Caring for your Philodendron Plant

One of the easiest houseplants to care for, the heart-leaf Philodendron (Philodendron scandens) is a popular choice amongst new plant owners. It's also an air-purifying plant, so what's there not to love? When allowed to grow, the Philodendron will have long, trailing vines, making it perfect as a hanging plant.


Sunlight

Philodendrons thrive in medium indirect light. This means that it would probably do the best by a small window. They can also tolerate low indirect light, so they will work even in a bathroom!

 

Watering

Water your Philodendron every week (or even two), ensuring that the soil dries out between each watering. It also enjoys high humidity, which will allow its leaves to grow larger and quicker.

 

Repotting

As a young plant, your Philodendron probably looks small and short. However, when repotted and allowed to grow, it can eventually become long, trailing vines. Repotting is done best the day after watering to reduce the stress to the plant. Before repotting, prune your Philodendron to your desired length or prune away any unhealthy looking parts of the plant that have stunted its growth. Otherwise if your Philodendron has been growing well, there is no need to prune it.

Choose a pot that's larger (but not more than 2 inches larger in diameter) than your current one. Ensure it has good drainage holes! Release your entire Philodendron from its existing pot by inverting it, then gently massage the root ball so that it loosens up. Trim away any mushy-looking roots (they should look white and healthy).

Fill your new pot with fresh soil. You can add peat moss (a fibrous material that holds water and nutrients in the soil) and perlite (a lightweight volcanic rock power that improves aeration) in equal parts to prevent the soil from compacting too much when watered. Put your Philodendron back in and cover its roots with the potting mix. When done, water it thoroughly until water flows out of the drainage holes.

If you're not confident in doing this yourself, or want it in a fresh new fancy pot, you can engage a repotting service.

 

Fertiliser

You can fertilise your Philodendron weekly with regular plant fertiliser for larger and healthier leaf growth.

  

Propagating

It's very easy to propagate your Philodendron. You can do so by stem-cutting. Cut your Philodendron vine just above a leaf and put it in water or soil. Put the cutting near a window for bright, indirect light and ensure that it gets a constant supply of water - if rooting in soil, keep its soil constantly moist and if rooting in water, make sure you keep the water topped up.

In 2 to 3 weeks, roots should form. When they have reached about an inch in length, they're ready to be permanently potted! Continue to keep it well-watered so that roots continue to grow and strengthen. You can test this by giving your Philodendron a gentle tug. If you feel some resistance, its roots have formed well.

 

Troubleshooting

Leaves turning yellow, followed by stems turning soft and black: Overwatering, which caused root rot. The moment signs of overwatering are spotted, it's important to check for signs of root rot and to trim away any affected parts of the plant - this includes the leaves, stems and roots. Repot your Philodendron if root rot has started to manifest. Make sure to properly sterilise and clean your tools after this, as root rot can spread.

Wilting: Underwatering. Start to water your Philodendron more frequently, ensuring that water flows freely out of your pot's drainage holes each time.

 

You can get the heart-leaf Philodendron hereor the Philodendron Birkin here.

 

P.s. The Philodendron Birkin requires slightly different care, mainly in its light requirements. Instead of medium indirect light, the Philodendron Birkin prefers bright indirect light, so place it by a large window in your home!

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