please id my mystery plant

mari66November 24, 2011

I have no idea how to care for this plant--been winging it-it has grown some --velvety green leaf with reddish underside--then turns reddish but not looking happy--anyone know what it is--I think it said Mexican ? philodendron I lost the tag and need help with this one. soil, watering, lighting, feeding ???

Thanks Mari

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It looks like Philodendron scandens f. micans AKA 'Velvet Philodendron' It is a variant of the common Philodendron scandens ('Heart-Leaf Philodendron' or 'Sweetheart Plant'). As to it's care, I'd rather not say as I managed to kill the green leaf philodendron I owned! I'll stick to my cacti >.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 7:05PM
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Hi Mari...Definately a Phildendron.
Are leaves fuzzy/velvety?

Philo soil needs to dry a bit between waterings, especially in winter when days are cloudy for prolonged periods...otherwise roots can rot.

Though soil needs to dry, Philos require humidity. Good quality humidifers are as close as a tropical grower can get, parroting rain forests.

Setting plants on treys w/stones and water, misting and showering increase humidity, too.

Philos do well in bright light, 'not direct summer sun.' A Philo sitting directly before a west winddow, in summer can burn leaves..during grey winter months, Philos do fine in west w/o worry.

Mari, BTW, Philos are VERY addicting, lol.

There are so many different leaf colors and shapes..
Greens and variegated. Pink Princess foliage is green, white/cream/ and pink.

Some grow upright, others vines.

Then there are Monsteras! lol

Have fun, Toni

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 4:33PM
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Thanks Toni,

The leaves are more velvet -not fuzzy--seem to curl under
it was petty sad when I adopted it from Walmart--so at least it's still alive-- I will follow your tips - I love this plant as I found it a little different--pink-reddish tint attracted me--kinda' fragile--You mentioned Monsteras ??? What are they like ??? My hubby thinks he will have to move out as the new plants move in--yet he had tons of plants when we met-- now its my turn ha ha
Take care Mari

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 6:39PM
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Hey Mari...Your Philo is a Philodendron micans, common name, Velvet Leaf Vine or Velvet Philodendron.

Although most Philos are easy to grow, micans is fussier. Depending on the length of time it sat at Walmart, I'm surprised it didn't kick the
It's bad enough they don't care for plants, but a tropical that requires high humidity, well, forget it! lol.

Good luck. P. micans is not the fastest grower around, so don't take blame for it's un-speedy growth. :)

If it starts to grow spindly, 'when in growth,' pinching tips help make more compact, or taking and rooting cuttings, then placing back in the pop w/mom.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 7:00PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Philodendrons addictive??? I don't know what you mean. . .

an Un-IDed Philo cutting;

P.69686 in my studio

P.69686 at home

an Un-IDed Meconostigma type Philo

P. bipinnatifidum with Epipremnum growing underneath

P. squamiferum

And a couple of similar relatives

Rhaphidophora species possibly tetrasperma

Monstera, biggest leaves are 2+ feet

Yeah, and I have others I was too lazy to take pictures of.

I keep them all wet, water them all every few days and never let them dry out. All are in very fast draining soil or just sphagnum moss. Most of them are kept sitting in standing water which I'm sure someone will have bad things to say about but the moss or soil mix is airy enough to prevent rot.

I think the correct name for your plant is Philodendron hederaceum, P. scandens & P. micans are both Synonyms for it. Don't keep it too dark or in to much direct sun.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 11:40PM
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I love #2 and #3 and that jungle look--I live in a small 4 room hone-- could never become that addicted -sure enjoyed your photos--thanks

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 3:33PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

We live in a less than 800 sqr ft apartment with only one sunny room, and my studio, about 3 miles from home, has only about 7 ft of window space. You don't need to have alot of space, just plan ahead for what you want to be able to do.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 3:59PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)


I would put your philo in a much smaller pot. You can even use a small plastic cup, punch holes in the bottom and add a layer of pea gravel for better drainage. Once it fills the pot with roots you should get more foliage growth.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 5:00PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

I wouldn't put it in a smaller pot, just better soil. With a good quality growing media you can have the plant growing in any size container.

If you don't want to start from scratch go buy a small bag of potting mix and bag twice as big of orchid mix that is wood chip, charcoal, lava, that sorta stuff and mix them together, you want it 1 part soil, 2 parts orchid mix. You can build a better growing media but this should work fine.

What you're trying to do is have a mix that you can pour water through the pot and it will drain through and not leave it soggy. Water it again when the soil feels barely damp but don't let it dry out completely, You'll get familiar with it after a while and just know when it needs it, it isn't as complicated as I make it sound.

You could also grow it in passive or semi-hydro using Leca or long fiber sphagnum moss and then you'd keep it sitting in a couple of inches of water all the time and just change out the water every three or four weeks.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 10:48PM
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dellis326, are you still around?

I have 2 Philos -- 'Moonlight' and 'Prince of Orange', which I placed in semi-hydro conditions using Growstone.

I got up in the middle of the night and filled the container with water because I had the thought "what am I thinking?... you can't grow some plants semi-hydro where the roots are surrounded by air!"

Now I am not sure after doing some reading.

Is it possible?

If dellis326 is no longer around, can someone else enlighten me on this?


    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:36PM
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nancy_pnwzone8(OR zone 8)


i'm not sure what you meant by "filled the container" or "roots surrounded by air".

did you fill your pot to the top with water? in hydroculture, there should only be an inch or two (depends on pot size) of water in the bottom. the media wicks the moisture up to the plant. there should be 'air' around the roots.

check out the link below. it is one of the best web pages on this growing method.



Here is a link that might be useful: Houseplant Hydroculture

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 4:42PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Diana_Gale; Sorry I missed this post, found it looking for something else. It's always better to start a new thread rather then ask a question that isn't directly related to the older, original post. It makes it more likely that your questions will be seen by more people. Anyways...

Your hydro-culture plants are fine sitting in just an inch or two of water and the roots above that exposed to air. As Nancy pointed out, the grow stones will wick the moisture up and keep the upper roots alive.

Although in my experience filling the container all the way up with water doesn't seem to hurt anything. I tend to do that if I'm going out of town or I'm planning on being away from my studio for a few days and I've not noticed any difference in how my plants grow.


This post was edited by dellis326 on Sun, Aug 11, 13 at 22:36

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 10:33PM
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