Philodendron Pedatum vs Florida Ghost: Key Differences Explained

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Philodendron plants are known for their diverse and eye-catching foliage, making them popular choices for indoor plant enthusiasts. Among the numerous species and cultivars of philodendron, two that often spark interest and discussion are the Philodendron Pedatum and the Florida Ghost. Although these plants share the same genus, they exhibit unique characteristics and growth habits, making it essential to understand their differences and similarities.

The Philodendron Pedatum is recognized for its adventurous nature and ability to grow upwards of ten feet. Its large, multi-lobed leaves are solid green and can change shape as they age, making it pleasing to plant owners. In contrast, the Florida Ghost is known for its smaller size, often topping out at half the height of the Pedatum. Despite similar lobed leaves, the Ghost’s foliage appears shallower, giving it a distinctive look often referred to as the “Florida ghost”.

Both plants exhibit diverse and attractive features that make them popular choices for home gardeners looking to add a touch of greenery to their indoor spaces. Knowing the key differences between the Philodendron Pedatum and Florida Ghost is crucial for plant enthusiasts looking for the perfect philodendron to suit their needs and preferences.

Philodendron Pedatum

Philodendron Pedatum

Origin and Habitat

Philodendron Pedatum, also known as Oakleaf philodendron, is a tropical plant native to South America, specifically Colombia and the southeastern United States. It thrives in rainforests and other humid environments, usually climbing on trees.

Growth and Structure

This herbaceous climbing plant grows approximately 2 to 3 feet tall, with leaves shaped like an oak tree’s lobes. The lobes are deeply divided, giving the plant a unique and attractive appearance. As the plant matures, its leaves become more dissected and more expansive, measuring up to 1 foot long or more.

Philodendron Pedatum displays a moderate growth rate, adding to its appeal as an indoor plant for people looking for low-maintenance yet eye-catching foliage.

Care Requirements

The following care recommendations will help your Philodendron Pedatum thrive:

  • Light: These plants prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate moderate shade. Avoid direct sunlight, as it may cause leaf burn.
  • Water: Maintain evenly moist soil but not soggy, as this may lead to root rot. Allow the top inch or so of soil to dry out before watering, and always use a pot with drainage holes.
  • Humidity: Philodendron Pedatum loves humidity, so consider placing a tray with pebbles and water beneath the pot or using a humidifier to maintain humidity levels above 40%.
  • Temperature: To thrive, this tropical plant prefers temperatures ranging from 60-85°F (15-29°C). It’s important to shield it from cold drafts or temperatures below 55°F (13°C) to ensure optimal growth.
  • Fertilizer: Apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength once a month during the growing season. Reduce frequency to every two months during fall and winter.
  • Pruning: Regular pruning is essential to maintain the plant’s shape and size. Trim growth tips and remove dead or damaged leaves as needed.

Remember always to check your plant’s specific needs, as climatic conditions and other factors may require adjustments in care. You can expect your Philodendron Pedatum to thrive with the proper attention and care. While it may closely resemble the Florida Ghost, they are distinct plants with subtle differences in their appearance and care requirements.

Florida Ghost

Philodendron Florida

Origin and Habitat

The Florida Ghost is a rare and sought-after cultivar in the Philodendron family. It is believed to be a hybrid, resulting from a cross between Philodendron pedatum and Philodendron squamiferum. These plants are native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, where they thrive in warm, humid environments.

Growth and Structure

Florida Ghost plants are known for their striking foliage and unique growth patterns. The plant features shallowly lobed leaves, which differ from the deeply pronounced lobes found on Philodendron pedatum leaves. Florida Ghosts typically have smaller leaves compared to their pedatum counterparts. When the plants do flower, which is rare, they produce purple spathes in contrast to the varying cream to brown spathes of the pedatum variety.

The Florida Ghost has a few key characteristics that distinguish it from other Philodendron species:

  • Long stems that give it a vining, climbing growth habit
  • Shallowly lobed leaves with variation in shape and size
  • Rare flowering with purple spathes

Care Requirements

To help ensure the proper care of a Florida Ghost, it is important to mimic the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible with these care tips:

  1. Light: Provide bright, indirect light or filtered sunlight. Direct sunlight may cause leaf scorching.
  2. Humidity: Maintain a humid environment, preferably between 60-80%. A humidifier or regular misting of the leaves can help achieve the desired humidity level.
  3. Temperature: Keep the temperature between 65-80°F (18-27°C) for optimal growth.
  4. Watering: To ensure optimal growth, it’s essential to maintain the soil’s moisture level by keeping it consistently moist, but not overly wet. It’s recommended to wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering the plant again.
  5. Soil: Use well-draining soil, preferably a mix that contains peat moss, perlite, and bark.
  6. Fertilization: Fertilize once a month during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength.
  7. Pruning: Trim overly long vines and remove dead leaves to encourage bushier growth.

