Philodendron Pedatum ‘Florida Ghost’ Care Guide (2022)

Philodendron florida ghost in pot

Philodendron Florida Ghost is an outstanding indoor plant in high demand with plant aficionados because of its spectacular foliage.

Its unique leaves start out white before turning a deep green after maturing, resulting in a beautiful combination of different shades all on the same plant. 

With minimal care, this tropical beauty will thrive for years in your home.

Scientific NamePhilodendron pedatum ‘Florida Ghost’
Common NamePhilodendron Florida Ghost
LightBright indirect sunlight
WateringWeekly, water if top half of soil is dry
Temperature65-95° F (18-35°C)
Hardiness Zone9-11
Humidity60-70%
Soil TypeQuick-draining
Soil pH6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
FertilizingA balanced feed once a month in spring and summer
RepottingEvery 3 years
PruningAs needed to remove dead leaves
PropagationRoot in water or soil
ToxicityToxic to humans and pets
Mature Size2-5 feet as houseplant
Bloom TimeRarely flowers indoors

What’s Unique About Philodendron Florida Ghost?

While the philodendron family is native to the tropical rainforests of South and Central America, you will not find any Philodendron Florida Ghost plants growing there.

Philodendron Florida Ghost is a hybrid cross of unknown origin, but in recent years this rare version of the common philodendron has been much sought after by growers.

Its leaves emerge as a ghostly white shade, and as they mature, they change to shades of yellow-green and then finally to a deep, glossy green. 

Growing Philodendron Florida Ghost is pretty easy, as they do not demand a lot of care. They also can help purify the air in your home, making them not just beautiful but practical.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Care

Philodendron Florida Ghost plant care is not complicated.

A philodendron will do best in conditions similar to the tropical rainforests where this plant family originates.

The essentials of Florida Ghost plant care are a warm spot in bright but indirect sunlight, weekly watering, and as humid an atmosphere as you can provide.

Light 

In the tropical rainforests where philodendrons grow wild, they are found in the understory of the canopy formed by large trees. Thus, they are used to dappled sunlight or partial shade.

Philodendron Florida Ghost light requirements are between 10,000-20,000 lux. 

These Florida Ghost plant light needs can be easily met by putting your Philodendron Florida Ghost in a north or east-facing window. 

In a sunnier south or west-facing room, place it further away from the windows to keep it out of direct sunlight. Full sun can damage or even kill the foliage of a Philodendron Florida Ghost plant.

Watering 

In their native rainforests philodendrons are accustomed to porous soil that drains quickly, and remains on the dry side. Their watering needs are for infrequent watering that does not keep the soil saturated.

Philodendron Florida Ghost watering should be done when at least the top half of the soil is dry. 

An easy way to determine if it’s time to water Florida Ghost plant is by sticking your finger down at least halfway in the soil. For a larger capacity pot you can use a soil moisture meter. A pot with dry soil will also be much lighter than one with lots of water.

Temperature 

The ideal temperature for Florida Ghost plant is on the warm side, as would be expected for a tropical plant.

Philodendron Florida Ghost temperature range is between 65-95° F (18-35°C). Anything below 50°F (10°C) can damage Philodendron Florida Ghost, and it has no frost hardiness at all. Freezing temperatures will kill it.

Luckily, most homes provide temperatures at the lower end of Philodendron Florida Ghost’s temperature tolerance. Just make sure that the plant is kept out of direct blasts of air conditioning, or even fans. 

Even in temperate climates, it’s okay to move your pots out to a shaded balcony or patio in the hot summer weather.

Humidity 

Rainforests have a humid atmosphere, and so the ideal humidity for Florida Ghost plant is high, around 60-70%.

That’s a much higher humidity level than you would want to keep the air in your home, but it is possible to meet Philodendron Florida Ghost humidity requirements without turning your whole house into a sauna.

You can place a tray of pebbles under the Philodendron Florida Ghost pot and keep it filled with water. 

As it evaporates into the air it will raise the humidity around the plant. Another method is to mist the foliage a few times a week with distilled water. 

Soil 

The soil for Florida Ghost plant should be well-draining and loose. You want a soil mix that water can easily drain through, as philodendrons will not grow properly in wet soil.

The best pH level for Florida Ghost plant is between 6.1– 6.5, or slightly acidic. 

