In the literal sense, the term philodendron means "tree-loving," which describes the true nature of the climbing, viny plant. The philodendron hederaceum has large evergreen glossy foliage and is native to tropical America.
Over the years, the tree-loving plant has gained the reputation of being a houseplant, probably because it is pretty easy to care for.
The climbing nature of the Philodendron Hederaceum makes it quite perfect to beautify indoor spaces, not to mention that the plant can filter gaseous toxins from the air.
This post will center on the basics of Philodendron Hederaceum care requirements. It is worthy to note that taking care of Philodendron Hederaceum is relatively easy and self-directory even.
The plant exhibits signs that tell you exactly what it needs, making it perfect for new plant owners and inexperienced gardeners. For instance, the plant requires to be watered moderately and thrives best in bright, indirect sunlight.
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What is Philodendron Hederaceum?
Non-gardeners might not exactly be familiar with the Philodendron Hederaceum plant. In terms of taxonomy, philodendron Hederaceum belongs to the family of “Araceae” and has the botanical name “philodendron scandens.”
The Philodendron Hederaceum shares certain similarities with Monstera, Pothos, and Calla lily plants.
The Philodendron Hederaceum is native to Central America and the Caribbean and is found primarily on damp spots like swamps and river banks.
The plant is popularly known for its climbing nature and can be seen clambering over other plants or climbing the trunks of trees, which adds that the term Philodendron means "tree-loving."
The Philodendron Hederaceum can climb over other plants and trees with the aid of its strong aerial root. The plant also has long trailing stems that can grow to between 10 and 20 ft. long.
In terms of description, the heart-shaped glossy leaved plant is beautiful! The Philodendron Hederaceum has long leaf-stalk with acutely pointed leaf tips.
The leaves look almost transparent when new, but they quickly become deep green as they grow to maturity.
The plant rarely flowers indoors, but it is common to see spathes of white flowers appear in mature Philodendron Hederaceum outdoors.
Philodendron Hederaceum Care Tips
As mentioned earlier, caring for Philodendron Hederaceum is relatively straightforward. The Philodendron Hederaceum has a high tolerance threshold and thus adapts easily to most conditions.
This makes the plant a perfect one for new and inexperienced gardeners or plant owners.
However, growing philodendron Hederaceum as an indoor or house plant requires you to take certain steps to ensure the survival and health of the plant.
Below are specific requirements for your indoor Philodendron Hederaceum to thrive:
Water Requirement of Heartleaf Philodendron
One of the easiest tricks to watering Philodendron Hederaceum is watering it according to season.
Water the plant more during spring and summer until the potting soil is slightly moist. During the winter period, water only when the potting soil is arid.
Keeping in mind that Philodendron Hederaceum is a tropical plant that requires deep watering, you will need to take out time to water the plant slowly until water drains out the bottom of the container.
You will need to take care not to overwater your Philodendron Hederaceum plant. The first sign of an overwatered Philodendron Hederaceum is yellow leaves.
The need for deep watering for Philodendron Hederaceum cannot be overemphasized.
Shallow watering your houseplant means the roots will get starved of essential moisture, which will lead to the wilting of the plant.
Light Requirement for Philodendron Hederaceum
Why do you think Philodendron Hederaceum makes such great houseplants? One reason is that the plant thrives in bright, indirect sunlight, which can easily be provided by placing the plant by the window sill.
Your Philodendron Hederaceum should receive bright, indirect light for a minimum of three to four hours a day.
The best spot for bright, indirect sunlight should be an east- or west-facing room. Endeavor to keep your plant away from direct sun rays as this will end up harming it.
The amount of indirect sunlight your plant receives should determine the way it is watered. Water the plant more if it grows in a bright warm room and water less in humid environments.
Faded leaves and leggy stems indicate that your Philodendron Hederaceum is not getting enough sunlight, while completely yellow leaves mean that the plant is getting too much sunlight.
Soil Requirement for Philodendron Hederaceum
The key to the perfect potting soil for Philodendron Hederaceum is soil that has good drainage. You want water to drain fast enough to prevent the soil from being soggy, which could lead to root soil.
Fortunately, most commercial potting soils are suitable for growing Philodendron Hederaceum. Peat moss and perlite should be included in the potting soil to facilitate good drainage.
