In the spring and summer, when philodendrons are actively growing, water them with a deep soak once a week. As philodendrons prefer higher humidity, mist the leaves with water twice a week. In the winter, give philodendrons a good 10 days’ worth of water.
Keep reading to learn how to tell if your philodendron is under-watered or over-watered and for all the best watering practices…
Table of Contents
How Often to Water Philodendron Plants
Philodendrons are indigenous to tropical climates, where they thrive in forested areas with well-draining, porous soils that are moist but not soggy, frequent rainfall, and relatively high humidity.
As philodendrons are so well adapted to relatively high humidity and frequent rainfall, they need an even moisture level in the soil. If the soil is too dry, they can suffer, displaying signs of stress like brown, drooping leaves. However, if the soil is too wet and does not drain well, they can also experience problems from overwatering.
It’s critical to mimic the conditions of their natural habitat by frequently watering philodendrons for successful indoor growth.
Philodendrons should be given a generous soak to the point where water trickles out of the drainage holes in the base, followed by a brief period of drying out for the top 2 inches before additional watering. One or two times a week, mist the leaves with water to simulate their natural habitat’s humid microclimate.
This usually means giving your philodendron a good soak once a week, but the exact amount of watering required will depend on your climate and the growing conditions in your home. Factors such as:
- The humidity and temperature of your particular climate
- This size of the philodendrons pot (smaller pots can dry much quicker than larger pots)
- No matter if there are heat sources or air conditioners that can cause temperature changes in the philodendron.
- moisture-retention capabilities of the soil.
In order to determine how frequently to water your philodendron in your climate, feel the top 2 inches of the soil with your finger to gauge the amount of soil moisture. Don’t water right away if the soil is still wet. The top two inches of the soil should feel slightly dry at this point, which is the ideal opportunity to give your philodendron a good soak.
Your home’s philodendrons can be watered according to a schedule you create once you know how long it takes for the top two inches of the potting soil to feel slightly dry.
This closely resembles the typical soil moisture levels found in the philodendrons’ natural habitat.
How to Tell If Your Not Watering Philodendron Often Enough
Philodendrons are tropical plants that prefer consistently moist soil, so they are more vulnerable to the effects of underwatering than overwatering.
Philodendrons’ leaves can turn brown and droop if you don’t water them frequently enough. Low humidity causes the leaf margins to turn brown, and if the leaf is in a draft or an air conditioning current, this browning may spread to the entire leaf.
If this occurs to your philodendron, it is obvious that you need to water the plant more frequently and mist it more frequently.
As long as you give the soil a good soak and make sure it stays evenly moist for the next few days, philodendrons frequently recover from a period of the underwatering well.
The philodendron should start to recover after two or three watering cycles.
How to Tell If You Are Watering Philodendrons Too Often
Your philodendron’s yellowing and drooping leaves are an indication that there is too much water around the root ball, which can be brought on by overwatering, poorly draining soils, pots or containers without drainage holes, as well as the use of saucers, trays, and ornamental outer pots.
More frequently, the issue isn’t necessarily just excessive watering; rather, it’s water that pools around the roots because it can’t get out the bottom of the pot.
Insufficient oxygen in the soil prevents root respiration and interferes with the roots’ ability to function, which causes the philodendron leaves to yellow and droop. This is because the roots cannot properly absorb water and nutrients.
Factors That Affect How Often to Water Your Philodendron
In an effort to remember to water their plants, beginning gardeners are frequently tempted to schedule their watering.
While this might sound like a good idea, there are so many variables involved with your plant’s water needs that sticking to a regimented watering schedule is likely to lead to problems – usually overwatering leading to root rot.
Instead of a schedule, understand how each of the following factors affects your plant and its water requirements:
Your philodendron requires hardly any water during the winter. During this time, the plant won’t grow very much or at all, and because the temperature is cooler, water won’t evaporate from the pot as quickly as it would in warmer weather.
At least once a week, check on your philodendron and water it as necessary. It may require watering every couple of weeks or every couple of months, depending on its size and location.
Our homes have central heating, so the humidity levels are typically lower in the winter than they are in the summer.
Even though your philodendron requires less water in the winter, it still needs at least 40% humidity to prevent drying out.
Your philodendron plant wakes up and starts to produce new growth in the spring. Your plant needs more water as a result of this, which is brought on by increases in temperature and light levels.
Using the methods described above, check your plant daily, and be ready to water it more frequently—once a week or so, depending on the size and location of your plant.
Your philodendron needs the most water during the summer. Due to the plant’s active growth and the heat, the water in the plant’s pot will evaporate quickly.
Keep an eye on your plant every day, and water it as often as necessary. Your plant should be content with a deep drink once or twice a week.
