Philodendron Gloriosum: The Complete Growers Guide

by | Jan 12, 2021 | Growing Guides

The Philodendron Gloriosum is among the most beautiful of houseplants. It’s part of the Araceae family of tropical plants, which are commonly referred to as aroids. These green growers are known for their dark green, large blooming leaves, and a partially enclosed cylindrical center stem when flowering. Philodendrons are important to rainforest ecosystems, but for our purposes, they are also important for interior design! Like many houseplants, they require a home to mimic their natural environment as closely as possible. Its large green leaves and contrastingly light veins make it a striking focal point of any living space. However, there is some much-needed information that you must know to give the Philodendron Gloriosum a long and flourishing life upon your windowsill.

Philodendron Gloriosum Plants Details

The following sections will provide an in-depth look into the vast world of growing Philodendron Gloriosum plants.  It will end up being a bit long (spoiler alert!), so if you don’t have quite enough time for that, we’ll add the quick facts down below. For your convenience, simply reference the bulleted information. If you do need more details, though, you can scroll down and see full tips, guides, and recommendations. The Gloriosum does need a bit of attention and particular care, but the attention to detail is well worth the beautiful addition to your home.

  • Scientific/Common Name: Philodendron Gloriosum
  • Genus: Philodendron
  • Scientific Family: Araceae Family
  • Origin: Colombia; Central America; Venezuela
  • Mature Height: 3 Feet
  • Distinguishing Features: Green Leaves, White Veins, Pink Margins, Velvety
  • Home Placement: Directly Next to a Window, with Bright/Indirect Light (Not South-Facing)
  • Growth Speed: Slow Grower; Roots Can Take 3 Weeks to Form
  • Light Requirements: Philodendron Gloriosum prefers bright, indirect light. This will help promote strong growth and mimic the growing conditions of a Philodendron’s natural habitat on the floor of a tropical forest. Consider placing your houseplant in a west or east-facing window. However, If you notice that your leaves are yellowing, you may be giving it too much light.
  • Watering Requirements: Moist, but not wet. Overwatering will result in root-rot, which can kill your plant. Think again of the rainforest floor: damp, but not often receiving direct rainfall. Utilizing a spray-bottle would come in handy.
  • Soil Requirements: Try rich peat(moss)-based soil or potting mix. The Gloriosum prefers a solid base that retains moisture, keeping a humid environment, but doesn’t hold water. If you’re not getting the drainage you need, consider repotting and adding perlite. Good drainage is important, so line the bottom of your planter with stones.
  • Temperature: 55ºF – 85ºF (12ºC – 24ºC) This is, of course, more than reasonable in most homes. 
  • Fertilizer: Feed your Philodendron Gloriosum a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer with macro-nutrients, such as a 20-20-20 NPK formulation. Dilute the fertilizer by half the recommended amount, using monthly in the spring and summer, while reducing fertilization to once every 8 weeks in fall and winter.
  • Humidity: 60% to 80% Humidity, if not higher. Great for greenhouses. Again, use the rainforest as a reference point: very humid! They can survive in 40% – 50% humidity, but it is far from ideal. Beware of the dry winter months. 
  • Flowering: A mature Philodendron Gloriosum will produce a couple of small flowers in the early-to-mid summer (May to July), but the plant’s focal point is truly its leaves. Some estimate that full maturity is only reached at nearly 15 years(!), so don’t worry if you don’t see any flowers. 
  • Pruning: Remove yellow, browning, old, and dead leaves to stimulate health and regrowth. You can also prune the Gloriosum if it is simply taking up too much space or growing out of control. Make sure to water lightly after pruning to mitigate stress on the plant.
  • Propagation: To propagate, or replant an off-shoot of the Philodendron Gloriosum, simply cut off a stem at its base. Let the cut-side of the stem sit in water until roots start to form, then simply plant it in the recommended soil. However, Philodendrons are one of a few plants that can survive in nothing but water!
  • Repotting: Repot in the early summer, when/if roots are visible above the soil. These plants grow sideways, so opt for a wide pot over a deep one. Remember to be gentle with the roots–– Gloriosum is sensitive. 
  • Diseases and Pests: Watch out for Spider Mites, Aphids, and Mealybugs. The most common diseases for Philodendrons are Erwinia Blight and Leaf Spot, both forms of parasitic bacteria. Avoiding over-watering and root-rot is the best way to keep your houseplant healthy. 
  • Toxicity: Philodendron Gloriosum is toxic. If eaten, one may experience throat irritation, problems swallowing, mouth pain, etc. It can even lead to cramps, seizures, kidney failure, and coma if ingested in large quantities. It can be fatal for pets, so keep it out of reach of animals (and children).

