The Florida Ghost is one of my top five favorite houseplants. Their leaf shape is one of the most interesting of the Philodendrons; straight out of a jungle. Their most exciting quality, in my opinion, is the bright white color of the new leaves. They contrast so nicely from the green of the mature leaves.
If you are new to the Florida Ghost, this article should give you some guidance in caring for them. We will discuss; watering, light, best location in the house, temperature, fertilizer, humidity, flowers, insects, diseases, pruning, propagation and toxicity. If you would like printable care sheets for the Florida Ghost, I sell them in my Etsy shop.
The scientific name of the Florida Ghost is Philodendron pedatum ‘Florida Ghost’. It is most commonly called the Florida Ghost or Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’ by plant collectors.
As the name suggests, Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’ can be found in nature in North America. It also has origins in Central and South America which gives us some ideas about how to care for it.
Watering – Water deeply but only once the soil has dried out in the top two inches of the pot. Use your finger or a moisture meter to check the moistness of the soil. I water my plants at the kitchen sink so I can use the sprayer nozzle to moisten the soil until water drains out the bottom of the pot. Allow all excess water to drain out of the pot. It would help to have your Ghost planted in a fast-draining potting mix.
Light requirements – Bright indirect light is necessary to keep your Florida Ghost looking tip top. You can tell if your plant is getting enough light just by looking at the new growth. If the new leaves are coming in looking more mint colored than a bright white (see photo below), your plant needs a brighter location in the house. If you don’t have appropriate lighting, grow lights are also a great option.
Best Location in the House – If you are able to give your Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’ a spot in an East facing window, it will thrive. It would also do well pulled a few feet back from a West or South facing window.
Temperature requirements – Like most houseplants, the the Florida Ghost will live happily in the same temperatures that we humans like to live in.
Fertilizer – Dilute fertilizer by half. I believe that if my plants are actively growing, they need to be given fertilizer, even during the winter. If you don’t believe in fertilizing during the winter months, try offering fertilizer from the beginning of March through the fall and then give the plant a break from fertilizer during the winter.
Humidity – Offering humidity levels of 50% – 70% will give you the healthiest growth.
Flowers – Philodendrons can produce flowers, but generally only when the plant is more than 15 years old.
Insects – In my own experience, Philodendrons don’t seem to fall victim to pests too frequently. In fact, my Philodendrons usually end up with pest issues because of nearby infested plants. Of course, pests are always possible on indoor plants. Some potential pests could be spider mites, mealy bugs, aphids, thrips, scale, fungus gnats and white flies.
The nice thing about Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’ is that it has nice large leaves that are easy to check for pests and not difficult to clean (preventatively).
Pruning – Pruning your Florida Ghost will be necessary. These plants are climbers like many Philodendrons and so pruning to keep them under control will be inevitable. It is also important to remove any dead or damaged leaves to keep your plant happy.
Propagation – The Florida Ghost propagates by stem cuttings.
Toxicity – All parts of the Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’ are considered to be toxic to dogs, cats and humans. Like most (all?) Aroids, the Florida Ghost has small crystalized minerals that can cause swelling in the throat, tongue and lips; vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
If you have children or pets that might try to chew on or touch your Florida Ghost, my advice is to keep this plant out of their reach.
Link to my Etsy shop, Matilda and Clementine where I sell many different collector houseplants including the Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’.
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Products I use and (therefore) recommend:
Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants. I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.
Stackable Moss poles – https://amzn.to/3nzgDoo
Velcro Plant Tape – https://amzn.to/3qUcHk5
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Heat Mat (for propagating) – https://amzn.to/2MSezbk
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Full disclosure – the last four product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center. I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.