Philodendron Cordatum Care

Placement

PRO TIP: Misting frequently helps the vines to attach to a stake or trellis! It also keeps the foliage dust free. 

The Philodendron cordatum (also known as 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 space, check out our guide for how to measure light in your space.

 

Philodendron Cordatum Leaf

The cut leaves of the Philodendron can survive for months in a vase. Change the water out once a week, and place this beauty in any surface throughout your home.

Routine Maintenance

PRO TIP: This plant has a trailing growth habit, but it can also be trained to climb and attach to walls and other surfaces within the home. 

 

 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 Cordatum and its watering needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.

Standard Planter Instructions

There are two types of standard planters offered by Greenery Unlimited —those with drainage holes, and those without. Within those two categories are an array of sizes and styles to choose from. The presence of drainage holes and size of the vessel play a role in the quantity and frequency of water given to your plant.

Plants purchased in a pot without a drainage hole have been set up with a built-in drainage system. A layer of hydro stones (porous, absorbent material made of recycled glass) has been placed beneath the soil to act as a reservoir for any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not to pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the excess water to escape. We suggest pouring small amounts of water in bit by bit, until you have reached the desired moisture level in the soil.

For plants potted with drainage, water until it begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray.

Always be sure to assess your plant's watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for your plant’s specific moisture requirements. 

Self Watering Container Instructions

The self-watering planters require a good, solid watering of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir first in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks. Then the reservoir is ready to be tested.

TEST: After four weeks, fill the water reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line. If the indicator goes down over the first few days, 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 red indicator goes down, meaning the plant has started drinking from the reservoir.

RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after a drying out period of a few days, be sure to refill it until the indicator reaches the MAX line.

From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir.

Frequently Asked Questions

Help! My Philodendron is turning yellow!

  • Most often yellowing occurs due to over or underwatering. If you see a combination of yellow and brown on the same leaf, it is often due to overwatering. If you're noticing yellow leaves, along with some brown crispy spots on additional leaves, then it could be underwatering. Check in with the soil to determine if it matches your diagnosis.

There are these weird, leafless brown growths coming off of my Philodendron. Is that normal?

  • Yes! These are called aerial roots and are totally normal. In nature, these are what help give support to the plant and allow 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. 

How often should I fertilize my plant?

  • In general, house plants 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 plants 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.

Additional Care Guides