Standard house plant potting mix might be too heavy for your Philodendron Florida Ghost, but you can always add materials such as sphagnum moss or perlite to open it up more.

To make your own Philodendron Florida Ghost soil mix, combine equal parts perlite, activated charcoal, and bark. You can also use sphagnum moss as a growing medium without any other materials.  

Fertilizer 

Because Philodendron Florida Ghost is a foliage plant, it’s best to use a high nitrogen fertilizer for Florida Ghost plant. A good fertilizer ratio would be something like 11-3-8 to encourage healthy leaf growth.

When selecting your Philodendron Florida Ghost fertilizer, you have 2 basic choices: liquid or granular.

Liquid fertilizer is diluted in water and applied to the soil. Only do this when the soil is wet, to ensure even distribution to the roots. Feed the plants every few weeks in spring and summer, and stop in fall and winter.

You can also mix fertilizer granules into the soil once in spring, and they should last throughout the growing season. 

Potting & Repotting 

Repotting Florida Ghost plant should be done when it outgrows its current pot. Because Philodendron Florida Ghost grows so slowly, this may only need to be done every 3 years.

You will know when it is time for Philodendron Florida Ghost repotting when you see roots growing out of the drainage holes.

Only move up one pot size, or a couple of inches in diameter. Make sure that the new pot has drainage holes to let excess water run out.

When potting, use fresh soil mix and leave lots of room for the root ball. Set it in firmly and water well to help it settle into its new home with minimum stress.

Pruning 

The slow-growing nature of Philodendron Florida Ghost means that you will not often have to trim it, and in fact, you don’t want to do too much.

However, sometimes it is necessary to get out the scissors and do some Philodendron Florida Ghost pruning. 

You will need to remove any dead or damaged leaves whenever they occur, as they will detract from the appearance of the plant and could harbor disease. You may also want to trim it to shape it as desired.

When cutting Florida Ghost plant, use sharp, sterilized scissors, and remove the entire leaf stem to where it joins the main stalk.

Propagation 

Philodendron Florida Ghost propagation is easy to do.

To propagate Florida Ghost plant, start by taking cuttings. Select healthy stems 4-6 inches long, with at least 2 nodes and small leaves at the tip.

Cut them with a sharp, sterilized knife or pair of scissors, just below a node. You then have 2 options. 

You can place the stem cuttings in a jar with water. Change the water every few days.

You can also prepare a tray with growing medium and place the stems individually in the medium. Water well.

Keep the cuttings misted, and within a month roots should develop. When the roots are 2-4 inches long, plant the cuttings in small pots. 

Also, make sure to check out our in-depth Philodendron gigas care guide.

Common Problems of Philodendron Florida Ghost 

Most Philodendron Florida Ghost problems can easily be dealt with. Common insect pests can be eliminated through the use of organic sprays.

Fungal diseases can be problems with Florida Ghost plant when the soil is kept too moist.

When leaves show signs of insect damage or disease, the first step is to identify the problem and then apply the proper solution.

Pests 

Most Philodendron Florida Ghost pests are common to indoor plants in general. Keep a close eye on your Florida Ghost plant to catch them early.

Spider mites leave little yellow or brown spots on the leaves. Spray the plant down thoroughly with water in a sink or shower.

Mealybugs look like cotton fluff on the underside of leaves. A cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol will kill them.

Scale insects look like little brown bumps on the stem or leaves. Neem oil will control them.

Aphids are little green bugs that are usually on the underside of leaves. Insecticidal soap will deal with them.

Whiteflies are little flying insects that lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves. Pyrethrum spray will eliminate them. 

Diseases 

Philodendron Florida Ghost diseases can usually be prevented by keeping the soil on the dry side. 

However, if your Florida Ghost plant does develop a disease, you need to act quickly to save the plant and prevent it from spreading to other plants.

Fire Blight starts with oozing wet spots with a foul smell. As soon as you detect this disease, immediately cut off all infected tissues and spray with a fungicide.

Bacterial Leaf Spot starts with dark spots with a yellow circle around them. Use fungicides and anti-bacterial sprays after cutting out all infected leaves.

Root Rot is a result of too-wet soil. Remove the Philodendron Florida Ghost from its pot and after cutting out the rotted roots, replant in fresh soil mix. 

