Caring for Philodendron Gloriosum

Philodendron Gloriosum

If you like crawling plants with stunning large leaves, this plant is for you. Unlike most Philodendron plants, the Philodendron Gloriosum is a crawling plant that trails horizontally along the ground. It has large green, heart shaped foliage with white veins and is velvety to touch. This amazing plant is part of the Araceae family that is native to Colombia but can also be found in other tropical states as well.


Philodendron Gloriosum Quick Overview

Leaf Size90cm in length
LightBright indirect
Temperature45˚F-95˚F
(7˚C-35˚C)
Humidity60%-80%
Cost$$
Care LevelMedium
ToxicityToxic

Size

This plant is a slow grower and it can take up to a month for a new leaf to fully develop. In its natural environment, the leaves of a Philodendron Gloriosum can grow up to 90cm (26 inches) in length.

Philodendron Gloriosum Light Requirements

Philodendron Gloriosum will grow best when positioned in bright indirect lighting. There has been a bit of a debate about whether a shaded spot or a bright spot provides better growing conditions. In my opinion, I believe this plant grows best in bright indirect light. Brighter lighting encourages the plant to grow fuller foliage, however, too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to yellow and become dry and crispy.

In the natural environment, Philodendron Gloriosum are shaded by trees and trying to recreate that environment in your home is nearly impossible. This is why proving your plant with bright indirect light will help it to thrive in your home. If your plant isn’t receiving adequate lighting, the plant will become long and leggy with long gaps between the leaves.

If your plant is housed in a spot that receives direct sunlight, adding a blind or curtain to your window will help to defuse the harsh sunlight to avoid burning the plants foliage. Alternatively, if you can’t seem to find that perfect spot in your home, you can always use grow lights. Just like direct sunlight, if your plant is sitting too close to the grow lights, they will burn the foliage. Keeping a safe distance of at least 60cm between your plant and the light will avoid any trouble.

Temperature

Philodendron Gloriosum will grow best when kept in a spot that maintains a temperature of 45˚F-95˚F (7˚C-35˚C) during the day and during the night, maintain a temperature of 60°F-70°F (16°C–21°C). During the warmer months, you can move your plant outdoors to enjoy the outside temperature as well as the occasional rainy days.

Humidity

Philodendron Gloriosum will thrive when kept in a high (60%-80%) humidity environment. These plants can tolerate being in humidity around 40%-50%, however, if it drops to 40% or below, you might have to think about using a humidifier or alternatives to bump up the humidity.

Providing a high humidity for your plant will encourage bigger and healthier growth. Some of the ways you can bump up the humidity without having to use a humidifier are:

  • Misting your plants
  • Pebble trays
  • Grouping plants together

You can read more about increasing humidity in your home here.

Philodendron Gloriosum Watering Requirements

Philodendron Gloriosum is a plant that likes moderate watering. Drooping leaves can be a sign that your plant needs a drink but as a rule of thumb, you should check the top few inches of soil with your finger to feel if the soil is moist. If the soil is dry, give your plant a drink. These plants like the soil to be slightly moist but not soggy. It’s important to check your plants before you water to avoid over-watering and root-rot.

Drooping leaves and yellowing leaves can also be an indicator that you’ve over-watered your plant. Excess water causes the soil to become waterlogged and can start rotting the roots which doesn’t allow them to take in any water, causing the leaves to droop. Insufficient watering can also cause the leaves of your plant to drop.

Fertilizing requirements

Not only does your plant need sufficient lighting for best growth, it also needs fertilizing. In optimal conditions, you should fertilize your Philodendron Gloriosum monthly during Spring and Summer with a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. You should reduce fertilizing to every 8 weeks during Winter and Autumn.

If your plant is producing new growth even slower than normal with small leaves, this can be a sign that your plant is lacking the essential nutrients it need to produce healthy growth. However, don’t over-fertilize your plant. Over-fertilizing your plant can cause fertilizer burn and do more harm than good.

Soil Requirements

Philodendron Gloriosum require a soil that is well draining and rich in organic matter. To achieve a good, well-draining soil, you can use orchid bark potting mix with perlite and peat mixed into it to help create better aeration. Air flow is important in potting soil as it allows the plants roots to breath. Not having enough oxygen to the roots can eventually cause them to start rotting.

Another ingredient people like add to the potting mix to make it that bit better is horticultural charcoal. The charcoal is used to help eliminate toxins and make the soil healthier. It also helps to lower how dense the soil is, which helps to create better airflow. With charcoal purifying the soil, this also prevents many pests and diseases from appearing on the plant. Adding charcoal to the soil also helps to imitate the natural growing conditions. With trees being burnt down naturally from wildfires that may occur, charcoal is present in their natural environment.

Philodendron Gloriosum can also be grown in sphagnum moss. If you do decide to grow your plant in sphagnum moss, keeping a high humidity is important for healthy growth. You will also need to fertilize more often as there are no nutrients in the sphagnum that is needed for growth.

Planting

Since Philodendron Gloriosum is a crawling plant, it’s best to use a rectangular pot that is shallow and long instead of a round pot. You also need to ensure that the pot has enough drainage holes for water to drain through because you don’t want this plant to be sitting in water. Once the plant has reached the end of the pot, it will start to grow over the edge. When this happens, you may notice the new leaves will grow smaller as a result of the roots not being in soil.

When planting your Philodendron Gloriosum, it’s important that you plant the rhizome correctly. You may be thinking what is a rhizome? The rhizome is the part of the stem where the new leaves emerge from. Unlike climbing plants like the Monstera or Philodendron where the rhizome is growing vertically to climb up a pole, the Gloriosum grows horizontally so it can crawl along the ground. You should keep the rhizome above the soil so that the top is exposed but the roots can grow into the soil.

If the rhizome is buried under the soil, it’s more likely to rot if the soil is kept moist. When the rhizome is no longer touching the soil, the roots are no longer able to grow into the ground meaning if you have this plant growing vertically or it has outgrown its pot, the leaves will become smaller and smaller. Leaving the rhizome partially above the soil will allow the roots to find their way into the soil and you will have a happy, big plant.

Diseases & Pests

Like most other Philodendron varieties, the most common pests you may encounter on your Philodendron Gloriosum are Spider Mites, Aphids, Mealybugs, Scale, Whitefly and Fungus Gnats. One of the most common diseases that you may encounter is Root-rot. For a wide range of information on combating a range of indoor plant pests and diseases click here.

There are a few things you can do that will assist in preventing any pest infestations. The things you can try are:

  1. Checking new plants for pests or isolating new plants for up to a week.
  2. Check your plants every few days for pests.
  3. Trim off any dead or dying leaves.
  4. Wipe down leaves if you notice them getting dusty.
  5. Keeping your plants healthy. A healthy plant will be able to handle an infestation better than those that aren’t as happy. 
  6. Isolate any plants that have pests.

Following this will assist in keeping pests away as well as catch them early on before any severe infestations are able to start. Keeping plants healthy and in the correct living environments can help to deter any pests from invading your plants.

Toxicity

The Philodendron Gloriosum is a toxic plant that should be kept away from small children and animals. If any of this plant is ingested it can lead to an irritated throat, problems swallowing, stomach pains and cramps. If a large amount is ingested it could even lead to a coma.

Click here for the 5 best plants that are non-toxic and safe for pets.