Philodendron Hederaceum is often picked and chosen by those beginner growers or homeowners who want to grow their own plant without too much complication and messy arrangement. Homeowners who are looking for ways to spark up their home and surroundings can turn to simple Philodendrons that don’t need a lot or care and maintenance.
Don’t be fooled by the seemingly simple appearance because the plant has impressive look and natural beauty. So, what should you know about this plant, you can find it here.
- Scientific name: Philodendron Hederaceum or Philodendron Scandens
- Common name: Heartleaf Philodendron
- Origin: The Caribbean and Central America
- Plant type: Vine, climber
- Humidity: Medium humidity, between 60% 80%
- Growth: 5 feet vine, max
- Temperature: 13 to 35 degrees Celsius or 55 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take
About Philodendron Hederaceum in General
Also known as Heart Leaf Philodendron, Philodendron Hederaceum is one of the most common and also popular houseplant having unique traits and features. For beginners, having the Hederaceum is a fun journey because they won’t have to break a sweat when doing it. The plant needs low light exposure and no fussy maintenance. If you have struggled with growing a houseplant in the past, you should try growing this Philonderon.
Philodendron Hederaceum is often called as the tree hugger or tree climber. It’s because the plant has its ‘habit’ in climbing up the (native) host trees through epiphytically attachment to the trees, making use of its strong and solid aerial roots. You may not have any host tree at home. Most likely, you will have to grow the plant indoors. Just because you grow one indoor, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to have one or care for one.
Common Care Requirements
Because Philodendron Hederaceum is naturally a tropical plant variant, it usually grown indoors where it is humid and warm. However, it’s possible to grow the plant outdoor, especially in certain growing zones. If you live in the area where it’s warm all year rounds, then planting the plant outdoor is possible. If you do plant the Hederaceum outdoor, you are able to create a dark green and lush ground cover for the shaded area.
Philodendrons have their own light exposure preferences. Some like a medium to bright light exposure, while some prefer the lower one. Philodendron Hederaceum likes low light exposure. It’s low tolerance level is even higher than other houseplants types. After all, the plant is native to South America’s rainforest floors where direct light would be very minimal under the forest canopy.
You may want to put the Philodendron Hederaceum in a place where it gets bright and indirect light for at least 3 hours every day. This plant can tolerate different lighting conditions, including full shade, diffused light, or even fluorescent lights. Don’t place your plant in a place that gets direct light because it can cause sunburn and overall burn to the leaves.
You only need to remember that the lower the light condition is, the slower the plant will grow. If you want to have a bit of a boost for the plant growth, you need to increase the level intensity.
Temperature and Humidity
Hederaceum prefers warm temperature, similar to humans. The reason why it thrives well indoor is because of the temperature is well maintained, set between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at day and more than 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Make sure that your plant isn’t exposed to wind or drafts, so make sure that you don’t place it in a room with AC, close to leaky windows, vents, or fans.
This plant loves humidity. A lot of people would put the plant in the bathroom, in the window sill. The place has the best combination of humid environment and indirect sunlight. The plant needs moist and warm areas. The higher the humidity level is, the showier the leaves would be. Despite the fact that the plant loves high humidity level, it can actually tolerate low humidity. But if your plant shows browning leaves or the tips of the leaves are turning brown, it means that the humidity level is too low.
There are some helpful tips that can assist you increasing the humidity level:
- Group plants together
- Set your Philodendron Hederaceum in a tray having water and pebbles. Place the pot on top of the pebbles so it won’t touch the water, making the roots stay dry
- Some people like to mist the plant, but this one is optional because different people have different preferences
You want to choose soil that is airy (has good air circulation) and well-drain nature. You can go with the all purpose potting soils. These kinds of products are designed as commercial grade, and the contents are suitable for most of the Philodendrons. Avoid using anything with specifically formulated contents as this kind of product isn’t suitable for all kinds of plants.
If you don’t want to use the commercial (potting) soils, you can try mixing up pine bark, coconut coir, peat moss, and either vermiculite or perlite. Never use the sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir straight within the containers because they hold up water too much. That is also why you need to add the extra perlite to boost the drainage rate.
Philodendrons don’t need a lot of water. But they don’t need too little water either. The plant needs moist soil, but not soggy or even flooded. Use tepid water that has been sit for several days, making the chlorine dissipate first before you can water the plant.
In summer and spring months, pay attention to your watering regime. You want to check the topsoil. It should be still damp and moist when you add water. You can try sticking your finger to your first knuckle. If it is moist, but not wet, then you need to add little water. In winter and autumn months, that topsoil is better dry out completely before adding up water.
Check your plant. If there are yellow leaves, it means that you over water the plant. If there are brown leaves, it means that you under water the plant. You need to come up with your own watering schedule that works best for your plants.
