The popularity of Philodendron Micans (Philodendron scandens ‘micans’) has made these plants highly sought after and difficult to find.
If you’re only able to buy a small Philodendron Micans plant (like I was), don’t worry!
These plants grow quite fast, and Philodendron Micans care is easy once you know a few basic fundamentals of plant care. With this knowledge, you’ll have a full plant in no time (plus the satisfaction of watching and helping it grow)!
So what makes Philodendron Micans so unique? Well, it’s the beautiful velvet texture of its leaves. This velvet finish is what differentiates Philodendron Micans from the more common heart-leaf philodendron. So let’s get right into Philodendron Micans care to keep your new plant happy and healthy, year after year.
Already know how to care for Philodendron Micans plants? Then jump straight to our Philodendron Micans Propagation tutorial.
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How to care for Philodendron Micans plants
For Philodendron Micans care, the 3 most important factors are the following:
- Provide bright to moderate indirect light. Light is very important to plants because it is like their food. If you place a plant far away from a window without any type of grow light, it will slowly starve to death. Philodendron Micans is a hardy plant, so it would take a long time to starve (maybe a year). However, if you place your plant in front of an east- or west-facing window, it will grow fast and be very healthy year after year. A couple hours of direct sunlight won’t hurt your plant (and can actually benefit it), but avoid prolonged/all-day direct sun.
- Water your Philodendron Micans thoroughly once the soil is mostly dry from the previous watering. Stick your finger a few inches into the soil to feel for moisture, or use a moisture meter to check if the soil registers as wet or dry. Once dry, water your Philodendron Micans so the soil is saturated from top to bottom. Let any excess water drain out of your pot’s drainage holes.
- Plant your Philodendron Micans in a well-draining soil mix and pot. I like making a soil mix of 2 parts all-purpose potting soil and 1 part perlite. Adding this extra perlite (or pumice) helps improve the drainage and airflow in the soil and around the roots, helping to prevent root rot. Use a pot like this with multiple drainage holes, as this also helps with drainage and airflow around your plant’s roots.
If you follow the above 3 care fundamentals, your plant will reward you with beautiful leaves and rapid growth.
Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these factors and discuss other care tips and advice for your Philodendron Micans (Velvet Leaf Philodendron).
We’ll also discuss Philodendron Micans propagation and how to make new plants when it’s time to trim your original micans plant.
IN THIS POST
How much light does Philodendron Micans need?
Philodendron Micans is a hardy plant and can tolerate a variety of lighting conditions. The light you choose really depends on what you’d like to achieve with your plant.
To maximize the growth and health of your Philodendron Micans, place your plant directly in front of an east- or west-facing window. This will provide bright indirect light, which is the best lighting conditions for your plant.
Don’t worry if your Micans receives a couple hours of direct sunlight. Just make sure your plant isn’t receiving direct sunlight all day long, as this could burn the leaves.
If you don’t have a place in your home with bright indirect light, Philodendron Micans can also do well in moderate indirect light. This would be a bit further from a south-, east-, or west-facing window or directly in front of a north-facing window.
Your Micans might grow a bit slower and it’s stems may be a bit more leggy (longer space between leaves on the stems), but it will still be healthy in moderate light conditions.
Remember that your plant will consume less water under moderate light conditions. This is because photosynthesis will be slower with less light, which requires less water.
So, it can be easy to overwater a plant that is receiving only moderate light. However, if you follow my watering advice later in this article and only water once the soil is mostly dry, your plant should remain healthy.
Although growth may be a bit slower under moderate light, Philodendron Micans is a fast grower in general, so growth under these conditions can still be noticeable.
What kind of soil does Philodendron Micans need?
Philodendron Micans isn’t too picky about the type of soil it’s in, as long as it drains well.
So, any all-purpose house plant mix will do, but I like to add perlite or pumice to the mix for better drainage and airflow in the soil and around the roots.
I like to mix 2 parts house plant soil and 1 part perlite for my philodendron plants, and they have done very well.
I also use plastic pots with lots of drainage holes. This allows excess water to easily drain out and also lets air in from the bottom of the pot. And you can place the plastic pot in a pretty cover pot for display.
I don’t usually plant my plants directly into decorative pots because they typically don’t have enough drainage holes and I just don’t feel like I have as much control over monitoring the soil conditions. With the plastic nursery pots, especially these clear pots that I love, I can see and feel how the plant is doing much easier.
