How to Care for Your Philodendrons

How to Care for Your Philodendrons

Table of Contents

• History

Derived from the Greek word ‘philo’ meaning love and ‘dendron’ meaning tree, the philodendron is one of the easiest to grow plants for indoor spaces. An evergreen perennial vine, native to tropical America, this family has plants from beautiful vining varieties to upright tree like plants.

In the right conditions, philodendron varieties are vigorous growers and can grow by several feet in a single year. The plants of the Philodendron family is particularly great for indoor settings due to its ability to filter gaseous toxins from the air.

For years, it has been the most common plant in indoor gardens across the globe. They live year round without any major hassles and tell you exactly what they need, making them an excellent choice for inexperienced gardeners. They are generally forgiving and will tolerate all kinds of neglect including low light, poor soil, and inconsistent watering.

With their typically large, green, and glossy leaves, it adds a bit of native tropical flair to any home. There are two types of philodendrons: vining and non-climbing plants. The vining variety grows several feet, while the non-climbing variety has an upright growth habit and are excellent foliage plants for containers.


• Plant care

When caring for an indoor philodendron plant, the idea is to mimic its natural tropical environment. Provide it with warmth and moisture near a sunny east or west facing windows. They also extremely well in north-facing windows and balconies. During warm weather, put philodendron houseplants outside in a shady spot to get some fresh air and natural light on occasion. However, direct sunlight can burn the delicate foliage of the plant.

1. Light

The plants of the philodendron family are one of the best choice for indoor spaces due to their hardy nature and the range of conditions in which it can live happily. The philodendrons love bright indirect to medium light and can also live in low light conditions for a while.

Keep your philodendrons out of direct sun to avoid leaf burn. However, the variegated varieties need comparatively more light to retain the variegations.

2. Water

Water your philodendron only when the top two inches of the potting mix is dry to touch. The frequency of watering depends entirely on the amount of light the plant gets. More light translates to better rate of photosynthesis thus increasing the quantity of water required.

To check for the right time to water the plant, dig your finger 2 inches into the soil. If the soil feels dry and your finger comes out clean, then it is time to water your plants. If the soil feels moist and the finger comes out with soil sticking to it, then its not time to water it yet.

Misting it once in a while is also a good idea.

3. Soil and fertilisation

The philodendrons love a rich but well-draining medium for good growth. While the vining varieties are not finicky about the growing media, the ones with tree-like growth pattern need comparatively more root support for balance.

Fertilise your plant every three weeks in its growing season from spring to fall for a good growth. Supplementing the potting media with good quality compost is also an added advantage, using water soluble plant fertiliser like NPK every few weeks both for root application and misting helps achieve healthier and bigger foliage.

4. Placement

Place your plants in areas that get bright to medium indirect light. If your plant does not get sufficient light through the day, placing it in sun for a couple of hours every other week will allow the plant to grow well. The trailing varieties look especially stunning when placed at a height and allowed to trail down. The upright varieties are excellent for tabletop and floor placement.

5. Propagation

The vining plants can be easily propagated via stems cuttings, take cuttings that have at least 2-3 leaf nodes and propagate it either via water or directly in the soil. Remove the lowermost leaves to expose the nodes and ensure that the nodes are either submerged in water or in soil. Philodendron plants root easily and are quick growing with proper care.
For the tree like varieties, propagation can be done by dividing the mature plant along with the root system. For potting use a well-draining but rich potting media.


  1. Why are the leaves of my philodendron turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves are generally a sign of overwatering. If random leaves are yellowing, try adjusting the watering schedule.

  1. Why is my plant limp and wilting?

Limp and wilting plants is a clear case of under watered plant. Water pressure is essential to keep the plant upright.

  1. Why are the leaves of my philodendron plant curling?

Leaf curling of philodendron plants is caused due to either dehydration or extremely hard water that causes salt build-up. Practice bottom watering to ensure that the entirety of the soil is soaked and also mist. If the cause is hard water, then use filtered water or let tap water stand overnight before watering.

  1. What are the different types of philodendron varieties?

The different type of Philodendron varieties are Philodendron Birkin, Philodendron Brasil, Philodendron Heartleaf, Philodendron Hope Selloum, Philodendron Pink Princess, Philodendron Xanadu, and so on.