Philodendron care indoors does require some general understanding of the background and characteristics of this plant before we look at more specific care requirements.
Philodendron is a genus of flowering plants from the Araceae family. There are more than 480 species of philodendrons.
A lot of these species are popular indoor ornamental plants. The name comes from the Greek word for ‘love and affection’ which is philo and from the word dendron, meaning tree.
Philodendrons have numerous ways of growth and are classified in different ways.
Its striking leaves are big and may have deep indentations. They’re very versatile in shape, including oval, heart-shaped, and spear-like.
Philodendrons don’t have a single type of leaves on the same plant- they have younger and older leaves that differ from each other.
It’s a popular indoor plant because the wonderful foliage it displays. Their glossiness and deep green color adds a magnificent jungle feel to homes and offices.
If you want a philodendron as a houseplant, you have two types to choose from-the climbing or the non-climbing varieties.
The former are usually placed in hanging baskets or on a trellis whereas the latter make great upright plants in pots that you can place on the floor or on tables.
But, as the plant usually grows in width which can reach up to twice the height, make sure you have secured it enough space to grow unobstructed.
Philodendron care isn’t difficult and it’s also good for you- it can help you clean the air in your office or living room.
This plant is often confused with the pothos plants; however, they’re different in their leaves-those of pothos have yellow or white splotches.
Note: Philodendrons are toxic to both humans and pets- symptoms of ingesting its parts are tongue and throat swelling, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
These plants are can adapt well to medium and low light, which is common in rainforests-their native environment.
Although the leaves of these plants are mostly green and deep green, you may also find species with red, copper or purplish color.
Decorative and low-maintenance, philodendrons have a lot of great features which make it an ideal house plant!
Philadendron Care Indoors
Your philodendron will thrive in a bright to medium-bright area that’s not directly exposed to the sun. This can be a section near a window where the sun rays won’t be touching its leaves.
If the plant’s getting too much sunlight, several leaves may begin to turn yellow around the same time.
If the plant needs a boost in light, the stems will become long and leggy.
The best temperature range varies from species to species; however, none of them like a temperature that drops below 55 degrees F and stays like that for long periods.
Water & Humidity
Your philodendron wants soil that’s moist all the time. When the indoor air tends to become drier during colder months, it’s essential to balance its moisture.
If you overdo it, there’s a risk of root rot. If the leaves seem droopy and curly, the plant probably has too much or too little water.
All philodendrons want a rich, but loose potting soil which drains well. It should also be rich in nutrients using compost or rotten leaves.
You can grow them in sphagnum peat moss or garden soil abundant in coconut fibres. Alternatively, you can grow your philodendron in water.
Fill one container with tap water with an inch of free space above.
Make sure you leave it overnight for the chlorine to evaporate. Keep the philodendron cut in it and change the water every three days.
In a week or so, you’ll see the plant forming its roots.
If you want to see larger leaves on your philodendron, as well as boost its healthy growth, you should fertilize them on a regular basis.
A good choice is slow-release pellets in the start of the growing season or a liquid fertilizer every week.
In the winter, reduce the feeding to once every month.
Repotting philodendrons is good for them because it will prevent root bound and also boost their growth.
During the repotting, you can also divide an overcrowded philodendron in several pots.
When you notice the current container has become too small for its root, transplant it to a slightly bigger container, 1 to 2 inches larger.
Ensure the pot has a proper drainage system and use a fresh new soil.
Cut off any unhealthy roots looking brittle or mushy.
You can easily propagate your philodendron through cuttings. Use shears and cut a stem around 3 to 6 inches long.
Make the cut above another leaf on the same stem.
Take out all of the leaves except the top two or three and add them in potting soil. The leaves should be outside of the soil.
Set them near a window. The roots will begin to grow within two to three weeks.
To check this out, gently pull the cutting up- if there’s resistance, it means roots have started forming.
Best Philodendron Species
Xanadu or Winterbourn
This philodendron has pleasing exotic foliage. It grows upright; it’s not a climber like most other philodendrons.
The interesting part about it is that the older it becomes, the better it looks.
This amazing climbing philodendron hybrid has dark leaves with white or light-pink blotches. Its foliage can grow up to 9 inches in length and 5 inches in width.
This unique slow-grower has young leaves with dark green color that grow into deep black adult leaves with bright pink spots.
Heart Leaf or Cordatum
This philodendron has big, heart-shaped leaves and dark and shiny foliage. It’s an excellent table or hanging indoor plant.
Other Philodendron Care Tips
Being tropical plants, philodendrons love high humidity and will give back for it with a lush growth and shiny foliage.
Although the plant is able to do well in lower humidity, misting it can really help keep it healthy.
If you notice brown tips on the leaves, it means that the plant needs a boost in humidity. You can try a wet pebble tray or invest in a humidifier.
Wash the leaves regularly using a soft, slightly damp cloth to prevent the pores from becoming clogged.
From time to time, rotate the plant to ensure an even shape.
Trouble Shooting- Common Philodendron Care Issues
Problem: Leaves turning brown or yellow
Cause: Insufficient light or problem with the watering
Solution: Try to place the plant in a brighter area where it won’t get too much direct sun and make sure you don’t leave it in standing water.
Problem: Tiny white cotton balls on the leaves
Solution: You can use soap suds to remove them.
Problem: Leaves begin to curl and/or droop
Cause: Over- or under watering.
Solution: Ensure your plant has a regular watering schedule that won’t leave the soil too moist or too dry for long. You might like to try a soil moisture meter to help you.
I hope you have found this article on philodendron care interesting and helpful.
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