How To Care For A Philodendron? – An amazing plant

philodendron leaves turning yellow

Do you know what is philodendron? I think most people don’t know about this plant. This is a very special and amazing plant. And also there are a lot of different ways to grow it. This article will introduce these plants.

Philodendrons are fast-growing, easy plants. They range in growth patterns from graceful and vining to bold and bushy. Philodendrons are generally forgiving and will tolerate all kinds of neglect including low light, poor soil, and inconsistent watering.

The Philodendron genus contains hundreds of species of beautiful foliage plants. Philodendrons are great for bringing a touch of their native tropical flair to your home because their leaves are typically large, green, and glossy. There are two varieties of philodendrons to choose from, both of which are well-known for their simple growing requirements: vining and non-climbing. The several-foot-tall vining varieties typically need a support structure to climb on, like a trellis or a basket, and they also tend to grow in clusters. Non-climbing varieties are great container foliage plants because they grow upright. Philodendrons grow quickly in the general population.

Philodendrons are also a great plant choice to purify the air in your home. Although they grow best when planted in the spring, houseplants can usually be started at any time of the year. If consumed, they are harmful to both humans and animals.

Common NamePhilodendron
Botanical NamePhilodendron spp.
Plant TypePerennial
Mature Size1–20 ft. tall, 1–6 ft. wide
Sun ExposurePartial
Soil TypeLoamy, well-drained
Soil pHAcidic
Hardiness Zones9–11 (USA)
Native AreaCentral America, South America
ToxicityToxic to pets, toxic to people

Cultivation and History

Philodendrons were first introduced to Europe by French botanist Charles Plumier in 1693.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, more and more new species were found as expeditions to the New World’s tropics increased in frequency. Heinrich Schott, an Austrian botanist, had described 135 species by 1860, and at least 489 species are currently recognized.

Three groups of philodendron growth patterns are identified:

  • Epiphytic – growing on other plants
  • Terrestrial – growing from the soil
  • Hemiepiphytic – growing both on other plants and from the soil

Epiphytes typically develop on a host plant, soaking up moisture and nutrients from the surrounding environment through rain, wind, or other debris. Epiphytes usually cause no harm to their hosts, aside from occasionally engulfing trees and shading them out.

Hemiepiphytes are classified further into primary and secondary categories because they have a growth pattern that alternates between being an epiphyte and a terrestrial plant for portions of their life cycle.

A primary hemiepiphyte disperses its seeds in the tree canopy with the assistance of birds and other animals, where they germinate and attach to the tree. As the plant ages, it releases roots that eventually reach the soil where they can absorb moisture and nutrients. These roots eventually grow towards the forest floor.

Beginning as rooted vines that extend toward the host tree’s canopy, secondary hemiepiphytes are vascular plants. Some species may eventually completely sever their ties to the earth and live as full-fledged epiphytes.

An intriguing fact is as follows: unlike most other epiphytes, philodendrons don’t usually die if they fall off their host. They can simply root into the ground or quickly retake the same or grab another host to resume their ascent due to their unusual hardiness and tenacity.

Most commonly grown philodendrons are very adaptable and do well outdoors year-round in Zones 9-11, though the popular heart-leaf philodendron is only suited to growing outside in Zones 11 and 12.

Of course, the plants thrive indoors in any climate. Despite preferring higher humidity levels, they can also thrive in lower humidity environments.

It’s important to comprehend the natural growth pattern of your particular plant whether you’re growing them outdoors or indoors. Epiphytic species will need less soil, but they might also need a host plant to grow.

Philodendron Care

Due to their generally low maintenance requirements, philodendrons make wonderful houseplants, but to ensure the health of your plant, it’s still crucial to maintain ideal growing conditions. Aim to replicate the philodendron’s native tropical environment when taking care of it: Give the area close to a window some warmth and moisture. Philodendron houseplants can occasionally benefit from natural light and fresh air by being placed outside in a shaded area during warm weather. Avoid direct sunlight, which can damage the leaves delicate surfaces.

By routinely wiping them off with a damp cloth, you can maintain your plant’s leaves at their best appearance and functionality.

There are no significant diseases or pest problems with these plants. However, they can be vulnerable to common houseplant pests like aphids, mealybugs, scales, thrips, and spider mites. 3 Treat pests with a natural insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.


