Everything You Need To Know About Heartleaf Philodendron

If there is a plant that is perfect for terrible growers, then it is definitely heartleaf philodendron or sweetheart. Not only these plants are simple to keep healthy, but they also come in a range of attractive shades. Also, one can keep these hard-to-keep plants along with bushy, cheerful, or elegant trailers. Now, let’s have a look at the things you need to remember when growing and caring for these beautiful plants.


heartleaf philodendron

To begin with, the botanical name of heartleaf philodendron is philodendron scandens. The best thing about this amazing plant is it’s so simple to grow. These plants are popularly known as sweetheart plants.

This plant features glossy, heart-shaped leaves, which emerge bronze and turn green quickly. The leaves of this plant are usually 2-4 inches long. These leaves cover the slender, long stems that usually grow about 4 ft or more. 

How to Grow Heartleaf Philodendron

Light Requirements of This Plant

Heart leaf philodendrons thrive best in a low light condition. This is the main reason behind their versatility. However, philodendrons that get indirect or medium light will produce more leaves and grow faster. So, these plants should not be kept in direct sunlight.

Watering the Sweetheart Plant

Sweetheart plants can be grown both in soil and in water. Philodendrons that you grow in soil should be irrigated when the soil is a bit dry. Just like most plants, leaves that are yellow in color designate over-watering and leaves that are brown designate under-watering.

So, it is pretty easy to tell when your philodendron requires water as the leaves will look wilted. Once watered, your plant will appear perky and beautiful. Also, these plants thrive even in containers with only water. Monitor the water level closely as your plant may consume it sooner than anticipated.

Here, one thing that you need to remember is that after a sweetheart plant is growing in either water or soil, it does not always thrive well when transferred to another medium.

Potted Philodendrons

For simple drainage, you should plant potted philodendrons in well-aerated potting soil. You can re-pot these plants only after they get root bound, around every 2-3 years. Go for smaller pots as they help in preventing over-watering. Pots must have a drainage hole and be porous.

If you like to employ a decorative plant pot that does not feature these characteristics, then place a heartleaf philodendron in terra cotta pots within the decorative ones. Use pebbles in the decorative pot’s bottom as this helps in keeping the plant from sitting longer in water.

Fertilizing the Philodendron

Without fertilization, heartleaf philodendrons can live for years and years. However, these plants grow faster and thus, you need to be fertilized every consecutive month in winter and fall and every month in summer and spring with the houseplant flood’s half-strength solution.

Alternately, you can fertilize every 3-4 months. So, watch your philodendron as you need to fertilize only when the plant is producing fresh leaves actively.

Pruning the Philodendron

One can enjoy philodendrons as trailing plants, table plants, or hanging plants. It does not matter what style you select, pruning them regularly will assist in keeping these plants dull and lush. Leggy trails need to be cut after nodes. Perform this activity regularly for promoting business and encouraging new growth. Also, ensure that you get smooth cuts and not jagged. For this, one can employ fingernails, pruning shears, and scissors.

Propagating the Philodendron

One thing that’s fun about these beautiful plants is that they are simple to propagate. So, just simply pinch off or cut a branch, ensuring that you have at least some nodes present. You can even take off leaves from the cutting when you want to expose extra nodes. Now, place the cutting into soil or water directly. Your sweetheart plant will start to grow. Distribute your sweetheart babies among your friends!

Toxicity of This Plant 

There is only one drawback of growing a heartleaf philodendron, which is its toxicity. When either humans or pets ingest any part of philodendron, it can result in severe discomfort like swelling and burning of the tongue, lips, and throat, diarrhea, and vomiting. Additionally, getting in contact with the sap of this green plant can cause irritation.

According to the ASPCA, sweetheart plants are toxic to cats, horses, and dogs. Symptoms of poisoning caused by this plant include swelling of tongue, lips, and mouth, oral irritation, vomiting (not in horses), excessive drooling, and difficulty in swallowing.

Problems & Solutions Related to Growing Heartleaf Philodendrons

heartleaf philodendron
  • Wilted leaves: These leaves appear when your potting medium dries out. Although this plant can tolerate dried-out soil, it would not live longer without drinking water. Another reason why the leaves wilt could be root rot in your plant.
  • Yellow leaves: These leaves usually occur when soggy soil is prolonged. The main reason behind why houseplants usually die is because of overwatering. However, it is simple to prevent. Always use a plant pot having drainage holes. Water your plant thoroughly and empty its drainage tray.
  • Brown scorch signs: These marks appear on leaves, which usually signify exposure to direct, hot sunlight. Brown spots can also occur due to fungus. In case, you mist the plant or clean the same with water, you should prevent water drops from staying on the plant’s leaves. Although foliage dries faster outdoors with nice air circulation, an indoor plant stays wet for some hours and that leads to fungus. It is a perfect idea to chop off affected plant leaves. There is nothing to worry about as these vigorous vines will replace them soon.
  • Bugs:Is there anything that bugs your philodendron? The only issue that you could face with this amazing plant is fungus gnats. These black, tiny insects get attracted to peaty, wet potting mixes. One cannot spot these insects easily. However, you can see them swarming on the plant’s surface.
  • A heartleaf philodendron is drought-tolerant somewhat. So, you can allow the top few inches to dry out of the potting medium and these gnats will disappear. Also, aphids get attracted to the new development on these soft-stemmed sweetheart plants. Treat all infestations right away for avoiding pests from moving to other indoor plants of yours.

Care Tips for Heartleaf Philodendrons

So, this amazing plant is originated in South America. Heartleaf philodendrons trails or climbs to more than 4 ft. So, here’s an overview of the care tips that you just discussed. Keep these points in mind while growing this beautiful plant.

Light: They need bright to moderate light. Long spaces among leaves or small leaves display that your plant is not receiving enough light. Move your plant to some brighter locations. Avoid keeping your plant in direct sun as it could scorch the plant’s leaves. Philodendrons thrive well under fluorescent lights. Thus, they make a perfect office or houseplant.

Water: Next, keep the soil a bit moist from spring to fall. Let the surface dry out in winter between waterings. If you spot yellow leaves, it is because of overwatering. Use always tepid water for the houseplants as cold water could be a tremor to tropical natives.

Humidity:They can tolerate dry air and like humidity. So, you can maintain about 40% or higher relative humidity. If you spot brown tips in the leaves, it is usually because of dry air.

Soil: Go for a peat moss based potting mix.

Temperature: You need to maintain a room temperature between 65 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants can tolerate 60 degrees Fahrenheit at a minimum.

Fertilizer: Feed the plant monthly with a balanced water-soluble or liquid fertilizer. Dilute it by half. When growth slows down, do not feed the plant in winter.

Watch this video to know more about how to take care of a philodendron.


It is super easy to grow a heartleaf philodendron. You do not have to take much care of this plant. This fast-growing plant thrives well in low light conditions and thus, it makes an ideal houseplant. So, if you cannot take care of a plant, then this is what you need. It is quite difficult to kill this plant. Now, keep the care tips mentioned here in mind while growing this plant. Share the article with other plant lovers and let us know if you have any queries!

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