Did you know … that some Philodendron species don’t need soil to grow? When birds move Philodendron seeds to trees, the plant can also germinate here. These species are air plants: plants that grow on another plant or tree, without extracting nutrition from it. They are capable of subtracting all their nutrition from the environment. On this page you’ll find all information on Philodendron care, from the ideal spot until repotting instructions. Follow these Philodendron care guidelines and help yours live a long and healthy life.
The Philodendron belongs to the arum family (Araceae). There are more than 500 species, including the Monstera. The Philodendron originates from the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Philodendron plants can be divided into two sub-varieties: climbers and non-climbers. The climbers grow aerial roots along the trunk of trees, which they use climb them. They need to do so, because the thick rainforest blocks sunlight from reaching the ground. To receive enough light, the Philodendron needs to get higher up the trees. It does so by curling its aerial roots around trees, which you could almost describe as a loving embrace. And this is exactly where the name “Philodendron” comes from! In Greek, philo means “to love,” and dendron means “tree.” The climbing Philodendrons include the Monstera, Red Emerald and Hastatum.
The non-climbing Philodendrons are not as commonly known. Some of these low-growing plants can become very large, which makes them less suitable as a houseplant. Philodendrons like the Xanadu, Minima or Atom remain much more compact, which is why they are popular indoor plants. Read on for all Philodendron care tips.
Philodendron light requirements
The Philodendron should be placed in a light spot, in filtered sunlight. Some varieties can also be placed in partial shade, such as the Monstera and the Philodendron Scandens.
Philodendron care: water
Make sure the potting soil is always a bit moist, by regularly giving the Philodendron small amounts of water. Never give a large amount of water in one go, and make sure there’s never a layer of excess water at the bottom of the pot. The plant needs more water during spring and summer, as compared to autumn and winter.
Regularly mist the plant using a plant sprayer, especially during winter. This has to do with the fact that the heating significantly lowers the humidity. To maintain a high humidity level, it’s best to spray the plant regularly.
Repot the plant once every 2 or 3 years, during spring. Be careful not to damage the roots too much when repotting. Use a pot that is at least 20% larger than the current pot, allowing the roots plenty of room to grow.
We recommend placing a layer of hydro granules at the bottom of the pot when repotting. That way, it won’t matter if you overwater the plant, as the hydro granules provide drainage.
Philodendron care: Fertilizer requirements
Once you receive the plant, it will not need any fertilizer for the next 2 months. This is because the plant can still obtain sufficient nutrition from the fresh potting soil. When the two months have passed, you’ll only need to apply fertilizer during spring and summer.
Make sure you never give too much plant food. This is harmful to the plant. For the specific amount, look at the packaging and never use more than recommended.
Is the Philodendron plant poisonous?
All outdoor and indoor plants on Plantler have a decorative purpose; they’re not fit for consumption – unless it is explicitly stated that they are (i.e. a fruit tree). The Philodendron is only poisonous when ingested. So, watch out if you have small children and / or pets.