Where Can I Buy A Philodendron Gloriosum?

Now that you know a bit more about the Philodendron Gloriosum, you may be interested in adding one to your home garden. Thankfully, they are quite popular and easily accessible at local nurseries or even in the home improvement garden section at stores like Home Depot or Lowes. Another great option, if shopping online is more convenient, is purchasing a Philodendron Gloriosum through Etsy. Consider buying from these sellers:

Philodendron Gloriosum Plants: Family & Origin

The Philodendron Gloriosum is part of the Araceae family of plants, commonly called aroids. The botanists who originally named the plant clearly marveled at its appearance, naming it Gloriosum, Latin for glorious! These green growers are distinctive for their large dark green leaves. Philodendrons are important to rainforest ecosystems, and they require a home to mimic their natural environment as closely as possible. Philodendrons’ large green leaves and contrastingly light veins make it a striking focal point in nature and any home.

Family: Araceae

Genus: Philodendron

Species: Philodendron Gloriosum

The species name originally comes from the Greek language, where philo means “love” and dendron stands for “tree,” which is likely a reference to its heart-shaped leaves. Philodendron is the second largest genus in the Araceae family and is made up of plants native to rainforests, as well as Central and South America. The genus was officially introduced in the middle of the 16th century, containing around 489 species. However, among these hundreds of species, many are still undescribed, with very little information available about them. There is still much to learn about Philodendrons.

Where Did Philodendron Gloriosum Come From?

Philodendrons were discovered in the wild as early as 1644 by Georg Marcgraf, but the first scientific classification of the genus was done by Charles Plumier, a few decades later. About six species were originally collected on the islands of Martinique, Hispaniola, and St. Thomas in the Caribbean. However, the plant is native to Colombia and other tropical parts of the world, especially found in rainforests. Apart from Colombia, Philodendron Gloriosum can also be found in Mexico, many parts of Central America, Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil and Venezuela’s western regions. Make sure to mimic the Central and South American climate conditions for these broad-leaved evergreens in your home to maximize their flourishing.

Other Philodendrons in the Araceae Family

The Philodendron is a diverse genus within a diverse family–– there are more than 400 kinds, many of which we have yet to understand! They all make great houseplants, though good luck finding more than a few dozen. Some of these green guys are climbers, meaning you’d have to watch out for vines scaling your walls. The rest are creeper crawlers, preferring to stay low to the ground, growing sideways through whatever potting set-up you’ve designed for them. Here are a few other options if you’re interested in adding some variance to your Araceae display:

