Do you have a Philodendron? If not, the Philodendron Heartleaf is a cool choice. This plant’s from Central America and the Caribbean, and it’s great indoors or outdoors. In this guide, we’ll chat about the basics of heartleaf philodendron care. We’ll dig into water and light needs, soil mix, etc. So, if you’re new to this or a plant pro, this guide’s got something for you. Let’s get started!
What is a Heartleaf Philodendron?
A Heartleaf Philodendron plant (Philodendron hederaceum or Philodendron scandens) is a kind of evergreen vine that’s from the tropical spots of Central America and the Caribbean. It’s named for its heart-shaped leaves, which can be deep green to yellow-green. A Heartleaf Philodendron is also called a “sweetheart plant,” and it’s kin to the pothos and Monstera deliciosa plants, both are fave houseplants.
The Heartleaf Philodendron is a popular houseplant because it’s low maintenance and can handle different types of light conditions. Plus, this plant is good at cleaning the air inside. While the Heartleaf Philodendron is usually grown inside, it can be planted too outside in the shade. With the right care, the Heartleaf Philodendron can get pretty big, getting as long as up to 20 feet.
Heartleaf Philodendron care overview
|Botanical Name||Philodendron hederaceum (synonym Philodendron scandens)|
|Common Name||Heartleaf philodendron|
|Mature Size||Up to 20 feet|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral|
|Native Area||Central America and the Caribbean|
|Temperature||65 to 75°F|
|Light||Bright, indirect light|
|Watering||Water every 5 to 7 days|
|Fertilizer||Every 3-4 weeks during the active growing season|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and toxic to pets when ingested|
Heartleaf Philodendron Care?
The Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) grows fast and is easy to care for. It’s great for newbies, as it doesn’t mind being ignored. Here are some tips on how to care for Philodendron Heartleaf:
Heartleaf philodendrons are common houseplants because they don’t need as much light as many other types of houseplants. They come from the floors of South American rainforests, where there’s not much direct light.
For the best growth, place your philodendron where it can get bright but not direct light for at least three to four hours a day. These plants can also handle different light conditions, from diffused light to almost total darkness, and they can do well under indoor fluorescent lights.
Don’t put the plants in direct sunlight as the leaves can get burned
Just keep in mind that less light makes the plant grow slower. Tiny leaves or big gaps between leaves mean that the plant isn’t getting enough light.
Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum), like most philodendrons, is a plant from the tropics that grows best in soil rich in humus and drains well with a pH somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5.
This plant can’t handle dry spells, so make sure to keep the soil damp, not waterlogged. Store-bought potting soil is a “soilless” blend of peat moss, coconut coir, pine bark, and that perlite or vermiculite stuff. In your pots, avoid using plain coconut coir or sphagnum peat moss since they soak up too much water. If you are growing heartleaf philodendron in a pot, make sure to use a potting mix that’s designed for tropical plants and drains well.
Heartleaf Philodendron like to have their roots in damp, well-draining soil. Let the top bit of soil get a bit dry between waterings. Water more when it’s hot and dry. Giving it too much water can lead to problems such as leaves dropping and roots rotting.
When you give it water, water the soil, not the leaves. This helps prevent leaf spots and other water-caused issues. Đồng thời, try not to get water on the leaves if you can.
If you’re unsure whether or not to water your plant, it’s better to err on the side of too little water rather than too much. These plants are tough and can handle some thirst, but too much water can be deadly.
If you think your plant may be thirsty, feel the soil. If it’s dry a few inches down, it’s time to give your plant water until it leaks out the bottom of the pot. Let the plant drain and don’t let it sit in water.
Heartleaf Philodendron prefers about the same temp as we like, from 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to above 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Try not to expose them to drafts from windows or vents blowing hot or cold air. Changing temps can stress the plant and cause troubles with growth.
When grown outside, heartleaf philodendron will do best in a spot that gets a bit of sun to a bit of shade. It can handle full sun but not more than 25 degrees Celsius, but it’s important to make sure the soil stays damp during hot summer days. If the soil gets too dry, the leaves of the plant start drooping and looking sick.
If you’re growing heartleaf philodendron indoors, it’s important to place it in a spot where it’ll get bright but not direct light.
Some folks might think that more humidity is always good for their heartleaf philodendron, but that’s not always true. In fact, too much humidity can actually harm the plant. The perfect humidity for a heartleaf philodendron is around 40-50%. Anything above or below that can create issues for the plant.
If the humidity is too much, the leaves of the heartleaf philodendron will begin to turn yellow and fall off. The plant might also begin to get brown spots on its leaves. On the flip side, if the humidity is too little, the leaves will start to turn brown and curl up. The plant might also start to make fewer flowers.
So how do you make sure that the humidity around your heartleaf philodendron is just right? One way is to use a humidifier. You can also put the plant on a pebble tray, which is a tray filled with pebbles and water. The water will evaporate and help to boost the humidity around the plant. Just make sure that you don’t let the roots of the plant sit in water, as this can lead to root rot.
Another way to boost the humidity around your heartleaf philodendron is to group it together with other plants. This is because plants release water vapor into the air as they transpire. So, by grouping plants together, you can create a microclimate that is more humid than the space around.
Whatever method you choose, just make sure that you keep an eye on the humidity around your heartleaf philodendron and change as needed.
Fertilizer is super important for heartleaf philodendron plants because it gives them the nutrients they need to grow. The top-notch fertilizer for this plant is a balanced, all-in-one mix that has even amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Apply the fertilizer every two weeks during the growing period, and monthly during the winter. Fertilizer should be applied to the soil around the plant, and then give a good watering. Be sure to follow the directions on the fertilizer package, as too much fertilizer can harm the plant.
