How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Philodendron Micans

Philodendrons are poplar houseplants with many varieties to choose from, each with its own special characteristics. Here, gardening expert Wendy Moulton examines the features of this beautiful houseplant and how to care for it.

Close-up of a Philodendron Micans plant with heart-shaped, velvety green leaves in a white pot on a round wooden table.


For ornamental value, the velvet philodendron is one of the most sought-after houseplants because of its leaf shape and velvety texture. It’s a tactile plant that demands to be stroked now and again. It is considered a semi-epiphyte, which means it can grow in soil and sometimes without soil.

Philodendron hederaceum var hederaceum, now classified as Philodendron micans, has spectacular heart-shaped leaves and a wonderful velvety texture on the surface, which inspired the common name velvet philodendron.

These fast-growing plants are often displayed on tall shelves so that they can cascade down and create a jungle effect on a bookcase or display shelving units. They can also be trained upwards to create a mini vertical garden.

These tough, easy-to-grow houseplants are a good choice for any plant parent. In this article, we look at where they came from and how to care for them.

Philodendron Micans Overview

Close-up of a Philodendron Micans plant with rich, heart-shaped, velvety, deep green green leaves in a gray ceramic pot.
Genus Philodendron
Species Philodendron hederaceum var hederaceum
Family Araceae
Native Area Central America and the Caribbean
Height and Spread 10-20 feet long
Maintenance Easy
Hardiness Zones 10-12
Exposure Bright indirect light
Watering needs Moderate
Pests Mealy bugs, thrips, red spider mites, scale
Soil Type Well-draining organic
Soil pH Acidic

What Is It?

Philodendron Micans in a gold patterned pot boasts rich, velvety, deep green leaves with reddish undertones, trailing gracefully on thin, flexible stems.
Philodendrons are fast-growing, versatile, and easy to cultivate.

As members of the arum or aroid family Araceae, philodendrons are grown for their leaves. However, they will also flower, after a long time, in the distinctive spathe and spadix that is noticeable in other plants in this group.

As a perennial vine, it will creep along the ground, cascade from a hanging basket, or it can be trained up a moss pole of a framework. It produces rootlets along the stem to help them grip onto fixtures.

They are fast-growing and very easy to grow.

Native Area

Close-up of Philodendron micans, with shimmering, velvety heart-shaped leaves in shades of green and bronze, climbing on the tree trunk.
These plants thrive in tropical rainforests, climbing towards the light.

There are nearly 500 known species of philodendron, with most coming from the regions of Central America like Venezuela, Colombia, and the Caribbean. In nature, they grow under the canopy of trees in tropical rainforests and use the trees to clamber upwards toward the light.


Close-up of a Velvet Leaf Philodendron, characterized by its soft, velvety, dark green leaves with a hint of burgundy, elegantly climbing up a hairy vertical support in a large black pot.
Heart-shaped, velvety leaves add charm to indoor spaces.

The leaves of Philodendron micans are heart-shaped, which is desirable in indoor plants. The velvety texture of the leaves adds another dimension, making this variety special. The leaves form on long, sturdy stems that are tinged with peachy salmon, depending on the time of the year. The leaf colors range from dark and moody to shades of green all in one leaf. They also have a burgundy-purple underside. New leaves emerge lighter and mature into dark forest green in the right conditions.

The leaves vary from one to three inches in width to three to six inches long.

The length of the vines varies, but they will generally be around 8 feet long. They can reach as long as 20 feet if they are very happy.

The flowers of this plant will only appear after about 15 years of growth. The brighter the light and the more light, the better the flowering. 12-15 hours of bright indirect light a day will give more of a chance of flowering. The white flowers will appear in spring. They form the iconic spathe and spadix that hold the tiny flowers. The spathe is creamy white on the inside and light green on the outside, keeping the spadix encased and safe.

The fleshy stems of Philodendron micans form in jagged sections from one node to another, forming leaves and rootlets as they continue to creep along.

How to Grow

Very easy to grow, Philodendron micans will be a rewarding plant to grow and maintain, and if it looks a bit scraggly, it is easy enough to propagate more plants.


Philodendron Micans in sunshine, displaying velvety, deep green leaves with a bronze shimmer.
Promote lush foliage with ample bright, indirect light exposure.

For these vine-type plants, you want lots of leaves; otherwise, they can look a bit scraggly. The best way to achieve this is to give them lots of bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, which may scorch the leaves on the edges and make them less desirable.


