Heart-leaf Philodendron:  Perfect Houseplant for Beginners

Heart-leaf philodendron , also known as the parlor Ivy and sweetheart vine, is a commonly grown houseplant native to Mexico and Central America. 

It is often used in hanging baskets or trained  to grow around a support  called a moss pole. This is a wire cylinder filled with sphagnum moss and placed in a large pot with soil. When  you water the cylinder the  moss becomes moist, raising  the humidity levels and adding water to the soil. It is probably the most common and well-known houseplant. The plant is easy to grow, drought tolerant, and can adapt to a wide range of conditions.

It has waxy, dark green heart shaped leaves that are very attractive and great for decorating when grown upright.  Climbing plants such as these are especially useful if your space is limited and you don't have much room to spread out. 

Air Cleaning Qualities

This plant has other benefits besides just making your home look desirable. According to NASA studies on air quality, we know that that the parlor ivy can be instrumental in air purification, filtering out such toxins as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide and adding oxygen to the air we breathe.

Items that you use every day such as carpeting and rug pads, insulation, laminated counters, veneer furniture, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners contain volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) which are synthetic materials that "off-gas" toxins that pollute your indoor air.The toxic air can cause a condition known as "Sick Building Syndrome" which can irritate your respiratory tract and cause headaches, sinus congestion, and fatigue. 

You cannot avoid VOCs because they are found in such a wide variety of the products in our indoor environment; however, you can take steps to make your air healthier by having this plant in your home. Place two or three mature sweetheart vine plants in a 100 sq ft room to filter toxins from the air where you spend time.

How to Care for Heart-leaf Philodendrons

heart-leaf  philodendron

Light:  Moderate.  Prefers  indirect sunlight but will survive with less light.

Watering:  water thoroughly, then allow the soil to drain and empty excess water; then allow the top one inch of soil to dry slightly to touch between waterings.  A well-draining potting mixture should be used. This is necessary to prevent root rot which can kill your plant.

Humidity:   Average is  okay; however, higher humidity yields faster growth.  A daily  misting of water to the leaves will increase the humidity.  Also,  you can place plant on a  humidity tray.  A room humidifier will work  even better.

Temperature: Average - Warm It grows well indoors with temperatures from 70 to 85 degrees  Fahrenheit.

Fertilizer:  All-purpose.  Do not fertilize plants if kept in low light
Propagation:  Can be multiplied by stem cuttings

Common Problems: Plant is largely pestfree, rarely mealybugs

Pruning the plant keeps the growth from getting spindly. Cut back the vines to the growing tips with the pruning shears as new growth emerges to promote length and fuller growth. 

Remove any of the diseased, dead or damaged vines from the plant as they occur.

Heart-leaf philodendron is classified as toxic.  Plant contain poisonous sap that can cause pain and swellings in mucous membrane of mouth and throat. Keep out reach of children and pets.