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Philodendron Gabby: Ultimate Care Tips [With Buying Guide]

Philodendron Gabby is a unique houseplant known for its rare variegated ‘Cream and white’ leaves, making it an ornamental plant gem.

Philodendron Gabby is carefully grown from stem cuttings in indirect sunlight for 8-10 hours with 70°F-80°F temperature, 50-60% humidity, and well-draining soil to obtain maximum variegation on leaves. 

So read to find out where you can buy some beautiful Gabby plants and how you can better care for them at home.

Philodendron Gabby Overview

This tropical species is originally a Philodendron hederaceum hybrid grown in a controlled environment.

Therefore, unlike other climbing Philodendrons, it only grows several inches in height.

Here is a brief overview of the plant.

FeaturesDescriptions
Scientific NamePhilodendron hederaceum 'Gabby'
Common NamePhilodendron Gabby
Family Araceae
OriginMexico and Caribbean islands
USDA Zone10b to 11
Growth HabitFast Grower
Plant Size4-6 inches height
2-3 inches width
as a houseplant
FoliageGreenish leaves with white or cream colored variegations
Toxicity Toxic to pets and humans

Where to Buy Philodendron Gabby?

You may easily find online stores that deliver Philodendron Gabby to your home.

The plant closely resembles Cream Splash and Philodendron Brazil; many growers advertise fake plants on their websites.

Here is a list of a few online stores, nurseries, and retailers specializing in Philodendron Gabby.

Where to BuySpecification
EtsyDelivered in 3-7 business days
Gabriella PlantsGet delivery by mail within 7-10 days
eBayDelivered within 1-30 days
Aroid MarketDelivery within 3-7 days
Garden Goods DirectDelivered within 3-5 days

A Complete Guide to Philodendron Gabby Care

Philodendron Gabby is a hybrid Philodendron hederaceum grown exclusively for homes. Therefore, they are suitable for growing in most household conditions, such as homes and offices.

A tropical plant species, Gabby requires a conducive environment to thrive indoors.

Unlike their Philodendron hederaceum counterparts that grow 3-6 meters, Gabby only manages to grow several inches.

Keeping these in mind, let us share how to properly grow and care for this ornamental plant.

1. Adequate Sunlight and Proper Location

Philodendrons are originally the shade plants that grow under the shades of large trees in their tropical setting.

Gabby does well in moderate indirect sunlight for at least 7-10 hours a day, where poor lighting may discourage variegation necessary for Gabby variegation.

The same may not be possible at home; therefore, consider providing partial sunlight to dappled sunlight (diffused light).

Shade plant growth
Shade plant growth (Source: PlantPhotoBiology)

 Tips to Provide Adequate Sunlight

  • Place them in a location that receives medium indirect sunlight, such as close to a window or canopy.
  • Do not mistake exposing them to direct sunlight, as it can burn the leaves and ruin the variegation.
  • Place it at least 6 feet from a south-facing window to ensure it receives enough indirect light to survive.
  • However, avoid keeping them in low light areas that do not receive significant sunlight because low light will encourage leggy growth.
  • Consider moving them inside under the LED grow light to induce the perfect artificial growing condition in winter.
  • Introduce your plants to grow lights such as a fluorescent or LED lamp for 7-10 hours a day.

2. Moderate Watering

Philodendron Gabby enjoys regular watering during the growing season. However, ensure the top 40% of the soil dry out between watering to prevent excess moisture buildup in the ground.

A three-inch pot will require 200ml of water every 6-days, while a five-inch pot will require 900ml of water every 7-days.

Gabby is more likely to suffer from overwatering problems than underwatering because the plant roots will suffer in waterlogged soil. Therefore, it is better to miss watering than overwatering the plant.

Tips for Adequate Watering

  • Let the top few inches of soil dry out between watering.
  • Water every week during the active growing season but cut back to 2 weeks or more in winter.
  • Use rainwater or filtered water with no salt contents for watering the plant.
  • Ensure to let the water sit overnight (room temperature) before watering to avoid cold stress.
  • Remove the water collected in the saucer immediately upon collection.

How to Revive an Overwatered Plant?

The early indications of an overwatered Gabby are drooping and wilting leaves with some yellowing.

It may increase root rot and stunted growth.