  • Philodendron Bipinnatifidum (Hope Plant): Large leaves with deep curves. Leaves turn to face the light, so rotate regularly to keep foliage balanced. Can grow to a width of five feet.
  • Philodendron Birkin: A fairly new cultivar with dark green leaves with dramatic variegated pinstripe lines–– the Philodendron Birkin color-variation is its most distinguishing feature.
  • Philodendron Brasil (Cream Splash, Silver Stripe): Cultivar of the Heartleaf variety with green heart-shaped leaves, variegated (colorful) with a white, cream, or lime-colored strip down the middle of the leaf. Stems can also be pink.
  • Philodendron Erubescens (Blushing, Pink Princess): Can be black or dark green with pink accents. The pink sections lack chlorophyll, making them sensitive to direct light. In the wild, it has red highlights and undersides.
  • Philodendron Hederaceum (Heartleaf): Glossy green, heart-shaped leaves. Among the most popular philodendron members. Fairly easy to care for, making it a great option for beginner gardeners.
  • Philodendron Micans (Velvet-Leaf): With a velvety texture, the greenish-bronze leaves of this variety and their rust-colored undersides make for a beautiful visual centerpiece.
  • Philodendron Moonlight: Hybrid of the common Heartleaf Philodendron. Good for both outdoor and indoor gardens. Fluorescent green foliage. This type will stay much wider than tall.
  • Philodendron Rugosum (Pigskin): A rare and exotic member of the species, with the classic heart-shaped leaf. Its leaves are thick, with a rough-textured pattern, leathery and bright green. Difficult to obtain and at risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Philodendron White Knight: Rare hybrid with white splotches on green leaves and purple or cream-colored stems. Slow-growing though can be trimmed regularly into a bushy-looking houseplant.
  • Philodendron Xanadu (Winterbourne): Large and compact houseplant that is, of course, wider than it is tall. Dissected and rounded green leaves.

Philodendron Gloriosum Traits

The Philodendron Gloriosum has several distinct features and traits; although it is can be a fragile and needy plant, it will likely live as long as you care for it. As a result of its tropical rainforest origins, Gloriosum primarily grows side-to-side rather than vertically, crawling along the ground or wide potting vessel. To clarify, this means that the plant will not climb or scale the height of a support system–– expect it to grow wider than tall. Its lateral root shoots, or more accurately “rhizomes,” like to be exposed above the soil. While this is often a sign of needing to be replanted for other houseplants, this is a defining feature of Philodendron Gloriosum and crawlers like it. Despite its preferences for sideways growing, it can still get between 2 to 4 feet tall, or even 6 feet in ideal outdoor conditions.

A healthy plant should expect to see leaves that are at least 6 inches wide, with their iconic rounded heart shape. Their deep green, velvety skin is a sight to behold alongside the light and pale veining throughout the plant. Be patient though, as the Gloriosum is a very slow grower–– they take more than a decade to reach full maturity! But it will be plenty beautiful long before then. Once fully matured, the flowers are white and yellow, blooming any season of the year. Along the way, you can expect a very well behaved houseplant. If given the right room to grow, they won’t invade any of your other plants or spaces and will generally remain under your control.  

How To Care For Philodendron Gloriosum

Though caring for Philodendron Gloriosum might sound daunting, they’re actually quite low maintenance once you have a system in place. Like any plant, keep your attention on the soil, water, sunlight, and humidity. Understanding these four aspects should have you well on your way to a thriving and glorious Gloriosum. 

Potting for Philodendron Gloriosum

The pot you choose is perhaps the most subtly important step to a well-cared-for Gloriosum. Many people make the mistake of using any standard ceramic pot when this ground crawler really needs the space to spread out. Make sure to use a rectangular pot that is wider than it is tall with plenty of drainage holes. Also, when potting the Philodendron Gloriosum, don’t worry too much about covering the uppermost roots (rhizomes) with soil–– they actually prefer to be above ground! And there’s really no need to get the dirt out of the roots if you’re repotting. Since they can be delicate, you’ll want to disturb them as little as possible. But to what kind of soil and fertilizer should you be introducing Philodendron Gloriosum?

Soil & Fertilizer For Philodendron Gloriosum

Philodendron plants prefer loose, well-draining soil, rich in organic matter. Try rich peat(moss)-based soil or potting mix. For the Gloriosum in particular, pure Sphagnum moss is maybe the best growing medium as it meets all of the mentioned criteria. It prefers a solid base that retains moisture, keeping a humid environment, but doesn’t hold water. If you’re not getting the drainage you need, consider repotting and adding perlite. Some other options include peat-vermiculite, peat-perlite, or jungle mix. To clarify, peat is comparable to compost. If you’re interested in ideal PH balances, PH 6.1 to 7.5 is a fitting range. Good drainage is important, so line the bottom of your planter with stones.

