Heart leaf Philodendron
Common name : Heart leaf Philodendron
Scientific name : Philodendron hederaceum ( formerly known P. scandens, P. cordatum and P. oxycardium )
Native to Central America, heart leaf philodendron is an evergreen and flowering, hemiepiphytic climber belonging to Araceae family (the plant grows on the surface of other plants to take support, but does not harm the host tree/plant for nutrients). It is also an indoor air purifying plant listed by the NASA. One among the best and hassle free houseplants from the very beginning, when the idea of having plants indoor was developed. Philodendron hederaceum can be planted in a hanging pot and left trailing or have in a floor mounted pot and supported with a moss stick. Latter method enhances its growth. Growing them in water is possible too.
Philodendron hederaceum has four varieties
Philodendron hederaceum - dark green colored leaves
Philodendron hederaceum aureum - neon colored leaves
Philodendron hederaceum brazil - variegated
Philodendron hederaceum micans - dark green / chocolate coloured with velvety textured leaves
Care tips :
Sunlight : Bright - moderate indirect sunlight is preferred. Low light slows down its growth Exposing the plant to longer hours of direct sunlight will bleach their leaves.
Medium : Philodendron hederaceum can be grown in soil or water.
Soil - Well draining soil is preferred.
Soil mix ratio-
Soil : Coarse sand : Coco Peat
0.5 : 0.5 : 1
Water - Translucent glass bottles suit the best, as clear bottles encourage faster algae growth. Change the water every week and rinse the bottle (with the roots inside because it gets difficult once the roots grow longer) every two weeks to get rid of dead ends.
Water : Water thoroughly when the soil is almost dry, don't let the soil dry out completely. Arrow head plants droop when they need water, being watchful helps develop a better understanding. I tend to water every 4-5 days in summer and spring, once a week otherwise. In fact, I do not follow a fixed schedule, now by practice I can gauge how often they need water. I have my plants in low - moderate light areas. Brighter indoor areas will require frequent watering.
Fertilizing : Liquid fertilizing once in two weeks during the growth seasons, i.e. spring and summer.
Pests : Pest attack is rare for this one. Mealy bugs are common. Mix 3-5ml of shampoo in 5 litre of water and spray the plant thoroughly, do this only in the evenings when the sun is down. Wash off the plant completely with plain water the next morning. Repeat the same every week till the plant is clear off pests.
Philodendron hederaceum roots by stem cutting in water or directly in soil. Its important for the cutting to have 2-3 leaves and a minimum of one node (pluck the leaf odd) inserted in the soil or water. It may take 2-4 weeks for the roots to develop. Make sure the root grown is at least two inches before shifting it to soil, if you chose to do so. They can be propagated through division as well.