philodendron hederaceum

How to Grow and Care for the Philodendron hederaceum (Heartleaf philodendron)

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Philodendron hederaceum or heartleaf Philodendron is one of the world’s favorite houseplants. These evergreens from the Araceae family look equally at home climbing a moss pole or trailing on a tabletop or from a hanging basket. What’s more, they are very forgiving and easy to grow, making them suitable for beginners and experts alike.  

What is a Philodendron hederaceum?

Although this plant’s formally accepted name is Philodendron hederaceum, the species still goes by the synonyms P. micans and P. scandens in the horticultural trade. It is a widespread South American aroid from the Araceae family that grows as a hemiepiphyte in moist tropical forest environments. Its stems can grow to several feet in length, although they are easily managed indoors. 

This plant species has been developed into many celebrated cultivars like the popular ‘Brazil’. While the wild form might not have the same flair as the more colorful cultivars, this plant still has a natural beauty and tropical look. 

Does Philodendron hederaceum Bloom?

This is a true foliage plant in the sense that it rarely flowers and is grown for its form and foliage rather than its blossoms. Flowering is possible in mature specimens, however. The inflorescence is green to yellowish-white.

Is Philodendron hederaceum Toxic?

Unfortunately, this species is toxic to both people and pets. It is dangerous if eaten but will also cause irritation if it comes into contact with the eyes or sensitive skin. Take basic precautions when working with these plants and be sure to keep them out of reach of pets and children.  

How to Care for Heartleaf Philodendron

These plants are relatively low-maintenance and easy to care for once you understand their basic needs. Providing the right moisture and light levels are the most important keys to success. Read on to learn more philodendron care tips, and other factors in more detail. 

How much sunlight does Philodendron hederaceum need?

These plants naturally occur in heavily vegetated areas where they receive dappled light or partial to full shade. They will grow best in bright but indirect light when grown indoors. Choose an area in the house near a window that provides plenty of light but no direct line of sight with the sun. 

How Often Should I Water Philodendron hederaceum?

These plants prefer moist conditions, but should never be kept in saturated soil. Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between deep waterings for the best results. Growing this plant in a pot with good drainage holes and an appropriate growing medium will help protect against overwatering. 

What is the Optimum Temperature and Humidity for Philodendron hederaceum?

The room temperature of most homes is perfectly acceptable to this plant, although it may perform better in slightly warmer conditions. They also appreciate some humidity but will grow fine in average home conditions. Nevertheless, growing this plant near a humidifier or in a naturally humid area of the house could be beneficial. 

What is the Best Growing/Potting Media for Philodendron hederaceum?

These plants are adaptable to general-purpose potting soils. They really thrive in loose, chunky soil with organic material and good drainage. Adding some orchid bark and perlite to a basic potting mix will improve its aeration and drainage properties.   

Does the Philodendron hederaceum Need Fertilizer?

Apply a balanced fertilizer when the plant is actively growing. Halving the recommended dosage is a safe way to avoid over fertilizing. Flushing the soil with water from time to time to remove accumulated fertilizer is also good practice. The plant will not require fertilizer in the winter when growth slows. 

Does Philodendron hederaceum need Pruning?

You may wish to prune this plant for shape, neatness, and to remove any dead or unhealthy growth. Use a sterilized and sharp cutting tool to cut stems just above a node. This will promote bushier growth. 

Common Pests and Diseases of Heartleaf Philodendron

These plants are generally pest and disease resistant, which is a large part of their popularity and success as houseplants. Nevertheless, they can be affected by spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scale. They are also vulnerable to disease from overwatering and foliage damage from strong direct sunlight. 

How to Propagate Heart Leaf Philodendron

Seed is rarer and therefore rooting cuttings is the most reliable way of propagating new specimens of these plants. Fortunately, this is easy to do. Use a sharp, sterile tool to take short stem cuttings that contain aerial roots. These can be rooted in either water or soil. 

Check our blog to see more indoor philodendron types that you can grow.

*image by ccelia7280/depositphotos


Reference list

Royal Botanic Gardens. Philodendron Hederaceum Var. Hederaceum

Tulane University. Oxalate Plant Poisoning

University Of Florida. Heart-leaf Philodendron


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