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Filling your House with Philodendrons: The Basics of Philodendron Care

Posted on April 20 2021

Filling your House with Philodendrons: The Basics of Philodendron Care

Philodendrons are a popular plant species with diverse shapes, sizes, and types that are perfect for plant lovers. The name Philodendron comes from the Greek word for love and tree, reflecting our fondness for these plants. In this article, we explore what Philodendrons are, where they grow naturally, and how to care for them.

Philodendrons are a large family of about 450 species of plants from the tropical Americas. They come in two basic groups: trailing and non-trailing. Trailing Philodendrons, such as the Heartleaf, Brazil, and Mican varieties, naturally cascade down unless provided with a structure. Non-Trailing Philodendrons, including the Birkin, Moonlight, and Prince of Orange varieties, have huge, uniquely shaped leaves and can hold themselves in an upright, tree-like position for several years.

Most Philodendrons are epiphytes or hemiepiphytes, meaning they grow on things rather than in them. Epiphytic plants are airborne for their entire lifecycle, while hemiepiphytes can either race up a tree after germinating in the soil or germinate in a tree and send roots to the soil to fuel their upward climb. Philodendrons absorb moisture, humidity, and nutrients out of the air due to their treetop origins, so they should never sit in soggy soil.

Philodendrons require well-draining soil to thrive, which is a mix of 1 part indoor potting mix and 1 part cocoa choir. They should be watered 1-2 times weekly, depending on the conditions in your home. Watering should fully saturate the soil, and a lack of humidity will result in slow growth and browning leaves.

Philodendrons require filtered light, not direct sun. The amount of light that is required depends on the plant's species. Philodendrons can withstand dappled sunlight, but they should not be placed in full, direct sun, especially in the afternoon hours.

In conclusion, Philodendrons are an interesting and diverse family of plants. Understanding their natural growing conditions and basic care requirements will ensure that they thrive in your home.

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