Just like other plants, Philodendron Hederaceum also likes extra nutrients and foods. The plant gets the extra supplement from the fertilizer. You want to apply it once in 3 weeks to 4 weeks during the (active) growing period. In winter and fall months, you want to fertilize less. In most cases, you need to apply once in every 6 to 8 weeks.
Go with liquid or water soluble fertilizer. Any commercial fertilizer with this kind of requirement will do, as long as you carefully read the label for the proper dosage. Some products may need to be more diluted, so be sure to follow the provided direction.
This is sometimes needed so your plant won’t be too stringy or leggy. Pruning can also create bushier and fuller plant. Feel free to do it at any time, but it would be best to do it during the active growing month. Clean cut should be done effectively.
You need to re-pot the plant once in 2 to 3 years. Make sure that the potting soil is fresh and the container is big (and wide) enough to accommodate the system. If your plant is root-bound, it will cause the growth to go slower.
Pest and Disease
One of the most common issues is the root rot, caused by overwatering especially in winter time. Flooding or pooling of water will lead to fungal growth, which affect the roots. When the root is rotting, the plant may die. If you are able to catch the issue soon, you can re-pot it and try to save it. Simply remove the infected soil as much as possible, replacing it with clean and fresh potting soil. In the event the issue has spread, you need to cut or dissect the plant.
Insects are also other challenges that your Philodendron Hederaceum will face. Some of the most common insects include aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and fungus gnats.
The Different Varieties and Types
Philodendron has around 480 recognized types, and the numbers are possibly growing. The plant gets its name because of its almost-perfect heart shaped leaves that are simply cute and adorable. Not only it encourages fast growing time, but it isn’t difficult to maintain and care.
It’s also a good thing that Philodendron Hederaceum has various types of varieties, so you can choose the different type to spark up your house and its surroundings.
The general type we know is the Hederaceum, which also known as the green Philodendron. The plant itself is pretty classic with all green leaves. As we mentioned before, this plant is a fast grower that can handle low light level. If you are thinking about having other alternatives, there are also other options to pick.
- Philodendron Hederaceum Brasil
This variant of Philodendron Hederaceum is gorgeous and beautiful with attractive combo of colors. The variegation is yellow and also lighter green, running vertically (from the petiole to the tip of the leaf). If new leaves get enough light, they would have pink (to red) tones. If you want to have a variegated Hederaceum, then this Philodendron Hederaceum Brasil.
- Philodendron Hederaceum Micans
This is another unique variant of Philodendron Hederaceum with its own unique feature. Philodendron Hederaceum Micans have velvety texture and dark green hue on the leaves. The leaves would trail prolifically. If you really want a unique plant with velvety texture and appealing appearance, this one would be the most ideal pick.
- Philodendron Hederaceum Lemon Lime
Philodendron Hederaceum Lemon Lime comes with its own unique neon green leaves, sharing similar texture as the original Hederaceum. Whereas other Philodendrons or Hederaceums have dark green hues, this Lemon Lime looks stand out. After all, the super bright hue is catchy and somewhat inviting.
- Philodendron Hederaceum Variegated
This plant is the current trendiest variation. The plant has white variegation splashes. If you can compare it to Marble Queen Pothos, they may look similar, but the Hederaceum has the heart shape leaves. This is the trendy and super popular plant, usually sold at high prices. Some places may sell the single node cuttings, worth of $50 for each – or even more.
- Philodendron Hederaceum Rio
This Philodendron Hederaceum has almost similar appearance to Brasil, but the variegated leaves look beautiful with cream and silver addition.
- Philodendron Hederaceum Gabby
This is one of the variegated Philodendron Hederaceum that looks beautiful and elegant. The plant has its own unique variegation with green and cream leaves. For a houseplant, the plant definitely looks unique and different.
- Philodendron Brandtianum
The plant is extremely beautiful because of the heart shape leaves with silvery (and sparkling) splashes. In 2020, the plant became super popular and super expensive. It was a difficult plant to find. However, finding one is easier these days with online availability and local plant shop supply.
In reality, this plant isn’t a part of Hederaceum species. But because of the almost identical heart shape foliage, Brandtianum is often a part of the Hederaceum. When you put both plants together, Brandtianum has thinner texture for the leaves. That’s why this plant becomes a magnet for spider mite. When left to trail, the growing leaves would be tiny. You need to let it climb to have bigger leaves.
How to Propagate the Plant
Philodendron Hederaceum is basically easy to grow. As climbers, they have the so-called aerial roots being formed from the stems; nodes. The nodes themselves have cells, which are responsible for developing new roots. Because of these reasons, steam cuttings make this plant easy to propagate.
