Philodendron hederaceum/scandens, also called Heartleaf Philodendron, is a well-loved houseplant native to Central America and the Caribbean. This popular plant is soughed after for its glossy, heart-shaped leaves, low light tolerance, and ease of care. If you’re considering one for your home, here’s a few things you should know:
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In-Depth Care Guide
Philodendron hederaceum is a tough, climbing plant that can survive some neglect. Underwatering this plant is usually a lot better than overwatering it. This doesn’t mean you can just get a plant and forget about it, however. Despite being easy to care for, a Heartleaf Philodendron still needs to be looked after.
Make sure you know what the care of this plant entails before getting your Philodendron plant for the best possible chance of success.
Heartleaf Philodendron needs to be kept moist but not wet. It is best to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. A good way to tell if you should water your plant is to do a finger test.
A finger test entails sticking your finger about 1 inch into the soil. If the soil feels moist, don’t water just yet. If the soil feels dry, you can water your plant. Do this test every day to make sure your plant doesn’t dry out completely.
Signs of overwatering include root rot and yellow leaves. To avoid this problem, make sure to choose a well-draining potting mix and do the finger test before you water. Don’t allow your plant to stand in water for long periods of time.
Philodendron hederaceum should be kept in an area with bright, indirect light. Too much light or direct sunlight may cause leaf burn.
If you live in an area where the temperature seldom drops below 55.4°F(13¬°C) it is possible to leave your plant outside. Make sure your plant is taken indoors if the temperature drops below this limit.
You can take your plant outdoors in the summer months if the minimum temperature exceeds 55.4°C (13°C). Make sure your plant is never exposed to temperatures lower than this limit.
Heartleaf Philodendron likes soil with a pH between 6 and 7. You will need a soil meter to check soil pH.
It is also very important that the soil drains really well and provide lots of aeration to the roots to avoid the development of root rot. For this reason, most general use potting soils are suitable.
If you decide to make your own mix, you can use (25%) perlite/vermiculite, (25%) sphagnum peat moss, (25%) pine bark, and (25%) coconut coir. Make sure to balance the mix properly since sphagnum moss and coconut coir retains too much water if used on their own.
Heartleaf Philodendron has no special requirements when it comes to fertilizing. You can either choose to use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer or go the solid fertilizer route.
If you decide on liquid fertilizer, you can feed your plant once or twice a week during the growing season with a half-strength diluted dosage of fertilizer. Once winter arrives, you can reduce this frequency to feeding once a month.
If you prefer solid fertilizer, you can fertilize once a month in the growing season. Once winter arrives, you can skip fertilizing until spring.
Make sure to water your plant before applying fertilizer since to concentration might burn the roots. Over-fertilizing can cause root damage which leads to stunted growth, yellowing, and wilting leaves with brown margins as well as brown/black, limp roots.
The humidity around a Heartleaf Philodendron must be kept above 40%. The ideal placement for this plant is in the bathroom.
If the humidity is too low, consider either misting your plant several times a day or placing it on a humidity tray. It must be filled with flat rocks to support your Philodendron pot. Fill the tray with water, but make sure it doesn’t touch the pot. As the water evaporates around the plant, it will raise the humidity in the immediate area.
A sign of low humidity is browning of the leaf tips.