The Heartleaf Philodendron is a popular houseplant choice known for its vibrant green, heart-shaped leaves and its ease of care. This tropical plant is not only aesthetically pleasing but also adaptable to various indoor environments.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about caring for your Heartleaf Philodendron, ensuring it thrives for years to come.
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About Heartleaf Philodendron
Philodendron hederaceum, also known as the Heartleaf Philodendron, is a gorgeous vining plant native to Central and South America. It is prized for its attractive, glossy, heart-shaped leaves that cascade beautifully from hanging baskets or climb up a support structure. The Heartleaf Philodendron is a low-maintenance plant, making it perfect for beginner plant enthusiasts or those looking to add some greenery to any space without too much hassle.
|Common Name||Heartleaf Philodendron|
|Botanical Name||Philodendron hederaceum|
|Light||Bright, Indirect Light|
|Bloom season||Spring, Summer|
|Water needs||Low, Moderate|
Heartleaf Philodendron Care
Caring for your Heartleaf Philodendron is relatively straightforward. By providing the right conditions and following a simple care routine, you’ll have a healthy and thriving plant.
Heartleaf Philodendrons prefer bright, indirect light. Too much sun can scorch the leaves but too little is not ideal either. Place your plant around a window with filtered light or in an area with bright ambient light.
A well-draining, light potting mix is ideal for Heartleaf Philodendrons. A mix containing peat moss and vermiculite in equal parts will provide adequate drainage and aeration, preventing root rot and ensuring healthy growth.
Maintain a consistent watering routine, allowing the top layer of soil to dry out. Overwatering can lead to the leaves to become dry and wilted. To find the right balance, water only when the soil dries out.
Heartleaf Philodendrons prefer temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-27 degrees Celsius). Keep your Philodendron away from drafts, air conditioners, and heating vents, as extreme temperature fluctuations can cause stress and leaf drop.
Being tropical plants, Heartleaf Philodendrons appreciate higher humidity levels. Aim for a humidity level between 50% and 60%. To increase humidity, place a tray of water near the plant, use a humidifier, or group your plant with other humidity-loving plants.
Fertilize your Heartleaf Philodendron every four to six weeks during the summer months with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer diluted to half strength. Reduce fertilization during the fall and winter months, as the plant’s growth naturally slows down.
Regularly pruning your Heartleaf Philodendron will encourage bushier growth and prevent it from becoming too leggy and weak. Use clean scissors to trim back any long, unruly vines or yellowing leaves. Prune the plant in spring or summer, as this is when it’s most actively growing and can easily recover.
Potting and Repotting Heartleaf Philodendron
Heartleaf Philodendrons do well in a well-draining pot with drainage holes. Choose a conainer that is slightly larger than the current one, as these plants appreciate some room to grow.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Water your Heartleaf Philodendron thoroughly a day before repotting to ease the process and minimize root damage.
- Gently remove the Philodendron from its current pot by carefully tipping it on its side.
- Examine the root system and trim away any damaged, dead, or excessively long roots.
- Fill the new pot with a layer of the prepared potting mix, then place the plant in the center of the pot.
- Add more potting mix, pressing it firmly around the root ball, leaving about an inch of space below the pot’s rim to allow for watering.
- Water the repotted plant thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out of the drainage holes.
Propagating Heartleaf Philodendron (Step-by-Step)
- Select a healthy vine with at least 2-3 leaves and cut a 4-6 inch section just below a leaf node using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.
- Remove the lower leaves, leaving only the top 1-2 leaves.
- Place the cutting in water, ensuring that the leaf node is submerged. Keep the jar in a location with bright, indirect light
- Wait for roots to develop, which usually takes 2-4 weeks.
- Once the roots are at least 1-2 inches long, plant the cutting into a pot filled with the appropriate potting mix and care for it as you would a mature plant.
Heartleaf Philodendrons are grown primarily for their foliage, not their flowers. Blooms are rare in indoor settings and usually appear as small, greenish-white spathes. If your plant does bloom, it’s a sign that it’s happy and well-cared for.
Heartleaf Philodendrons contain calcium oxalate crystals, making them toxic to humans and pets if ingested. Keep the Philodendron out of reach of children and pets, and wash your hands after handling it to avoid skin irritation.
NOTE: This page is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. The toxicity of an ingested substance varies depending on the amount ingested, the animal’s weight, and its sensitivity to specific allergens. Contact your veterinarian or local animal poison control center immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance.
Spider mites can cause leaf damage by sucking sap from the leaves. They often appear as small webs on the undersides of leaves. Treat infestations by wiping the leaves with a damp cloth and using insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Aphids are small, sap-sucking pests that can cause leaf distortion and transmit diseases. Treat infestations by spraying the plant with water to dislodge the pests, then applying insecticidal soap or neem oil as needed.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
Yellowing leaves can indicate overwatering or inadequate light. Check the moisture level of the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Ensure your plant receives bright, indirect light for optimal growth.
Leggy growth is often caused by too little light. Move your Heartleaf Philodendron to a brighter location with indirect sunlight to encourage more compact, bushy growth. Regular pruning can also help to maintain a fuller appearance.