Some houseplants share a striking resemblance, even though they are different species. Two such plants that vendors frequently mislabel due to their resemblance are philodendron pedatum and Florida ghost.
The two plants belong to the same genus Philodendron but are of different species. However, they look incredibly alike, so you would be forgiven for thinking one is the other.
Still, these two plants native to different parts of South America are not the same. Knowing how they compare can help you choose the right one for your home.
Read this philodendron pedatum vs Florida ghost article to learn the differences and similarities between these two beautiful houseplants.
About Philodendron Pedatum
Philodendron pedatum is a vining houseplant native to Brazil that has large multi-lobed leaves with smooth green petioles attaching them to the stems.
The plant belongs to the genus Philodendron, which contains roughly 600 species of tropical flowering houseplant plants.
Philodendron pedatum can grow to a length of up to 30 feet. The large deeply-lobed leaves are typically lighter colored when new but get darker as they age. The mature leaf color can be deep blue-green or bright green.
Flowering is rare with this plant, but then they do appear, they are usually white and small in size. The leaf shape will typically vary depending on the age of the plant.
Philodendron pedatum types
Philodendron pedatum has various forms and types, making it highly variable. Its common types include philodendron glad hands, philodendron pedatum raindeer, and variegated philodendron pedatum.
While these are different types of the same plant species, they typically look alike and share most of their characteristics.
About Florida Ghost
Philodendron Florida is a vining houseplant with relatively smaller leaves than Philodendron pedatum, giving it a more compact form. Its leaves are slightly lobed and dark green with a smooth texture when fully mature.
The plant’s leaves undergo multiple color changes at various stages of their life. They are typically cream-colored, whitish, or light green as they emerge. The new leaves then take on different yellow-green or light-green hues as they age.
These hues will continue until the dark green leaves become fully mature, taking on a more permanent shade.
While both Philodendron pedatum and Florida ghost are tropical plants native to South America, the latter was originally found in Colombia and the southeastern United States.
This herbaceous climbing plant grows to approximately two to three feet tall. It is hardy and low-maintenance, making it ideal for new plant parents.
Philodendron Pedatum Vs Florida Ghost Side-By-Side Comparison
Philodendron pedatum and Florida ghost belong to the same genus Philodendron. So they share several qualities, but they are not exactly the same plants.
The two tropical houseplants have just as many differences as they have similarities. We will look at both below.
Philodendron Pedatum vs Philodendron Florida: Differences
You can tell Philodendron pedatum and Florida ghost by looking at their leaf sizes. The latter is a smaller plant with smaller leaves. On the other hand, the Philodendron pedatum has large leaves with deep lobes.
While the leaf shape and size are primary differentiators between the two tropical plants, they are not all.
This section looks at the features or qualities that set Philodendron pedatum and Florida ghost apart.
This comparison should help you identify one or the other with relative ease.
1. Leaf color
The leaf color is one of the primary fealties that set philodendron pedatum Florida ghost apart.
Philodendron pedatum has large leaves with an even darker green color. Each leaf is attached to the stem by a smooth green petiole.
This plant species generally don’t produce variegated leaves. The leaf color remains consistent across its entire lifecycle, though it gets darker with age.
The Florida ghost, on the other hand, produces variegated or pale leaves that gradually darken with age.
The leaves on some Florida ghost varieties even come out when they are completely white. However, even these gradually take on a light or bright green coloration that darkens as they mature.
Also, unlike Philodendron pedatum, the stems and stalks on the Florida ghost plant are reddish with a characteristic rough texture.
2. Leaf shape
Both philodendron pedatum and Florida ghost have multi-lobed leaves. However, the lobes on philodendron pedatum leaves are deeply pronounced, while Florida ghost has shallowly lobed leaves.
Also, the large leaves of a philodendron pedatum plant change shape as they age. This quality makes the plant pretty exciting for most plant owners.
Philodendron Pedatum leaves typically have an oval shape when they emerge and develop their lobed feature as they age.
The plant’s leaves can have different structures in different light levels. When exposed to brighter light, your philodendron pedatum will develop wider but less indented leaves. However, if the plant grows in the shade, its leaves will be more indented.
The smaller Florida ghost leaves, however, have a more consistent shape, even though slight variations in lobe sizes and indentation exist.
Despite the slight variations in lobe sizes and indentation, Glorida ghost leaves generally remain similar in shape.
3. Plant size
Philodendron pedatum is larger than its Florida ghost cousin. Both of them are hardy climbers that develop vines as they grow, but philodendron pedatum will generally develop longer vines than Florida.
4. Flowering habit
Both of these philodendron plants produce flowers, but on very rare occasions.
However, when they bloom, the philodendron pedatum flowering plants will have cream-colored or brown spathes. On the other hand, the spathes on Florida ghost tend to be purple when it does bloom.
5. Plant height and shoot structure
As already mentioned, Philodendron pedatum is a larger plant with broader, deeply-lobed leaves that likes to spread.
Its spreading habit will be enhanced under brighter light conditions, which encourage it to develop nearly round leaves that fan out from its core.
On the other hand, Florida ghost likes to retain a compact form and a relatively small profile. This makes it more suitable for smaller rooms. In addition, its compact form gives it a denser-looking, lush appearance.
However, both plants may climb only as high as the support you give them. But philodendron pedatum will generally have longer vines. With the right support, it will likely grow to about ten feet or taller.