Usually, partial sunlight is the best environment for this species to grow. Although philodendrons require sunlight, they would naturally receive dappled light under a tropical canopy as opposed to direct light. Set them up close to a window inside that receives plenty of indirect light. Leggy growth with lots of space between the leaves can be the result of insufficient light. However, if the light is too strong, many leaves may turn yellow at once.


Loose potting soil with plenty of organic matter is preferred by philodendrons. The soil needs to drain well. It is advised to swap out the philodendron’s soil about every two years for container plants. Salts that build up in the soil as a result of watering are sensitive to these plants and can cause leaf browning and yellowing. Periodically water your container thoroughly until water comes out of its drainage holes to flush out some of the salts. However, the soil will eventually need to be renewed.


In general, these plants prefer a moderate amount of soil moisture. Check the soil of your philodendron to determine the right watering schedule: Anytime the top inch of soil becomes dry, water this plant. Decide when to water by the soil’s dryness rather than just looking at the leaves because both overwatering and underwatering can make the leaves droop. Philodendrons don’t do well when they are left in wet soil because this can cause root rot. Varieties that don’t climb typically tolerate droughts a little better than species that climb. In the winter, water your indoor plants less frequently.

Temperature And Humidity

Depending on the species, philodendrons have varying tolerances to heat. They shouldn’t typically be exposed to colder than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. By keeping them indoors, you can shield them from cool drafts like those that come from an air conditioner vent. If you live in a dry climate, you might need to increase the humidity around your philodendron because these plants prefer it. To do this, mist the plant with water using a spray bottle once or twice per week. In order to avoid root rot, you can also set the container on a tray of pebbles with water. Just make sure the bottom of the container doesn’t touch the water.


In the spring and summer, give your plant a balanced liquid fertilizer every month. Refer to the product label’s instructions for the amount to use. In the fall and winter, reduce feeding to once every six to eight weeks. Your plant will grow more slowly than usual and its leaves may resemble miniature versions of one another if it isn’t receiving enough food.

The Most Unique Philodendron Species

Hoping to add a philodendron plant to your home? Consider one of the unique varieties below, which are popular with plant parents.

Birkin Philodendron 

The species has more than 450 varieties, but some are more common than others. One popular non-climbing variety is Birkin philodendron, which Meyers says is defined by its large dark green leaves with lots of creamy streaks. The plant is slow growing and can reach two feet tall and wide at maturity. 

Pink Princess Philodendron

Alternatively, pink princess philodendron is a vining type that has dark olive green leaves with white spots when they first emerge, but changes to black and hot pink when the plant reaches maturity. 

Split Leaf Philodendron

Also known as monstera deliciosa, or swiss cheese plant, split-leaf philodendron is a climbing plant with large leaves with finger-like lobes. Each of these popular philodendron varieties looks and grows differently but have the same water and light requirements.   

Pruning of Philodendrons

Use sterile pruning shears or scissors to trim back philodendron vines if they become too long or leggy. Spring or summer are the ideal seasons to carry out this task. Any time of year is safe to give your philodendron a light trim to get rid of yellowing leaves and spindly growth. The ideal place to cut is just above a leaf node. Utilize your stem cuttings for propagation.

Propagating Philodendrons

It is simple to divide and take stem cuttings to grow philodendrons. Boost your own supply or share newly propagated pots of this well-liked houseplant with friends. Early spring is the ideal time to propagate because the days are getting longer. Following these techniques, you can grow philodendrons:

How to grow plants from stem cuttings:

  1. You will require potting soil, a pot, sterilized pruning shears or strong scissors, and, at your discretion, rooting hormone.
  2. To encourage the development of roots, cut a section of the stem about 6 inches long and put it in a water container. To increase your chances of successful rooting, you can add a rooting hormone as directed on the packaging, but it’s typically not necessary.
  3. As it evaporates, pour in more liquid. To avoid algae or bacterial growth, completely change the water if sitting in the same place for more than two or three weeks.
  4. Pot the cutting in moist soil once several roots have formed (usually within two weeks).

