Gardener's Guide to the Philodendron Cordatum - How to Manage Your "Happy Plant" - Absolute Gardener

Gardener’s Guide to the Philodendron Cordatum – How to Manage Your “Happy Plant”

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philodendron cordatum

The philodendron cordatum is a beautiful and impressive plant that can be found in many gardens. It has been known to survive for over 10 years! But how do you care for philodendron cordatum? What problems may it face? And what are some tips on keeping philodendron cordatum happy, so that the philodendron cordatum will stay with you for longer than 10 years? This article hopes to answer these questions and more!

What is Philodendron Cordatum?

Philodendron Cordatum Brasil is a philodendron plant that commonly has thick, cylindrical leaves. The leaves are typically green with yellow stripes and red tips. The philodendron cordatum produces small red flowers in clusters at the end of each stem. It prefers to grow in shade or indirect light but can tolerate full sun as long as it gets plenty of moisture and humidity during the summer months.

The philodendron cordatum is an evergreen plant that grows well in deep shade and moist soil. Its water-retentive leaves can grow up to 20″ long, making philodendrons a popular houseplant for those with limited space. Philodendron cordatum common name is “happy plant.” They are also called “dragon tree philodendra,” or “lover’s vine.”

This philodendron species can grow up to 12 feet tall and is commonly found in the understory of forests with high levels of humidity, thriving. This philodendron likes humid areas or wet environments like rainforests as well. It has an average growing period of six to eight years.

Origins of Philodendron Cordatum

The philodendron cordatum originates from Brazil and is sometimes mistakenly called the philodendron “heartleaf”. It has been around for many years, with its first appearance in 1834. The philodendron cordatum was originally classified by botanist Friedrich Gerhard Walpers in 1841 but it wasn’t until 1853 that philodendron cordatum was classified by botanist Stephan Endlicher.

There are a few popular varieties of philodendron cordatum, including the “Happy Plant” and “the Heartleaf Philodendron”. This plant is very hardy due to its resistance to many pests and diseases which make it popular for many gardeners.\

The philodendron cordatum is a very rewarding plant to care for, so long as it has the right conditions and attention. If not cared for correctly philodendron cordatum will succumb to pests or disease and die quickly.

Philodendrons are often confused with other plants of the same family. Some philodendrons can be confused with philodendron bipinnatifidum (Mexican Bead Plant) or philodendron selloum, which is also known as the “split leaf philodendron”. Philodendrons are one of many plants that have leaves in a heart shape and are often mistaken for philodendron bipinnatifidum.

Philodendron Cordatum Care Guide

Philodendron cordatum is often called the “Happy Plant”. It’s a beautiful flowering philodendron that has been around for centuries. Until recently, philodendrons have not been grown in many greenhouses or nurseries due to their challenging nature. The following instructions will help you care for philodendron cordatum and keep it happy.


Soil is a philodendron’s favorite food. So, the soil should have plenty of nutrients for philodendrons to grow their happy heads off. For this reason, it’s not recommended that you use potting mix or garden dirt from outside (especially if there are roses nearby) because these soils can be depleted and may not contain the necessary nutrients philodendrons need to thrive.

They prefer rich, organic soil. This type of potting mix is most often found in garden centers and nurseries that specialize in house plants. You can also make your own by using peat moss or coir because the philodendron likes to be slightly acidic (pH level between pH of six and seven).

Soil should be moist, but not wet or soggy when you stick your hands in it and crumbs should form if you squeeze a handful of soil tightly. If this is true for your plant’s soil, then that means it has enough water! You may also want to consider keeping your philodendron on a drip system or in the kitchen sink while you’re not home if it’s in an area where water may evaporate quickly.


The philodendron cordatum needs bright but indirect light. Place the philodendron in an area where it can receive as much sun as possible without being scorched or shaded by other taller plants. The philodendron will grow and thrive at a higher elevation so keep that in mind when you are planning your garden layout.

If you don’t have a location that provides as much sun and heat, philodendron cordatum are still able to thrive in lower light conditions. If the philodendron is placed near an east-facing window or any other area with bright but indirect sunlight it will be happy enough despite not thriving at its full potential.

Watering philodendron cordatum

Philodendon cordatum is a plant that needs to be watered regularly. If you notice the leaves start drooping it’s time for some water. The philo should be watered when the top layer of soil feels dry but don’t wait too long or your philo will have brown patches on its leaves.

Philodendron cordatum prefers to be watered in the morning so it can dry off during the day and avoid root rot. If you are away from home for a long period of time, make sure there is no standing water on top of your Philo’s soil. This will help prevent algae growth which could harm your philo.

Philodendron cordatum should be watered about once a week, and if you use fertilizer (which is optional) make sure to water your philo before applying it so the philo’s roots can absorb all of its nutrients. For best results, wait at least 24 hours after watering philodendron cordatum for fertilizing.


