How to Keep a Philodendron Alive

Philodendron is not the same as Pothos.

Let’s just get that out of the way, shall we?

It is pretty similar to Pothos in that it’s one of the easier to care for plants, but it does have distinctions that you’ll notice if you give Philodendron a close look.

Let’s Learn About Philodendron

Here’s where Philodendron stands out.

The leaves.

They are deep green and they are heart-shaped. So pretty.

Philodendron grows natively in the tropics of South America which means it’s going to want a little bit of the tropics in your home.

How to Keep a Philodendron Alive

Ok, here are the essentials: water, light, soil and fertilizer so that you can make it just right for your Philodendron.


You can let the top 2-3 inches of soil dry out before watering Philodendron.

Philodendron does like some humidity, so you can mist this guy or set a pebble tray with some water nearby to up the humidity a bit.


Philodendron is used to some tropical sun, but not too much sun.

Medium to Bright Indirect light is where you’ll see your Philodendron thrive.

Keep it out of direct sunlight so that the leaves don’t get sunburnt.


Nothing too fancy for Philodendron. An all purpose potting soil will work.

Make sure you’re using a pot with a drainage hole so that the plant isn’t sitting in water. And don’t forget to dump out the extra water from the drainage tray!


1-2 times a month in the growing season for Philodendron. You can stop all together in the Fall/Winter when the plant isn’t growing as much.

Things to Watch for with Philodendron

Here is what you’ll need to keep an eye on with your Philodendron.

#1. Yellowing or otherwise yucky leaves

These are usually due to over-watering. Cut back on the watering and you’ll want to remove the yellowing leaves.

Keep an eye out for yellowing leaves or any leaves that look like they aren’t doing well. Trim them off with some sterile, sharp scissors.

#2. Dusty leaves

Those pretty heart-shaped leaves can be dust collectors. This can be a problem because the plant is taking in light through its leaves.

You’ll want to keep them clean with a dusting whenever necessary.

#3. Curling Leaves

This is probably a sign that you are underwatering your Philodendron.

Make sure the plant is absorbing water when you do water it and it’s not just all running out of the drainage hole.

If it is not absorbing, try bottom watering by letting the plant sit in its pot (with its drainage hole) in a few inches of water for a half-hour or so.

If you’re sure you’re not under-watering, the curling leaves can also be a symptom of cold temperatures. Make sure there aren’t any drafts nearby.