How to Grow and Care for Philodendron in Containers

Heart-leaf philodendron

Intro: The heart-leaf philodendron plant will vine (some actually have sticky pads like ivy plants and will cling to a nearby wall or trellis) and grow quite large. They can also be grown trailing down from the top of a shelf or in a hanging basket. Philodendrons are often confused with the pothos plant (there are subtle differences between the two plants). Just like pothos, the philodendron plant will probably do better in an indoor garden unless you have a very shady balcony garden. Philodendron (also like pothos) is so simple to grow that anyone can grow this container plant. The philodendron's heart-shaped leaves can grow up to a 6-inches long on mature plants.


Scientific Name: Philodendron scandens ssp. oxycardium

Plant Type: Evergreen perennial vine

Light: Low light. Small leaves mean not enough light. Burnt leaves receive too much.

Water: Keep the potting soil evenly moist and do not let it dry out between waterings. Yellow philodendron leaves mean you are watering too much, while brown philodendron leaves mean you are watering too little.

Zone: 10A

Temperature: This container plant does best when kept at 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will tolerate a wider range of temperatures. Bring this plant into an indoor garden to overwinter it if you live an area that has freezing temperatures or very cold temperatures (high 30s Fahrenheit) for long periods of time. It will do well in hot weather (even above 100 degrees Fahrenheit), as long as its potting soil is kept moist.

Fertilizer: In spring and summer, fertilize the philodendron plant once a month once this container plant is established with half-strength liquid fertilizer. Do not fertilize in the winter.

Pests and Diseases: Philodendrons generally are very healthy. Rarely they will get leaf spot (caused by bacteria or fungus), root rot or fungus caused by blight. Insect pests, such as aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, mites, etc., can be a problem.

Propagation: Take cuttings and root them in water, just like with the pothos plant.

Misc. Info: Wipe the philodendron plant's leaves off once a month or so, depending on how much dust covers the leaves. Prune new growth often if you want your philodendron to stay bushy. Let it grow long and viny, and train it to grow up a trellis or wall for vertical interest in your container garden (it will grow about 4 feet up, perhaps more). Repot these plants every two to three years.



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