Since 2019, the Philodendron gloriosum has been in high demand. Prices of $5 per cutting, as in the 90s, are now unthinkable. This growth in popularity is due in no small part to the large, heart-shaped leaves. The dark green color contrasts with the light leaf veins, which sets the scene. It has everything you want in a philodendron.
Learn how to maintain this beauty and care for your Philodendron gloriosum in this care guide!
For a long time, one was not sure about the origin of the. Today it is assumed that the Philodendron gloriosum originally came from Colombia. Today, however, it is also found in Central America, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and the west of Brazil.
The creeping Philodendron grows on the ground between trees and slopes in its natural habitat. Although it also grows in shadier places, it prefers clearings that receive more light.
It is often called “creeping philodendron”. However, its name means “magnificent tree friend”. As a philodendron, it belongs to the arum family (Araceae).
Appearance and distinguishing features
Its nickname, “creeping philodendron”, was derived from its creeping habit. In this growth, the shoot or rhizome rests on the soil. Downward, the roots grow into the substrate, while the leaves sprout upward.
The leaves themselves can reach a size of up to 35 inches in their natural habitat. In culture, however, this size has yet to be achieved. Leaf sizes of 24 to 27.5 inches are typical.
Depending on the shape (also called type) of the Philodendron, the leaves can be light to dark green. They are paired with white, silver, light green, or even pink leaf veins. All forms, except the “Round Form”, have large heart-shaped leaves. They are among the most velvety leaves that can be found on a Philodendron.
Overall, Philodendron gloriosum grows quite slowly. It takes one to two months for a new leaf to develop fully. The small form exhibits faster growth, also called the “compact type”.
New growth is usually bright red, changing to lush green as the leaves develop.
Philodendron gloriosum has a flower typical of arum plants. It consists of a white to light green spadix, surrounded by an involucre that is also light green.
It is most likely to bloom between May and July.
After successful pollination, berries form on the cob. After several months of ripening can be removed. Each berry contains one or more seeds.
Other varieties, types, and forms
Besides the typical form with rich green leaves and light, somewhat greenish leaf veins, there are various other forms. Not all of them are registered as cultivars. Therefore, some of them are natural variations.
Nevertheless, they are very sought after by collectors. The “Dark Form” and “White Vein” are the most popular.
The following forms are known:
- Philodendron gloriosum ”Compact Type” – compact growth and smaller leaves
- Philodendron gloriosum dark form – darker leaves, D-shaped petioles
- Philodendron gloriosum giantea (also called Big Trunk) – enormous variety with much thicker shoots
- Philodendron gloriosum pink black – reddish leaf veins, dark green leaves
- Philodendron gloriosum round form – round leaves
- Philodendron gloriosum variegata – variegated leaves
- Philodendron gloriosum white vein (also called zebra and pink back) – thick white leaf veins, even small leaf veins shimmer white
Popular Philodendron gloriosum hybrids
Philodendron gloriosum is also a parent of many a popular hybrid. Most hybrids inherit the leaf shape. The following hybrids are known:
- Philodendron Dean McDowell (Philodendron gloriosum & Philodendron pastazanum)
Philodendron Dean McDowell captivates with large heart-shaped leaves, which show different shades of green. That is paired with bright leaf veins. Both creeping Philodendron is said to be easy and undemanding to care for.
- Philodendron Glorious (Philodendron gloriosum & Philodendron melanochrysum)
Philodendron Glorious can climb or creep depending on its environment. Its velvety leaves are narrower and longer than those of Philodendron gloriosum. However, they do not come close to the length of the leaves of Philodendron melanochrysum.
The leaf veins are lighter, but the leaf color is not as dark as the leaf color of the Melanochrysum.
The perfect location for Philodendron gloriosum
Although location is not directly associated with care, it is critical. Fortunately, the gloriosum is not too picky here. Placing it without drafts and dry air from radiators would be best.
You can also place your Philodendron outside if temperatures permit during the warmer months. Please put it in a sheltered spot and slowly acclimate it to more light and its new location.
The factor of light is still a subject of dispute among many collectors today. Even though it has been noted that the Philodendron grows in the shade, it cannot be assumed that these light conditions provide optimal conditions.
That can be seen, among other things, in the fading leaf veins and the rather aggressive growth towards the light.
Therefore, bright, indirect light is considered optimal. Under these conditions, giant leaves can be seen. However, too much light can cause the leaves to remain pale or even get sunburned.