In terms of fertilizer, something balanced in liquid form is great for the Philodendron Gloriosum. Feed your Philodendron Gloriosum a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer with macro-nutrients, such as a 20-20-20 NPK formulation. Mix this water-soluble fertilizer with water, diluted by half the recommended amount, feeding the plant every month in spring and summer. Reduce the feeding to once every two months during fall and winter. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer three times a year if you want something less hands-on, though this gives you less control. Use slow-release fertilizer sparingly. Small and pale leaves may be a possible sign of needing fertilizer. In particular, pale baby leaves can be a sign of calcium and magnesium deficiency.

Oddly enough, another welcome addition to your fertilizer composite would be activated charcoal. Rainforest soil is rich in charcoal so aroids thrive on it. It can also remove toxins from the soil, and will help to imitate Philodendron Gloriosum’s natural environment.

Water For Philodendron Gloriosum

Gloriosum prefers moist and well-drained soil–– moist soil, but not wet. Overwatering will result in root-rot, which can kill your plant. During the warmer months, water Philodendron Gloriosum about twice a week. Reduce that to once (if even) a week during winter. It’s important for Philodendrons’ upper 3 inches of the soil in summer to be only semi-dry before the next watering. In winter, the soil should be dry before watering again. As a reference point, think of the rainforest floor: damp, but not often receiving direct rainfall.  If the leaves are getting droopy or yellowing, it means either too much or too little water. Again, overwatering may lead to plant issues like fungus and root rot. Utilizing a spray-bottle would come in handy, misting regularly.

Sunlight for Philodendron Gloriosum

Philodendron Gloriosum prefers bright indirect light. This will help promote strong growth and mimic the growing conditions of a Philodendron’s natural habitat on the floor of a tropical forest. They can also do aright in partial shade or low light. Philodendron Gloriosum can survive in artificial light as well, but natural is always preferable. Consider placing your houseplant directly next to or in front of west or east-facing windows, both of which should get plenty of indirect sunlight. 

However, If you notice that your leaves are yellowing, you may be giving them too much light. Keeping the plant in direct sunlight for too long can actually burn the plant. Yellow leaves or browning leaf edges are a potential sign that the plant has too much direct sunlight exposure. On the other hand, long and skinny stems may show that the plant is rotting and needs more light to cook out the excess moisture.

If you do opt for artificial light, your grow light should be at least 24 inches (61cm) above the leaves to avoid leaf burn.

Humidity & Temperature for Philodendron Gloriosum

As opposed to other houseplants, humidity may actually be the most important factor for a thriving Philodendron Gloriosum. The ideal range is 60% to 80% humidity, if not higher. This makes these plants great for greenhouses. Again, using the rainforest is a helpful reference point: very humid! Gloriosum can survive in 40% to 50% humidity but it is far from ideal, so beware of the dry winter months. Purchasing a humidifier would be a worthwhile investment to see a thriving aroid. 

Since Philodendrons don’t experience winter in their natural setting, experts recommend transferring them to a warm place for winter. In terms of temperature, 55ºF to 85ºF (12ºC – 24ºC) is ideal, which is of course more than reasonable for most homes. Temperatures outside the recommended range will cause plants to experience poor growth and health problems.

Pruning Philodendron Gloriosum

Pruning is another great practice in caring for your Philodendron Gloriosum. It can be helpful in stimulating the growth of new leaves. But sometimes pruning is necessary when leaves begin to die or it’s simply taking up too much space. Prune yellow, brown, or otherwise dead and old leaves so that the nutrients flowing through the plant can be used as efficiently as possible. No need to waste energy on an ugly leaf! 

