In these trying times, even the most zen-like plant parents are going gothic or weird when growing their favorite houseplants collection. So I now introduce to you one of the most in-demand and rare Philodendrons on the planet (with a benignly weird name at least): the Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant!
This beautiful epiphytic plant produces shiny, smooth white leaves that turn yellow-green to darker green when the foliage reaches its full maturity. Suppose you consider bringing this exotic cultivar home and want essential information on best-growing tips, watering routine, humidity, and propagation. In that case, you come to the right spot on the internet where you can ensure your Florida Ghost Philodendron plant will thrive and grow gorgeous foliage display all year long.
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Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant Overview
A recent addition to the growing Philodendron varieties, the Philodendron Florida Ghost is a hybrid plant that came into existence when botanists cross-pollinated Philodendron Pedatum and Philodendron Squamiferum. The marriage of the two beautiful Philodendrons, so to speak, produces the stunning Florida Ghost Plant.
With over 450 species, the Philodendron genus is the second-largest member of the Araceae family. The Anthurium genus possesses the title of the largest in the family.
The first recorded history of the Philodendron was traced back to as early as 1644. It was first discovered in Colombia and the Caribbean region. However, the Philodendron plants are endemic in the rainforests of South America and the West Indies. Some of the Philodendron cultivars are also found in river banks and swamps in Asia, Australia, and Africa.
|Botanical Name||Philodendron Florida Ghost|
|Origin||South America and the West Indies|
|Sunlight||Bright indirect sunlight|
|Watering||Thrice a week|
|Soil||Well-draining soil, sphagnum moss|
|Temperature||65F (18C) to 95F (35C)|
|Re-Potting||Every 2-3 years|
|Pests and Diseases||Resistant to pests and disease|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and animals|
Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant Features
The Philodendron Florida Ghost derived its name due to its color-changing leaves. New leaves are “almost white before they mature to a lighter green.” New leaves first come out as pure white, then, later on, transform from lime green to green in a week or so.
The average height of the Florida Ghost plant ranges from 2 to 4 feet. It usually spreads around 2 feet. But they can grow much taller if you grow the plant around a totem, a trellis, or a bamboo stick.
Houseplant enthusiasts prize the Florida Ghost Philodendron for its glossy evergreen, heart-shaped foliage, and red stems. This climbing Philodendron produces leaves that are white in their juvenile state with multiple lobes.
When the leaf of the Florida Ghost reaches maturity, it can reach around 5 to 12 cm in length. The plant’s exotic leaves typically have 5 lobes on each leaf. The upper lobe is usually the largest.
Related Article: Philodendron Mamei: Silver Cloud Ultimate Care Guide
The Philodendron Florida Ghost plant grows tiny flowers. However, this rarely happens in cultivation. The flowers are purple and grow up to 12 inches.
Philodendron plants are generally toxic to humans and animals. The sap found in Florida Ghost plants contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause mild to severe physical symptoms if ingested.
Deer and rabbit resistance
The Philodendron Florida Ghost is considered a deer and rabbit resistant plant due to its poisonous nature. Common grazers in the wild will keep away from the Philodendron plants are they can make them sick.
Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant Care Guide
When caring for Philodendron Florida Ghost, it is best to imitate its natural tropical environment. This Philodendron plant requires a lot of warmth, moisture, and a well-lit environment near a sunny window. The watering routine is every few days, and feed it with fertilizer every few months.
Read on for more basic tips and Philodendron Florida Ghost Care to ensure your plant will thrive and produce a beautiful display in your home.
Ideal Growing Place
As an epiphytic plant, the Philodendron Florida Ghost is happier if grown to climb around support. This plant also likes to trail from a hanging basket. Whether grown outdoor or indoor, be sure to provide a space of about 2 feet for the plant to spread out.
Avoid grouping the Florida Ghost with other plants. They need more air circulation and dislike being crowded. But they do well with smaller houseplants around them.
Watering requirements for the Philodendron Florida Ghost plants are directly linked to its growth rate. Philodendrons grow most actively in the spring and summer seasons. However, these tropical plants go into dormancy in the winter due to the cold temperatures.
With that in mind, water the plant regularly during its growing period. Watering Philodendron Florida Ghost thrice a week would be adequate. Let the soil dry out between watering. Overwatering is the biggest killer for this plant. So go easy on the water and make sure the planter has draining holes on it.
If the Florida Ghost plant sits in soggy or waterlogged soil for too long, root rot will develop, which can be deadly to the plant. Make sure your plant gets a well-balanced watering routine.
