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Philodendron Hederaceum: How To Grow And Care

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

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 also 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.

This plant is sometimes confused with Pothos, but there are a number of ways to tell these plants apart


You can grow this plant outdoors in USDA zones 9a to 11b. In other areas, moving your plant outside for the summer can work well in the right location, but it must be brought back inside when temperatures cool off. You can also grow this plant as a houseplant year-round

When choosing where to grow this plant, you need to think about light, temperatures and humidity, and soil. Proper placement is what will allow your heart-leaf Philodendron to not only survive but thrive. 

When you are choosing a growing location, note that all Philodendrons are considered toxic and should be kept away from pets and small children.


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.

Temperature And Humidity

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. 

Philodendron Hederaceum is an excellent plant for dry climates as it does not require as high a level of humidity as some other Philodendrons. Keep humidity levels at 40 percent when possible but Philodendron hederaceum will tolerate lower humidity too. Prolonged, high humidity leads to leaf fungus however, so make sure that you get the balance right.

Soil Requirements

Use a soilless and peat-free growing medium which is moist yet free-draining. Ensure that you create a well-aerated mix that will not become compacted over time.  


This plant is easy to care for and will be around for years if its simple care needs are fulfilled.


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.


Feed your Philodendron hederaceum with an organic liquid houseplant feed diluted to half strenth up to a couple of times per month during the growing season. Stop feedings in the fall and winter when growth slows and during dormancy. 

Potting and Repotting

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.


Propagate heart-leaf Philodendron by cuttings. To do so:

  • Cut 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

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.  It is best to keep organic insecticides as a last resort and to simply wipe the bugs from your plants where possible. 

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.

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.