All About Philodendron Heartleaf Care: How to Achieve a Magnificent Vine!
Posted on May 21 2021
The Sweetheart Vine, Philodendron Heartleaf, or Philodendron hederaceum (aka Philodendron scandens)... whatever you choose to call it, this plant is easy and captivating. Fast new, copper-colored growth quickly matures into lush green foliage. With the proper tender love and care, your Philodendron Heartleaf can reach a whopping 10 feet. How can you achieve a bushy, long vine?
Let’s Talk Origins
The Philodendron Heartleaf is native to tropical South America, where it climbs up rainforest trees. In fact, these plants are epiphytes, which means they grow on things rather than in soil. Why does that fact matter? Philodendron Heartleaf plants hate soggy roots, so you’ll have to make adjustments to your soil selection and watering frequency to care for it properly.
Basic Care for your Philodendron Heartleaf
These plants are great for beginners or anyone wanting a low-maintenance houseplant. What’s the most important tip? The less you care for your Philodendron Heartleaf, the better off it will be. Seriously, don’t over-love it.
What About Water?
Overwatering is the #1 reason houseplants die. The best tip? Back off the watering can—water your plant when half or more of the soil is dry. If your plant’s pot is still heavy, the topsoil (or first inch or two of dirt) is damp or cool, don’t water.
You should not water your Philodendron Heartleaf on a set schedule. Instead, water it when it exhibits the proper signs. Realistically, this could take one to three weeks, depending on your home environment.
What are the dangers of overwatering?
The most disappointing: Your Philodendron Heartleaf will not grow into a magnificent vine. Your plant’s new leaves will be smaller, the stems will be “leggy” (longer stem sections between leaves), and overall growth will be slow. An added negative? Overwatered plants are an open invitation for fungus gnats. While these don’t pose a threat to your plant’s well-being, they do pose a threat to your sanity!
Selecting Suitable Soil For the best results, add some extra drainage to your Philodendron Heartleaf’s soil by mixing in extra perlite with a traditional potting soil blend. If you tend to overwater your plants, this step is especially important. Additional drainage ensures that your plant’s soil dries out more frequently, (hopefully) eliminating the threat of overwatering.
“Let there Be Light!” Philodendron Heartleaf plants can survive in a variety of light levels. However, to achieve the most vibrant and bushy growth, medium to bright indirect light is required.
Does this mean that the Philodendron Heartleaf isn’t suitable for that shady corner of your living room?
It depends on what you want to get out of the relationship. Philodendron Heartleaf plants that receive low light will grow extremely slowly. New leaves will be small and darker, and new stems will be leggy. The verdict? If you’re happy with your Philodendron Heartleaf “as-is” and don’t want it to grow larger, it will survive in low-light. However, if you want it to thrive and reach its maximum potential, place it in medium to bright indirect light. Something to remember? Don’t overwater. Plants kept in darker locations require less frequent watering.
How can you tell if your Philodendron Heartleaf is getting too much light?
Leaves will turn light green and may have brown patches of sunburn. Don’t expose your plant to the direct sun.
Tips for Pruning and Training Your Philodendron Heartleaf
If you’re aiming for a bushier, more compact plant, pruning can help! Trim back the stem tips just above a node to encourage branching. You can also pinch off new growth at the stem tips to create a fuller plant. If you’d like to train your Philodendron Heartleaf to grow in a particular direction, use stakes or a trellis. You can gently tie the plant to the support structure using soft plant ties or twine.
Common Pests and Problems
Philodendron Heartleaf plants are generally low-maintenance and resistant to most pests and diseases. However, overwatering can lead to root rot, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow and wilt. If you notice this happening, adjust your watering habits and consider repotting the plant with fresh soil. Mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects can also occasionally appear on these plants. If you notice any of these pests, wipe down the leaves with a soapy solution or use an insecticidal spray.
The Philodendron Heartleaf is an easy-to-care-for houseplant that can add a touch of tropical beauty to any space. By providing it with the proper soil, light, and watering conditions, you can help it grow into a lush, bushy vine. With a little bit of pruning and training, you can also create a beautiful and unique display. So go ahead and add this lovely plant to your collection, and enjoy its charm and elegance for years to come!