Philodendron Micans would be perfect for homeowners who want to have a unique and naturally gorgeous houseplant without too much complication or drama. Feel free to have the plant in any area that you want. You can hang it on the planter, keep it in a small container, or have it as a climbing vine on the wall. It is simple, and yet extremely gorgeous, adding sparks and life to your personal living space.
- Botanical name: Philodendron Hederaceum var. Hederaceum
- Popular name: Velvet leaf philodendron, Philodendron Micans
- Plant type: Perennial
- Family: Araceae
- Genus: Philodendron
- Species: Hederaceum
- Soil pH: Acidic
- Bloom time: Spring, Summer
- Mature size: 8 inches in tall, 24 inches in length
About Philodendron Micans
There are so many different philodendrons out there, but you can rest assured that most of them are unique, beautiful, and simply gorgeous. Philodendron Micans is one of the small varieties of philodendrons that are native to the Caribbean and Mexico. The plant is small, but stunning, and it is easily cared of.
The plant is a climbing type that has trailing habit. If you can grow one on a climbing trellises or a hanging planter, you will get a magnificent plant as your houseplant. It is low in maintenance, and it isn’t difficult to care, provided you pay attention to the detail requirements.
One of the most signature characteristics of Philodendron Micans is the velvety texture of the leaves. You can also enjoy the Philodendron Micans variegated in which the plant has unique variegation ranging from pink to yellow to cream. So, the leaves won’t be pure green, but there would be some extra hues in them (although not dramatic or too much). Unlike other philodendrons with completely (dark) green color, this one will have another addition or mix in a very subtle manner.
In most cases, the leaves are green with purple-ish finish. Often times, you find a bit shimmery leaves too. Keep in mind that the shimmer isn’t as much as the Silver Satin Scindapsus Pictus Pothos, but if you take a closer look, you know what I’m talking about.
Just like other Philodendrons, Philodendron Micans love bright and indirect light. The plant can’t tolerate direct and bright sunlight as it can scorch the (delicate) leaves. If you take note of the leaves have crispy edges and discoloration, then your plant is suffering from a sunburn. You need to remove the location so it can still get indirect light sufficiently.
Remember that how much light your Micans get would affect the leaves colors. Enough (or increased) light will make the leaves stay maroon or red, while lower light would result in deeper and darker greenish hue. Lower light would also affect the size of the leaves; they would be smaller when compared to the ones getting more light.
You might want to place your Micans in areas that can get indirect (but bright) morning sun. If the areas lack of enough sun light, consider adding extra lights to help the plant grow. If you keep your plant in a small pot or container, moving it around would be much easier. If you think about placing it on the window sill, make sure it is hidden behind the sheer curtain. In this way, it gets enough filtered light without the risks of burning it.
As a tropical aroid plant, Philodendron Micans need well-draining, most, and airy soil mix having rich organic matter. In general, it is able to survive the standard potting soil, but it would grow better (and healthier) if you can come up with customized soil mix to meet its requirements. Why don’t you try mixing up a part of potting soil, a part of orchid bark, a part of perlite, and a part of coco coir or peat moss to make the ideal mix?
Some people believe that slightly acidic soil would do great for the Micans. That’s why they choose the peat-based mix having pH level between 5.0 and 6.5 which has good well-draining feature. You can try combining a part of pine bark fines, one part perlite, and two parts of peat moss.
Philodendron Micans can’t stand overwatering as they are sensitive to it. Make sure that you water the plant enough, but not too much and not too little. Only water the plan when the top 3 inches of the soil dries out. You can also check the leaves. If you see they slightly curl inwards and they droop, it means that your plant is thirsty.
Stick your finger close to the center. If it is still moist, then your plant doesn’t need water just yet. When it is dry, then water it thoroughly. The water shouldn’t escape the drainage holes when you water. The excess water should escape the holes later on when the soil has absorbed enough water – and then it ‘removes’ the excess water.
So, when you notice water escaping when you are watering your plant, it means that the soil can’t really absorb all of the water. To solve this, add water slowly. It should help the soil to absorb the water, making sure that it doesn’t lack of any moisture.
Humidity and Temperature
Let’s not forget that Philodendron Micans are native to the tropical surroundings, which means that the plant appreciate humid condition and warm temperature. The best temperature would be from 65 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (or around 18.3 to 23.9 degrees Celsius) during the day and more than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (or around 12.8 degrees Celsius) at night.
The Micans can thrive and grow quite well in the basic and common household humidity, but it would grow faster (and look way better) in higher humidity. You can try having one in your bathroom, especially close to the window. People who have tried growing the plant stated that the combination of the humidity and the light is just perfect. Their plants grow healthy and strong.
