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Let’s say you want to buy your first plant and have no experience whatsoever in gardening. The best plant for you in this case would be Philodendron Cordatum.
In this text, you will read all about it and see how easy it is to take care of it indoors.
Once you see how much light and watering it needs, but also how unneedy it is, you will be thrilled to get one.
In case you already have some gardening experience, taking care of Philodendron Cordatum is going to be a piece of cake for you.
What is Philodendron Cordatum?
This beautiful vining plant originated from the coasts of Brazil and is not so often seen in householding.
You will recognize Philodendron Cordatum by its vibrant leaves that are in a heart-shape. This is actually what its name Cordatum stands for, while Philodendron in Greek means ‘loving a tree’.
Its first name – the name of its genus – originated from its habit to climb trees that are surrounding it in a tropical forest where it naturally lives.
Philodendron Cordatum climbs up any support you give it if it is growing indoors, but it will also creep up trees, rocks – basically everything that is close to it. Pretty similar to Pink Princess Philodendron – except for the colors.
This makes it easy to have as a decoration. It also gives life to the room it is in because of its green color which can be both dark and light.
Unlike many other tropical plants, Philodendron Cordatum doesn’t have emphasized veins on its leaves, but they are still visible as small and discreet dents. The leaf is unique, heart-shaped, and has only few shades of green on it.
The stems are a bit darker, but if you prune your plant regularly and take good care of it, it will have leaves so big that stems won’t even be that visible.
Because of the vibrant and light green color which is its signature, this plant got a special nickname – neon plant.
Philodendron Cordatum is very easy to grow indoors and even though it looks so elegant and gentle, it can deal with some amount of neglect.
This is why it is really cool to get one if you plan on learning about gardening – it can simply recover from almost everything, so the learning curve would be fun and relaxed.
Since it is a trailing plant, you should probably avoid putting it near the ground.
Let’s take a closer look at other Philodendrons, and then proceed with Philodendron Cordatum care guide:
Watering Philodendron Cordatum
One of the proofs that this plant is really easy to care for is its watering schedule.
Philodendron Cordatum doesn’t have any problem with tap water, but you can make it rest for a day if you want to make sure the chlorine and fluoride have evaporated.
Either way, there is no need for you to buy bottles of filtered or distilled water.
Another great thing about Philodendron Cordatum is that you can afford to forget to water it sometimes.
It is giving clear signs of what it likes and what is harming it. If the leaves are turning brown it means that it needs more water than what you have been giving it, and if the leaves are turning yellow it means that it is getting too much water.
The point is – if you see the foliage turning brown or starting to wilt it is a clear sign that you should give your Philodendron Cordatum its favorite drink.
Make sure not to wait for too long, since in that case the leaves can dry out and from that point forward you won’t be able to save them anymore.
The best way to know if you should water Philodendron Cordatum is to check the moisture of its soil. It likes moist to dry soil so if the upper half of the pot is dry it is a clear sign to add more water to the pot.
There are two options when it comes to potting. You can get a pot with drainage holes or you can get one without them. Both are good for potting Philodendron Cordatum but there are some differences in care.
If you get the pot without drainage holes it will act like a reservoir. The water will be accumulated in the pot so you have to be careful when choosing the amount of water meant for watering Philodendron Cordatum.
In this case, your plant can drown and its foliage will turn yellow, so try to keep up with its preferences.
When using the pot with drainage holes you should pour water until it starts showing on the potting tray beneath the pot.
This way you will know that excess water has where to go through and it is clear that your plant won’t drown if you give it the right amount of water.
No matter what kind of pot you decide to get, the way of checking the soil moisture is the same. You can either stick a finger in the potting soil or stick the soil moisture measuring device which will immediately show you how moist the soil is.
If using this device make sure to stick it in more than one place in case the water didn’t drain evenly.
Light and temperature requirements
This handsome crawler doesn’t have direct light in its natural habitat since it is covered by bigger trees around it.
Remember this when you wish to situate your Philodendron Cordatum somewhere convenient.
It likes bright and indirect light so make sure not to put it on a window, because it will get direct sunlight from there and its leaves will burn and dry out.
If you notice wilting or curling on the leaves, the position of your plant is not good for it so change it.
