Philodendron Plants Care

Overview

Philodendrons include more than 200 species, some climbing, some non-climbing. Only a few are frequently used as houseplants. Usually the non-climbing varieties end up too large and bushy to be conducive for use as houseplant. The vine types are often grown in hanging baskets or provided with support for the climbing vines. Care for these plants is basic and simple. Philodendrons make a good plant for someone just starting out with plant care.

Light

Philodendrons require indirect light. This means they should not be placed directly in a sunny window but rather near the window, out of the direct beams of light. Placement in front of a window with a thin curtain to filter the light is acceptable. In some instances, they are known to grow well in very low light.

Water

Because they are native to tropical American rain forests, philodendrons enjoy humidity and moisture. They require only moderate watering. Philodendrons do not like soggy roots but care should be given not to let them dry out completely. While they prefer humid conditions, the humidity level found in most homes is sufficient. Spraying with a misting bottle can simulate rain forest conditions.

Soil and Fertilizer

Any general-purpose potting soil is adequate for growing luxurious philodendrons. They are adaptable to many soil types but prefer a more alkaline soil. With general-purpose potting soil, you can still use water-soluble fertilizer on a regular schedule of every two to three weeks. Other soil types may require a different schedule.

Problems

Indoor houseplants seldom run into problems with disease or insects. Watering is generally the biggest problem indoor philodendrons face. While most insects are not a problem, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and scales can become a nuisance. Herbicidal soaps can be used to treat these insects. A spray with the soap and water once a week until signs the insects are gone should be adequate.

Vine Care

Vines produce aerial roots. In nature these would anchor on trees or other supports. In the houseplant environment, these vines and their roots can be either encouraged to take root in the same pot, which will stimulate further growth, or snipped off and replanted in a new pot. Do not trim off the roots as that can injure the plant.

Keywords: philodendron, plant care, vine plants

About this Author

Theresa Leschmann has been writing since 2005. Her work has appeared in the "Southern Illinois Plus" and on numerous websites. She is a property manager who writes about gardening, home repair, business management, travel and arts and entertainment topics. She is pursuing an associate's degree in English from Oakton Community College.