Philodendron plants are gorgeous with their heart-shaped, bright green leaves. If you’ve seen them around, you might wonder if they grow well indoors.
In this article, I’ll explain whether or not these plants are good indoors. That way, you won’t have to waste time growing a plant that’s not meant to be grown there.
Why Are Philodendrons Good Indoor Plants?
Philodendrons are good indoor plants because they’re tolerant of many different light conditions, from indirect sun to low light. They also prefer the temperatures found in most homes. Besides that, philodendrons add to a home due to their unique style and natural air-purifying abilities.
Act as Natural Air Purifiers
Philodendrons might look great and be fun to take care of, but did you know they’re practical, too? Philodendrons act as natural air purifiers in your home.
Of course, don’t go throwing out your air purifier yet. One old study said you’d need at least 15 of these plants to purify a 2,000-square-foot home!
Still, it can add a much-needed boost to your home’s air quality, especially if you keep it near you.
Likes the Temperature Range of Most Homes
Philodendrons may originally be from the tropics, but sometimes it feels like they’re made for the indoors.
They like when you keep them between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature range of most homes.
So if your AC is working, you should be able to keep a philodendron plant with no issues!
Plenty of Choices
I’ll cover more on this later, but there are tons of philodendron varieties to choose from.
Do you want a giant one that acts as a centerpiece for your home? Or do you want a small one to put on your desk?
Either way, there’s a philodendron variety for you.
Tolerates Many Different Light Levels
Philodendrons can be high-maintenance in some ways. But in terms of light levels, they’re almost always happy campers.
Philodendrons prefer indirect or moderate light, but if your home isn’t all that sunny, you can also keep it in low light conditions.
The only one you really can’t keep it in is direct sunlight since it will sunburn.
Some Drawbacks of Indoor Philodendrons
Even though philodendrons have many benefits, they come with a few drawbacks that may be deal-breakers for you. Let’s take a look:
Toxic to Children and Pets
If you have children and/or pets, philodendrons may not be the best choice.
The entire plant is poisonous. When they eat it, they may experience these side effects:
- Mouth burning
- Trouble swallowing
If you do decide to have a philodendron plant, keep it out of reach. A hanging basket or a tall cabinet that can’t be climbed onto are good choices.
Philodendrons are known as “heavy feeders.” No, they’re not going to start eating your sandwich — that just means they love a good dose of fertilizer.
More specifically, they like nitrogen fertilizer, and they like it often. This is especially true if they’re in the light.
If this sounds a bit high-maintenance to you, it’s probably best to go with a different indoor plant.
Watering Can Be Difficult to Get Just Right
Plants like cacti are super easy to take care of. Just a little water every now and again is enough to keep them healthy.
Plus, even if you forget one day, they’re so hardy that they can take it. They’re made to survive in the desert, after all.
Philodendrons are a little bit different. Being tropical plants, they love water, but not too much water.
You’ll need to water the soil until it’s moist.
If you water it too much or the soil you’re using doesn’t drain well enough, the plant might wilt from standing in mud. On the flip side, watering it too little will cause it to wilt, too.
This balance can feel a little bit tricky at first.
Most people get it eventually, but I totally get it if you don’t want to deal with the hassle. Philodendrons might not be right for your lifestyle, and that’s okay.
Some Varieties Grow Quickly
This is a con for some and a pro for others.
It can be exciting to watch something grow and change so much, especially if you’re used to slower-growing plants.
But if you don’t have a lot of space, it can feel like philodendrons are taking over! One of the most popular types, heartleaf philodendron, grows very fast.
You might have it in a hanging basket one day, only to find that its leaves have hit the ground the next.
Okay, well, maybe it doesn’t grow that fast. Still, be prepared to prune it!
The Best Types of Philodendrons to Grow Indoors
I mentioned heart-shaped leaves at the start of this, but the truth is that philodendrons come in many shapes and sizes. There are dozens of varieties, but here are three popular ones:
Fiddle-leaf/Horsehead Philodendron (bipennifolium)
This philodendron variety has a host of funny names due to its uniquely shaped leaves. Some say they look like horseheads, and others say they look like fiddles.
Either way, they’re a visually interesting addition to any home.
It’s a climbing plant, so if you have a stake on hand, it’ll be good to put it in there as it grows.
Heartleaf Philodendron (hederaceum)
Along with being one of the fastest-growing types, heartleaf philodendrons are also the most popular. Looking at them, it’s easy to see why.
Being vining plants, they’ll grow down any surface they’re put on. Put one on a high shelf or in a hanging basket, and you’ll have a dramatic display in no time.
Tree Philodendron (bipinnatifidum)
Like the fiddle-leaf plant, tree philodendrons have uniquely shaped leaves. They fan outwards and can be up to three feet long!
If you have a lot of space inside and you’re looking for a large plant to fill it, this is a great choice.
Where Should I Place a Philodendron in My House?
The placement of philodendrons mainly has to do with light levels.
As mentioned, they prefer indirect sunlight, so placing one a few feet away from a window or next to a window that has sheer curtains will be good. They also tolerate low light too, so even if you can’t place one near a window, it should still live.
Philodendrons also do well with grow lights, so you can technically place them anywhere that’s not in direct sunlight.
Another thing you may want to consider is your home’s aesthetics. Heartleaf philodendrons are great for accenting a shelf, while tree philodendrons can make a bold statement in an entryway, just as a few examples.
Some Other Popular Options for a Good Indoor Plant
Pothos plants are very similar to philodendrons in a lot of ways. Some philodendron varieties like heartleaf look almost identical to them!
They can also survive in similar conditions, so you can use much of the same care guide above to take care of them. The main difference is that pothos plants are often more colorful, with white speckles on their leaves.
Aloe vera is popular due to being low-maintenance. Aloe plants live in the desert, so they need only infrequent watering to stay alive.
Plus, aloe has plenty of practical uses. Its gel is often used for sunburns or as a facial moisturizer.
Swiss Cheese Plant
You might look at the swiss cheese plant and think bugs ate it, but trust me, those holes are natural! Typically swiss cheese plants have either heart or fan-shaped leaves, similar to philodendrons.
They’re also relatively low-maintenance, so even beginner indoor gardeners can enjoy their unique look.