Philodendron Micans: Velvet Leaf Philodendron Plant Care

Philodendron micans is a species of Philodendron that is native to tropical regions of Northern and Central America.

This plant is known for its attractive, velvety-textured leaves.

Some of the key things to know about this species of philodendron are that it does well in low-light conditions, and it needs regular watering and fertilization in the spring.

In this article, we go into some basic plant care for Philodendron Micans.

What is Philodendron Micans?

Philodendron micans, more commonly known as the Velvet Leaf Philodendron, is a vining houseplant known for its heart-shaped leaves and is part of the Araceae plant family.

Its scientific name is Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum (that is not a typo, the botanical name is really repeated twice).

Philodendron micans is a climbing plant, meaning that it can grow upwards with a little help. They can climb on trellises or moss poles and trail in hanging baskets.

You can find Philodendron micans typically growing 8–12 inches tall and 20 inches wide in the tropical regions of Northern and Central America.

However, these Philodendrons can also thrive in other climates and can adapt to the indoor climate, making them plants that are easy to manage.

Leaves

These plants stand out because they produce velvety deep green leaves and small white flowers that are tube-shaped.

In fact, when the leaves unroll they have a greenish-blue chartreuse hue with a light pink edge. In the sun, they transform into a velvety, glossy deep green, while on the backside, they appear as a faded orange.

Flowers

Although the Philodendron micans can produce flowers, it is usually outdoors or in the wild. It is exceedingly rare for the plant to flower indoors.

So, if you are fortunate enough to have your Velvet Philodendron bloom, you will see flowers that are tiny in comparison to the plant’s colorful foliage.

Philodendron Micans plant in pot

How to Care for Philodendron Micans

As with all philodendrons, the Philodendron micans is also relatively simple to maintain; it grows well indoors in the home or office.

It prefers indirect, bright light, well-draining soil, and consistent watering; but they are especially sensitive to over-watering and over-fertilization.

We will dig a little deeper into how to care for your Velvet Leaf Philodendron.

Temperature and Humidity

The Velvet-Leaf philodendron prefers warm temperatures; hence, they are best grown indoors with temperatures ranging from 65–75 degrees Fahrenheit (8–24 degrees Celsius) by day and as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius) at night.

If you grow philodendron outdoors, ensure that you keep it covered during the frosty period, unless it will die. Philodendrons also thrive in humid conditions.

You can mist these plants during the spring and summer seasons. However, the average humidity level indoors is enough for them to thrive during winter.

If you need to increase the humidity around the plant, you can increase it by placing the plant container or pot on a tray filled with pebbles or stones and water, or simply using a humidifier.

Light

light-for-Philodendron-Micans

Philodendron Micans require a supply of bright, indirect light. It can also thrive with too little light. The only disadvantage is that Philodendron micans will have leggy growth.

Hence, a constant supply of bright indirect light is the best option if you want to see your Philodendron Micans grow to their full size.

If you are in an environment with natural low light, you can use grow light for growth facilitation.

It is recommended that you avoid exposing Philodendron micans plants to direct sun for too long.

Exposing this plant to too much direct light will decolorize and burn your leaves. If you plan to expose this plant to direct sunlight for a long time, you are advised to provide shade.

If the plant is inside, you can place it behind a sheer curtain.

Watering

watering-Philodendron-Micans

Adequately watering your velvet leaf Philodendron is essential to growing a healthy plant. This plant requires more watering in the summer than it needs in the winter.

Before watering, ensure that the top inch of the soil is dry unless you risk soggy soil.

Also, make sure that the water goes through the drainage holes as you pour to aid fast-draining for Philodendron micans care.

Fertilizer

Philodendron micans are fast-growing plants, so they do not need plant food to thrive.

If it grows only a few leaves, give it a fertilizer feed until there is a significant change.

A balanced fertilizer feed from the early spring to the late summer will also do for those who want their plants to grow bigger.

For what it’s worth, we use this houseplant slow-release fertilizer. It’s super simple to use, and you don’t have to worry about it once you set it in the soil. It’s really helped out houseplants grow larger.

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Soil

Philodendron micans thrives in well-drained soil.

To create the perfect potting soil for your plant, you should add soil amendments to general potting soil.

Soil additives like peat moss, orchid bark, perlite, or vermiculite can help with drainage, and water retention, or even add nutrients to your potting soil.

For example, if the soil is not draining water well, adding perlite to your soil will help aerate the roots and allow water to pass through better. Remember, these philodendrons do not tolerate being overwatered.

If you start noticing your plant’s leaves drooping or wilting, then immediately stop watering and check the soil.

We personally use this houseplant potting soil. It’s nothing special, but it works for all our indoor houseplants. Best of all, it was not that expensive.

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Propagating philodendron micans

Propagating-Philodendron-Micans

You can propagate Philodendron micans through stem cuttings. Stem cutting is one of the easiest ways to propagate a plant, but you have to do it with care, or else your plant might die.

Use sterilized, sharp scissors to cut off about an inch or 2-3 stems. The importance of disinfecting sharp objects before cutting cannot be over-emphasized.

If you do not disinfect the objects, pests and diseases might infest your plant. 

After cutting off the stems, the next step is to root them in well-drained potting soil with high organic matter.

Just like the original pot, you can also add soil mixes like peat moss, peat perlite, and peat vermiculite to help the soil breathe. 

Also, provide the new succulent with bright light but not too much of it, as too much light can kill it. Water it adequately and, in a few weeks, new roots will start to emerge.

Pruning

Velvet-Leaf philodendrons do not need much pruning. However, if you decide to prune your plant, it may eventually give it more of a bushier look.

