How to Care For Philodendron Gloriosum

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I bought my Philodendron Gloriosum as a baby and I love it. It’s grown reasonably quickly for a plant known for it’s slow-growing tendencies so I think I’ve got to grips with how to care for it.

Philodendron gloriosum is a stunning plant. It has big, pillowy, heart-shaped velvet leaves and bright white veining that have a pinky hue when the leaf is new.

If you look closely, the margins of the leaves are pink too.


Is Philodendron Gloriosum easy to care for?

I mean…I think so. It hasn’t shown a particular desire to be infested with pests, it seems to need fairly consistent watering, and it doesn’t droop for no reason at all.

It does have velvet leaves though, so any watermarks show up like a beacon. Luckily, the leaves are quite upright so it doesn’t collect too much dust.

The only slightly awkward thing is that if you put it in the wrong pot (i.e. a normal round one) it’ll try to creep into neighbouring pots.

Does Philodendron Gloriosum need bright light?

In their native Colombia, Philodendron gloriosum won’t get very much direct light at all, because they don’t climb. Instead, they crawl along the forest floor, protected from the sun by the tree canopy.

You might think, therefore, that they’d be happy with medium light, like Aglaonema and Calathea, but actually, they like long hours of indirect light.

I actually keep mine in a south-facing window but behind other plants. Considering I’m in North Yorkshire and quite a lot further away from the equator than Colombia, it seems like a similar amount of light.

I try not to let it get much direct light because the leaves are quite thin, but I haven’t had any sings of burning so far and it has been accidentally left in bright light.

Does Philodendron Gloriosum need high humidity?

Mine is perfectly happy in the ambient humidity in my home, but that can get up to 65% easily, so if your home is drier, you may need a humidifier.

The rainforest undergrowth is quite a humid place to be, so it won’t be as happy in 40% humidity. It may well still grow, just slower and with smaller leaves, so humidity levels are something you can experiment with.

Try to avoid getting the leaves of your gloriosum wet. Velvet leaves show watermarks really clearly, and they’re not as easy to shift as they are on shiny plants. If you want to mist to remove dust and pests (remember that misting doesn’t increase humidity) then make sure the leaves can dry (preferably without help from you) pretty quickly.

Leaves that are left wet for too long can quickly lead to bacterial infections.

Do Philodendron Gloriosum need warm temperatures?

Philodendron gloriosum don’t do well in the cold. Mine will definitely be moving away from the window in winter.

The microclimate they live in in the wild will be pretty consistent in terms of temperature, and as a result, gloriosums don’t like to be too hot or too cold.

Both will cause wilting and brown spots. If you’re not sure if it’s too hot or too cold, then ask yourself if you’re too hot or too cold, and your plant will probably have the same feelings.

In general, they like to be between 15˚C/60˚F – 24˚C/75F. There’s a margin of error a few degrees each way, but this is what you want to aim for.

What type of pot does Philodendron Gloriosum need?

Crawling philodendrons need long pots that they can crawl along. Whilst it’s technically possible to force a crawler to climb, it won’t be easy and a gloriosum will fight back by trying to grow over into other plant’s pots.

Allowing your Philodendron to crawl will help it size up its leaves – I assume due to the volume of new roots it can grow every time a new node starts growing a new root system.

I have my P. gloriosum in this pot:

It was only £3.99 from my local hardware store and it does the job well.

I have a lovely Lechuza rectangular self-watering pot but I didn’t want to turf my peace lily out, especially since I don’t have this in semi-hydro.

What soil does Philodendron Gloriosum need?

Crawling philodendrons like Philodendron gloriosum have more extensive root systems than climbing philodendrons, because each node roots in the ground.

Their root systems can be, therefore, pretty big. I’ve found that the easiest way to balance keeping the roots well hydrated without risking root rot is to have a very airy soil mix that retains a lot of water.

I used a mix of ABG terrarium soil and leca, plus a bit of extra perlite mixed in. I also put a decent layer of leca on the bottom of the pot.

Does Philodendron Gloriosum like to be rootbound?

Philodendron gloriosum don’t really get themselves into the position of being rootbound. They crawl along the ground looking for a free spot to root their latest node in. They have several root systems growing at once, so as long as you keep letting it crawl it shouldn’t get root-bound.

However, if you have a P. gloriosum that you keep chopping and propping but you want to leave it in the same pot, then that shouldn’t be an issue – you’ll just have to water it more frequently because as the roots grow, the soil is displaced, and the less soil there is, the less water the pot can hold.