Philodendron cordatum thrive in temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, but they can also grow at an average temperature of 60 degrees F. They don’t like cold drafts from windows or vents close to the plant.

If you want to try a cooler environment for philodendrons, place them near the floor or in a south-facing window that receives plenty of sunlight.

If philodendrons are exposed to changing temperatures, they may drop their leaves and the plant will stop growing. To prevent this from happening, try to maintain stable conditions for your philodendron so it can thrive at its optimal temperature range without dramatic changes.


The philodendron cordatum plant needs a humid environment to thrive. Humidity should be kept between 50% and 70%. You can maintain this by misting the foliage with water often – about every day or so. This will prevent it from drying out and help keep its leaves lustrous, glossy, and dark green in color without any brown or yellow spots on them.

You can also keep the philodendron cordatum plant in a bathroom that is not humidified, but this will require more water and misting. A dehumidifier can be used to control humidity levels for philodendrons living elsewhere in your house or apartment.

philodendron cordatum
Image: FrontAustin


Are philodendrons heavy feeders? There are many misconceptions about philodendron care. Think of them as a moderate to light (but not too much) feeder, especially if you keep the soil moist and provide a more organic mix than typical potting soils offer.

The key is to use something with reasonable amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You can use a diluted liquid fertilizer in the water that you give your philodendron cordatum. This will work well enough for most philodendrons but if they are larger, you might want to consider using a stronger concentration of either time release or controlled release nitrogen fertiliser.

Lead for philodendrons is a good choice because it contains all three nutrients as well as iron. Soil should be fertilized every few weeks or so with an organic fertilizer like compost tea or worm castings. The philodendron also likes some extra watering during the growing season (March through October) and a monthly dose of fish emulsion.

Philodendrons need more fertilizing during the growing season (March through October). This is to encourage new leaf growth, which philodendron leaves do throughout this time in order to make up for their old leaves that have fallen off. If philodendrons are not getting enough fertilizer, you will see the leaves turn yellow or brown at their edges with visible gaps in between the green foliage.


So, philodendron cordatum is a pretty toxic plant. It’s not really known for its poisonous properties – the leaves are actually non-toxic to humans and animals (at least in small quantities). But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s harmless! Philodendron can release something called “phloem toxins” that can make your skin itch, blister and peel. It’s the philodendron leaves – not mostly sap or anything else you might be touching – that are to blame for this discomfort.

Philodendron cordatum can cause vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, abdominal pain, anorexia and liver damage if ingested with sufficient quantities of the toxins found in philodendrons.

A good way of dealing with philodendron cordatum is by cutting off their excess long stems after they’ve reached a height between 18 and 24 inches. Cutting back philodendron cordatum plants is a good way to deal with the toxins released by their leaves, too – it will keep you from having that uncomfortable itch and potential for long-term skin damage


Pruning philodendron cordatum is a vital part of philodendron care. If you want to keep your philo happy and healthy, make sure that it’s getting pruned every few years or so. Pruning philos will help them grow faster, have better leaf coloration, and produce more blooms.

Firstly, you should only prune philodendron cordatum that are healthy and thriving. If you see any signs of insect infestation or disease on the plant’s leaves, it is best to wait for a better time before trimming anything off your philo as this may exacerbate the problem already present in your philodendron.

Secondly, philodendrons should be pruned during the winter months. As in so many other plants, philo flowers are dependent on daylight hours to form and will not bloom as well if cut back before then. The best time to trim philodendron cordatum is from December through March for maximum flower production later on!

Thirdly, philodendrons can be trimmed in many different shapes and sizes. It is best to trim the philo back as short as possible without damaging any of its leaf buds or stems so it doesn’t look like a bush! This will help your phil produce more blooms for you later on.

Lastly, make sure you only trim philodendron cordatum to a height that is comfortable for you. Philo’s are oftentimes trimmed back so short as to become table plants or hanging basket philo’s, but they can also be left at the ground level or have their stems trained over an object like a bench or chair. If your phil has grown out of a pot, you can also cut it back so that it is only as tall as the container and will continue to produce blooms.

Propagation and Growth

Philodendron cordatum propagation is quite easy. The plant can be propagated from cuttings, division of the rhizome or stem fragments, and seed production. Cuttings should be taken during summer months by cutting a section off an offset shoot at least one inch in length with two nodes or more (the nodes are the small bumps that grow from where a leaf is attached to the main stem). The cutting should be placed in moist potting soil or sphagnum moss and kept on the windowsill until roots form, which will take about two weeks. Once rooted, transfer philodendron cordatum into individual containers with well-drained potting soil.

Philodendron cordatum can also be propagated by dividing the rhizome or stem fragments with a sharp knife, but this technique will likely result in more runts as it is difficult to successfully separate philodendron cordatum from its roots and the plant may not take root at all. The other option is to wait for philodendron cordatum to produce a seed pod, and then harvest the seeds.