You shouldn’t put your plant closer than 10 feet from the window because if you do so you will risk exposing it to bright and direct light. This kind of exposure will harm your Philodendron Cordatum.
Low and medium lights are also good for this plant, so as long as it is not exposed to direct sunlight it will thrive beautifully and healthily.
To succeed in a full and even growth of your plant remember to rotate it so the light can get to all of its sides and thus give the leaves overall good looks.
When it comes to preferable temperature range it goes from 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This goes along with the temperature in the tropical areas Philodendron Cordatum lives in.
Like watering, temperature requirements are also easy to satisfy and short-term this tropical plant can deal with colder living conditions.
Philodendron Cordatum also likes to be in a room where the air is humid. You can choose naturally humid rooms – like bathrooms – or you can make humid conditions in a room your plant is situated at.
This plant can live healthily in a room that has less than 50% of air humidity, but it thrives the fastest when being surrounded by more humid air. Its favorite humidity goes from 55% to 85%.
To provide it with the proper air humidity you can mist it daily or get a humidifier. Once you pour water into this useful device all you have to do is turn it on and here comes the vape that will refresh you Philodendron Cordatum.
If you decide to buy a humidifier you won’t need to mist your plant and think too much about it. This device does all of that for you.
High humid will also help your Philodendron Cordatum grow bigger and more impressive leaves.
When it comes to soil moisture you will want to keep it moist to dry so the roots won’t drown in the excess water.
The roots of Philodendron Cordatum are special because they have a characteristic to absorb like a sponge.
When the roots get it contact with water, they absorb it and grow a bit, like sponge when it is soaking wet. This way the roots provide the plant with enough water even when the soil is not moist.
To keep the soil moist to dry (but not too dry) you can get small stones that are keeping the moisture of the soil and bringing it closer to the roots so they can absorb it more efficiently.
The most important thing about the soil you are using is that it is really aerated because Philodendron Cordatum’m roots like air in the soil.
Soil for all purposes is great for this tropical beauty, so don’t overcomplicate with some fancy soils. Just make sure it is well-aerated.
Fertilizing Philodendron Cordatum
When it comes to schedule for fertilizing your Philodendron Cordatum, the best time to do it is when the growing season begins. This occurs in the spring around April and lasts until October before it gets cold.
During the warmer months, this plant needs fertilizing once a month and during the colder months, it should be fertilized every two months.
The best fertilizer for this plant is a balanced liquid fertilizer that has necessary nutrients and elements like magnesium and calcium which are crucial for Philodendron’s growth.
Young leaves that are not vibrant are an obvious indicator that you should fertilize your plant with a fertilizer that has all the necessary micronutrients.
The process of fertilization is important because by doing it you will give your plant the food it needs and that will give it the energy for cell processes and photosynthesis. This way it will grow healthy and vibrant foliage.
To apply the right amount of fertilizer, mix 1 teaspoon of fertilizer with a gallon of water. For other details and specifications check out the back of fertilizer and read about them.
As said, this plant is very easy to grow and care for indoors so the fertilization process is also simple and easy-going.
To refresh your Philodendron Cordatum and provide it with enough air you can take it outside on your porch or a terrace.
It is really adjustable to the habitat so even if you make a mistake with fertilization it will tell you through its leaves and you will have a chance to fix it.
Philodendron Cordatum Pruning
Like any other plant, this one needs occasional pruning and trimming as well. When Philodendron Cordatum grows new leaves are replacing the old one which started to develop some discoloration.
But sometimes this process of discoloration is not always healthy and good for your plant.
When this happens, you should trim and prune your plant so it can channel its energy for the growth of new and healthy leaves.
When you notice different deformations on the foliage (like discoloration or wilting) try to save the plant by exposing it to lower light, improving the watering schedule, fertilizing, increasing humidity, etc.
If none of this works and it seems as if it is too late to save some of the leafage then the only option is to cut the bad leaves off.
You should do it with a sharp knife or scissors at the place where the node is connected to the stem. Snip snap and your Philodendron Cordatum is already happier.
Some of the discolored leaves are not that easy to be seen so take a look under the thick layer of foliage because down there the light can’t reach the leaves.
There is also a possibility to witness the development of leaves that have too big of a space between them. In this case, you can cut the stem at the same place as usual.
Sometimes these little branches can grow but without foliage, so you can cut them off as well.
