21 Incredible Philodendron Scandens Care Tips You Should Know
What Is Philodendron Scandens?
Philodendron Scandens is also known as Sweetheart Plant and Scandens. Indoors, this Araceae perennial does best near an east or west-facing window.
Outdoors, this Philodendron will grow in zones 9-11.
Origin And Family
The Heartleaf Philodendron belongs to the Philodendron genus in the Araceae family, and it comes from the rainforests of Central and South America and the West Indies. This plant has become popular in recent years, thriving in most households with moderate to high humidity.
William Bligh discovered the Heartleaf Philodendron in 1793. He brought the plant to the Royal Botanic Gardens in England, where it remained more or less a botanical specimen. Until the Depression, when nursery owners discovered that it was easy to care for, its propagation began. It was then that the mass production and marketing of the plant was launched, shipping millions of plants to many different stores.
Where To Buy
To find P. Scandens for sale, you can start at nurseries or gardening centers, but online options are significantly cheaper. Etsy is a platform that we recommend when it comes to buying houseplants! They usually host a wide selection of plants grown and sold by fellow hobbyists who are happy to answer your questions about plant care.
In terms of pricing, the Philodendron Scandens is very affordable on average, costing between $10 for small ones to $30 for mature plants.
Philodendron Scandens Plant Size
The Philodendron Scandens grows about 4 feet tall and 10 inches wide as a houseplant. This stunning perennial prefers to be placed near an east or west-facing window and is considered a fast grower. Without pruning, this fast-growing climber will send out trailing vines up to 4′ feet long.
Philodendron Scandens Care Needs
If you take careful care of your Philodendron Scandens, its heart-shaped leaves will grow. This plant enjoys year-round dampness and wet soil.
Water your Philodendron when the soil is dry on top. Give it a good soaking, letting water drip down the pot’s bottom. This plant prefers strong indirect light.
Read on for additional precise gardening advice to keep your Philodendron Scandens happy and healthy!
In most cases, the Sweetheart Plant is considered by most indoor gardeners to be easy to care for. With the right combination of factors such as the amount of light and well-draining soil, you can keep this plant in its best health.
I love the latest addition in my indoor jungle: Philodendron scandens (aka 'sweetheart plant'). 🌿 pic.twitter.com/Sa8NBnkVbe— DrFrostMaths (@DrFrostMaths) May 12, 2021
The Scandens plant grows 4 feet in height when it grows to its maturity indoors. Its growing season is in the spring and early summer. This popular houseplant’s glossy, leathery leaves can grow up to three inches wide. Juvenile leaves are bronze-colored transition to deep green as they mature.
Most Philodendron species, including the Scandens, have a fast growth rate.
Philodendron plants, in general, prefer a well-draining pot. A medium-sized terracotta pot or a hanging basket is recommended for your Heartleaf Philodendron. Adding a moss pole or a totem pole can also encourage new growth to climb.
One of the primary killers of houseplants is lack of drainage, which leads to root rot. Please ensure that your pot has holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain through.
As your plant grows and expands, you might consider upgrading from your current pot to a bigger pot on an as-needed basis. Typically, the need to repot occurs every two to three years because this versatile plant grows quickly.
When repotting, you can use a new batch of standard commercial potting soil, the ideal growing medium for your Philodendron Scandens.
The Sweetheart Plant is an easy-to-care-for plant that needs standard commercial potting soil to stay healthy. If you plan to prepare your soil mix, adding peat, perlite, peat moss, and vermiculite is a good choice.
Your Philodendron will appreciate the soil being kept relatively moist at all times. Nonetheless, drainage and aeration are important requirements for all soil types.
Here are some potting mixes we recommend:
For Scandens, a pH of 5.0-6.0 is ideal. This range is acidic to neutral. If you use commercial potting soil, its acidity level is near the optimal range.
There are various inexpensive pH meters available online to test your soil’s pH.
To raise the pH of the soil, add a sprinkle of calcitic or dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda. Sulfur or aluminum sulfate can raise it.
Proper watering is essential for Heartleaf Philodendron, like most tropical plants. If there’s too much water, you risk causing diseases like root rot. If there’s little water, your plant’s roots may dry out, especially during warm days. In general, Heartleaf Philodendron should have a growing medium that is relatively moist.
