Florida beauty plant is a great ornament to have at home and care for. It will look better than any decorative item you can get for your home.
If you want to know how to grow and propagate this gorgeous plant, you’ve come to the right place. Read our guide below, which is just as excellent as this plant.
- What Is a Florida Beauty Plant?
- Florida Beauty Plant Care
What Is a Florida Beauty Plant?
Philodendron Florida beauty is a hybrid of two gorgeous plants: the Philodendron squamiferum and Philodendron pedatum. This plant has unique-shaped leaves that are green with cream or yellow variegations. It is one of the best houseplants that you can grow. Don’t confuse this with the similarly named Dracaena surculosa.
Florida Beauty Plant Care
The Florida beauty plant variegated needs only filtered and indirect bright light. Its soil should be rich and quick draining. It would be best to moisten it by watering it consistently when the topsoil dries up.
Maintain warm temperatures day and night, along with 50 percent humidity levels. Regular grooming improves airflow around the plant and promotes further growth. Read up on other Philodendron beauty plant needs here.
– Water Requirements
You will need to water this Florida plant regularly to keep it evenly moist. In moderate regions, you will likely have to water it once or twice a week in the summer. Because the soil dries slowly in winter, you will have to water less frequently.
Learn the essentials of watering Philodendron Florida beauty below.
When To Water This Plant
As a rule of thumb, let the soil dry one-quarter of the way before it is next watered. At least the top two to three inches of the soil need to be watered. This is the proper way to know when this plant needs to be watered during the summer or winter.
We put our fingers within the soil up to the knuckles to check if the soil has dried. If you don’t want to go down this road, you can also use a pencil instead. A moisture meter is a brilliant tool to help you water. If you put it inside the soil and the score is below seven, it is time to water the plant.
Use Rain or Distilled Water
Rainwater is the water most natural to this plant. You can put a bucket to collect it whenever it rains and use it afterward. You can also go for distilled water as it is just as safe.
Take this in comparison with your ordinary tap water. This water is filled with salts and minerals that collect in soil over time, and your plant’s health will be affected negatively.
If tap water is allowed to stay in an open bucket for several hours, it becomes slightly safer. Most of the chlorine evaporates, which is the most harmful substance in tap water.
– Light Requirements
The Philodendron Florida ghost plant needs to be grown using a filtered bright light. They should preferably be put under this light for seven to eight hours continuously. Otherwise, they tend to lose the characteristic white variegations they are known for.
The Perfect Window for This Plant
It is best to keep this plant indoors rather than outside the house, but not all windows within the house are equal when it comes to sunlight.
Learn more about how to choose the perfect window for your plant.
- The window towards the north receives the best sunlight. However, this light needs to be filtered out using a curtain first. You can also keep the plant two to three feet away from the window to mitigate the light.
- The eastern window receives direct light during the wee morning hours. You will have to cover this window only then. This plant can be safely put near this window for the rest of the day.
- The window to the west is the same. It’s just that it receives direct light during the evening.
- A north-side facing window can be a bit inadequate for this plant. Its leaves might revert to green to compensate for the lack of sunlight.
If your indoor living space has no natural light source, you can substitute it with artificial light. LED grow lights for plants can be installed right above the plant. They need to be turned on for double the duration of the required natural light. That would make it 14 to 15 hours of artificial lights each day.
This method is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of windows where natural light comes in throughout the day.
– Soil Requirements
The soil for optimum Florida beauty plant growth is loose, rich, and porous. Make a soil that drains off all extra water instead of collecting it. Read on to learn about your soil’s essential ingredients and why they are important.
- Start with a regular potting mix and add further additives to your soil’s required properties.
- An essential ingredient to add is sphagnum or peat moss. Moss not only contributes to the nutrient contents but also water retention. It absorbs water when added to the soil and then slowly releases it when the roots need it the most.
- Perlite is an essential soil additive that comes from white balls. It loosens up space and moss particles to promote airflow and drainage to a great extent.
- Some other soil loosening additives that you can use are coco coir, bark pieces, and charcoal.
– Temperature Requirements
The “Florida beauty” plant needs 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime. The ideal temperature during the night is between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant can tolerate slight drops in temperature from day to night. However, as one of the tropical plants, it stays the healthiest during warmer conditions.
Here are some ways you can maintain the proper temperatures for this plant.
- Within a room, keep this plant near a window for light needs. However, close these windows at night if the temperature drops more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Never place warmth-loving plants directly under a vent from where cold air is coming from.
- If the nights in your area are particularly cold, then it’s best to keep this plant indoors.
