Enchanting with the beauty and variety of heart-shaped leaves and always neat appearance, the philodendron is firmly entrenched in the ranks of the room classics. Among the evergreen vines, there is no larger station wagon. For high decorativeness, philodendrons require attention and care – regular care and adherence to individual recommendations for each species. But strikingly durable and capable of handling any role in the interior, philodendrons are some of the most reliable plants to bring to your collection.
Philodendron – decorative leafy classic of indoor floriculture
Description of the plant
The most popular evergreen vine philodendron (Philodendron) was no accident. These members of the family Aroid (Araceae) – evergreen straight-growing or climbing vines with fleshy, gradually lignifying smooth shoots and long aerial roots that emphasize the grace of the lashes. The height of indoor species ranges from 25 to 250 cm.
A unique feature is the alternate formation of scaly false leaves (cataphylls) on the stem, bearing a lateral bud and ordinary long-petiolate leaves in the axil. True leaves are almost always with a heart-shaped base, but they are arrow-shaped and oval, narrow and wide, small and large, with whole edges and even pinnate. Philodendrons are prized for their rich green hues, often complemented by variegated and purple patterns.
Blossoming in the rooms – bright cobs with two-color bedspreads – is a rarity.
When pruning and transplanting in a house with children and animals, you should be careful: the juice of these plants irritates the skin and mucous membranes.
Types of indoor philodendrons
A considerable selection of different leaf shapes and sizes, colors and even the degree of capriciousness requires special attention. When buying, it is better to always clarify what a particular plant is used to.
To the best views from among the lianas belong to:
- Philodendron blushing (philodendron red) – a large species preferring partial shade with reddening cuttings and shoots, simple cordate-oval leaves up to 40 cm in length. There are varieties with completely purple and watercolor leaves.
- Philodendron ivy (Philodendron hederaceum, the view included an independent philodendron climbing (Philodendron scandens)) – shade-tolerant, with beautiful heart-shaped leaves, compact appearance with dark greenery, suitable for ampels.
- Philodendron spear (Philodendron hastatum) Is a fast-growing species with arrow-shaped leaves up to 40 cm in length with a very bright color.
- Philodendron narrowly dissected (philodendron angustisectum) Is a thermophilic and light-loving species with huge carved leaves up to 70 cm in length.
- Philodendron home (domestic philodendron) – a beautiful view with pointed-oval dark leaves, leaf-shaped similar to a philodendron, blushing.
- Philodendron graceful (Philodendron elegans) – a powerful, monster-like appearance with half-meter oblong leaves.
- Philodendron stop (Philodendron pedatum) Is a fast-growing unpretentious species, in which young leaves cut into 5 lobes grow up to 70 cm in length and are divided more and more.
- Philodendron black-gold (Philodendron melanochrysum) Is a slow-growing and extremely thermophilic plant with stunning copper leaves up to 60 cm long, decorated with whitish veins.
- Philodendron bipinnate (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) – a light-loving giant with spreading bushes and reaching 1 meter in diameter, carved even in youth, olive leaves.
- Philodendron warty (Philodendron verrucosum) Is a compact species with very flexible shoots and luminous veins on wrinkled, heart-shaped leaves.
- Philodendron Guitar (Philodendron panduriforme) Is an elegant species with very long cuttings and unusual curly leaves, reminiscent of a guitar.
Among the best upright species rightly ranked Philodendron Martius (Philodendron martianum) – forming a very lush bush form with half-meter elongated heart-shaped whole leaves and swollen petioles.
Growing conditions for indoor philodendron
Philodendrons love stable warmth and do not tolerate summer vacations in the garden and on the balcony. And all their beauty is revealed only in a protected environment.
Read also our article Blushing Philodendron – bright appearance with modest requests.
Lighting and placement
All philodendrons have only one general requirement for lighting – they cannot stand the direct sun. Most species prefer diffused soft light, a place on or near a windowsill. Philodendron ivy is so shade-tolerant that it will even adapt to the depth of rooms. For all types, both full and partial supplementary lighting is acceptable.
Philodendrons can be placed not only as decoration for furniture and window sills, but also used in screens, screens, as dividers, for walls and cascades, complex compositions and green corners. They don’t like crowding.
Temperature control and ventilation
Even in winter, temperatures should not be allowed to drop below 16 degrees (with the exception of the bipinnate philodendron, which prefers wintering at 12-13 degrees). The more stable the temperatures, the better. In summer, any temperature above 20 degrees will do. Heat can be compensated for by increasing air humidity.
Philodendrons react to any jumps and changes by slowing growth and crushing leaves, it is better to protect plants from drafts and cold air, air conditioners and heating devices.
Caring for a philodendron at home
Philodendrons delight with the beauty of the leaves only with attention and care. And they impose many requirements on the regularity of watering and other procedures.
Watering and air humidity
It is better to constantly monitor soil moisture, adjusting watering so that 2 to 5 cm of soil at the top of the pot dries out. Overflowing is just as dangerous as drought or cold watering. It is better to drain the water released into the trays immediately.
Philodendrons do not tolerate very dry air. In the summer, spraying is sufficient, but in winter the plants require more stability (any home humidifier will do). On poles, moss or synthetic materials are best kept consistently moist.
Dust should not accumulate on the leaves of the philodendron.
Top dressing and composition of fertilizers
Philodendrons are fed the next day after abundant watering, using the standard frequency of once every 1 weeks from March to October and once a month from October to February (half the dose). After transplanting, the first feeding is carried out after 2-1 weeks.
Only liquid balanced complex fertilizers are suitable for philodendrons.
Pruning and shaping the philodendron
Philodendrons are formed at will, shortening shoots to any height, pinching the tops of lashes or simply tying them to a support (moss columns, driftwood and simple trellises wrapped in moss or synthetic substitutes). The plant’s air roots should not be touched.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Transshipment is carried out only if necessary, when the previous pot is completely mastered, replacing only the top layer of the soil annually. It is better to carry out this procedure at the first signs of the beginning of rapid growth in the spring (in the third decade of March or early April).
For philodendrons, classic-shaped containers with large drainage holes are suitable. It is better to give preference to soil mixtures for decorative deciduous plants – a loose, coarse and fertile substrate with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction. Philodendrons can also be grown hydroponically.
A high (from 4 cm) layer of coarse drainage is laid at the bottom of the containers. It is very important to keep the plant’s depth level the same.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Any problems with conditions and care immediately appear on the leaves of the plant. With insufficient feeding, they stretch, shrink, dry, turn yellow and almost stop growing, with excessive feeding they turn brown, wither and deform. Plants react to overflow, underfilling, drafts, cold and heat, too bright sun with blackening tips, yellowing and dry spots, discoloration and wilting.
Black spots on the leaves indicate serious pest infestation (aphids or spider mites), rot or soot fungus. You need to deal with problems immediately with insecticides and acaricides.
Read also our article 12 secrets of growing philodendrons.
Reproduction of philodendrons
You can root both apical and stem cuttings – long segments of shoots with 2-3 leaves, for stem cuttings – with side branches. For rooting, philodendrons will need a peat substrate, stable heat (about 21 ° C) and high humidity under the hood.
Rooting of cuttings by the air method is carried out on strong shoots, wrapping an incision on the trunk under a lateral branch with moss or soil, keeping the humidity stable until the roots are released.