The Philodendron Florida Beauty is a stunning evergreen hybrid plant, classified in the Araceae family. Suspected to be a cross between Philodendron pedatum and Philodendron squamiferum, it’s a trailing or climbing plant.
This plant produces eye-catching foliage and flowers. The leaves are deep green with variable variegation, which can either be splotches or cover the entire leaf.
The flowers have a cream color, contrasting nicely with the leaves.
Thinking about adding this foliage plant to your home? Then learn about caring for Philodendron Florida Beauty.
Philodendron Florida Beauty Care
Philodendron Florida Beauty prefers bright indirect light and rich and well-draining potting soil. Watering regularly is necessary, but just enough to keep the soil slightly moist, not waterlogged. This plant fares best in temperatures no less than 50°F (10°C) and humidity of at least 50%.
If you want to have the most success with your Philodendron Florida Beauty, be sure to use a growing medium with excellent drainage. To that end, incorporate compounds like perlite, bark, and vermiculite that improve the soil’s aeration and drainage.
When acquiring the Florida Beauty, the first factor to keep a close eye on is the growing medium. Specifically, you’ll want to look for one that is well-draining.
Now, you’ve probably heard this term a lot, but have you ever thought of finding out what “well-draining” truly means? What it implies is that the potting soil can retain a small amount of water, but still be able to allow the remaining portion of the water to flow through easily.
To achieve this delicate balance, I like to use a mixture of sphagnum moss, perlite and a few small particles of bark.
Incorporating sphagnum moss gives the growing medium the water retention abilities it needs. On the other hand, the perlite and bark disintegrate the moisture-absorbing moss to allow a bit of air and water to pass through.
Avoid taking shortcuts by using readily-available growing media like garden soil, especially if you don’t plan to amend it. The problem with garden soil is that it’s too heavy. This not only impedes free flow of air and water but it also fails to leave enough space for the plant’s roots to establish healthily.
For your Florida Beauty to maintain its beautiful variegation, ensure you’re exposing it to bright indirect light. An east-facing window provides the best intensity of light. West- and south-facing windows may also work, but adjustments have to be made if needed.
The Florida Beauty thrives in areas receiving bright indirect light. To achieve this, you’ll need to figure out the orientation of your window because that determines the intensity and length of sunlight exposure.
Here are a couple of guidelines to help you:
- A south-facing window provides exposure to the most intense sunlight, all day long. Since the Philodendron Florida Beauty prefers bright indirect light, you’ll need to add a sheer curtain if you have a south-facing window. Or, you can place the plant further away from the window than you would with others.
- A west-facing window receives an extended period of direct sunlight. However, it manages to miss the most intense sunlight of the day. This makes it particularly suitable for this Philodendron, although you’ll have to rotate your plant from time to time to ensure it’s getting an even exposure.
- An east-facing window is the best option for the Florida Beauty because it provides low-to-medium light throughout the day. Regardless of the time of day, you’ll never have to worry about the intensity of light.
Perhaps you’ve been providing your Florida beauty with sunlight exposure but aren’t sure whether it’s enough.
Then, how would you know if it’s getting enough light? For this, it’s best to check the coloration on its leaves.
Under ideal conditions, it develops lush green leaves with yellow-to-cream splashes. If it begins to lose this variegation, that is a sign that it’s not getting adequate light.
Philodendron Florida Beauty needs just enough water to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Often, this leads to a watering frequency of 1 to 2 times each week. But, always confirm whether the top 1/4 of the soil’s dry before proceeding with the watering.
Depending on the climate in your home, you will likely have to water your Florida Beauty 1 to 2 times each week.
The most crucial aspect to remember is to wait until the soil has dried up, up to your first knuckle. You’ll know if it’s time to water by poking your finger 2 inches into the soil. If it’s completely dry, then you can water. But, if it’s slightly moist, wait a couple more days.
Two other factors that play a role in your watering schedule are the type of pot and potting soil you use. As mentioned above, it’s crucial that the soil you’ll use is well-draining.
When it comes to the pot, the most suitable type is one that has drainage holes, so they can allow the excess water to run through. This not only promotes good drainage but also proper air circulation.
One commonly asked question is, “How can I tell whether I am over-or under-watering my Philodendron Florida Beauty?” If your plant starts to wilt, this is a clear indication that the soil underneath is too dry. But ones suffering from root rot also have a tendency to wilt, so you’ll need to check the status of the soil to narrow down your problem.
