Philodendron Melanochrysum vs Micans: Ultimate Comparison Guide

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Philodendron lovers often find themselves debating which variety outshines the other – the Melanochrysum or Micans. Both types boast unique characteristics, which makes it difficult for enthusiasts to decide between these two popular plants. While they might be part of the same genus, their distinctive qualities make for an interesting comparison.

One of the most noticeable differences between the Philodendron Melanochrysum and Micans is their growth habits. Melanochrysum is a climbing vine, capable of growing upwards or downwards from its pot, with leaves that can reach an impressive 24 inches long. On the other hand, Micans is known for its smaller, burgundy-tinged leaves that create a visually striking contrast.

It’s not just the growth patterns that set these two apart – their leaves also offer unique features. Melanochrysum has darker green leaves with wide, visible markings that vary between off-white and cream, depending on the variety. In contrast, the Philodendron Micans lacks these variations of leaf markings, making it more subtle in appearance. As we delve deeper into their similarities and differences, we’ll have a clearer understanding of what sets these two captivating plants apart.

Philodendron Melanochrysum Overview

Philodendron Melanochrysum 1

Origin and Distribution

Philodendron melanochrysum is a flowering plant that is rare and belongs to the Araceae family. It originates from the wet Andean foothills of Colombia and is commonly found in the provinces of Chocó and Antioquia, growing at an altitude of approximately 500 meters above sea level. Despite its native habitat, it has gained popularity as an ornamental plant and is now cultivated in numerous regions worldwide.

Growth and Foliage

This vining philodendron, also known as the Black Gold Philodendron, boasts stunning, velvety textured leaves with striking yellow veins. Under optimal growing conditions, leaves can reach up to 24 inches long. The plant exhibits a climbing growth pattern, with new leaves sprouting from the sides, either growing upwards or cascading downwards from the pot.

In comparison to its relative, Philodendron micans, the melanochrysum has larger and thicker leaves, lacking the burgundy undertone found in micans’ foliage. Moreover, micans leaves are smaller and thinner, making these two plants visually distinct from one another.

Care Requirements

To ensure the healthy growth of a Philodendron melanochrysum, follow these care guidelines:

  • Light: Provide bright, indirect sunlight to prevent leaf burn while promoting optimum growth.
  • Water: Keep the soil evenly moist but avoid over-watering, as this can lead to root rot.
  • Humidity: Maintain high humidity levels, ideally around 60-80%, to mimic its natural habitat.
  • Temperature: Maintain temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C) for the best growth conditions.
  • Soil: Use well-draining, peat-based potting mix to ensure the right balance of moisture and aeration for the plant’s roots.
  • Fertilizer: Feed the plant with a balanced, liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

Keep in mind that Philodendron melanochrysum is a toxic plant and should be kept away from pets and small children. Ingesting the plant can cause mouth swelling, stomach issues, vomiting, and diarrhea because of the small calcium oxalate crystals in its leaves.

Philodendron Micans Overview

Philodendron Micans

Origin and Distribution

Philodendron Micans, also known as velvet-leaf philodendron, is native to Central and South America. It naturally grows in tropical rainforests, where it thrives in warm, moist environments with filtered sunlight. This lovely plant has remained a popular choice for indoor gardening enthusiasts and plant collectors around the world.

Growth and Foliage

The Micans variety is well-known for its distinctive heart-shaped, velvety leaves. These leaves are smaller and thinner compared to those of Philodendron Melanochrysum, and they exhibit a stunning burgundy undertone. With exposure to specific light conditions, the leaf colors may vary and include different shades of green.

When it comes to growth patterns, Philodendron Micans is a trailing or vining plant that can quickly spread along surfaces or climb with the help of aerial roots. Depending on the level of support provided, this plant can extend several feet in length.

Care Requirements

To maintain a healthy Philodendron Micans, it’s essential to understand its specific care requirements:

  • Light: Philodendrons thrive in bright to medium indirect light. It is recommended to shield them from direct sunlight for extended periods as it can scorch their fragile leaves, resulting in discolouration or burnt edges.
  • Water: Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. It’s better to underwater than overwater to prevent root rot. Be mindful of the humidity levels in the space where the plant lives, as higher humidity is optimal for Micans.
  • Soil: A well-draining soil mix is crucial for Micans. Many enthusiasts opt for a mix of peat moss, perlite, and potting soil, allowing for adequate aeration and moisture retention.
  • Temperature: Micans thrive in temperatures ranging from 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C). Avoid exposing the plant to freezing temperatures or sudden fluctuations.

Taking care of a Philodendron Micans might seem challenging at first glance. However, when provided with proper care, these plants are capable of thriving in various indoor settings, adorning homes with their unique beauty and charm.

Key Differences

Visual Differences

In regards to visual differences between Philodendron Melanochrysum and Micans, the former features darker leaves, while the latter typically exhibits smaller and more iridescent leaves. Philodendron Melanochrysum leaves can reach a size of up to two feet, whereas Micans leaves tend to stay on the smaller side with a bushier growth. Another noteworthy distinction is Melanochrysum’s brighter, more prominent pale green or white veins, surrounded by white margins contrasting its dark green leaves.