You can also grow the Micans in other areas, but if you think that the humidity level is still not enough, here are some possible ways to help increase it:
- Make sure that the plant is far away from drafty windows, air vents, or cold areas. Avoid any dark and cold spots that won’t do the plant any good.
- If you have a humidifier, that’s good. You can use it. If not, try having one.
- You can try misting the leaves, but some people say that misting isn’t exactly necessary, especially if your plant grows well, fine, and healthy.
Provided that your plant has been planted in a medium with rich (organic) matter, heavy fertilization won’t be necessary. In fact, over fertilization isn’t advisable. It’s best to fertilize your plant during summers and springs, so the growth can be maximized. Fertilize the plant once a month with a light or water based type. Most people would use the liquid fertilizer. Any brand will do, as long as you follow the advised application.
In autumns and winters, the growth would be slower. You won’t have to fertilize the plant. If you want to do it, simply do it once every two months, and your Philodendron Micans can survive the colder months. Just make sure that the other elements are well met, and you won’t have to depend so much on the fertilizer.
This is where people have different opinions. Some say that the Philodendron Micans don’t flower, but some say that they do. In general, Micans don’t produce flowers because the plant is kept most for the appearance of the leaves. It’s safe to say that it would be rare if the plant flowers at all.
However, in the event that you are quite successful in making your plant produces flowers, then they would be green and white spathes. They are small and they don’t have any smell. To be honest, their appearance would be quite plain and insignificant. But don’t be too surprised if your plant doesn’t flower at all. As it was mentioned before, for the Micans to flower is quite rare.
Pruning has its own benefits. Although people say that pruning is necessary only when the plant isn’t reaching optimal growth, it’s not always the case. Regular pruning prevents the plant from becoming leggy because it encourages the branching of the stem. Moreover, if the plant is too long, pruning can help keeping it short. It is also advantageous when there is ‘sick’ leaf or damaged areas, so the others won’t be affected.
Springs and summers would be the most ideal period to prune because the plant is in its (active) growing time. Simply use sterilized pruning shears, and you are good to go. Throw away sick or damaged stems. But if you want to trim overly long stems, you can save them for propagation.
In the old days, Philodendron Micans could be tough to find. But it’s relatively easy to find them now. Plus, if you already have one at home, feel free to propagate it. Who knows? Maybe your Micans can develop its own unique variations!
Propagating the Micans is quite straightforward. After all, steam cuttings can create new plants quite easily.
- Choose the healthy stem. By using a sterilized and sharp pruning shear, cut a stem with 4 to 5 leaves or nodes. A node is the spot where the leaf attaches, even though there are sometimes nodes without any leaf on them.
- On every steam cutting, get rid of the bottom leaves (one or two of them) to expose the nodes (along the stem).
- Put the (stem) cuttings in water. Make sure that the bare stem is the one being submerged. But make sure that no leaves are touching the water. Place the cuttings in areas getting medium indirect light. Bright light is okay as long as it isn’t a direct light.
- Change the water once in a few days so your cuttings will remain in the clean water
- In a few weeks, you should see the roots. Check the water levels regularly to make sure that the nodes (on the bare stem) remain submerged
- When the roots have reached around an inch in length, you can plant the cuttings in the soil
- Make sure to pre-moisten the soil first before you plant the stem cuttings. Make sure that the roots are buried completely.
- Within the first week up to two weeks, the soil should be kept moist, but not soaking or flooded. It will help the stem cuttings to acclimate. Then you can reduce the water slowly, until you get back to the normal schedule.
How to Plant the Micans
If you manage to propagate your Philodendron Micans quite successfully, it’s time to plant it in the soil.
- Find a proper container or pot. It shouldn’t be overly large, but not too tiny either. Consider a pot that is only 3 inches bigger than the root ball.
- Feel free to choose any pot you want, whether it is plastic, ceramic, or terracotta. The pot should have its own drainage holes. There should be several holes; not only a hole.
- Fill out the bottom area of the pot with the potting soil. A few inches would do it. Place the root ball within the soil and fill out the remaining space with soil mix. The soil should be firmly packed but not too much.
- Water it thoroughly. Check the drainage holes. If you don’t see any water within several hours after the watering, the soil maybe too packed. It would be a good idea to loosen it up a bit. If you see water coming out of the holes when you are watering it or as soon as you water it, then the soil may not absorb the water quite well. But if you don’t see any water coming out during the watering and you find excess water within several hours after the watering, you are doing fine.
Micans need to re-pot once in 2 or 3 years. Choose a rather bigger container than the one you have now. If you notice that your Micans is bigger, immediately re-pot it so it won’t damage the roots. Again, choose the proper container with drainage holes so your plant won’t be flooded or soggy.
