Why Is My Philodendron Not Rooting? (Read This First!)

You want to give it the best life possible when propagating your philodendron plant. But, sometimes, you wake up and find it’s not growing. So, instead of wishing things would change, you’ve decided to click on this article. 

The reason your philodendron is not rooting could be because it isn’t getting sufficient light. For roots to become established, the plant needs to receive enough sunlight to generate the right energy to grow. However, several other factors could play a role. 

Now, let’s take an in-depth look at why your philodendron isn’t rooting and how to fix it.

Are Philodendrons Easy to Root?

The easiest way to root a philodendron plant is by using cuttings. You can propagate this plant in a vase or glass jar of water. Some people decide to root their plant in perlite or peat moss as it can promote a more robust root system.

However, the most common method is via water. 

The begin with, you need to take cuttings. This will require you to have a philodendron plant already or to be able to propagate from someone else’s plant. 

You must be careful when cutting the vine for tip cuttings as you want to keep a new leaf and at least one node on the stem

And, for stem cuttings, you’ll have to remove an entire stem and cut it into several sections with a length of 2-3 inches. 

After successfully collecting your cuttings, you can begin the rooting process.

Rooting in Water

To root the cuttings in water, you should place them directly into a vase or jar of water as soon as possible. Just remember to leave one node under the water’s surface and place the container somewhere warm.

Cover the top with plastic and place the container somewhere with bright, indirect light. The temperature should be between 70℉ and 75℉

After the roots are set up, you can transfer the plant to a new pot. 

How Long Does It Take for Philodendron to Root in Water?

If you follow all the correct steps, your philodendron should root in water in one or two weeks. By 4-6 weeks, you should see a developed root system on your plant.

How Long Should Philodendron Roots Be Before Planting?

The first sign that your philodendron roots are long enough for planting is when they have started to form into a ball. The length of your roots should be 1-2 inches. 

7 Reasons Why Your Philodendron Is Not Rooting

As a new gardener, it’s easy to make mistakes when propagating a plant, but even experienced plant owners can run into problems. Here are the top 7 reasons your philodendron isn’t rooting.

Propagating at the Wrong Time of Year

You should always propagate a philodendron plant at the beginning of the growing season during spring or summer. The growing conditions are perfect at this time of year, giving your new plant the best start. 

Deciding to propagate during fall or winter will make the growth process slower. Therefore, you might not see a robust root system for a long time. 

Unhealthy Parent Plant

Whenever you propagate a plant, you’re putting stress on it, sometimes weakening the roots. And, for your philodendron to begin rooting, it needs a lot of energy. 

So, if the parent plant is unhealthy or weak, it will be harder for roots to form. Therefore, you should always run a health check on your plant before propagating to ensure there are no pests or diseases.

Not Enough Light

Light is the key component to strong roots, so if there isn’t enough sunlight in the location, your plant won’t start rooting. 

As philodendrons grow best in bright, indirect sunlight, you should aim for an area that isn’t shaded. But, just be careful not to expose the plan to harsh heat as this could damage the plant even further. 

The temperature should also be kept consistent for the roots to develop.

The Water Isn’t Fresh

Water quality could significantly affect the rooting development of your philodendron plant. You must change the water regularly for the roots to have a new environment during propagation. 

Providing fresh tap water to your plant will boost the oxygen levels and prevent the cuttings from rotting. It’s good to replace the water every 2-3 days if possible, as this will help encourage the roots to form.

You Forgot the Node

If you don’t have a node, it’s unlikely your philodendron will start rooting. The node is the area that connects the stem to the bud. This is where the leaves will grow once the roots have adapted.

You need at least one of these to propagate this plant successfully.

Now, you might wonder, how do you encourage root growth in a philodendron? 

Another tip to help your plant root faster is to use a natural rooting hormone. This substance can stimulate growth and protect your plant from becoming infected. 

A simple method is using apple cider vinegar. All you have to do is dip the cutting into a combination of this and water, and your plant will get an extra boost! 

The Soil Is Wrong

Some people decide to place their cuttings in soil when trying to propagate a philodendron plant. However, you need to choose well-draining soil for this method to work. 

You should use soil that consists of one part peat-based potting soil and one part coco fiber. But, an added amount of perlite can also help your roots develop. 

You must gently push the cuttings into the soil as this will help prevent the water from becoming blocked and leading to root rot. 

You Are Impatient With the Process

There’s no denying that waiting for your philodendron to form roots is a long process. And some plant owners find it difficult to wait until the plant is ready to be transported to the pot. 

After all, who doesn’t love planting a new philodendron and placing it in your home? 

However, you need to give your plant time to adapt to its new surroundings and plant its root in the new environment. At four weeks, you can check for any signs of root growth. Then, you should be able to tell if there is anything wrong. 

You can simply take the whole cutting out of the water and look at the roots for water cuttings. Whereas for soil cuttings, you should gently pull the cutting towards you and feel for resistance. If the cutting doesn’t move, it has begun rooting. 

If you’re reading this article because you’ve propagated your plant, but nothing is happening, and it hasn’t been four weeks yet, just wait a little longer…

There’s still hope for your philodendron if you allow it to go through the process!

Philodendron Propagation Water vs Soil: Which Make the Rooting Easier?

There are advantages to both approaches to propagating philodendrons. Water is great for quickly transferring cuttings from a parent plant, giving your plant a chance to breathe before being planted in soil.

Although, propagating directly into the soil can make the transitioning easier when the roots have developed. 

It also depends on if you enjoy watching the root formation and observing the process. Placing the cuttings in water allows you to see everything from the beginning cutting to the final root ball. 

With soil cuttings, you can’t see the process, but it can be better for your plant to get used to the soil environment. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours. You can also consider propagating in moss or perlite as well! 

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Sarah Yule

Sarah is a freelance writer who loves to write about nature, wellbeing, plants, and wholesome living. She likes discovering new, colorful plants and sprinkling some fairy magic into the online space through her writing.

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