It’s easy to see if your plant needs watering. You may test the soil by inserting a wooden skewer or a pencil into the container. Or just feel dampness with your finger—water your plant when the top inch of soil is dry.
Due to the sensitivity of their root systems, it’s not a good idea to apply cold tap water as it may weaken its health and well-being over time. If you use tap water, it’s best to allow it to stand for at least 24hrs at room temperature to eliminate the high levels of chloride and fluoride found from the tap.
Overwatering can be reduced with permeable pots and aerated, chunky soil mixes.
Avoid putting your Philodendron Scandens in direct sunlight, which could severely damage the plant.
This houseplant prefers bright indirect light for approximately 6-8 hours a day. If left for long periods under excessive light, its leaves may get brown scorch marks. If there’s a lack of light, its growth may stunt and present leggy stems.
If your Heartleaf Philodendron plant isn’t getting enough light, you can move it closer to a window or consider investing in LED grow lights. Here are recommended products for you to choose from:
Sweetheart Plants want a water-soluble fertilizer. For example, Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food. Feed your plant monthly in the spring and summer.
Winter growth slows naturally, so you don’t need to fertilize.
Humidity And Aeration
Moderate to high humidity (between 40% or higher) is best for your Philodendron Scandens.
Crispy leaves and browning edges often characterize lack of humidity in houseplants. Consider a humidifier or position your plant in well-lit areas with increased humidity (bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms).
Cooler temperatures (65-75°F) are preferred for Scandens plants.
Keep these plants away from windows and apertures that let in cold air in the winter. Keep them away from heat sources like vents that might dry up the air.
As Philodendrons are part of the Araceae family, they produce toxic flowers that can be boiled and eaten once ripe. Despite its readiness to flower in the wild, those grown as houseplants will rarely flower.
Unfortunately, the Sweetheart Plant is toxic to both pets (including cats and dogs) and humans, like many common houseplants. If the Sweetheart Plant is ingested, you can expect the following symptoms: pain and swelling of the tongue, lips, and mouth.
|Heartleaf Philodendron, Sweetheart Plant, Scandens
|South and Central America, and the West Indies
|Recommended Home Placement
|near an east or west-facing window
|bright indirect light
|standard commercial potting soil
|When To Water
|Water when the top inch of the soil is dry.
|When To Fertilize
|once a month during growing season
|40% or higher
|Toxic To Pets?
|Yes – symptoms include pain and swelling of the tongue, lips, and mouth
|Common Pests & Diseases
|spider mites, brown tips, fungus gnuts, downy mildrew, powder mildrew, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
In most situations, the Philodendron Scandens is a disease-resistant and pest-resistant plant. There are, however, some common issues that can affect it. Below, we’re discussing some of the common problems and solutions to protect your Philodendron Scandens.
Houseplants can sometimes bring unwelcome visitors to your home in the form of pests. One example of such is the spider mite. The larvae will not be visible, but adult mites can be seen quickly scampering around when disturbed.
Spraying diluted neem oil on your plant’s leaves can help eradicate spider mites at their larval stage. There are also organic Pyrethrin sprays which are effective in killing adult mites. When spraying any pesticide indoors, make sure you choose products that are non-hazardous for humans when inhaled.
While adult fungus gnats do not harm plants, their eggs develop into larvae that feed on the roots of your Heartleaf Philodendron.
Because fungus gnats like moist circumstances, you should keep your topsoil dry by bottom-watering until you get rid of these pests. Bottom-watering your plant is as simple as putting a large water basin beneath the container.
To dehydrate any remaining eggs and larvae, sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth powder over the topsoil. DE powder is manufactured from algal sediments. But it’s deadly to most insects and safe for plants!
Infections caused by downy mildew often harm greenhouse plants, but it can also impact houseplants.
Dry, cold weather favors downy mildew. Because this fungus thrives in damp environments, your Heartleaf Philodendron may become infected.
Downy mildew spreads swiftly and can harm many plants. Infected plants must be confined.
While killing diseased plants is preferable to prevent infection, most may be saved using a fungicide.
Powdery mildew is a fungal infection that normally appears as round, powdery white patches on the foliage and stems of your Scandens. Juvenile leaves are particularly vulnerable.
To treat, dissolve one tablespoon of baking soda and one-half teaspoon of liquid soap in one gallon of water. Liberally spray the mixture on your infected plant.
