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The Philodendron “Florida” is a dark green hybrid that has been around for more than 70 years. The variegated Florida Beauty and Florida Ghost are its children.
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, Florida Beauty, needs bright indirect light, some humidity, and moderate temperatures to grow well.
In this Article
- In this Article
- The Philodendron Florida Beauty Variegated
- Philodendron Florida Beauty Care—Surrounding Environment
- Philodendron Florida Beauty Care—Growing Environment
- Growing Philodendron Florida Beauty
- Propagating Philodendron Florida Beauty
- Common Problems with Philodendron Florida Beauty
- FAQs about Philodendron Florida Beauty
- In Closing
The Philodendron Florida Beauty Variegated
If you’re interested in Philodendron hybrids and their patents, I suggest you explore the work of the wife and husband McColley team, Cora and Robert.
I counted six Philodendron patents for Cora McColley, the last filed in 1999 called ‘McColley’s Finale.
Back to McColley’s Philodendron ‘Florida Green’ offspring, the Philodendron Florida Beauty Variegated.
Your first encounter with this rare plant, personally or in photos, will help you understand the namer’s inspiration.
It is a beauty, with leaves of different shapes and colors and green and cream splotches covering large parts of the leaf.
If you’re a collector of beautiful plants, this aroid is a must-have. Let’s explore the care it needs, starting with its environmental needs and moving on to how to grow your Philodendron Florida Beauty.
Finally, we’ll briefly examine the best way to propagate your Florida beauty. If you’re interested in sister plants, refer to my Philodendron Florida Ghost Care article.
The Philodendron Florida Ghost is also a hybrid of McColley’s Philodendron ‘Florida’ green, but its leaves have more than one lobe, which makes it easy to tell apart. The mother plant and offspring are all vines.
A climbing plant does best when provided with a climbing pole—even the variegation improves.
Climbing Philodendron habits are inherited from the parent plants, the Philodendron pedatum, and Philodendron squamiferum, but especially the Philodendron pedatum is an epiphytic climbing Philodendron.
Philodendron Florida Beauty Care—Surrounding Environment
When considering a plant’s environmental needs, we must consider humidity, temperature, light, and the plant’s dormancy season.
In its previous life, your Philodendron Florida was dark green and had no real challenges with harvesting light for its photosynthesis processes.
Then the clever scientists used tissue cultures to variegate the leaves, removing swathes of green and replacing them with cream-colored foliage.
Then it had a unique leaf shape and color.
So, your beauty, immobile as it is, needs to be moved where there is enough bright indirect light.
The best light intensity comes from an east-facing window.
West and south-facing windows can also be used, but direct sunlight should be avoided.
One of the best ways to take advantage of the sun all day long is with a south-facing window. If your home has a south-facing window, you should hang a sheer curtain over it, so Philodendron Florida Beauty can get plenty of bright indirect light.
Alternatively, you can move the plant further away from the window than you usually would.
A west-facing window gets evening sun for a longer time and avoids the hottest part of the day. It’s perfect for this Philodendron, though you should see how it performs and relocate it to ensure it gets the best light possible.
East-facing windows get that lovely morning sun.
Its leaves become a lush green with splashes of yellow to cream when grown in the best conditions. The loss of this variation indicates that it isn’t getting enough light.
Variegation improves if this vining Philodendron is given a sphagnum moss pole or stake to climb up.
If your light source is too weak, consider supplementing with white LED lights. They’re economical to run and last longer than fluorescent tubes.
Humidity levels between 50 and 60 percent are ideal for Philodendron Florida Beauty. A humidifier, a pebble tray, or relocating your plant to a humid room like the bathroom can all help increase moisture levels in a dry home.
If you feel the air in your home is too dry, likely due to your air conditioner, you should investigate methods of adding moisture to the air.
I use a humidifier for my aroids—you can check out my article on the topic – What Type of Humidifier is Best for Plants?
A humidifier isn’t the only option for increasing humidity; a pebble tray or putting your plant in the bathroom will do the trick, too.
This plant species do best in daytime temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 21 degrees Celsius) and nighttime temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 16 degrees Celsius).
Maintain a minimum nighttime temperature of at least 50 °
If you planted your Philodendron Florida Beauty outdoors on a patio, you’d need to bring it inside before the temperatures drop below 55 °F (~12 °C).
Philodendron Florida Beauty Care—Growing Environment
Let’s take a look at the four most important aspects of the growing environment: the soil, the water, the nutrition, the potting, and the support.
Use a growing medium with exceptional drainage if you want the best chance for your Philodendron Florida Beauty to thrive.
To accomplish this, add elements to the soil that enhances its aeration and drainage, such as perlite, bark, and vermiculite.
I’ve discovered that a mix of organic and inorganic components is compelling. The best mixture for achieving this delicate balance is sphagnum moss, perlite, and a few tiny pieces of bark or hardwood compost.
When added to the mixture, sphagnum moss allows the growing medium to retain the water it needs.
On the other hand, the moisture-absorbing moss is broken up by the perlite and bark so that some water and air can pass through.
The Florida Beauty Philodendron thrives in occasionally dry soil. Suppose the soil is dry; water the plant by sticking your finger to a third of the depth of the pot’s soil. If it is damp, let it dry further and recheck it in a day or two.
Your houseplants will let you know if they require more or less water.
