Philodendron Florida Ghost (Care and Propagation)

Philodendron Florida Ghost

As you might have already guessed, the Philodendron Florida Ghost is named after its “ghostly” leaves. 

Because what else do you call a plant with stretched out, irregular, and spooky foliage that goes from white to lime green to dark green over time? 

This evergreen, vine-climbing, and hybrid plant belongs to the Araceae family and is native to the Northern, Central, and Southern Americas. The good part? Like most tropical plants, this one too makes an excellent indoor plant.

Believe it or not, you will fall in love with these white, little ghosts (that eventually change hues)! 

Read on to discover what this unique philodendron has to offer and how to grow it properly in your home. 

What are philodendrons as houseplants?

The word “philodendron” itself translates to “tree-loving”. The fact that most philodendrons climb trees in the woods explain why they are brilliant houseplants.

It’s primarily because they are accustomed to living in shady rainforests, away from intense sunlight. No wonder philodendrons do amazingly well indoors and turn out as terrific houseplants.

The Florida ghost philodendrons, in particular, happen to purify the oxygen that surrounds them, making them an even worthier choice for indoor plants. 

What are other similar philodendrons you can keep as indoor plants? 

What if we tell you that there exist more than 400 philodendrons in the plant community? Yes, for real!

Let’s talk about some other philodendrons you can keep indoors and are similar to the Florida ghost.

Philodendron brandtianum 

This vining plant is admired for its unique leaves – they appear like an outstretched heart with grayish-white or silver splotches all over their surfaces. This plant is popularly known as the Silver Leaf Philodendron. 

Philodendron grazielae

This rare species has glossy, deep-green leaves that are small, broad, and heart-shaped. 

Philodendron moonlight 

The philodendron moonlight displays spectacular yellow-green foliage, which often seems neon green from a distance. 

Philodendron Prince of Orange 

The Prince of Orange gets its name from its orange-hued leaves. It has a vibrant color ranging from red-orange to dark yellow, making it look out-of-the-ordinary. 

philodendron florida ghost
Image source: Veryplants

How do you care for a philodendron florida ghost? 

In the right conditions, the philodendron florida ghost shall grow pretty easily. In other words, you do not have to worry too much about its maintenance!

A few guidelines, however, are mandatory for you to follow to make sure your philodendron florida ghost is happy, healthy, and thriving. 

Below, we emphasize all the nuts and bolts of the philodendron florida ghost care routine.

Water  

Like most philodendrons, this plant’s water requirements are in the middle. That is to say, neither excessive nor scanty watering is recommended.

The general rule is to check whether the first two layers of soil are dry or not each time before watering. During summers, your philodendron florida ghost will probably need water thrice a week. On the other hand, during winter and fall (its dormancy periods), watering it once a week should be sufficient. 

But remember, this schedule is not set in stone! You must make necessary adjustments to your water frequency as per the weather. Just make sure you keep the soil mix moist and not soggy.

Light 

For the most part, your philodendron florida ghost will endure both illuminated environments and dim lighting conditions. However, if you want it to do its best, you will have to maintain easy access to bright, indirect light. 

But why indirect? 

We’re glad you asked.

Well, because that’s how its natural habitat conditions it to grow! 

The huge trees block the sunlight it receives in rainforests. So basically, you are supposed to recreate those conditions. Remember that while excessive sunlight can scorch its funky leaves, too little light can affect its growth negatively. 

Humidity 

Your philodendron florida ghosts only require moderate humidity to survive. That said, they certainly won’t mind living in higher humidity levels! In fact, that’s how they’ve been growing all this while in the humid jungles they originated.

Although humidity levels beyond 70% would be ideal, this beauty knows well how to adapt to its surroundings. As a result, it flourishes pretty nicely in household humidity. 

But if you live in a dry area, consider using the techniques mentioned below to provide your plant with enhanced humid conditions

  • Place a humidifier in the proximity of the plant. 
  • Mist your plant at regular intervals. 
  • Make a pebble tray by placing pebbles and adding water to a tray. Now place your pots on top of the pebbles. 

Potting Mix 

Speaking of potting mixes, the philodendron florida ghost typically likes to reside in a medium that drains well yet retains optimum moisture. An indoor potting mix merged with bark and charcoal works brilliantly, for that matter. 