- During the colder months with frost, move this plant inside the house. This plant already goes through slight dormancy during winters. Exposing it to further cold can be detrimental to its health.
– Humidity Requirements
The “Florida beauty” plant enjoys humidity levels above 50 percent. Its leaves like lots of moisture in the air to stay perky and fresh. Most areas have more than 50 percent air moisture levels inside and outside the house, so, in all likelihood, you will not have to do much in the way of increasing humidity.
If you feel your plant needs more humidity, here are some hacks you can try.
A makeshift humidity pot is very straightforward to make. Take a shallow tray and fill it with water. Place large, broad pebbles inside it and place the pot over it.
The pebbles are for keeping the pot over so it doesn’t touch the water underneath. This is very important. Otherwise, the plant will develop fungal rot.
The water in the pebble tray evaporates over time and increases the humidity around the plant. You should change this water every three day for cleaning purposes.
A humidifier is no doubt the best when it comes to maintaining high humidity. This is mainly for those who are too busy to maintain a pebble tray. You have tons of options when it comes to humidifiers. Go for one that has the best reviews and is also quite reasonably priced.
You can keep the humidifier running in the same room as your beauty plant on auto mode. In this mode, the machine shuts off automatically when the proper humidity levels are achieved. It then restarts when these levels start falling.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Your Florida house plant does need a regular dose of fertilizing every month in spring and summer. It’s okay if you don’t fertilize it during winters.
Types of Fertilizers
You have three options for fertilizing the beautiful plant. The first option is for those who like to keep it natural. Yes, we are talking about compost and mulch materials. You can make your own compost and mix it with the soil every third or fourth week.
Your second option is a slow-release type that comes in pellet form. All you have to do is mix them two to three inches deep in the soil. They work for three to four months at least.
The most convenient type of fertilizer is the liquid one. Order a well-balanced one and use it on a fortnightly basis. This type does come with the risk of chemical burns.
Valuable Tips To Know Before Fertilizing
Here are some must-know tips regarding liquid fertilizing you need to know.
- Water the plant first and then fertilize, saving the roots from burns.
- Liquid fertilizer should always be diluted to one-third or half its concentration.
- Always fertilize the soil and not the plant.
Keeping a houseplant is no use if you don’t maintain it in top-notch appearance. Set about 10 minutes a week aside to clean this plant. You can remove dirt on the leaves using a mildly moistened paper towel too.
Grooming also includes cutting off extra branches every spring. You can do this to maintain the pant in a particular shape. Pruning off stems has also been shown to improve further growth.
Keep an eye out for yellowing, brown, or drooping leaves. It is better to remove these leaves so that nutrients can be redirected towards new and healthy leaves.
You can quickly propagate this plant by taking appropriate stem cuttings from it. It is not only straightforward to do but also has a high success rate. Now you can also give all your friends one of their beautiful plants.
We have compiled all the steps of Florida beauty plant propagation below. Just give it a quick read.
– Sharpen Your Instruments
Take a bucket and fill it with a disinfectant solution, either store-bought or homemade, from 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Let your instruments stay in this bucket for two to three hours, then thoroughly wash the gardening tools afterward.
This is the most crucial step because infected instruments lead to propagation failure and will infect the parent plant.
– Take the Best Stem Cutting
The best stem cutting is taken from a healthy stem that is neither too old nor too young. Make sure that this stem isn’t spotted or diseased in any way. The cutting is ideally taken from the fresh, growing end of the stem.
The cutting should be 5 to 6 inches long and have two to three leaf nodes on it. At least one leaf node should still have its leaf attached to it.
When taking a cutting from the stem, cut at an angle rather than a blunt cut. The shaper the cut, the more successful your propagation will be.
– Let the Cutting Dry Up
The next step is to wrap your cutting in a paper towel and store it someplace dark and dry. We always put ours in Tupperware containers to keep them safe. This step is to ensure that the cutting dries up before propagation. After two to three days, take the cutting out and apply rooting hormones at the cut end of the stem part.
Rooting hormone is readily available everywhere and accelerates the growth of new plant parts from the cutting.
– Keep the Cutting in Water
You can totally forego this step if you want to place the cutting directly in the pot. Putting the stem inside water is advantageous because you can see your plant’s progress with your own eyes.
Take a transparent lidded jar or container and fill it with clean water. Place this cutting inside this container and put the lid on it, then take it to a shaded, bright, and warm area. From now on, you will have to change the water every week. New roots will grow from the cut end of the stem.