  • Cut back on watering and let the soil dry to treat slight rot conditions.
  • Check for signs of improvement before watering again.
  • If the situation does not improve, slide out the plant to check for root rot.
  • Carefully prune away limp, dark, and mushy parts.
  • Apply some antifungal powder before transplanting it to a new potting mix.
  • Throw away severely rotten plants to avoid transmission of fungus to other plants.

An underwatered plant is easy to treat with deep watering or controlled water treatment.

Place the pot in a container with water and let it soak naturally until the topsoil is slightly moist. Remove the plant and move it to its original location.

3. Warm Temperature

Being a tropical plant, it enjoys warm temperatures around the year.

Philodendron Gabby prefers an ideal temperature of 20°C-27°C (70-80°F) as it encourages healthy foliage growth and rich variegation.

Soil temperature range
Appropriate soil temperature range (Source: University of British Columbia)

However, avoid placing them in drafty places with low temperatures to prevent the excessively moist condition.

Tips to Maintain Adequate Temperature

  • Gabby plant does well in warm conditions with high humidity, such as close to kitchen and bathroom areas with enough indirect sunlight.
  • Avoid placing them in low-light areas with less or no sunlight.
  • Remove them from places with a heater or air conditioner to prevent dry foliage.
  • Move them inside under grow light during winter to prevent cold stress.
  • Alternatively, you can use a frost blanket or heating pads to preserve the soil warmth.
  • Setting up a greenhouse will work effectively in growing and nurturing the plant.

Note: Temperature below 10°C (50°F) will kill the plant, and anything above 90-degrees can invite severe drought conditions.

4. Moderately Humidity

Philodendron Gabby requires a moderate humidity level to prevent foliage problems.

A 50-60% humidity level would be adequate to keep the Philodendron Gabby slightly moist while abating excessive wetness.

Philodendron thrives in high humidity conditions in the wilderness; therefore, you should ensure that at home.

However, they do not require excessively high humidity because the plant absorbs most water through their root system.

On the other hand, extremely low humidity in arid conditions may encourage curling, wilting, and drooping leaves.

Tips to Maintain Adequate Humidity

  • Gabby does well among other tropical houseplants. Plant them along with other plants to boost humidity levels naturally.
  • Mist the plant occasionally during the growing season at early hours.
  • Use a room humidifier to boost the humidity level inside the home.
  • Alternatively, place the plant on a pebble tray filled with water or close to the kitchen and bathroom area.

5. Well-draining Soil with Organic Matter

Philodendron Gabby grows best in well-draining soil with organic matters that offer aeration. Choose a well-draining compost mix with coco coir, perlite, or vermiculite to encourage easy drainage.

The right soil type will encourage Gabby roots to absorb water and air, and the moisture retained from the soil will be passed to other parts of the plant.

Prepare a light, porous, and organic potting mix at home using regular potting materials, or consider buying a commercial potting mix meant for aroids like Philodendron.

Philodendron potting mix
Philodendron potting mix (Source: Amazon)

Home Made Potting Mix Recipe for Philodendron Gabby

  • Add one part of cactus or succulent mix with perlite, coco coir, and farm manure or worm casting.
  • You can make the solution bulky yet light by using coconut husk, bark, and dried leaves.
  • Add sphagnum moss to the mix to make the soil more alkaline (5.5-6 pH).

Note: Light soil mix prevents soil compaction, allowing good air circulation inside the container.

6. Regular Fertilization

Although Philodendron Gabby is not a voracious feeder, they enjoy mild fertilization throughout the growing season. Regular fertilizing will encourage healthy foliage set with higher chances of obtaining variegation.

Feed the Philodendron Gabby with a well-diluted balanced fertilizer once a month in the growing season (spring and summer).

A recently repotted plant would not require fertilizing for a few months as the fresh soil has all the nutrients needed for the plant.

Using a balanced liquid fertilizer will prevent burning the roots while providing essential micronutrients to achieve vertical growth.

Apply balanced liquid foliage booster, all-purpose liquid fertilizer, or 5-5-5 NPK granular fertilizer.

Quick Tip: Dilute the solution to half strength by mixing with water to prevent salt accumulation in the soil.

7. Growth Habit

Produced from a long-term mutation, Philodendron Gabby exhibits slightly different growth habits than other Philodendrons.

