Heartleaf Philodendron: Description, Characteristics, Cultivation, Propagation, Chemical Constituents, and Uses

Heartleaf Philodendron: Description, Characteristics, Cultivation, Propagation and Uses


A blooming plant native to Central America and the Caribbean, Philodendron species is also known as Heartleaf, Heart-leaf Ivy, Philodendron, and Sweetheart Plant. Phileo is named after the Greek words phileo, which means “to love,” and dendron, which means “tree,” because of its proclivity to climb trees. The majority of the species may be found in humid tropical woods, although they can also be found in marshes, riverbanks, roadsides, and rock outcroppings.

Heartleaf Philodendron is most commonly seen as a houseplant, with its two to three-inch-wide, solid green, Heart-shaped leaves and long, thin branches trailing from a hanging basket. Although Heartleaf Philodendron is well-suited for indoor use because of its ease of growth and great tolerance to low light conditions, it takes on a completely different aspect when grown outdoors. When used as a ground cover, the lush, dark green foliage quickly covers a shady region. The leaves get larger as the strong stems climb up a tree trunk or other vertical support, reaching a length of 12 inches or more. It can also be cultivated in a container, on a totem pole, or another moisture-retaining support column if desired.

Philodendron Plant


1. Philodendron species are frequently observed clinging to other plants or climbing tree trunks using aerial roots.

2. It is, without a doubt, the most popular philodendron on the market today. Plants can grow up to 20 feet tall in the wild, however, they are more commonly found in the 4-foot range indoors.

3. Bright, glossy, heart-shaped, dark green leaves with a golden tinge are said to be the distinguishing characteristics. The leaves normally develop to be 3-4 inches long, but they can grow up to 12 inches long.

4. The plant’s twining stems will trail from a pot or climb up a column.

5. Greenish-white arum flowers develop on mature indoor plants seldom.

6. Philodendrons are members of the Arums or Aroid (Araceae) family, which are distinguished by their characteristic spathe and spadix blossoms.

7. They usually climb tree trunks to get moisture and nutrients that are absorbed by the bark. Philodendron is a common landscape plant in frost-free areas. This plant is utilized for indoor landscaping plantings in a variety of organizations and public spaces in temperate countries.

8. The plants thrive when kept warm (65°F minimum), are somewhat wet, and out of direct sunshine.

9. Philodendron grows to a height of 3–6 meters, with heart-shaped glossy leaves up to 30 cm long and white blooms on mature plants. It must be grown under glass or as a houseplant in temperate climates, with a minimum temperature of 15-160 C.

10. When the leaves are young, they are slightly brownish and practically transparent, but as they mature, they turn a deep green color.

11. Many species of this plant appear to have two stages of development: a juvenile form and a mature form. The size and shape of the leaves vary a lot.

12. Plants grown in containers nearly invariably remain in the juvenile stage.


Mexico, the West Indies, and Brazil are all home to this plant.

Cultivation Approaches


Heavy feeders and philodendrons are Some species that may go for lengthy periods without extra fertilization, but a regular nitrogen fertilizer feeding regimen will enhance leaf size and result in a larger, healthier plant. Fertilize at half strength more frequently than once. Plants of these species that thrive in low-light environments require less fertilization than plants that are actively growing. To protect plant roots from harm, moist soil necessitates the use of fertilizers.


Water is one of the most important variables in ensuring that Philodendrons grow evenly and produce huge, uniform leaves. Maintain a moist, but not wet, potting mix. Make sure all extra water drains since remaining in water or overwatering can cause root harm, causing leaves to yellow and drop. With a pebble tray or by clustering plants, a high-humidity atmosphere can be maintained, encouraging bigger leaves.


Bright and indirect sunlight is ideal for Philodendron species. Sunlight generates a yellowish hue in the leaves, as well as a sunburn patch. If natural light isn’t available, artificial light produces the best results.


Temperatures of 24-27oC (75-80oF) are ideal for Philodendron species. Philodendron species cannot survive temperatures below 13°C (55°F). Fertilizer Once every two weeks throughout the months when the Philodendron species are actively growing, use regular liquid fertilizer.

Potting and repotting

When philodendrons get root-bound and outgrow their initial pot, they benefit from repotting to a larger container, just like other houseplants. Half of the potting mixture is soil-based, while the other half is leaf mold or coarse peat moss. When the roots of Philodendron species have filled the present container, move them to a container one size larger. Except during the short rest period, this can be done at any time of year. A yearly spring top-dressing with a fresh potting mixture will help to keep the plant healthy after the extended rest time has been reached (approximately around 25-30cm (10-12 inches)). To prevent root rot, a container with drainage holes is employed. If a decorative container lacks drainage, a cachepot is utilized. To maintain the plant above the drainage water, the bottom of a cachepot must be covered with pebbles.

