Philodendron Micans

Philodendron Micans

Have you ever been captivated by the allure of a plant so unique, it seems almost out of this world? Let me introduce you to Philodendron Micans – a houseplant with velvety leaves that shimmer with iridescence.

Unlike its glossy-leaved counterparts, the Micans boasts of a texture and hue reminiscent of the deep hues of a moonlit night. Also, here is a detailed article on how to propagate Philodendron Micans

This article dives deep into the realm of this fascinating plant, revealing every nook and cranny of its existence.Also, here is a detailed article on how to care for Philodendron Micans

Plant Overview

Botanical NamePhilodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum ‘Micans’
Common NamePhilodendron Micans, Velvet Leaf Philodendron
Plant TypeClimbing or trailing perennial
Average Size10-15 feet in nature, but smaller when cultivated indoors
Sunlight RequirementsBright, indirect light; tolerates some shade
Soil TypeWell-draining potting mix, preferably with some peat
Soil pH6.0 to 7.5 (slightly acidic to neutral)
Bloom TimeRarely blooms indoors; in nature, it blooms during the wet season
Flower ColorNon-showy, greenish-white spathe and spadix

Plant Description

Origins and History: Native to Central America and the Caribbean, the Philodendron Micans is a member of the larger Philodendron genus, which is vast and diverse. But what sets the Micans apart is its heart-shaped leaves with a velvety texture, which are rare in the world of houseplants. Historically, these plants were revered by local cultures not just for their aesthetic beauty, but also for their resilience and adaptability, often flourishing in less-than-ideal conditions.

Philodendron Micans

Natural Habitat: Philodendron Micans thrive in the understories of tropical rainforests. Here, they’re protected from direct sunlight by the dense canopy above, receiving dappled light instead. This is why they prefer indirect lighting conditions when kept as houseplants. The high humidity and organic-rich soil of their natural habitats have shaped their care requirements.

Growth Patterns: In the wild, the Micans can often be found trailing or climbing up trees, reaching heights of 10-15 feet. Indoors, they are more restrained but can still showcase their trailing beauty, making them ideal for hanging baskets. Their heart-shaped leaves, which can grow up to 4 inches in length, start as a bright orange or copper and mature into deep green with a hint of purple. This metamorphosis of color is a sight to behold.

With proper care, Philodendron Micans can grow at a moderate pace, offering new leaves frequently, especially during its growing season in spring and summer. Like other philodendrons, they have aerial roots, which they use in their natural habitat to anchor to trees or the forest floor. In a home environment, these roots can be directed into the soil or left to hang free, adding to the plant’s unique look.

Identification of Philodendron Micans

Overall Appearance:
Philodendron Micans is truly a captivating specimen among houseplants. The lush cascade of trailing stems is laden with heart-shaped leaves. These leaves are unique because, unlike most Philodendrons, they have a soft, velvety texture.

In its native habitat, Philodendron Micans can climb or trail up to 10-15 feet. However, when cultivated indoors as a houseplant, it typically achieves a more modest length of 3-6 feet.

The leaves are the star of the show. Typically ranging from 3-5 inches in length, they have a heart shape. Young leaves often emerge in a bright orange or copper hue and then, as they mature, transition to a rich green with purple undertones. The unique velvety texture of the leaves is due to tiny hair-like structures on their surface, which catch the light and give them an iridescent sheen.

While it’s rare for Philodendron Micans to bloom indoors, when it does, the flowers are a greenish-white spathe and spadix. These are not particularly showy and are often overshadowed by the beauty of the leaves.

Philodendron Micans

Types and Varieties of Philodendron

While the Micans is a stunning specimen, the Philodendron genus is vast and diverse, with several species and cultivars.

  1. Philodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’: This variety has striking variegated leaves, sporting a vibrant green center and golden-yellow streaks along the edges.
  2. Philodendron bipinnatifidum (Lacy Tree Philodendron): This is a larger specimen with deeply lobed leaves, often achieving an impressive spread in tropical gardens.
  3. Philodendron gloriosum: Recognizable for its large, heart-shaped leaves that are green on top and purple underneath. It’s a terrestrial plant that prefers to crawl on the ground rather than climb.
  4. Philodendron ‘Moonlight’: A hybrid type with fluorescent green foliage. This variety is a self-heading philodendron, meaning it grows upwards and outwards, forming a bushy appearance.
  5. Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’: One of the most sought-after varieties due to its variegated leaves of dark green and pink. Each leaf is unique, with the pink portions ranging from pale pastel to bright fuchsia.

