Philodendron gets its name from the Greek words Philo and Dendron. The word Philo means to love and the word Dendron refers to a tree. Philodendron is one of the widely preferred choices, especially for indoor gardening. It is a popular houseplant as the plant is the easiest to grow. Moreover, the plant can grow bushy as it can grow to a height of three feet and a width that runs double the height of the plant. Moreover, they come with glossy leaves that add to the aesthetic value of your house. The plant can be divided into two broad categories known as the vining philodendron and the non-climbing philodendron.
The vining philodendron can grow up to several feet with the help of a certain support structure for climbing on it. Non-climbing philodendrons can grow without the support and can be remarkable foliage plants for containers. Moreover, these plants have the unique feature of growing the fastest. For best results, they can be planted in spring. However, houseplants like philodendrons have no suitable time of the year and can be grown at any time. Therefore, all gardeners hugely prefer them. However, there are certain tips and techniques for taking care of the philodendrons. Go through this article to know about the basic care techniques that you can adopt for a healthy philodendron.
Factors to consider while taking care of the Philodendron
When planting the philodendrons indoor, ensure that it gets surrounding conditions that mirror the tropical environment from which the plant has originated. The plant requires plenty of moisture and warmth for healthy growth. This means that the plant should be kept by the window so that it is enriched with sunlight. You can also put the plant outside in the shade for fresh air and light. However, philodendron cannot take direct sunlight as the leaves can be burnt directly. To know about the care-taking tactics go through the following points.
The best lighting system for the philodendrons is partial sunlight. This is because the plants originally grow under a canopy so they are not used to direct sunlight. When setting them up indoors, it is best to have the plant by the windowsill so that they get bright indirect sunlight. The key is to get a balanced amount of light as too little light can reduce the growth speed and increase the space between the leaves. On the other hand, too much light can lead to the yellowing of the leaves.
The potting soil for the plant should be loose in structure. It is also essential for the soil to be rich in organic matter. Moreover, the soil should also constitute a good drainage feature so that it does not hold onto the excess water. It is recommended for the growers to change the soil of the plant every two years. Philodendrons are sensitive plants and can get affected by the salt in the water. This can cause the plant leaves to go brown and yellow. You can also flush out the salts from the container with enough water so that it leaves through the drainage holes.
The plants like a medium amount of moisture in their soil. This means that you should water the plant whenever the top layer of the soil has dried up. However, it is important to understand that the key to the good growth of the plant is a balanced watering schedule. This means that over or under watering of the philodendrons can lead to the dropping of the leaves. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the right amount of water along with the correct time at which the plant should be watered. The plants do not prefer soil, which is soggy. Moreover, philodendrons can also lead to the rotting of the root systems. It is also important to remember that the non-climbing plants tend to require less water.
The temperature requirement for the philodendrons varies from one type of species to another. Typically, the plant should not be exposed to temperatures lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The fact that the philodendrons are houseplants makes such a temperature requirement easy to achieve. Moreover, these plants love to thrive in a humid tropical environment. This means that if you stay in a place dominated by constant cold and dry climatic conditions, then you might consider boosting the humidity around the plants. This can be done by spraying mist over the plant every few days with a spray bottle. You can also put the container of the plant on a pebble bed with water below it. Ensure that the bottom of the container is not in touch with the water as it might lead to the rotting of the roots.
The requirement for fertilizer is more during the spring and summer seasons. Use a liquid fertilizer on the plant. Then decrease the feeding to every seven weeks during the fall and winter. In case the plant does not get enough nutrients, then its growth might be stunted and the leaves might be smaller than normal.
Taking care of the Philodendrons
Let us now delve into some of the essential techniques to take care of the philodendrons.
Sometimes the plant can grow too bushy or towering. To reshape the plant, you need to prune it using sterilized scissors or other pruning devices. Pruning should be done during spring or summer. However, the plant can be slightly trimmed during any part of the year for removing the leaves that have turned yellow or just to put the plant in shape. You should also remember that the plant should be cut above the leaf node for best results.
2. Cultivating the plant from stem cuttings
If you are planning to propagate the plant using stem cuttings, then the best time for the process is during the spring as the daylight remains for longer periods. You can propagate the plant using the following steps.
- Properly sterilized pruning devices or scissors with a container, potting mix is needed for the process.
- Cut a portion from the stem that measures around 6 inches.
- Place the stem cutting in water so that it grows a root system.
- Here, you can add a rooting hormone to enhance the process and increase the chances of developing a better root system.
- Add increasing amounts of water as it tends to be evaporated.
- If the stem cutting is kept in the same water for a prolonged period like two or three weeks, then the water shall be changed for preventing bacteria or algae growth.
- The root system shall be developed within two weeks.
- Once the root system is developed, you can transfer the stem cutting to the moist soil.
3. Common Philodendron Problems
Growers might face some of the common problems with the philodendron plants as mentioned below.
- Yellowing of the leaves is the most common problem faced by the plant. This might occur due to overwatering the plant or watering the plant with too cold water. Furthermore, too much or too little sunlight can lead to the yellowing of the leaves. If the young leaves at the bottom of the plant start yellowing, then it might be due to over-watering schedules.
- When watering the plant be careful to first water the top layer of the soil. You can also add liquid fertilizer for better growth. It is important to dilute the fertilizer as the strong chemicals can affect the root system and lead to the yellowing of the leaves.
- In case of the root gets rotten, you will be able to trace it from the unpleasant smell of the soil. You can also dig up the soil to check up on the health of the roots. In case of the roots rot, you can always remove the black chunks and repot the good portion of the root in a new container with fresh soil.
- Browning leaves mean that the plant is receiving too much cold water. On the other hand, if the edges of the leaf start browning, it means that the plant is being overwatered. However, if the brown edges begin curling, then it might indicate that the plant needs more water and less light. You should make the adjustments accordingly.
Are the philodendrons low maintenance plants?
The philodendrons are easy to grow and maintain and are the best choice, to begin with, house planting.
How long can the plant last?
If the plant receives a suitable environment, it can thrive for decades.
Are philodendrons toxic?
The plant can be toxic if ingested by pets or humans.
These are some of the essential tips while growing philodendrons. It is advisable to start the house-planting project with philodendrons as they grow easily and require low maintenance. Moreover, philodendrons can thrive in optimum temperatures and require no extra setups. Therefore, get a philodendron today to enhance the aesthetic sense of your house.
- 1 Factors to consider while taking care of the Philodendron
- 2 Taking care of the Philodendrons
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Conclusion