A widespread species of philodendron, Philodendron micans, gets its common name, “velvet leaf philodendron,” from the velvety feel of its leaves. The Philodendron micans are just one of the 450 species of philodendron. The velvet leaf philodendron, or Micans, is a plant native only to the more tropical parts of Mexico and the Caribbean.
It’s become increasingly sought after as an indoor plant, making it hard to track down in some areas, but if you can track one down, you won’t be disappointed with your purchase. Like many other philodendron species, Philodendron micans require little in the way of care and cultivation effort. It looks lovely when growing in containers, up moss poles, or on trellises.
The Philodendron micans are known for their large, lush leaves. The fully developed leaf has chartreuse or bright green center and a slight pink margin. The underside of the heart-shaped leaves turns pink or red as the plant matures, while the upper surface remains a dark copper green.
When light shines through them, they have a shimmering, even iridescent quality. A velvet leaf Philodendron leaf, at its largest, can be up to three inches broad and four inches long. Another striking feature of the Velvet leaf Philodendron is the velvety feel of its leaves. Due to this, the leaves should not be wiped clean like other philodendrons.
Philodendron Micans ‘Velvet Leaf’ Care Guide
This philodendron is well-suited to life as a houseplant because it takes little care and grows well in a controlled environment. It thrives on well-drained soil with consistent water supply, bright light, and indirect light. Flowers on Philodendron micans have been observed in the wild. However, indoor flowering of this plant is extremely rare. When it does occur, the flowers are often underwhelming compared to the plant’s bright foliage.
Philodendron micans thrive in bright to mild indirect light. If you want to keep the leaves from turning brown and drying up, protect them from direct sunlight as much as possible. If you want to change the color of the leaves on the Philodendron micans, you’ll need to adjust the plant’s exposure to light. The leaves will stay a vibrant red or maroon while there’s enough light, but they’ll become a more shady green when there’s not.
Soil for Philodendron micans should be partially water-retentive and aerated to let the plant’s roots breathe. Normal potting soil can be used. However, by incorporating specific elements, its efficacy can be raised.
The velvet leaf Philodendron flourishes in nutrient-dense, organic soil because it allows the plant to maximize its leaf production. Before soil, mix in some well-decomposed compost or worm castings. The optimal pH range for the velvet leaf Philodendron is somewhat acidic, between 5 and 6.5. To achieve this, just add peat moss to the soil before planting. Extra perlite, which will make the soil even lighter and less dense, is a good idea also.
The top few inches of soil should always be checked before watering this houseplant. Overwatering the plants or letting the soil dry up will be counterproductive. You should only have to water the plant around once every two weeks if it has proper drainage holes.
Through the spring and summer, consistent watering will ensure that the soil remains moist and healthy. However, you should stop watering the soil regularly and let it dry out between waterings during the winter months.
When watering your Philodendron micans, tap water is OK to use. But! Be on the lookout for salty water since it can accumulate in the soil and cause many issues. You won’t waste filtered water because you’ll use it, so there’s no need to worry about it.
If you keep the temperature near what is considered “normal,” the Philodendron micans will flourish and bloom all year. More precisely, the optimal growth temperature for the plants is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Take special care not to keep this Philodendron out in the cold winter months or in an area where air currents will be exposed to it.
Don’t forget that Philodendron micans is one of the few plants that may be found in both Mexico and the Caribbean, where it serves as a native. They’ve calculated a cycle of months when they expect the humidity to be at its lowest. Furthermore, this is the month of March. However, in January, there is enough moisture in the environment where they inhabit.
The average yearly relative humidity could rise beyond 82%. Trying to replicate this in an indoor setting would be challenging. Don’t lose hope; water your plants twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. When the weather outside is nice, it’s best to treat them like an outdoor plant so you can save some time indoors. It’s important to place them in a spot that will get some partial shade in your garden or patio. Remember that the heart-shaped leaves on Philodendron micans can become yellow, brown, crispy, and wilt if not treated with adequate humidity. We don’t want it to happen, especially not to our wonderful females.
If compost or slow-release granules were mixed into the soil before the plant was potted, Philodendron micans planting doesn’t need fertilizing. However, Philodendron micans need constant fertilizer treatments to maintain strong and healthy development.
Use a liquid fertilizer with a 10-10-10 ratio, just like any other fertilizer, when growing Philodendron micans indoors. Use it once a month throughout the summer and early spring, diluting it to half its original strength to prevent scorching the roots. Apply it to the soil after watering rather than the leaves to ensure it is distributed evenly.
Regular pruning can help keep your philodendron micans from becoming leggy and unwieldy since it encourages new stem growth and branching. The best periods to prune Philodendron micans are summer and spring when it is actively growing. Extremely long stems should be trimmed with a pair of sterilized pruning shears. Removed stem cuttings should be saved for future use in plant propagation.
Potting & Repotting
Repotting is necessary for Philodendron micans maintenance when the plant outgrows its pot. A checkup on this is required every two to three years. When the plant becomes rootbound, you’ll know it’s time to repot the Philodendron into a larger container. It’s time to repot when the soil roots have nearly completely colonized the pot volume and are starting to extend through the drainage holes.
