Philodendron pedatum vs. Florida is a common comparison that plant enthusiasts talk about.
For collectors, it is important to know the difference so you don’t end up buying the same plant when you want one of each.
Because of their unique looks and exotic appearance both these philodendron plants can be easily confused.
In fact, you’ll see shops and nursery interchange one for the other.
So, to help you clear up any confusion, I’ll discuss the similarities and differences of the Philodendron pedatum and Florida plants.
The Philodendron pedatum and Florida differ mainly in the size, color and shape of their leaves.
The philodendron pedatum is the larger plant of the two. And its leaves are solid green. It also has green colored petioles that are smooth to the touch.
The philodendron Florida is a slightly smaller plant. While it has similar looking lobes to the pedatum, its lobes are wider, and the top lobe is broader and rounder.
The Philodendron Florida also have lighter colored leaves some of which are light green, light yellow green or even closer to white.
Difference Between Philodendron Pedatum and Philodendron Florida
The main difference between the philodendron pedatum and florida are the colors of their leaves.
This is why the Philodendron Florida is a favorite among collectors.
Its colors vary significantly. And there are a few varieties of it available as well.
The most common Philodendron Florida species you’ll is a variegated plant with different leaf colors. Its leaves will stat out light in color, sometimes pale.
These younger leaves will look like light green, pale green, light yellow green or cream-green. Then they will get darker and eventually settle into a green color.
That said, there are varieties available including the Philodendron Florida Beauty which has large lobed leaves with variegations that combine white, light green, yellow and a darker green.
Another well-known Philodendron Florida species is the Philodendron Florida Ghost. This one produces several leaf colors.
So, you’ll see some light green leaves, green leaves, pale white-green leaves and even white colored foliage as well.
In addition to the unique color combinations of the Philodendron Florida, one distinctive feature it also has are its reddish stems.
It inherits this trait from one of its parents, the Philodendron squamiferum.
Of course, the reason the Philodendron Florida and Pedatum look so alike is that the Philodendron Pedatum is the other parent of the Philodendron Florida.
The philodendron pedatum is where the Philodendron Florida gets its uniquely shaped leaves.
But in this case, the Pedatum has larger leaves. Its leaves also consistently stay green.
In fact, they have a dark green color.
Another difference is that if you run your fingers through the stems of both the philodendron pedatum and Florida, you’ll notice that the Pedatum’s stems are smoother in texture while the Florida has a rough stem texture.
The colors of their stems also vary as the Pedatum has the more traditional green stem hue.
Shape of their Leaves
Both the philodendron pedatum and Florida are best known for their large leaves that are multi-lobed. The unique shape along with their impressive foliage size makes them stunning to look at.
Better yet, the leaves keep changing as they grow.
They start out with different shapes when younger. And as the leaves mature, you’ll see them get bigger and the lobes begin to form.
For the Philodendron Pedatum, young leaves start out with an oval shape.
But these will get longer as they grow and the lobes will start forming as the leaves mature.
The leaves of the Philodendron Pedatum typically reach between 6 to 8 inches long. Although, some easily reach 12 or so inches with very deep curves in their lobes.
On the other hand, while the Philodendron Florida has similarly shaped leaves, you’ll notice that its lobes are wider.
In many cases, the top lobe is fatter and rounder as well.
It gets this from its other parent the Philodendron squamiferum, which is also another mult-lobed plant. However, the cuts are smaller giving you thicker green leaf sections.
That said, don’t be surprised to see different variations of the leaf shapes, sizes, depth of indentation and variegations.
A lot of how the leaves of both plants grow will depend on how much light they get.
As such, this affects the overall shape, color, width of the lobes and depth of the indentations.
In addition to the difference in their leaf colors and shapes, the other major difference between the philodendron pedatum and Florida is their size.
The Philodendron pedatum is a considerably bigger plant.
It can grow to about 10 feet tall indoors.
Of course, it has the best chance of doing this if you give it a pole or something similar to climb on. After all, the plant is a natural climber.
On the other hand, the Philodendron Florida is a slightly smaller plant.
It usually maxes out indoors at around 5 feet high or so.
This makes it a shorter plant that’s perfect if you don’t have a lot of free space in your home.
That’s said, it is still large enough to attract attention, especially thanks to its uniquely multi-lobes leaves.
In terms of spread, the same is true.
The Philodendron pedatum tends to spread out to the side more than the Philodendron Florida. The latter usually maintains a more compact shape.
Of course, both the height and spread of both plants can be controlled to a certain degree.
You can do so by pruning the longer or taller stems.
Similarly, you can trim off some stems and use them for propagating these beautiful plants.
One final difference that’s worth mentioning but isn’t very relevant is their flowers.
Both the philodendron pedatum and Florida are flowering plants.
However, they rarely flower or in most cases do not flower at all away from their native habitats.
Therefore, while their blooms look different, it is very difficult to tell the difference between the two plants based on this because you’ll never really see them when grown as houseplants or in your backyard.
But just for completeness, it is worth mentioning that the Philodendron pedatum produces cream to brown colored spathes.
Meanwhile the Philodendron Florida produces purple spathes.
That said, the flowers of both plants are not significant especially when compared to the beauty of their foliage.
