Get Years of Enjoyment from the Philodendron Hederaceum

Philodendron hederaceum is native to South and Central America, as well as the West Indies. The plant is also known as Philodendron Heart Leaf or the Sweetheart plant because of the heart-shaped leaves. This Philodendron variety is popular because of its longevity, living a decade or more with proper care.

Get Years of Enjoyment from the Philodendron Hederaceum

Philodendron Hederaceum Appearance 

The Philodendron Heart Leaf has a vining growth habit growing between 3 to 13 feet (0.9 to 3.9 meters) long and 1 to 3 feet (30.4 cm to 0.9 meters) wide. The plants are a good choice for hanging baskets, but will grow well in a pot with a trellis or support pole. The foliage starts as bronze tinged, then turns dark green with maturity. Each leaf grows up to 12 inches (30.4 cm) long. Blooms, though rare when the plant is grown indoors, are small and whitish-green. 

Light Requirements for Philodendron Heart Leaf

Grow your plant in a West or East-facing window with bright, indirect sunlight. These lighting conditions promote vigorous growth and larger leaves. A good indication your plant is receiving enough light is if your leaves are at least 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) long. Avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight as the leaves will burn.

Watering the Philodendron Hederaceum

Practice the soak and dry watering method by letting the top two inches of soil dry out between waterings. Water until the soil is moist but not soggy as excess moisture on the roots leads to root rot. Use tepid water as cold water may shock the roots.

Soil and Fertilizer Requirements

Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
Foliage Dreams

Use a soilless growing medium of equal parts peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. If your growing mixture does not have fertilizer added, feed the plant with a slow-release fertilizer or a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength one to two times per month. Repeat throughout the spring and summer, but stop feedings in the fall and winter when the plant goes dormant and growth is slowed. 

Temperature and Humidity Levels

Average household temperatures are acceptable, with the ideal range between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 23.8 degrees Celsius). Avoid temperatures below 50 Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) as it affects growth and plant health. Keep humidity levels at 40 percent when possible but Philodendron hederaceum will tolerate lower. Prolonged, high humidity leads to leaf fungus.

Propagating the Philodendron Heart Leaf

Start a new plant by cutting a stem 3 to 4 inches long from a mature plant. The cutting needs at least two top leaves and two bottom leaves or exposed nodes. Remove the bottom leaves, if present. Let the stem sit and cure for one to two weeks to form a callus. Once calloused, fill a small pot with the recommended soil mix. Poke a hole with your finger into the middle of the soil and insert the stem, ensuring the nodes are below the surface. Fill in the hole to secure the stem and use a wooden skewer for support if needed. Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist but not soggy. Once the cutting has established a root system, and begins new growth, care for the plant as you would a mature one.

Common Pests and Diseases of Philodendron Hederaceum

Watch for common houseplant pests like aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. Signs of an infestation are sticky honeydew, excreted by the insects after feeding on the plant, or tiny webs in the case of spider mites. Treat infestations by either spraying the plant with a diluted vinegar solution or horticultural oil. 

Leaf spot disease is a common problem with the Philodendron Heart Leaf. The disease presents as brown spots surrounded by yellow halos. Isolate the plant to prevent spread to other house plants. Prune all affected leaves to stop the disease from progressing and reduce waterings for a few days. Ensure no moisture gets on the leaves, and increase air circulation around the plant. Resume normal waterings once the disease is eliminated.

Philodendron Hederaceum is an excellent plant for dry climates as it does not require as high a level of humidity as some other Philodendrons. This plant is easy to care for and will be around for years if its simple care needs are fulfilled. The pretty foliage and low maintenance make it a great choice for any home.

Philodendron Hederaceum FAQ

Are Pedatum Philodendrons Toxic to Pets and Humans?

Yes, all Philodendrons are considered toxic and should be kept away from pets and small children.

Will My Philodendron Heart Leaf Plant Grow Outdoors?

Yes, you can grow this plant outdoors in USDA zones 9a to 11b. In other areas, moving your plant outside for the summer works well, but it must be brought back inside when temperatures cool off.

Do I Need to Clean My Sweetheart Plant’s Leaves?

Yes, remove dust buildup on the foliage with a clean, damp cloth. Only use water as commercial leaf shine may damage the foliage.

How Often Should I Repot My Philodendron Hederaceum?

Repot your plant every two to three years when the roots begin to grow out the pot’s drainage holes. Remove old soil from the root ball and provide fresh soil in a larger pot.

How Do I Avoid Root Rot for Philodendron Heart Leaf?

Root rot occurs when the plant is overwatered or the roots are allowed to come in contact with water for prolonged periods. Do not let the soil becomes soggy when watering, and dispose of excess water collected in the drip tray when the soil is finished draining.