The Garden Plant
Philodendron Plant Care: What You Need to Know 1

Philodendron Plant Care: What You Need to Know

The philodendron is a type of flowering plant and it is a common species of plant used for indoor decoration. There are a variety of reasons why these indoor plants are used for homes and businesses, but the main reason people like them is they look great and can really add charm and appeal to indoor spaces.

Ambius interior landscaping specialists often use philodendrons when considering species of indoor plants to add to offices. Their bright white flowers make them very attractive and great for decorative purposes. Their overall ability to grow in even harsh conditions also makes them ideal for interior landscapes.

Below are some of the more common questions we get about philodendrons and why they are so often used for interiors

If your space could use a boost from plant life, contact your local Ambius office and set up a consultation with one of our designers today.

What are philodendrons?

Philodendron Plant Care: What You Need to Know 2

The philodendron is a type of flowering plant and is part of the Araceae family of flowering plants. They are characterized by their spadix, which is the stem encircled by the white portion which is known as the spathe. The spadix is actually a stem covered from top to bottom with tiny flowers (known as an inflorescence). Often times the philodendron is also known as being part of the arum family and sometimes referred to as aroids.

The family of plants containing the philodendron has about 114 genera and there are roughly 3,750 known species of plant. Originally a tropical plant, they have been transported to areas all around the world and found to flourish very well. In fact, they are considered a New World tropical plant and are among the most diverse within that group.

There are a couple of types of philodendron, and both are usually used with indoor plants:

  1. Climbing – as the name indicates, this is a type of philodendron with heart-shaped leaves which usually come in a very deep green color. They will start climbing up any kind of vertical area nearby, which is why they are often planted with poles so they can be trained to grow upward on those. Otherwise, they will grow up the sides of windows, and down the sides of their containers.
  2. Upright – these types of philodendron usually have larger green leaves. They do not climb as wildly as the climbing variety and tend to take up less space. Upright philodendrons usually grow a bit slower than their climbing cousins, but left unchecked they can grow quite large anyway.

Which one works best for your office or interior space depends much on your space needs, as well as light and watering conditions. A philodendron has the potential to take up a lot of space if it climbs up walls, windows or filing cabinets, so care should be taken to find the right type of philodendron for your space.

Are philodendrons poisonous?

The short answer to this question is yes. Philodendrons can be poisonous to both people and pets. Although they are very popular with homeowners and people who want to add some plant life to their office environment, they have to be very careful with them. This is particularly true of people with dogs, cats or children.

Philodendrons can climb down over the edges of their containers and trail along the floor. This is just the kind of inviting sight a dog or cat might find irresistible. They may be tempted to take a bite and this could have dire consequences. People who keep these flowering plants in areas where there are pets, need to make sure they are trimmed back and not within easy access for inquiring and curious snouts.

The symptoms of poisoning from ingesting a philodendron may be a burning sensation on the tongue or lips and throat. This can eventually lead to swelling of the lips and throat, which can block airways and be dangerous. Often, the later stages of philodendron ingestion include vomiting and diarrhea.

While a child or fellow human may be able to vocalize their distress, noticing the symptoms in a dog or cat is different. A pet who has ingested a philodendron may have diarrhea, dilated eyes, paw at their face or mouth area. They may start to vomit or express distress through cries and other vocalizations. If you suspect a pet has ingested part of a philodendron, take them to an emergency veterinarian immediately.

What are some different types of philodendron?

There are multiple species of philodendron. In fact, there are thousands of species of philodendron from around the world. However, there are a few which are very popular for use indoors. These include:

Philodendron erubescens

Philodendron royal queen

This plant is also known as the Royal Queen and is a climbing plant. They are known for their foot long arrow-shaped leaves and can be green with reddish highlights, plus the stalks are usually red. The underside of the leaves is a lovely bronze color.

Philodendron Red Congo

Best Plants for Your Desk At Work Ambius

This is a hybrid philodendron and is relatively new on the market. This is an upright plant and grows very vigorously. What sets this one apart is the coloring. The leaves are brownish/maroon and nearly red in color when they are growing. When the leaves are open and the plant is an adult, the leaves turn deep green with traces of red.

Philodendron brazil

Philodendron brazil

Usually a tabletop plant, this is a new cultivar of philodendron combining the Philodendron scandens and Epipremium species. These are a climbing variety that has already become very popular for people who have hanging baskets, as they look great hanging from windows and porches. They are a mixture of light and dark green leaves and grow best in warm weather.

Philodendron bipennifolium

A very hearty variety of philodendron. This plant has gorgeous, large, green leaves that just keep getting bigger as the plant ages. This cultivar of Philodendron grows very fast and robustly. This plant can reach up to six feet in length in a very short period of time.

Why do philodendrons make excellent houseplants?

The reason philodendrons make such good indoor plants is that they grow fast, adapt to various lighting and water conditions and thrive indoors very well. The plants have large, green, dark leaves which allow them to absorb even the tiniest traces of light and water. Often, the reason philodendron leaves turn yellow is that people overwater them.

If you have an office that really wants to make interior spaces pop, a philodendron will grow along the top of cubicles and filing cabinets. They will grow up walls and along windows, too. Depending on what you want, they can be cut back, but it’s a good, fast, way to add a lot of green, red, and other bright colors throughout an office.

Philodendrons tend to like warmer climates, but if the indoor areas can be kept warm, they will continue to grow and thrive even during the winter.

How to care for a philodendron

Taking care of a philodendron can be much easier when compared to other kinds of indoor plants, but it is not really “set it and forget it.” There are some things to keep in mind, such as:

  • Sun – Philodendrons grow the best in bright, indirect sunlight. The best possible spot is somewhere near a window, but where the sunlight does not directly hit the foliage. Too much sunlight can cause the philodendron leaves to turn yellow.
  • Watering – Philodendrons do not need nearly as much water as some other houseplants. In fact, the best way to keep them growing is to let the top layer of soil get dried out. Roughly the first inch or so, which is usually about the length of the tip of your finger to the first knuckle. If you can insert your finger that far and feel the dried soil at the top, the more damp soil below, then you are watering it right.

Just remember to remove dead leaves. If you do not want the plant to grow too large, regular pruning can be done.

Ambius has the indoor plant solutions

If you feel you could use a boost around your business with some philodendrons or one of the many other office plants we can install into your office, contact your local Ambius office today. Our designers will discuss your indoor plant needs and find the right plants for your needs.


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Brent Richard Dixon

Are you wanting to start a garden but don't know where to begin? Our gardening tips for beginners are perfect for new gardener.

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