– Transfer to a Pot
When is it time to transfer the cutting from water to the plant? When your newly grown roots become two to three inches long. Take a pot, preferably clay as it is porous and contributes to air circulation. Mix the correct type of rich, draining soil and place it within this pot.
The pot should be of small size in accordance with the tiny size of the propagation. Make a hole within the potting soil and insert the rooted end of the cutting within it.
– Provide the Best Cultural Conditions
The last thing to do is to provide your plant with the right environment to grow in. The requirements of young plantlets are the same as adult plants. It needs a place that is lit brightly but indirectly. Make sure not to overwater as young plants begin to suffer quite easily.
Young propagations don’t need to be fertilized all that much. You can add a bit of compost if you like.
When taking care of this plant, you need to beware of pests, root rot, and yellowing leaves. We have brought you all the information on identifying these problems along with simple solutions.
Now, read on to learn them all.
Pests are the most troublesome problem you might face with this plant. Most commonly, the pests in question will be sap-sucking ones like mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites.
This pest hides under this plant’s leaves and grows in great numbers. They eat all the food of the plant, making it sick over time.
Mealybugs are identified by their white, dot-like appearance. You can identify spider mites through spider webs around the leaves. Aphids cannot be seen; you can only identify them through signs and symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
A pest infestation is primarily due to a lack of nutrient supply to the leaves. Yellow and brown spots develop on the leaves. Some leaves develop large brown patches, while others start curling at the edges.
If you put off dealing with pests for a long time, your plant’s growth will be affected in the long term. Eventually, they will either stop growing further or start dropping leaves.
How To Remove Pests Right Away
Getting rid of pests from the beauty plant is easy if you are consistent.
- First, you must remove most of them physically. We wash our plants thoroughly with water and a brush to scrub them off. Adding insecticidal soap to this washing regime will also kill off the larvae.
- Neem oil is a natural antifungal from Asia that is also available in most gardening stores. You can apply a few drops of this oil directly to the colonies of pests under the leaves. You can also mix this oil in water and spray it under the leaves.
- Another homemade antifungal agent to try out is baking soda mixed in water. The typical ratio is one teaspoon of baking soda in a gallon of water. Again, spray this mixture every week to kill pests.
- Many people go for insecticidal spray as their first option. We say keep this as the last option and stick to the instructions given on the label.
– Root Rot
Root rot is a fungal infection caused by several fungi common to the soil. When the soil is overwatered for some time, these fungi proliferate and attack the plant. As a result, root rot develops, spreading to the plant and killing it.
Educate yourself on how to recognize root rot and treat it right away.
Signs and Symptoms
When your plant is infected with fungal diseases such as root rot, it will go through the following symptoms chronologically.
- First of all, the plant will show classic signs of overwatering. The leaves will become swollen and droop down under pressure.
- Then rot spots will start appearing over the stems and leaves. These spots will be yellow at first and then turn brown or black.
- After some time, the leaves will experience a terrible leaf drop.
- This is also when your plant begins to emit a terrible odor of rot.
How To Treat Root Rot Right Away
In order to treat root rot, you must depot the plant so its roots can also be treated. Look at the most rotten parts of your plant that have turned black. Take a knife or shears and then snip off all such parts.
You should lay your plant down on a piece of newspaper. All the water stored in the plant will slowly be absorbed into this newspaper. You will have to keep changing the newspaper every couple of hours when it becomes moist.
Buy a powerful antifungal spray like liquid copper fungicide and spray it on the whole plant from top to bottom. Continue a weekly antifungal spray regime even after you have repotted the plant in new soil.
– Yellow Leaves
Florida beauty plant yellow leaves occur due to direct sunlight exposure or overwatering. As we mentioned above, this plant can tolerate only indirect sunlight. It will turn yellow if you allow it to be put under direct sunlight, especially the mid-day sun. Its edges will turn brown and crispy while curling around the edges.
When leaves turn yellow to overwatering, they will be plump rather than wrinkly. The water-filled leaves start drooping down after being weighed down by excessive water.
You have now read quite a bit about this Philodendron plant.
Below is a brief recap before we sign off.
- Philodendron Florida beauty is a hybrid of two gorgeous plants and has unique-shaped leaves that are green with cream or yellow variegations.
- Philodendron Florida beauty plant should not be confused with the Daracena surculosa “Florida” plant.
- Keep this plant in indirect bright light and maintain the temperature at a high level.
- This plant’s soil needs to be porous and rich in nutrients.
- Stem cutting propagation is the best way to propagate this plant further.
You now know everything about taking good care of this hybrid houseplant. Order one today as you are now more than ready to take care of it!
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