In fact, the name “Philodendron” means tree hugger in Greek.
The stems are a lot longer than other Philodendron plants. The leaves stand out because not all are shaped the same. And every leaf on the plant contains several lobes.
Each plant does its’ own thing when it starts growing and climbing.
The colors of the leaves are even more interesting than the shapes. They start as white, hence the name “Florida ghost”.
As they get a bit older, they turn a pretty yellow-green. When the Philodendron Florida hits full maturity, the leaves become a darker green.
It’s not the South American plant’s appearance that makes it so cool. The Philodendron Florida ghost purifies the oxygen that surrounds it.
You’ll breathe nothing but clean air whether you’re tending to the plant or only admiring it.
If you love tropical plants, the Philodendron Florida ghost is the perfect plant for you. It’s fun and easy to care for.
Before you jump into buying one of these Philodendrons, you should know the basics of its’ care.
So, we created this in-depth guide to the Philodendron Florida ghost plant.
- 1 Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant Guide
- 2 Philodendron Florida Ghost Propagation Steps
- 3 Common Problems with the Philodendron Florida Ghost
- 4 Tips for an Unhappy Philodendron Florida Ghost
- 5 Other Varieties of Philodendrons
- 6 Philodendron Florida Ghost FAQ
- 7 Conclusion
Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant Guide
You need well-draining soil for a Philodendron Florida ghost plant. This means the soil you use needs to be able to drain water well.
But you don’t want the water to drain as you water your plant.
According to the University of Connecticut, the soil should be high in organic matter.
If you decide not to buy your soil, you can use sphagnum peat moss. When you use this moss you don’t need to use anything else.
The moss works well because it’s both coarse and has great aeration.
The coarseness holds onto water. But the aeration allows any extra water to flow right through.
It makes your job much easier and saves you a few bucks in the process.
An organic mix for the Philodendron Florida ghost contains bark, charcoal, and peat.
This is for plants that need a little bit acidic and little bit alkaline pH. Whereas sphagnum peat moss is more neutral.
You might need to experiment on which your Philodendron needs. Several factors make a difference, including the environment.
Bright indirect sunlight is the best choice for a Philodendron Florida ghost plant.
Direct sunlight causes several problems for the plant. This includes causing it to wither up or even scorch the funky leaves.
There are a couple of ways to achieve the right amount of light.
The easiest way to do this is to place your Philodendron Florida ghost in a north-facing window.
It’ll still receive enough sunshine to create photosynthesis. But it’s not getting hit directly with sun rays.
If you use growing lights instead, sit your plant about five inches away. It should be getting sunlight without sitting right under the bulb.
A Philodendron Florida ghost needs an equal amount of day and night.
This means if you’re using artificial lights, you need to make sure it’s getting 12 hours of light. And 12 hours of darkness.
You’ll need to water your Philodendron Florida ghost about once a week, give or take. Its needs are right in the middle.
Dry soil for too long will kill the plant. But so will too much water. It’s common for an over-watered Philodendron to develop root rot (also known as wet feet).
The first two layers or first two inches of the soil should be dry before you water it. The easiest way to test this is to stick your finger into the soil until your knuckle hits the soil.
If the soil is wet, wait a day or so to check it again. If it’s dry, you can go ahead and water the plant.
You only need to water the plant three times during the coldest months of the year.
The cold allows the water to sit in the soil for a longer period. So, you don’t have to water your plant as much.
The best temperature range for the Philodendron Florida ghost is between 65F (18C) to 95F (35C).
They’re sensitive to cold weather. During the cold months, make sure you have the heat at an appropriate level so it doesn’t freeze.
Don’t place it near an air conditioner or open window during winter.
A Philodendron Florida ghost plant doesn’t have any special requirements for humidity.
They only need moderate humidity to survive.
But the healthiest Philodendron Florida ghosts live in high humidity. Like the jungles they originate from.
You should always make sure there’s high humidity for the plant whenever it’s possible.
If you live in a dry area, you might need to create more moisture in your home for your plant.
The best way to create humidity is to make a pebble tray for your Philodendron Florida ghost.
It’s a simple process. You take a tray and fill it with pebbles.
Once you’re done with the pebbles, fill the tray with water. Make sure the water doesn’t flow over the pebbles.
Now you only have to sit your plant on the pebbles. As the water evaporates it creates moisture for your plant.
When the tray is empty, fill it back up with water.
The fertilizer for your Philodendron Florida ghost plant should be rich in nitrogen. This is the number one quality to look for in your fertilizer.
Nitrogen will ensure that the leaves grow large and that your plant glows with green health.
It’s safer to fertilize your plant more often and with half the fertilizer you normally would. Since it grows at a slow rate, it needs more nutrition to give it a boost.