When the plant is not in grow mode, you can cut back on how often you fertilize it to once a month or even less. If you see the leaves of your plant going yellow, this is a sign that it’s not getting enough fertilizer. Fertilizer it more often in this case.
Every two to three years, you should repot your heartleaf philodendron to give it fresh potting mix and make sure the container is large enough for the root system. Plants with bound roots in containers will grow slower.
A crucial point: avoid adding a “drainage layer” to the bottom of pots while adding growing soil to them. For a very long time, new gardeners were instructed to follow this highly recommended method. However, it has been shown that this does more bad than good.
Water stops moving down the soil makeup by gravity when it hits this drainage bit formed by rocks or small stones. The entire potting soil must fill with water before the water percolates into the layer, making the layer problematic rather than beneficial.
Philodendrons can be grown as hanging, trailing, or table plants. Pruning your philodendron regularly, no matter the look, will help your plant lookin’ good.
To prune your Heartleaf Philodendron, start by getting rid of any dead or dying leaves, stems, or roots. Cut these back to the main stem of the plant. Next, cut off any damaged or diseased leaves, stems, or roots. Finally, shape the plant by trimming off any long or leggy stems.
When pruning your Heartleaf Philodendron, make sure you use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. This will help keep diseases from spreading. Also, make sure to get rid of any trimmed leaves, stems, or roots in the trash—don’t compost them.
Heartleaf Philodendron Propagation
Propagation is how you make new plants from a parent plant. There are many different ways to propagate plants, but some of the usual ways for heartleaf philodendrons include snippets from the stem, splitting, and tissue culture.
- Stem cuttings are one of the easiest and most popular methods of propagation. To take a stem cutting, use a sharp knife or pair of scissors to remove a 4-6 inch section of stem from the parent plant. Make sure that the cutting includes at least 2-3 leaves. Once you have your cutting, dip the cut end in rooting juice and then place it in a pot filled with damp potting mix. Be sure to keep the cutting moist and in a warm place out of direct sunlight. Within a few weeks, you should see new stuff sprouting from the cuttings.
- Propagating by division is another popular method, and can be done when you’re giving your plant a new pot. To divide your plant, simply carefully remove it from its pot and then use your hands or a sharp knife to split the root ball into two or more sections. Each section should have several healthy roots and at least one leaf. Replant the sections in separate pots filled with damp potting mix and keep them warm and out of direct sunlight until they get used to their new homes.
Propagating heartleaf philodendrons by tissue culture is a more advanced method that is best left to experienced growers. In tissue culture, small pieces of plant tissue are grown in super clean conditions on a nutrient-packed jelly. This method can be used to propagate plants that are tough to propagate, or to make loads of clone plants.
Whichever method you choose, propagation is a fun and satisfying way to grow new plants from your existing collection.
Heartleaf Philodendron propagation this cut for about 1/2 month
Philodendron Heartleaf Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Heartleaf philodendrons are generally super tough against bugs and diseases. But, there are a few usual troubles that can mess with these plants. Here is a brief overview of some of the most common heartleaf philodendron pests and diseases:
- Aphids: These little, sap-sucking bugs are a usual trouble for philodendron plants. They can lead to growth issues and weird-looking leaves. Aphids can be dealt with using bug soap or neem oil.
- Spider mites: These tiny nuisances are tough to see with the naked eye, but they can cause major harm to philodendron plants. They suck the sap from the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and eventually drop off. Spider mites can be handled with bug soap or neem oil.
- Fungal diseases: Philodendron plants are likely to catch a bunch of fungus issues, including leaf spot and root rot. These diseases can be handled with fungicidal sprays.
Bacterial diseases: Bacterial diseases, like bacterial leaf spot, can also mess with philodendron plants. These diseases can be tackled with bacteria-killing sprays.
- Viruses: Viruses, like the mosaic virus, can cause major harm to philodendron plants. There’s no chemical way to fight viruses; you gotta toss the sick plants.
Pests and diseases can be a big headache for philodendron plants. However, there are a few easy steps you can take to prevent or get these troubles under control:
- Keep your plants healthy by watering them regularly and feeding them as per the instructions.
- Check your plants often for signs of bugs or diseases.
- Isolate any plants that show signs of pests or diseases so that they cannot spread to healthy plants.
- Get rid of any affected leaves or stems.
- Spray your plants with bug soap or neem oil if you spot bugs.
- Spray your plants with fungicidal or bacteria-killing sprays if you spot diseases.
Heart Leaf Philodendron Care Common Problems
If you’re having issues with your heartleaf philodendron, here are some usual troubles to keep an eye out for.
- Yellow leaves: This is usually a sign of too much water. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.
- Brown leaves: This can be a sign of either too much or too little water. If the leaves are crispy and papery, it’s too little water. If they’re limp and mushy, it’s too much. Change how you water as needed.
- Leaves drooping: This is usually a sign of too little water. Water your plant thoroughly, making sure to saturate the soil.
- No new growth: This could be because of a few factors, like too much or too little water, not enough light, or bad drainage. Check each of these and tweak as needed.
Follow the tips above for Heartleaf Philodendron care, your plant will grow healthy and thriving. Make sure to keep an eye out for common bugs and plant diseases, as well as any issues with watering, temperature or humidity. Be aware that this plant is toxic to humans and animals if ingested, so keep it out of reach of children and pets. Happy reading with FamiPlants.