The Philodendron gloriosum features large, heart-shaped leaves that are velvety to the touch. These leaves can reach a whopping 3 feet in diameter when fully grown and this one feature has houseplant lovers clamoring to include this plant in their homes.
Classed as a vulnerable plant in its native tropical habitat, the Philodendron gloriosum is relatively easy to care for, although it is not beginner friendly, and has become popular among rare plant collectors.
Its popularity is spurred by its ability to take the occasional moment of accidental neglect and has become the perfect tropical plant for those who desire a low-maintenance, high-impact plant in their home.
What Is A Philodendron Gloriosum?
Native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, the Philodendron Gloriosum is one of the largest of the 480 different Philodendron species.
Visually, the Philodendron gloriosum bears rich green, heart-shaped leaves with contrasting cream veining and, in the wild, trails along the forest floor rather than climbing the surrounding trees like other species from the Philodendron family.
If you are lucky enough to see your Philodendron Gloriosum bloom, you will be greeted by a creamy white flower that houses a chunky spadix. However, the Gloriosum doesn’t bloom often and those grown indoors are likely to never show flowers in their lifetime.
- Botanical Name: Philodendron gloriosum
- Family: Araceae
- Type: Terrestrial
- Light: Partial Sun
- Soil: Well-Drained
- Size: Up to 3ft tall & 6ft wide
Is The Philodendron Gloriosum Expensive?
Small seedlings of no more than three or four inches tall can cost around $50 and larger established specimens can cost anywhere from $100.
The Philodendron Gloriousum can take a staggering 15 years to reach full maturity and flowering is a rare occurrence, meaning seeds are scarce, and this drives prices up.
Philodendron gloriosum Care Needs
Caring for a Philodendron gloriosum is much easier than you think. As long as the basic needs are met, it will produce healthy and dramatic foliage all year round.
Needing bright, indirect sunlight, the gloriosum is quite happy living in the shaded corner of a bright room.
If kept in direct sunlight, you run the risk of scorching the leaves. An hour or two of direct sunlight in the morning or evening won’t affect your plant much but if it is subjected to bright, direct light all day long, it may need to move to a more shaded spot or net curtains can help to diffuse the incoming sunlight.
On the other end of the spectrum, if there is not enough light the leaves will become spindly and droopy.
Quite capable of growing in most home environments, the Philodendron gloriosum is not going to punish you if it is a little too cold or not humid enough, it just might not be as luscious.
Optimal growing conditions would be a minimum of 50% humidity and temperatures no lower than 55f. The bathroom is the best place for a Gloriosum to live, as long as there is sufficient natural light.
The Philodendron Gloriosum can be sensitive to overwatering, with root rot being a common issue.
The heat of its environment will alter how often it needs to be watered. Watering once or twice a week and allowing the topsoil to dry out completely before watering again should help to avoid any issues.
The soil should also be loose and free draining to avoid root rot caused by waterlogged soil.
The Gloriosum can withstand some neglect and will usually bounce back if there are a few days longer than usual between waterings but don’t make a habit of it.
It is also a good idea to use filtered, dechlorinated water, kept at room temperature to avoid shocking their roots.
Does The Philodendron Plant Need Fertilizing?
The Philodendron Gloriosum does not have to be fertilized but it can be a welcomed boost during the growing season, which tends to fall anywhere from Spring to mid-Fall.
The Gloriosum is not a heavy feeder and it can be easy to overfertilize, which can cause root burn and yellowing leaves.
Half-strength fertilizer every one to two months during the growing season is more than enough to encourage healthy growth.
Different Philodendron Gloriosum Varieties
Unlike other popular houseplants, the Philodendron Gloriosum does not have many varieties and even the ‘basic’ type can be tricky to find and pricey on the wallet – although finding seedlings for sale is getting easier.
If you have the mind to collect a rarer plant species, here are some Philodendron Gloriosum varieties to consider.
Philodendron gloriosum ‘Dark Form’
Features rounder leaves in a darker green shade with tinges of blue. May also have a reddish tinge towards the edges.
Philodendron gloriosum ‘Zebra’
Very similar to the basic P. Gloriosum variety but the white veins are more distinctive and bold.
Philodendron gloriosum ‘Pink Back’
Familiar green foliage with pale pink veins and a pink underside.
Philodendron gloriosum ‘Round Form’
The leaves are much rounder and do not have the common pointed bottom.
Variegated Philodendron gloriosum
Just like other variegated plants, this type of Philodendron Gloriosum features yellow or cream patches.
Is The Philodendron Gloriosum Toxic?
Yes, the Philodendron Gloriosum can be toxic to both humans and pets if it is ingested or if the sap comes into contact with the skin.
The entire plant contains high levels of calcium oxalate crystals which can cause skin irritation, such as welts or rashes if you come into direct contact with the sap. If ingested, some common side effects are gastrointestinal distress, throat swelling, dizziness, diarrhea, and nausea.
Common Pests And Problems
The Philodendron Gloriosum, like any other plant, experiences issues from time to time but most are easily rectified as long as they are fixed quickly.
Pests like mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, and fungus gnats are common and not usually a sign of neglect. A store-bought insecticide is enough to get rid of any nasty critters.
Root rot can be a sign of over-watering, as can the yellowing of the leaves, and underwatering will lead to drooping leaves that may begin to turn brown on the edges.