How to Care for Your Philodendron Plant
The plant that's perfect for people with a really bad black thumb. Learn how to care for your Philodendron plant! Trust us, this plant is harder to kill than to keep alive.
It's true that sometimes you need a lot of sunlight and somehow a green thumb to keep houseplants alive, but that's not necessarily the case with the Philodendron plant. It's one of the easiest indoor plants to care for. It's forgiving, low-light tolerant, and low-maintenance. Plus, it's an air-purifying plant. What more can you ask for? It's the perfect plant for people who are cursed with a really bad black thumb. No wonder this plant is highly recommended for beginners or new plant parents.
Fun Fact: Philodendron plant is also known as the sweetheart plant because of the shape of its glossy leaves.
The Philodendron plant originated from the rainforests of tropical Central and South America. This plant can cope with low light conditions but prefers bright, indirect light. An indoor Philodendron plant requires space to grow well since this plant can grow 3 feet tall, and its width can be near twice its height.
Similar to the Hoya plant, some varieties of the Philodendron plant are often placed in hanging baskets or on top of shelves with their vines happily overflowing. One of the most popular members of the Philodendron plant is the Peace Lily, which is an effective bedroom plant for people who have trouble sleeping. However, the Monstera is not a Philodendron at all. Yes, they are both parts of the Arum family like the ever-popular Pothos, and they both have a common heart-leaf shape, but Monstera and Philodendron are not the same.
Another thing you should learn is the Philodendron plant requires pinching to prevent it from growing in long, single stems and becoming thin. Pinch your Philodendron plant by making a clean cut with pruners or sharp scissors. Try to cut it as close to the node or the place where a leaf is attached to the stem. After pinching, a new stem will grow from that node.
Here's everything else you need to know how to care for your Philodendron plant.
|Plant Size||Height: 3 feet
Width: Its width can be near twice its height
Mature Size: 8 feet
|Types of Philodendron Plants||Philodendron Bipinnatifidum or Hope Plant, Philodendron Brasil or Philodendron Silver Stripe, Philodendron Erubescens or Pink Princess, Philodendron Hastatum or Philodendron Silver Sword, Philodendron Hederaceum or Heartleaf Philodendron, Philodendron Micans or Velvet Leaf Philodendron, Philodendron Moonlight, Philodendron Rugosum or Pigskin, Philodendron White Knight, Philodendron Xanadu, and Scindapsus Pictus or Silver Philodendron|
|Sunlight||Philodendron plants grow best in medium light and bright, indirect sunlight.|
|Water||Water when the top 50% of the soil is completely dry.|
|Humidity||Put your Philodendron plant in an environment with higher humidity to encourage larger leaves. However, your Philodendron plant can also thrive in average household humidity.|
|Temperature||It prefers temperatures between 60–80°F during the day and above 55°F at night.|
|Toxicity||Philodendron plant is toxic to both humans and pets.|
|Food||Feed your Philodendron plant monthly in spring and summer with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer that contains macro-nutrients, diluted by half. Feed your Philodendron plant every other month during fall and winter.|
|Pests and Problems||Philodendron plant is prone to common houseplant pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. Use cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol and wipe off pests like mealybugs. You can also shower the plant with water and apply insecticidal soap.|
|Omysa Plant Care Tip||If possible, mist your Philodendron plant regularly to encourage lush growth and shiny leaves.|
Philodendron Plant Care Tips
Philodendron plant will tolerate all kinds of neglect, but it doesn't mean that it can survive on its own. If you're planning to get yourself a Philodendron plant, we suggest that you take the plant outdoors from time to time in a cool spot when the weather permits since Philodendron enjoys outdoors as well. This will also give you a chance to rinse the soil with fresh water and wash the leaves.
Here's a detailed explanation of how to care for your Philodendron plant, from sunlight requirement to common problems and its solutions.
First, on our list on how to care for your Philodendron plant is to put it in a location with medium to bright indirect light. Avoid placing your plant under intense, direct sun because its leaves will burn.
Common Problem: If the leaves of your Philodendron plant are turning yellow, this means it's in a very low light area.
Solution: Yes, your Philodendron plant can adapt to low light areas, but its growth will slow. If possible, it's still best to place your plant in a warm well-lit spot, where it can get bright indirect sunlight. Similar to a Philodendron plant that's getting leggy, this means it needs more light.
Next on our list on how to care for your Philodendron plant is to water it when the top 50% of the soil is dry. It would usually take one to two weeks before you can water your plant again. Plus, it depends on the climate of your area or how much light your plant is getting every day.
Common Problem: If the leaves of your Philodendron plant are turning brown or curling, this means your plant needs more water. However, if the leaves are turning yellow, this means you are overwatering your Philodendron plant.
Solution: One of the most common mistakes of beginners or new plant parents is overwatering the plant. Maybe because of the idea that you need to water your plants every day. However, that's not the case for the Philodendron plant. The general rule of thumb is to water it when the top 50% of the soil is dry.
Incredibly dry soil can be the reason why your Philodendron's leaves are turning brown or curling. In this case, you need to thoroughly soak your plant in your sink for at least 45 minutes. Another reason could be due to your tap water. It's not advisable to use tap water for your plants since it contains chlorine, fluoride, minerals, and salts, which can harm and kill your plant.
If possible, the best solution is to use a water filtration system. However, if it's not available, leave the water in an open container overnight. This will evaporate the natural chemicals like chlorine.
Humidity & Temperature
Adding to our list on how to care for your Philodendron plant is to put it in an extra humid environment to promote larger leaves. It's also best if you can mist it often, place it near a humidifier, or use a pebble tray. Also, your Philodendron plant prefers temperatures between 60–80°F during the day and above 55°F at night.
Common Problem: If the leaves on your Philodendron plant are curling or turning yellow, this could be because there's not enough humidity in its area, or there's a sudden temperature change.
Solution: Increase the humidity around your Philodendron plant by misting it regularly, placing it near a humidifier, or by using a pebble tray. Avoid placing your plant near air conditioning vents, doors, and drafty areas.
Your Philodendron plant is toxic to both humans and pets. Once ingested, it could result in stomach irritation with possible vomiting and swelling of the lips and tongue.
Another on our list on how to care for your Philodendron plant is to feed it monthly during spring and summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer that contains macro-nutrients. This will help your plant produce larger leaves. Feed your Philodendron plant every other month during fall and winter.
Remember to follow the recommended amount of fertilizer and schedule to avoid fertilizer burn or plant burn.
Pests & Other Problems
Your Philodendron plant is prone to insects like aphids and mealybugs. Eliminate these pests by wiping them with cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol. It also helps to shower your plant with water and to apply insecticidal soap.
That's a wrap on how to care for your Philodendron plant. Keep in mind that the key to success with the Philodendron plant is bright indirect light and a humid and warm environment since this is a tropical plant. Simply follow our guide, and we can guarantee you that your Philodendron plant will live for a long time.
Grow your plant knowledge. Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.