Philodendron Gloriosum is a type of rare houseplant that may sound fancy and difficult to care, but it’s actually quite simple and straightforward – once you understand the basic requirements and you don’t act as if you knew it all.
Philodendrons are increasing in popularity these days. The social media is swarmed with all kinds of Philodendron types, such as Pink Princess, Melanochrysum and others. It’s not really surprising if another variant of it, the Gloriosum, is also increasing in popularity. Each Philodendron is unique. Consider yourself lucky if you can have one Gloriosum at home.
- Scientific Name: Philodendron Gloriosum
- Genus: Philodendron
- Family: Araceae
- Species: Gloriosum André
- Origin: Colombia
- Soil pH: 6.5 to 7.5
Philodendron Gloriosum is a non climber tropical plant with crawling rhizome moving across the groun in horizontal manner. When compared to other Philodendrons that are quick in growing, this one is relatively slower. The tropical houseplant has stunning and big leaves with velvety texture and heart shape. The leaves are green, but stark contrast of creamy white veins or even pink veins. As it was mentioned before, it is a crawling plant, so it’s definitely a non climber type.
Because of its nature of crawling foliage and underground rhizome, the plant is classed as the terrestrial plant, and this one what makes the plant rare. Just so you know, most Philodendrons are climbing plants (with trailing stems).
The plant is nature to Central and South America, where you can find them grown in Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador. In the wild, the plant grows on the forest floor, enjoying the humid surroundings and warm temperature.
The Gloriosum is also a flowering plant. The flower consists of a spadix (a flowering spike) and a spathe (a leaf like bract). It’s quite common for the Gloriosum to produce flowers in the wild, but as indoor houseplant, it’s quite rare for the plant to generate flowers.
The Known Variants of Gloriosum
There are several variants of the already known Philodendron Gloriosum. Whereas most people think that Philodendron Gloriosum White Vein and Dark Form are the same thing, they are basically not. The White Vein shares the same dark color as Philodendron Gloriosum Dark Form but the veins are more pronounced. You can also see that the veins (in White Vein) have more ‘branches’ than the Dark Form.
It’s easy to think that they are the same because both of them have dark color and intense white veins. However, the veins in Dark Form aren’t as many as the White Vein. And if you take a closer look, the White Vein has somewhat brighter veins than the Dark Form.
What about Dark Form and Regular Form? Philodendron Dark Form has darker color than Philodendron Regular Form. Due to the color, the plant gets its name. Moreover, the Dark Form has intense, defined, and fine veining while the Regular Form has less intense veining. Some people even say that the edges of the leaves on the Regular Form are rather wavy – not straight as in Dark Form.
Is it possible to even have Philodendron Gloriosum variegated? Well, it’s always possible to find the variegated options, but not only you will have to spend a fortune to get one, but there is no exact guarantee that the plant will not revert to its original state back. Lately, social media has been hyped with the so-called variegated type of Gloriosum, but some people say that it’s fake and not the real deal.
Just like other Philodendrons, Philodendron Gloriosum loves bright and indirect light. You should choose the place carefully, making sure that it gets enough sunlight without burning it. Most people would choose windows that face the east or the west, and place the plant on the sill, right behind the sheer curtain. It would be great if the plant can get plenty of morning or evening lights, but not so much of the day light.
Be aware if you notice yellowing leaves with browning edges. These are signs of getting too much light. The plant can also grow well with artificial lights, but of course, real ones would be the best. If you use artificial lights, make sure that they are placed at least 61 centimeters (24 inches) above the plant to prevent any burn.
This rare and ‘needy’ plant would thrive best in loose and fertile soil not only having excellent drainage, but also rich in nutrients. To have a perfect mix for this Gloriosum, you can mix a part of perlite, two parts of peat moss, and worm castings.
Perlite is pretty ideal to improve drainage while preventing root rot at the same time. Sphagnum peat moss is able to retain moisture quite well because of its light features. The worm castings are great to improve the nutrient level.
Feel free to purchase the commercial potting mix and then add perlite and peat moss to make aerated potting condition. Another alternative is to mix gravel, horticultural coarse sand, pumice, and charcoal.
Why should you consider making your own soil mix? Well, you want to have a soil that stays moist but not soggy. The soil should be able to drain water quickly so there wouldn’t be any chance of flooding or pooling. Rhizome is easily rotting, and you don’t want your Philodendron Gloriosum to suffer from it.
It’s crucial to note that you shouldn’t water the plant when the topsoil is still moist. You need to check the top area (around 1 to 2 inches or up to 5 centimeters) of the soil. Stick your fingers. If it is dry, then water the plant. If your fingers are still moist, then you don’t need to water it just yet. Use room temperature and filtered water and see whether the water has drained completely from the drainage holes.
