The Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant Care Must-Knownow Tips

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The Florida Ghost plant is a hybrid Philodendron of unknown origin that has risen to houseplant stardom in recent years.

The Philodendron Florida Ghost allows you to add a touch of the exotic to your home décor. Unlike most thoroughbreds, this plant isn’t high maintenance.

How to identify the Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

The Philodendron Florida Ghost has creamy white lobed-shaped leaves that explain the name given to them. As they climb, the leaves turn dark green when they mature. The Florida Ghost is sometimes confused with the Florida Ghost mint plant. However, the leaf color is based on bright indirect light.

What’s so Special About the Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant?

The dark green Philodendron “Florida” is a hybrid cross of Philodendron pedatum and P. squamiferum grown in Orlando, FL, by Robert H. McColley in the 1950s.

The variegated form, Philodendron Florida Ghost, needs bright indirect light, humidity, and moderate temperatures to grow well.

The Philodendron Florida Ghost plant is in a class of its own, as is its sister, the Philodendron Florida Beauty.

The leaves emerge pale in shades of white to cream and gradually transform into variations of interesting greens as they grow.

Some leaves may be deep green with a warm golden tint or a deep, dark green, while others may be a light minty green.

Because of its rarity, it can be a bit pricey, but, as you’ll see later, the Philodendron Florida Ghost is easy to propagate using stem cuttings or air layering.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Care

philodendron florida ghost plants or the florida ghost plant can be grown from cuttings from the mother plant. Care should be taken to prevent bacterial leaf spot.

Our success at growing any plant in environments foreign to the plant depends on the following:

  1. How accurately can we replicate its natural habitat?
  2. How able are we to defend it against local threats (pests and diseases)

The essential elements vary according to the plant species and their evolutionary adaptation to the specific conditions of their natural habitat.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Care is similar to most Philodendrons.

The table below outlines the essential care variables for most Philodendron plants and can be confidently applied to your Philodendron Florida Ghost plants.

Light:Philodendron Florida Ghosts like bright indirect sunlight. Quality, bright indirect light will help you maintain lighter leaf colors.
Watering:Avoid scheduled watering, but rather be informed by the dryness of the soil. Overwatering and wet soil may cause root rot. Most Philodendron Florida Ghost problems are water related.
Soil:Use a humus-rich, well-draining potting mix – see the detailed guide below
Temperature:Night: 54 to 68 °F (12 to 20 °C) Day: 68 to 85 °F (20 to 30 °C)
Humidity:Philodendron Florida Ghost prefers high humidity but requires adequate air circulation to avoid spreading diseases. Compensate humidity, especially if an air conditioner is running.
Propagation:Propagate Philodendron Florida Ghost by stem cutting or division, ideally when temperatures are between 70 and 75 °F (~21 to 24 °C). Air layering is possible but is an avoidable hassle. 
Pruning:Only prune this tropical plant to limit growth or propagate cuttings.
Fertilizer:Use organic, slow-release fertilizer in spring. The Philodendron Florida Ghost is a natural slow grower.
Repotting:Use organic, slow-release fertilizer in Spring. The Philodendron Florida Ghost is a natural slow grower.
Pests:Common pests include mealybugs, scale, and aphids. Sprinkle them off with a bit of water. Diseases include fire blight.
Toxicity:All Philodendrons contain calcium oxalate crystals that are poisonous if ingested. To keep your pets or children safe, place the Philodendron Florida Ghost plant out of their reach. 

As expected, Philodendrons do best in warm, humid climates exposed to filtered light.

Hybrids require less moisture and humidity than one might expect from a plant native to a tropical rainforest, but maintaining higher temperatures is still essential.

The Philodendron genus is an aroid plant in various forms, sizes, leaf shapes, and coloring, including variegation.

Even individual plants can have leaf shapes that morph as the plant matures.

See my list of Philodendron-related posts towards the end of this post.

Where to Plant Your Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant

philodendron florida ghost propagation comes from fertilizing philodendron florida ghost

A Philodendron Florida Ghost thrives under the right conditions and requires little maintenance.

