Skip to Content

Heartleaf Philodendron Care: 25 Tips to Grow Variegated Heartleaf Plants

Heartleaf Philodendron Care: 25 Tips to Grow Variegated Heartleaf Plants

Let's grow together!

Variegated Heartleaf Philodendrons are tropical and one of the easiest houseplants to care for. Its unique appearance makes it popular among the community of plant collectors worldwide.

In this post, we’re listing everything you need to know to raise your Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron successfully. Looking to buy one for yourself? We’ve listed down some purchasing options for you to explore.

Continue reading to find out what makes this Philodendron so interesting!

What Is a Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron?

Botanically, the plant we’re highlighting is the Philodendron Hederaceum variegated. It goes by many common names, including Heartleaf Philodendron variegated, Sweetheart plant, and Philodendron Heartleaf variegated. It is a perennial that is well-known for its attractive variegation. This tropical plant from the Araceae family has green with bright green specks and heart-shaped leaves.

While the rest of this post is about indoor plants, this Philodendron can be grown outdoors in hardiness zones 9-12.

Origin And Family

Heartleaf Philodendron variegated is a member of the Philodendron genus in the Araceae family. It is indigenous to the rainforests of Central and South America.

The non-variegated Heartleaf Philodendron species was initially discovered in 1793 by Captain William Bligh. 

Where To Buy

For gardeners who want a Variegated Heart leaf Philodendron packed safely and delivered directly to their home, Etsy offers an assortment of options and discounts on houseplants.

Purchasing a Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron is usually expensive, with prices that range between $70 for small plants and $100 for larger or more mature plants.

Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron Plant Size

The Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron, as a houseplant, reaches a height of 3-4 feet. It typically grows fast when placed near an east or west-facing window for optimum plant development.

Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron Care Needs

With appropriate care, most plants, including this variegated version, are simple to cultivate at home.

It favors humidity and relatively dry soil and is well-known for its attractive variegation.

Water this Heartleaf Philodendron when the soil’s top 1-2 inches are dry.

Like other plants, you’ll require suitable drainage holes in a plastic, terracotta, or clay pot.

Care Difficulty

This Sweetheart plant is generally easy to care for. The most essential components of this beauty are the well-draining soil and the amount of sunshine.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of a Philodendron Heartleaf variegated is fast. Indoors, it will mature up to a height of about 3-4 feet.

Potting

Philodendron plants, in general, favor a well-draining pot. A medium-sized terracotta, plastic, or clay pot is best for your Heartleaf Philodendron variegated. Philodendrons are known as climbers and trailers. A hanging basket is ideal for displaying its beautiful foliage when grown as a trailing plant. If you want it to climb, provide a climbing structure, like a moss pole, to allow it to grow upwards.

One of the predominant causes of root rot in houseplants is a lack of drainage. Please ensure that your pot has holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain through.

Repotting

As your Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron develops, you should consider moving it to a larger pot where you see roots pushing out the drainage holes. Because of its fast growth rate, you will need to repot your plant every 2-3 years on average.

When repotting your Philodendron, use new soil to give its roots more nutrients to consume.

Soil

When it comes to growing medium for Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron, a standard commercial potting soil is your best bet. Peat moss and perlite are ideal for the soil. Aeration and drainage are essential for this low-maintenance plant.

Here are some great growth medium alternatives to consider:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.99
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black...image SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.81
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

Your Philodendron Heartleaf variegated prefers neutral to acidic soil, meaning you should keep the pH level at 5.5-6.0. If you’re concerned about acidity, you can buy a simple pH testing tool to examine your soil.

Regulate excessive pH levels on your soil with sulfur or aluminum sulfate. Improve low pH levels by adding baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime, or wood ash.

Water

Your Heartleaf Philodendron variegated will want the soil to stay relatively dry between watering schedules. Touch the soil with your finger and check when the top 2 inches of soil are dry. If this is the case, fully soak your plant until water oozes out of the pot’s bottom.

Overwatering is one of the top prevalent causes of indoor plant death. When in doubt, it’s generally better to underwater than overwater your Heartleaf Philodendron variegated when in doubt. To ensure that your plant’s roots aren’t drowned, use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes.