The water levels are probably not quite right if the leaves are drooping, yellowing, or turning brown.
Unfortunately, underwatering or overwatering, which deprives the plant’s roots of oxygen, can cause these symptoms.
The roots could rot if kept wet for a long time without being allowed to dry out. Root rot is the most prevalent and preventable of all potential diseases of Philodendron Florida Beauty.
Watering only according to a watering schedule without considering whether the soil is wet or dry is one of the leading causes.
If the plant becomes wet, let it completely dry out before checking the roots.
While at it, repot the plant using the same pot and check the roots again. Don’t use peat moss; instead, use fresh potting soil.
Peat moss can hold more water than is required by plants grown indoors, as opposed to coconut coir.
Applying a liquid fertilizer to your Beauty will promote growth, mainly the foliage. Start applications in early spring and continue throughout summer.
Regularly applying a diluted fertilizer mix is preferable to large monthly applications. Fertilizing should be halted in the fall and winter.
Mix a spoonful of Epsom salt into a gallon of water and apply twice a year for foliage benefitting magnesium sulfate.
This is in addition to everyday fertilizer application routines.
Water the soil thoroughly before applying fertilizer to prevent root burn. My preferred option is to dilute the fertilizer into every watering.
To the same extent, it is vital that you not over-fertilize your plant and that you discontinue fertilization altogether in the fall and winter.
Potting and Repotting
To ensure your Florida Beauty receives all the nutrients it needs, repotting it once a year is recommended. Moving it to a slightly larger pot with fresh potting soil may help it thrive.
The Philodendron Florida Beauty can happily live its entire life in a container. However, you should repot it yearly or whenever it outgrows its current pot.
Doing so can ensure it has the nutrients it needs to keep growing normally.
When repotting a plant, it’s important to remember to use a larger container than the one it was growing in. Essential for preventing root rot, which poor drainage can cause.
Growing Philodendron Florida Beauty
If you need to repot your Florida Beauty, remember always to use a larger container than the one it was growing in before. Provide it with a pole or post to climb; it will develop more quickly because it is a climber.
Due to its rareness, unusual leaf shape, and beautiful variegation, the Philodendron Florida Beauty is a sight to behold. Its close relative, the Philodendron Florida Ghost, is a perfect example.
The Florida Beauty needs a burlap-wrapped pole or mossy post to climb to thrive. You need not confine your cultivation of this to a tiny pot.
It needs a lot of space to grow to its full height of 90 feet (27.43 meters), so plan accordingly if you want to see it through to adulthood. Alternately, prune it back occasionally to maintain a manageable length.
Propagating Philodendron Florida Beauty
Stem cuttings are the best method for propagating Philodendron Florida Beauty. Rooting the cutting can be accomplished in either water or a rooting medium.
Once the cutting has taken root, you can either plant it in soil or let it keep growing in water.
The stems of Philodendron Florida Beauty can be easily cut and rooted to produce new plants.
If you are interested in propagating this plant as a gift or for your home garden, you will find a comprehensive guide below.
Depending on your preference, you can now root your stem cutting in water or in a small pot with potting soil.
To get the stem cut, use a sharp knife or garden shears to remove a portion of the stem from the mother plant. Make the incision right above another leaf on the stem, and ensure the cutting is at least 3 to 6 inches long.
Making the incision at this point is essential for two reasons. One, it allows the rest of the Philodendron to continue producing more shoots and leaves. And, two, it gives your cutting plenty of space to form new roots.
The next thing you’ll want to do is to gently snip the leaves from the cutting, leaving only the top three to four.
Once you’ve removed the leaves, you can place the cutting in the potting soil or cup of water. I have tried the two options, and my Philodendron Florida Beauty rooted successfully in both cases.
I only recommend that you remember to press firmly on the soil so that it holds the cutting in place. Also, be careful with your cutting placement, ensuring that none of the leaves are submerged (in water) or buried (in the potting soil).
Within 2 to 3 weeks, your Florida Beauty will have started rooting, and this will be followed closely by the formation of new leaves.
The roots will be easier to spot if you’re propagating in water.
You have the option of growing your plant in water indefinitely. The only drawback is that your philodendron will never attain its full size, and water needs to be changed weekly.
If you want to enjoy the Philodendron Florida Beauty in all its glory, grow it in potting soil instead.
With this approach, you’ll need to wait until the roots are about 1 inch long before transplanting it to fresh potting soil. The pot you transfer your rooted cutting to shouldn’t be overly big; one 3 to 4 inches wide works best.
Common Problems with Philodendron Florida Beauty
Yellowing of leaves
Overwatering causes improper soil moisture levels. It’s essential to ensure the top few inches of soil are dry.
The way you water may also cause excess moisture. You should soak your Florida Beauty until excess water comes from the drainage holes. Don’t forget to empty your plant’s saucer or tray after watering.
But if you’re correctly watering and caring for your plant, the problem may be the growing medium. Magnesium deficiency may be to blame. This condition causes V-shaped yellow patches on the leaves.
FAQs about Philodendron Florida Beauty
The Philodendron ‘Florida Beauty’ is a stunning foliage plant that will flourish almost anywhere given the right conditions and some TLC.
However, its adaptability means it can be grown in a container like any other houseplant. You need only provide it with a moss pole upon which to climb.
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