How To Care For Philodendron Scandens

There’s just something irresistible about the philodendron scandens’ glossy, heart-shaped leaves spilling over a hanging basket. With its easy-going nature and charming vines, it’s no wonder this variety is affectionately dubbed the “sweetheart” or “heartleaf” philodendron.

If you’re looking to add some greenery to your home that’s as low-maintenance as it is lovely, this rainforest native has you covered. Caring for a philodendron scandens is an absolute breeze, making it an ideal choice for plant novices and busy folks alike. 

But don’t mistake its easy going ways for being boring – the heartleaf definitely has personality! Let’s dive into everything you need to keep this pretty trailer looking its best.

Quick Care Guide Philodendron Scandens

While the philodendron scandens may look delicate with its trailing vines and dainty heart-shaped leaves, it’s actually an incredibly resilient and forgiving houseplant. A big part of its easy-going nature stems from its simple care requirements. 

This quick care guide covers all the essentials for keeping your sweetheart philodendron thriving and looking its best.

  • Watering: Allow top 1-2 inches of soil to dry between waterings. Reduce water in winter.
  • Light: Bright, indirect light is ideal. Can tolerate lower light.
  • Fertilizer: Feed monthly in spring/summer with balanced fertilizer.
  • Temperature: Between 65-85°F. No lower than 55°F.
  • Humidity: Appreciates humid conditions. Mist leaves regularly.
  • Toxicity Note: Philodendrons are toxic to pets and humans if ingested.
  • Bonus: These plants help purify indoor air!

Detailed Care Guide for Philodendron Scandens

Detailed Care Guide for Philodendron Scandens

While the philodendron scandens is an easy-going, low-maintenance houseplant, providing the proper care is still important for keeping it looking its best. This detailed guide dives deeper into optimizing the key care requirements like light, water, soil, temperature, humidity, fertilization, and more. 

With a little know-how, you can create the ideal environment for your sweetheart philodendron to thrive and trail beautifully in your home for years to come.

Philodendron Scandens Origins & Overview

This section details the philodendron’s tropical roots, categorizing it as a vining climber species native to the rainforests of Central and South America. 

In its natural habitat, it scales tall trees using its aerial roots, which help anchor the vines as they reach for the filtered sunlight.

When cultivated indoors, the scandens make an ideal hanging basket or tabletop trailing plant thanks to its propensity for draping elegantly over containers. Those heart-shaped leaves are just irresistibly charming! Despite their adorable appearance, a word of caution – all parts of philodendrons are toxic if ingested, hence the name which translates to “tree lover” from the Greek words for tree (dendron) and love (philo). Keep them away from curious kids and pets.

READ ALSO: How To Care For Begonia Maculata

Philodendron Scandens Light Requirements

Proper lighting is crucial, as the scandens naturally grow beneath the dappled shade of the rainforest canopy. These plants do best with bright, indirect light like the kind found near an east or west-facing window. Too much direct, intense sun can lead to scorching of the delicate leaves.

On the flip side, the scandens are surprisingly tolerant of lower light conditions found in an interior room several feet from a window. While growth will slow, the plant can still produce healthy vines and foliage with just moderate brightness. 

One telltale sign it needs more light is if the plant becomes sparse and leggy as it stretches toward the light source.

How to Water the Philodendron Scandens

How to Water the Philodendron Scandens

Watering is one of the trickiest aspects of caring for houseplants, but the “finger test” method takes the guesswork out of knowing when to water your philodendron. Simply stick your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle – if it feels dry at your first knuckle, it’s time to grab the watering can.

During the spring and summer active growing season, aim to keep the soil slightly moist but never saturated. Allow the top 1-2 inches to dry out somewhat between waterings. Come winter when growth slows, you can cut back on frequency and let the top portion of the soil dry more before rehydrating.

Be sure to use a pot with proper drainage holes to prevent issues with oversaturation. Signs of overwatering include yellow, droopy leaves while under watered plants may wilt with dry, crispy brown leaf edges. If the leaves start yellowing all over, let the soil dry out more thoroughly going forward.

Repotting the Philodendron Scandens

These vigorous growers will eventually need to be repotted every 2-3 years into a slightly larger container to accommodate their prolific root systems. Waiting too long can lead to a severely rootbound, struggling plant.

A few signs it’s time for a report: roots visibly climbing out of the drainage holes or pot surface, water running straight through without absorbing, and stunted or lackluster growth.

When repotting, choose a new pot just 2-4 inches wider than the current one and use a chunky, well-draining soil mix. An ideal blend is 2 parts potting soil, 2 parts perlite or orchid bark, and 1 part compost or worm castings. This airy mix mimics the scandens’ natural epiphytic growing environment.

To repot, gently knock the plant from its current container and loosen the root ball. Trim off any dead or circling roots, then place the plant slightly deeper into the new pot. Backfill around the rootball with fresh soil, packing it gently to stabilize the plant. Finally, give it a thorough watering to settle everything in.

Spring and summer are ideal times for repotting, plus you can prune back any leggy vines or take stem cuttings for propagation at the same time!

The remaining sections provide additional tips on ideal temperature range between 65-85°F, humidity preferences around 40% or higher, monthly fertilizing during the growing season, and pruning or pinching back stems to control size and shape. There are also easy instructions for propagating new scandens from stem cuttings.

With this comprehensive care guide, you’re fully equipped to create the perfect environment for these beloved, low-fuss plants. No more boring greenery – add some personality to your indoor plant scene with philodendron scandens’ cascading, heart-shaped charm!

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