This plant species fares best in temperatures ranging from 60 to 70°F (16 to 21°C) during the day, and 50 to 60°F (10 to 16°C) during the night. It’s hardy enough to withstand a light frost, but don’t allow the temperatures to plummet below 50°F.
The Florida Beauty thrives in normal daytime temperatures, that is, 60 to 70°F (16 to 21°C) with the nighttime temperatures ranging between 50 and 60°F (10 and 16°C).
If you’ve planted your Philodendron outdoors, then ensure you bring it indoors when the temperatures dip. While it can tolerate a light frost, it can’t withstand anything below 50°F (10°C).
On the same note, you’ll want to position your plant as far away from drafty doors & windows and air conditioning vents, as possible. Prolonged exposure to temperatures can cause its leaves to drop, and ultimately, kill your plant.
Philodendron Florida Beauty loves humidity in the range of 50 to 60%. If your home is dry, you can increase moisture by installing a humidifier, using a pebble tray or shifting your plant to a humid setting like the bathroom.
Like the majority of Philodendrons, the Florida Beauty loves a highly humid environment. Specifically, a setting with a 50 to 60% humidity level serves it best.
If the air inside your home’s a little dry, look for a way to increase the moisture levels. One of the easiest tactics that have worked for me is installing a humidifier like the Classic 300S by Levoit.
It’s equipped with a 6L tank, which can keep the device running for more than two days.
My favorite feature however is the auto mode, which gives me the freedom to set a specific humidity and once the air exceeds the set target by 5%, it automatically shuts off.
Apart from a humidifier, there are other ways of raising humidity, such as using a pebble tray or placing your plant in the most humid part of your home like the bathroom.
Enhance your Beauty’s growth, especially in the foliage sector, by applying a liquid fertilizer. Apply at a rate of once every month in spring and summer. In fall and winter, reduce this to once every 6 to 8 weeks or cease fertilizing altogether.
In spring and summer, it’s wise to boost its growth by adding a suitable liquid-based, foliage fertilizer. Whichever fertilizer you buy, be sure to read and follow the given instructions to the letter.
More importantly, water the soil thoroughly before application to avoid root burn, which can happen if the soil is dry.
On the same note, do not overfeed your plant and withhold or cut back on the frequency of fertilizing in fall and winter.
In that regard, the recommended frequency is once every month in summer and spring; and once every six to eight weeks for fall and winter seasons.
To replenish its nutrients, consider repotting your Florida Beauty yearly. Transfer it to a pot that is just slightly larger and use fresh potting soil to increase the chances of a successful transplanting process.
The Philodendron Florida Beauty is a plant that doesn’t mind being pot-bound. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to repot once it grows to twice its size or once every year- whichever happens first.
This way, you’re able to replenish its nutrients, so that it can continue growing in a healthy setting.
Be mindful to use a larger pot than what you used before when repotting the plant. This is crucial to ensure proper drainage; hence, minimize the risk of root rot.
The Philodendron Florida Beauty can reach up to 90 feet (27 meters). It’s a climber, so it does best when it’s offered a pole or post to climb as it develops.
With its dark-green foliage, which contrasts beautifully with the red-gnarled stems, the Philodendron Florida Beauty is a sight to behold.
Since it’s a climber, you’ll want to provide it with a burlap wrapped pole or mossy post to climb. One thing good about this is that you’re not limited to growing it in a container.
If you really want to display its splendor, you’re better off growing it in a hanging basket, or outdoors where it can serve as a ground cover.
If you wish to grow it until it reaches maturity, be ready to provide it with ample space as it can reach up to 2 meters (90 ft). Alternatively, prune it from time to time to keep it short.
Philodendron Florida Beauty is best propagated using its stem cutting. You can place the cutting either in water or a suitable potting mix until it roots. After rooting, transfer the cutting to a fresh potting mixture or allow it to continue growing in water.
Philodendron Florida Beauty’s so easy to propagate in that you can grow a number of them through stem cuttings.
Whether you want to give this plant as a gift to someone, or merely want to have more of them in your home, here’s a detailed guide on how to propagate.
Now, you have the freedom of rooting your stem cutting either in a jar filled with water or a small pot with potting soil.
To get the stem cutting, use a sharp knife or garden shears to remove a portion of the stem from the mother plant. Make the incision right above another leaf on the stem, and ensure the cutting is at least 3 to 6 inches long.
