How To Propagate Philodendron? Philodendrons are a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae. These beautiful plants are native to tropical America and can be found in rainforests, swamps, and mountain slopes. Philodendrons are easy to care for and make excellent houseplants. But how to propagate philodendron?
Philodendron Growth Habits:
Before learning how to propagate philodendron, it’s essential to understand the plant’s growth habits. Let’s take a look:
Philodendron plants can be either epiphytic or terrestrial. Epiphytic philodendrons grow on other plants or trees and derive their nutrients from the air, rain, and debris that accumulate around them. Terrestrial philodendrons grow in soil and get their nutrients from the ground.
Most philodendrons that are grown as houseplants are epiphytic. These plants have aerial roots that help them climb and attach to their support. When grown indoors, these plants can reach up to 3 feet in length.
Philodendron flowers are small and inconspicuous. The plant produces its flowers on a spadix, which is a spike-like inflorescence that is surrounded by a sizeable leaf-like bract called a spathe.
The flowers of the philodendron are pollinated by beetles and other insects. After pollination, the flowers develop into berries that contain the plant’s seeds.
How To Propagate Philodendron?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of philodendron growth habits let’s learn how to propagate philodendron.
Take Stem Cuttings:
One of the easiest ways to propagate philodendron is by taking stem cuttings. Cuttings should be taken from healthy, growing plants. Look for stems that are 2-3 inches long and have at least 2-3 leaves.
Using a sharp knife or pair of scissors, make a clean cut just below a leaf node. A leaf node is a point on the stem where leaves are attached. Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting, leaving 2-3 leaves at the top. These leaves will help support the plant as it grows.
Dip the cut end of the cutting in rooting hormone. Rooting hormone is not required for philodendron cuttings to root, but it will help speed up the process. Place the cutting in a container filled with moist potting mix. Be sure to use a pot with drainage holes to prevent the roots from rotting.
Water the soil and place the container in a location that receives indirect sunlight. The ideal temperature for philodendron cuttings is 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again.
Cuttings should root within 4-6 weeks. Once the roots are established, you can transplant the philodendron into a pot of its own.
Propagating Philodendron In Water:
You can also propagate philodendrons in water. This method is best for terrestrial philodendrons, as they are less likely to rot than epiphytic plants.
To propagate philodendron in water, take stem cuttings as described above. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and place the cutting in a jar or glass of water.
Change the water every few days to keep it fresh. Roots will begin to form within 2-4 weeks. Once the roots are 2-3 inches long, you can transplant the cutting into a pot of soil.
Now that you know how to propagate philodendrons, let’s talk about plant care. Philodendrons are relatively easy to care for and make excellent houseplants. Here are a few tips to keep your plants healthy and happy:
Philodendrons prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate low-light conditions. If your plant is not getting enough light, you may notice the leaves begin to turn yellow or pale green. Light can also affect the size and shape of philodendron leaves. Plants that are grown in low-light conditions will have smaller, more compact leaves.
Water philodendrons when the top inch of soil is dry. These plants like to be kept moist but not soggy. Overwatering can lead to leaf drop and root rot. This is primarily a concern for plants that are propagated in water.
When watering, be sure to use lukewarm water. Cold water can shock the roots and lead to leaf drops. Some philodendrons, such as the heartleaf philodendron, are sensitive to fluoride. If your tap water is high in fluoride, you may want to use distilled or rainwater to avoid leaf damage.
Philodendrons prefer light, well-draining soil. A good potting mix for philodendrons is two parts peat moss and one part perlite or sand. When repotting, only move the plant up to one pot size. Larger pots will hold more moisture and can lead to root rot.
Philodendrons are tropical plants and prefer warm temperatures. The ideal temperature range for these plants is 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, the leaves will begin to turn yellow and drop off.
Philodendrons prefer high humidity but will tolerate average household conditions. If the air in your home is too dry, you may notice the leaves begin to turn brown and crispy. You can place a humidifier near your plant or group plants together to increase humidity.
Philodendrons should be fertilized every two weeks during the growing season and monthly during the winter. Use a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength. Avoid fertilizing philodendrons that are stressed from too much or too little light, water, or fertilizer.
Pests and Diseases:
Philodendrons are relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but they can be susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. You can control these pests with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Root rot is the most common disease of philodendrons. This fungal disease occurs when the roots are kept too wet. To prevent root rot, make sure your plant has well-draining soil and only water when the top inch of soil is dry.
Philodendrons are easy to care for plants that make excellent houseplants. These plants can be propagated in water or soil and prefer warm temperatures and high humidity. With proper care, your philodendron will thrive for many years.
Now that you know how to propagate and care for philodendrons, you can enjoy these beautiful plants in your home. These easy-care houseplants are perfect for beginners and make a great addition to any indoor garden.