As a tropical plant, Philodendron gloriosum enjoys higher temperatures. The optimum value here is between 66 and 84 °F. At night, the range drops from 59 to 68 °F. The temperature should not fall below 55 °F in order not to impair healthy growth.
Humidity levels of 40 % or less are tolerated, but cosmetic damage, such as brown leaf tips and brown leaf margins, can occur here.
The optimum humidity for growth and aesthetics is 55 % to 75 %. For humidity above 60 %, I recommend using a terrarium, plant tent*, or greenhouse cabinet.
Here are helpful tips if you want to increase humidity for houseplants.
Overwintering Philodendron Gloriosum
In most cases, the Philodendron gloriosum can be overwintered in its usual location. Therefore, you do not need to find a new winter location for it.
Try to keep a distance from radiators, especially in winter. These produce dry air, which can lead to leaf damage.
But also cold air during ventilation can harm the plant.
Over the winter, you can reduce watering and fertilizing. It is enough to stretch a usual dose of fertilizer over a month.
Water the Philodendron only when the substrate has dried. Depending on the size of the pot and the plant, this may take a few weeks.
Watering Philodendron gloriosum
Like many other philodendrons, the Gloriosum loves moist substrate. However, if the substrate is wet, it will quickly develop root rot.
To prevent this, I recommend not watering again until the top 5 inches of the substrate has dried out. You can find this out by sticking your finger or a stick one inch deep into the substrate. If the substrate sticks to the finger or stick, it is still wet. If not, you can water.
Fertilize Philodendron gloriosum
Regular fertilization of your gloriosum will support growth and result in larger leaves and darker leaf color. You can use a No products found. or a No products found..
Since the Philodendron has a leisurely growth, you can slightly reduce the amount recommended on the package. For small specimens, half the dose is sufficient.
Over the winter, you can halve the dose or give the usual dose at intervals of 8 weeks. Alternatively, you can divide the amount by applying fertilizer at each watering.
The optimal substrate for the Philodendron gloriosum
Like most philodendrons, P. gloriosum prefers an airy and structurally stable substrate. However, the substrate must retain only a little water. Otherwise, root rot may develop. Therefore, good drainage is essential. The optimal pH value is between 6.5 and 7.5.
If you add a natural fertilizer like worm humus to the substrate, you can additionally support the growth. A substrate mix for arum plants best meets the requirements described.
Repotting Philodendron gloriosum
Due to the slow growth of P. gloriosum, it may take more than a year before repotting is necessary. Therefore, the typical rule of annual repotting does not apply here.
You can expect your Philodendron to need a new pot every two to three years. However, you can counteract this by choosing the right pot shape. Instead of a round pot, I recommend using rectangular planters.
Here the creeping rhizome can grow along the pot. Because of the extra length, it will reach the edge of the pot more slowly than with a round pot.
Each time you repot, you can increase the pot size by one size if there is enough growth.
Once your gloriosum is fully grown, the pot size should not be increased. It is best if you change the substrate after three to four years.
When repotting, be careful not to cover the rhizome with the substrate. That can cause it to begin to rot. The rhizome should rest on the substrate. The roots will hold it in place.
Cutting Philodendron gloriosum
Philodendron gloriosum does not require topiary. Remove diseased and dead leaves as soon as you spot them. Use a sharp and clean blade for this. That will prevent bruising and reduce the risk of infection.
Propagating Philodendron gloriosum
If you want to propagate your Gloriosum, you have two options to achieve this. You can use seeds and cuttings for propagation. However, I do not recommend using seeds because there is no guarantee that your Philodendron gloriosum will have the characteristics you desire.
That may not be so bad with the ordinary form, but the leaf veins may not turn white with the White Vein form. On the other hand, by growing seeds, you can discover entirely new and unique forms.
Propagation by cuttings
Propagation by cuttings is the only method of creating a clone of the parent plant. Don’t worry! Taking cuttings on a Gloriosum is easy due to its size and correspondingly large distances between leaf nodes.
For your project, you will need a clean and sharp knife, smaller pots, fresh substrate, and, if necessary, alcohol to disinfect the blade. Do you have everything? Then let’s get started!
- Identify possible cuttings
Look at your Gloriosum and consider the best way to cut the cuttings. Each cutting should have one leaf, at least one dormant eye, and, at best, already have roots. You will be in the area between two or more leaves (the internode). You can also mark the planned cuts with a pencil if you want.
