Last Updated on October 29, 2021 by Sophie
The Heartleaf Philodendron, which is also known by the official botanical name of Philodendron scandens or alternatively by Philodendron hederaceum, is a beautiful plant known for its heart-shaped leaves, as well as the fact that it is quite possibly one of the easiest hosueplants to grow! Here’s a complete Heartleaf Philodendron care guide, as well as propagation advice and watering tips and tricks!
The plant originates from Central America and the Caribbean, where the philo plant is part of the family Araceae. Though the mature form of the plant produces white flowers given the right conditions, this is incredibly rare in indoor settings such as your home.
Nevertheless, it’s the dark glossy foliage of this plant that is the real crowd-pleaser, thus meaning that it’s not too much of a shame if your plant never blooms. On the subject of foliage, you’ll want to wipe down the glossy leaves of your plant every month or so to keep the heart-shaped leaves looking healthy and allow them to continue photosynthesising. Simply use a damp cloth/ paper towel to wipe down the leaves. For more inspiration, check out our guide to the top plants with heart-shaped leaves.
Heartleaf Philodendron: hanging or climbing plant?
Due to its trailing and climbing qualities, the plant can be sold as either a hanging or climbing plant. The plant can either be placed into a hanger and the heart-shaped leaves allowed to trail down to the floor, or alternatively the plant can be grown up a moss pole.
If you want to grow your own plant up a moss pole, you simply need to purchase a pole and help your plant attach itself by tying the first few leaves up the pole. As the plant grows, it will stick to the pole.
Growing Heartleaf Philodendron up a moss pole will allow the leaves to become much bigger. It’s also worth noting that the key to growing a plant successfully up a moss pole is adequate moisture and humidity, meaning that you should regularly mist your moss pole for maximum effectiveness.
Philodendron Heartleaf Plant Care & Watering Guide
Watering your Philodendron scandens
As with many types of trailing vines, I find that the easiest watering method is the soak and leave be. What I mean by this is that you should let the plant dry out entirely between waterings. When the soil is bone dry, simply soak the philo plant once more. I personally find that this promotes the best plant growth and leaf size.
As with all houseplants, make sure that the bottom of the plant pot has a hole for water drainage. I typically plant mine in a plastic nursery-style container before placing them inside a cache-pot so as to retain as much moisture as possible and reduce the number of times I have to water the plant.
Humidity levels for the scandens plant
One aspect that every indoor gardener should consider is the humidity levels surrounding your plant. This particular philodendron enjoys a high level of humidity, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to group plants together in your home.
Low humidity levels can become a particular problem during the winter months when central heating can dry out the air in your home. Early signs that the philodendron is not receiving enough water are dry and crispy leaf edges. In order to combat this, you might consider spritzing your plant ever few days with water.
Best soil conditions for the Scandens Philodendron
Heartleaf phildendron is much less fussy than other plants (such as many Calathea varieties) when it comes to soil conditions, though can occasionally suffer from root rot if overwatered. As such, the best soil mix for the Philo scandens is a well draining one with both organic matter as well as materials such as pumice and sand which ensure that the water doesn’t get trapped in the plant for too long.
If you’re looking for a pre-made soil mix, then many garden centres which sell indoor plants will sell soil mixes formulated specifically for indoor tropical houseplants. When it comes to fertilisation, the Heartleaf philodendron isn’t a particularly hungry plant, and will only need fertilising once every few weeks during the growing season (i.e. spring and summer).
Best light conditions for the Heartleaf Philodendron
Like many other philodendron varieties, the Heartleaf Philodendron is typically advertised as being a low-light plant. I find this to be deceptive as it means that many people will make the mistake of placing the plant in too much shade.
While it’s true that the heartleaf should not be placed in direct sunlight as it will cause the leaves to burn, the plant will thrive and grow to its fullest capabilities if it is placed in bright indirect sunlight, such as a short space away from a south-facing window. It’s also worth noting that the shadier the area that the plant is placed in, the less frequently it will need to be watered since it will dry out more slowly.
How to propagate Philodendron Heartleaf
One of the most fun things about growing Philodendron scandens inside your home is just how easy it is to propagate! All you need to do is simply take a cutting from the vine which includes at least a few leaves and a node (but preferably two nodes) and that is around 10 metres in length.
Simply place the vine in water and after a few weeks, roots will start to develop around the node area. Once the roots are long enough (i.e., they’re at least a few centimetres in length), the rooted cuttings can be potted up into a soil substrate. Just after potting your devil’s ivy cuttings up, be wary not to overwater the delicate roots.
Due to the straggly nature of the plant, I would also recommend potting at least three or four cuttings up into a plant so as to create a fuller plant. Propagating your plants is one of the easiest ways to grow your collection for free. Alternatively, rooting cuttings is also a great way to produce gifts for your friends or swap plants you do have for ones you may not already own.
Common plant pests
Of course, the biggest problem that even the most experienced plant growers have to deal with are plant pests. If you notice that your plant has developed pests, then isolate it from surrounding plants immediately and be sure to check them for pests too.
The most common pest to affect the Philodendron scandens are Aphids, scale, spider mites, fungus gnats, and mealybugs. Fungus gnats are most likely to occur in overwatered plants while I’ve personally found that my plants tend to develop spidermites when they are stressed from underwatering.
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