A Guide to Growing Philodendron Scandens (Heart Leaf Philodendron)

Are you a beginner looking to add some greenery to your home? Look no further than the Philodendron scandens, also known as Heart Leaf Philodendron.

This versatile houseplant is not only easy to grow but also adds a touch of elegance to any space.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about caring for Philodendron scandens, from lighting and watering to propagation and common issues.

So, let’s dive in and unlock the secrets of this popular houseplant!

Understanding Philodendron Scandens

Before we delve into the care instructions, let’s take a closer look at the Philodendron scandens and its close relative, Philodendron Brasil. These two plants are often confused for each other due to their similar appearance.

The main difference lies in their variegation – while Philodendron Brasil boasts beautiful variegated leaves, Philodendron scandens features plain green foliage.

Interestingly, these plants are believed to be the same species, Philodendron hederaceum, according to expert sources.

Light Requirements for Philodendron Scandens

One of the biggest advantages of Philodendron scandens is its versatility when it comes to lighting conditions. Whether you have a bright, sunny spot or a shadier corner, this plant can adapt and thrive.

Ideally, place your Philodendron scandens in front of an eastern or northern window to provide it with the perfect balance of light.

Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight for extended periods, as it may harm the plant. Keep in mind that the plain green variety can tolerate lower light conditions better than the variegated Brasil.

Maintaining Optimal Temperatures

Philodendron scandens, like most tropical plants, prefers temperatures that humans find comfortable.

It is crucial to ensure that the minimum night temperatures do not drop below 55°F (13°C), while daytime temperatures should remain warmer.

If you plan to move your houseplants outdoors during the warm months, be mindful of these temperature requirements.

Watering Tips for Philodendron Scandens

When it comes to watering your Philodendron scandens, consistency is key. The general rule of thumb is to water the plant thoroughly and then wait for the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again.

To check the moisture level, simply insert your finger into the soil.

While Philodendron scandens does not appreciate completely drying out, be cautious not to overwater it either. Avoid letting the plant sit in water for extended periods, as this can lead to root rot.

Fertilizing Your Philodendron Scandens

To ensure optimal growth and health, it is recommended to follow a regular fertilizing schedule throughout the growing season. While there are various fertilizers available, our favorite choice is Dyna Gro Grow.

This complete fertilizer provides all the necessary macro and micronutrients for your plants. Apply the fertilizer according to the instructions on the package, and remember to pause fertilization during the winter months.

Humidity Requirements for Philodendron Scandens

As tropical plants, Philodendron scandens appreciates higher humidity levels. However, they can tolerate average indoor conditions quite well.

If you want to go the extra mile for your plants, there are effective ways to increase humidity in your home. Be sure to check out our humidity blog post for more information.

Repotting Your Philodendron Scandens

Philodendron scandens is known for its resilience, as demonstrated by a fascinating story. Some enthusiasts have successfully kept their Philodendron scandens in the same pot for several years.

However, repotting is eventually necessary to provide ample space for the plant’s growth. Check out our illustrated blog post on repotting houseplants for a step-by-step guide.

Propagating Philodendron Scandens

If you wish to expand your Philodendron scandens collection or share the joy of growing this plant with others, propagation is a simple and rewarding process.

By taking cuttings from the vines, you can propagate your Philodendron scandens in either water or soil.

We recommend starting in water to observe root growth before transferring the cuttings to soil. Once the roots reach about an inch (2.5 cm) in length, you can pot them up in soil.

Choosing the Perfect Potting Soil

While Philodendron scandens is not too picky about potting mixes, it is beneficial to enhance your soil with some perlite. A ratio of 1 part perlite to 3 parts potting mix is a good rule of thumb.

Perlite improves drainage and allows for more oxygen circulation around the roots, reducing the risk of overwatering and root rot. Consider adding coarse horticultural-grade perlite to your potting mix for tropical foliage plants.

Pothos vs. Philodendron: Spotting the Difference

Many beginners often confuse Pothos and Philodendron, but they are, in fact, different plants belonging to separate genera.

Pothos belongs to the Epipremnum genus, while Philodendron belongs to the Philodendron genus.

If you’re unsure whether you have a Pothos or a Philodendron, refer to our blog post “Pothos vs. Philodendron: 5 Ways to Tell the Difference” for helpful tips.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

To ensure your Philodendron scandens thrives, it’s important to address any potential problems promptly. Here are some common issues you may encounter:

Small Leaves

If your plant is producing small leaves, it is likely due to insufficient light. When plants are grown in greenhouses, they receive ideal conditions that may differ from your home environment.

Providing bright, appropriate light is crucial for larger leaf development.

Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves can indicate either underwatering or overwatering. Ensure that you are watering your Philodendron scandens consistently and allowing the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again.

Adjust your watering routine to maintain a proper balance.

Slow Growth

If your Philodendron scandens is growing slowly, inadequate light or lack of fertilization may be the culprits.

Ensure your plant receives sufficient light, and consider fertilizing regularly during the active growing season.

Philodendron Scandens Toxicity

While Philodendron scandens adds beauty to your home, it’s important to note that it is toxic to cats and dogs due to the presence of calcium oxalate.

Take precautions to keep your furry friends away from this plant.


Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge and tips to grow and care for your Philodendron scandens. From lighting and watering to propagation and troubleshooting, this guide covers all the essentials.

Remember, Philodendron scandens is a resilient and adaptable plant that will bring a touch of nature to your indoor spaces. Enjoy the process of nurturing and watching your Heart Leaf Philodendron thrive and grow!

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