Philodendron plants are a large group of tropical indoor plants that continually prove to be great houseplants.
Learning how to grow Philodendron is easy and makes indoor gardening such a pleasurable hobby.
This diverse group is arguably one of the most popular houseplants in the U.S.
Lush, tropical leaves make them visually appealing.
Low maintenance and easy care put them on the “must-have” list for every indoor gardener.
There are two main ways to classify the growing habits of Philodendrons: those that vine or trail and those that grow upright.
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Types of Philodendron
Philodendrons that climb, trail, or vine is perhaps one of the most recognizable houseplants.
They are often called heartleaf Philodendron.
Beloved by gardeners for years, these indoor plants consistently perform well in homes, offices, and shopping malls.
It’s common to see them trained to grow in hanging baskets, on ledges, up poles, and other supports, bringing nature indoors.
The leaves are heart-shaped and thus the name.
The most popular variety has dark green leaves.
Variegated varieties are becoming increasingly popular as houseplants become more popular.
Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)
This is the classic Philodendron that is familiar to most everyone!
Brasil Philodendron (Philodendron ‘Brasil’)
Variegated, heart-shaped leaves make a bold, bright statement
Velvet Philodendron (Philodendron ‘Velvet’)
Velvet Philodendron is similar to the heartleaf with the additional velvet texture.
The bronze-green leaves make it a unique addition to a home’s decor.
There are also trailing Philodendrons with large leaves.
These are less common in home decor but are used extensively in commercial interior plant designs.
The leaves still have the classic heart shape, but begin to have a more tropical and exotic feel.
Large, glossy green leaves
Vines can grow 6-8 feet
Displaying and Decorating with Vining Philodendron
- Allow vines to drape from bookcases and filing cabinets
- Hanging Baskets
Philodendron That Grow Upright
Upright growing Philodendrons have become increasingly popular over the past few years.
These varieties have large bold leaves that make them a statement plant in a home’s décor.
Many varieties resemble Monstera and are often mistaken for them.
In addition, Monstera plants are often called “split-leaf Philodendron” which can cause confusion in the plant world.
Upright Philodendron grow in a bush or shrub habit and do not form vines.
Their care is similar to the vining varieties, however, they always appreciate more indirect light.
Red Congo Philodendron (Philodendron ‘Congo Rojo’)
New leaves are red and mature to a burgundy-green color
Stems are burgundy
Height: 18- 24″; Width 24-30″
New leaves are copper-orange color
Leaves mature to a soft green color
Height: 24-30″; Width: 24-30″
Tree Philodendron , Split-Leaf Philodendron (Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum)
This is not technically a Philodendron as it was reclassified from the genus in 2018, but is still mistakenly considered a Philodendron
Deeply lobed leaves
Can reach 4-8′ high and 4′-8′ wide
Displaying and Decorating with Upright Philodendron
- Ideal floor plants in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms
- A must-have for a sunroom or three-season room
- Can be a focal point or specimen plant of a room’s décor
- Display leaves in vases throughout the home and office in lieu of cut flowers
How To Grow Philodendron
- After watering, allow the top few inches of soil to dry before watering again.
- Overwatering is one of the main reasons a Philodendron will have health problems.
- It can cause the roots to rot and leaves to become yellow.
- Fungus gnats can also be a problem when Philodendrons are overwatered.
- Bright, indirect light is ideal for all types of Philodendron.
- However, they are incredibly adaptable to low-light rooms. This characteristic is part of their popularity with indoor gardeners.
- Philodendron will tend to grow more slowly and the growth can be a bit more spindly in low-light environments.
- Philodendron will definitely benefit from regular fertilization during the spring and summer months.
- Use either a slow-release or water-soluble fertilizer designed for houseplants.
- Avoid fertilizing in the fall and winter as most houseplants don’t grow during this time and fertilizing isn’t necessary.
General Maintenance Tips
- Vining Philodendron will benefit from being pruned. Trimming the vine will encourage new growth that is more compact.
- As with any houseplant, remove discolored leaves with sharp pruners. Wear gloves as Philodendron sap can cause irritation and burning if it makes contact with your eyes or mouth.
- Vining Philodendrons are easy to propagate by rooting stem cuttings in water.
- Occasionally place Philodendron in a shower under room temperature water to remove dust and debris. This keeps the leaf pores clean and restores the glossy appearance.
- All Philodendron are poisonous to pets and humans. Avoid keeping in homes in which they could be ingested.
Philodendrons are a classic group of indoor plants that continue to be popular among beginners and accomplished gardeners.
Their ability to adapt to low-light makes them a staple for almost any home or office.
Whether it is a vining or upright style, there is a variety to meet any style.