You can still use a decorative pot as a “cover pot”, which means you put your plant (planted in a nursery pot) into a slightly larger decorative pot so you can’t even tell it’s not planted in the cover pot.
And this makes watering easier because I can simply remove the plant/nursery pot from the cover pot, take it outside, and really soak the plant and let all the excess water drain out of the drainage holes. Then, I just place it back in its cover pot and it looks nice but still has lots of good drainage and airflow from all the holes in the nursery pot.
This really helps protect the roots. Roots usually rot for a few different reasons: 1) the plant doesn’t receive enough light, 2) the soil/pot is retaining too much excess water, 3) the soil is so compacted that the roots don’t receive enough airflow or water.
So, the advice I give above helps avoid these problems.
Also, if you find over time the soil becomes compacted, you can use a stick or chopstick to help loosen the soil a bit. This allows water and air to flow through the soil easier and more evenly.
Once the roots of your Philodendron Micans fill it’s current container, it’s time to repot your plant in the next size up container with fresh soil.
How to repot Philodendron Micans
You will likely need to repot your Philodendron Micans every 12-18 months depending on the conditions. You’ll know it’s time to repot when the roots of your plant fill it’s current container.
Choose a new pot that’s about 2 to 4 inches larger than the previous pot and has plenty of drainage holes.
In my case, I repotted my Philodendron Micans that was in a 4 inch pot and put it in a 6 inch pot.
I really like these clear plastic 6 inch pots because you can easily see the condition of the soil and roots.
And you can easily place them in a decorative cover pot if you like. This Potey 6.1 inch cover pot is a perfect fit for the 6 inch clear plastic pot I used (shown below).
You can also get a good deal on these Potey 6.1 inch and 4.8 inch pots if you have use for the smaller one. I usually place 4 inch plastic pots into the 4.8 inch Potey cover pot.
The image below shows all the materials I used to repot my Philodendron Micans.
To repot my Philodendron Micans, I used 2 parts potting mix, 1 part perlite, a clear plastic pot with lots of drainage holes, and a pretty cover pot.
Then, I mixed the potting soil and perlite together to get the final potting mix shown below (left image). Next, I filled the bottom of the new pot with my soil mix so that the top of the plant will be at the same level as it was in it’s old pot (right image below).
Then, I removed my Philodendron Micans plant from it’s old pot and very gently loosened the roots at the bottom of the plant, as shown below.
Lastly, I placed the plant in it’s new pot and filled in the sides with my soil mix (left image below). The right image below shows how the plant looks when I placed it in this decorative cover pot.
Protip: If you live in an area with very cold or harsh winters, avoid repotting your Philodendron in the winter. These plants are usually dormant in winter and prefer to be undisturbed. When needed, repot in the spring or summer for the best results.
How often should I water my Philodendron Micans?
The water requirements for your Philodendron Micans will vary depending on the type of pot, season, amount of light and humidity, temperature, etc.
It’s best to water your Philodendron Micans once the soil has mostly dried from your last watering.
You can determine if the soil is dry a few different ways:
1) Stick your finger into the soil a couple inches deep to feel the moisture level. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water.
2) Feel the weight of your plant after you water compared to when the soil is dry. Your Philodendron Micans will feel much lighter when the soil is dry, so you can use the weight to determine if it’s time to water. This method is easiest if your plant is in a light-weight pot, like a nursery pot.
3) Stick a moisture meter into the soil at different locations and depths to determine how wet or dry the soil is. If the meter reads “dry” throughout the soil, then you should water your Philodendron Micans. This is probably the best method if your plant is planted directly in a heavy decorative pot with only 1 drainage hole (which I don’t generally recommend). You might be tricked into thinking your plant needs water because the top of the soil will appear dry, but the bottom soil might still be quite soggy.
Side note…. This is actually how I almost killed one of my first house plants due to overwatering and root rot. But once I repotted the dying plant out of the decorative pot with one measly drainage hole and into a clear plastic nursery pot with lots of holes, I could see and feel how moist the soil was and water it properly, and the soil had much better drainage and airflow due to all the drainage holes. This saved my plant! And over a couple years, it’s roots completely filled the new pot and it sprouted so many beautiful new leaves.
4) If the soil is too dry for too long, the leaves on your Philodendron Micans plant will begin to droop and look sad. If that happens, you should definitely water your plant.