Given the right growth conditions, your Florida ghost will only reach about half the height of its P. pedatum cousin.
Philodendron Pedatum vs Philodendron Florida: Similarities
You already know that both of these are philodendron plants that prefer a tropical climate. However, their similarities do not end there.
They are both hardy climbers with lobed leaves, even though their leaf sizes and indentation level differ.
Here are the other shared characteristics between the two plants that you should keep in mind when considering them for your home.
Both philodendron pedatum and Florida ghost can produce flowers, even though they rarely do.
In the rare event that either plant produces flowers, the emerged flowers are often tiny, growing up to about 12 inches only.
2. Light preference
Both Florida ghost and philodendron pedatum prefer bright, indirect sunlight, as many tropical plants do.
Exposing them to too much direct sunlight can lead to the yellowing of leaves. Prolonged exposure will cause the leaves to turn brown and likely die.
So, ensure you keep the plants in a sheltered place away from direct sunlight but where they can get all the brightness they need to blossom.
3. Soil type preference
Whether you have philodendron pedatum or Florida ghost, a well-drained potting mix with a loose texture is recommended.
Both plants prefer a lot of organic matter around their roots, so you will want to go for pure peat moss or any well-drained soil with lots of organic fertilizer.
Some gardeners recommend a potting mix with no soil at all. But anything with good moisture retention should work as long as it is loaded with organic matter and has good drainage.
4. Growth requirements
Both plants are tropical, so they have similar requirements for cultivation. More specifically, Florida ghost and philodendron pedatum do well in warmer climates characterized by high or moderate humidity.
The philodendron florida ghost plant care prefers soil neutral pH just like Philodendron Pedatum. They will also grow in slightly acidic soil types, but not one with high alkalinity.
5. Fertilizer requirement
Lots of decomposing plant matter characterize the tropical climates where these plants originally grow.
This conditions them to require a lot of fertilizer, preferably slow-release types that stay in the soil for extended periods, feeding them slowly but constantly over time. The idea is to ensure the soil never stays without fertilizer.
You could also consider feeding the soil with half-strength nitrogen-rich fertilizers whenever you’re watering your philodendron pedatum or Florida ghost.
Nitrogen is an essential component of the plant’s chlorophyll molecule. Feeding your houseplant with adequate amounts of nitrogen contributes to its lush, green appearance and boosts its ability to capture the energy from the sun through photosynthesis.
As a result, the large leaves of these plants will easily stay green and healthy.
Just remember to cut the fertilizer supply during colder months and apply none in winter.
6. Plant toxicity
Most indoor plants native to tropical rainforests typically contain calcium oxalate crystals in their sap as a natural adaptation against leaf-eating animals. Calcium oxalate is a type of salt that is toxic, especially to pets.
Since this substance exists in the fluids inside the plants’ stems and leaves, you want to keep your dog, cat, or kids from getting in contact with them.
Ingesting the sap from Florida ghost or philodendron pedatum leaves and stems will result in sore throat, swollen tissue, and sickness overall. In pets, this poisoning can easily be fatal.
7. Watering requirements
Both plants prefer loose soil for a reason—they do not like their roots staying in soggy soil for too long.
This means you will need to have a regular watering routine but ensure you wait until the soil is dry before each subsequent watering episode.
Adding water to the soil before it is dry can lead to root rot due to prolonged wetness.
Ideally, you should water both plants about once a week during the water summer and spring seasons. However, the frequency of watering should reduce as the weather gets colder. You may need to water the houseplant only about once every two weeks in winter.
8. Resistance to pests and diseases
Both Florida ghost and P. pedatum are hardy plant species, so they display significantly high resistance to pests and disease.
The plants may still occasionally suffer attacks from common pests, including mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. However, these infestations are often easy to treat, thanks to the plants’ resilience.
9. Growth habits
Both philodendron pedatum and Florida ghost are climbing, vining houseplants. While each of them has its maximum height and length, they each require supporting elements to climb and grow to their maximum length.
The best support for these philodendron plants is a sturdy moss pole, even though neither will mind climbing up any other support element.
Is Philodendron Pedatum the same as Florida?
No, Florida and pedatum philodendrons are different plant species with various distinguishing characteristics. For instance, the petiole on Florida has a dark reddish color and wart-like bumps, while Pedatum has a smooth petiole with a medium to dark green color and a rosy tinge.
Also Read: Neon Pothos Vs Lemon Lime Philodendron
What is the difference between Florida Beauty and Pedatum?
The main difference between Florida beauty and Philodendron pedatum is the color and texture of the petiole. While Florida beauty has a dark reddish petiole with a rough texture, Pedatum has a smooth dark green smooth petiole.
Is Philodendron Pedatum rare?
Yes, despite being a low-maintenance, fast-growing houseplant, Philodendron pedatum is still rare in many regions. However, it is still easy to grow and propagate once you have it in your home.
Is a Florida green a Pedatum?
No, Florida green and philodendron pedatum are two different plants belonging to the same philodendron genus. However, the two plants share many similarities, including the preference for high humidity and loose soil types.
Many vendors tend to mislabel closely related plants like philodendron pedatum and Florida ghost. This can present a huge challenge when trying to buy one plant and not the other.
However, knowing how the plant you want compares to its close relatives can help you avoid any mix-ups.
We hope this philodendron pedatum vs Florida ghost write-up clarifies things, eliminates any confusion you might have had, and leads you to the correct choice of a houseplant for your home.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.