Growth Patterns

Philodendron Melanochrysum and Micans differ in their growth patterns as well. Melanochrysum is a climbing variety that can grow either upwards or downwards from the pot, producing new leaves from the side of the plant up to 24 inches long given the right growing conditions. On the other hand, Micans tend to have a bushier growth style with smaller and more compact leaves in comparison.

Maintenance and Care

When it comes to maintenance and care, Philodendron Melanochrysum usually blooms less often than Micans, which has smaller and fewer flowers per stem. Both Melanochrysum and Micans require similar care, including adequate watering, correct soil composition, and proper light exposure. However, due to the differences in size, growth, and floral patterns, owners might need to adjust their approach to pruning and space management accordingly. This ensures that both types of Philodendrons thrive, becoming a valuable addition to any indoor garden.

Choosing Between Melanochrysum and Micans

Space Considerations

When deciding between the Philodendron melanochrysum and Philodendron micans, one of the first factors to consider is the space available in your home or garden. Melanochrysum can have leaves reaching up to 2 feet long, while the Micans’ leaves are much smaller and thinner. Keep in mind the size of the plants when planning where they will be placed.

Aesthetic Preferences

Both Melanochrysum and Micans have beautiful, velvety leaves, but they differ in color and markings. Melanochrysum has iridescent, dark green leaves with pale green or white veins and white margins. However, Micans has a burgundy undertone and simpler, narrower markings. Additionally, Melanochrysum’s leaves start as bronze-colored and gradually transform into a velvety green, while the back of the leaves is greener than the front.

Care Commitment

Another key consideration when choosing between Melanochrysum and Micans is the level of care you are willing to provide.

  • Flowering: Melanochrysum typically has more flowers per stem than Micans, but it doesn’t bloom as often. Micans produces smaller flowers and blooms more frequently.
  • Growth rate: Both plants have similar growth rates; however, Micans may be a better option for those with limited space, as it tends to grow smaller than Melanochrysum.
  • Watering and sunlight requirements: Both plants require similar levels of care in terms of watering and the amount of sunlight they need. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight and a well-draining soil mix.

In summary, when choosing between the Philodendron melanochrysum and Philodendron micans, consider space limitations, aesthetic preferences, and your commitment to care for the plant. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be able to make the best decision to fit your needs and preferences.

Propagation Techniques

For Melanochrysum

Philodendron melanochrysum propagation is a fairly simple process. One of the most popular methods is through stem cuttings. Start by selecting a healthy, leafy stem and make a clean cut just below a leaf node. Place the cutting in a container filled with water or moist sphagnum moss, ensuring that the cut end is submerged. Keep the container in a location with bright, indirect sunlight and consistent humidity. In a couple of weeks, you should notice new roots forming from the cut end. Once your cutting develops a strong and healthy root system, it can be potted up in a well-draining, airy potting mix as an independent plant. For optimal growth, maintain moderate light and humidity conditions for your new philodendron melanochrysum plant. This Spruce article provides some tips for propagating philodendron melanochrysum.

For Micans

Philodendron micans propagation is quite similar to melanochrysum propagation. The stem cutting technique is commonly employed here as well. Once you’ve taken a healthy, leafy cutting of the micans, place it either in a container with water, or directly in a well-draining potting mix. A good choice is a mix of peat, perlite, and orchid bark. If placing in water, transfer the cutting to the potting mix after roots have developed. Ensure that your micans have access to bright, indirect light along with proper humidity levels. As the plant matures, you may notice bushier growth compared to the melanochrysum’s climbing growth pattern, with smaller leaves and fewer flowers per stem.

By using these simple propagation techniques, both philodendron melanochrysum and micans enthusiasts can successfully propagate their plants and enjoy their unique beauty!

Common Issues and Solutions

Pest and Disease

Philodendron Melanochrysum and Micans are relatively pest-resistant, but they can still encounter some common issues such as mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. To treat these pests, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil. Be sure to regularly inspect your plants and promptly treat any infestations to prevent further damage.

Over or Under Watering

Both Philodendron varieties can suffer from over or under watering. For Melanochrysum, yellowing leaves are often a sign of overwatering. On the other hand, Micans can tolerate lower levels of humidity but will thrive and grow bigger leaves in 45-50% humidity.

If you notice your Melanochrysum or Micans showing signs of stress, adjust your watering accordingly. To ensure proper moisture levels, allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. Make sure the pot has proper drainage to prevent water from sitting in the bottom.

Light and Temperature Sensitivity

Philodendron Melanochrysum and Micans prefer bright to medium indirect light. It is important to protect them from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, as it may damage their delicate leaves, resulting in discolouration and burnt edges

When it comes to temperature, both plants prefer a range of 60-85°F (15-29°C). If temperatures drop below this range, they may become stressed and show signs of leaf yellowing or wilting. Keep your plants away from drafts and cold windows to maintain a consistent temperature for healthy growth.

Remember to always follow the proper care guidelines for your Philodendron Melanochrysum and Micans. By being attentive to their needs, you can ensure they will continue to thrive and display their stunning foliage in your home or garden.

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