Watering philodendrons right is a big part of making sure they grow lush and vibrant. If you’re asking, “How often to water philodendron?” you’re not the only one. This question pops up all the time among gardening fans and new plant parents. This blog post aims to give full answers, focusing on top tips for watering philodendrons, so your green buddies grow best in their places.
How Often to Water Philodendron Plants?
Usually, Philodendrons like a drink once a week. But, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Philodendrons like their soil to be moist, but not too soggy. If the top layer of soil feels dry when you touch it, that’s your sign to water the plant.
A handy way to check this is by sticking your finger or a little shovel about an inch into the soil. If it’s dry this deep, it’s time to give your Philodendron a drink. Water until you see it coming out the bottom of the pot, then let the extra collect in the saucer before you toss it.
While droopy leaves on a Philodendron might mean it needs water, this sign isn’t always accurate, as it can also mean overwatering. When you’re not sure, it’s better to give less water. The plant is ok with drier conditions, but too much water can really damage your Philodendron by causing root rot.
Remember, watering Philodendrons isn’t about sticking to a strict schedule, it’s about careful watching and reacting to what your plant needs. With time, you’ll get really good at watering your Philodendron, helping it thrive and brighten up your space.
Factors That Impact Watering Philodendron Frequency
While beginner plant lovers might want to stick to a rigid timetable for watering their philodendrons, this might not be the best idea. Doing so could lead to problems, especially overwatering that can cause damaging root rot. Instead of strictly following a timetable, getting to know how the following things affect watering can help you create a well-rounded watering routine that keeps your philodendron happy:
The water needs of Philodendrons change as the seasons roll by. You’ll need to tweak your watering based on these changes.
During winter, your philodendron slows down, and it doesn’t need as much water. The cooler temperatures make the water evaporate slower, so the soil can hold moisture longer. This means your watering routine might only need a check-up every few weeks or maybe just once a month, depending on the size of the plant and where you’ve placed it.
But, winter brings another challenge. As many households crank up their central heating systems during this time, indoor humidity levels tend to fall, creating a dry atmosphere. Even though your philodendron doesn’t need as much water, it still needs a humidity level of at least 40% to keep from drying out. So, even though you’re watering less, it’s still super important to keep the right humidity level.
When spring arrives, the philodendron shakes off its winter sleep and picks up growth. The warmer temperatures and more sunlight create the perfect conditions for new growth, which makes the plant need more water. It’s a good idea to check your philodendron every day, adjusting watering to about once a week or as needed, depending on the plant’s size and location.
Summer is the busiest growing time for philodendrons, and they need a lot of water. Rising temperatures make the water evaporate faster, requiring more frequent watering to keep the plant well-hydrated. You should check your plant every day during this season, with deep watering sessions likely needed once or twice a week to keep your plant happy.
When your philodendron starts to flower, it’s a special time and also a signal that you need to water more. Giving a good soak once or twice a week, or more if needed, will help support the plant during this energy-hungry stage.
The temperature in the room has a big effect on how much water Philodendrons need.
When it’s hot, your Philodendron needs more water to keep healthy and support quick growth. High temperatures get the plant’s body stuff happening faster, speeding up things like photosynthesis and water loss. This leads to the plant needing more water to keep these activities going.
Also, Philodendrons tend to lose more water from their leaves through water loss in warmer conditions. This, along with more water evaporating from the soil—especially in clay pots—makes the plant need more water overall.
But remember that Philodendrons, being from hot and wet climates, love it when it’s always warm. Different kinds of Philodendrons may vary in their toughness, but in general, they like it when nighttime temperatures don’t go lower than 65-70°F (18-21°C) and day temperatures are between 75-85°F (24-30°C).
On the other hand, when it gets cooler, your Philodendron slows down, and it doesn’t need as much water. Cooler temperatures slow down the plant’s body stuff happening, reducing the rate at which it uses water.
Humidity is a big deal for the health and watering needs of Philodendrons. These plants need a minimum humidity level of 40%, although they’re happiest when it’s between 50-70% humidity.