Philodendron leaf


Propagation of Philodendron species is commonly done via cutting and layering. During the growth season, try to propagate them. Where the leaves touch the stem, tiny brown nubs appear. These nubs will produce roots if they come into contact with soil or water. Cutting a branch just below a root nub and placing it in water with a few bits of horticultural charcoal to lessen the possibility of rot is one of the easiest ways to reproduce this plant. It is potted in rich soil as soon as new leaf development occurs. Hairpins or bent wire can also be used to pin vines to the earth at the root nub. In a relatively short period, the root nub that comes into contact with the earth sprouts new roots. Misting multiple times a day can substantially benefit the plant once the various sections of the Philodendron species are rooted.

Chemical Constituents

Around 35 compounds were discovered, with the most common ones being caryophyllene (29.9%), limonene (15.8%), -selinene (11.5%),  -pinene (3.4%), -copaene (3.2%), -pinene (2.5%), and -cadinene (2.5%). The other species did not have a high level of -caryophyllene. The existence of roughly 31 elements with relative percentage peak areas above 0.1 percent was discovered in the essential oil produced from P. fragrantissimum adventitious roots, with 24.3 percent monoterpenes and 72.6 percent sesquiterpenes. The additional chemicals are found in little amounts (less than 2%). However, when it comes to their principal ingredients, -caryophyllene has been identified as the main compound in P. fragrantissimum essential oil (29.9%), which is found in smaller amounts in P. imbe (2.3%) and is absent in P. acutatum. -pinene, -pinene, limonene, and myrcene, on the other hand, were common components among the three Philodendron species’ essential oils. P. acutatum has been seen to have seasonal fluctuations in these components. The high concentration of -caryophyllene was not found in any of the other Philodendron oils investigated thus far, and it could be used as a taxonomic tool. The chemical makeup of Philodendron species has been published in a few research. Because of the existence and abundance of 5-alkyl and 5-alkenylresorcinols in the leaves and stamens of nine species, studies have revealed their allergenic potential. In the inflorescences of sixteen Araceae species, seven of which are Philodendron, aromatic amines have also been discovered. The ethanol extract of Philodendron imbe was also found to include certain common plant steroids, fatty acid ethyl esters, and a polyprenoid (hexaprenol).


The majority of oxalate-containing plants, such as the Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum), are kept for decorative purposes and are frequently accessible to pets. If substantial amounts of any portion of these plants are consumed, the salts are taken into the bloodstream, and the oxalic acid mixes with calcium to produce calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are most commonly found as stones in the kidneys, although they can also be found in other organs such as the heart. In humans, oxalosis induces heart obstruction, which is linked to a reduction in renal function. Tetany, recumbence, and death were observed in sheep and cattle grazing on Rumex Crispus (Curled Dock), a plant endemic to Europe and Western Asia. Some grass species, such as Buffelgrass (which grows abundantly in southern Arizona), contain high levels of oxalates, which can cause calcium insufficiency. Oxalates bind Calcium in the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in a shift in blood Calcium levels and an effect on the muscular system. In a healthy diet, the calcium-to-oxalate ratio is 0.5:1. Hypocalcemia is caused by the development of calcium oxalates, which interferes with heart electrical activity by inhibiting the calcium pump, which is involved in the creation of the action potential, resulting in muscle relaxation. Oxalic acid’s LD50 in rats is 375 mg/kg b.w. However, there is a scarcity of information about oxalosis’ cardiac manifestations in animals. If consumed, sodium oxalate can cause a variety of negative effects, including a weak and irregular pulse, hypotension, myocardial necrosis, and eventually cardiovascular failure. Oral calcium lactate dose followed by an emetic is recommended as a therapy, i.e. binding the unabsorbed oxalates to calcium and then eliminating them. The plant, on the other hand, is utilized as a decorative. If you have enough space to stretch it out, Xanadu makes a lovely foundation or specimen planting, and it can also be utilized in large containers, which look especially nice beside the pool. It has a lot of similarities to Selloum in terms of smoothness and shape, although it’s not as big. This plant produces a lovely, heightened ground cover for any dark or moist site since the leaves stay near the ground. Xanadu thrives under the shade of big trees and prefers moist, rich soil. The majority of Philodendron species are drought-resistant and adapt well to alkaline soil. roots as well as leaves Only three reports on the chemical makeup of essential oils from Philodendron species have been published so far: Philodendron acutatum Schott., P. imbe Schott., and Philodendron scabrum K. Krause, all obtained from their roots.


1. The roots of various species of Philodendron are used as traditional medicine in Brazil’s Amazon region.

2. The roots have a strong scent and are used in baths and fumigation.

3. Hydrodistillation of the volatile oil from the roots of P. fragrantissimum for 4 hours in a modified Clevenger-type apparatus. Gas chromatography (GC) and GC/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) were used to examine the oil.

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