you see the plant is leaning towards the edge of the pot. You will also notice when it's time to repot when the leaves are getting smaller.
The crawling Philodendron Gloriosum may be a slow grower, but its leaves will be bigger and more vibrant if you fertilize it monthly. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength. Apply it to your plant directly before a thorough watering to help spread the fertilizer evenly through the pot. If you notice that new leaves are pale, you should switch to a fertilizer with higher levels of magnesium and calcium.
Since the Philodendron Gloriosum plant growth is slow, you'll never need to prune it other than to cut away dead foliage. Pull the diseased or dead leaf away from the rest of the plant, then use clean shears to cut it just above the rhizome. This is best done prior to watering.
You can propagate Philodendron Gloriosum through either stem cuttings or rhizome cuttings from the mother plant. The stem-cutting method is the most popular method!
Use clean shears to cut a 6-inch length of stem with at least two healthy leaves, if not more. Remember that the Philodendron Gloriosum stem grows horizontally along the soil!
Dip the stem cutting in rooting hormone powder to encourage the cutting to grow roots. Since this philodendron species don't have leaf nodes, this powder is a very helpful boost!
Plant the cutting in a pot of slightly moist soil. Keep the soil damp, but don't let it become stagnant. Cover the pot with a plastic bag to boost humidity levels, and place it in a warm area with direct sunlight.
Have patience! Slow growers also take a long time to put out roots when propagating. New roots will have emerged in 4 weeks.
Philodendron cultivars show an early resistance to many pests and diseases, giving you time to treat them before significant damage is done.
The most common plant pests you'll encounter with your Philodendron Gloriosum are mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. These all eat plant sap. Remove as many bugs as possible by hand, prune the remaining infected stems, then use an insecticide or pure neem oil. Neem oil is natural and can be sprayed on your plants indoors.
Fungus gnats also sometimes appear on Philodendron Gloriosum, which are treated differently as they lay eggs under the soil. Water it with neem oil. Let the soil dry out completely, and this should suffocate the gnats. You can also use one part hydrogen peroxide mixed with four-part water to kill fungus gnat larvae on contact.
Be sure to be on the lookout for webs and plant saps to get insights into whether there are plant pests. Even though you may not see them with your naked eyes, you can see them under a magnifying glass.
Philodendron Gloriosum is prone to root rot if overwatered. Suspect root rot if you notice drooping, yellow leaves. They also sometimes get infected with bacterial leaf spots. Clip away infected leaves or rotting roots. Correct watering, repotting in fresh potting mix completely, and fertilizing regularly should keep both diseases at bay.
One of the common problems plant owners experience with Philodendron Gloriosum yellow leaves is that there is nothing wrong. As the plant ages, old yellow leaves will die. But if young leaves start to turn yellow, it can be caused by direct light.
If you notice that your plant leaves are getting brown tips, it can be because it is not getting enough moisture (watering or humidity) or it is getting too much direct sun.
Is Philodendron Gloriosum Toxic To Pets?
If ingested, Philodendron Gloriosum is toxic to both animals and humans. All varieties of Philodendrons have calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals cause a painful, burning sensation along with swelling of the lips and throat, and this can lead to choking, difficulty swallowing and vomiting.
Is the Philodendron Gloriosum a fast-growing plant?
Philodendron Gloriosum is considered to be a slow grower. In fact, new leaves can take up to several weeks to unfurl.
Can Philodendron Gloriosum climb?
Philodendron Gloriosum is non-climber, but it has a crawling rhizome.
How fast does Philodendron Gloriosum grow?
It may take 1-2 months for a leaf to unfurl completely.
What does the Philodendron gloriosum flower look like?
Philodendron Gloriosum produces white flowers and consists of a spathe and a spadix.