Unless kept in extremely warm climates, the majority of philodendron varieties are unlikely to flower when kept as indoor plants. It can take up to 15 years for many varieties, like the Split-Leaf Philodendron, to bloom. Congratulations if your philodendron is blooming, then!
You should give it a deep drink once or twice a week, or more frequently if necessary. Check your plant every day
Your philodendron plant will require significantly more water in the summer than it will in the winter.
Your plant uses water to maintain healthy cell function and grows quickly when the weather is warm. Water is necessary for all those cells!
Furthermore, the larger the leaves on your philodendron plant, the more water is lost through transpiration; this process is amplified by temperature. In particular, for clay-based pots, water also evaporates from them.
Keep your philodendron plant at a constant warm temperature because they are native to tropical regions.
There are many varieties of philodendron, some more hardy than others, but all appreciate a temperature of no lower than 65 – 70°F (18 – 21°C) during the night and 75 – 85°F (24 – 30 °C) during the day.
Philodendron plants require a humidity level of at least 40%, ideally 50-60%, to flourish. They originate from humid jungle regions, so low humidity will cause your plant to dry out.
The faster water evaporates from your plant’s leaves and is sucked out into the dry air, the lower the humidity.
Low humidity can cause very rapid dehydration, which if left untreated could kill your plant.
Philodendron plants thrive in conditions with abundant bright, dappled light, such as those found below the canopy of a rainforest.
They are not well suited for locations with excessive direct sunlight because the sun’s rays rarely touch them.
For the majority of philodendron varieties, the ideal environment is one with lots of bright, indirect light that is not in the sun’s direct line of sight, like next to a window.
A few varieties thrive best in low light conditions, and variegated varieties will benefit from more light to maintain their vibrant colors.
Philodendrons will require more water than those in darker, cooler environments if you plant them in warmer, brighter environments.
More growth and evaporation result from rising temperatures and light levels, which calls for more water.
Size of the Plant
If you have a small to medium-sized philodendron that is kept in a pot no larger than six inches and within the recommended temperature range.
During the summer, you’ll likely need to water your plant once or twice a week, and around once a month in the winter.
If you have a large plant in a large pot that is kept in similar conditions, you should water it slightly less frequently, once a week in the summer to once or twice a month in the winter.
Keep in mind that this is only a guide, so get to know your plant!
Even though a large plant requires more water than a small plant, you don’t necessarily need to water a large plant more frequently. Often, you’ll need to water less frequently! always make sure your plant is healthy.
Compared to terracotta or other clay pots, plastic pots retain water much more. Only the surface of the potting medium or the drainage holes in the bottom allows water to escape.
If you use a plastic pot to grow your philodendron plant, check that it has lots of drainage holes in the bottom that are large enough for water to flow through without difficulty.
If you use a clay or terracotta pot, keep in mind that water will evaporate through the surface of the potting mix as well as the pot’s sides. The pot must still have sufficient drainage holes at the bottom!
Philodendrons prefer rich, moist potting soil that is always well-draining but never wet because they are indigenous to tropical rainforests.
Vining varieties of philodendron, like the Heartleaf Philodendron, are the most popular varieties kept as indoor plants.
These plants prefer a slightly different potting mix than most other houseplants because they naturally grow on trees.
Your plant should thrive in a mixture of 30% general-purpose compost, 20% peat, 40% orchid bark with charcoal, and 10% perlite with a thin layer of sphagnum moss.
Self-Heading or “Tree” type philodendrons will also benefit from this combination, but they may also thrive in a rich general-purpose compost that has been blended with 10 to 20% perlite to aid in aeration and drainage.
The most crucial factor is that the potting mix you use for your philodendron is well-draining, regardless of the type.
There may be serious issues with your plant, such as root rot if the potting mix retains too much water.
Make sure the pot of your philodendron can drain because it is much simpler to prevent issues than to solve them.
It is sometimes suggested to increase drainage by placing stones or pottery shards in the bottom of your pots, but this is never a good idea.
Usually, this has the opposite effect and can cause water to collect in the pot’s bottom, increasing the danger of root rot.
How Much to Water Philodendrons
While the frequency of watering your philodendron can change depending on a number of variables, the recommended amount of water is constant.
Always give philodendrons a good soak so that any extra water drips out of the bottom of the pot.
By doing this, you can be sure that the soil has received the proper amount of water infiltration, allowing the roots to absorb the water the philodendron needs and maintaining an even moisture level.
A good soak every time you water also encourages good root development
If you water philodendron potting soil too lightly, only the top inch or so becomes moist, and the water does not reach the roots further down in the soil, which causes the leaves to droop and turn brown as a sign of drought stress.
