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Velvet Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron micans)

Philodendron micans, or Velvet Leaf Philodendron, is a unique climbing vine plant to have in your terrarium or around your home.

It is an epiphytic plant, meaning it grows on other trees or plants and receives its nutrients mainly through aerial roots.

This plant has velvety-textured leaves and tricolor foliage that adds an interesting blend of color and texture to any vivarium.

It is a great trailing plant, making it a good choice for enclosures with wall space. Philodendron micans will do best in a warm, humid, and well-drained environment.

Quick Stats:

Scientific Name: Philodendron micans

Family: Araceae

Common Names: Velvet Leaf Philodendron, Velvet Plant, Velvet Leaf Plant, Purple Velvet Plant

Habitat: Rainforest, Arboreal

Height: Up to 10ft

pH Range: 5.5 to 7.0

Temperature: 65°F to 90°F

Lighting: Bright

What Is Philodendron micans?

Philodendron micans are a species of evergreen creeping vines. They have smooth, leathery leaves covered in velvety hairs, giving the plant an extremely soft and fuzzy look.

This philodendron is a clump-forming plant with small heart-shaped leaves of varying shades of green, burgundy, and silver.

The central veins on each leaf are a silvery-bronze color, which is what gives it the tricolored look.

The Velvet Leaf Philodendron micans | The Plant Care Guide

Philodendron micans Facts

The Velvet Leaf Philodendron is a semi-climbing plant that can grow 10 feet and is native to tropical rainforest climates.

The plant’s thick leathery leaves help it to survive damp moist environments.

Philodendron micans need high humidity with air movement and indirect light to thrive in an enclosure.

Description

Philodendron micans have a unique look and texture. The leaves are velvet-textured and upright on the stems. They are heart-shaped with a deep bronze-green color on the top and a reddish-purple tint underneath.

There are also silver patches in between the variegated segments that sparkle when viewed at the right angle.

On newly developing leaves, the texture may be more of a fuzzy mat rather than a velvet-like texture.

The stems are usually thin and weak, but they can become quite long if they are climbing a support structure.

Habitat

Philodendron micans are native to tropical rainforests of Northern America and Central America.

They prefer strong airflow, moderate to high humidity levels, and indirect light with 3-4 hours of bright light daily.

This plant complies best in temperatures of 65-90°F and in slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 5.5-7.0.

pH Preference

Philodendron micans prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0. This style of soil helps stimulate the growth of healthy and vibrant foliage.

Vivarium Type

Just like most Philodendrons, Philodendron micans can do very well in a variety of vivarium types.  Although there is no determined enclosure that it must be placed in, some might be better than others.

The amount of space available is one of the most important things to keep in mind when making a decision.

In addition, Velvet Leaf Philodendrons should also be provided with tropical, moist, and well-drained terrain areas. Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

    • Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.

    • Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosures with little to no aquatic features.

Vivarium Placement

Philodendron micans is a trailing plant, so it’s best to place it on the vivarium walls if you have space for it.

Since this plant can get tall and can be quite narrow, it’s important to make sure to give it enough room to spread out.

On the edges of the vivarium, you’ll want to provide the plant with a support structure such as a moss pole or a rope bridge.

Substrate

Philodendron micans thrive in moist, well-draining soils. Avoid using dry, sandy soils, as they will not retain enough moisture for the plant’s needs.

Instead, you should use soils rich in organic matter, such as coco coir, peat moss, or terrarium soil mixes specially formulated for epiphytic plants.

If you have a substrate overflow tray, be sure to fill it with a porous, acidic growing medium such as sand, charcoal, or sphagnum moss.

Lighting

Philodendron micans prefer indirect light, however, the plant can tolerate brighter light for short periods of time.

For indoor vivariums, terrarium lighting such as T5 or LED lights with an appropriate color temperature for the species can be used.

Buy Philodendron micans

When shopping for Velvet Leaf Philodendron, expect a few key indicators you are buying the best quality plant. The plant should be insect free along with any other types of pests.

