Step-by-Step Guide to Growing and Caring for Callisia repens (Turtle Vine) at Home
With velvety heart-shaped leaves, the philodendron micans is the perfect plant to add a touch of romance or glamour to your home. Its trailing habit looks great cascading down shelves or climbing up trellises. Like many other types of philodendrons, philodendron micans is easy to care for as long as you know what it likes. Here we’ll take you through everything you need to know about how to grow and care for philodendron micans at home including planting, soil, light, watering, pruning, propagating, and fertilizing.
- How to Grow Philodendron Micans – The Essentials
- About Philodendron Micans
- How to Grow Philodendron Micans at Home
- How to Care for Philodendron Micans at Home
- Common Philodendron Micans Problems & How to Treat Them
- Wrapping Up Philodendron Micans Care
- Growing Philodendron Micans FAQs
How to Grow Philodendron Micans – The Essentials
|Botanical Name:||Philodendron hederaceum var hederaceum|
|Also Known As:||Velvet leaf philodendron|
|Growing Difficulty:||Easy to care for|
|Light Requirements:||Bright yet indirect light|
|Temp & Humidity:||Thrives in temperatures between 60 to 85ºF and moderate to high humidity|
|Watering Needs:||Water when the top inch of soil is dry; about every one to two weeks in the summer and every three to four weeks in the winter|
|Soil Preferences:||A well-draining soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5|
|Fertilizing:||Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer once per month during the late spring and summer|
|Growth Expectations:||Up to eight inches tall and four feet long/tall|
|Toxicity:||Toxic to humans and pets|
About Philodendron Micans
Family, Genus, and Species
Origins and History
The philodendron micans are a variety of the heartleaf philodendron. These plants are native to tropical areas in Central and South America.
General Botanical Characteristics
The philodendron micans is a trailing perennial plant. It has thin, herbaceous, pink stems that emerge from the base of the plant.
Each stem is adorned with elongated heart-shaped leaves that are perched on the end of one to the three-inch-long petioles. The petioles resemble the stems and create ever more of a wild form.
Leaves are typically green on the top and maroon or pink on the bottom. The tops of the leaves have a velvet-like appearance with a faint shine.
Since these are trailing plants, their form depends on the environment around them. They typically trail downwards and outwards. However, they can climb up a trellis.
Common Varieties Grown as Houseplants
Philodendron micans aren’t separated into specific varieties. These plants are typically labeled as philodendron micans, but you may also see them identified as Philodendron hederaceum var hederaceum.
Uses and Benefits
Philodendron micans is used as an ornamental plant. While people typically grow it as a houseplant, you can grow it outdoors in zones 10-12.
Unfortunately, philodendron micans are toxic to cats, dogs, and humans. Like most philodendrons, these plants contain calcium oxalate crystals. When ingested, these crystals can cause irritation, pain, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
How Long Will Philodendron Micans Live?
With the proper care, these plans can live for over ten years.
How to Grow Philodendron Micans at Home
Philodendron micans is a fast-growing plant. In the proper environment, it can easily grow over a foot each year.
Plants typically max out at eight inches tall and about four feet wide or long.
What to Do Before Planting
Before you add a philodendron micans to your home or office, you’ll want to make sure you have a place where it can thrive. Indirect light is the most important aspect to look for.
You’ll also want to account for your plant’s growth over time. Even if you bring home a plant that is only a few inches tall, it will grow quickly! If you keep your plant in a pot on a table or desk, it will quickly take over.
With that in mind, it is best to grow your philodendron micans in a hanging basket or provide it with a trellis to climb up.
What’s the Best Soil Mix for Philodendron Micans?
Philodendron micans needs a well-draining and slightly acidic soil mix.
Peat-based potting mixes designed for houseplants work well. These mixes are typically well-draining and have a pH between 5.0 and 6.5.
If you’d like to make your own potting mix, you’re welcome to do so. To create a mix that works well for philodendron micans, combine the following.
- Two parts peat moss
- One part perlite
- One part pine bark fines
How to Plant Philodendron Micans
Planting philodendron micans is easy.
The first step is to obtain a proper pot. Terra cotta, ceramic, and plastic pots will all work as long as they have drainage holes. When you’re choosing a pot, pick one that is only a few inches larger than the plant’s root ball.
Once you have your pot, fill the bottom with a few inches of potting soil. Place the root ball into the pot and fill in the remaining space with more soil mix. Water well and you’re good to go.
Philodendron Micans Light Preferences
Like most philodendrons, these plants thrive in bright yet indirect light. A spot a few feet away from a bright window works well.
These plants can grow well in lower light levels. However, you’ll likely notice smaller leaves or leggy plants.
While plants may be able to tolerate a bit of direct morning light, you should avoid direct light in the afternoon. This intense light can scorch leaves and cause them to die.
Temperature and Humidity Preferences
Since philodendron micans is native to tropical areas, it prefers temperatures and humidity that mimic this environment.
Try to keep the air temperature between 60-85ºF. You should also keep your plant away from hot and cold drafts such as those from heating vents and poorly insulated windows.
As far as humidity goes, these plants prefer moderate to high humidity. Normal household humidity is typically sufficient, but you may need to supply extra humidity if your home is extra dry.
To increase the humidity, you can mist the air around your plant a few times a week. If you have your philodendron micans grouped with other humidity-loving plants, it may be worth investing in a humidifier.