Monitor your plant’s initial placement, and don’t adjust for the first month.

Our Florida Ghost needs to settle; continuously changing light, humidity, and temperature factors don’t help.

Philodendron Florida Ghost plants are vines that need some supporting structure to thrive.

They can also trail from a hanging basket, but they aren’t actual trailing plants because they have fewer stems and larger leaves that grow farther apart.

They’re also not the fasting-growing Southern girls.

Below are some care tips to keep your Philodendron Florida Ghost happy, healthy, and able to grow and thrive:

Space and Location

Your Florida Ghost is an epiphyte, so give it space to spread.

A mature Philodendron Florida Ghost will spread about two feet (60 cm) and grow to around five feet tall (152 cm), depending on the height of the support structure (moss pole) provided. 

They dislike crowded and require room around them for light and air movement, so they do best among smaller plants or alone in an open area.

In ideal conditions florida ghost plants produce beautiful purple flowers especially from stem cuttings started in peat moss

Light Requirements

Philodendrons grow under a wide range of light conditions and are popular as house plants. Philodendron Florida Ghost is no exception and will thrive in medium and bright environments.

I’ll perform best with lots of indirect or filtered light. It is better to place it near a window where it will not receive direct sunlight.

Direct sunlight will burn the leaves and harm the plant. You can filter the light with a netted curtain or shade cloth if you don’t have a good place. 

A grow lamp can be used where natural light is not accessible as long as it is not too close to the plant.

Temperature and Humidity

These plants prefer a warm, slightly damp climate.

They thrive in temperatures ranging from 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 35 degrees Celsius).

Hygrometer sat on some fake astroturf

They are sensitive to cold temperatures and must be kept away from windows, air conditioning equipment, and fans during the year’s cooler months. 

Philodendron Florida Ghost plants thrive in slightly higher humidity (70% is ideal), although they can adapt to varying humidity levels. If you live in an arid region, consider getting a humidifier. 

While I’m aware that people suggest using a pebble tray to boost humidity, I’ve found them to be a hassle and ineffective.

Having to top them up continuously and the actual humidity benefits a pebble tray offers makes them sound better than they are.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant Care  

While your plant pot location is essential, mainly for lighting, the real Philodendron Florida Ghost care challenge is water management and appropriate pot and potting mix.

The Best Potting Soil for Your Philodendron Florida Ghost Plants 

A potting medium that drains well and offers a pH between 6.1 and 7.3 is ideal for a Philodendron Florida Ghost.

Florida Ghost Plant Care starts with good potting soil. and aroid mix is perfect for Florida ghosts.

While a potting mix enriched with compost and bark or sphagnum moss would suffice, I prefer making my own and using coconut coir instead of sphagnum moss. 

Watering Philodendron Florida Ghost

The Philodendron Florida Ghost grows well in soil that is occasionally dry.

Check the soil by inserting your finger up to a third of the pot depth—if it is dry, water the plant. Let it dry if wet or moist, and check again in a day or two.

Your indoor plants will tell you whether they need more or less water.

Droopy, yellowed, or brown leaves indicate the water levels are incorrect.

Unfortunately, these symptoms apply to underwatering or if the plant’s roots aren’t getting oxygen (overwatering). 

If the roots remain damp for an extended period without drying out, they might rot. Root rot is the most common and preventable of all the potential Philodendron Florida Ghost diseases.

Allow the plant to dry out if it becomes soggy entirely, and check the roots by removing the plant from the pot and repot while you’re at it – you can use the same pot. Use a fresh potting mix, and avoid using peat moss.

Compared to coconut coir, peat moss can retain more water than plants grown indoors need.

Potting Pots

Terracotta pots on multiple levels

It is said our environment influences our behavior. The same goes for Florida Ghost, where the pot makes a huge difference.

Three essential elements apply; pot weight, drainage holes, and absorbent materials.

Terracotta pots breathe, absorb water, store it, and let it evaporate if your soil is too wet. If they don’t fit into your aesthetics, place them in a pot of your choice after allowing the water to drain. And remember, larger pots retain water.