Philodendron Gabby is a Herbaceous vine that grows in climbing or trailing patterns. They feature heart-shaped, waxy leaves with slender, curled ends.

They have swirls of dark green, light green, and yellow-green patterns. The plant is solely grown for its decorative leaves with variegated patterns, including light green and cream.

Not all plants guarantee similar variegations; hence, the pattern and color depend largely on successful propagation.

When it is not variegated, it will produce an entirely creamy texture. You would see a thin silver stripe separating the signature cream color from the rest of the dark green leaf if it does.

Variegation seen on a young plant
Variegation as seen on a young plant (Source: Wikimedia)

Remember, the plant produces little to no chlorophyll, requiring ideal growing conditions for upkeep.

They are grown as ornamental plants that fail to grow long like their vine counterparts. It looks great in a hanging basket or draped over a shelf.

The plant will only grow several inches in height. They are appropriate for growing in small or medium-sized pots.

Therefore, consider pruning the plant to prevent lanky growth.

The mature plant will regularly produce yellowing leaves, which should not be a problem. It regularly sheds old leaves to grow new ones.

8. Repotting Philodendron Gabby

Consider repotting the Philodendron Gabby when it gets pot bound, once a year or once in two years.

Gabby does not mind slight root-bound conditions; thus, you need not hasten to repot it to a large container. Wait until the roots are entangled or poking out of the drainage holes.

Repotting A Plant
Repotting aroid plant (Source: Unsplash)

However, you can transplant it to a fresh potting mix once a year to provide nutrient-rich soil for even growth.

When transplanting, choose to move it in early spring to allow plant roots to fill the new pot.

Steps to Repot the Philodendron Gabby

  • Water the plant a night before repotting.
  • Gently slide out the plant by gripping the base of the stem.
  • Take a fresh pot and layer it with pebbles at the bottom.
  • Now, fill the potting mix and place the plant at the center.
  • Fill the rest of the pot with the potting mix, leaving a few inches at the top.
  • Deeply water the plant to allow roots to establish in the soil quickly.

Note: You can also take some cutting at this time for propagation.

When moving to a new pot, ensure the pot is not much bigger than the root size. A pot two inches more significant than the root ball will suffice. Similarly, use pots made with porous material and a few drainage holes to ooze out excess water.

Here are a few recommendations for a suitable container;

ContainerPot MaterialSpecification
Clay Pots,Brajttt 6.28 inchEarthen ware, CeramicIt allows good drainage and air permeability.
8” Clay Pot for Plant with SaucerTerracotta, ClayThe 8" in height and outer diameter provide ample space for root growth.
Large 10” Terracotta Plant PotTerracotta, CeramicThe 40-B-L-1 earthenware pot is best for growing houseplants for proper drainage.

Follow this guide to Successfully repot your Philodendron plant

9. Pruning Philodendron Gabby

Philodendron Gabby is a trailing plant like most other philodendrons; hence, pruning the plant will stay bushy and small.

The old leaves will fall naturally, requiring less maintenance. Trimming the thin and leggy stems will keep them short and bushy.

Pruning yellow leaves
Pruning Yellow Leaves (Source: Pixabay)

You can skip this step if you want the long vines, but it is not recommended. The best thing about Gabby is that you can keep it in whatever shape you want.

Start trimming bare and leggy stems near the nodes when cutting back on growth, (Properly cut stems to allow for successful propagation).

Next, remove old and decayed leaves; however, there would be not much to trim.

Toxicity of Philodendron Gabby

Philodendron Gabby is known to be toxic to humans and pets. Eating the leaves can cause a burning sensation and induce vomiting or diarrhea.

The plant stems and leaves contain calcium oxalate in varying concentrations with mild to severe toxicity.

Keep young children and pets away from the plant.

Call Poison Control at US (800) 222-1222 or contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA at US (888) 426-4435 for pets.

How to Propagate Philodendron Gabby?

Propagating Philodendron Gabby is a great way to produce multiple plants with variegations at home.

Because it is a hybrid plant produced from stem culture, trying to produce new plants other than stem cuttings will not be possible.

Mature gabby plant
Mature Gabby Plant (Source: Pinterest)

Therefore, propagation via stem cutting will be your best and safest bet to get multiple plants.