Close-up of a woman with black hair and wearing a yellow tank top holding a pink watering can and a Philodendron Micans plant in a white pot, outdoors.
Keep soil well-drained and water moderately for healthy growth.

This philodendron likes moderate water but not waterlogged soil. Make sure there is plenty of drainage. When the top two inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water. That will generally mean once a week during the main growing seasons.

For watering in general, remember that the more light it gets, the more water it needs, and adjust the watering schedule as necessary.

Water less frequently in winter, reducing the watering to every two weeks, but always check the soil first. Too much water will cause root rot.


Close-up of a gardener's hands in orange gloves mixing the soil mixture in a large black container.
Create a light, airy soil mix with organic materials.

The soil for this tropical houseplant reflects the way it grows in the wild. Plenty of organic matter in a well-draining mix. To improve the drainage of the soil mix, include perlite, vermiculite, coconut coir, or even a little rough sand into regular potting soil. The finished mix should be light and airy.


Close-up of a Philodendron Micans plant in a hanging yellow pot on a balcony, showing plush, heart-shaped leaves with a dark green and bronze hue, suspended from long, slender trailing stems.
Maintain stable temperatures between 65-78°F (20-24°C) for optimal growth.

This plant does better in a stable environment, so avoid temperature fluctuations. The ideal temperature for this philodendron is between 65-78°F (20-24°C).


Close-up of Philodendron micans with velvety, iridescent green leaves tinged with bronze, in a clay pot on a wooden shelf indoors.
Maintain 60% humidity through misting or using humidifiers.

A humidity of 60% is ideal for this philodendron. To increase the humidity around the plants, use a water bottle, mist the plants often, and place the planters of trays of pebbles and water in very dry conditions.

If your houseplant collection includes many tropical plants that enjoy high humidity, then investing in a humidifier might be a better solution.


Close-up of a man's palm with a handful of granular round yellow fertilizers against a blurred background of potted plants.
Nourish with organic fish-based fertilizer during active growth periods.

Use a balanced organic fertilizer or plant food for tropical plants based on fish emulsion. Feed your plants when they are actively growing new shoots and leaves.

Avoid feeding when relocating the plant or treating yellowing or drooping leaves.



Close-up of a woman in a yellow tank top pruning a Philodendron in a white pot with red scissors, outdoors.
Encourage bushiness by occasional pruning for desired growth shape.

The vine will continue growing in long trails and may need to be gathered and twirled around itself or up a moss pole if it gets too long. Pruning is not necessarily an annual task for this plant. However, if you want a bushier plant, you can prune it. Once cut, it will send out shoots from lower down the stem.


Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth when they get dusty. Dust can cover the leaf surfaces and reduce the ability for the plant to photosynthesize.


A close-up of a woman's hands transplanting a young Philodendron seedling into a white decorative pot with a textured face shape on a white table covered with soil; on the table, there is also a large bucket of potting soil and several gardening tools.
Repot with fresh soil mix into slightly larger containers annually.

When a philodendron outgrows its container, it needs repotting and will benefit from fresh potting soil. Check your containers every year to see if they need repotting. Often, they will let you know by becoming pot-bound or if the soil or plant looks sad.

Prepare new pots, one to two sizes up, with a mix of one part potting soil, one part commercial compost, and one part drainage material like perlite, vermiculite, or rehydrated coco coir.

Cover any drainage holes with a layer of stones or crocks, and half-fill the pot with soil. Remove the plant from its old container carefully so as not to disturb the roots too much, and gently take off any of the soil. You can wash the roots under a stream of water as well. Cut any dead or damaged roots off and then plant them in the new pot, filling it with the potting soil mix and pressing it down to secure the plants.

Water well and reposition the plants.


Cuttings in Water

Close-up of woman's hands touching Philodendron Micans cuttings in a glass vase with water on a green background.
Easily propagate by placing stem cuttings in water until rooted.

One of the easiest methods to propagate this plant is by cuttings placed in water.

This is how to do it:

  • Cut pieces of stem with at least four to five nodes on each cutting.
  • Remove all the leaves but the top few and recut just below a node at the base of the cutting.
  • Place the cuttings in water, making sure the leaves are not submerged.
  • Change the water every few days.
  • When the roots are at least an inch long, the cuttings can be planted in moist soil in prepared containers to grow on.