Having said that, sphagnum peat moss does the job all by itself! On one hand, its coarse nature allows it to absorb sufficient water. And on the other hand, its aeration permits excess water to leave right away. 

Temperature 

The philodendron florida ghost is found to be living its best life on warmer days. To be precise, temperatures ranging between 65°F to 95°F (18°C to 35°C) are absolute for this plant. 

Bear in mind that these beauties are not winter hardy. So, make sure that you place them in a warmer spot during the cold months so that they do not freeze. 

Fertilizing 

Being a slow grower, the florida ghost philodendron benefits substantially from regular feedings of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Remember, nitrogen is the key here! Not only does it support foliage development but also keeps your plant green and healthy. 

But again, overdoing it would be of more harm than good. For best results, use a fertilizer moderately (once a month during spring and summer) with half the recommended strength. Also, always water your plant while feeding it. It will prevent any chances of root burn. 

Repotting 

Usually, your florida ghost will not need you to re-pot it every so often. Repotting it once every two to three years should be more than enough. 

However, keep an eye out to check if its roots are poking out of the drainage holes. Because in that case, repotting your plant is the only way out (its roots need to breathe and hate being cramped!). 

Pruning 

Pruning is not an essential practice when it comes to these ghosts. But make sure to keep a check and eliminate any dead or dying leaves as soon as you spot them. 

At times, you might also want to prune your plant to control its leggedness and encourage new growth. All you need to do then is, take a pair of sharp scissors and cut right above a node. 

Foliage 

As you already know, this plant is famous for its unique, ghost-shaped leaves. They start as creamy white and turn dark green in due course, especially if exposed to extremely dim light.

Initially, the leaves are small, arrow-shaped, and do not contain any lobes. However, you will notice extra lobes (that will eventually turn into ghosts) by the time your philodendron florida ghost matures.

philodendron florida ghost propagation

Philodendron florida ghost problems and pests 

On the whole, this plant is fairly immune to pests and diseases. However, regular inspection is necessary because improper maintenance can always affect your plant’s growth. Also, some annoying creatures can find their way into the sap of your philodendron at times and ruin this beautiful plant!

Here are the most common problems this plant is susceptible to:

Yellow leaves 

You are perhaps overwatering your philodendron!

If your plant has gotten a lot of yellow leaves, it’s already giving you all the hints to slow down your watering pace. 

One or two yellowed leaves, however, are not an issue. 

Brown, crispy leaves 

Dryness in the vicinity of this plant can give way to brown, crispy leaves.

As we stated earlier, the philodendron florida ghost prefers higher humidity levels. And in case its leaves start turning brown, you may have to take charge and create some moisture in the air for your plant (by using the techniques we discussed above).

Pests 

Sometimes, certain pests and insects would randomly decide to walk into your plant and shackle its growth. The trick is to identify the culprit and take the necessary steps on time. 

The two most common pests that can attack this plant are as follows (along with what needs to be done afterwards):

  • Mealybugs – These will multiply very fast and make your plant dull and weak. You may use neem oil or a cotton ball soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol to rub away all the bugs. If you opt for the latter, make sure you rinse off any excess alcohol once you do away with the bugs.
  • Aphids – Use a showerhead or a hose to wash away the bugs. An insecticidal soap spray is also an effective solution. Repeat the process several times, and the little beasts would be bound to leave!

Diseases 

Following are the most common diseases this plant can get.

  • Root Rot – If you overwater your plant, there is a high probability of developing root rot for it; this means its roots would drown and no longer supply water and nutrients to the plant. 
  • Fire Blight – This bad-smelling bacteria can turn the branches of your plant brown or black. If left untreated, these might even kill your plant!

So, make sure you use sterilized pruning shears to do away with all the infected branches so that it does not spread all over your plant. 

Philodendron florida ghost propagation 

If you are looking forward to propagating your philodendron florida ghost, it would be safe to suggest that you are on your way to a wholesome journey. 

Believe us. It’s going to be fun, easy, and worth your efforts!

Ready to dive deeper into the three most common ways of propagating this philodendron? 

Let’s go!