According to BHG.com, if your mother plant is large enough, take three to five cuttings at one time and let all of the roots in the same container.

Propagation via Stem Cuttings

Here is how you can propagate your beloved plant through stem cuttings.

Step 1: Cut the Stem

Water the plant a few days before taking the cutting to obtain healthy stems.

  • Choose a stem or couple of stems with a few leaves attached.
  • Pick more rigid, woodier stems than new growth at the top.
  • Use a sharp knife or pruning shear to cut horizontally or vertically between two nodes.
  • Snip just below the node leaving as little stem as possible.
Cutting Stem for propagation
Cutting Stem for propagation (Source: Pexels)

Step 2: Prepare the Cuttings

  • Remove bottom leaves from the cutting except for a pair of leaves at the top.
  • Set the cutting aside for 12-24 hours to thicken the cut a bit.

Step 3: Use Potting Mix

Directly growing the cutting in a potting mix prevents rooting it in water.

  • Apply rooting hormone to the cutting’s end to speed up the rooting process.
  • Next, prepare the potting medium by choosing a well-draining commercial or homemade organic mix.
  • Choose small sized pot (3-inches). Fill with the potting mix and water it thoroughly.
  • Gently insert the cutting into the soil mix right at the center and cover the tray with clear plastic to lock in moisture and humidity, but do not forget to poke holes in the plastic to allow aeration.
  • Place the pot in an area that receives warm, indirect light with a temperature around 70°F (21°C).
  • Check for new roots after two weeks. Once the roots are 1-2 inches long, they are suitable for growing further.
Potting Mix Preperation
Potting Mix Preparation (Source: Unsplash)

Note: Philodendron Gabby is a self-header plant that can grow without needing any support.

Step 4: Using Hydroponics (Water medium)

Propagating the stem cutting in water is another way to go with propagation.

Also known as Hydroponics, it encourages rooting in water without a potting medium.

  • Get a small jar or clear glass for water propagation.
  • Start with using distilled water instead of regular tap water.
  • Submerge the cutting into the jar and place it in a warm surrounding.
  • Replace the water every five to seven days with fresh water.
  • You would witness new roots within two weeks.
  • Check for a healthy set of new roots at least 1-inch long.
  • It is time to transplant the cutting into a potting medium.
Propagating Plant in water
Propagating stem cuttings in water (Source: Pexels)

Read our article about propagating a variegated tropical such as Philodendron Pink Princess.

Common Problems of Philodendron Gabby

Gabby, as a houseplant, is not free from common pests, diseases, and problems.

Here are a few issues that your beloved plant will probably encounter and ways to treat them

1. Pest Infestation

Houseplant pests are common enemies of Philodendron Gabby attracted to its juicy sap and leaves.

Common pests like mealybugs, aphids, thrips, and scale may get attracted to Philodendron Gabby.

pothos plants attract bugs
Aphid on a leaf (Source: Unsplash)

Here is a table describing the pests and their problems.

PestsProblems
MealybugThey mostly infect root and foliage.

They suck the sap from the leaves, leaving them wilted and discolored.

AphidsAphids are cricket-like creatures with back legs that suck up saps from the plant leaves and stems.

When the infestation grows, your plant wilt and starts dying.
ThripsThrips are small, brown insects that mainly feed on leaves.

They mainly infect overwatered plants or those placed in damp locations.
ScalesScaly insects are tiny, waxy pests that infest on leaves.

Yellow or rust-colored spots will start developing on the leaves, and the sap will begin drying up.

Solution and Preventive Measures

  • Most infestations can be controlled by washing the plant with simple warm water and soap solution.
  • Alternatively, spray the plant with water from the hose to disperse tiny pests.
  • Apply Neem oil on the plant to effectively kill and prevent pest infestations.
  • Use low-toxic insecticides like pyrethrin or insecticidal soaps to control pests without damaging the plant.
  • Use the commercial potting mix to prevent aphid infestation in the future.

Learn more about identifying harmful and beneficial garden bugs

2. Horticultural Diseases

Gabby is prone to a few horticultural diseases common in most Philodendron plants.

Being a tropical plant, it acquires diseases commonly found in garden settings, such as rust spots, fungal infections, or simply root rot.