Always make sure the soil is moist before you fertilize your Philodendron. If you fertilize the plant when the soil is dry, it hurts the roots.
The most common way to propagate a Philodendron Florida ghost is using stem cuttings. Another process you can use is the air layering method.
We’ll talk more in-depth on how to do these processes down below.
The height of a Philodendron Florida ghost varies between two and five feet. The plants can grow up to two feet in length.
An adult leaf from the plant can grow from two to four inches in length. The plant’s shape helps determine how long it’ll be.
It’s rare for a Philodendron Florida ghost plant to produce flowers. But when the purple flowers do decide to emerge, they grow up to 12 inches.
Keep in mind, these plants are vine climbers. Which means you’ll need something for stability. This can affect the height of your plant.
Philodendron Florida ghosts are also slow growers so be patient. You won’t see results right away.
You don’t have to repot a Philodendron Florida ghost for between two to three years. This includes during its growth since it grows so slowly.
Whenever you see the roots poking out of the drainage holes, it’s time to repot it.
A Philodendron Florida ghost’s roots are picky. They don’t like feeling cramped. They need space to grow out and breathe.
You want to prevent the roots from becoming cramped because your will plant get stressed out. A stressed plant doesn’t thrive the way it should.
Philodendron Florida Ghost Propagation Steps
Spring is the best time to propagate a Philodendron Florida ghost plant. This is the time of year that the plant grows. It shuts down outside of spring.
There are two main methods of propagating one of these plants.
You can propagate it through stem cuttings or you can try your hand at air layering. But we wouldn’t suggest the air layering method for a newbie.
Propagating Using Stem Cuttings
- You’re going to need sterilized pruning shears. You’re going to use these shears to get your Philodendron Florida ghost stem cutting. You can sterilize the shears with isopropyl alcohol. The stem cutting should be between two and four inches in length. And you should cut right above a leaf node with two leaves attached. Don’t stress. You don’t need a perfect cut. Do the best you can with your pruning shears.
- Now it’s time to cure the stem cutting. Curing is only creating a calloused end where you cut. It needs to sit out for about a week in a warm environment for the cutting to callous.
- As the stem cutting cures, you can get the plant pot ready. The plant pot should have drainage holes for excess water to drain. Fill the pot with the appropriate soil. Sphagnum peat moss is the number one option.
- Once the curing week is up you’re going to plant your Philodendron Florida ghost cutting. Use your finger to create a decent sized hole for the stem cutting. Once the stem cutting is in the soil, pack the soil around it.
- Sometimes stem cuttings don’t have stability and will fall over. To fix this you can tie the cutting to a straw to hold it up.
- All that’s left is for the stem cutting to grow into a Philodendron Florida ghost. You care for it in the same manner that you care for the mother plant.
Propagating Using Air Layering
- To begin air layering you have to wound your Philodendron Florida ghost plant. To wound the plant you need a sterilized knife. You can use isopropyl alcohol to do this. Take the sterilized knife and cut into the stem of the plant. The cut shouldn’t go all the way through and it should be towards the top of the stem. It has to be about two inches in depth as well as two inches in length. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Once you have your wound, take a toothpick and stick through so it holds the wound open.
- Take about a handful of sphagnum peat moss and get it wet. You want it to be moist so it sticks well. Rub the peat moss around the wound of the plant. Rub it around that entire area of the stem.
- You want the peat moss to stay stuck to the Philodendron Florida ghost plant. But once it dries, it’s not going to stay stuck. You want to take a string and tie it around the sphagnum peat moss.
- Now you’re going to take plastic wrap and wrap it around the wound and stem. You want the plastic wrap to be at least five inches in length and width. This ensures it holds the moss to the wound. A few small strips of duct tape will hold it on if it doesn’t stick very well.
- While you wait get your new plant pot ready for your new plant. The plant pot should have drainage holes. It also should have the soil you chose to use ready.
- You have to wait for roots to sprout from the wound and the sphagnum peat moss. This can take around three weeks to take place. Once the roots have started, you need to cut this area from the rest of the Philodendron Florida ghost’s stem. You need to cut a few inches above the wound and a few inches below the wound. Again, use a sterilized knife.
- Now you can remove the plastic wrap. Keep the string on for now. Make sure you’re careful as you remove the wrap. You don’t want to hurt the new roots.
- You’re ready to plant the roots and stem in the plant pot. Be super careful as you plant the roots.
- Your new Philodendron Florida ghost is ready to grow. Make sure the plant is getting adequate light and water. These plants take a while to grow. So don’t expect to see progress right away.
Common Problems with the Philodendron Florida Ghost
There are issues with the Philodendron Florida ghost plant that you have to be aware of for the best care.
