Philodendron Florida Ghost Care (How to NOT to Kill It!)

The philodendron Florida ghost is a rare species that gets its name from how its leaves grow in. New leaves appear as white as a ghost before they mature to a natural green. This plant is so rare and sought after that it even sold in an online auction for $12,250.

The philodendron Florida ghost plant is an exotic species that’s a hybrid of two plants in the Araceae plant family.

What makes the plant so rare is that the origins of the plant the ghost sprouts from are unknown. However, many believe the ghost is a result of philodendron squamiferum and philodendron pedatum mixing.

Often the philodendron Florida ghost is seen as a different plant than the Florida ghost mint plant. However, these are actually the same plant. The Florida ghost mint plant is only a slang name for the philodendron Florida ghost.

Wondering how to care for this elusive plant? Find all the answers here.

Caring For the Philodendron Florida Ghost

Though this plant is rare, some have managed to get their hands on one. Here are care tips and tricks to apply to your philodendron Florida ghost if you happen to be a proud owner of this minty-green plant… or if you’re just curious!

Light

Philodendrons are native to rainforests. This means they need indirect light native to their tree shaded forest habitat. The Philodendron Florida Ghost is no exception to this rule.

However, since you probably don’t live right in a rainforest, producing indirect light can be vague and tricky. The ideal amount of light for good growth in the philodendron Florida ghost is 400 FC.

Use a light meter to find the perfect area in your house for your plant to get enough indirect sunlight.

Soil and Mixture Type

The philodendron Florida ghost plant needs a soil that can hold onto moisture, yet drain water well.

A good mixture for this plant contains bark, charcoal, and peat. These organic matters are great for philodendron plants.

Peat moss, made of decomposing organic material and sphagnum moss is also a good option for soil since it is light and holds onto just the right amount of water. The ideal soil pH for this plant is between 5 and 8.

This means the soil is fairly neutral, making peat moss a perfect solution to try out.

Water

Despite its rare and elusive nature, the philodendron Florida ghost is actually a fairly low-maintenance plant. You’ll only need to water the plant about once a week.

It’s bad for this plant to have too dry of soil, but also bad for it to have too wet of soil. Make sure that the top two inches of soil are dry before you water your ghost plant. Simply stick your finger in the soil to check.

This average of watering once a week changes as the months get colder. During winter, you’ll only need to water your plant three times the whole season. Still check the soil regularly, though.

Temperature

Similar to the rainforest environment, the philodendron Florida ghost plant needs temperatures of around 65F (18C) to 95F (35C).

This makes this plant a great option for an indoor house plant. Since this plant doesn’t fare well in cold weather, it’s best to keep it away from the air conditioning.

Humidity

In an ideal scenario, the philodendron Florida ghost plant would have high levels of humidity. This would most closely mimic its natural environment of the misty rainforest. However, it only needs an average level of humidity to survive.

If you live in a dry climate, consider a humidifier or a pebble tray for your plant.

A pebble tray is a shallow tray, filled with pebbles and water just enough to cover the rocks. Place your plant on this tray and it will naturally create humidity around your plant.

Be wary of misting. This gives the illusion of humidity, but actually only leads to over watering and if overdone, cases of fungal and bacterial infections in the plant.  

Fertilizer

When selecting a fertilizer for your philodendron Florida ghost plant, the number one nutrient you have to keep a look out for is nitrogen. This ingredient helps your plant’s leaves grow nice and big and keeps your plant healthy.

This plant grows slower than most plants. This means that fertilizer more often is a good idea for keeping the plant happy and healthy.

You don’t need to use as much fertilizer as you would with other plants, but you do need to change out the fertilizer more often.

A Balanced liquid fertilizer is a great option for this plant and can be given once a month, especially in the warm months of spring and summer. You can fertilize your plant less often in the winter, keeping a schedule of every 6-8 weeks.

Growth

You can expect your philodendron Florida ghost plant to grow between two and five feet tall. They are also slow at growing, so you won’t see this level of height right away.

You’ll also need some sort of stability to hold the plant in place. They are vine climbing plants, so they’ll need a surface to cling to.

The leaves on these plants grow only two to four inches in length. Often these plants are made up only of minty-green leaves.

However, sometimes they can bloom purple flowers. This is rare, but when the plant does bloom, the flowers can grow up to 12 inches.

Propagating

The best time to propagate a philodendron Florida ghost plant is during the spring. During this season, this plant begins to grow, so it’s best to propagate at this time. An easy way to propagate this plant is through air layering.