It is also good to keep the foliage dry by putting your plant in an area with good ventilation for best results.
Adult scales are stationary and waxy, yet they give birth to little scurrying bugs.
The armored scales may be scratched using an old ID card or your fingertips. Don’t tear your Philodendron Scandens’ leaves.
Suffocate scale insects using insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or neem oil. Spray your plant with a broad insecticide if you find crawlers. Apply it again after a week.
Here are some suggestions:
Aphids are usually found as a cluster of bugs on your Sweetheart Plant, and they could be colored green, black, red, brown, yellow, orange, or white. They multiply extremely fast and can weaken your plant within days!
Aphids are particularly attracted to new shoots, flower buds, and areas of fresh growth. They will leave behind unsightly black and white splotches as they feed on the sap.
If you spot these icky crawlers, immediately isolate your infected plant from the others. Give your plant a strong water spray to dislodge the aphids, but remember to cover the soil with plastic to catch any falling bugs and their eggs. Dispose of the plastic somewhere far away from your garden.
A spray of insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil can take care of the problem. Still, you may need to repeat this several times until you’re sure that the aphid population has been completely eradicated.
Mealybugs are white, fuzzy insects that suck the nutrients from plants and are basically the botanical equivalent of head lice on humans. These pests can stunt plant growth or even kill your Scandens.
To send these nasty crawlers packing, you can directly spray them with neem oil (but remember to dilute it in water first). Another option is to take a cotton ball, soak it in Isopropyl alcohol, and rub it over the leaves and stem.
If you have several houseplants, you may need to quarantine your infected Scandens until there are no more signs of mealybugs.
Brown Leaf Tips
Many things might cause browning margins on your Heartleaf Philodendron leaves. Lack of humidity, strong light, salt and mineral buildup from chemically treated tap water, and fertilizer burn are possible reasons.
Drooping Philodendron Scandens leaves could mean your plant is thirsty. In this instance, watering your plant normally revives it and may also help raise humidity.
Caution! Infested plants first exhibit droopy, curled leaves but later acquire spots, reduced growth, and an overall deterioration in health. If you suspect pests, always examine the underside of leaves.
Various circumstances can cause yellowing leaves on your Sweetheart Plant. Does your plant need more or less water? So how bright is it? Did you recently fertilize? Is the weather changing suddenly?
Yellowing bottom leaves might also mean your plant is developing, and the leaf’s energy has been used up. Just pick the fading leaves to encourage fresh green leaf growth in this scenario.
Scandens are frequently killed by root rot. Indoor gardeners often overwater or fail to provide sufficient drainage for their plants. It’s very difficult to treat root rot – so prevention is typically your best option.
Give your roots some air by using an aerated soil mix. Materials like river sand, horticultural coal, orchid bark, perlite, pumice, lava rocks, coco cubes, aqua soil, and others can help your plant drain excess water.
Climate is another factor to consider while watering your plant. If your plant isn’t getting enough sunshine or ventilation, moisture will take longer to evaporate. Always check the soil halfway down the container for dryness before giving your plant water.
A single, rooted piece of Philodendron scandens in a bottle. Simple indoor gardening! pic.twitter.com/MOoPRMkCdQ— Matthew Pottage (@Matthew_Pottage) December 27, 2016
Other Plants To Try
Here are some other plants we recommend growing indoors:
Philodendron Pedatum: This is an easy plant to care for with unusual and multi-lobed foliage. Great for interior design, this rare and sought-after plant will enliven any indoor garden.
Philodendron Pastazanum: Fondly called “My Pasta” on social media, this is a lovely plant with attractive vein patterns. Each deep seam comes from a central point that stretches out across the leaf with great fanfare.
Philodendron Mayoi: This is a terrific accent plant that looks excellent in any setting. It’s the ideal plant for novices and enthusiasts because it is not a demanding plant.
Philodendron Mamei: This Philodendron will liven up your room as a gorgeous potted plant. It also takes little maintenance to enjoy this plant’s beauty without exerting too much work.
The Philodendron Scandens is an excellent choice for plant enthusiasts, especially its unique heart-shaped leaves.
If you’re looking for a new plant to add to your collection or are just getting started as an indoor gardener, use the tips you’ve learned from us to start growing Philodendron Scandens today!