Coming from jungle regions with high humidity, Philodendrons love damp environments. So, if humidity levels are low, the plant might dry out. When the air isn’t humid enough, water evaporates more quickly from the plant’s leaves, effectively pulling moisture from the plant into the dry surrounding air.
This drying out process can happen really quickly in low humidity conditions, which can be dangerous for your plant. If you don’t deal with this right away, it could kill your Philodendron.
Making sure there’s enough humidity can help reduce how often you need to water your Philodendron. You can do this by regularly misting your plant or using a humidifier to keep the right humidity level around your Philodendron. Basically, managing humidity right is a key part in figuring out how often to water your Philodendron.
Philodendrons, being from tropical rainforests, like a rich, well-draining, and damp (but never soaking wet) potting medium that’s similar to their natural habitat.
Most houseplant kinds of Philodendron, like vining types like the Heartleaf Philodendron, grow on trees and, therefore, prefer a slightly different soil mix compared to other houseplants. A mix of 30% plant food, 20% peat, 40% orchid bark with charcoal, and 10% perlite, topped with a thin layer of sphagnum moss, usually works well for these plants.
Tree type philodendrons, while liking this mix, can also do well in a rich plant food mix with 10-20% perlite for improved air and water flow.
But, the most important thing about any soil mix for Philodendrons is how well it drains. If the soil holds too much water, it can cause serious problems for the plant, like root rot, which are easier to prevent than to treat. So, making sure your Philodendron’s pot can drain freely is super important.
Avoid the often-suggested idea of putting stones or pottery shards at the bottom of your pots to help with drainage. Contrary to what you might think, this can actually make the pot hold more water at the bottom, increasing the risk of root rot.
Soil mixes that are too rich are also a bad idea for Philodendrons because they might hold too much water and choke the roots. Always go for a balance that helps the plant hold onto moisture for its health while avoiding soggy conditions that can harm it.
Plastic pots hold onto water much more than clay ones, as water can only escape through the drainage holes at the bottom or evaporate from the surface of the soil. If you choose a plastic pot for your Philodendron, make sure it has plenty of drainage holes that are big enough to let the water out easily, so you don’t water too much.
On the other hand, if you pick a clay or terracotta pot, remember that these materials let water evaporate not only from the surface of the soil but also through the walls of the pot. This makes clay pots a good choice if you want to avoid overwatering and keep the right moisture level, as long as the pot also has enough drainage holes at the bottom.
Pot size is a key factor when figuring out how often to water your Philodendron. Smaller pots dry out more quickly than larger ones because they have less soil that can hold onto water. This might mean that you need to water your Philodendron more often if it’s in a small pot, compared to a bigger pot.
Remember to keep a balance when picking your pot’s size. Choosing a pot that’s too big for your plant can cause problems because the extra soil can hold onto more water than your Philodendron needs, which can lead to overwatering and root rot.
The type of Philodendron and plant size
Your Philodendron’s watering needs aren’t just decided by its exact type but also by how big the plant is. These things really matter to how often and how much you water your Philodendron.
Different Philodendron types have different levels of handling dry spells. For example, the Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum) is known for being okay with more time without water. On the flip side, some Philodendrons like the Tree Philodendron (Philodendron Bipinnatifidum) are more touchy about drought and might need watering more often.
How big your Philodendron is also decides its how much water it needs. Little to middle-sized Philodendrons, chillin’ in a pot no bigger than six inches and kept in the ideal temp range, typically require watering one or two times a week during summer and roughly once a month during winter.
However, bigger plants in larger pots, kept in the same sorta conditions, should get water not as often. A rough idea would be one time a week during the summer and every few months during winter.
What Kind of Water is Good for Philodendrons?
Picking the right kind of water is super important for your Philodendron plants. You know, room temperature or lukewarm water is the way to go, as extreme temperatures can stress out your plants.
Rainwater, with its natural acid-base balance and makeup, is the best for plants, but getting it might not be easy for everyone. As a backup, tap water can do the job. However, the chlorine found in tap water can hurt plants, especially sensitive species like the Philodendron Pink Princess. Good news though, the chlorine can just naturally evaporate from tap water if you leave it to sit overnight.