When you water your Philodendron Micans, fully saturate the soil and let the excess water drain out of the drainage holes. And if you have lots of drainage holes in your pot, don’t be afraid to give your plant a good soaking! Especially if you’re waiting until the soil is mostly dry before you water. The soil should be fully saturated after you water with all excess water draining from the drainage holes.
Then, let the soil mostly dry out before you water again. It doesn’t have to be bone dry, but you want the soil to be mostly dry.
It’s important to water based on how wet or dry the soil is rather than just watering on a set schedule. This is because your Philodendron Micans will need different amounts of water depending on the temperature, amount of light, humidity, season, etc.
So, observe the soil moisture as I’ve described above and let your Philodendron Micans tell you when it needs water. It will thank you!
What temperatures can Philodendron Micans tolerate?
Philodendron Micans are not too fussy about temperature or humidity.
The ideal temperature ranges are around 60 to 80°F or 18 to 27°C. So, normal indoor temperatures are fine for this plant.
I’ve also found that different humidity levels don’t really affect my Philodendron Micans much.
The humidity levels in my home change drastically throughout the year anywhere from 20% to 60% humidity. While I’m sure Philodendron Micans appreciates high humidity and may produce larger leaves under those conditions, low humidity doesn’t seem to harm it at all in my experience. My micans still grows fast and looks healthy.
How do you fertilize Philodendron Micans?
I’ve found that fertilizing Philodendron Micans with dyna-grow 9-3-6 fertilizer during the growing season gives great results.
I mix 1/4 tsp of the fertilizer in a gallon of water and then water my plants. I do this every time I water during the growing season (which is typically spring to fall for most people, but it can be all year if you live in a tropical climate or an area with very mild winters).
In the winter, if you notice the growth of your Philodendron Micans slows or stops, then stop fertilizing because your plant has gone dormant (which is normal).
When the weather warms in the spring, your plant will come out of dormancy and start growing again. Then, you can start your fertilization routine again.
If you are located in an area that stays relatively warm in the winter and you keep your Philodendron Micans in a location with bright, indirect light, then it might not go dormant in the winter.
I live in southern California, and my indoor plants generally don’t go dormant in winter as long as I keep them close to a window.
Because my plants continue to grow in winter and don’t go dormant, I continue to fertilize them.
So as you can see, fertilization routines really depend on where you live and the lighting and temperature conditions your plants receive.
To summarize, the easiest way to go about fertilizing is if you see new growth, continue your fertilization routine.
If growth slows or stops, stop fertilizing until you see your plant begin to grow again.
How do you propagate Philodendron Micans?
Philodendron propagation can be done by either soil propagation or water propagation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to both methods:
- Cut your Philodendron Micans about 1 inch above or below a node. You will need at least one node for propagation, because a leaf without a node will not produce new growth.
- For water propagation, I would recommend cutting a stem with 3 or more nodes. Remove the bottom leaf (or leaves) so you can stick the cut end into a small container with water. New roots will grow from the node(s) in about a month, and the cutting will be ready to plant in soil once the roots are about an inch or so long (about 2 months). Keep the soil moist for the first month while your plant adjusts to the transition from water to soil. After a month, you can care for your new plant as we’ve described in this post and let the soil dry out between watering.
- For soil propagation, you only need a stem with one node and leaf (but you can use longer stems with more nodes if desired). Cut the stem 1 inch above and below the node. Then, stick the end of the stem that was closest to the parent plant into soil, making sure the node is also in the soil. The cut end that was furthest from the parent plant should be sticking out of the soil and is where new growth will occur.
As for the parent plant, don’t worry about trimming the stems. New growth will come from the node above where you cut your parent plant, so the cut stems will not be affected and will continue to produce new growth.
Also, trimming your parent plant will encourage new growth throughout the plant and helps it become more full as long as its care needs are being met.
Once your cuttings have roots, you can choose to either plant several of them in their own pot to make a new plant, or you can fill in your current plant if you’d like it to look more full. The latter option will probably be easiest to do when you repot your plant.
Are Philodendron Micans toxic to cats or dogs?
Yes. Unfortunately, Philodendron Micans and all philodendron plants are toxic to dogs and cats if chewed or ingested according to the ASPCA.
This is because the leaves and stems contain insoluble calcium oxalates.
If chewed or ingested, philodendron can cause mouth burning and irritation, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.
So, it’s best to keep your Philodendron Micans and all other philodendron plants out of reach of pets and children to keep everyone happy and healthy.