Heartleaf Philodendron
Philodendron,  Plant Care,  Propagation

Heartleaf Philodendron Care

In general heartleaf philodendrons are one of the easiest to care for tropical houseplants, they like medium levels of indirect sunlight, but are not fussy and will tolerate low light. They like a little humidity if you can, and you should water them when they dry out (about once a week in the warmer months). They are also very easy to propagate.

Heartleaf Philodendron Care Summary

Light needs:Can adapt to low and bright areas of your home.
Watering needs:Check the soil weekly. Water if the soil is dry almost all the way down.
Fertilizer:Use a high nitrogen content feed once a month in summer.
Soil:A well draining peat-based compost.
Temperature:13ºC – 30ºC (55°F – 86°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Sweetheart plant, philodendron scandens.
Common issues:Over and under watering.

Heartleaf Philodendron Care Introduction

Welcome to our heartleaf philodendron care guide. The heartleaf philodendron aka philodendron scandens is a very popular vine-like plant, originally from The Caribbean and Central America. It is very similar and often confused with pothos, it is also a very easy to grow plant that will do well in most households. They can take various forms, such as a hanging vine plan, they also love to grow up trellises and be trained, or be clipped and kept bushy.

See also: Pothos Plant Care.

Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.

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Light Needs

Heartleaf philodendrons can survive in shadier areas of your home. They like indirect sunlight to grow quickly, but can adapt to much less light than this.

How Often to Water A Heartleaf Philodendron

Only water your philodendron scandens once it is almost totally dry. This will be about 1 or 2 weeks in the summer if it gets the right light and warmth to grow, and less in the winter. Check the soil weekly to be sure, don’t be tempted to overwater them!


Philodendrons need nitrogen, so use fertilizer with good nitrogen content (for example with an NPK of 3-1-2). In the warmer months you can feed your plants every month.


Use a well draining peat-based compost for your heartleaf philodendron. They are tough plants, but to give them the best care use a well draining medium to reduce the chance or root rot.

For more on Philodendron soil see our guide here, on what to buy or how to make your own: Philodendron Soil.

When To Repot A Heartleaf Philodendron

When the plant is root bound you can pot it up a container size or two in spring or early summer. When I repot mine I like to take cuttings a month or so before hand and then plant them back in with the main plant when repotting so that the plant is thicker, the same as I would with pothos or a monstera adansonii.


Aim for 50%. Philodendrons are tropical plants and like humidity, but will do ok in normal household humidity levels. You can mist it when watering, but it is better to give them a pebble tray tp up humidity if they are in a dry part of the home.


Heartleaf Philodendrons like a temperate range of 13ºC – 30ºC (55°F – 86°F), which means they will suit most households all year round.

How To Propagate Heartleaf Philodendron

Propagate heartleaf philodendron with stem cuttings that have at least one node and one leaf. The easiest way is to take a branch off and chop the stem between each leaf, which will leave at least one node on each leaf. Then put the cuttings in a jar of water to root. Once rooted you can pot them up into soil, or keep them growing in water.

We go into more detail on on propagating philodendrons, in our guide here: How To Propagate Philodendron.

Heartleaf Philodendron In Water

They can grow in water alone. Take a cutting and root it in a jar of tap water, then you can just leave it there and as long as you keep the water topped up it can live there indefinitely. Make sure you keep leaves out of the water as they can rot and turn the water cloudy which can then root the whole cutting. If the water goes cloudy then change it and make sure there is not rotting foliage in it.

Is It a Climber Or a Crawler?

The heartleaf philodendron is a climbing philodendron, which grows in a vining pattern.

Heartleaf Philodendron USDA Zone

They can grow outdoors year-round in zones 9-11.

Where To Buy a Heartleaf Philodendron

Always support your local plant shop where yo can, or you can try Etsy. You can find a list of some online houseplant shops here.

Other Names for Heartleaf Philodendron

Sweetheart plant, philodendron scandens.

Heartleaf Philodendron FAQs and Common Problems

These plants are relatively tough, and one of the easiest houseplants to look after but like all plants they can be susceptible to over or under watering as well as pests. Keep a regular watering schedule and only water if dry, as well as keeping an eye out for normal plant pests.

For more on philodendrons see our philodendron category with all our philodendron care guides.

Do Heartleaf Philodendron Like To Be Root Bound?

It is best not to let them get root bound. They will grow much better if the roots are given space and you can root rot when a plant is severely root bound as water cannot drain away.

Do Heartleaf Philodendron Flower?

Heartleaf philodendron can flower, but it is quite rare. They put out a small spathe like a peace lily.

Can Heart Leaf Philodendron Grow In Water?

Yes they can grow in water indefinitely if they start life in water as a cutting.

Can Heart Leaf Philodendron Grow Outside?

They can grow well outside but make sure they do not get down to below 5°C (40°F).

Is Heartleaf Philodendron Poisonous?

Philodendrons contain calcium oxalate which is mildly poisonous to cats and dogs (as well as humans) so do not let them eat it. Seek vets advice if they do.

Heartleaf Philodendron Vs Pothos

The philodendron heartleaf has much more heart-shaped leaves, while pothos have thinner more slender leaves.

Heartleaf Philodendron Vs Micans

These plants can be told apart easily as the micans have a velvety texture to their leaves.

Why Is My Heart Leaf Philodendron Turning Yellow

If you have yellowing leaves check the soil moisture with your finger. Yellowing is a sign of overwatering in most cases, and underwatering sometimes too. So check both of these and treat accordingly. If you have overwatered the plant, consider taking it out of the soil and drying it out, then planting it in fresh but dry soil. Take some cuttings just in case the worst happens and the rot spreads.

How To Trim A Heartleaf Philodendron

Sometimes vine plants like this get leggy, and you can trim back these vines. You can then propagate the cuttings (see our Water Propagation article) then once rooted you can plant them back into the original pot to make it bushier.

Why Is My Heart Leaf Philodendron Not Growing

Plants grow slower in the winter colder months, and will grow slow in summer too if not given enough light. Consider moving the plant to a brighter location (but not direct sunlight). You can also feed it too in the summer months.

How To Root A Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf philodendrons can be rooted in water. You just need a cutting with 2 or 3 leaves and a couple of nodes, and put it in water making sure the leaves are above the water and one naked node is below (where the roots will grow from). For more on rooting in water see our Water Propagation article.

Why Is My Heart Leaf Philodendron Drooping

Drooping is most likely due to overwatering. Give your plant a regular watering schedule and only water it if is has dried out from before. You can report it to dry soil to avoid root rot and take some cuttings too, just in case the rot spreads.

Any other tips?

Pinch out your plant occasionally just above a node, to keep it full and bushy. The cuttings can be propagated and planted back in the main pot too to make it even fuller.

Other Articles You Might Like

Hope you found our guide to Heartleaf Philodendron Care useful. Please see our other articles on Water Propagation, Peperomia Care, and Pothos Propagation.

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