Fertilizing

A Philodendron Florida Ghost plant requires very little fertilizer, merely a balanced liquid fertilizer with roughly equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. 

Although they are naturally slow-growing plants, limited development and leaves suggest they require feeding.

Regardless of fertilization, it is vital to remember that leaf color is not a suitable indicator of feeding requirements.

Pruning

The Philodendron Ghost does not require pruning, but you can clip away weak or sickly leaves from the plant’s underside at the start of the growing season in the Spring.

This allows the plant to maximize resources by directing them to newer development.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Propagation

Propagating the Philodendron Florida Ghost plant is easy. To take a stem cutting or even a leaf cutting from a mother plant, cut beneath a leaf node with a sharp knife or sharp scissors and place this into a glass of water until roots emerge; this will take around 14 days before you see the first roots.

Once the first roots have tertiary roots (roots growing off them), they can be planted into their pot of free-draining aroid potting mix.

When to Take Florida Ghost Cuttings

An ideal time to take a cutting from the same plant is during Philodendron Florida Ghost pruning.

Florida Ghost plants like the Philodendron Florida Ghost Mint and the Florida Beauty are treated equally regarding propagation.

The best time to take cuttings is during Spring and summer when growth is high, and conditions are in the best favor of success. These make a beautiful foliage plant, and as the leaves mature, they turn from a Florida ghost mint look to green leaves. To prevent this, a grow light can help keep the leaves lighter in color. You will often notice lighter and darker leaves on the same plant.

Florida ghost against a grey plank wall at Simplify Gardening Studio

Philodendron Florida Ghost Care Challenges

Some pests and diseases like spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and scale attack philodendrons.

Most pests and diseases may be avoided by keeping plants healthy, clean, and adequately watered, but diagnosing and addressing any issues as soon as they arise can preserve the plant.

The most prevalent disease affecting Philodendron plants is Erwinia blight (Fire Blight). A bacterial infection causes moist sores that leak and emit a foul odor.

The virus spreads rapidly and can destroy a plant in days or weeks.

Florida Ghost Care

It is tough to control, but you can trim off any afflicted areas and dispose of them away from plants. It spreads quickly, disinfecting and segregating the plant and water from the base.

Another typical issue with Philodendrons is bacterial leaf spots (and all large leaf house plants). The spots appear as dark lesions on the leaves, sometimes with a golden halo around them. 

They can be found anywhere on the leaf. Treatment might be complex, but copper fungicides and bacterial sprays can help.

organic mix remains to wet and can attract a pest species. This remains moist and can cause root rot and you will notice infected leaves.

To avoid the bacterium’s spread, the best strategy is to clip away damaged leaves as soon as they appear. Remove diseased leaves from neighboring plants and sanitize your instruments.

In very moist conditions, root rot will occur.

Check that the potted plant is dry between waterings and that the soil drains effectively.

Pull the root ball and soil mix out from the pot and inspect how damp the soil at the bottom of the plant isn’t looking well, and there are no evident pests or illnesses. 

Root-bound pots deplete the plant of nutrients and moisture, inhibiting plant growth, as often indicated by yellow leaves.

Natural solutions are preferable for houseplants, and a safe and effective way to eliminate them is to spray the plant with Neem Oil and wipe down the stems and undersides of the leaves.

Prevention is always better than cure. The following practices will help prevent diseases:

  • Water your Philodendron Florida Ghost plants from the bottom (unless using a foliar feed) and let them dry thoroughly before watering again. Keep your root system moist, but never wet.
  • Maintain suitably warm temperatures, humidity levels, and airflow. Bacteria and fungi thrive in hot, humid environments with limited airflow. 
  • Plants should not be overcrowded. Infections can spread from plant to plant, so keep them apart as much as possible. This also boosts airflow as the plant grows.
  • Respect your Philodendron Florida Ghost plant’s growing season, and reduce water and fertilization from late fall to early Spring.