Philodendron florida ghost propagation in potting mix 

  • Pick up your arms! You will need a pair of sterilized, sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut off a section of the plant. 
  • Cut right below a node, so the piece you cut off contains the node. Ensure that this piece has at least one or more healthy-looking leaves.
  • Time to pot now! Fix your cutting into a fairly hydrated potting mix or sphagnum moss. As you do that, make sure that at least one node gets buried properly. That’s where the roots would emerge! 
  • This philodendron florida ghost cutting will require an adequate amount of bright, indirect light and some humidity. So, place it accordingly. 
  • Roots will develop in a few weeks, after which you may relocate your cutting to a more permanent spot. 

Philodendron florida ghost propagation in water 

  • Again, you need to use a pair of clean scissors and follow the same procedure we mentioned above to cut off a healthy section (one that contains a node and a few leaves) of the plant. 
  • Next, instead of placing the cutting in soil, you may place it in a glass jar filled with water at room temperature. 
  • While you’re at it, make sure that at least one node submerges into the water, but the leaves remain above its surface. Now, put the cutting in bright, filtered light. 
  • Replace the water when grime starts getting accumulated in the jar. After a few weeks, roots shall begin to develop. The good part is that water propagation allows you to see the roots grow in front of your eyes!

Philodendron florida ghost propagation by stem cuttings

  • First things first – Go and grab your tools! A pair of well-sanitized pruning shears should do the job. You may clean them using isopropyl alcohol. 
  • Cut the stem right above a leaf node. The section you snip off must have a minimum of two leaves attached to it.
  • Be sure that your stem cuttings are two to four inches long.
  • Let the fresh cuttings dry out for a week or so. This will help create calloused ends and cure the stem cuttings. 
  • Your cuttings are pot-ready! Add peat moss to the pots having proper drainage holes. Use your hands to make a decent-sized hole in the peat moss and place your stem cuttings there. Be careful that the leaves do not get buried as you do that. Pack the nearby soil once you are done. 
  • To provide stability to your cuttings, you may use wooden skewers or sticks to keep them firm.
  • Care for your cuttings like you would do for the mother plant!

Additional information on philodendron florida ghost

Can a philodendron florida ghost revert? 

The philodendron florida ghost’s foliage starts as white and turns dark green with time. However, it is still manageable for you to help them revert to white! How? Simply by exposing them to a good deal of bright, filtered light. If you want, you can also use grow-lights for that sake. But remember that it might take a few weeks for the leaves to go white again. 

Is philodendron florida ghost pet safe? 

No, these ghosts are way too toxic for your pets. They contain excessive amounts of calcium oxalate crystals, which can be harmful to both humans and animals if ingested. So, be sure not to keep these plants within your pet’s reach. 

What is the difference between florida beauty and florida ghost? 

When it comes to the differences between philodendron florida ghost vs florida beauty, there are not too many of them! Florida Beauty is a hybrid plant, which is very similar to the Florida Ghost, except that its leaves are albo variegated and somewhat thinner and longer than those of the latter. 

Where can I buy a philodendron florida ghost? 

You will most probably find a philodendron florida ghost for sale in an online store or a web shop. These plants are rare and are hence not easily available in most nurseries and supermarkets. For the same reason, the philodendron florida ghost prices are also exceptionally high (starting at $150-$200). However, with its dramatic leaves and easy maintenance, this beauty is worth its high price tag!

How big does a philodendron florida ghost get? 

A philodendron florida ghost will grow around five feet tall under favorable conditions. Being a relatively slow-growing plant, it does not go beyond a few feet in height most of the time. White leaves might be responsible for their slow growth, considering that plants need sufficient chlorophyll to photosynthesize properly. 

Does philodendron florida ghost climb? 

It does climb. This plant is naturally a vining plant. So, if you provide it with a moss pole, it will live up to your expectations!

What is the difference between philodendron florida and florida ghost?

The Philodendron Florida is just the regular version of the Florida Ghost. It is probably the same plant referred to as the philodendron florida “green”. Again, that’s so because it has got a deep green foliage supported by long, red stems as opposed to its ghostly cousin (who has white, creamy leaves).

Final thoughts on philodendron florida ghost

Philodendron florida ghosts are rare aroids with shiny white leaves that develop shades of yellow and green later on as they mature. This attribute of dramatically changing colors makes these beauties widely popular amongst plant collectors. Plus, they are fairly easy to look after! 

Once you know the basics, you are all set to welcome your plant baby into your home.

Hopefully, our guide assists you in the process and helps you grow this alluring beauty inside your home. Good Luck!

Philodendron Florida Ghost