By providing the right care conditions, your Florida Ghost will grow beautifully and maintain its captivating foliage for years to come.

Pedatum Vs Florida Ghost


Both Philodendron Pedatum and Florida Ghost are popular houseplants that belong to the Philodendron genus, known for their attractive, multi-lobed leaves. They are climbers, so they require a moss pole for support to grow upwards. One interesting similarity between the two is the rarity of their flowering. In the unusual instance that they do flower, Pedatum produces brown to creamy spathes, while Florida Ghost yields purple spathes.


Despite their similarities, Pedatum and Florida Ghost display significant differences in leaf size, color, and shape. Let’s explore these differences in more detail:

  • Leaf Size and Color: Philodendron Pedatum is a larger plant with solid green leaves, while Florida Ghost is slightly smaller and has a distinct attraction: its young leaves start with a ghostly white appearance that eventually turns into a bright green shade as they mature.
  • Leaf Shape: Pedatum leaves are characterized by deeply pronounced lobes, while Florida Ghost has shallowly lobed leaves. Furthermore, the large leaves of a Pedatum plant change shape as they age, adding an exciting quality that entices many plant owners.
  • Petiole Structure: Another distinction between the two plants is their petiole structure: Pedatum features smooth, green-colored petioles, whereas details about Florida Ghost petioles are not widely available.

Both plants require similar care regarding light, water, and temperature to thrive indoors. However, these distinguishing features are essential to fans of Philodendron plants when choosing between Pedatum and Florida Ghost for their home gardening needs.

Choosing the Right Plant

Space and Environmental Considerations

When deciding between a Philodendron Pedatum and a Florida Ghost, you should consider the space and environment that the plant will be in. The Philodendron Pedatum is a larger plant with larger leaves, making it suitable for more spacious areas. On the other hand, the Florida Ghost is a smaller plant with smaller leaves, fitting well in tighter spaces. Both plants are climbers, so they will need a moss pole for support to reach their maximum height. Keep in mind that the Pedatum typically grows taller than the Florida Ghost.

It’s important to consider the environment in which these plants will be grown. Both plants need indirect sunlight but can adapt to low light conditions. Ensure proper humidity for their growth as well, as both plants prefer moderate to high humidity levels.


In terms of aesthetics, the Philodendron Pedatum has solid green leaves with green petioles that are smooth to touch. The Florida Ghost has lighter leaves with more variegation, and its young leaves are particularly lighter, darkening a bit over time. Additionally, the Pedatum’s leaves have deeper lobes than the Florida Ghost’s leaves.

While the blooms of these plants are rare, they do have distinct differences when they flower. The Pedatum produces cream to brown spathes, while the Florida Ghost produces purple spathes.

Keep these aesthetic differences in mind when choosing between the two. Consider the colors and leaf shapes that best match your desired look for your space.

Ultimately, selecting the right plant depends on the space you have available, the environmental conditions, and the aesthetics you prefer. By considering these factors, you’ll be able to choose the perfect Philodendron to enhance your indoor or outdoor space.

Tips for Success

When dealing with Philodendron Pedatum and Florida Ghost, it’s essential to understand the differences between these two plants to provide the best possible care for each.

One key distinction is their leaf size and structure. Philodendron Pedatum has large leaves with deep lobes, while Florida Ghost features smaller leaves. Keeping this in mind, let’s cover some essential tips for success:

  • Light requirements: Both plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Make sure you place them near a window that receives plenty of natural light, but avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf damage.
  • Temperature and humidity: The ideal temperature range for both varieties is between 65 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme temperature fluctuation might harm the plants, so try to maintain consistent conditions. Use a humidifier to ensure adequate humidity levels, as both plants can benefit from extra moisture.
  • Watering: It’s crucial to monitor the watering schedule carefully. Both plants prefer to dry out a bit between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot or other issues. Make sure to use well-draining soil and pots with drainage holes.
  • Moss poles: Both Philodendron Pedatum and Florida Ghost are climbers and will need a moss pole or other support structure for healthy growth. Keep in mind that Pedatum tends to grow taller than Florida Ghost.
  • Fertilizing: To promote lush foliage, you can use a balanced, liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Avoid fertilizing during winter, as this is the plant’s dormant period.

By following these tips, you can keep your Philodendron Pedatum and Florida Ghost in optimum health and enjoy their beautiful foliage for years to come.

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