Philodendron Cordatum Care
PRO TIP: The cut leaves of the philodendron can survive for months in a vase. Change the water out once a week, and place this beauty on any surface throughout your home.
The Philodendron cordatum (hederaceum) is a lovely trailing houseplant with heart-shaped emerald green leaves. It can be found on many favorite houseplant lists because it is easy to care for and can tolerate an array of lighting conditions. It is an epiphytic plant native to Central America and the Carribean, and in its natural habitat would be found climbing up trees in the forest canopy. Like most Philodendron plants, the heart leaf thrives in bright but indirect light. However this plant will also adapt to low and medium light spaces. Growth will be slower in these conditions but the plant should remain healthy!
Note: The cultivar ‘brasil’ is identical in leaf shape and growth habit, with the exception of lime green markings on the center of each leaf. This variety requires slightly higher light because of the leaf variegation.
If you are unsure of the lighting conditions in your home of office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.
The pointed, oblong leaves of the Heart leaf Philodendron cascade and trail in a romantic fashion.
PRO TIP: Misting frequently helps the vines to attach to a stake or trellis! It also keeps the foliage dust free.
Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first. In bright light, the Philodendron Cordatum appreciates a watering when the soil has dried half way through the pot. In low and medium light spaces, it is best to allow the soil to dry ⅔ of the way through the pot. A good indication of your plant needing water is when the foliage begins to wilt and curl. It is best to water your plant at the first indication of this (not after it has collapsed), and always be sure to feel the soil in addition to visually monitoring the plant.
Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides and dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize efficiently. When dusting the leaves, also take the opportunity to inspect the undersides and keep an eye out for pests.
Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. Pay attention to the condition of your Philodendron and its watering needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
Help! My Philodendron is turning yellow!
- Most often yellowing occurs due to over or under watering. If you see a combination of yellow and brown on the same leaf, it is likely due to overwatering. If you see fully yellow leaves that fall easily, along with some brown crispy spots on additional leaves, then it could be under watering. Check in with the soil to determine if it matches your diagnosis.
There are leafless brown growths coming off of my Philodendron. Is that normal?
- Yes! These are called aerial roots and they are totally normal. In nature, this is what helps give support to the plant and also allows it to climb and reach more light. The roots will not damage walls or surfaces, and you can always prune them if they get unruly.
How can I train my Philodendron to climb up a stake or trellis?
- Gently wrap and weave the plant up the stake or trellis. Attach if necessary with string or bindwire, and be cautious not to tie it too tightly. Continue caring for the plant as usual, however introduce misting to the foliage of the plant. Added humidity in the air increases the production of aerial roots along the vine that will attach the plant to the stake or trellis. Eventually the plant will grow upwards on its own and you can remove the string if desired.
My Philodendron has gotten way too big. What can I do?
- Prune it back! These guys are very hardy and can handle a good trim. You can also propagate your plant by placing the cuttings in water. You can either leave them in water, or when a substantial amount of roots have grown you can transfer the cuttings to soil.
How often should I fertilize my plant?
- In general, houseplants will thrive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer, following the package instructions for dilution and administration. Greenery NYC uses an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil, so your plant will not need fertilizer within the first 6 months of receiving it.
How often does my plant need to be repotted?
- For larger floor plants, we suggest repotting every 18-24 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 2”- 4” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plant's roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.
Standard Planter Instructions
All of our Standard Planters include a removable drainage plug to give our customers the option of drainage. While no drainage is sometimes preferred for its aesthetic simplicity, we don't recommend this option for beginners as watering mistakes can be hard to rectify.
Whether you choose to use drainage or not, we always recommend using a layer of drainage (such as our Aeration Stones) at the base of the planter. A drainage layer allows the plant's roots access to oxygen in the pockets between the drainage medium, and a lack of drainage can cause anaerobic damage to your plant.
If you decide to utilize the drainage hole for your pot, make sure to include a Plant Saucer beneath your pot to collect excess water. For most plants in standard planters, we recommend watering about once a week. Water the soil mass until water begins pooling in your Plant Saucer.
With no drainage hole, you will need to be more precise in your watering. While we would love to give you a specific measurement of water to provide for your plant, the reality is that a plant's water requirements vary wildly depending on factors such as light exposure and the overall health of the plant. You will need to learn to tell when the plant is thirsty based on how its foliage looks. Droopy foliage is usually the first sign: when your plant looks a little slumped over that's usually a visual indicator that it's thirsty.
The best solution for checking your plant's moisture level, drainage hole of not, is to use a Soil Probe to determine the moisture content of the soil at the bottom of the planter.
Self Watering Planter Instructions
The Self-Watering Planters require a deep and thorough watering of the topsoil after they are first planted. This is important because the roots of the plants first need to grow into the reservoir in order to drink from it. Water your plant from the top for two to four weeks before using the reservoir. During the dormant seasons, or for plants that have slower growing habits, consider top watering for longer.
TEST: After the initial top water period, fill the bottom water reservoir. If the water in the reservoir is absorbed into the planter, it means the plant is ready for regular reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks until the plant has started drinking from the reservoir.
RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the reservoir empties on its own, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, most plants require a drying out period. Allow for the reservoir to empty all the way between watering. All plants are different in their needs so the amount of time the reservoir sits empty will need to be determined, but know that for most plants this period is between 1-3 days.
From here on out, you should rarely topwater the plant while using the reservoir system. Watering from below allows the plant to drink at its own pace, and can help combat certain issues like fungus gnats by allowing the top layer of soil to dry out more. Please note that if your plant's soil dries out too much, it can impair the wicking ability of the Aeration Stones in your planter. If your soil becomes too dry, we recommend giving it a thorough watering.
For more information on our Self Watering Planters include planting instructions, visit our blog post on How to Use Our Self-Watering Pots.
Aeration Stones promote healthy root growth by creating air pockets in the soil and absorbing excess water in the basin of your planter. These porous clay stones are a natural, efficient and invaluable material to set your plant up for success. We always suggest using these when working with a planter without drainage holes.
Stainless Steel Pruners
Salts and moisture from potting soil wreaks havoc on cheaper metals. Stainless steel is one of the most durable metals available on a consumer scale, and these heavy duty pruners are built to take a beating. Great for pruning jobs large and small.
Neem Oil is an all purpose insecticide, miticide, and fungicide used for organic gardening. It's systemic, which means the plant will absorb the neem oil into its circulatory system and poison pests from within. Be careful not to overuse, as this can weaken plants and cause discoloration.
Plants do poorly without air to the roots. Overwatering causes the air to be pushed out of the soil, compacting the soil around the waterlogged roots of the plant. Using the Soil Probe aerates the soil as it checks for moisture.
Watering cans come in all shapes and sizes, and the perfect one for your home is the one you're happiest living with. Look for long spouts and a container volume that's appropriate for your plant collection.
Fox Farm Ocean Forest contains all the features we look for when aiming to ensure the long term health of a plant: excellent water retention, breathability, texture, and is made from organic materials.
10-4-3 fertilizer is a great, gentle choice for indoor foliage. Simply mix this in to your watering can using the supplied directions every other week. Ensure that your plant is receiving a good amount of light, otherwise it won't have the energy to process the nutrients and burnt tips may occur on the foliage.