Are Philodendrons Low Maintenance? (Explained for Beginners)

It’s hard to find a house that doesn’t have a philodendron planted in the corner. 

These amazing perennials are native to Central and South America and belong to the Araceae family. The most popular varieties of philodendrons have long vines with dark green leaves. 

However, there are thousands of philodendron species with each of its own cultivars. But are philodendrons low maintenance? 

Are Philodendrons Easy to Take Care Of?

Depending on the variety of philodendrons, these plants are generally easy to look after and are low maintenance. The best choice for beginners is the Heartleaf philodendron, which requires minimal light exposure and can be planted in pots inside your home. 

This guide will take you through the reasons why philodendrons are the best choice of a houseplant and how to care for them to keep them healthy.

Are Philodendrons Hard To Keep Alive?

All types of gardening, from growing potatoes in your backyard to keeping philodendrons in your home, are suitable for your mental. So, it’s no surprise that many people flock to the shops to buy houseplants.

However, new plant owners often get into trouble when they start taking care of plants. Here is a list of the most common challenges people make:

  • Treating all houseplants the same
  • Rescuing a dying plant 
  • Overwatering or underwatering 
  • Not researching the plant requirements 
  • Neglecting humidity levels
  • Buying too many plants at once

Even though it’s natural to get excited about growing many plants when you start exploring different varieties and colors, it’s essential to know the basics first.

Philodendrons are great for newbie plant enthusiasts and experienced plant owners looking for something easy to care for. These plants are considered the ideal option if you want to ease yourself into looking after plants. 

If you study their growing conditions and get all the necessary information, philodendrons are not challenging to keep alive. Anyone can grow them at home! 

Types of Low-maintenance Philodendrons

As mentioned, Heartleaf philodendrons are a popular low-maintenance choice amongst plant buyers. However, you can consider several other varieties when browsing for your next philodendron. 

It’s important to note that there are two main categories of philodendron plants: vining and non-climbing varieties. To keep it simple, vining philodendrons have aerial roots and produce vines that drape down from hanging baskets.

For those people looking for a great plant for hanging on the wall, a vining philodendron is for you. 

In contrast, non-climbing philodendrons grow like other plants and produce leaves upwards. Even though these varieties have a less dramatic effect, they are still beautiful to look at.

Philodendron Brasil

The three most popular types of philodendrons apart from Heartleaf varieties are Lacy Tree (Philodendron selloum), Philodendron Brasil (Philodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’), and Blushing Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens)

Before making your final decision, think about the color, style, and size of the plant you want, as it will help you pick between the philodendron varieties. 

Philodendron vs Monstera Plants

Sometimes, philodendrons are confused with monstera plants as they have various overlapping features like large leaves and vining elements. 

Although, if you look at a philodendron up close, you’ll see that the leaves are smaller than monstera leaves. The leaves on philodendrons are also split and not fenestrated, which indicates that it’s not a monstera plant. 

For low-maintenance plants, philodendrons are a better choice because they don’t need as much light and care, making them suitable for inexperienced plant owners. 

What Do Philodendron Plants Need? 

Philodendrons will need a lot of space to grow and need to have access to partial sunlight. The ideal growing regions for philodendrons are USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11, so you can definitely grow this plant if you live in these areas. 

Most people choose to place their philodendrons near a windowsill as this will provide enough sunlight and shade. If your plant receives too little sunlight, it will cause a slow growth of the leaves. Whereas too much sunlight will ruin the leaves. 

Finding the right location will require careful planning, but once it is ready, you can start choosing the soil.

You want to use soil that is rich in organic matter. Plus, the soil should have good drainage as well. Therefore, loose potting soil is perfect for planting your philodendron.

As a general rule, you should replace the soil in the container every couple of years to reduce salt buildup, which can lead to leaf browning. 

To help you remember the critical information for planting, here is a checklist: 

  1. Pick a pot with drain holes
  2. Use well-draining potting soil
  3. Place the plant somewhere with light and shade

You can’t go wrong if you follow these three steps. 

How Do You Keep a Philodendron Healthy?

Besides planting your philodendron correctly, you must also consider caring for your plant during the growing phase. 

Watering

The first thing to consider with caring techniques is watering your plant. Philodendrons like to live in climates with moderate moisture levels. To check if your plant needs watering, you should test the soil every few days. 

If the top inch of soil is dry, give your plant some water. 

However, it’s important to avoid letting your philodendron sit in soggy water as it can lead to root rot and the decay of your plant. A simple finger test will do the trick to prevent disasters like root rot. 

As long as you monitor the moisture levels, you will be able to give your plant water when it needs it. And, during winter, you can reduce the watering schedule as the temperatures drop. 

Fertilizer 

You can use a balanced fertilizer monthly during spring and summer on your philodendrons. Always follow the instructions on the product before applying any liquid to the soil. 

The fertilizer label will suggest the recommended amount you should use as a guideline. Then, you can reduce the amount during fall and winter as the plant won’t need the extra nutrients at this time of year.

Pruning 

Philodendron pruning

When your philodendron grows, you might notice the vines are getting too long and stretching all over your space. You can easily remove these excess vines with a pair of gardening scissors to keep their size in check. 

As well as pruning for maintenance, removing any yellow leaves that have died during the growing season is helpful. Plus, you can always take some stem cuttings for propagating another plant. 

Just remember to cut above the leaf node to protect the rest of the plant.

Benefits of Keeping Philodendrons at Home

Not only are philodendrons fantastic for new plant owners looking for a low-maintenance plant to get them started, but they also offer some other benefits as well…

Improve Air Quality

Did you know that indoor plants can improve the air quality of your home? 

Well, a study from the University of Florida shows that philodendrons are excellent for removing formaldehyde, toluene, trichloroethylene, and xylene. These harmful pollutants can affect your overall health, so getting rid of them is crucial.

Look Beautiful

Ultimately, philodendrons look incredible in your home and will add some personality to any space. Thankfully, these low-maintenance plants can grow next to each other, so you can keep several varieties in one place.

Photo of author

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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