Light

You’ll want to mimic the natural environment of Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron, which would be the rainforests of Central and South America. Give your Heartleaf bright indirect light for 6-8 hours each day. You can also keep this plant near an east or west-facing window.

Your Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron is getting too much light when its leaves are getting burned. On the contrary, when this plant doesn’t get enough sunlight or only gets little light for some time, it may lose its variegation.

Avoid putting your Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron in direct sunlight, as this could gravely damage or even kill it.

Fertilizer

Many indoor growers are guilty of forgetting to fertilize. Water and bright indirect light, they believe, are both important sources of nutrients. However, the nutrients in the soil are just as crucial to your plant’s overall health.

Feed your plant once a month during the spring and summer. A water-soluble fertilizer can help your Sweetheart plant. If you’re using a more concentrated fertilizer, dilute it before giving it to your plant.

In the winter months, you only need to fertilize every other month.

Propagating Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron

Reproducing this rare Philodendron can be done with the right propagation method. Below are several alternatives to consider, as well as thorough instructions to assist you.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

The most convenient way to propagate a Variegated Heart-leaf Philodendron is by cutting and planting it in soil. Spring to early summer is the perfect time to propagate a Heartleaf Philodendron variegated. Here are the steps for getting started.

1. Collect your cutting. Look for a healthy section of the Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron’s stem with new growth with one or two nodes. Cut just below the Heartleaf Philodendron variegated’s nodes with clean gardening shears.

2. Plant your cutting. Directly plant the cutting into standard commercial potting soil.

3. Maintain your cutting. Keep the soil around your baby Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron moist and maintain a temperature of approximately 70-90°F.

4. Rotate your cutting. Turn the pot from time to time to ensure that your Heartleaf grows evenly on all sides.

Stem Cuttings In Water

A Sweetheart plant can be propagated in water with six simple steps.

1. Cut. Take a part of the stem that has fresh growth and a node.

2. Submerge. To monitor root growth, keep the cutting in a clear container or a glass of water.

3. Maintain. The cutting must then be stored in a bright, shaded environment with sufficient airflow.

4. Refill. To avoid bacterial disease, replace the water every 3-5 days.

5. Transplant. Check for development after two weeks, and then put the cutting into a sterile potting mix if the new roots are one inch or longer.

Wait. Your new plant may seem wilted at first, but this is typical while the roots adapt to the soil. Do not add fertilizer or treatments at this time until your plant has had a chance to settle.

Humidity And Aeration

Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron is a rare perennial that thrives in high humidity. For optimal results, keep the air humidity level between 50% and 70%.

Your plant will require nourishment from the moisture in the air in addition to the water it absorbs thru its roots. You can keep water bowls to evaporate nearby or create a pebble tray. Investing in a humidifier that is more consistent in improving humidity for your plant is also a good idea.

Temperature

Warm temperatures are preferable for Philodendron Heartleaf variegated plants, but they can thrive in a temperature range of 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

They do, however, prefer consistent temperatures, so keep them away from windows and places that may allow cool air in during the winter. Additionally, keep them distant from vents and other heat sources that might dry up the air.

Toxic

Be on guard if you have small children or animals. The Sweetheart plant is dangerous to pets, such as cats, dogs, and people. If the plant is ingested, the following symptoms can be expected: oral irritation, pain and swelling of the tongue, mouth, and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. In most circumstances, this plant is not known to be toxic.

{table}

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

The Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron is a disease and pest-resistant plant. Here are some common pests, problems, and diseases, along with how to treat them.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are an uninvited but widespread problem on houseplants, particularly in Philodendron Heartleaf variegated. Spider mite damage initially appears as little brown or yellow dots on your plant’s leaves. You might discover fine, sticky webs crawling with red bugs when there is a severe infestation.

To remove the spider mites, begin by thoroughly washing off every nook and cranny of your Philodendron Heartleaf variegated. This should be done on a sink, in a tub, or outdoors. If it doesn’t work, you can suffocate the spider mites using insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil.

You might need to isolate your sick plants while controlling the spider mite population if you have other plants at home.

White Flies

Whiteflies are triangular bugs that are grayish-white and flutter around like small moths. They can significantly damage the leaves by feeding on your Heartleaf Philodendron variegated sap.

Whiteflies and their eggs can be vacuumed off, but make sure to empty your vacuum bag outside before the bugs get the chance to multiply.

