Last Updated on October 15, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
Philodendron cordatum plants are known for their lovely leaves.
They make for great indoor plants and have grown massively in popularity.
Unfortunately, this plant’s sap has a toxic nature.
Just like every climbing plant, they have some care requirements that need to be followed to grow a healthy plant.
How do you take care of a philodendron?
Basics Of Plant Care
Philodendron Cordatum care is easy for this common house plant. Water them every couple of weeks, keep them in bright indirect light whilst maintaining bright light, keep temperatures cool, and ensure to use aerated soil for optimal root growth.
If you keep the shrub healthy, plant issues won’t be a problem.
Indoor House Plant Questions
What’s a good soil mixture for your Philodendron? What is the correct humidity? Do they enjoy direct sun? Are there any common mistakes that you can avoid?
Let us find out.
Origin Of Philodendron Plants
The philodendron is a very popular plant choice among plant enthusiasts. It comes in roughly 200 varieties and is native to Southeastern Brazil.
Philodendron species belong to the Araceae family and are classified as perennial shrubs. This is an epiphytic plant, which means that they are climbers and have a trailing growth habit if provided with a support system such as a peat moss stick.
Although Philodendron cordatum is one of its more common scientific names, this beautiful plant has been rewarded with other names. Most of these derive from the look and shape of this shrub.
Heart Leaf Philodendron or Sweetheart Plant
This name was given due to the shape of the foliage. It produces dark green heart-shaped leaves.
This philodendron variety presents with yellowish leaf variegation.
This name was awarded to a philodendron that grows with magnificent silver-leaved variegation.
Another common name is known as Philodendron Angra dos reis.
When the heart leaf philodendron is left to grow outdoors in its natural environment, this trailing plant is able to grow the longest vines and climb to heights of 50 feet developing leaves that can reach a width of a foot in diameter. This magnificent size is however rarely seen when growing it in hanging baskets as a houseplant.
Humidity and light play a role in the philodendrons size.
The heart leaf philodendron rarely starts actively producing flowers when grown as an indoor plant.
When cultivation happens outdoors small and insignificant sterile male flowers grow from the spathes. Even deeper in the spathes, one will find female flowers which are just as sterile-looking as their male companion.
Both flowers are equally forgettable and their main pollinators are Cyclocephala beetles, which are attracted to the pheromones that the blossoms release.
Have you noticed brown non-leaf-bearing growths coming from your philodendrons stem? Don’t worry, this is normal. They’re the cordatums roots. They are known as aerial roots or air roots and they are the structures that help this beauty climb and reach spaces of more light.
Feel free to prune them away if they become too unruly.
How To Care For A Philodendron
This heart-shaped wonder is a hanging plant and is easy to care for when grown indoors.
There are ways to care for this climber that can ensure it’s growing properly.
Some essential steps need to be followed to get the best-looking Philodendron possible. These steps are simple to implement, making these plants perfect for a beginner plant keeper.
Let’s look at how to care for a Philodendron Cordatum.
Philodendron Soil Requirements
Philodendron Cordatums like loose, well-draining, moist, and chunky soils that their roots can easily grow. Use a traditional potting soil mix, or a soil mix containing peat. Peat helps aerate the soil and keep it loose.
When looking for soil for your philodendron, avoid sandy soils. Sandy soils drain better but aren’t loose enough for the plant’s roots to grow effortlessly, which can stunt your plant’s growth.
Mix your own soil for your Philodendron to ensure that it is perfect for your shrub.
Perfect Potting Mix
- 30% sphagnum
- 30% peat
- 20% crushed wood bark
- 20% perlite
This is a chunky soil mixture with good drainage, and it’s aerated enough for the plant’s roots to have enough growing space.
Philodendron Cordatums require frequent watering as their natural habitat are rainforests. These plants generally need to be watered every one to two weeks.
Before watering them, wait for the top part of the soil to dry; otherwise, you may overwater your plant. Feel the top inches of the soil with your finger, this way you can easily figure out when to water your philodendron.
After waiting for the soil to dry, you need to water it carefully.
Only water it until excess water begins to run out of the drainage holes of your plant pot. Once the water has stopped draining, discard all of the water in the plant saucer below the plant pot.
Avoid using tap water and water more frequently in spring and summer when there are warmer temperatures.
Indirect Light Or Bright Light
The lighting conditions and light requirements for Philodendron Cordatums aren’t that difficult to obtain. Philodendron Cordatums thrive in bright indirect light, but they also survive in low light conditions. This is what makes these plants the perfect house plants.
Keep your Philodendron cordatum near a window where the sun’s rays provide bright light but never directly touches the plant.
If your Philodendron cordatum is kept in too much bright light consisting of direct sun, this will begin to burn the plant’s foliage. This intense direct sunlight can cause permanent damage to the Philodendron’s leaves.
This shrub thrives in humid conditions.
The moisture level in normal home conditions tends to be sufficient and causes no issues with the plant. But having a higher humidity indoors makes the lovely leaves of the Philodendron Cordatum grow bigger and obtain a fuller growth.