In short, as long as you can get water and nutrients into the plant, it won’t really care how rootbound it is. If you want to keep it in the pot and you don’t want to be watering it often, then consider trimming off some of the roots.

How often should you water Philodendron Gloriosum?

It can be a bit tricky to get watering right when it comes to Philodendron gloriosum, because when they’re small and first starting to crawl (I never thought I’d say that about a plant), they’re in a pot that contains far more soil than they need.

That’s why I fill up a lot of the pot with leca – it really increases the air flow, so you’re less likely to get root rot.

In summer, I water mine thoroughly when it’s nearly dry (2 or 3 on the moisture metre), which is around once a week. I only really water the area around the plant, and then I use a water sprayer to soak the rest of the soil. It will moisten the soil, but not wet it. It’s also fun!

How to fertilise Philodendron Gloriosum

I use the General Hydroponics Flora series to fertilise my P. gloriosum, (and all my plants, tbh) and it seems to enjoy it.

During the spring and summer, I fertilised my plants every time I watered them and my Gloriosum seemed pretty happy with that, and I didn’t see any negative side effects from it.

I did cut back when some of my other plants started complaining, so I now fertilise around every other or every third time I water.

Philodendron gloriosum will typically have access to a lot more nutrients than climbing plants in their native habitat, so it makes sense that they’re happy to be fed frequently.

Is Philodendron Gloriosum toxic?

Yes, most aroids, Philodendron gloriosum included, have calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves which can cause stomach aches and mouth numbness to anyone/thing that tries to eat them.

If your pet or child do eat a bit of Philodendron gloriosum, keep a close eye on them and take them to a doctor if they have a severe reaction. However, it’s usually more of an uncomfortable situation than a dangerous one.

How to propagate Philodendron Gloriosum

One of the great things about Philodendron gloriosum is that they kind of propagate themselves as they grow along. If you’ve read this article on propagating Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, then you’ll know that I prefer to layer plants than chop and prop – and gloriosums layer themselves as they grow.

Layering is just laying vines down on the soil whilst they’re still attached to the mother plant, waiting for them to root and send out new growth, and then taking the cutting. Rather than cutting and then rooting. It’s prop and chop, rather than chop and prop.

The rooting part is already done with Philodendron gloriosum – all you have to do is chop off the newest node and pot it up in soil. You don’t even have to worry about moving the cutting from water to soil because it’s completely ready to be a new plant.

It shouldn’t take too long for the cutting to produce new growth, because it’s a top cutting and the axillary bud is ready to go. It can take a little bit longer for the original plant grow new leaves.

The only issue with propagating Philodendron gloriosum is that you can’t always choose where the axillary bud is going to activate on the plant you’ve taken the cutting from. It’s usually the end node, but you never know with philodendrons.

I prefer cuttings to have a ‘full’ leaf, hence why I suggest you take a two-node cutting in the example above, rather than a cutting with one node and the start of a leaf. You risk shocking the leaf and losing it. The node will produce new growth, so it’s not the end of the world, it’s just my preference.

Is Philodendron Gloriosum rare?

Philodendron gloriosum is quite rare in the wild, and will probably continue to get rarer due to habitat loss and poaching.

However, they’re not rare in the houseplant trade.

They’re extremely popular so like most extremely popular houseplants can be cloned using tissue culture – one node can produce thousands of plantlets.

Is Philodendron Gloriosum expensive?

I bought my Philodendron gloriosum as a TC baby for £6.99 in my local houseplant nursery.

A small but adult specimen will set you back about £30.

Large specimens can be expensive, and so can some of the fancy cultivars. There’s a variegated form, as well as ones with more prominent veining and darker leaves.

Is Philodendron Gloriosum fast-growing?

They’re known for being slow-growing compared to other philodendrons, but I’ve not noticed that mine is particularly slow.

Is Philodendron Gloriosum a climber or a crawler?

It’s a crawler, and it can’t really be convinced to climb. If you want a houseplant that looks like a Philodendron gloriosum but climbs, consider a Philodendron glorious. It’s a hybrid between a gloriosum and a Philodendron melanochrysum. Melanochrysums are climbers and climbing is the dominant gene. It doesn’t look exactly like a gloriosum, but pretty similar, but with darker, more elongated leaves. Makes sense when these are it’s parents:

Alternative names for Philodendron Gloriosum

It was called an Anthurium gloriosum before botanists settled on classifying it as a Philodendron.

Final thoughts

I love my gloriosum, and don’t find it particularly tricky to take care of. It’s a great plant for someone that wants to get into rare aroids but doesn’t have the budget for something like a Spiritus Sancti (yet).

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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