Last Updated on May 31, 2021 by Sophie
If you’re looking for a vining philodendron with velvety leaves which are of a golden hue, then you’ve come to the right place. The Philodendron micans is sometimes known as the Velvet Leaf Philodendron (botanically Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum) and is characterised by its velvety foliage and golden toned stems. Here’s your complete Philodendron micans care guide as well as watering tips, propagation advice, and how to keep your plant happy and healthy.
Part of the Araceae family, there are many varieties of Philodendron, though they are all different in appearance and care. Micans should not be confused with the heartleaf philodendron. Though they are similar in the fact that both of their leaves are heart-shaped, Heartleaf Philodendrons have glossy green leaves, whereas those of the micans are a brown/ yellow hue and are velvety in texture.
Micans Philodendron: creeping or climbing plant?
One of the top things to know about philodendrons is that they come in either climbing or creeping varieties. Philodendron micans is a climbing plant, meaning that it vines as opposed to growing in a creeping manner across the forest floor.
As such, this plant does well when it is left to trail from a plant holder or is grown up a moss pole or wall. As a general rule of thumb, those plants which are trained to grow up a moss pole or the like tend to have larger leaves than those plants which are left to trail.
Philodendron micans Plant Care & Watering Guide
Watering your micans
Like most varieties of Philodendron, the Philodendron micans is pretty easy when it comes to watering. The main thing to watch out for is to make sure not to overwater the plant. If you overwater the philodendron, then this can lead to root rot, from which there is little chance of recovery.
The best time to water the micans is when the soil has just about dried out (though not completely). Fully water your plant when the top few inches of the soil are dry. Despite its velvety leaves, this philodendron is also not too fussy when it comes to humidity levels and is not prone to browning or crispy leaf tips.
If your plant starts to develop crispy leaves, then it’s more likely to be a pest than a poor watering schedule. In order to maintaining higher humidity levels, you can mist your plant every few days or group like plants together.
Best soil conditions for the Philodendron micans
As with many houseplants, Philodendron micans should be potted into a well draining soil mix than contains some organic matter and well-draining substrate such as perlite. Though there is no prescribed mix, if you don’t want to create a soil mix for your plants, it’s easy to purchase a mix which is formulated specifically for houseplants at your local garden centre which sells indoor plants.
Best light conditions for the Velvet Leaf philodendron
Philodendrons enjoy bright indirect light such as a few feet away from an East or West facing window. Though the micans can tolerate lower light conditions than certain other houseplants, this can often result in smaller leaves.
If the plant receives too much bright, direct light, then the leaves can burn. Once the plant leaves have burnt they will not revert back to their usual form and should be pruned away. Another symptom that the plant is receiving too much or too little light is that the new leaves are not as ‘sparkly’ or pigmented. If this occurs, then it’s time to look at moving the plant to more ideal lighting conditions.
Velvet Leaf flowers
Like many Philodendrons and Calathea varieties, the Philodendron micans does not have an especially beautiful flower. After all, this specimen is kept as a houseplant on account of its beautiful foliage, which can glimmer in the sunlight. It is quite rare for the plant to flower indoors. If you are successful in getting your plant to flower, then the flowers are small white and green spathes which have no fragrance and are rather insignificant in appearance.
How to propagate Philodendron micans
Like most varieties of philodendron, propagating your velvet leaf plant couldn’t be easier. You simply need to take a stem cutting of the plant which contains a node and at least two or three leaves. Simply place this cutting into fresh water and replace the water every week or so.
After around a month (though it can be a little longer if you’re trying to propagate in the off season such as during the winter), your cuttings should start to root. Once the cutting has grown roots of a few inches, you can pot it up in a well-draining potting mix in a small nursery pot. Be sure not to overwater newly rooted cuttings as they can easily be overwatered, which will lead to root rot.
Common problems with the Velvet Leaf Philodendron
Leggy/ straggly vines
One of the most problems with any vining philodendron is that the plant can become leggy/ straggly. When this happens, the vines will get particularly long and the part of the plant in the pot will get bare.
In order to combat this, you can prune your Philodendron micans by cutting back the longer vining pieces, propagating them, and planting them back into the container to make the plant appear fuller.
Leaves are sparse on the vine
Though similar in appearance to when the plant is becoming less full and leggy, yet another common micans problem is that the leaves become spaced apart sparsely on the vine. When this happens, this is a surefire sign that the plant is not receiving adequate enough light. If this happens, it’s time to move the plant to a more brightly lit space in your home or office.
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