Philodendron Cordatum Repotting
Repotting is necessary every 2 to 3 years, depending on the velocity of your Philodendron Cordatum’s growth.
When the roots get too big, they can intertwine and damage each other. This way the right transport of the nutrients from the soil to the leaves is unable and the plant is suffering.
To avoid this, make sure to get a bigger pot in which you want to report your thriving Philodendron Cordatum.
Place the soil or terra cotta into the new bigger pot, plant the heartleaf plant, and add more soil to firm it. Add some water to make sure that the soil is moist as much as it should be.
When taking the Philodendron Cordatum out of its original pot be careful not to damage the roots because they are gentle and thin.
After you got your plant a new comfortable pot you can put a pebble tray underneath it to monitor the amount of excess water.
Now that you know what kind of temperature and lighting it likes – you know where to put it and what to keep on doing.
Repotting is best to be done in spring or early summer so that Philodendron Cordatum has enough time to adapt to the new pot.
Philodendron Cordatum Propagation
This plant is really easy to propagate since it can be done very quickly and simply.
The regular way of propagation can be applied here, to Philodendron Cordatum. All you have to do is follow these simple steps you are about to read.
First, cut the stem with several nods with a sharp knife or scissors. It can be a few centimeters long (up to 15 cm).
Prepare a container you want to grow the new plant and fill it with water. The best is to use a transparent container, for example, the one that is made of glass.
In a few days, you will notice that new and small roots are starting to appear. Day by day, they will grow bigger and thicker so when it finally gets a few inches long roots it is time to place it in a new pot.
The new pot should have fresh potting soil which is moist (but not too much) and it should be placed in a room where it will get low to medium light.
Theoretically, you can place the new stem in a pot with soil and everything, but you won’t be able to see the growth and progress of the roots.
No matter what choice you make, once the new plant is planted in fresh soil the rest is the same as if you are caring for its mother plant.
As you can see – propagation is as simple as it gets.
Philodendron Cordatum Problems and Solutions
There are only few problems you can run into when growing Philodendron Cordatum indoor. They are usually related to some discoloration, wilting and curling or pests and diseases.
Essentially, all problems can be solved with few steps only and a bit of patience.
Why are Philodendron Cordatum’s leaves turning yellow?
In case this happens (and it is common to happen), think about the watering schedule you made for your Philodendron Cordatum.
If the leaves are turning yellow, it usually means that you are overwatering your plant. The right way to fix this is to improve your watering schedule and adjust it to this plant’s watering habits.
This usually helps, but there are some moments when you will notice this kind of discoloration a bit too late.
If that is the case, just cut these leaves off and wait for the new ones to grow and fill the old one’s place. These new leaves are going to be healthy and full if you take care of this plant properly.
The best way to check if you need to water your Philodendron Cordatum is to stick a finger in the soil and see where its dryness ends.
Sometimes due to overwatering along with yellow colors, some brown shades can also be noticed. Just make sure that this brown color is not due to the dryness of the leaves.
Diseases and pests
The most common disease that often affects your Philodendron Cordatum is the root-rot. This kind of deformation is usually due to some irregularities with watering.
You should probably lower down the amount of water you are giving to your plant.
When it comes to pests, there are many that can attack your Philodendron Cordatum and make it hard for it to breath freely and live healthily.
These pests are called spider mites, aphids, thrip, mealy bugs, etc.
Horticultural oils and insecticides are usually what saves them and recover them from being eaten by these insect pests.
How to direct my Philodendron Cordatum to grow where I want it?
Philodendron Cordatum is a beautiful plant that will look great in every room. Because of its appearances and easiness of care, it attracts people and they are buying it to refresh the space. If you imagined it to grow somewhere, you can easily direct it by putting support or trellis. Philodendron Cordatum will climb up everything that comes in touch with it, even up the walls. You can also put it on a higher place so it can hang and grow freely downwards, creating an elegant decoration.
Is Philodendron Cordatum toxic?
This is a big YES. You should be very careful if you have pets or little kids. Touching the leaves of Philodendron Cordatum is completely harmless, but injecting it can cause a variety of problems. Both animals and people can start vomiting, get a rash or diarrhea. Swelling of mouth, tongue, and throat are the most common symptoms and can be very dangerous since it can make a person suffocate.