However, water your Florida Ghost plant once a week during the winter months.
The Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant thrives in bright indirect sunlight. However, too much direct sunlight can cause the plant to wither up or burn its leaves. To get the right amount of light, place the plant in a warm spot that receives indirect sunlight or a north-facing window. If you use growing lights at home, I recommend putting the Florida Ghost about 5 inches away.
To achieve balance sunlight requirements, the Philodendron Florida Ghost plant needs an equal amount of day and night. Therefore, you must expose the plant to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
If you grow the plant outdoor, be sure to provide it with some protection from direct sunlight exposure. You can use sheer curtains or shade cloth to lessen the sunlight hitting the leaves. Philodendrons can adapt well to shady areas but grow amazing leaves in indirect sunlight. You can rotate the plant for equal exposure to sunlight for more healthy growth.
The ideal temperature for the Philodendron Florida Ghost ranges from 65F (18C) to 95F (35C). It is sensitive to freezing conditions as a hybrid tropical plant and cannot survive in cold weather. During the winter months, be sure to protect the plant from the freezing conditions by placing it in a warmer spot in your house. Don’t place it, though, next to an air conditioner or a heating vent.
Plant your Philodendron Florida Ghost in a well-drained soil mix. You can create your organic-rich soil using a good potting mix of peat moss, orchid bark, or coco cubes. You can also buy a ready-made bag. Sphagnum peat moss is another ideal substrate for the plant due to its aeration features.
Whatever soil or potting mix you use, be sure it is well-draining and aerated. Adding more organic materials to the soil is great to achieve a good healthy balance. The recommended soil pH is around 5 to 8 ph, which should be slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.
The Philodendron Florida Ghost flourishes in a humid environment. If you live in a dry location, you can improve the humidity by misting the plant with a water spray bottle. You may also use indoor humidifiers if money is not an issue.
Other plant cultivation techniques are grouping the plants and using a pebble tray. When grouping your Ghost plant, it is best to group it with smaller plants. The grouping technique will help improve the moisture of their surroundings. You can also place pebbles in a tray where you put the plant on top. Then, just add some water to the pebble tray.
Fertilizing Philodendron Florida Ghost is quite straightforward. During spring and summer, which are the growing seasons for the Philodendron Florida Ghost, feed the plant with soluble fertilizer or organic fertilizer once a month. When the plant goes into a dormancy period during the fall and winter, reduce the feeding to once every two months.
One of the main reasons the Ghost plant is growing slow or producing smaller leaves than usual is lack of or insufficient fertilizer. Plants in cultivation deficient in calcium, magnesium, and other essential nutrients will produce unhealthy leaves.
Florida Ghost plants need occasional pinching or pruning to encourage their growth and control their size. Pinch the plant of dead or infected leaves. You can also do basic pruning by using a disinfected shear or scissor to remove unwanted or excess growth. Proper pinching or pruning can improve the health of the plant and encourage new growth.
During spring and summer, you can pinch a few leaves from the plant’s lower part. Preferably, you can remove unhealthy leaves. But be extra careful not to cut off too much from the plant.
Excessive pruning may disrupt and stunt the plant’s growth. Keep pinching or pruning the plants at a minimum. While at it, use a damp cloth to wipe off the accumulating dust on the leaves to prevent attracting pests and diseases. This will also make the plant look cleaner and sparkling.
Potting and Re-potting
The Philodendron Florida Ghost is a slow-grower plant. You do not have to worry about this plant outgrowing its current pot very soon. With that, repotting for this tropical plant is every 2 to 3 years. When you see the roots coming out of the pot’s drainage holes, it is time to transplant the Florida Ghost Philodendron to a bigger planter with a good potting mix.
The best time to repot the Philodendron Florida Ghost Plants is in the spring. When repotting, turn the pot gently upside down and remove the plant from its stem. Get rid of the old soil carefully. Remove any dried roots. Transplant the Florida Ghost into a larger plant pot with fresh potting soil mix.
As a herbaceous perennial plant, the ideal growth zone for the Philodendron Florida Ghost ranges from the Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. In these locations, the plant can be best grown outdoors in the garden. Otherwise, the Florida Ghost plants are better kept as indoor plants.
Common Pests, Toxins, Diseases & Other Problems
Philodendron Florida Ghost is pretty resistant to pests and diseases. However, they can still fall victim to sap-sucking pests such as scale, mealybugs, whiteflies, thrips, and spider mites. Early detection of these common pests is key to ensuring your tropical plant will not suffer from significant damage.
