Philodendron, a Bush or a Vine?

Philodendron come with dark green leaves in many shapes and sizes.  Due to their large size, only a few varieties are grown indoors.  For a dramatic effect, choose a Philodendron.
philodendron picture
Philodendrons can be broken down into two basic groups, climbing ( vining) and non-climbing ( tree).

The Heart Leaf Philodendron is an example of a vining type.  It is a rapid growing vine with dark green, heart shaped leaves that can be anywhere from 2 to 6 inches in diameter.

The Split Leaf Philodendron is a non-vining or tree type.  It grows as a large semi-woody shrub with large glossy leaves on a single unbranched stem.  These leaves, which can be up to 3 feet long, have holes or splits in them giving rise to the name.


They are native to the rain forest floor under a forest canopy.  The Heart Leaf Philodendron will tolerate low lighting, lower than most plants.  The Split Leaf Philodendron, however prefers a medium lighting or the characteristic splits in the leaves may not develop.


The ideal temperature range is 75 to 85oF during the day and in the 60’s at night.


Philodendrons can be grown in regular indoor potting mix in pots that provide good drainage


High humidity is ideal for best growth, but most plants will tolerate lower humidity in the home.  Daily misting of the leaves will help to raise the humidity around the plant.


Water frequently enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy.  Never let the plants stand in water.  Overwatering may cause the lower tips to yellow or the growing tips to die.


Philodendrons should be fertilized regularly with a dilute water soluble fertilizer.  Too much fertilizer can cause the tips of the leaves to curl ands turn brown.


Philodendrons may be propagated during any season from stem cuttings or air layering.

Decorating and Placement Tips

Vining types, like the Heart Leaf Philodendron, can be trained onto a pole or other support.  It will need to be pruned regularly to keep it on the support.  If you prefer a smaller bushy plant, this can also be accomplished by pruning.

The Split Leaf Philodendron, by nature of it’s very large size, is most often found in larger homes and public areas.  A bright location, but not direct sun, is needed so that the leaves will develop their splits, characteristic of the Split Leaf Philodendron.