Philodendron gloriosum is lovingly known as the creeper plant or crawling philodendron. It’s the darling of houseplants, but it’s a little tricky to grow and care for. Like other beautiful plants, the creeper plant is picky about its soil, light and watering. But the effort is totally worth it. Cater to its needs and it will reward you with giant velvety leaves.
So, how exactly do you care for a philodendron gloriosum?
Philodendron Gloriosum Care
Philodendron gloriosum needs the right combination of sun, water and nutrients to grow and thrive. The creeping plant is native to the tropical forests of Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and Venezuela. Its natural environment dictates the type of indoor care it will need.
Philodendron Gloriosum Growth Rate
The philodendron gloriosum is a slow grower. It can take 1-2 months for its beautiful leaves to unfurl.
At maturity, these plants can reach a height of nearly three feet, and their leaves can be up to 24.”
Because this plant is such a slow grower, there’s really no need for pruning. Just make sure that you remove any dead or diseased leaves.
The philodendron gloriosum’s natural habitat is the Amazon rainforest, which means that it doesn’t like a whole lot of direct sunlight. It can tolerate some direct light, but indirect light is better.
It’s best to place this plant in a place where it will get medium or bright indirect light.
Note: If you leave this plant in the direct sun for too long, it will get sunburned. Signs of sunburn include:
Black markings on the leaves
If you’re struggling to find the right lighting situation in your home, you can use grow lights. The philodendron gloriosum does well under a grow light as long as it’s getting enough of it. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to keep your light on for longer, as it doesn’t provide the full spectrum light that the sun provides.
Watering and Temperature Requirements
Along with indirect light, philodendron gloriosum prefers:
Warm temperatures between 65°F and 85°F
Humidity level of around 60%
Moist but not wet soil
One of the biggest killers of houseplants like the monster is overwatering. People give their plants too much love, and they wind up developing root rot.
So, how often should you water your philodendron gloriosum?
Wait until the top inch of soil is dry, and then give your plant a thorough watering.
Just remember not to overdo it, and don’t allow the soil to dry out completely. This plant is very sensitive to soggy soil and will develop root rot really quickly.
Also, be sure to keep your plant away from drafty areas or near house vents to prevent harmful temperature fluctuations. If you’re having trouble maintaining the right humidity levels, try grouping your plants together. You can also place your plant over a pebble tray with water or use a humidifier to improve humidity.
Don’t forget to consider air circulation. You may want to place a fan in the room to ensure proper airflow and prevent fungal issues.
Best Soil for Philodendron
Light, well-draining soil is ideal for the philodendron gloriosum. Adding perlite can help prevent root rot and keep your plant happy. Place your plant in a pot with drainage holes to further improve drainage.
The soil’s pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5.
Create Your Own Potting Mix
You can buy potting mix, or you can also create your own. Simply mix:
Two parts peat moss
One part perlite
The perlite will help with drainage, and the worm castings will provide much-needed nutrients. Some people also incorporate coco coir, vermiculite (to help retain humidity) and sphagnum moss.
The philodendron gloriosum thrives with minimal fertilization. Like with water, if you overdo it, you will burn the plant’s roots, killing it in the process. Instead, find a balanced houseplant fertilizer and dilute it to half-strength.
Aim to fertilize your philodendron gloriosum once per month to encourage growth. Avoid fertilizing over winter to prevent mineral salt buildup.
How do you know if you’re not giving your plant enough nutrients? Look for these signs:
Legginess (long stems with small leaves)
If you notice any of these signs, you can repot your plant with nutrient-rich potting soil, or you can apply a diluted fertilizer to see if it improves.
Pests and Other Problems
Philodendron gloriosum can suffer from a few problems and pests.
Pests: Aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats and mealybugs.
Not enough light: Leggy stems
Droopy leaves: Over or under watering
Crispy leaves: Too much direct sunlight
Yellow leaves: Overwatering or too much light
The philodendron gloriosum is a beautiful plant, and like other beautiful things in nature, it is toxic to some creatures. In particular, this plant is toxic to cats and dogs because it contains insoluble calcium oxalates.
If you have pets in your home, make sure that you keep your philodendron gloriosum well out of their reach. You may need to keep your pets away from the room where you’re growing your plant. You can also consider placing the plant on a dresser or shelf where your pets can’t reach them.
Cats are the trickiest to keep away from plants, so keep this in mind before buying this plant.
Signs Your Philodendron Gloriosum Needs Repotting
Because the philodendron gloriosum is such a slow grower, you won’t need to repot it often. How will you know when it’s time to give your plant a new home? Look for these signs:
The plant is over the edge. This means that the roots have no more room for growth.
Both of these are signs that your plant has run out of room and needs a new pot. Now is a great time to create some fresh potting mix and fertilize if it’s not winter.
In most cases, philodendron gloriosum only needs repotting every few years. But if you notice signs of root rot or issues with fertilization, you may want to repot just to be on the safe side.
How to Propagate Philodendron Gloriosum
The best way to propagate philodendron gloriosum is with a stem cutting. Philodendrons are either creepers or climbers. As you probably guessed, this one is a creeper. It creeps horizontally along the ground. So, for successful propagation, you need to find the rhizome between leaves and make your cutting there.
Here are a few things to note:
The cutting can have leaves, but it’s okay if it’s just the rhizome.
Make sure that you leave at least three healthy leaves on your plant before making a cutting.
Use pruning shears or a clean, sharp knife when cutting.
Place your cutting in a pot with drainage holes and moist sphagnum moss.
Place a lid or bag over the pot to increase humidity and encourage growth. Just make sure that you open the lid for a few minutes every few days.
Keep the moss moist.
It can take 2-4 weeks for roots to appear, so be patient. Wait until the first 2-3 leaves have grown to place your new plant into a pot with well-draining potting mix.
Propagation allows you to continue growing new philodendron gloriosum plants without having to spend a fortune buying them at the store.