How To Care For A Philodendron Plant?

Philodendrons have been a mainstay in interior gardens for generations.

Philodendron care is simple because, if you pay attention to the signals, the plant will tell you exactly what it requires.

Philodendron plants are easy to grow even for inexperienced houseplant owners because they adapt well to indoor conditions.

This makes learning how to care for a philodendron a breeze.

Philodendron houseplants thrive indoors all year, but they enjoy a brief visit outside in a shady spot when the weather permits.

Taking the plant outside also allows you to clean the leaves and flush the soil with plenty of fresh water.

Unlike most houseplants, philodendrons do not suffer as much stress when transitioning from indoor to outdoor environments.

How to Care for a Philodendron

Philodendron care consists of three basic requirements: sunlight, water, and fertilizer.

Sunlight – Place the plant in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Find a spot near a window where the sun’s rays will never touch the foliage.

While it is normal for older leaves to be yellow, if several leaves are yellow at the same time, the plant may be receiving too much light.

If the stems are long and leggy, with several inches between leaves, the plant is most likely not getting enough light.

Water – When growing philodendron plants, allow the top inch (2.5 cm.) of soil to dry out between waterings.

The length of your index finger to the first knuckle is about an inch (2.5 cm.), so inserting your finger into the soil is a good way to check the moisture level.

Droopy leaves can mean that the plant is getting too much or not enough water. But the leaves recover quickly when you correct the watering schedule. 

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Fertilizer – Use a balanced liquid foliage houseplant fertilizer containing macronutrients to feed philodendron houseplants.

Water the plant with fertilizer once a month in the spring and summer, and once every six to eight weeks in the fall and winter.

Slow growth and small leaf size are signs that the plant isn’t getting enough fertilizer.

Pale new leaves usually indicate a lack of calcium and magnesium, which are essential micronutrients for philodendrons.

Types of Philodendron 

Vining and non-climbing philodendrons are the two primary forms of indoor philodendrons.

  • To climb, philodendron vines require a post or other support. Blushing philodendrons and heartleaf philodendrons are two examples of this.
  • Lacy tree philodendrons and bird’s nest philodendrons are examples of non-climbing philodendrons, which grow upright and wide. Provide plenty of elbow room for non-climbers, whose width can be up to two times their height.

What’s the Difference Between a Pothos and a Philodendron?

A lot of people confuse Philodendron houseplants with pothos plants.

The stems of pothos plants are grooved, whereas those of philodendrons are not, despite the similar shape of their leaves.

The new philodendron leaves are wrapped by a leaf sheath that gradually dries and falls off. Pothos leaves do not have this protective covering.

For this reason, they are often sold as hanging baskets that require intense light and warmer temperatures.

How to Plant Philodendron

Follow these steps to get growing.

  • Choose a pot with drainage holes. By allowing excess water to escape, a pot with drainage holes will reduce the risk of overwatering your plant.
  • Use well-draining potting soil. Using well-draining soil with some sand or perlite in the mix will further reduce the risk of overwatering and root rot.
  • Place the plant in a spot with bright light. Philodendrons thrive when placed in indirect light. In their natural tropical habitat, they rarely ever receive direct sun. However, they’re resilient and will tolerate nearly all light conditions—including direct sunlight and low light in small quantities.
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If your philodendron vines get too long or leggy, cut them back using sterilized pruning shears or scissors. The best time to do this is in the spring or summer. 

You can safely give your philodendron a light trim any time of year to remove yellowing leaves and trim spindly growth.

It’s best to cut just above a leaf node. Take your stem cuttings and use them for propagation.

Propagating Philodendrons

Philodendrons are easy to propagate from stem cuttings and division.

Increase your own stock or give newly propagated pots of this popular houseplant to friends.

The best time to propagate is in the early spring as the days grow longer. Here’s how to propagate philodendrons from these methods:

How to propagate from stem cuttings:

  1. You will need sterilized pruning shears or heavy-duty scissors, potting mix, a pot, and, optionally, rooting hormone.
  2. Cut roughly a 6-inch portion of the stem, and place it in a water container to develop roots. You can introduce a rooting hormone (per the package instructions) to increase your chance of success with rooting, but it’s usually not necessary.
  3. Add more water as it evaporates. If sitting longer than two or three weeks in the same water, completely change the water to prevent algae or bacterial growth.
  4. Once several roots have developed (usually within two weeks), pot the cutting in moist soil.

Planting Seeds of Philodendron

Philodendron seedlings take longer to grow than stem cuttings. You can, however, sow many seeds in a 6-inch container if you’d like.

In rich soil, plant one seed every two inches, about one-third of an inch deep.

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Apply a layer of plastic to the plant. Remove the plastic wrap from time to time to allow fresh air to circulate.

Keep the soil moist by sprinkling it frequently. Before planting Philodendron seeds, they do not need to be soaked.

When the soil temperature is between 68 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit, the seeds will germinate in two to eight weeks.

When the seedlings have sprouted and are robust enough to handle, transfer them to individual pots to encourage good root growth.

Philodendron Repotting and Potting

In order to keep your philodendron healthy, you should plant it in a pot that is somewhat larger than its root ball.

Repotting the philodendron is necessary when the roots begin to poke through the dirt and the drainage holes in the pot.

Repotting should be done in the late spring or early summer when the plants are in bloom. Select a pot one size larger than your current pot size.

Fresh soil should be placed around and beneath the plant in the new container once it has been gently removed from the old one. After that, give the plant plenty of water.


If you don’t live in a tropical area, you’ll need to keep tropicals indoors all year round.

A wide variety of tropical and typical houseplants can survive the cold months indoors quite well. It’s easy for them to adjust to the interior environment.

philodendrons require less water when the days get shorter and the weather gets a little cooler.

If you’re growing plants indoors, you should only water when the soil seems dry to the touch.

Using pruners, remove any yellowing leaves or long lanky stems, and inspect the plants for signs of decay and insects before bringing them indoors.

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