It’s thus recommended to mist their leaves using a spray bottle occasionally to up the moisture level, especially when you feel that your house offers too dry conditions.
Self-watering planters or humidity trays, or automatic humidifiers for plants also aid in increased moisture levels.
The best temperature to keep your Philodendron happy is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the temperature surrounding your philodendron never goes lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, as this low temperature can stunt your plant’s growth.
When planting outside, this shrub does best in USDA hardiness zones 10-12.
Common Philodendron Cordatum Care Mistakes
Overwatering your Philodendron is a common mistake that is made in plant care. An indication that you may be overwatering your plant is if the leaves begin to turn yellow with crispy spots. A lack of drainage can also cause this issue.
If this begins to happen, then all you need to do is pay closer attention to the soil dampness before you water your plant and follow the instructions mentioned earlier. Make sure that you refrain from using a planter without drainage holes.
If your Philodendrons starts getting droopy foliage and the leaves are turning brown or they are softer than usual, this could indicate that you are not providing your plant with enough water.
If leaf spot is the case, you need to gradually increase the amount of water you give your plant at each watering. If you increase the amount of water too fast, this could drown your plant or cause root rot.
Giving your philodendron plant food is part of its plant care and will encourage growth. Use a gentle fertilizer about every few weeks to once a month during the plants growing season, which in this case are spring through fall.
Using organic houseplant fertilizer should be sufficient and is great to use in order to avoid root burn. Using a regular liquid fertilizer would also be good enough, but be sure to dilute it to half strength before using it on your philodendron.
A good rule to go by when fertilizing any plant is to do so after watering. Especially when making use of synthetic fertilizers. This way the substance dilutes in the soil and the chances of fertilizer burn reduces.
If you plant your cordatum in a potting mix that includes a slow release fertilizer, you can hold off on fertilizing your plant for the first 6 months of its life.
During colder months such as the winter season, the plant stops actively growing and feeding does not have to take place as frequently. Fertilizing once a month or even less while the plant is resting should be enough.
Repotting your sweetheart vine is only necessary when the roots become overcrowded in its container as they are quite root-bound. You can determine this by looking at the drainage holes on the bottom of your plant pot. If the roots of the Philodendron Cordatum are growing out of these holes, then it is time to repot the plant.
To repot this plant, you should wait until the end of its dormant period, early fall to end of winter, or at the beginning of the active growing period, early spring. However, the recommended time to repot your Philodendron Cordatum is when the new leaves begin to grow, as this repotting will ensure the growth is not stunted.
Use a larger inch pot or a slightly larger container with a drainage hole when repotting. Remove the shrub, gently shake off any excess soil from the root ball and then place it into a new pot.
You may also be interested in further Philodendron information;
Care of Philodendron Gloriosum
Care of Pink Princess Philodendron
Care of Philodendron Billietiae
Lemon Lime Philodendron Care
Philodendron Florida Ghost
How To Propagate A Philodendron Cordatum
Propagating these houseplants should only be attempted in the spring or summer as these are the seasons where the plant is most active.
When you are propagating your plant, you need to cut the stem of a mother plant with sharp scissors or pruning shears, as this will help avoid scaring the plant.
You can propagate this plant in two ways, with water or with moist soil. Place the stem cuttings into one of these options to being to grow a new plant.
If you are going to propagate with water, once the stem starts to grow roots, you can transfer the new Philodendron Cordatum plant into a pot with moist soil. The new growth should begin growing leaves in three to four months.
If you are going to use soil to propagate your plant, ensure that the soil is always moist until the roots grow. Then you can begin to water it as you would an adult Philodendron Cordatum.
Pests And Diseases Common To Philodendron Cordatum
Philodendron plants are not highly prone to diseases and pests; however, they are not immune to them, and you should nevertheless be on the lookout for them. Common pests of this plant are mealybugs, aphids, and the pernicious spider mite. Spider mites are possibly the most serious on this list, especially in cases of a severe infestation.
To help treat these, you can spray your plant with an insecticidal soap spray, or if you want to use a natural product, you can use neem oil, which also works as a preventative.
Getting the pests into direct contact with rubbing alcohol will help get rid of them. This can be done by using a cotton bud, tipping it in spirits and then making contact with the tiny bugs.
The most common diseases that your Philodendron Cordatum may suffer from are fungal infections, bacterial infections, or root rot disease. These diseases are most associated with too much moisture around the plant.
To help treat and prevent these diseases, you need to make sure your plant has good ventilation and is in a place with good airflow. Remember that a healthy plant is less likely to have any of these issues, so there is no need to worry if you keep your plant healthy and happy.
The sweetheart vine, like most plants, are good houseplants with easy plant care.
If you follow the care requirements mentioned in this article and avoid common mistakes, your Philodendron will be a happy and healthy addition to any indoor houseplant family.
Good luck with the care of your Philodendron Cordatum!