For philodendrons grown from cuttings or division of rhizomes, it can take up to two years before they reach maturity (at which point their leaves will have turned green). For philodends propagated from seed, it can take up to three years before they reach maturity.

Rather than wait for philodendron cordatum to produce a seed pod and then harvest the seeds, gardeners may be more successful by purchasing philodendrons at their local nursery or plant store that have already been propagated from cuttings or division of rhizomes.


The philodendron cordatum is a happy plant. It loves to grow and it’s tough enough that you can forget about its pot for weeks at a time. However, if your philo has outgrown its container or needs more soil nutrients, then repotting may be the answer.

Carefully remove philodendron cordatum from its pot and check the roots to make sure they’re nice and healthy. If the roots are growing out of control, you may want to cut them back a bit now so that new growth will have more room to grow in your container or on a mount. It’s important not to be too aggressive with philodendron cordatum roots.

Once you’ve cut the philo back, place it in a new pot that is just slightly larger or has more drainage than the old one. Mix some fresh soil (or aged compost) into your container and plant philodendron cordatum so that there are no exposed roots. Add a pot of water or some time-released fertilizer to the soil for philodendron cordatum and then remove any flowers that may be starting to form so philo can focus on growing before flowering again

If you have an extra large container, you might want to try creating several layers of roots by dividing philodendron cordatum into two or more sections before putting it back in the pot. Avoid splitting philodendron cordatum too far down to have a philo with very few roots left

As philodendron cordatum grows, remember that its long leaves can grow up and out of the container you’re using for them so be sure there is plenty of room for philo to grow.

Plant Disease

There are many ways philodendron cordatum can become diseased. Some common diseases that philodendron cordatum may contract are:

  • fungus (leaf spots)
  • leaf spot (black dots on leaves)
  • leaf scorch (brown spots with yellow edges on the top of philodendron cordatum leaves)
  • root rot (roots are brown and mushy, soil is wet but not soggy).

Each disease can be managed using certain preventative measures.

Philodendron Cordatum Variegated

Variegated philodendron cordatum is a beautiful plant, but it is also a very delicate one. In general, philodendrons are excellent houseplants because they are easy to grow and thrive on neglect. Philodendron cordatum variegated is a particularly ornamental type because it has leaves that display colors and patterns that range from light green to cream and even purplish-red tones. When grown outdoors in full sunlight, variegated philodendron will often display an intense, luminous shade of red on their leaves as long as temperatures are at least 10°C.

Variegated philodendron cordatum is a tender plant, meaning that it cannot tolerate frost and requires protection from temperatures below the freezing point of water. Variegated philodendrons can be grown as houseplants if given enough light (a south-facing window in winter) and proper care to keep them warm at night.

There are also philodendron cordatum varieties including philodendron cordatum compactum, cordatum nanum, philodendron cordatum neon, cordatum nymph, all of which are all houseplants that have small leaves.

Philodendron Cordatum vs Hederaceum

It’s been a while since philodendron cordatum and hederaceum last had something to argue about. These two are the most common houseplants that people keep at home, but they have very different personalities. The differences between philodendron cordatum and philodendron Hederaceum are vast.

The philodendron cordatum prefer a warmer temperature and the philodendron Hederaceum prefer a cooler temperature which has led to many names that refer these plants’ preference in an environment such as “Happy Plant” or “Mother-In-Law’s Tongue.”

Philodendron cordatum grow up to 12 inches long with heart-shaped bases. Philodendron Hederaceum will only grow to 18 inches long, they are shaped like hearts too but the base is not as wide because it prefers a cooler climate and the philodendron cordatum prefer a warmer climate.

Philodendron Hederaceum are not as easy to grow in the home, because their temperature preferences make them more sensitive than philodendron cordatum which can be left outside year-round with no problem. Philodendron Hederaceum are not as hearty of a plant, they have a more delicate appearance and can’t tolerate the same amount of neglect that philodendron cordatum will.

Philodendron Cordatum vs Heartleaf

philodendron cordatum
Image: Greenery Unlimited

Philodendron Cordatum Heartleaf s are easy to recognize because they have heart-shaped leaves. The philodendron cordatum has more rounded, longer leaves that taper at the end with slight curves instead of being perfectly shaped like a real heart

The philodendron heartleaf does not tolerate cold temperatures as well as philo cordatum so it needs a warmer place indoors. It will adapt better with less humidity too. The philodendron cordatum prefers more humidity and cooler temperature.

The philodendron cordatum philodendrons thrive on neglect, meaning that they will grow happily with very little care from you if necessary.

