Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) is one of the most popular houseplants in the world. It is a low-maintenance, fast-growing, easy houseplant to grow indoors. Your Heartleaf Philodendron can tolerate a wide range of conditions and will thrive almost anywhere indoors including low light conditions. It will look great in a hanging basket or on a bookshelf with beautiful cascading heart-shaped leaves. Just keep in mind you should place your Heartleaf Philodendron away from children and pets, it is toxic when ingested. Here are tips on how to care for your Heartleaf Philodendron indoors.
Heartleaf Philodendron Houseplant Infographic
8 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Heartleaf Philodendron Houseplant
1. Your Heartleaf Philodendron is Happiest in Bright, Filtered Light
Heartleaf Philodendron will be happy in a bright, filtered light location. However, it is very flexible and can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions. It will thrive in artificial light and low light as well.
Check out other houseplants that can tolerate low light conditions
2. Moderate Water is Best for Your Heartleaf Philodendron
Your Heartleaf Philodendron has moderate water requirements. Water your Heartleaf Philodendron when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Heartleaf Philodendron is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your Heartleaf Philodendron.
3. Get the Soil Right for Your Heartleaf Philodendron
Your Heartleaf Philodendron needs a well-draining, organic all-purpose potting mix.
4. Fertilize Your Heartleaf Philodendron
Your Heartleaf Philodendron should be fertilized once a month during the growing season. During the winter months, fertilize every other month.
5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Heartleaf Philodendron
Repot your Heartleaf Philodendron every 2 years. It’s best to repot in the Spring or Summer. Repot your Heartleaf Philodendron in a container with a diameter 4 inches larger than the current pot.
6. Drainage is Essential for Your Heartleaf Philodendron
Good drainage is important, you don’t want your Heartleaf Philodendron to sit in soggy soil. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. After watering your Heartleaf Philodendron and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Heartleaf Philodendron’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!
7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Heartleaf Philodendron
Your Heartleaf Philodendron needs to have a daytime temperature of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). The nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C).
8. Humidity is Vital for Your Heartleaf Philodendron
Your Heartleaf Philodendron is a houseplant that likes humid conditions. You should increase indoor humidity. Turn on the humidifier. Mist your Heartleaf Philodendron frequently with a spray bottle.
Another way to increase humidity is to keep your Heartleaf Philodendron in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Heartleaf Philodendron is not sitting directly on the water.
3 Common Heartleaf Philodendron Houseplant Problems
The common problems for Heartleaf Philodendron houseplants are aphids, root rot, and yellowing leaves.
Why Does Your Heartleaf Philodendron Look Wilted even if the Soil is Wet?
Problem: Your Heartleaf Philodendron looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your Heartleaf Philodendron plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot.
Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Heartleaf Philodendron. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage.
Solution: When your Heartleaf Philodendron is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your Heartleaf Philodendron out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your Heartleaf Philodendron and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.
Why are there are Lots of Tiny Green, Grey, and Brown insects under the Leaves of Your Heartleaf Philodendron?
Problem: You see a lot of tiny green, gray, and brown insects all over the underside of the leaves of your Heartleaf Philodendron. There are also sticky clear residues on leaves and stems. Plus the tips of the stems have curled up and look deformed.
Cause: Aphids could be the problem but you should make sure by taking a close look at the insects. There should be 2 tubes on the backside of the insects. Use a magnifying glass to identify aphids.
Solution: Aphids are common in houseplants. You can get rid of aphids by washing the aphids off with water or soapy water. You can also use rubbing alcohol. Or spray your Heartleaf Philodendron plant with insecticidal soap and horticultural oil to get rid of the aphids.
Why are the leaves of your Heartleaf Philodendron turning Yellow?
Problem: If you see yellowing leaves on your Heartleaf Philodendron, that is a sign that something is wrong.
Cause: If you see yellowing leaves with black dots then it could be a fungal infection. Yellow leaves can also be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Yellowing leaves can also be caused by hot, afternoon sunlight or overwatering.
Solution: Check to see if your Heartleaf Philodendron is being overwatered or placed where there is hot, afternoon sun. If so, move your Heartleaf Philodendron and decrease watering. Also check to see if there is nutrient deficiency, if so, it’s time to fertilize your Heartleaf Philodendron.
Heartleaf Philodendron Houseplant Facts
|Scientific Name||Philodendron hederaceum|
|Light||Bright, Filtered Light|
|Daytime Temperature||70 to 80 F (21-26C)|
|Night Time Temperature||60 to 70 F (15-21C)|
|Potting||Well-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix|
|Fertilizer||Once a month during the growing season. Every other month in the winter.|
|Toxic to Pets and Humans||Toxic|
Heartleaf Philodendron: Frequently Asked Questions
What are Other Names of Heartleaf Philodendron?
Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) is also called sweetheart plant and vilevine.
Is Your Heartleaf Philodendron Toxic to Pets?
Heartleaf Philodendrons are toxic to humans and pets. Don’t let children or pets chew on the leaves of the Heartleaf Philodendron plant because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. The crystals can cause vomiting and difficulty breathing. It can also result in swelling of lips, tongue, and mouth and excessive drooling.
If you see any of these symptoms and suspect ingestion of Heartleaf Philodendron plants, call poison control immediately! Also call your doctor or vet once you start seeing adverse reactions in children and pets.
How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Heartleaf Philodendron?
Water your Heartleaf Philodendron when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Heartleaf Philodendron.
Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Heartleaf Philodendron?
Heartleaf Philodendron can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Heartleaf Philodendron. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Heartleaf Philodendron.
Heartleaf Philodendron prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature.
What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your Heartleaf Philodendron?
Use liquid or powder, organic fertilizer with a higher nitrogen ratio on your Heartleaf Philodendron.
How Big Does Your Heartleaf Philodendron Get?
Heartleaf Philodendron Your Heartleaf Philodendron’s stems can grow quite long, easily to 8 feet long if you let it. The heart-shaped leaves of your Heartleaf Philodendron typically grow to 2-4 inches.
How Do You Propagate Your Heartleaf Philodendron Houseplant?
Heartleaf Philodendron houseplant is easy to propagate. You can propagate the Heartleaf Philodendron plant by stem tip cutting.
Below are steps on how to propagate Heartleaf Philodendron Plant by stem tip cutting:
1. Take a Stem Tip Cutting of Heartleaf Philodendron Plant (include a node)
Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node.
2. Place Heartleaf Philodendron Stem Cutting in a Jar of Water
Place the Heartleaf Philodendron stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I personally prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of Heartleaf Philodendron will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.
3. Plant your Heartleaf Philodendron Stem Cutting in a New Pot
Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.
4. Place your New Heartleaf Philodendron Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun
Place your new Heartleaf Philodendron plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.
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