Philodendron Gloriosum: Care Guide, Propagation & Common Problems
In our indoor plant community, the plant my husband has become the most famous for is his extremely impressive Philodendron Gloriosum.
It is so big and luscious, and he grows it in a long pot suspended from the roof. It has been such a rewarding plant to grow, putting out massive leaves every few weeks.
This is not unusual if you have the perfect growing conditions for these beautiful, velvety plants, and I have decided to share some of his growing secrets with you.
The Philodendron Gloriosum is native to Columbia and is considered a terrestrial crawling plant. This means it grows along the forest floor and spreads out as it crawls. As an indoor plant, it can grow up a moss pole, but it will not reach its full glory!
Its leaves are known for their beautiful heart shape, velvety texture with a pink border, and bright white veining. They come in a variety of different types, including the Gloriosum “Zebra”, “Dark Form”, “Round Form”, and even a “Pink Back”. I am still unsure what type of Gloriosum I have in my collection, but I feel it might be a Pink Back.
The leaves can grow up to 50cm in width, making them a striking addition to your houseplant collection. They can flower if the plant is mature, and the flower is usually creamy white or pink.
How to Care for Philodendron Gloriosum
|Lighting & Placement:||Medium, indirect light|
|Watering||When top 3 cm of soil is dry|
|Soil Mix||Airy Aroid potting mix|
|Repotting||When stem reaches the end of the pot|
|Humidity||60-80%, can be lower if adjusted over time|
|Fertilizing||During spring and summer, or slow release fertilizer|
|Pests||Prone to spider mites|
|Propagation||Cuttings made in between each node|
Lighting & Placement
The Philodendron Gloriosum grows on the forest floor in the wild. It likes indirect light that isn’t too bright. Direct sunlight can be very harmful to this plant, so make sure you avoid it at all costs!
We recommend placing it onto an East-facing windowsill and rotating your plant every now and then to get a fuller look to the foliage.
Soil & Potting
The Philodendron Gloriosum needs an airy Aroid potting mix to prevent water retention and mimic the natural growing conditions of a forest floor. I recommend using a mix of perlite, bark, pumice/volcanic rock, and coco chips.
The ideal pot for these plants is a long planter – 1 meter in length is a great size, but if you are struggling with space, a shorter one can be used. You may find that you need to chop and repot it more often if using a shorter planter.
Long planters are not the prettiest pots, but you can paint them beautifully or get one with a wooden pot cover. If you choose to go with a pot cover, remember to check for leftover water inside of it after every watering to avoid root rot.
My favorite recipe for an airy mix is:
- 30% Perlite
- 30% Pumice/Leca/Volcanic rock (or a mix of these)
- 30% mix of Coco Chips and small bark chips
- 10% Coco coir
Growth Rate & Repotting
My Philodendron Gloriosum puts out a new leaf at least once a month, and each one feels like a Christmas present!
They come out with a beautiful pink underside and light green top side with bright white veining. When the leaves start to harden off, they become deep green and extremely velvety. They almost look like fabric!
We recommend using a long pot as the Philodendron Gloriosum is a crawler. You only need to repot it once the rhizome has reached the end of the pot, as it will start to grow out of the pot, and the leaves will get smaller.
Temperature & Humidity
In nature, the Philodendron Gloriosum grows along the forest floor shaded by tall trees. In order to grow an impressively large plant, we recommend mimicking this environment as best you can.
High humidity of 80% is ideal and can be achieved using a humidifier and a few trays with pebbles and water around the plant.
They like a slightly warmer temperature of 19-27 ℃, so you might want to consider introducing a heater in winter if you live in a cold area. We find that our plants suffer during winter from root rot due to the water not evaporating as quickly, and the leaf growth slowing down.
Luckily, Philodendrons are quite resilient, and if your Gloriosum suffers from winter damage, it can be saved by propagating the nodes and putting them into a propagation box.
The Philodendron Gloriosum is not a heavy feeder. I recommend fertilizing it once a month with half-strength liquid fertilizer during the growing season, which is spring and summer. We learned this the hard way, and it shows on the yellowing corners of the leaves on our plant!
An alternative is using a small bit of slow-release fertilizer mixed into the soil, but be careful of putting too much of it into your soil. If you notice the leaves are yellowing, it may be time to repot the plant and remove the slow-release fertilizer.
The dreaded spider mite is the most significant pest to the beautiful, velvety leaves of the Philodendron Gloriosum. They can leave such ugly marks on your leaves and ultimately suck the life out of your plant if you don’t treat them quickly.
If you see little red or white bugs and webs on your leaves, I recommend using an insecticide with an active ingredient of Bifenthrin. Spray both sides of the leaves and stems thoroughly every second day for a week.
The leaves won’t recover from spider mite damage, but it will prevent them from spreading onto your new leaves or other plants.
I highly recommend inspecting your plants whenever you water them for early detection.
Another common problem you may face is root rot.
These plants do not like to be overwatered. Using a chunky Ariod mix will reduce the risk of root rot, and if you see your leaves are starting to yellow, I recommend checking the roots for rot.
Roots should be firm and white when they are healthy. An easy way to detect root rot without pulling your plant out of its soil is by smelling the drainage holes of your pot. If you smell a pungent smell, you may have root rot!
This plant tells you a lot by its leaves.
Either over, but usually under-watering. It used to frustrate me that plants show the same characteristics due to this issue, but I found an easy solution to see which was the problem. Simply refer to the roots! Check the soil and the roots to see which one it could be.
This can be a sign of either too much light exposure or over-feeding. Move your plant to a shadier spot, and if the problem persists with the new leaves, try cutting down on your fertilization regime.
If the problem is only with the older leaves, this could just be its natural process of shedding its older leaves.
This is usually a sign of under-fertilization. Refer to our section about fertilizing for some tips and tricks!
The Philodendron Gloriosum is super easy to propagate, especially if you have it growing in a long planter. All you need to do is take a sterile blade and cut the plant in between the internodal spacing on the rhizome.
You can then either remove the cutting and place it in a new pot with sphagnum moss and a grow light; or leave it in the pot to establish a few leaves and roots before repotting it.
Glorious Vs. Gloriosum
While they have very similar names, and to the untrained eye, they may even look the same, these two plants are extremely different.
One of their main differences is that the Glorious is a hybrid between a Philodendron Melanochrysum and a Philodendron Gloriosum, meaning that it is not found in the wild and was made by humans!
|Growing Pattern||Climber||Terrestrial Crawler|
|Leaf Shape||Narrow and long||Rounder|
Further reading: Philodendron Glorious: Care, Propagation & Common Problems
Is Philodendron Gloriosum a Climber or a Crawler?
The Philodendron Gloriosum is a crawler, but it can also be grown climbing a moss pole. The leaves will be more significant if it is grown as a crawler, and the plant will grow much quicker.
Is Philodendron Gloriosum easy to Care For?
It has been one of our easiest plants to care for, except for the spider mite problem it faces every now and then. If you give it the right environment, it will thrive and be one of the most rewarding plants.
Does Philodendron Gloriosum Grow Quickly?
Given the right growing conditions, the Philodendron Gloriosum can grow fairly quickly, and put out a new leaf every 3 weeks.