Plant Care

Propagate Philodendron

Philodendron

Philodendron is an excellent plant for any indoor space, from houses to home offices. There are numerous varieties and types to choose from, such as heart-leaf Philodendron (Philodendron scandens), fiddle-leaf Philodenrson (Philodendron panduriforme) or tree Philoden (Philodendron bipinnatifidum). These are the most common varieties that are grown as houseplants.

It is possible to grow a Philodendron plant in US hardiness zones 10 to 12. The main thing to remember is that these plants can’t tolerate cold, so you need to keep them in comfortable room temperature.

One of the best ways to get more Philodendron plants is to propagate your Philodendron. This way, you can get new plants for your home, or you can give them as presents to your family and friends.

There are various methods of propagation:

Stem and Tip Cuttings

The easiest way to propagate your Philodendron is through stem cuttings. These cuttings root easily, and this can even be done in a glass jar or vase filled with water. However, they will develop stronger roots if they are rooted in peat moss or moist perlite.

To propagate from cuttings, take a vine that is about 10 inches long and cut it into 2 to 3-inch sections. If you wish to root them in water, place them in a container filled with water and place them in a warm area. For rooting in soil, dip the end that faces the main plant in rooting hormone and plant into a moist potting media. Cover the pots with plastic and place them in an area with bright, indirect light. Make sure to maintain soil temperature between 70- and 75-degrees F. This will ensure optimal root formation. It is important to keep the soil moist but not soggy until the roots are formed.

You can test the root formation by gently tugging on the cutting. If it resists, it means that the roots have formed properly. Just make sure not to tug too hard. Once the roots have formed, you can transplant new plants to their individual pots.

You can also propagate using tip cuttings. This way, you can successfully root several plants from just one vine. If you want to use tip cuttings, take 2 to 3 inches off the end of the vine, making sure that it includes the new leaves at the tip.

Philodendron

Propagating through Division

Another method of propagating Philodendron is through division. This is the best approach for a mature and overgrown plant. It is also the quickest way to get new plants. Keep in mind that each section of the plant already has a developed root system, so the new growth will appear within days. New plants will typically thrive without much effort.

To propagate through division, water the plant first. This will moisten and loosen the soil. Do this the morning before you perform division. This will make division much easier and will also provide your plant with all the moisture it needs to withstand the stress of transplanting.

Once the plant is ready, remove is carefully from the container. Gently pull the roots into two or more sections. Make sure that each section contains at last two shoots. After this, replant the main plant into its original container and other divisions in new containers filled with fresh soil.

Air Layering

This is a method ideal for overgrown Philodendron plants that show signs of drooping. Pick a section of the stem and remove its leaves 3 to 4 inches above and below a leaf node. You can use a sharp, sterilized knife to cut a one inch slit in the stem. Make sure to angle the cut upward so it reaches the center of the stem, but do not sever the stem. Place a toothpick into the slit so that its width keeps the slit open. The end of the pick should stick out on either side of the stem. This will prevent the wound from healing.

You should sprinkle the cut with rooting hormone. This will encourage root formation. After this, wrap handfuls of moist peat moss around the cut and cover it with plastic wrap. Make sure to seal the edges to prevent any loss of moisture. You can secure the plastic bag and peat moss with a tape or a string.

Monitor your plant to see the new roots forming inside of the plastic. Once the bag is filled with new roots, cut the new plant off the stem. Plant it in a fresh soil in a new container.

Propagation Tips

Here are further tips on propagating your Philodendron plants:

  • Keep in mind that Philodendron prefers well-drained soil that is loose and rich in organic matter. A good potting media is peat moss or a combination of peat moss and perlite.
  • You can also make your own potting media. Combine equal parts of perlite, peat moss and compost or all-purpose potting soil. However, make sure that all-purpose potting soil (or garden loam) is not ideal for container plants because they are too heavy and the soil will compact easily and tends to drain slowly.
  • To transplant new plants into their containers, fill a pot about ¾ with fresh potting medium. Position the new plant into the container and spread the routs out evenly over the soil. After this, gently fill around the roots with soil. Make sure that the crown (the point where the roots meet the stem) rests at the soil line. After this, firm the soil down with your hands. This will secure the plant.
  • Always place new plants with an area with bright but indirect light – Philodendron doesn’t like direct sunlight.

Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr via photopin cc