Avoid anything formulated explicitly for a given type of plants, such as acid-loving plants or succulents.
When the soil mixture retains too much water, it will lead to root rot. Thus you need soil that drains quickly and provides good aeration to the roots.
Temperature Requirement for Heartleaf Philodendron
Philodendron Hederaceum is deemed the perfect houseplant because they thrive with room temperature, which shouldn't go beyond below 60°F, within a range of 65°F-75°F.
Warmer temperatures will even facilitate faster and healthier growth of Philodendron Hederaceum.
Being a tropical plant, Philodendron Hederaceum doesn’t like extreme temperatures.
Thus, you should avoid having your plant in the same room with the air-conditioner's airflow. Also, your plant shouldn't be close to hot radiators in the winter seasons.
Perfect Humidity Level for Philodendron Hederaceum
It's quite common to find Philodendron Hederaceum in bathrooms due to the high humidity level provided they receive adequate indirect sunlight.
Being a plant that thrives in the rainforest, the moist bathroom will encourage faster and healthier growth.
Being an adaptive plant, Philodendron Hederaceum can survive low humidity but nothing below 40 percent. Some signs that the plant is suffering from low humidity include brown leaf tips and wilting stem.
You can increase the humidity of your plant by using a humidifier, misting the plant regularly, or grouping plants with similar humidity levels together.
Fertilizing Philodendron Hederaceum
Most houseplants require a generous application of a high-quality, all-purpose fertilizer to thrive at least once a month.
The Philodendron Hederaceum is no different. A high-quality fertilizer will ensure that your plant has large, glossy leaves and long trailing stems.
When fertilizing, don't run the risk of over-fertilizing, which can damage your plants. It's best to use dilute your fertilizer with water.
Pruning Heartleaf Philodendron
You will need to prune the Philodendron Hederaceum when it gets too bushy or whenever the plant becomes too leggy.
To prune, simply pinch back the stems using your fingernails or a sharp pair of clean scissors.
The best time to prune Philodendron Hederaceum is when the plant is actively growing during the warmer months, which ushers in a period of vigorous growth for the plant.
Repotting Philodendron Hederaceum
Repotting plants gives the plant fresher soil which facilitates growth. Your Philodendron Hederaceum should be repotted at least every 2-3 years.
When repotting, use fresher potting soil and an enormous container to accommodate the root.
Choose a container that is at least (5 cm) larger than the current one when repotting, then slowly remove the plant from the container.
Gently shake off soil from the roots and if necessary, use your hands to untangle the roots.
The new and bigger container should be half-filled with fresh potting soil.
How To Grow Philodendron Hederaceum
Growing the beautiful plants can be done in three ways:
- Starting from Seed
- Propagation from stem cuttings.
- Air-layer from another plant
1. Starting from Seed
As mentioned earlier, Philodendron Hederaceum flowers, although rarely. When it does bloom, the seed can be collected and planted.
Note that it is pretty rare for your indoor Philodendron Hederaceum to bloom. Thus you will have to acquire the seeds from gardening suppliers.
To plant philodendron hederaceum from seeds, put the seeds about ⅓ of an inch in potting soil and cover them lightly. Water regularly to keep the soil moist.
Remember that Philodendron Hederaceum seeds do not need to be soaked before planting. The seeds usually take about 2 to 8 weeks to germinate.
2. Propagation from Stem Cutting
It’s recommended to grow your Philodendron Hederaceum from propagation rather than by seeds. It's also an added benefit the plant is relatively easy to propagate from stem cuttings.
All you need is a pair of sharp scissors or knives to snip off stems just below the leaf node.
Soak the stem in water for few weeks until white roots will appear. When the roots are about 2.5 cm in length, transfer to a pot filled with well-draining soil.
It's advisable to carry out propagation in the n spring or early summer to ensure that the new plant adapts almost immediately.
Propagation is the best method to grow Philodendron Hederaceum because the plant has strong aerial roots that form the nodes on the stems. Nodes contain cells that will develop new roots.
3. Air-layer from another plant
This method is not recommended because it is a bit complex with a low chance of success. This method is only adopted when the Philodendron Hederaceum you want to severe stems from is too mature or thick to cut.