Stem cuttings are the way for the plant to grow and propagate. If you already have one at home, you can do it by yourself as it is quite easy to do. The process on doing so is:
- Use sharp shears to cut the stem on one side of the node. Just leave around ¼ inch for either of the side
- Let the cut dries out. Let it be for around 20 minutes, or a bit longer
- Place the cutting in the water. Choose a container with clean water.
- Change the water once a week or when the water is murky. Watch your roots grow
- When your roots have been established nicely, place the plant in a potting soil
Is Philodendron Hederaceum a climber?
Yes, the plant can climb or trail some feet away, when it is allowed to do so. When the plant is ‘allowed’ to climb, the leaves can grow bigger. If you want to support the plant, you can use a wall, trellis, moss pole, plastic pole, or a bamboo as a support. If you are thinking about using the wall as the support, it can function as a vine.
Is it helping to mist Philodendron Hederaceum?
A lot of people believe that misting the Hederaceum can help with humidity increase, but it’s actually only helpful for several minutes. So, if you want to increase the humidity effectively (and for longer time), it’s better to invest in a good humidifier or have a humidifier tray.
Is Philodendron Hederaceum dangerous?
Philodendron Hederaceum is toxic for animals (pets included) and humans. The plant contains a certain substance that can cause mild irritation to the skin and serious effects when ingested. Make sure that you place the plant in a place that won’t be easily reached by kids and pets. It would be wise to place the plant in a terrarium so the kids (and pets) won’t be able to get access to your Hederaceum.
Can the Hederaceum be grown outdoor?
The plant is basically versatile; you can grow it inside or outside, provided that you meet all the growing requirements. Plus, you live in the area that is mostly warm all of the times. They should be avoided from direct sunlight and wind. If you want to grow the plant outdoor, it would be a good idea to set it right under a canopy or other taller trees.
In this manner, they can get filtered or diffused light without scorching or burning them. If the temperature drops to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit), you should bring the plant indoor. If you live in the area where it can be cold or chilly, it would be wiser to grow your Philodendron Hederaceum indoor.
Why the leaves of my Hederaceum turning yellow?
Yellowish leaves are typically the sign of overwatering. You need to let the potting soil to dry out properly before you can water it again. Watering the Hederaceum should be done in just the right amount: not too little but not too much either.
Can I fix the overwatering issue once it happens?
The best way for you is to re-pot your Philodendron Hederaceum right away. In this way, you can effectively prevent root rot. During the process, remove the waterlogged soil gently from the root ball. Scrape and clean the root ball. Then use new and fresh soil with good drainage abilities.
How big can Hederaceum grow?
The plant isn’t exactly an extremely big plant, but it has impressive height and width. The stems are basically thin, able to grow between 4 feet and 6 feet in overall length so it can create trailing vines, The dark green leaves can grow to 2 inches in length and 4 inches max. You can ‘train’ it to climb a trellis up or other types of support. You won’t have to worry that the plant would dominate the space in your house
How do you clean Hederaceum leaves?
There are actually several ways to do so. If dust (or dirt) accumulation is pretty minimal, just use a feather duster to remove them. Feel free to use damp, but clean, soft cloth to wipe off every leaf so it would be clean. If the accumulation is quite bad (meaning that the plant is quite dirty), you can use the water from your showerhead to rinse it. Use lukewarm water. Make sure that you have air dried it completely before returning the plan to its spot. However, most people think that the feather duster and the clean cloth is already enough, so they don’t have to rinse it off.
Why are my leaves turning brown?
It can be a sign of under watering, or you don’t water the plant with enough water. When you water, you want to do it thoroughly. As a rule of a thumb, if this is your first time watering the plant, you want to do it thoroughly. Then wait for several minutes until you see water comes through the drainage holes. If you water the plant and then water directly comes out from the drainage holes, it means that the soil isn’t able to capture water nicely and efficiently. You need to figure out something.
What does it mean when the Hederaceum leaves have long spaces in between them and they are also small?
It means that your Hederaceum doesn’t get enough light. You may place it in a too dark spot. You may want to increase the light intensity, like close to the window sill or other places getting the bright light (still indirectly).
Cordatum vs Philodendron Hederaceum
It’s unknown how the confusion started, but people often mistake or misname Philodendron Hederaceum as Philodendron Cordatum. They are basically different variants and species, with the Cordatum being uncommon and big in size, which is different from the Hederaceum.
The plant may seem simple as a houseplant, but it has its own appeal and charm. But as a part of Philodendrons, the plant has its own requirements when it comes to proper growth and care. You need to pay detailed attention to the proper ways to care for the plant, so your Philodendron Hederaceum can grow healthily and properly.