- Prepare your blade
Before you cut, make sure your blade is clean and sharp. I also recommend disinfecting the blade. That will significantly reduce the risk of infection and foreign bodies.
- Cut the shoot
Now it’s time to make the actual cut. Cut the rhizome at the previously marked points with a smooth cut. Try to create an as little surface area as possible. Disinfect the blade after each cut.
- Take the cuttings out of the substrate
Many of your freshly cut cuttings probably already have roots. In this step, take the cuttings with the roots out of the pot of the mother plant.
- Dress the cut
Now that the cutting is wholly separated from the mother plant, the cut wounds need to be treated. For this, you can either apply No products found., cinnamon, or activated charcoal. They all prevent fungal infections. Alternatively, you can seal the wound with wax.
The last step is to place the cutting in its pot with fresh substrate. Place it in a bright and warm place. The care is not different from the mother plant.
- Rooting cuttings
If your cutting has no roots, it must first be rooted before you can place it in the typical substrate. For this, I prefer to use Sphagnum moss. Moisten the moss and put it around the cutting. Try to keep a temperature of at least 72 °F and humidity above 50 %. That is best done with a heating mat* and a seed tray*.
Keep the moss moist from now on. If it is wet, rot often sets in quickly. If you want, you can also use a rooting hormone. I have had a good experience with No products found..
Already after a few weeks, you should see roots. You can put the cutting into a substrate once they have rooted through the moss.
Finally, I want to reassure you if your cutting drops its leaf. That often happens when the leaf is relatively large. The cause is energy consumption. A large leaf eats up a lot of resources. But these are needed, among other things, for root formation. Therefore, to save energy, the cutting often sheds the leaf.
As long as the stem piece is not soft, you do not have to worry!
Diseases, pests, and care mistakes
With good care, typical philodendron diseases occur only in rare cases.
Especially in winter, spider mites often appear. They prefer a dry and warm climate. Small leaf spots and web-like formations under the leaves and in the leaf axils can identify them.
Spider mites are easily controlled with No products found., No products found., and various home remedies.
Find complete instructions on how to control spider mites here.
Aphids can appear in many different colors. They are often found under leaves and on new shoots. You can control aphids with neem oil and No products found..
Scale insects are mainly found on shoots and petioles. You can recognize them by small brown spots and bumps on the plant. They can be easily wiped off with a cloth moistened with alcohol. Repeat this procedure several times to remove all scale insects.
These tiny black flies do not seriously threaten your Philodendron in small groups. However, they can still carry diseases such as root rot.
The easiest way to control them is with yellow boards*. Alternatively, No products found. can help.
Care mistakes are often the cause when your plant’s health is attacked. You can find the most common care mistakes, their causes, and solutions here.
If your Philodendron gloriosum gets yellow leaves, they can have different causes. Most often, it is underwatering or overwatering.
In either case, check the root ball. Roots can rot if they are too wet or re-wetted after they have dried out.
Find out how to control root rot here.
Brown leaf tips and leaf edges
If leaf edges and tips turn brown, it is due to insufficient humidity. Try to increase the humidity to save young leaves from cosmetic damage. This damage cannot be reversed.
Frequently asked questions
Is the Philodendron gloriosum poisonous?
Yes, the Philodendron gloriosum is classified as poisonous. That is due to the calcium oxalate crystals. Therefore, the plant should be out of reach of children and pets.
Does Philodendron gloriosum grow quickly?
No, Philodendron gloriosum is known for its slow growth. It can take up to two months for a new leaf to fully unfurl.
Does Philodendron gloriosum climb?
No, Philodendron gloriosum does not climb. It belongs to the creeping philodendrons.
Why is Philodendron gloriosum so expensive?
The prices from the 90s will not return in the foreseeable future. Back then, a cutting sometimes cost as little as $5. Today’s prices are the result of great popularity and demand. Add to that the slow growth that brings about the speed of propagation and, thus, the sales volume.
However, prices are expected to fall slightly over the year. For rarer types, however, they will hold or even rise as demand increases.
Is the stem of the Philodendron gloriosum above or below the substrate?
The stem, or rhizome, of the Philodendron gloriosum, should rest on top of the substrate. If it is placed in the substrate, it is much more susceptible to rot.
Take advantage of this!
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