Overwatering should be avoided because the root is extremely sensitive to excessive water, which can lead to rot. Once it decays, it will die and you won’t have the chance to revive it. If you want to save the plant, you need to have the (healthy) leaf cuttings so new propagation is possible. It’s the only solution. Be aware of overwatering signs, such as mushy roots, black stems (close to the soil line), yellowing leaves, and drooping leaves. The latter indicates that the plant isn’t able to absorb enough nutrients that lead to the issue.
Underwatering is also not advisable. It will make your plant ‘thirsty’ most of the times. The common signs would include droopy and limpy leaves. If the soil is too dry (in fact, it’s not only the topsoil that is dry. The entire soil is completely dry), then it will affect the roots, making them unable to transport nutrients to the leaves.
If you want to make sure of the best and the healthiest growth, here are some helpful tips that you can implement:
- Check the soil condition before watering. Always do it to prevent underwatering or overwatering
- You can try watering the plant once (or twice) a week during summer months, and less in winter time. But you can always have your own watering schedule or regime that matches your condition
- Climate condition has significant effect to the watering frequency. It is related to season, sunlight, humidity, and heat. That’s why you should always check your soil.
- Philodendron Gloriosum in terracotta pots need more watering than the one kept in the plastic pots
Gloriosum grows well in the best temperature from 65 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (or between 18 and 29 degrees Celsius). Gloriosum can still handle less temperature than 65, but only to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (around 16 degrees Celsius). Make sure that you can avoid sudden fluctuations in temperature. The plant shouldn’t be kept in a room with AC. It should also be kept away from radiators, heat vents, or cold drafts. Keeping it away from the fan is also advisable.
Philodendron Gloriosum would grow well in an environment with high humidity – more than 60%. It’s a good thing that Gloriosum is an adaptable plant that can still grow well in low humidity, which is between 40% and 50%. But you should be aware of the signs that your plant doesn’t get enough humidity. If you see browning tips on the leaves, you may want to check the humidity level.
There are several ways to increase the humidity level at your house:
- Group plants together so you are able to create humid micro climate for your Gloriosum. It doesn’t mean that you need to pack them very closely together; you only need to place them in groups so they are close to one another.
- Place the plant in bathroom, whose humidity level is generally higher than other rooms
- Use a pebble tray with water. As long as the pot doesn’t sit or touch the water, you won’t have to worry about root rot. This condition can increase the humidity
- Purchase a humidifier to increase the moisture level
- Some people may believe that misting can help. However, others think that the velvety texture can create more issues as the texture may ‘trap’ the moisture. You can try wiping the leaves, though. Use damp cloth to wipe the leaves to increase the humidity while cleaning them off at the same time.
Feeding off your plant with extra nutrients can help to make it healthy and well. Apply the fertilizer once a month to encourage the leaves to grow faster and bigger. Don’t over fertilize your plant as it can cause root burn, which would definitely affect the growth. It’s always a good idea to use balanced and diluted fertilizer for houseplant (usually the liquid type) following the given directions. You don’t need to fertilize your plant during winter months.
It’s advisable that you flush the soil once every 3 months so you can remove any mineral salts buildup. How to do it?
- Pour filtered water. Do it for around a minute on the soil so you can rinse any leftover out
- After flushing, wait for the soil to partially dry off before you can water it and then resume fertilization
Being a slow grower makes the Philodendron Gloriosum doesn’t need quite often or regular repotting. You can repot the plant once in two or three years as it also gives you the opportunity to check for any root decay, encourage fuller growth and healthy development, and refresh the soil.
You want to re-pot the plant when it has become rootbound. What are the signs?
- When you see small roots coming out of the drainage holes, then it’s time to re-pot.
- When you see water pooling on the surface
- When you notice that your plant has stopped growing
When you re-pot, take the plant’s root ball out and then shake it gently to remove the dirt. Choose a bigger container (one or two sizes bigger) and half fill it. Plant the Gloriosum with the rhizome part (having the leaf stem) still above the soil. By allowing the rhizome to develop in such a way (on the surface) would prevent any possibility of root rotting. The action also enables the smaller roots to grow within the soil.
Philodendron Gloriosum doesn’t need frequent pruning. The main reason to prune the plant is to remove the old, yellow, sick, or dead leaves. Pruning can also encourage new and healthy growth. Just make sure that you use sharp shears and sterilize it before using one. It would be best to do the pruning before the watering so your plant won’t be stressed out too long.
Propagating the Gloriosum
You can propagate the plant by taking the stem cuttings still attached to the plant’s rhizome. It would ensure that there is a part of the roots still attached to the stem. This method is believed to be the faster way to grow Philodendron Gloriosum
- Find the healthy (preferably long) stem that is more than 3 inches in length. It would be better if the stem still has several leaves on it.
- Cut the stem where it meets the rhizome or the main stem. After making the cut, you can add cinnamon to the cut area (of the original plant) because it can act as a disinfectant. It also helps the original plant to heal.
- Put the cutting in water. You can use a cup of water or a container. Wait until new roots appear from the stem cutting base
- Once the roots have emerged, you can place them in the soil.