DiseaseProblems
Root rotDrooping and rapidly yellowing leaves, stunted growth and a rotten brown base is the primary sign of possible root rot.

Brown and mushy texture on the root is another sign.
Rust SpotsTiny specks or spots on leaves that range in color from orange to rusty-brown, brownish-yellow, purple and red.
Fungal InfectionA fungus that invites a range of plant diseases; mildew, fusarium wilt, rhizoctonia rot, etc.

It may cause plant stress, stunted growth, and drooping leaves.

Solution and Preventive Measures

  • Start with disposing of the plant with severe root rot condition.
  • For slight decay, cut back on watering until the plant’s health improves.
  • Otherwise, prune the infected root and transplant it to a fresh potting mix.
  • Apply low-toxic fungicide containing Flutriafol on the soil to remove rot conditions and rust fungus.
  • Avoid overhead watering to prevent wetting the leaves.
  • Follow the correct watering schedule mentioned above to avoid waterlogged soil.

3. Crispy or Browning Leaves

Crispy or browning leaves on Philodendron Gabby indicate severely underwatered plant or sunburn. You would also witness the plant leaves losing their variegation.

Start with the water treatment to make the soil moist for the regrowth of roots.

Brown spots in Philodendron.
Brown spots in Philodendron. (Source: Flickr)

Consider deep watering the plant and leaving it to rest until it recovers. Alternatively, immerse the pot in a large container filled with water to soak the moisture naturally.

When the plant comes back to its original state, you can resume the usual maintenance.

Read more about How to treat and prevent brown leaves on Philodendron.

4. Loss of Variegation

A Philodendron Gabby may lose variegation overtime or not produce any variegation at all.

The failure to produce variegation is linked to failed propagation method. Most cuttings fail to generate the signature variegation.

In other cases, variegation loss may indicate poor growing conditions, seasonality, or other factors.

Significantly, poor lighting or low-light conditions may cause Gabby plants to fade variegation.

The affected plant will start exhibiting entirely cream-colored leaves that may overtake the entire plant. The limited chlorophyll production in leaves may push the plant to become less vigorous.

Although there is no way to revert the loss of variegation, you can try preventing it by providing a proper growing condition, especially indirect lighting.

5. Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves in Philodendron Gabby indicate low humidity levels. Too much sun, arid conditions, and lack of moisture in the air may encourage yellowing.

It may also occur if the watering is not done right or when the soil is too dry.

  • Maintaining the watering schedule during the growing season will keep the soil slightly moist.
  • Mist the plant occasionally in summer to prevent dry foliage.
  • Adding a room humidifier may also help boost the humidity level in the indoor air.

6. Droopy or Curled Up Leaves

Drooping leaves on Philodendron Gabby may indicate a different set of problems.

Overwatering is one of the major causes of droopy leaves on Gabby plants. Low humid conditions and cold stress may also encourage curled-up leaves.

The temperature drop in fall or winter may give the plant frostbite, causing leaves to curl up.

Bring the plant inside the home and place them under artificial grow light to prevent cold stress. Alternatively, you can use insulation or heating mats to keep the plant warm indoors.

Additional Tips for Growing Philodendron Gabby

Here are a few tips to ensure that your Philodendron Gabby is on the right track.

  • A slowed plant growth can easily be treated by using coffee beans. Place the beans in the soil to rejuvenate the plant.
  • Even indirect lighting can burn the plant leaves. Ensure to place it 6 feet or 2 meters away from the natural light source.
  • Use low to medium-intensity grow lights to provide ample lighting for plant growth.
  • Leggy leaves and stems appear due to low light. Provide at least 8-10 hours of diffused lighting each day to encourage even growth.
  • Gabby resembles other variegated Philodendron plants, providing similar care to your Gabby plant.
  • The variegated pattern may not be similar in every propagated plant, so do not quickly lose hope.

Conclusion

Philodendron Gabby is neither a rare nor difficult plant to maintain, but it requires ideal growing conditions to thrive. Beware of buying fake Gabby from untrustworthy websites.

Check for the seller’s credibility and reviews before making a purchase. Follow the above guide to diagnose your plant for problems and apply effective treatments pronto.

Related Article: Philodendron Giganteum: Where to Buy, and Care Tips

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