Heart shaped philodendron is the most adaptable of all philodendronS, it can handle more neglect than other varieties and will easily adapt to its environment. It’s also less likely to drop leaves if you forget to water them every once in a while. They are also the most common philodendron used as houseplants because of their heart-shaped leaves and ease of growing them indoors.

Common Issues with Philodendron Cordatum

The philodendron cordatum is a very sensitive plant and needs to be treated with care. If you want your philodendron cordatum to grow, flourish, produce new leaves and flowers the following tips will help your philodendron live out its days in comfort. However, the philodendron cordatum has a few common problems, but by following these simple tips you can enjoy philodendron cordatum without the need for pesticides or other chemicals.

The philodendron is sensitive to many different types of diseases and problems. The most common issue that philodendrons are susceptible to, however, is the root rot disease. Root rot may cause black lines to appear on the philodendron leaves. In order to avoid this problem make sure you water philodendrons sparingly in order for them to not become too wet. If philodendron plants are becoming too dry, watering once a week is enough but if they stay consistently moist then it’s time for your philodendrons to drink more.

Another disease philodendrons are susceptible to is the leaf spot problem, which can cause yellow spots to appear on philodendron leaves and turn them brown in color. The leaf spot problem may be a result of too much sun exposure or too little water intake by your philodendron plant. The philodendron is also prone to mealybugs and scale bugs, which can be removed by wiping the philodendrons leafs with a cloth dipped in soapy water.

Aside from these problems philodendra are susceptible to spider mite infestations. Spider mites live on philodendra plants and suck juices out of philodendra leaves. You are able to eliminate spider mites by spraying philodendron plants with water or insecticidal soap and then wiping the philodendrons off afterwards.

Tips for Keeping Philodendron Cordatum Happy

What philodendron cordatum needs to stay healthy:

  • water it regularly and keep the soil moist, not wet.
  • place them in a bright area that gets an average of six hours of sunlight per day.
  • they thrive when you fertilize them monthly, but avoid fertilizing them in the winter months.
  • philodendron cordatum has a few different varieties that are more tolerant to cold weather. If you live in a colder climate, go for Philodendron selloum or philodendon coridum ‘Green Goddess’.
  • they are sensitive to chemicals, so avoid using harsh cleaning products or sprays around them
  • philodenrum cordatums’ leaves may drop off if it gets too cold in your house during the winter months and they should only be watered when the soil is dry.
  • philodendron cordatum is a plant that can get pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. The best way to keep these pests away from philodendra cordatums is to gently wipe them off with a damp cloth or use an insecticide soap spray every week on the leaves and stems.
  • philodendron cordatum can get powdery mildew on the leaves, stems and roots which is a fungus that thrives in moist environments. You can use baking soda mixed with water to kill powdery mildews or an insecticidal soap spray every week.
  • philodendra cordatums are sensitive plants so don’t over-water them
  • philodendron cordatum can be propagated by rooting stems in a water or damp soil mix and then planting them into pots filled with potting soil to create new plants.

Philodendron Cordatum is the perfect houseplant for people who live in apartments, have busy schedules, or are just looking for a beautiful plant to bring into their home!

Philodendron Cordatum Frequently Asked Questions

How do you care for a Philodendron cordatum?

Philodendron cordatum is a hearty philodendron. It can grow in many different climates, and it’s not picky about what type of soil it lives on either. Philodendron cordatum grows best with lots of indirect light but no direct sunlight (although some philodendra do tolerate more sun). A well-drained, moist soil is also a must. With these basic care instructions philodendron cordatum will grow vigorously and produce beautiful blooms for years to come.

How big does a Philodendron cordatum get?

Philodendron cordatum is a medium-sized philodendron with dark green, leathery leaves that grow up to 12 inches in length.

What is the difference between Philodendron Hederaceum and cordatum?

Philodendra cordatums have a white or cream variegation pattern on the leaves that run vertically down either side of their leaf veins. Philodendra Hederacea has green and brown veins, and philodendra hastiloba has dark green leaves with a white variegation pattern that looks like stripes.

Do philodendrons need sunlight?

Philodendrons need a lot of sunlight. Be sure to give philodendron cordatum the best window in your house or apartment, and be mindful that philodendrons can’t handle direct sun too long without burning up. They do like full-on sunshine if they’re getting it from indirect light coming through windows though.


The philodendron cordatum is a very popular plant that can be found in many nurseries. This plant has been around for centuries and it still stands out as one of the most beautiful plants to grow indoors or outdoors.

In fact, philodendron cordatum only needs water and sunlight! It’s really the perfect houseplant for people who live in apartments or have busy schedules. Philodendron cordatum grows quickly and can be shaped any way you like.

You could put philodendron cordatum on your desk to make your office feel more alive or use philodendron cordatum as a living wall outside your home. With philodendrons, the possibilities are endless! By following these simple guidelines, you can help keep your philodendron cordatum healthy and happy! You may find philo cordatum for sale here. 

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