Growing Problems 

If you have growing problems with your Philodendron Florida Ghost, giving it more ideal growing conditions can usually make your sick plant healthy again.

If the leaves of your Philodendron Florida Ghost are drooping, the soil might be too wet or too dry. Check the soil moisture, and either water it, or if the soil is waterlogged, repot it in fresh soil mix and cut back on your watering frequency.

If the leaves are yellowing rather than white or green, you should move it to a brighter spot.

However, if the leaves have crispy brown edges, you’re giving it too much sun. Move it to a shadier spot.

Toxicity of Philodendron Florida Ghost

Like all members of the araceae family, all parts of the Florida Ghost plant contain calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic to humans and animals.

The toxicity level is not high enough to be fatal, but ingesting any part of the plant can cause fairly severe reactions, especially in children and pets.

For Humans 

Philodendron Florida Ghost is toxic to humans. 

Children are much more likely to suffer a severe reaction because of their smaller body mass and because their natural curiosity may lead them to try eating the foliage.

If a child ingests any part of a Philodendron Florida Ghost, clean all the plant tissue off of their mouth and face. 

If they complain about pain, give them a soothing treat such as a popsicle. 

However, if they have swollen lips or tongue, or difficulty breathing, take them for immediate medical attention.

If the sap gets on your skin you may develop a rash. Rinse it thoroughly and use an antihistamine cream.

For Pets 

Philodendron Florida Ghost is toxic to pets, including cats, dogs, rabbits, and other small household animals. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause a serious reaction.

If your pet starts drooling excessively or vomiting, or has a swollen tongue and starts wheezing, get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. Depending on the severity of your pet’s reaction, you may need to take it in for emergency care.

You should consider carefully where to position your Philodendron Florida Ghost to protect the small inhabitants of your home. Putting it on a high shelf or growing it in a hanging planter well out of reach is a sensible precaution.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Appearance

The Philodendron Florida Ghost appearance is striking and has made it very desirable as a decorative house plant because of its beautiful white leaves that mature to deep green.

There is another variation called Philodendron Florida Ghost Mint where the juvenile leaves are a light mint green rather than white.

Foliage

The multi-colored foliage of Philodendron Florida Ghost is dramatic in the variety of its coloring, making these rare plants much in demand.

The juvenile leaves emerge as a brilliant white, and as they mature they start by turning various shades of yellow and light green, before maturing to a deep, glossy green. 

At the same time you will see leaves at all stages of development on the same plant, creating a unique display.

Each leaf grows at the end of a long, thin stem. Leaves are deeply lobed and can grow up 4-6 inches long and not quite as wide.  

Flowering

Philodendron Florida Ghost flowering is a rare occurrence, especially for a plant grown indoors as a potted plant.

A Florida Ghost flower is a dramatic sight, as they are a foot tall, and cream and purple.

Blooming is more likely in zones 9b and above, where it can grow outdoors year-round without danger of frost damage. 

Only mature plants will flower, and it takes about 10 years for them to reach maturity. You will have to be very patient if you want to encourage them to flower.

However, the foliage of Philodendron Florida Ghost is so beautiful that you will not miss the flowers.

Size and Growth

An indoor Philodendron Florida Ghost can reach a size of about 2-5 feet, depending on growing conditions. It will spread about 2 feet across.

You can encourage strong vertical growth by providing this vining plant with a sphagnum moss pole for its aerial roots to cling to as it grows upward. 

Outdoors in a tropical zone, the size of Philodendron Florida Ghost can be as much as 12 feet in length. If it is planted under a tall tree it will climb up the trunk for support.

It has a slow growth rate, taking 10 years to reach its full size.

Philodendron Florida Ghost Fragrance

You are very unlikely to notice any Philodendron Florida Ghost fragrance.

The foliage of Philodendron Florida Ghost has no scent, and flowering is a very rare occurrence, especially when it is grown indoors.

Thus, Philodendron Florida Ghost is a good plant to use in settings such as medical offices or care homes where fragrances are discouraged. Many people have sensitivities to scents of all kinds.

In your own home, you may want to have a pleasant scent wafting through the air.

Consider adding flowering plants such as camellias or freesias to use in conjunction with the striking foliage of Philodendron Florida Ghost.