How to divide a philodendron:

  1. Philodendrons frequently produce plantlets that, once they reach a length of several inches, can be transplanted while still attached to the parent plant and with their roots intact.
  2. Give your plant a good watering the day before you intend to divide it. You want your plant to be healthy because the division is traumatic for the plant.
  3. You’ll require a new pot, potting soil, and a sharp knife.
  4. Remove the plant from its current container, set it on a flat, stable surface, use your fingers to loosen the root ball, and then pull the plantlet off with its roots. If necessary, a knife can be used to aid in cutting through thick roots.
  5. As soon as possible, replant the plantlet in new, moist potting soil. Take advantage of the chance to report the original plant in fresh potting soil or a slightly bigger container.

Growing Philodendron From Seed

Stem cuttings can be grown philodendrons much more quickly than from seed. Even so, you can fit several seeds in a 6-inch pot if you insist. In rich soil, plant a seed every two inches, about an inch and third deep. With plastic, enclose the plant. To let air in, occasionally remove the plastic. To keep the soil moist, regularly mist it. No soaking is required before planting philodendron seeds. At a soil temperature of 68 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit, it will take the seeds between two and eight weeks to begin to sprout. Move each seedling to a small pot of its own once they have sprouted and are strong enough to handle it in order to encourage the development of strong roots.

Potting And Repotting Philodendrons

A philodendron should be planted in a container that is slightly bigger than its root ball and has enough drainage holes. It’s time to report the philodendron when the roots begin to emerge from the soil and through the drainage holes in the pot. Repotting is best done in the late spring or early summer. Pick the next-largest pot size. Your plant should be carefully removed from its old pot and placed in the new one with fresh soil at the bottom and all around the sides. After that, thoroughly water the plant.


If you don’t live in a tropical zone, tropical plants need to overwinter indoors. Many common houseplants and tropical plants survive the winter indoors. They quickly adjust to conditions inside. Philodendrons require a little less water than they did during the hotter growing season as the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop. In addition, when indoors, only water when the top of the soil begins to feel dry to the touch. Use pruners to remove any yellowing leaves or long, leggy stems from the plants before bringing them inside, and look for mold, decay, and insects.

Common Problems With Philodendron

Philodendrons are tolerant plants that thrive in enclosed spaces and are simple to grow new plants from. When the conditions for water, sun, and soil are not met, they are vulnerable to some health problems. Here are some symptoms to watch out for and how to respond.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves can be caused by a variety of problems, including giving the plant water that is too cold, not providing enough sunlight, or placing the plant in an environment with too much bright light. You may not be giving the plant enough water if the older leaves are yellowing. You might be overwatering the plant if the younger bottom sets of leaves turn yellow. Most of the time, change these variables to see your plant recover.

If you feed your philodendron, be sure to first water the soil, then add a water-diluted fertilizer solution, and finally water the plant once more. These extra precautions guarantee that the chemicals in the fertilizer do not burn the roots, which can result in yellowing.

Yellowing And Rotting Smell

It may indicate root rot if your plant’s leaves change color quickly. The plant might be saved if you act quickly to stop it. Check the soil for a rotten smell or dig up the root to check its health of it. Most of the time, remove the black, mushy pieces of the rotting root and replant the white or yellow portions of the roots in a clean container with new soil.

Yellow Splotches Or Patterning On Leaves

It might be a sign of the mosaic virus if you see small yellow lesions or patterns on the leaves of your plant. By assisting the plant’s defense mechanisms, you might be able to eliminate the virus: Bring the plant outside if the weather is still warm for some filtered natural light. Keep other plants at least two feet away from the infected plant. Take out the leaves that are badly damaged. To get rid of any dust on the remaining leaves’ surface, hose them down. To assist in the plant’s recovery and growth into a stronger plant, add a fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen to the soil.

Browning Leaves

If the edges of your plant’s leaves start to brown, you might be shocking them with water that is too cold. Additionally, if the leaves on your plant begin to turn brown and mushy, you are probably overwatering. The plant needs more water and less sunlight if the edges of its brown leaves are beginning to curl. As necessary, make adjustments.

Your plant may need more humidity if the tips of its leaves start to brown and have yellow haloes. To increase humidity, mist the plant’s leaves or set the plant container atop a tray of pebbles that has water in it. Keep the plant’s base just above the waterline rather than burying it.

Each plant has its own character and growing habits, and I hope we can care for them while understanding them. Hope this article can help you more.