Well Draining Soil is Crucial When Watering Philodendrons
To prevent root rot, philodendrons should be grown in the appropriate potting soil and receive the appropriate amount of water.
In their natural habitat, philodendrons grow in moist but porous, well-draining soil; they cannot tolerate compacted soil or soil without an aerated structure because it interferes with the proper function of the roots.
Approximately 3 parts regular potting soil to 1 part perlite should be used when planting philodendron. In order for the roots to be able to function properly, the soil must remain porous and aerated, and the perlite improves soil drainage and increases soil pore size to achieve this.
Perlite encourages drainage, keeping the soil moist around the root ball rather than soggy to avoid issues brought on by excessive watering.
This soil profile closely resembles the soil profile found in the philodendrons’ natural habitat.
The ideal moisture balance for philodendrons can be easily maintained with the help of the right potting soil, which also helps to minimize the negative effects of overwatering and maintain the health of your plant.
Water Philodendrons in Pots With Good Drainage
Philodendrons must have soil that is consistently moist, but they cannot tolerate having their roots in saturated soil, so it is crucial to plant philodendrons in pots or containers with drainage holes in the bottom to let the excess water drain.
The best way to make sure that the soil is evenly moist and that your philodendron is receiving enough water is to water generously until the water can be seen trickling from the base of your pot.
If you grow philodendrons in pots without drainage holes, water will pool around the root ball, the leaves will turn yellow, and the plant will eventually die back from root rot.
Water can still pool around the roots of your potted philodendron if:
- The drainage holes become blocked with roots or compacted soil. If you see that the soil is draining slowly, you should investigate whether you need to clean out the base hole to allow water to properly drain out.
- Saucers and trays underneath the pot. Using trays or saucers underneath your pot can keep water from spilling into your home, but you should regularly empty them to keep water from accumulating and keep the soil around your philodendron too wet.
- Decorative outer pots. There are no drainage holes in the bottom of the decorative outer pot that philodendrons are frequently sold in when they are presented for sale. Always empty the outer pot after watering, or plant your philodendron in a pot with drainage holes in the base, as the outer pot can cause water to pool around the root ball.
Caring for a Philodendron
What other maintenance procedures are there for philodendron plants besides regular watering? Even though philodendron plants prefer partly sunny environments, they do well in shady areas.
In other words, they do not like direct sunlight and instead prefer indirect sunlight like that found nearby. If they do not receive enough sunlight, they will grow long and “leggy” without much foliage.
If the leaves start to yellow, they may be lacking in chlorophyll and in need of more sunlight.
Loamy, aerated, loose, well-draining, fertilized soil is preferred by philodendrons. In the spring, later in the summer, and then once more every few months during the winter, try an all-purpose liquid fertilizer.
It might be time to fertilize if your plant appears smaller or shrinks from its usual size.
In terms of the ideal climate for philodendrons, the temperature should never fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t put your plants close to an air conditioner or vent, so that they are protected from drafts and breezes.
The philodendron is not particularly pest-prone, but if you have other houseplants, you might notice mealybugs, aphids, or spider mites hanging around your philodendron.
To get rid of the bugs, just wash the leaves with insecticidal soap.
Gardeners need to be aware that these plants can be harmful if consumed by people or animals. Pets, children, and other animals should not be able to access climbing vines.
Key Takeaways: Watering Your Philodendron is Key to Have a Happy Plant.
- In the spring and summer, when philodendrons are actively growing, water them once a week. To increase humidity, mist the leaves of philodendrons twice a week. During the winter, water philodendrons every ten days.
- Always give philodendrons a generous soak to ensure that the soil is moist all around.
- Philodendrons should be planted in a mixture of 3 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite to enhance drainage and soil structure. This aids in simulating the soil characteristics of the philodendron plant’s native habitat.
- Philodendron leaves that have not received enough water droop and turn brown as a sign of stress. The leaves droop and turn yellow when the root ball is surrounded by too much moisture. For the philodendron to remain healthy, make sure the potting soil is consistently moist.
You may want to know How Often To Water Calathea? Ultimate Watering Guide – New Planting
Do Philodendrons Like to Be Misted?
Your Philodendron Birkin can tolerate normal household humidity, but higher humidity encourages larger leaves. Your plant will benefit from regular misting. Temperatures above 55 degrees at night and between 70 and 80 degrees during the day are ideal for your plant’s growth.
Do Philodendrons Like Direct Sunlight?
Although philodendrons are typically found in tropical, frost-free regions, they can also flourish in the low humidity found in most homes. Grow philodendrons indoors in indirect light, as direct sunlight can cause burning on the leaves.