Air layering

The stem of the Philodendron Micans features a slender vine adorned with aerial roots on a white background.
Try air layering by wrapping stem nodes with moist moss.

Air layering is another way to propagate this plant, especially if the cuttings in water are not working well.

This is how to air layer:

  • Choose a piece of stem with aerial root nodes. These are the bumps that will form aerial roots that help the vine climb and absorb moisture and nutrients from the air.
  • Moisten sphagnum moss or coco coir and wrap around the section with the nodes. Cover the whole area with plastic wrap.
  • Check that the moss is still hydrated every few days and top up if necessary.
  • Roots should be strong and ready in about a month.
  • Cut the stem off and plant in moist soil in individual pots to grow on.


There are a few extra varieties to choose from in this group of plants, but they might be hard to find:


The Philodendron micans ‘Aurea’ showcases heart-shaped leaves with a velvety texture, exhibiting a dark green hue, variegated in pink, gracefully draping from slender, trailing stems.
This plant boasts striking salmon and orange foliage with velvety leaves.

This version of Philodendeon micans has leaves that are variegated green and gold to bright yellow, changing to salmon and orange, and then cream.

‘Lemon Lime’

The Philodendron micans ‘Lemon Lime’ displays vibrant, lime-green heart-shaped leaves with a glossy sheen, contrasting against its slender, trailing stems.
This variety showcases vibrant chartreuse leaves, adding a pop of color to any space.

From neon yellow to neon green in one plant. This philodendron with traditional heart-shaped leaves will also take less light.

Common Problems

Over or Underwatering

The Philodendron Micans, in a black hanging pot in a greenhouse, features soft, heart-shaped leaves with a velvety texture and a green-bronze color, cascading from slender, trailing vines.
Adjust watering if leaves droop.

If the leaves droop, it may be a sign the plant is underwatered or that the soil is soggy. It’s an easy fix to check the soil and adjust as needed.

Brown or yellow leaves

Sporting luxurious, velvety green leaves with a bronze sheen and dry tips due to improper care, the Philodendron Micans drapes elegantly from its thin, trailing stems over a yellow pot in the garden.
Ensure proper light exposure to prevent leaf damage.

An overexposure to sunlight may cause the leaves to crisp on the edges or turn yellow.

Leggy plant with few leaves

The Philodendron Micans in a gray-white ceramic pot displays velvety, deep green heart-shaped leaves with bronze undertones, gracefully trailing from its fine, flexible stems.
Move to brighter light and prune for bushier growth.

This means the plant lacks light. Move to a better position. You may want to take this opportunity to propagate more plants with these leggy stems. Pruning will encourage bushy growth.


Close-up, scale on a green leaf appears as small, round, brownish bump, slightly raised, disrupting the smooth texture of the leaf surface.
Regularly check for pests and promptly treat any infestations found.

Philodendron micans have few pest problems, but look out for the usual suspects that will attack stressed plants like mealy bugs, red spider mites, scale, and thrips. Many of these will fly in from the outside or jump from plant to plant. Just make it common practice to look at any of your plants and check them regularly for these sucking insects.

Treat with insecticidal soaps and neem oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Philodenron micans toxic?

Yes, all philodendrons are toxic. They contain calcium oxalate crystals that, if ingested, have a toxic effect on the skin, inside the mouth, and the stomach. Keep all your philodendrons away from children and pets.

How do I get more leaves on my philodendron?

Many plant parents simply wind the stems on the one plant to create a bushier look or plant more than one cutting in a pot. The proper way is to prune so that the plants are forced to sprout new stems from nodes lower down on the stem,

Why are the leaves of my Philodendron micans sticky?

Like many others, this species has extrafloral necatries, which are nectars produced from glands on the parts of some plants, in this case, the leaves. Many plants use it to attract pollinators. In the wild, this plant has a symbiotic relationship with ants, who are rewarded with the nectar by keeping away herbivores.

The glands are found on the underside of the leaves of this plant, and therefore, they may be sticky. Also, look for ants.

Final Thoughts

The soft, velvety texture on the leaves of this plant is just one of the reasons to get one. They have an amazing color on both the top and the underside, contrasting well with other plants. Because they cascade or climb, they are very useful as a decorative plant in the home.

Personally, I find this philodendron irresistible. It always finds a way from the nursery into the car and home.

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