How to Care for Philodendron Micans at Home
When and How to Water Philodendron Micans
The key to watering philodendron micans is to find a balance between wet and dry soil. These plants aren’t drought-tolerant, but they will suffer in saturated soils.
A good plan is to water your plant when the top inch of soil is dry. To check soil moisture levels, stick your finger into the soil near the center of your planter. If you detect moisture at the surface, wait a few more days before you water.
When you water, you’ll want to make sure you moisten all of the soil. If you see water escaping through drainage holes as soon as you water, it’s likely that the soil isn’t absorbing water. If this is the case, slowly add water until the soil absorbs it.
After you water, it’s important to remove excess water that has collected in a catch dish below the pot.
Fertilizing Philodendron Micans
Fertilizing philodendron micans during periods of active growth will help the plant obtain the nutrients it needs.
It’s best to fertilize plants once a month from late spring through late summer. Select a balanced houseplant fertilizer and apply it to the plant.
Pruning Philodendron Micans
Pruning your philodendron micans will help it remain healthy and full. Before you begin pruning, you’ll need a sharp and sanitized pair of pruning shears.
Use the shears to trim back portions of the plant’s stems. Avoid trimming more than a quarter of the plant’s foliage at one time.
Propagating Philodendron Micans
While philodendron micans can be a bit difficult to find, propagating these plants is easy. The best way to propagate is via stem cuttings.
Before you propagate a plant, you’ll want the stems to be at least one foot long. Once you have a plant that’s large enough, follow these steps.
- Use a sharp pair of shears or a knife to take a six to eight-inch stem cutting.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom four inches of the cutting.
- Place the cutting in a glass or container filled with water. Make sure none of the leaves are touching the water.
- Set the cutting in an area where it receives indirect light. Change the water every few days.
- After a few weeks, you should see roots beginning to form. When the roots are at least half an inch long you can repot the plant in soil.
Philodendron micans plants typically need to be repotted about once every three years. When you repot, choose a new container that is a few inches larger than the original.
When you repot your plant, don’t be afraid if it looks a little unhappy. Philodendron micans can get stressed with change, but they will bounce back in a few weeks.
Common Philodendron Micans Problems & How to Treat Them
Curling or Drooping Leaves
If you notice your plant’s leaves are curling or drooping, it’s likely due to low soil moisture or humidity.
If the top inch of soil is dry, you need to water your plant. You should also check that the soil is holding water.
Another possible cause of curling leaves is low humidity. This is especially common in the winter when the air is extra dry from heaters. To increase humidity, mist your plant with water a few times a week.
Yellow leaves can be caused by numerous environmental conditions. Your plant may be receiving too much water, be too cold, or be stressed with environmental changes.
While these plants don’t like the soil to completely dry out, they also don’t like saturated soil. Remember that you should only water when the top inch of soil is dry. You should also make sure you’re using well-draining soil as well as a pot with drainage holes.
Another cause of yellow leaves is cold temperatures. If temperatures are regularly below 60ºF, your plants may become discolored.
One more cause of yellow leaves is recent changes in a plant’s environment. Your plant may become stressed if you just brought it home, repotted it, or moved it to a new location. As long as you keep the environment consistent, your plant will recover.
Spider mites are tiny pests that suck the sap out of philodendron micans leaves. As they feed on plants, they can also spread diseases.
Since spider mites are so small, you might notice the damage before you see the pests themselves. Spider mite damage appears as stippling on plant leaves or small, silvery spots. You may also notice thin webs on the undersides of leaves.
If you notice spider mites on your plants, you must remove them immediately. They can rapidly multiply and cover entire plants.
To remove a small number of spider mites, wipe the leaves with a soapy rag. If your plant has a large infestation of spider mites you can spray the plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Since spider mites typically come in on new plants, make sure to inspect any plant you bring into your home.
A sharp pair of pruning shears will help you prune and propagate your plant.
Wrapping Up Philodendron Micans Care
Now that you know how to care for philodendron micans, it’s time to find one of these beautiful plants to add to your home.
Growing Philodendron Micans FAQs
Is Philodendron Micans a Good Indoor Plant?
Yes, the philodendron micans is an excellent indoor plant! As long as you provide the care and environment explained above, your plant will thrive indoors.
How Big Does a Philodendron Micans Get?
These plants can grow up to eight inches tall and four feet wide/long.
How Fast Does Philodendron Micans Grow?
The philodendron micans is a fast-growing plant. It can easily grow more than a foot each year so you’ll need to keep the plant in check with a regular pruning schedule during the spring and summer months.
Is Philodendron Micans a Rare Plant?
The philodendron used to be very difficult to find. However, you can now readily find it in large garden centers and online. Try checking out Etsy if you can’t find a plant near you.
Is Philodendron Micans Poisonous to Dogs and Other Pets?
Yes, these plants are toxic to dogs, cats, and other pets. It’s prudent to wear protective gloves if you’re handling the plant for extended periods.
Can Philodendron Micans Tolerate Low Light?
Yes, philodendron micans plants can tolerate low light. However, you’ll likely notice smaller leaves than if you provided your plant with bright light. Leaves are also more likely to be dark green when they receive low light.
Philodendron Plant Care & Buying Guides
If you’re looking for your next live plant, see our guide to the best plant delivery services shipping Philodendron plants nationwide.