On Friday I talked about pothos. Today it’s philodendron.

These two plants are often confused because they are both green, often variegated vining plants that are sold just about everywhere. And there are a lot of similarities. Both are easy care. Both are great at cleaning the air.
Philodendrons are known for removing formaldehyde from the air.


But of course they do look a little different. Here are two variegated types that have recently come into vogue. The one at the top–the heart leafed type with the interesting striped leaf is a variety called ‘Brasil.’

Philodendron will grow in bright light but no direct sun. They will take “regular” watering, which for my house means about once a week, (so they can dry a little in between, unlike the calatheas we saw last week which like it evenly moist).

In their native habitat (or the “wild,” as I like to think of it) some of them actually are semi-epiphytic, which means that they use their long roots to attach themselves to pockets in trees branches–almost the way an orchid would. They live in tropical rain forests where they are drenched and then dry–so remember that.

And if they are languishing in your warm, dry home, increase the humidity around them. I am never a fan of misting. I prefer putting small saucers of water around to evaporate. It’s less work and less mess.

2 thoughts on “Philodendron

  1. tonytomeo September 25, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    Pothos really seems like is it should be a species of Philodendron. There are so few physiological differences. There must be more differences in the bloom that I have never seen. I grew Philodendron selloum in the parlor many years ago. I do not recommend it. Those roots will grab onto anything in reach. I still wonder what ever happened to the kitty.

  2. gardendaze September 25, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    Yes, I had one of those for years. I still have the marks on my wood floor from the roots. Now I have a much better behaved variety called ‘Hope.’ No huge aerial roots and no worries about the dog disappearing.


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