Facts about Philodendron Micans

  1. Ancient Roots: The name “Philodendron” is derived from the Greek words “philo” (love) and “dendron” (tree), aptly describing the plant’s tree-loving nature.
  2. Mood Boosters: There’s a reason why Philodendrons, including Micans, are popular houseplants. They’re not just visually appealing; they also help purify the air, potentially leading to improved mood and concentration.
  3. Low Maintenance: Despite their tropical origins, Philodendron Micans are surprisingly adaptable and can thrive even when slightly neglected, making them suitable for novice plant owners.
  4. A Natural Climber: In the wild, Philodendron Micans uses its aerial roots to attach to trees or the forest floor. These roots can be seen even in potted indoor plants, giving them a distinctive appearance.
  5. Not Pet Friendly: It’s essential to note that Philodendrons, including Micans, contain calcium oxalate crystals. If ingested, they can be toxic to pets and humans, causing mouth and stomach irritation.

Tips to Grow Philodendron Micans

Philodendron Micans
  1. Light Requirements: Philodendron Micans prefers bright, indirect sunlight. A spot near an east or north-facing window would be ideal. If placed under direct sunlight, its leaves can get scorched.
  2. Soil Preferences: Use a well-draining potting mix with a touch of peat for acidity. You can also consider a mix designed for aroids or orchids, which ensures good aeration and moisture retention.
  3. Watering Routine: Water the Micans when the top inch or two of soil feels dry. Over-watering can lead to root rot. It’s better to err on the side of under-watering rather than giving it too much.
  4. Humidity Levels: Being a tropical plant, Micans thrives in high humidity. Consider placing it on a humidity tray or using a humidifier in dry climates. Misting can also help but ensure the leaves dry to prevent fungal issues.
  5. Fertilization: During the growing season (spring and summer), feed your Micans once a month with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength.
  6. Pruning: To encourage bushier growth, consider pinching back the longer stems. This will not only make the plant more full but also allow you to propagate the cuttings.
  7. Repotting: If the plant outgrows its container or the soil becomes exhausted, repot the Micans in a container 1-2 inches larger than the current one.

Major Problems with Philodendron Micans

  1. Yellowing Leaves: Often a sign of over-watering. Check the soil moisture and ensure proper drainage. Reduce your watering frequency if the soil feels soggy.
  2. Brown Leaf Tips: This may indicate a lack of humidity or that the plant is being watered with hard tap water. Consider using distilled water or rainwater.
  3. Pests: Philodendron Micans can occasionally become a host to pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Regularly inspect the plant and treat any infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  4. Leggy Growth: If your Micans starts to look stretched out or “leggy,” it might not be receiving enough light. Try relocating it to a brighter spot.
  5. Root Rot: Caused by over-watering or poor drainage, the roots become mushy and brown. If you suspect root rot, remove the plant from its pot, trim away affected roots, and repot in fresh soil.

Care and Maintenance for Philodendron Micans

  1. Consistent Watering: Ensure a consistent watering schedule, allowing the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry out between watering sessions. This ensures the roots don’t sit in stagnant water, preventing root rot.
  2. Regular Dusting: Clean the leaves regularly with a soft, damp cloth. This not only helps the plant breathe better but also enhances its appearance, ensuring that its velvety foliage remains dust-free.
  3. Temperature Consistency: Maintain a temperature range between 65°F and 80°F (18°C – 27°C). Avoid placing your Micans near radiators or cold drafts.
  4. Rotating the Plant: Rotate your Micans every few weeks to ensure even growth. This prevents the plant from becoming lopsided, as it naturally grows towards the light.
  5. Support: As a natural climber, consider giving your Micans a moss pole or trellis for support as it grows. This can promote vertical growth and create a beautiful display.
Philodendron Micans

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are the leaves on my Philodendron Micans turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves can be a result of over-watering. Ensure that you’re allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions and that your pot has adequate drainage.

Is Philodendron Micans toxic to pets?

Yes, the plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can be harmful if ingested by pets or humans, causing mouth and stomach irritation.

Can I propagate Philodendron Micans in water?

Absolutely! Cuttings from Micans can root in water. Once roots are well-developed, they can be transferred to soil.

How often should I repot my Micans?

Generally, repotting every 2-3 years is recommended. However, if the plant seems root-bound or the soil is exhausted, you might need to do it sooner.

My Micans’ leaves are losing their velvety appearance. Why?

Low humidity might be the culprit. Ensure that the plant is receiving adequate humidity, either by misting, using a humidity tray, or a humidifier.

Is it normal for older leaves to fall off?

Yes, as the plant matures, it’s normal for older, lower leaves to yellow and eventually drop off, making room for new growth.

Do I need to feed my Philodendron Micans regularly?

During the growing season (spring and summer), monthly feeding with a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer is beneficial for the plant’s growth.

About Christopher Evans

Hello, I'm Chris, the green-thumbed Founder of I'm passionate about bringing the beauty of nature indoors through houseplants and indoor gardening. Let's create healthier and more beautiful living spaces, one plant at a time!

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