When you cut the ends off the stems, this signals the plant and stimulates new growth from the newly cut side and starts to branch off.

If the plant is not pruned, the single strands will continue to grow without branching off.

Philodendron Micans Problems

Pests

Velvetleaf philodendrons are susceptible to pests like spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs.

These pests mostly attack your plants because they are usually overwatered and soggy.

The best thing you can do to prevent them from infesting your plants is to avoid excessive plant watering.

Another way is to monitor them regularly for any signs of these insects.

If your succulent is already suffering from an infestation, use insecticidal soap when showering your plant or Neem oil to spray on it.

If you are looking for a Neem oil spray, we use this particular Neem oil spray. Not much to say about it other than it has worked on all of our pest infestations.

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Diseases

Diseases that affect your Philodendron micans plant can be destructive. Plant diseases are caused by different types of fungi or bacteria and are always difficult to diagnose. You can prevent or treat philodendron diseases, but it is important to know what you’re dealing with first. Common diseases are Erwinia rot and leaf spot. Erwinia blight can kill in days as it rots the stems and leaves inside out. Leaf spot will appear as lesions on the leaves and begin to rot the leaves, eventually, the leaves start dropping.

If you see a diseased philodendron, isolate it as soon as possible. Try to save your plant by pruning any affected leaves. Make sure you wash your pruning tool between cuts. Keeping the plant cool, dry, and well-lit may help it recover, but if the disease has spread, you won’t be able to save it.

The best preventive measures to keep plant diseases to keep is to water your philodendrons from the bottom up. Also, these diseases like warm temperatures, so try to keep the temperature between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drooping and Yellowing leaves

Yellowing leaves can be caused by excessive direct light, effectively burning the leaves and turning them yellow. On the other hand, too little light can also cause leaves to yellow.

Try altering the amount of light and frequency of watering to better suit the plant’s needs. Your plant should get better quickly, and the strength should return to its leaves.

Watering is also a cause of yellow and droopy leaves. If they are underwater, they will begin to droop because they have insufficient water in their system.

If you overwater the plant, there is too much water and your plant is unable to absorb enough nutrients from the soil. Rule of thumb, water when the soil is dry on top.

Finally, don’t stress out if some leaves are so yellow that it looks like it’s dead. Simply prune them, and the plant will continue to thrive.

Browning leaves

When you notice your Velvet-Leaf plant start to have browning leaves, then it may be the result of overexposure to direct sunlight.

The direct light is too much for the plant to handle and it will burn the plant. Try moving your plant to a shaded area to get indirect light.

Another cause of browning leaves is overfertilization. Always follow the directions of the fertilizer or even use just half the recommended dose.

More fertilizer does not necessarily guarantee that your plant will be able to use it to grow.

If you think that your plant is getting too many nutrients from the fertilizer, take the plant out and either plant it in fresh soil, or you can flush the soil thoroughly with plain water.

Lastly, a dry environment in the surrounding air can dry up this plant’s leaves, which causes its edges and tips to turn brown.

If you suspect that your plant needs more moisture, you can mist it, use a pebble tray, or a humidifier to increase the humidity levels around the plant.

FAQ

Is Micans a philodendron?

Yes, the Philodendron micans plant is a philodendron. They are known for their heart-shaped leaves with colors ranging from green, velvet, and purple. Philodendron micans, which are native to the tropical areas of Mexico and the Caribbean, make this a gorgeous philodendron variation.

Is Philodendron micans fast-growing?

Yes, Philodendron micans plants are fast-growing when provided adequate lighting and watering. Growing your micans on a moss pole or trellis will let you show off their enormous size. Pruning your vines will stimulate thicker growth if your plant is growing long but sparsely. They are hardy, but if you neglect them, they won’t reach their full potential.

Are philodendron micans toxic?

Yes, Philodendron micans plants are toxic to pets and humans. Stomach bloating and agitation are possible side effects of consuming micans. These plants, sometimes known as Velvet Leaf Philodendron, belong to the Araceae family. The philodendron micans is toxic, much like the rest of the genus’ other members.

Conclusion

More commonly known as the Velvet Leaf Philodendron, the Philodendron micans is similar to other philodendrons in that it is a vining plant that has heart-shaped leaves, but what makes this plant different from others is the leaves.

Philodendron micans does not have the typical Philodendron glossy, green leaves, but rather they are greenish-bronze leaves with crimson-brown undersides that have a velvety-texture.

In addtion, if you adequately care for Velvet Leaf philodendron will grow it into a air cleaning plant. They are known to improve the air quality and even aborb formaldehyde.

However, they do contain calcium oxalate crystals in their system, which are known to be harmful to children and pests.

Other Philodendron Plants

Philodendron micans is an excellent choice for your next houseplant. However, there are many other types of philodendrons to choose from. We have several related posts on different kinds of philodendrons that you can consider for your home, office, or outdoor garden.

Philodendron Birkin: Also known as the White Wave Philodendron, it is one of the most striking Philodendrons because of its spectacular leaf patterns carved with white stripes. This variegated Philodendron produces heart-shaped leaves that range from light to dark green tones.

Philodendron Xanadu: Commonly known as Winterbourn philodendron, it is known for its large evergreens with deep green dissected leaf fenestrations. In tropical and warm temperate areas, this plant is grown as a landscaping plant, but you can grow it indoors. They are popular among many Instagram influencers and are always featured in houseplant books. Note: Before its current classification, Xanadu philodendron was previously known as Thaumatophyllum Xanadu.

Philodendron Brandtianum: The Silver-Leaf philodendron tropical plant with olive-green leaves that are marked with streaks of silver. They can get quite bushy, more so than other philodendrons. They grow well as hanging plants, but can also climb a trellis or moss pole.

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