Suggested Uses for Philodendron Florida Ghost

Philodendron Florida Ghost’s attractive foliage and vining habit make it an excellent house plant.

It’s also good for removing impurities from the air indoors, so including it in your indoor garden is a good idea.

Training a Philodendron Florida Ghost up a pole in a shady corner of your living room can fill in an empty spot with lush foliage.

Hanging a planter with a Philodendron Florida Ghost plant trailing downwards will work well in a bedroom or bathroom where floor space may be limited.

You can move your potted Philodendron Florida Ghost outside to a shaded corner of your patio or balcony in summer.

FAQ

What is Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Philodendron Florida Ghost is a hybrid vining Philodendron plant featuring leaves that mature from bright white to glossy green that is usually grown as a houseplant.

How to identify Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Philodendron Florida Ghost can be identified by its deeply lobed leaves which are white in their juvenile stage, yellow-green as they develop, and deep green when mature.

How to care for Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Plant Philodendron Florida Ghost in well-draining soil and place it in a warm room out of direct sunlight. Water sparingly and fertilize once a month.

How to grow Philodendron Florida Ghost indoors? 

Water your Philodendron Florida Ghost sparingly and keep it in a north or east-facing window out of full sun. Mist the leaves every few days.

How to grow Philodendron Florida Ghost outdoors? 

Philodendron Florida Ghost can be grown outdoors year-round in frost-free zones. Plant in a shady location and provide support to let it climb to its full height.

How fast does Philodendron Florida Ghost grow? 

Philodendron Florida Ghost plant has a very slow growth rate. It can take up to 10 years for it to mature to its full size. 

How tall does Philodendron Florida Ghost grow? 

Philodendron Florida Ghost can grow to between 2-5 feet indoors, and up to 12 feet when grown outdoors in a tropical zone when provided with support.

How to make Philodendron Florida Ghost grow faster? 

Provide Philodendron Florida Ghost with warm temperatures, high humidity, infrequent watering and regular feeding while keeping it in bright but indirect light for optimal growth. 

How to stake Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Stake your Philodendron Florida Ghost with a sphagnum moss pole to provide it with an organic medium that it can attach its aerial roots to as it climbs.

How to pot Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

Choose a pot with adequate drainage holes. Use a loose, well-draining soil mixture. Water the transplant well and let the soil dry out before rewatering.

How to revive Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

If your Philodendron Florida Ghost has dried out, plunge the whole pot into a bucket of water until saturated. Let all excess water drain out.

Why is my Philodendron Florida Ghost dying? 

Your Philodendron Florida Ghost may have a pest infestation or disease. Determine the cause of its condition and follow the recommended steps to cure your sick plant.

Why is my Philodendron Florida Ghost drooping? 

Your Philodendron Florida Ghost’s soil may be too dry or too wet. Water it if necessary. If the soil is saturated, replant in fresh soil mix and cut back on watering.

How cold can Philodendron Florida Ghost tolerate? 

Philodendron Florida Ghost can tolerate temperatures as low as 50°F (10°C). Below that, the plant’s growth will be inhibited, and 32°F (0°C) will kill it.

How to get rid of pests on Philodendron Florida Ghost? 

First, determine which insect pest is attacking your Philodendron Florida Ghost by examining the leaves and stems, and then use the recommended spray or treatment to eliminate them. 

Is Philodendron Florida Ghost toxic to cats? 

Yes, Philodendron Florida Ghost is toxic to cats. Ensure that you find a spot to grow your plant where your cat cannot reach it and eat the foliage.

Is Philodendron Florida Ghost toxic to dogs? 

Yes, Philodendron Florida Ghost is toxic to dogs. If your dog shows symptoms such as vomiting, a swollen tongue, or wheezing, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Is Philodendron Florida Ghost toxic to children? 

Yes, Philodendron Florida Ghost is toxic to children. If your child ingests any part of the plant, monitor them for symptoms and seek emergency care if they have difficulty breathing.

Is Philodendron Florida Ghost toxic to humans? 

Yes, Philodendron Florida Ghost is toxic to humans. You can have a reaction to the sap if it gets on your skin. Rinse thoroughly with soap and water.

Does Philodendron Florida Ghost have a scent? 

The foliage of Philodendron Florida Ghost has no fragrance, and it is extremely unlikely that an indoor plant will bloom, so usually there is no scent.

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