Some specific conditions and pests gravitate towards Philodendron plants.
Fire Blight disease occurs often in Philodendron Florida ghost plants. Or in Philodendron plants in general.
It’s caused by the bacteria Erwinia amylovora. This bacteria comes into contact with your plant.
Then the bacteria spread. It attacks any new growths and the branches first. They will turn black or dark brown.
Weird oozy lesions pop up throughout the Philodendron Florida ghost. In the worst cases, Fire Blight will kill your plant.
You want to prune off infected branches and leaves right away. This stops the disease from spreading.
This is the most important step to protecting your plant from this condition. If you wait too long, it’ll take over your entire Philodendron Florida ghost.
You should sterilize the pruning shears before you use them. You can sterilize them with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Cut down on fertilizer with high amounts of nitrogen. It starts new growth up, which gives the bacteria more to attack.
Mealybugs are another common problem with the Philodendron Florida ghost plant.
These critters are so small they’re hard to see. And they’re covered in a strange substance that resembles waxy cotton.
Mealybugs suck the sap out of your plant. The sap carries the nutrients and hydration throughout the plant.
And they breed fast. Eventually, there are several of these bugs feeding on your Philodendron plant. Stealing all those nutrients it needs.
Neem oil is a great way to get rid of pests from your Philodendron Florida ghost. It’s an organic remedy so it most likely won’t hurt your plant. You’ll still want to test it beforehand.
Tips for an Unhappy Philodendron Florida Ghost
Philodendron Florida ghost plants have issues like any other plant. Sometimes these problems can be difficult to diagnose.
It’s important to have a happy Philodendron Florida ghost. Otherwise, you’re left with a droopy or even a dead plant.
These are our tips for an unhappy Philodendron plant.
Your Philodendron Florida Ghost Has Yellow Leaves
If your Philodendron Florida ghost has yellow leaves then you’re over-watering.
Over-watering a plant can cause more severe symptoms outside of the yellowing leaves.
You’ll also want to check the roots of your plant to make sure it doesn’t have root rot.
The only way to remedy over-watering is to cut down on how often you water the plant.
Make sure the first few inches of the soil is dry before you water your Philodendron Florida ghost.
Your Philodendron Florida Ghost Has Brown Leaves
Brown leaves on a Philodendron Florida ghost are a sign that the room is lacking in humidity.
Like we stated earlier, this plant can survive in moderate humidity. But it prefers high humidity.
High humidity creates the healthiest Philodendron Florida ghost.
You live in a dry environment. You’ll have to create moisture in the air yourself.
We have a trick above that’ll help you do this. You might even want to consider a humidifier.
Your Philodendron Florida Ghost Has Pale Leaves
Pale leaves are often a symptom of a lack of nutrition. Philodendron Florida ghosts need food like we do.
And we’re not talking about only from watering and sunshine.
If your Philodendron has pale leaves, it needs fertilizer. You’ll have to fertilize your plant more often.
It helps to have a set schedule. For this Philodendron, you want to give it half of what a normal plant would take. Which is why you have to fertilize the plant more.
Once your plant starts to get everything it needs to thrive, it’ll start looking healthy again.
Other Varieties of Philodendrons
There are a large number of Philodendron species out there. And each one has its’ own wonderful qualities.
Here are a few Philodendron species that we adore.
The Philodendron hederaceum plant is a staple in many homes. The leaves are both green and yellow.
The Philodendron grazielae is a rarer Philodendron species. It has small heart-shaped leaves.
This is a lovely species of Philodendron. This vine species has large leaves with silver-painted on them.
The leaves on a Philodendron moonlight grow long. The yellow leaves stand out. But the leaves turn a dark green the older they are.
Philodendron Prince of orange
The Prince of Orange gets its’ name from the large orange-tinted leaves. These Philodendrons grow to be big plants.
Philodendron Florida Ghost FAQ
Is it safe if my dog eats my Philodendron Florida ghost?
No, Philodendron Florida ghost plants are toxic for both humans and pets. The plants have an excessive amount of calcium oxalate crystals.
When your dog ingests it they’ll have trouble breathing and their tongue will swell.
Should I worry if my Philodendron Florida ghost has multicolored leaves?
Philodendron Florida ghosts sometimes have white and green leaves. These leaves are called variegated leaves. This is normal.
Why does my Philodendron Florida ghost have weird spots on the leaves?
These weird spots on your Philodendron Florida ghost are called “necrotic spots”. They are a sign of Bacterial Leaf Spot, a disease caused by excessive wet environments.
Philodendron Florida ghost plants are unique greenery for your home. From their variegated leaves at a young age to the long stem.
The care for this Philodendron plant is simple. You don’t have to worry about it all day, every day.