How to Grow and Care for Philodendron Florida Ghost

Slightly raised view of a Philodendron Florida Ghost plant

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Philodendron Florida Ghost is one of the most sought-after houseplants, and with good reason. This rare tropical plant is known for its shiny, deeply lobed leaves on hairy red petioles that unfurl ghostly white before eventually darkening to a deep, attractive green. You'll sometimes see variegated versions of this plant, with green patterning against the white on immature leaves. Some specimens whose young leaves emerge pale green rather than white are referred to as Florida Ghost Mint by houseplant collectors.

Philodendron Florida Ghost is a relative of philodendron Florida Green, another hybrid of Philodendron squamiferum x pedatum. Both were developed by Florida botanist Robert McColley in the 1950s. Here's what you need to know to grow and care for philodendron Florida Ghost.

 Common Name:  Philodendron Florida Ghost, Florida Ghost
 Botanical Name:   Philodendron squamiferum x pedatum 'Florida Ghost'
 Family:   Araceae
 Plant Type:   Perennial
 Mature Size:   2-5 ft. tall
Sun Exposure:   Bright, indirect light
 Soil Type:   Loose, well-drained soil
 Soil pH:   Acidic
 Native Area:  Central and South America 
 Toxicity:  Toxic to people and pets

Philodendron Florida Ghost Care

It might be difficult to get your hands on a philodendron Florida Ghost, but once you do, this fascinating houseplant is pretty easy to grow. Evenly moist soil, higher-than-average humidity, and lots of bright, indirect light will keep it healthy and growing its signature ghostly white leaves. As your plant grows, use a trellis or moss pole to give this climbing plant the support it needs.

Closeup of a philodendron Florida Ghost leaf

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

A new Philodendron Florida Ghost leaf unfurling

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Florida Ghost Philodendron leaves

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong


Keep your philodendron Florida Ghost in a place with lots of bright, indirect light. Leaves will eventually fade to green as they mature, but lots of light will help your plant put out the creamy white young leaves this plant is known for. Some growers swear by grow lights to ensure the leaves start out white. However, it's important to keep your plant out of direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves and harm your plant.


Plant philodendron Florida Ghost in a loose, rich potting mix. You want a mix that drains well but holds onto the moisture your plant needs to stay healthy. This can be a standard indoor potting mix with some perlite or orchid bark mixed in for drainage. You can also use a premade aroid mix if you don't want to make your own growing medium.


Your philodendron Florida Ghost requires soil that's moist but not soggy. Water your plant when the top inch or so has dried out and always keep your plant in a pot with drainage holes. Check drip trays after watering and pour off any excess so the plant isn't sitting in water, which can lead to root rot. When the plant goes dormant in winter, cut back on watering and monitor the soil moisture to avoid overwatering.

Temperature and Humidity

This tropical plant loves warmth and humidity. The ideal temperature for philodendron Florida Ghost is between 65 and 95 degrees. Temperatures below 50 degrees will harm your plant, so keep it away from cold, drafty windows in winter. This plant can survive at typical household humidity levels, but running a humidifier near the plant to add moisture can help it thrive. Shoot for around 70% relative humidity in your space if you're measuring the moisture in the air with a hygrometer.


Feed your plant with a nitrogen-rich liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength. Always water before fertilizing, as adding fertilizer to dry soil can harm your philodendron Florida Ghost's leaves. Feed once per month during the spring and summer growing season, then stop feeding in fall and winter. Resume fertilizing when the plant comes out of dormancy in spring.


If your philodendron Florida Ghost is outgrowing your space or starting to look leggy, you may want to give it a trim. Use a clean, sharp knife or pruners to cut off excess foliage just above a node. It's best to prune the plant in the spring when the plant is actively growing. You can also try propagating new plants from the portions you cut away. Note that dead or dying leaves can be removed at any time to keep your plant looking healthy.

Propagating Philodendron Florida Ghost

Once you've got the hang of growing philodendron Florida Ghost, it's a great idea to propagate it to make new plants—especially because this rare specimen can be so expensive and hard to find. It's best to propagate in spring when the plant is actively growing. You can propagate philodendron Florida Ghost in water or growing medium using stem cuttings. Here's how.

  1. Use sterilized pruners to cut a six-inch stem with several leaves just below a node. Remove the lower leaves.
  2. Place the cutting in either a glass of water or a small pot filled with rooting medium like moist sphagnum moss or a mixture of equal parts coconut coir and perlite. Ensure that at least two nodes are below the water or soil line.
  3. Keep the cuttings in a warm, humid place with bright, indirect light. If using water, change the water regularly to keep it from getting cloudy. If using growing medium, water the medium regularly to keep it evenly moist.
  4. Roots should begin to grow from the nodes within a month or so. When the roots are a few inches long, you can transplant the cutting into regular potting soil and care for it as usual. If you're propagating in growing medium, a good way to check whether a cutting has rooted is to tug gently on the plant; if it stays in place, the roots have formed. New leaf growth is another sign of successful rooting.

Potting and Repotting Philodendron Florida Ghost

Unless it's pot-bound—meaning that roots are growing out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot—your philodendron Florida Ghost only needs to be repotted every three years or so. When repotting, use fresh soil and a pot that's only an inch or so larger in diameter than the old one.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases 

Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests like spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scale on your philodendron Florida Ghost. If you spot signs of unwanted insects, use neem oil or an organic insecticidal spray to remove them. Diseases to watch out for include bacterial leaf spot, which appears as dark spots ringed in yellow, and fire blight, which makes leaves look brown and scorched. Cut away all affected plant parts and treat healthy-looking leaves with antibacterial sprays or fungicides. Be sure to act quickly, sterilize tools between plants, and keep affected plants quarantined from the rest of your collection.

Common Problems With Philodendron Florida Ghost

Philodendron Florida Ghost is a pretty low-maintenance plant, but you'll want to watch out for these common plant problems.

Leaves Turning Yellow

Overwatering is a common reason that your philodendron Florida Ghost's leaves might turn yellow. If this happens, immediately stop watering and allow the soil to dry out before watering again. Yellowing leaves can also be a sign that your plant needs more light.

Leaves Turning Brown

Browning leaves can be a sign that the air in your space is too dry. Remove brown leaves and use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves are a sign that something's not right with watering—either too little or too much. Check your soil moisture and adjust accordingly.

  • What’s the difference between philodendron Florida Ghost and philodendron Florida Ghost Mint?

    These two plants are the same cultivar of the same species. However, some plant collectors and sellers use the name Florida Ghost Mint for plants whose leaves unfurl pale green rather than white.

  • Where should I put philodendron Florida Ghost?

    Philodendron Florida ghost will grow best in a place with bright, indirect or filtered light. Direct sunlight is too strong for this plant and will burn its leaves.

  • Can philodendron Florida Ghost grow indoors?

    Yes, philodendron Florida Ghost makes an excellent houseplant.

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