Alternatives to Philodendron Florida Ghost Plants

Photo of many different Philodendron plants in white clay pots

The aroid family members make excellent indoor plants; the member genus Philodendron is second to none.

While the Florida ghost plants are spectacular, the genus has several other excellent options to beautify your home. Variety is the spice of life.

Here are a few of my Philodendron Care Guides to expand your collection.

Philodendron Florida Ghost FAQ

Below is a list of Philodendron Florida Ghost FAQs you have after reading the article.

How to identify the Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Deeply lobed leaves that are white in their juvenile form, yellow-green as they develop, and deep green when they are old, can be used to identify Philodendron Florida Ghost, but it is a rare plant.

How to care for the Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Place the Florida Philodendron Plant Ghost in a warm area away from direct sunshine, and plant it in soil that drains properly. Use monthly fertilizer and little water.

How to grow the Philodendron Florida Ghost outdoors? 

In areas without frost, Philodendron Florida Ghost can grow year-round outdoors. Plant it in a shaded area and support it to grow to its full height.

How to grow a Philodendron Florida Ghost indoors? 

Keep your Philodendron Florida Ghost out of direct sunlight and water it sparingly. Position it in a north or east-facing window. Every couple of days, mist the leaves.

How fast does the Philodendron Florida Ghost grow? 

The growth rate of the Philodendron Florida Ghost plant is prolonged. It can mature to its full size in up to 10 years.

How tall does the Philodendron Florida Ghost grow? 

When cultivated outside in a tropical climate with support, Philodendron Florida Ghost can reach heights of up to 12 feet indoors and between 2 and 5 feet outdoors.

How to stake the Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Give your Philodendron Florida Ghost something organic to attach its aerial roots to as it climbs, and stake it with a sphagnum moss pole.

How to make the Philodendron Florida Ghost grow faster? 

Give the Philodendron Florida Ghost warm temperatures, high humidity, infrequent watering, regular feedings, and bright but indirect light for optimum growth.

How to pot Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Pick a pot with good drainage holes. Use a loose soil mixture that drains nicely. Before re-watering, thoroughly water the transplant and allow the soil to dry.

Why is my Philodendron Florida Ghost dying? 

There could be a disease or pest infestation. To heal your ill plant, identify the source of its ailment and take the suggested remedies.

How to Revive the Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Put your Philodendron Florida Ghost in a bucket of water until it is completely submerged if it has dried out. Drain off any extra water completely.

Why is my Philodendron Florida Ghost drooping? 

The soil around your Philodendron Florida Ghost can be too moist or dry. If required, water it. Replant in new soil and use less water if the soil is waterlogged.

How cold can the Philodendron Florida Ghost tolerate? 

The Florida Ghost Philodendron can withstand temperatures as low as 50°F (10°C). The plant’s growth will be slowed below that point, and 32°F (0°C) will cause it to die.

Is Philodendron Florida Ghost toxic to cats? 

Yes, Philodendron Florida Ghost poisons cats. Make sure you locate a location for your plant where your cat can’t get to and eat the leaves.

How to get rid of pests on the Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Examine the leaves and stems of your Philodendron Florida Ghost to identify which insect pest is causing damage, and then use the suggested spray or treatment to get rid of it.

Is Philodendron Florida Ghost toxic to dogs? 

The Philodendron Florida Ghost poisons dogs, yes. Consult your vet immediately if your dog exhibits signs like vomiting, a swollen tongue, or wheezing.

Is the Florida Ghost Philodendron poisonous to people?

Philodendron Florida Ghost does poison people, indeed. If sap comes in contact with your skin, you might react to it. Rinse well in water and soap.

Is Philodendron Florida Ghost toxic to children? 

Yes, children are vulnerable to Philodendron Florida Ghost poisoning. If your child consumes any part of the plant, keep an eye on their symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if they have respiratory problems.

In Summary

Finally, the evergreen (and white) hybrid Philodendron Florida Ghost is a striking and distinct houseplant. It is simple to care for and maintain.

Once the basics are in place, it will grow effortlessly and produce stunningly different leaves ranging from white to green.

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