However, some plant owners prefer stem cutting. Either method works well for propagating your philodendron Florida ghost plant.

Repotting

Since this plant grows at such a slow rate, regular repotting isn’t necessary. You don’t have to repot this plant for two to three years at a time.

The main reason you need to repot this plant is to make room for the roots.

When you notice the roots of the plant escaping out of the drainage holes, it’s time to get a bigger pot. Repotting gives your plant’s roots plenty of room to grow and thrive.

Pruning?

Since this plant doesn’t completely die in the winter and grow again in the warmer months, there’s no need to prune it.

Plant Toxicity

It’s not safe for humans or pets to ingest a philodendron Florida ghost plant. This is because of the large amounts of calcium oxalate crystals that are poisonous to living creatures.

This can result in trouble breathing and swelling of the tongue. Keep this plant out of reach of children and pets.

Common Diseases

This plant attracts specific diseases and pests that you should be aware of and look out for. For one, philodendrons in general have a tendency of developing Fire Blight disease, otherwise known as Erwinia Blight disease.

The Erwinia bacteria can cause this disease in your plant if in close contact. Keep an eye on new growths and branches to see if this disease is taking effect. If the bacterium is present, these new branches will turn black or a dark brown color.

When this happens, cut the new growth off of the plant and disinfect your shearing scissors in between uses to stop the spread of bacteria.

Also, if you notice that this bacterium is present, slow down on fertilizer use. You don’t want the plant to keep growing and the bacteria to keep spreading. 

Also, look for any signs that are out of the ordinary. For instance, if your plant develops lesions, they may be from Fire Blight disease.

Common Pests

Mealybugs are the number one pest to look out for attacking your plant. These bugs kill your plant by sucking the sap from it. These pests pose a huge problem because they are so small that they can be hard to see.

However, if you notice your plant is losing nutrients and hydration more quickly, these pesky bugs may be why.

These pests can multiple quickly, so it’s best to deal with them fast. Neem oil is the best way to kill the mealybugs off of your plant without harming the actual ghost plant. Test out the oil on part of your plant before coating the stems and leaves.

Common Issues

Why are the leaves turning a pale green?

This is caused by a lack of proper nutrition. Make sure to properly fertilize your plant!

Why are the leaves turning brown and curling at the tips?

Brown leaves don’t signal a lack of water, but a lack of humidity. If you live in a dry area, make sure to use a humidifier or pebble tray to up the humidity in the room.

Why are the leaves turning yellow?

This issue occurs when you’re over-watering your plant. Make sure to check the soil before watering to make sure it’s not still moist.

FAQ – Your Care Questions Answered

Florida Beauty vs Florida Ghost- What’s the Difference?

A hypothesis is still out on what the origin plants that make up the hybrid Florida Beauty and Florida Ghost are. However, many have said that they possibly come from the same origin plants.

The difference between these two plants is in coloring. While the Florida Ghost is initially white, it eventually turns to a solid green color. Florida Beauty plants on the other hand are made up of light and dark shades of green.

Florida Green vs Florida Ghost – What’s the Difference?

A Florida Green plant is much more common than a Florida Ghost plant. While the Florida Ghost grows leaves that are initially white and change to green, the Florida Green grows leaves that are initially green and stay green. At full maturity they will look similar in shape, however, the Florida Green will often be a darker color than the minty-green characteristic of the Florida Ghost.

Can a Florida Ghost Revert?

It is possible for your Florida Ghost plant to revert to that original white color. This occurs with a ton of indirect bright light. Slowly the mature green leaves will turn white once again.

How Can I Make the White Leaves Even Whiter?

If you like the look of the white leaves on your Florida Ghost, you can make them even whiter with a direct grow light. Naturally, your Florida Ghost will turn green with time.

However, if you want that bright white color, place your plant under a grow light and it will revert to that original white. If you buy a Florida Ghost from a green house, they will more often be white because they are constantly under that direct or indirect artificial light.

Where Can I Find a Philodendron Florida Ghost?

If you live in South America or southern North America, you may be able to find this plant at your local nursery. If not, call around and see if any of your local plant shops import this rare plant. You can also find Florida Ghost plants on online platforms, like Etsy. However, make sure these are authentic Florida Ghosts and can be shipped to your home country.

How Much Does a Philodendron Florida Ghost Cost?

Due to the rarity of this plant, Philodendron Florida Ghost plants will cost you anywhere in the $100’s if they are authentic. This can range from low hundreds all the way to $12,250 like we said at the beginning of this article.

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