Inspect the leaves and stems of the plant from time to time. If you see evidence of common pests on the plant, get rid of them as soon as possible by spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or applying neem oil to control the pests.
The best way to eradicate these issues is to make sure the plant stays clean and dry at all times. Keeping a regular inspection of your Philodendrons around the stems and leaves can help ensure that the plant is healthy.
Root rot and bacterial infection
The most common disease you are most likely to deal with if you grow Philodendrons is root rot. An overwatered or waterlogged soil can cause this fungal infection.
The Philodendron Florida Ghost can also suffer from fire blight. This is a bacterial infection that leads to death. Young leaves will wilt and curl, forming the shape of a hook. To prevent the risk of getting your prized plants from being infected, make sure to sterilize and disinfect cutting blades or shears when taking cuttings of the plant.
If you notice browning leaves on your Ghost Philodendron, they are most likely a sign of lack of humidity. This plant can tolerate moderate humidity and thrive well in high humidity. But when it is placed at a poor humidity level, this will lead to the browning color of the leaves.
If you live in a dry environment, be sure to create moisture in the air by misting or using a humidifier. See the section above on humidity for more tips.
Paling leaves signify a shortage of nutrition. Aside from balanced watering and sunshine, Florida Ghosts plants need a healthy supply of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. If your Philodendron Florida Ghost has pale leaves, it is time to feed it with a sufficient amount of fertilizer.
As previously mentioned, the Philodendron Florida Ghost is harmful to kids and pets because of its level of toxicity. If ingested or mishandled, the common symptoms include swollen mouth and tongue, stomach ache, shortness of breath, skin irritation, and allergies. Keep the plant away from your pets and children.
Always keep in mind that when propagating Philodendron Florida Ghost plants, use sanitized or disinfected cutting tools to reduce the risks of transmitting germs or infections to the plants. Propagation is best done once the Philodendrons come out of their dormancy period in the spring.
The best method to propagate a mature Philodendron Florida Ghost plant is via tip or stem cuttings. Below is a step-by-step guide to propagating a mother plant:
- First, you have to sterilize or disinfect your cutting tools with 70% ethanol alcohol. Wear gardening gloves when handling the Philodendron.
- With your sterilized pruning shears, cut a stem from the mother plant at least 2 to 3 inches long. Choose a healthy stem with a node or two and some leaves.
- Place the stem cuttings in a pre-prepared potting mix.
- You may cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to maintain a good moisture level. Be sure to put some holes in the plastic bag. Air out the bag every once in a while to prevent microbial infection.
- Maintain adequate watering and place the new plant under warm temperatures with sufficient indirect sunlight.
- Wait for about 2-3 weeks for the roots to develop. Then, keep watering but not too much until the plant becomes stronger and self-sufficient.
Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant Mature Timeline
Week 1: This is the propagation stage wherein you plant the stem cuttings in the soil and place the same plant under the ideal growing conditions.
Week 2-3: Root development occurs during this stage of the plant’s growth.
Week 3-8: Maintain a well-balanced watering routine. Make sure the soil is draining properly and avoid overwatering. However, be sure also not to let the soil go dry.
Week 8-16: The new plant will start to show significant growth. New leaves will start to emerge. Water twice or thrice a week. You may start feeding the plant with fertilizer in little quantities. Treat the brand new Philodendron Ghost cultivar like a mature plant.
Is Philodendron Florida Ghost Rare?
The Florida Ghost is a rare hybrid Philodendron that is sought-after by houseplant collectors from around the world. If you are seeking this stunning variety, the fastest way is to do a thorough Google search to check reputable and trusted sellers if this is available.
Is Philodendron Florida Ghost Pet Safe?
No, the Florida Ghost Philodendron is not safe for pets due to its high-level toxicity content found in the plant. The quantity of calcium oxalate crystals in the plant can cause swelling and shortness of breath to your pet. Be sure to place your plant away from the reach of your pets.
The Bottom Line
This rare Philodendron Florida Ghost would make an exciting addition to your plant collection! Based on its aesthetical features, care requirements, easier propagation, and robust growth, the Philodendron Florida Ghost is a great investment of your money and time.
In various parts of the world, the Philodendron Florida Ghost are often grown as houseplants. This unique, beautiful climber thrives well in regular indoor environments and brings stunning greenery into people’s homes.
Last Updated on August 31, 2022 by Gustaf Johansson