Spray the leaves with insecticidal soap, neem, or horticultural oil if there’s a severe infestation. These compounds will cover the eggs, larvae, and adults, causing them to suffocate. Reapply your preferred treatment as needed.

Scale Insects

Scale insects may develop as lumps on this sweetheart plant’s stems or leaves. Once they’ve latched onto a plant, these small bugs, which might be green, gray, brown, or black in appearance, usually stay inactive.

If the infestation is not really that bad, you can inhibit scale insects from damaging by simply incorporating a teaspoon of neem oil into four cups of water. Spray the plant aggressively with a spray bottle.

Neem oil and horticultural oils may not eliminate the pests, but they will surely weaken them. There are multiple pesticide sprays for scales that are considered safe for indoor usage.

Aphids

Aphids are often spotted as a cluster of bugs on your Sweetheart plant and can be green, black, red, brown,  orange, yellow, or white in color. They reproduce quite quickly and can damage your plant in a matter of days!

Aphids are drawn to young shoots, flower buds, and development areas in particular. As they feed on the sap, they will leave behind unappealing black and white splotches.

If you see these disgusting crawlers, separate your affected plant from the others right away. To get rid of the aphids, spray your plant with a strong stream of water, but ensure to protect the soil with plastic to collect any falling bugs and their eggs. Place the plastic somewhere away from your garden.

An insecticidal soap spray, neem oil, or horticultural oil can solve the problem. You may have to repeat this a couple of times until you’re sure the aphid population has been completely eradicated.

Mealybugs

A Mealybug infestation might affect your tropical houseplant. These parasites will weaken your Philodendron Heartleaf variegated by sucking sap through their sucking tubes.

As a preventive measure against many diseases, I recommend a monthly application of neem oil on your houseplants. Remember to dilute the neem and spray only when the weather is cool.   

In the event of an infestation, mix a cup of rubbing alcohol and a teaspoon of fragrance-free dish soap with water in a spray bottle. Spray that on Philodendron Heartleaf, variegated twice a week until the mealybugs are gone.

Brown Leaf Tips

If you spot browning tips on the leaves of your Heartleaf Philodendron variegated, you should examine a few things.

Check that the humidity level in your home is not too low. If the sun is too intense on your plant, use drapes to block it off. Use as little fertilizer as possible. Allow the water to stream through the soil for several minutes to wash away excess minerals and salts.

Drooping Leaves

Mealybugs and other pests that infest the Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron can cause leaves to droop. This problem can also be caused by underwatering, lack of humidity, and lack of nutrients.

Yellow Leaves

If you observe yellowing leaves of your Sweetheart plant, you will need to trace any recent adjustments in your usual care practices or in the weather.

Overwatering, underwatering, over-fertilizing, under-fertilizing, too much light, lack of light, root damage, temperature swings, and pests can cause yellowing leaves.

Root Rot

The two most typical causes of decaying roots are overwatering and inadequate drainage. Because root rot is often irreparable and deadly, prevention is of utmost importance.

Plant your Philodendron in regular commercial potting soil and keep it dry. Water only When the soil’s top 1-2 inches are dry.

Similar Plants

Love Heartleaf Philodendron variegated? Here are some other variegated types of Philodendron you should try:

Philodendron Hederaceum Brasil: Although not a native plant from Brazil, this plant earned its name because it resembles the Brazilian flag. Yellow and lime green streaks wedged in the middle of its dark green leaves showcase the natural beauty of this variety.

Philodendron Rio: Believed to be a direct descendant of the Brazil variety, it’s no surprise that this eye-catching plant is another one of the most beautiful philodendrons. A bit young (it’s only been around for a decade), this exotic plant is expensive and rare, but it’s all worth it.

Philodendron Gabby: Cream and white-colored leaves make this plant stand out. An actual hybrid from the Hederaceum species, this exquisite plant is one of the most popular houseplant choices for an indoor collection.

Conclusion

With its attractive characteristics, Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron is a remarkable choice if you’re considering a new houseplant. All your efforts to care for this plant will be rewarded with magnificent exotic foliage that you will appreciate having in your house!

Can’t get enough of these plant guides? Consider the alternatives listed below.

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

Let's grow together!