Try to avoid any browning or wilting leaves. Those are usually signs of poor health and could make it harder for the plant to survive.

Click the image below to find out more about the current price and other relative info about this plant:

Philodendron micans Care & Propagation

Philodendron micans can be propagated from stem cuttings and root divisions. Cuttings should be at least 6 inches long and have healthy leaves with no signs of fungus.

Place the cuttings in moist sphagnum moss and keep it in a humid place until it starts growing new roots.

Once you see the roots beginning to grow, it’s time to plant them into the substrate.

How To Grow

Philodendron micans is an easy plant to take care of and grows best when given enough space to spread out. Make sure to provide it with a support structure and indirect lighting.

This plant needs consistent moisture and warm temperatures with an adequate amount of airflow. Water the plant frequently and keep the soil moist, but avoid over-watering.

The foliage should be misted regularly, but avoid misting the leaves directly as they can cause fungal diseases.

Watering

Philodendron micans should be watered daily in order to ensure it has access to moisture.

You should water the plant until the moisture permeates through the soil and reaches the bottom of the container.

Allow the plant to drain thoroughly before putting it back in the vivarium or pot.

Plants Similar To Philodendron micans

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup. Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment.

Furthermore, if for some reason you find this ivy hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this plant…

Here are some other vine plants you might find may do well with or in the place of Velvet Leaf Philodendron:

Wandering Jew (Tradescantia Zebrina)
Lindernia dubia "False Pimpernel" Care Guide | Vivarium Plants
English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

Conclusion

Philodendron micans are a distinctive vine plant to have around your home or in a vivarium. It has velvety-textured, tricolored foliage that adds a unique texture and color to the enclosure.

This plant needs consistent moisture, warmth, and plenty of air movement. With the right conditions, this plant can be an easy-to-care-for addition to your vivarium.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Philodendron micans is an easycare plant that doesn‘t require a lot of maintenance. It prefers welldraining soil, indirect light, and regular watering. It is also lowtoxicity and petfriendly, making it ideal for households with cats and dogs.

Yes, Philodendron micans can grow in low light, but they tend to thrive in medium to bright indirect light.

Philodendron micans are known to both climb and hang. They grow quickly and like to grab onto supports and walls, which makes them excellent candidates for hanging containers, as well as grow lights. They are excellent trailing houseplants that can be trained to climb trellises or poles if desired.

Yes, Philodendron micans enjoy being misted on a regular basis. The misting helps the leaves to stay hydrated and the foliage can benefit from the added humidity.

No, Philodendron micans cannot take full sun they prefer indirect, bright light and should be kept out of direct sunlight.

The leaves of a Philodendron mican can turn red when the plant is stressed due to too much or too little light, underwatering, or nutrient deficiencies. To prevent leafreddening, ensure the plant is getting the proper lighting and amount of water, and fertilize it regularly with a balanced fertilizer.

Yes, Philodendron micans grow fast in the right conditions. It prefers high humidity and warm temperatures with plenty of indirect light. It will regularly produce new vines and leaves when adequately hydrated, resulting in steady growth.

To make Philodendron micans bushier, prune the stems above a node or leaf to encourage branching and fullness. Make sure you use clean, sharp pruning shears to prevent damage to the plant. To encourage additional branching, regularly repot the philodendron in fresh soil. In addition, provide the philodendron with bright, indirect light and water when the top inch of soil is dry.

Make Philodendron micans Leaves Grow Bigger by:

1. Providing proper light – this plant should receive bright, indirect light but not direct sunlight.

2. Increasing humidity – mist regularly or set the plant on a wet pebble tray.

3. Watering correctly – water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry.

4. Feeding regularly – feed with a balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.

5. Pruning – remove any brown or dead leaves, as well as any yellowing leaves, to promote new and healthy growth.

Philodendron micans do not need a pole to thrive. However, typically they prefer a pole or moss post for support as its vines can grow up to 10 feet long. It‘s also recommended to give the plant something to climb on or to train its vines in order to keep its foliage from overcrowding.

Yes, Philodendron micans can produce flowers with the proper environmental conditions.

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