As such, if they do bloom, you’ll probably want to prune the flowers anyway.
That’s because the plants will expend energy to produce the flower and maintain them. This diverts the resources that otherwise would have been allocated for leaf production and development.
By pruning the flowers, which don’t look as fantastic as the leaves, you allow the plants to focus all their energy on their leaves instead.
Similarities Between Philodendron Pedatum and Philodendron Florida
Plant Care Requirements
Because the two plants are closely related to one another, their care and growing requirements are very similar to one another as well.
The biggest difference is that the Philodendron Florida is a hybrid that was created from breeding the Philodendron Pedatum and Philodendron squamiferum.
But in terms of growing, they have similar needs.
This makes it easy to care for the other if you already have one plant.
Both the Philodendron pedatum and Florida are evergreen climbers.
This means that when you find them in the forest, you’ll see them clinging onto larger plants and trees. And they will climb up these plants to grow upwards to get more access to sunlight.
As such, both plants grow best when you give them some kind of support.
You can use a moss pole, totem or other vertical structure to climb onto.
This will allow both these philodendrons to grow faster, taller and produce larger leaves.
The plants will also be heathier. And you’ll see them produce the most beautiful leaf shapes and colors.
That said, some gardeners will let them trail or creep as well. While these growing habits will work, I’ve noticed that you won’t get optimal growth from either plant.
Nevertheless, they’ll still look pretty though.
The philodendron Florida and pedatum are used to tropical rainforest environments. And while both plants will grow tall in the wild, they won’t get anywhere as big as the large trees in the forest.
This is why they like to climb.
By clinging onto larger plants and trees, they’re able to get more sunlight as they go up.
This helps them grow better and keeps their leaves healthy as well.
Thus, as a houseplant, they grow best if you give them medium to bright indirect or filtered light. Outdoors, they will thrive in partial or semi-shade.
Try to avoid low light, dim or dark environments as this is not where they like to grow.
In these conditions, you’ll see their growth slow down or even get stunted.
They will likely produce fewer leaves and smaller ones that that.
On the other hand, it is also a good idea to keep the philodendron Florida and pedatum away from direct sunlight.
They can tolerate between 1-3 hours of direct sun on a daily basis.
But anything more on a regular basis can scorch its leaves.
This also means you should not leave the plant in full sun outdoors.
Watering is a very important aspect for these philodendron plants. That’s because they hate sitting in too much water for long periods of time.
Therefore, avoid soggy, wet soil.
This is the most dangerous condition to leave these plants because overwatering can lead to root rot. That’s something that can take down even a large, healthy looking Philodendron.
As such, it is very important to regularly check the soil.
Never water the plant when the soil is still moist or wet. Instead, allow at least the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry out between waterings.
This will ensure that you don’t end up giving the plant too much water.
If you do, the roots will end up swimming in too much liquid, which they don’t like. This will deprive them of oxygen which they need to stay healthy.
In addition to knowing when to water both the philodendron pedatum and Florida plants, it is also very important to use the right kind of soil.
Both plants thrive in loose, well-draining soil.
This allows both oxygen and water to easily get to the roots.
It also prevents waterlogging and compacting.
The good news is that both plants are not fussy when it comes to soil. The key is you don’t want to use soil that retains too much moisture.
If you do, the soil mix will hold onto too much liquid leaving the roots wet.
Philodendrons are generally medium to heavy feeders. And that applies to both the philodendron Florida and pedatum.
Thus, fertilizer is an important part if you want to let both of these species grow optimally.
While they can grow without fertilizer, you’ll easily notice the difference between one that’s been given sufficient nutrients and another that was not fed fertilizer.
All it takes is about 6 months to 1 year and the size and quality of the plant will be significant.
For best results, feed both plants with water soluble fertilizer once a month during spring and summer.
A balance houseplant fertilizer woks very well as this provides enough nitrogen for leaf growth and development.
Pests and Diseases
The two plants are both fairly resilient to pests and diseases. This makes them easy to care for.
That said, you still have to regularly check for any pests since these insects can hitch a ride into your home via any plant you leave outdoors.
If you do end up experiencing pests, the most common are spider mites, mealybugs and thrips.
Make sure to treat the pests as soon as you spot any of them. Also, isolate the affected plant to prevent the bugs spreading to other plants.
As for diseases, leaf spot and blight are the more common issues.
Both are usually caused by excess moisture.
Therefore, avoid wetting the leaves when you water the plants.
If they do get wet, make sure that there is enough air circulation and sunlight to help the water spots dry faster.
One final important similarity between the philodendron pedatum and Florida plants is that both are toxic.
They contain calcium oxalate crystals which will get released when the outer or external layer of the plant breaks.
This is substance is toxic for humans as well as cats and dogs.
Therefore, when there is no cut or break in any of the parts of both plants, they are safe to handle.
However, if the sap is released avoid touching and ingesting this.
For most people, it won’t do much in terms of skin irritation. But if you have allergies or sensitive skin, the sap can cause itchiness and irritation.
More importantly, never ingest any part of the plant.
This goes for adults, young children, dogs or cats. All parts of both philodendrons are toxic.
And they will cause swelling, nausea, vomiting, mouth, tongue or throat irritation.