How to Care for Brother Philo Plants


Philodendrons are hardy, attractive perennials. These tropical plants feature large, broad leaves--some with interesting shapes or variegation--and are usually grown as indoor plants. In fact, philodendrons are popular houseplants for their ease of care, according to Clemson University Cooperative Extension. They are also easy to propagate. Simply cut off a stem near the base, dip it in rooting solution and place it in a propagation medium. For that reason, home gardeners often share their philodendrons through propagation with others. These new plants are often nicknamed "brother philos."

Step 1

Plant your brother philo in a propagating medium. If you are starting with a new cutting, it is important that the medium be light and airy, for good drainage. Purchase a pre-made medium at any home and garden center, or prepare your own using equal parts perlite, peat moss and sand. If your brother philo is already established (well-rooted), plant it in a potting soil that is loamy and rich in organic materials.

Step 2

Place your brother philo in a location where it will receive partial or diffused sunlight. Bright light is good, but not direct sunlight, which can burn the large, attractive leaves of this plant. Philodendrons also grow well in low-light conditions, but they will not grow as quickly.

Step 3

Keep the soil evenly moist, but never let your fragile brother philo sit in standing water, as this will quickly rot the small, new roots of the plant. Overly soggy, muddy soil can also drown this baby plant. Once the brother philo is well-established (usually after a year of growth), you can let the top layer of the soil dry out a bit before watering again.

Step 4

Feed your young plant with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. Use only a half-dose, as philodendrons are somewhat sensitive to fertilizer.

Step 5

Maintain high humidity around a brother philo that has just been cut and rooted in the propagation medium. Plastic can be placed over the plant, either in the form of a tray or bag, to condense the moisture in the air and return it to the plant. Once the brother philo has become firmly rooted, remove the plastic and mist the leaves once or twice a day with a spray bottle.

Step 6

Watch the leaves for signs of yellowing or browning along the edges or on the tips. This is a sign of over-watering, under-watering or using too much fertilizer, according to Clemson University. Adjust your culture practices accordingly.

Things You'll Need

  • Rooting solution
  • Perlite
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Rich, loamy potting soil
  • Watering tool
  • Water-soluble houseplant fertilizer
  • Plastic bag or tray


  • Clemson University: Philodendrons
  • Texas A&M University: Propagating Foliage & Flowering Plants
Keywords: caring for philodendrons, brother philo plants, growing philodendrons

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.