You can start by cutting halfway through a mature branch at a 45-degree angle, then insert a small piece of plastic in the semi-cut and wrap a moist ball of moss.
Once a root starts to form from the semi-cut, you can severe the stem from the 45-degree air-layering site and plant it in rich potting soil.
Diseases That Affects Philodendron Hederaceum
There are not many diseases that plague Philodendron Hederaceum naturally.
Root Rot in Philodendron Hederaceum
As mentioned, root rot is caused by overwatering, especially in the winter months. Remember that Philodendron Hederaceum should be watered according to the season. Water more in summer and spring and less by winter.
When you fail to do this, you have a soggy soil that encourages the growth and multiplication of fungi like Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, or Fusarium fungi, spreading into the roots infecting plants.
Sadly, when the root starts to rot, it's hard to notice immediately. As it progresses, however, the leaves begin to turn yellow, wilts away, and in some cases become mushy. At this stage, nothing can be done to revive the plant,
If you are lucky to notice the root rot immediately is started, repot the plant immediately with fresh potting soil. If root rot has spread significantly, dissect the plant, keeping only the healthy portions.
How To Handle Insect Pests Affecting Philodendron Hederaceum
Insect pests are common problems most plant owners face when growing Philodendron Hederaceum.
The situation becomes worst if you have other plants harboring some of these pests. Some common pests that affect Philodendron Hederaceum are:
Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped insects. These insects find a way to attach themselves to houseplants and multiply quickly.
They suck out the nutrients from the plant and secrete “honeydew.” If you notice distorted foliage and leaf drop on your Philodendron Hederaceum plant, it may be a sign of aphid infestation.
Aphids can be controlled with vinegar or by wiping the plants with a clean, or you can mist the plant with a mild water solution containing a few drops of dish soap.
Spider mites are also common pests that plague Philodendron Hederaceum. These pests are almost too small to be seen and wreak havoc on both indoor and outdoor plants. They damage plants by feeding on the fluids found inside the leaves.
Spider mites multiply quickly and must have done severe damage to your plants before you notice any physical symptoms of damage. Spider mites cause discoloration of leaves.
Spider mites can be controlled by pruning leaves and stem of the infected part. You may also opt for a plant-friendly pesticide or use beneficial insects like ladybugs and predatory mites, which are natural enemies of the pest.
Fungus gnats resemble tiny mosquitos and are usually found in damp environments.
They do minor damage to Philodendron Hederaceum, although adult fungus gnats can be quite destructive, so it's best to control them early.
Mealybugs attach themselves to the protected areas of the plant, such as where the leaves attach to the stems.
Mealybug’s infestation results in stunted or deformed leaf growth, especially on new foliage, as mealybugs inject toxins into leaves when they feed on the plant's fluid.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Philodendrons Need Sunlight?
Yes. Philodendron Hederaceum needs a minimum of three to four hours of indirect, bright sunlight a day.
Avoid placing your Philodendron Hederaceum under bright, direct sun rays not to damage the plant. The best spot for bright, indirect sunlight should be an east- or west-facing room.
Should I Mist My Philodendron?
Misting is not generally not recommended by most experienced gardeners. However, in cases of low humidity, you can mist your Philodendron Hederaceum plant.
A safer method to increase humidity for your plant is by getting a humidifier or grouping the plants together.
How Do You Grow a Philodendron Hederaceum?
It is possible to grow your Philodendron Hederaceum plant by seeds. However, propagation by stem cutting is highly recommended because Philodendron Hederaceum is quite easy to propagate.
Why Are the Leaves Turning Yellow on My Philodendron?
Yellow leaves on Philodendron are usually a result of overwatering. That is why it is advised that you water plant according to the season – more during spring and summer and less by winter.
Philodendron Hederaceum is considered one of the easiest plants to tend to, making it a favorite amongst inexperienced gardeners and new plant owners.
When it comes to Philodendron Hederaceum care requirements, the plant is self-directory.
The symptoms exhibited by the plant will direct you on how to care for it. For instance, yellowing of the leaves usually indicates that the plant is being overwatered.
If you’re looking for the perfect houseplant to give your indoor spaces an original and unique feel, then Philodendron Hederaceum is undoubtedly the right way to go!
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