When you’re talking about the perfect garden plant with the tenacity and survival capabilities that endures complete abandonment and total neglect, then Philodendrons quickly come to mind.
They’re the second largest genera of the Anthurium family of garden plants, boasting over 500 different individual species.
They demonstrate the kind of biodiversity that keeps every propagator wondering what to expect next, with each plant specie unique in its leaf types and sizes, flower colors and patterns, plant scents, and generic ornamental outline and behavior.
Propagating Philodendron Plants
Also commonly called Heart Leaf Philodendron or Elephant Ear Philodendron, you’ll know it’s time to propagate your philodendron pot when it has outgrown its current potting.
Propagation is a way of promoting the continuous growth and spread of the plant. Some of the most common methods of Propagating philodendron plants include stem cuttings rooted in water or a Potting medium.
However, you can’t propagate philodendrons from leave cuttings because the leaves don’t root when propagated. Let’s see how to get it done.
Preparing Philodendron Stem Cuttings
Select your choice of healthy-looking shoots from a mature plant and cut them off just above well-developed leaves.
Ensure that your stems are between three and six inches long, each with developed leaves and an aerial root.
The aerial roots are significant to the success of the propagation because they’re the point of development of new Philodendron plants.
Remove all leaves on the stems except the top two or three leaves and place the stem cuttings on a bare, dry, and warm surface for some hours until you observe a coating film forming on the surface of the cut edges.
That’s how you know the stems are calloused; with this, you’re set for the rooting process.
Rooting your Philodendron Cuttings in Water
This is my preferred method of propagating Philodendrons because it’s quicker and more pleasant to watch.
- Prepare your glass jar and fill it with clear natural water up to 2/3 of its volume.
- Place your stem cuttings gently into the glass jar and ensure none of the leaves are submerged in water.
- Place your rooting jar behind a window frame with adequate indirect sunlight penetration, and change the water in the jar every week.
Your Philodendron Cuttings will begin to grow tiny roots in two or three weeks. Once the roots are grown and mature (up to two inches long), you should transplant them in a soil mix potting to continue their growth.
Rooting Philodendron Cuttings in a Soil Mix Potting
The easiest choice method for beginner propagators: rooting in a Potting medium is more straightforward and poses less risk to the tender young plants.
Before potting, ensure you’ve punched draining holes at the sides and bottom of the pot. Philodendrons can also be propagated in clay or Plastic pot; it’s all the same.
Next, pour in your growing medium, either a soil potting mix or a homemade lightweight potting mix. Maintaining good drainage and easy airflow in the Potting medium is crucial.
Once this is done, dip the rooted cuttings in a rooting hormone such as honey also, pour your Potting mix into the pot, and insert the growing cuttings into the soil surface with a maximum of one-inch depth.
Next, strengthen and straighten the cuttings in their new position by pouring more potting mix.
Place the set-up at the best angle to receive plenty of indirect sunlight, and water it thoroughly after a few hours.
Rooting Philodendron Cuttings in Perlite
I experimented on a few cuttings, and the result was impressive. The process is similar to rooting them in a soil mix potting.
Assuming your Philodendron Cuttings are ready with the nodes and leaves in good condition, pluck off the extra leaves on the Cuttings and only leave behind two or three at the topmost edges.
Now dip the cut edges of your cuttings in a rooting hormone and place it gently in a pot filled with damp perlite.
Use a Plastic bag or polyethylene film to cover the pot and position it to receive adequate Indirect sunlight.
Keep monitoring the set-up until new leaves begin to develop. That’s when you know they’re ready to be transplanted.
Soil Requirement for Propagating Philodendron
Most Philodendrons enjoy a moist soil environment. The soil should be loose, grit, and well aerated to allow the free distribution of nutrients and oxygen.
I used to be perplexed about the right size for my philodendron potting, assuming that they’ll require a large clay pot for their propagation, but that was just not right.
They prefer that you grow them in a smaller pot because most of them are climbers, and in the wild, you’ll notice them quickly growing on other forest trees.
A perfect soil mix for philodendrons should be well-drained and well-aerated. I recommend a homemade blend of perlite, orchid bark, and peat moss. If you have a succulent soil mix or a cactus mix, you’re all set for their propagation because they’re not so picky.
Their broad leaves allow them to maximize water uptake even in environments with a limited supply.
That’s not to say they don’t want that much water, though. Watering them every week keeps their massive leaves greener and looking brighter.
Carefully, though, not to overwater them because that might lead to the leaves rotting.
They require fewer watering sessions during winter, as they’re primarily dormant this season.
Most propagators encourage misting your philodendron pots to encourage the development of broader and bigger leaves.
A general rule of thumb is to thoroughly water the new pot after transplanting and then allow the excess water to drain off completely before taking it back to receive sunlight.
How much Sunshine do my Philodendron Plants Need?
They naturally enjoy the radiant glows of morning sunshine, but too much of it can adversely affect their leaves. Best to propagate them under indirect sunlight, where the illumination from the sun is maximum.
You could also practice bringing them out early in the morning for sunbathing and taking them back in before the mid-day sunshine hits above.
It’s easy to tell when they’re not receiving adequate Sunshine: they become leggy and develop undergrowths, and their leaves begin to have much space between them.
A particular identity of the philodendron family is their enormous and impressive leaf sizes; their foliage development could appear in various patterns and colors such as greenish, reddish, purplish, or coppery.
Their parallel veins might appear in red, green, or white outlines, and most species have fruits that appear from white to orange. I consider them a great family heritage because they can live up to twenty years indoors and over 100 years outdoors when propagated with great care.