Making the incision at this point is important for two reasons. One, it allows the rest of the Philodendron to continue producing more shoots and leaves. And two, it gives your cutting plenty of space to form new roots.
The next thing you’ll want to do is to gently snip the leaves from the cutting, leaving only the top three to four.
Once you’ve removed the leaves, you can place the cutting in the potting soil or cup of water. I have tried the two options and my Philodendron Florida Beauty rooted successfully in both cases.
The only thing I recommend is that you remember to press firmly on the soil so that it holds the cutting in place. Also, be careful with your cutting placement, ensuring that none of the leaves are submerged (in water) or buried (in the potting soil).
If you opted for the potting soil option, remember to water it just enough to keep it moist. Now all that’s left to do is to place your cutting in a bright indirect location, and water as needed.
If you’re propagating in water, then make sure to regularly top up the water.
Within 2 to 3 weeks, your Florida Beauty will have started rooting, and this will be followed closely by the formation of new leaves.
The roots will be easier to spot if you’re propagating in water. In fact, you have the option of growing your plant in water indefinitely. The only drawback is that your philodendron will never attain its full size.
If you want to enjoy the Philodendron Florida Beauty in all of its glory, then grow it in the potting soil instead.
With this approach though, you’ll need to wait until the roots are about 1 inch long before transplanting it to fresh potting soil. The pot you transfer your rooted cutting to shouldn’t be overly big; one that is 3 to 4 inches wide works best.
Question is, just how do you know that your cutting has formed roots so you can transplant it to fresh potting soil?
Well, all you need to do is to give the stem a gentle tug, and if you encounter any form of resistance, then you’ll know that it’s started to root. If you don’t feel any resistance, leave your cutting for about one week, then check again.
Quick tip: if your philodendron florida beauty is big enough, then you can take up to five cuttings from the get go, and allow all of them to root in the same pot.
Then once you’ve planted them, you’ll have a beautiful pot that looks lush and full rather than waiting for just one cutting to branch out.
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Common Problems with Philodendron Florida Beauty
Yellowing of leaves
The most common culprit here is improper moisture levels in the soil, often caused by overwatering. As mentioned earlier, it’s vital to ensure the soil’s top few inches are completely dry.
On the same note, your watering technique may be the cause of excess moisture. Ideally, you should give your Florida Beauty a good soak, till you see the excess water coming out through the drainage holes.
Once you’re done watering, don’t forget to empty the saucer or tray that your potted plant is set on.
But if you’re watering correctly and caring for your plant as it should be, then the underlying problem might be the growing medium. To be more specific, it could be because your potting mixture is lacking magnesium.
This condition is more common in cool regions, and it leads to V-shaped yellow patches on the leaves.
If you’ve identified this as the cause, you can easily top up its magnesium levels. Just mix one teaspoon of Epsom salt with a gallon of water.
Next, soak your plant’s potting mixture with it. While you’re at it, be careful not to splash any of this mineral solution onto its leaves or stems.
Another thing you’ll want to take a closer look is direct sunlight. This can scorch its variegated foliage, causing it to turn yellow or white and drop.
This often occurs in summer and spring. Let’s say you’ve accustomed your Florida Beauty to low-light conditions indoors, and then suddenly bring it outdoors to get some sun.
If it’s exposed to very intense rays, your shade-loving plant will become sunburnt. To avoid this, position it in an area with dappled or partial shade.
Frequently Asked Questions about Philodendron Florida Beauty
Why is my Philodendron Florida Beauty dying?
If you notice the leaves on your Florida Beauty starting to fall off or hanging lifelessly from the stems, it could be because of several things. These include water stress, inadequate light, extreme temperatures, pests or diseases.
Is Florida Beauty poisonous?
According to the ASPCA, Philodendron Florida Beauty is poisonous to both cats and dogs. If either one ingests, the pet may exhibit signs, such as vomiting, anorexia, depression, dilated pupils (cats) and hypersalivation.
Philodendron Florida Beauty is an attractive foliage plant that is quite easy to grow, given the right conditions. Since it’s a climber, it looks particularly good when it’s placed in a hanging basket.
But, it’s quite versatile, so you can even grow it in a container as you usually would with houseplants. The only thing you’ll need to do is set up a moss pole where it can climb.
Other than that, ensure you’re maintaining the right growing conditions. This way, it will reward your efforts in the form of a beautiful houseplant that’s sure to turn heads.
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.