- Plant the Gloriosum in moist soil as it helps maintain high humidity level
- Continue the care with the already provided information so that your Gloriosum will stay healthy
Philodendron Gloriosum is a part of Philodendrons, which means that it has the ability to harm humans and animals. The species Philodendrons have (insoluble) calcium oxalates which can cause skin irritation and ingestion issue when ingested or digested.
If you have pets (dogs, cats, or others) and they eat any part of the plant, they may suffer from difficulty in swallowing, drooling, swelling, and oral irritation. If you touch the plant without using gloves, you may experience skin rash, irritation, and itchiness. It’s best to place your plant out of reach the kids and pets.
Pests can be annoying. If you can maintain the high humidity level, it’s most likely that pests would be out of your hair. However, there is always a possibility that your plant can be a target for aphids, mealybugs, or fungus gnats. Spider mites are also the most common pests for the Gloriosum.
The best ways to deal with these pests are with:
- Spraying. Dilute neem oil and spray the leaves.
- Wiping. For some people who don’t really like the spraying action, they prefer wiping the leaves by using the neem oil.
- Dipping cotton balls into disinfectant alcohol and use it to wipe the mealybugs away. You shouldn’t have any issue spotting the bugs.
You don’t want to use insecticides with chemical basis because they can pollute the soil mix. It’s always a good idea to choose a more natural and safer way.
Philodendron Gloriosum vs Glorious
Since Glorious is the hybrid result of Philodendron Gloriosum and Melanochrysum, the physical differences are obvious. Glorious has longer but narrower gloves when compared to the Gloriosum. The color is darker, just like Melanochrysum. Moreover, Glorious has oval stem, while Gloriosum has wider and rounder stem. When young, the Glorious may look like Gloriosum, but as it gets older, changes happen to the appearance.
Philodendron Pastazanum vs Gloriosum
There are some obvious differences between the Gloriosum and Pastazanum. Whereas Gloriosum has velvety leaves with green colors and stark white veins, the Pastazanum has glossy and ruffled leaves.
If you look at the leaves, they will remind you of satin gown with ruched bodice. The Pastazanum also comes with white veins, but with ruffled and glossy foliage, you can definitely tell the difference between the two.
Is Philodendron Gloriosum a climber?
No, the Gloriosum is a creeping type of plant because it grows from rhizomes. In case you don’t know it, rhizomes don’t climb. They creep.
Philodendron Gloriosum Dark Form vs Regular
It would be difficult to differentiate the two because they look exactly identical. From the shape and the standard form, they are similar. However, if you take a closer look, you will see that the colors can be different. The Dark Form has darker shade of green, while the Regular has lighter shade.
Where to buy Philodendron Gloriosum?
You can try Etsy or eBay, but it doesn’t hurt to check your local growers to see whether they have one. But even if you find one, don’t be too surprised if the price is quite high – to the point of being exorbitant.
Is Philodendron Gloriosum rare?
Yes, it’s safe to say that Gloriosum is quite rare as it’s not always easy to find one for the purchase.
Philodendron McDowell vs Gloriosum
Philodendron (Dean) McDowell is an impressive hybrid of Gloriosum and Pastazanum, but it has more unique features of the Pastazanum. It’s no wonder if some people are often confused, thinking that McDowell and Pastazanum are the same. If you already understand the differences between Pastazanum and Philodendron Gloriosum, then you would have no problems knowing the differences between Gloriosum and McDowell.
Philodendron Plowmanii vs Gloriosum
Philodendron Plowmanii has the same appearance to Pastazanum (with glossy, big, and ruffled leaves), but Plowmanii doesn’t have the white veins. The green comes in various shades, not always dark. Some people say that the Plowmanii seems to have more textures and ruffles than the Pastazanum. So, if you already understand the difference between Gloriosum and Pastazanum, you now know the differences between the Gloriosum and Plowmanii.
Why is Philodendron Gloriosum so expensive?
There are several reasons why the Gloriosum can be extremely expensive.
- The plant is rare. When compared to everyday (flowering) plants, such as zinnias, snapdragons, or petunias, Philodendron Gloriosum is definitely rare
- Gloriosum grows slowly. The plant needs around 15 years to reach maturity. It is also super sensitive to the changing environmental situations. That’s why Gloriosum can be a challenging to grow
- The plant is quite slow to propagate. Overwatering can kill it, and you won’t be able to revive it. Although you are able to propagate a new one, it takes at least 3 weeks for the cutting to develop new roots.
- It rarely produces flowers, which mean that the seeds are scarce.
- The demand for this plant is high, and yet the supply is low. After all, the plants are native to several South American and Central countries.
- The enthusiasts and collectors don’t mind spending money for the steep prices, discouraging the average gardeners from buying the plant
Gloriosum is a pricey plant that may require extra efforts, but it doesn’t always mean that it’s impossible to grow and care. As long as you pay careful attention to the proper ways to grow your Philodendron Gloriosum, you can grow (or even propagate) the unique, expensive, and rare plant.