Disease and Pest
One of the most common (and also the worst) enemies of Philodendron Micans is the spider mites. They are tiny pests feeding on the sap of the leaves. Not only they suck up all the nutrients from the plant, but they will also spread diseases that would affect the plant. They are super tiny. You may be aware of the damage they have caused before you can spot them.
The common symptoms include silvery and small spots. If you check the underside of the leaves and you find thin webs, then it’s confirmed that your Micans is infected by the pests. Immediately remove them; don’t give them time to breed and develop. If the infestation is small, wiping the leaves with soapy rag can help. But if you are dealing with quite big scale, then you want to use insecticidal soap or neem oil to spray your plant.
There are also some simple tricks to deal with the possibility of pests and infestation:
- Spider mites usually come in new plants, so always check the new ones that you want to bring into the house.
- Always keep neem oil handy. This oil is quite potent and useful for dealing with pests.
- If there are any parts of the plants have been affected by disease or pests, trim them away. Use the pruning shear and sterilize it on every cut and use. It will prevent further bacterial spreading.
Philodendron Melanochrysum vs Micans
Most Philodendrons have glossy green leaves, especially the heart leaf philodendrons, but Micans don’t have glossy leaves. Instead, they have heart shaped leaves with velvety texture. The leaves are greenish brownze with reddish brown on the undersides. The stems are vining, graceful, and long. The difference of Melanochrysum and Micans is the way the plant grows. Whereas Melanochrysum is considered a climbing plat growing upwards (and needs a pole as support), the Micans is a vining type with draping stems.
Melanochrysum is native to Andean foothills in Colombia. It has big and long leaves. On the contrary, Micans is a type of small spaced plant that is a part of evergreen plant, native to Caribbean and America.
Philodendron Camposportoanum vs Micans
Both of them have tiny stature and velvety leaves. After all, they come from the same family, which can lead to confusion on how to differentiate them. But Composportoanum has orange pinkish shine, while the Micans only comes with slight purple. Moreover, Composportoanum can have 3 different shapes for the leaves as it grows older. Quite magnificent, eh?
Philodendron Lupinum vs Micans
At young age, both Micans and Lupinum can be quite difficult to tell apart. However, as they grow older, the Lupinum will have shiny leaves, while the Micans don’t. Moreover, the Lupinum may likely grow darker pink hue under the leaves, while Micans don’t have such a thing.
Are Philodendron Micans rare?
Nope, but the Micans are getting popular these days as a houseplant. There are several Philodendrons that are considered rare because demands are high, but supply is quite low. They are Pink Princess, Joepii, or Spiritus Sancti. Micans are definitely not a part of these rare variant.
Philodendron Gigas vs Micans
From the shape and size of the leaves, you can tell the difference between Micans and Gigas. Philodendron Micans have smaller leaves in reddish green, while Gigas have bigger leaves with dark red and pink gradation. Micans have smaller stems, making it perfect as an indoor plant. Gigas have bigger size, so they need bigger pots with supporting pole.
Heart leaf Philodendron vs Micans
It can be extremely difficult to tell these two apart because after all, they are Araceae family, which makes it super normal for them to share more than one common trait. Micans have heart shaped leaves, and so do the heart leaf philodendron. However, the heart leaf philodendron has glossy and green leaves, while Micans have velvety texture with yellow or brown hue.
How fast do Philodendron Micans grow?
Philodendron Micans are basically fast growers, especially if you allow the plant to show off its climbing nature. If you grow the Micans in a hanging planter, you would help showcase its size. It also helps if you let it climb a trellis or a moss pole. If you grow the plant in the right and proper environment, it can grow up to a foot long every year. It can reach 8 inches in height and around 4 feet in width (or also length).
Philodendron Cordatum vs Micans
Cordatum is a part of the Hederaceum, which means that it would have the unique and signature characteristics of the Hederaceum. The leaves are glossy green and clean with rubber-like texture, which is quite different from the velvety texture of the Micans with its green and other shades (yellow or brown).
Philodendron Hederaceum vs Micans
Both of them are philodendrons and they come from the same family. That’s why it’s understandable if you have difficult times differentiating the two. But the most significant difference can be viewed from the leaves. Hederaceum comes with clean and glossy green leaves. From a far, it may look rubbery. Micans, on the other hand, has two colors on the leaves: velvet and green. Not to mention that the Micans often have another color, such as yellowish or brownish.
Philodendron Micans climb or trail
Micans are considered a climbing variant, which means that it is a vining type of plant. It can also do well when grown in a wall or moss pole. You can also consider having one in a plant holder and leave it trail. But you should remember that plants growing up a moss pole may likely develop bigger leaves than those left to trail. Just so you know, so you won’t be confused or perplexed.
The Micans isn’t a rare plant, as it is easily found and bought. Growing one is pretty easy and straightforward, provided that you follow everything carefully. With Philodendron Micans, you can have a unique plant without fussy keeping.