Philodendron Scandens - Plant of the Month
Philodendron Scandens is a house plant that many of us know and love for it’s easy care and ability to thrive in shaded areas of the home. This is due to the fact that in its natural habitat the Philodendron (also known as the Sweetheart Vine) is found growing from trees and other large plants in tropical rainforests, eventually trailing down to reach the forest floor where it can obtain nutrients and live happily under the shade of the plants above. Whilst it is often found growing as a trailer, it can also be grown as a climber up a moss pole.
Although Scandens prefer a spot with bright but indirect/filtered light, they will happily grow in a shaded area providing it’s heat and humidity requirements are met. Considering the fact that they can grow to a whopping 10m long/tall in a pot, they are the ideal statement plant for a tricky shaded corner!
As with most tropical rainforest plants, the Sweetheart Vine likes a fairly regular water. However waiting until the top inch of soil has dried out before watering again is best. They are a hardy plant and can cope with a little over or under watering, but they won’t survive periods of extended drought.
Philodendron Scandens are also great lovers of humidity and warmth (think hot, damp rainforest floors), and like their natural conditions to be replicated where possible. Regular misting and grouping with other humidity loving plants to create a mini microclimate will give them what they need to grow to their best.
As one of the most easy going house plants you will have in your collection, the Philodendron can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 degrees, especially during its dormant growth periods (Autumn & Winter), but will really flourish in it’s optimum temperature of between 15-21 degrees.
Because of its ability to do well in varying conditions, it’s likely that you will find your trailing Philodendron grows quickly towards the ground. Cutting the ends of your plant (ensuring never to cut more than a third of its length) will encourage bushier growth without harming it, and as it’s very easily propagated you can use the cuttings to grow your collection!
We have found the best method to propagate is by placing stem cuttings into water and allowing them to root. However, if your cutting has aerial roots, the root can be pushed directly into moist compost where it will continue to grow.
Pick a healthy stem from your plant, cutting just above the node (where the stem extends above a leaf), and put it straight into a glass filled with water. Place it in a spot with bright but indirect light.
Within a couple of weeks you should notice small roots appearing at the base of the stem. Wait for your cutting to form a healthy and established root base before potting it on into slightly damp compost.
Once planted into soil, continue to care for your new Philodendron as you would the parent plant.