Use very sharp, clean shears or a knife to minimize stress to the plant. A clean-cut will produce the best results. Identify the dead leaf or stem, pull it away from the rest of the plant, and cut it at the base, just above the stem it shoots off from. If the whole stem has gone bad, cut it just above the rhizome. It’s best to do this just before watering so that the Philodendron Gloriosum can recover from the stress. Hopefully, this will not be needed too often! However, pruning can also be used to propagate a piece of your plant into a new one, as discussed below.

Propagating Philodendron Gloriosum

To use the pruning process for the sake of propagation, you’ll need the stem cuttings from a healthy part of the plant. Otherwise, propagating a Philodendron Gloriosum is simple, and is definitely your cheapest option if you have the time and patience to nurse it to maturity. 

To begin, find a long and healthy stem, ideally longer than 3 inches. Cut the stem at the point it meets the main stem or the rhizome. Let the stem sit in a cup of water until new roots start to emerge from the base of the stem cutting. Plant the new roots in the appropriate potting specifications and care for this new plant as you would any other Gloriosum. 

You can also propagate a portion of the rhizome by following the same steps. If possible, only propagate from a plant that has a few leaves on it already, otherwise, you’ll have two bare plants. As a final tip, adding cinnamon to the cut portion on the original plant can act as a disinfectant and help the Philodendron Gloriosum to heal. 

Troubleshooting Philodendron Gloriosum

There are a few common issues that Philodendron Gloriosum encounters, some of which are easier to troubleshoot and solve. Basically, they come down to one of two causes: you or bugs. While water and sunlight are not the only reasons for illness in your plant, things like dying leaves or root rot are generally the result of insufficient care.

Yellow Leaves: Yellowing leaves are either the result of too much water or too much light… or both. Err on the side of caution with water and light for your Philodendron Gloriosum. You can always add more, but too much right away might prove fatal to your houseplant.

Brown Leaves: Brown leaves are often too far gone. They are also usually the result of too much sunlight, as the delicate leaves are too hot. Move your plant away from direct sunlight.

Dropping Leaves: Dropping leaves are probably scorched from the sun. Move it away from the window for a period of time.

Root Rot: If you see yellowing leaves or perceive root rot, ease up on the watering. Give the soil time to dry out. You should be able to figure out soon enough what watering schedule works well in your space, along with which windows provide the right amount of bright, indirect sunlight.

Pests: Though Philodendron plants are not prone to many pests, spray some diluted neem oil on Gloriosums’ leaves every other week to prevent against mealybugs and aphids. Chemical-based insecticides can pollute your soil mixture, so opting for something less harsh and more natural is ideal. You can wipe away mealybugs with cotton balls soaked with disinfectant alcohol–– they should be easily visible on the plant. These two solutions, rubbing alcohol and neem oil, seem to be the best fight against bugs for the gentle Gloriosum. 

Other Popular Houseplants

assorted houseplantsAlthough we think the Philodendron Gloriosum is a great option for your home garden, there are plenty of other options as well. The Monstera Deliciosa is a bit more ubiquitous to indoor gardening, so you should be able to find it easily at a local nursery. It is also more affordable than Gloriosum. However, neither of these plants have much by way of flowering, so if flowers are what you’re into, consider the low-maintenance orchid. Further still, the Philodendron genus has literally hundreds of options, most marked by the dramatic dark green leaves lined with those light pink margins. Your options in this category are almost endless. Whichever you end up with, we’ve got several other guides to getting the most out of your houseplants. Here’s to the beautifully flourishing Philodendron Gloriosum!

By Brent Hellendoorn

By Brent Hellendoorn

Brent is excited about all things minimal, and thus environmentally sustainable. From kitchen-scrap composting to indoor herb gardens and air-purifying houseplants, he enjoys continual learning and innovation. In simple, eco-conscious living, there is always room to… grow!

About Us

My husband and I are attempting to turn our tiny city condo into an urban gardening oasis. Join us on our journey toward sustainable living and making the most of our space.

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