Philodendron: how to grow and care for it

Indoor philodendron is one of the most common plants in Europe, suitable even for those who are not yet very familiar with its care. The unpretentious indoor flower is adapted to indoor life, grows quickly, reproduces easily. They can be planted indoors all year round, the leaves have a special shape that can decorate any space.

Philodendron: features

Philodendrons are tropical plants native to Central and South America, belonging to the Araceae family. This genus includes about 300 species native to tropical regions of America: Brazil, Colombia, Macrinica and Guyana.

In nature, they grow on trees of tropical forests, there are two types: curly and erect, they all have aerial roots and very large leathery leaves located at a distance from each other. They are of various shapes: long, oval, heart-shaped, with whole or incised edges. Their color comes in various shades: green or green with a white tinge, often purple on the underside.

Depending on the type of philodendron and the size of the container in which they are planted, they can grow from 40cm to 1.5 m. Domestic climbing philodendrons need support so that they can trudge upwards, erect ones require sufficient space.

The most common philodendron plants have long vines.

Species with erect stems are less common, have elongated and sharp-angled leaves, often with more original coloring and reduced size.

Additional information! In specimens grown indoors, it is very difficult to achieve flowering. The fruits, in the form of a fleshy berry, ripen only in the natural environment or in greenhouses.

They are often confused and compared to a monster. In fact, these are two different plants. The difference is that the monstera (deliciosa) is a tree, while the philodendron is a shrub. The characteristic holes on the leaves of the monstera distinguish it from philodendrons.

Philodendron: care

They are easy to grow, which makes them ideal plants for beginners. Philodendrons grow fast, it is better to plant them in spring, but they can be successfully planted at any time of the year. They produce cascading vines that look great in hanging baskets or climbing a trellis.Location

Philodendron is a houseplant grows better in a sunny place, but not under direct sunlight, which can burn its leaves. They withstand direct sunlight and shade in small quantities. Too little light can lead to the appearance of elongated plants, with a large space between the leaves. Indoors they are installed at the window.


Philodendrons like loose soil, rich in organic substances, with good drainage. These plants are sensitive to salts that accumulate in the soil during watering, which can cause darkening and yellowing of the leaves. The soil will need to be replaced approximately every couple of years.

Tmoisture and humidity

A houseplant needs a lot of heat and moisture near a sunny window. It feels good at moderate temperatures not lower than 13 ° C. In warm weather, you can put indoor plants outside in the shade.

Indoors, it is protected from drafts, from air conditioning vents. These plants love humidity. To do this, you can spray the leaves with settled water from a spray gun every day. You can also put the container on a pallet with pebbles filled with water. The bottom of the pot should not touch the water, so as not to lead to rotting of the roots.


Philodendrons, like all tropical plants, need constant humidity, but they do not feel well in damp soil, which can cause root rot. These plants like moderate soil moisture. They are watered in summer every 3-4 days – in winter once a week, when the top layer of soil dries by a centimeter. Erect varieties are more resistant to drought than climbing.

Pay attention! Excessive or insufficient watering leads to the fact that the leaves droop. To find out when it’s time to water a flower, you need not by the leaves, but by the dryness of the soil.


The philodendron plant does not need frequent fertilizing. Balanced liquid fertilizers are applied monthly in spring and summer, and feeding is reduced to six to eight weeks in autumn and winter. If the plant does not receive enough nutrition, its growth will be slower than usual, and the leaves will be smaller.

Additional information! The ideal fertilizer suitable for plants is with a high level of nitrogen, and rich in potassium and phosphorus. Young faded leaves usually indicate that the plant does not receive enough calcium or magnesium.

Fertilizing fertilizers for indoor plants once a month will keep the plants healthy and beautiful.


Regularly prune the tops to grow a compact plant, and do not let it stretch. The withered leaves are cut off, making room for new ones, while preventing the attack of parasites.


If necessary, the plant is transplanted in the spring every 1-2 years. As it grows, it is placed in a larger container. Drainage holes that allow excess water to escape reduce the risk of waterlogging. Using a drained soil with a small amount of sand or perlite will reduce the risk of root rot. After 2-3 transplants, it will be possible to change only the surface soil.

Reproduction of philodendron

They are easily propagated by stem cuttings and division almost all year round, except in winter. The best time for breeding is early spring.

Houseplant breeding

Use upper shoots or stem cuttings with small leaves and aerial roots.

Cut off the stalk from 10 to 20 cm, (preferably above the leaf node). Carefully remove the lower leaves, leaving them on the stem from four to six pieces. Part of the stem is placed in water to increase the success of rooting, but usually this is not necessary. Periodically change the water to prevent the growth of bacteria. As soon as several roots develop (usually within two weeks), plant the stalk in moist soil, deepening it by about 5 cm.

How to split a philodendron

Sprouts with intact roots can be separated from the plant and transplanted. Division injures the plant, and the day before the operation it is well watered. They are taken out of the pot, placed on a flat, stable surface. Fingers loosen the root ball, and cut off the sprout along with the roots, using a knife to cut through the dense roots. Immediately the seedling is transplanted into moist soil. The first three months are fertilized once a month, and after this period they are ready for transplantation.

Growing philodendrons from seeds is a slow process. In a pot, you can plant several seeds at once in rich soil, to a depth of about 1 cm. Seeds do not need to be soaked before planting.

The top is covered with polyethylene. From time to time, the plastic is removed, adding air access. The soil is sprayed regularly so that it always remains moist. Seeds will take from two to eight weeks to germinate. When they germinate and become strong enough, move each into a separate pot.

Philodendron: varieties

There are many varieties and varieties on the market.

The most common types of philodendron.

  • Philodendron Scandens. It has heart-shaped leaves, sometimes multicolored. The plant is very curly.
  • Philodendron erubescens is a strong climber with reddish stems and leaves.
  • Philodendron melanochrysum is a climbing plant with dark, velvety leaves.
  • Bipinnatiphidum is popular for its spectacular sculptural leaves. This large plant is sometimes called an openwork philodendron.
  • Imperial green and imperial red. Erect varieties are valued for their smooth, shiny leaves. Both types have large leaves that spread out in all directions, which makes them attractive to deciduous plants.
  • Mikans is a hanging variety with velvety textured leaves in the shape of a heart. The foliage may look dark green or rich purple, depending on the light, and new leaves appear greenish-yellow with pink edges.

Numerous species grown as ornamental plants are very different from each other, and even the same plant can change significantly during growth.

Diseases, parasites

They are usually resistant, but can fall victim to common pests such as mealybug, spider mite and aphids. Cotton cochineal can infect plants in hot and dry climates.

If the leaves turn yellow and fall off, it may be the fault of the red spider mite, which easily develops in hot and dry conditions.

Flower diseases

Its appearance can be prevented by spraying the leaves and maintaining high ambient humidity. Pesticides are used against ticks.

A change of leaves does not always mean a plant disease.

  • If the leaves turn yellow, it may be due to excess or lack of water.
  • The leaves wither and turn yellow, especially at the edges, this may mean that the temperature is low. The plant needs to be moved to a warmer place.
  • Burnt leaves are a sign of direct sunlight. It is better to move the plant to a more closed place.

Indoor plants not only look beautiful, but also purify the air that is breathed in the house. Philodendrons are toxic to pets and humans, cause gastrointestinal problems and breathing problems when ingested.