If there is too much soil, the plant will become stressed; therefore, switch to the next larger pot size or increase the diameter of the planter by no more than 2 inches. Use a clay pot that hasn’t been baked and ensure it has adequate drainage holes. Always use new soil when repotting the Philodendron micans to maintain its health.
Propagation for Philodendron micans
It is possible to rapidly cultivate micans in water via stem cuttings, just like one would cultivate other vining plants. When propagating Philodendron micans, the best time to do so is in the summer or spring.
Easy steps to propagate Philodendron micans:
- On a branch of the vine with just a few leaves, cut a quarter of an inch below the node. Always make sure you cut with scissors that have been thoroughly cleaned.
- Place the cuttings in a container containing water at room temperature and ensure that at least one of the nodes is completely submerged.
- Then we placed it in a location where a strong, indirect light source would illuminate it. If the water level becomes too low, top it off, and replace it if it becomes cloudy or slimy.
- In the future, you will notice that the nodes are where the roots begin to spread outward. Wait until the roots have developed to a length of between two and three inches before you attempt to transplant them. After that, place the slice into the container that will serve as its home permanently. After giving it some good water, you should now have what you want! You now have a Philodendron micans plant that has fully matured.
The Velvet Leaf As with all members of the Araceae family, including humans and pets, the philodendron plant can be toxic if ingested in large enough doses.
The calcium oxalate crystals in the plant’s tissue are responsible for its toxicity. It can still be used at home, but safety measures must be taken to prevent exposure.
Because this particular plant species sometimes can attract unwanted pests and illnesses, maintaining the health of our philodendron micans might be difficult even if you follow the care routine described above in the letter.
This velvet leaf Even common houseplant pests can infest philodendron plants. Spider mites can cause visible damage to plants, such as the development of webs that stick to things and the appearance of yellow or white dots on the tops of leaves. Aphids, extremely few insects with bluish-green bodies, typically colonize plant undersides.
Spraying them with water from a handheld showerhead or sink nozzle will kill pests, including aphids and spider mites. Mealybugs, which look like little cotton balls, typically live on the bottoms of plants. To get rid of them, simply use an alcohol-soaked cotton ball to wipe the affected region. Scales are those brown bumps you see on the plant’s stems. Using a scraper, get rid of them. If you spray your Philodendron micans with neem oil or use insecticidal soap, you can prevent pests from returning to your plant.
Before they spread, many diseases that affect Philodendron micans can be avoided. When soil is kept moist without becoming saturated, the onset of bacterial and fungal diseases is delayed. Crops are impacted by the bacterial disease known as Erwinia blight. Soft black spots will appear on the leaves if the velvet leaf Philodendron is impacted.
The P. Micans should be repotted in fresh soil after removing any diseased parts, sterilizing the pot on the inside and the outside, and replanting it. Root rot, caused by fungi, causes plant leaves and stems to yellowing and rot. Take the entire root system out of the earth and discard the dead leaves and burnt roots. Put the seedlings in fresh soil.
Philodendron micans Curling Leaves
When you see leaves curling up on your micans, it’s usually a sign that they need more water. In some situations, giving the plant a short drenching of water might quickly solve this.
Still, in others, it may indicate that your plant has insufficient roots (either because of rotting or because it has been dried out too much) and is, therefore, unable to absorb the soil’s moisture as it should. If the issue remains even after watering the plant, you may need to look at the roots. If there are roots along with the plant’s roots, placing the plant in water will stimulate new root growth. Stick to steps 3–7 if you want to help your plant send out new roots.
Why are the leaves on my Philodendron micans dropping off?
There is a possibility that drafts are to blame for the loss of leaves in certain areas. Both cold and warm, little light, or low humidity are all symptoms of this condition.
Why are the leaves on my Philodendron micans turning red?
The red pigment in your Philodendron originates from a few different sources. A deficiency of phosphorus and prolonged exposure to the sun have been linked to this reddening. It’s also likely that being completely submerged in water and having limited access to light play a role.
This camouflage may also discourage animals that might otherwise eat the new vegetation from coming near it. If your plant has been damaged, you should look into the cause and make a list of necessary repairs.
Overwatering or poor drainage are likely to blame if the stems of the micans plant have become soft and mushy. Make sure the container for your plant includes drainage holes, and allow the top two to three inches of soil to dry out between waterings.
Why are my plant’s new leaves so thin and dispersed?
Leggy growth, in which leaves are spaced at irregular intervals along the stem, signifies that your plant requires more light. Even while small leaves can signify that your plant needs fertilizer, this will help them grow larger.
How rapidly do philodendron micans grow?
One of the quickest growing plants is the Philodendron micans. The size of the micans can be better displayed if it is grown in a hanging pot or allowed to climb a moss pole or trellis. If you’ve noticed that your plant’s vines are growing long but not particularly densely, pruning them will help encourage thicker development.