Got a household water filter with activated coal? Great, it can get rid of chlorine, making the tap water safe for your Philodendrons. Always check the temperature and quality of the water before giving your Philodendrons a drink to make sure they’re healthy and long-lasting.
How to Tell If Your Not Watering Philodendron Often Enough
Being tropical plants that dig constantly damp soil, philodendrons are more likely to get hit by under watering than overwatering. When they’re not watered enough, your philodendron’s leaves may go brown and sag, telling you it needs a drink.
On top of that, low moisture levels can make the leaf edges turn brown, which can spread to the rest of the leaf if the plant is hit by breezes or air conditioning currents. Spot these signs? It’s a wake-up call to water your philodendron more and boost its surrounding moisture, maybe by giving it a regular spritz.
No worries, philodendrons typically bounce back good from periods of under watering. All you gotta do is give the soil a good soaking and make sure it stays constantly damp over the next few days. After two to three waterings, your philodendron should start to show signs of bouncing back.
How to Tell if You are Watering Philodendron Too Often?
Philodendrons give clear signs when they get watered too much. If your philodendron’s leaves are turning yellow and wilting, it’s because there’s too much water around the root ball. Overwatering, lousy draining soils, and using pots without holes for drainage are all usual suspects. This problem gets worse when water piles up around the roots because it can’t drain out the pot’s bottom.
Too much water can kick out oxygen in the soil, messing with root breathing and stopping the roots from working right. When this happens, the roots can’t suck up water and goodies properly, making the philodendron’s leaves turn yellow and droop. Always make sure your philodendron is planted in a pot that drains well and adjust your watering routine to avoid too much water and potential root harm.
How Long Can Philodendron Go Without Water?
On average, Philodendrons can last about 2 weeks without water. However, a bunch of factors can change this, like the size of the plant and the humidity and temperature around it.
Small Philodendrons in dry, hot conditions can kick the bucket quick once they use up the little bit of water stored in their roots and stems. These plants don’t have much water to begin with, so they’re more likely to get hit by drought.
On the other hand, bigger Philodendrons, especially those living in temperate climates, have a better water storage system and a smarter way to fight drought. They can slow down the drying process, which starts at the leaf tips and slowly moves to the stem’s water-conducting vessels. This trick lets them use their stored water more efficiently and survive longer.
This smart way of staying strong explains why Philodendron stems can still have moisture inside even when the leaves look dry on the outside. Getting this can help you take better care of your Philodendron plants, especially when you’re not watering a lot.
Can Philodendrons Die from Overwatering?
Absolutely, Philodendrons are in danger from overwatering, and it can even be deadly for them. When they get too much water, the plant’s roots start to rot, which stops the supply of goodies to the whole plant and can make it go downhill.
Knowing the right ways to water and picking the soil are key to keeping a happy Philodendron. These plants don’t do well in standard potting soil because it’s too heavy, holds too much water, and can get squished together.
Mixing regular potting soil with quick-draining stuff can make a better home for your Philodendron. Stuff like peat, perlite, coarse sand, or coconut coir can improve soil draining and aeration.
A good soil mix might be one part perlite or coarse sand, one part peat, and one part regular potting combo. In some cases, Philodendrons can even grow in 100% peat moss or other soil-less mixtures, like peat mixed with vermiculite or perlite.
It’s kinda funny, while Philodendrons don’t like constantly soaked roots when grown in a substrate, they can be successfully grown in water alone, if the conditions are right. So, understanding the specific water needs of Philodendrons is key to making sure they’re healthy and long-lasting.
How often to water Philodendron depends on numerous factors such as plant variety, pot size, soil type, and light exposure. Generally, try watering your Philodendron every other week or when the pot feels heavier. However, keep in mind that overwatering does more harm than good. Opt for a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix and tailor your watering schedule to your plant’s specific needs. For more advice on Philodendron care, explore Famiplants for comprehensive guides and resources.