Philodendrons make fabulous houseplants, and there are so many to choose from. You could grow nothing but philodendrons and still cover your home with plants.
Philodendrons come in two basic shapes, vining and self-heading or upright. Vining philodendrons are climbers and can produce long vines with large leaves. Their size is generally limited to how far you allow them to reach. Self-heading types have a more typical houseplant shape. They can grow quite large if given a suitable container or grown outside in tropical climates. Both can be propagated.
Philodendrons, along with their cousins pothos and Monsteras, are all members of the Arum family, Araceae. Arum flowers are characterized by a spathe and a spadix.
How To Grow Philodendrons From Cuttings
To take a philodendron cutting:
Select a piece of stem with at least one node and leaf. Two or three nodes and two leaves are better.
A node can be identified by a swollen section of the stem. It commonly has a brown aerial root growing out of it and perhaps another leaf stalk. These aerial roots may be short, like little claws.
Check out videos online if you need help identifying a node or air root.
Cut an inch below the node with clean, sharp shears, ensuring the node is not damaged. Root your cutting in soil or water following the directions below.
If rooting cuttings in water:
Place the new cutting in a clear-walled container filled with water. Make sure the node or nodes are submerged. Use a vessel that will keep the plant upright. Don’t submerge any leaves.
Ensure the water is not heavily chlorinated.Change the water every week to keep it fresh. Place the jar in a brightly lit and warm spot out of direct sunlight.
Watching for new roots is part of the fun. You may see white baby roots developing as soon as a few days, but more likely in 2-4 weeks, depending on the plant’s vigor and the environment. Look for strong, white roots an inch long before moving the cutting to a pot.
Transitioning from water to soil
Plants propagated in water can be a touch tricky to transplant into a regular pot and potting soil or soilless media. The roots that develop in water are not quite up to gathering moisture from the new media until they adapt. Two ways of easing the transition for your water-rooted cuttings are:
Transplant your water-rooted cutting into a pot filled with wet coco coir fibers. Begin by thoroughly wetting the coco fibers. Wrap a few around the roots of your new cutting, and tuck it into a container with more fibers. Keep the medium moist. After a few weeks, transplant to a moist potting mix appropriate for your philodendron.
Begin adding a little potting mix to your water vessel every day. Eventually, the entire jar will be potting media. Then transplant it into a regular pot.
If rooting cuttings in soil or another medium:
Fill a small container with well-moistened light potting soil, or other media such as rock wool or damp sand. Ensure the media is well draining and does not compact.
Plant your cutting in the pot, deep enough to cover the nodes where the roots will develop. Take care not to break off the air root. Your cutting may need a stake to help hold it upright until its new roots can take over the job.
Firm the medium around the stem and place it in a bright location. Keep the medium moist but not soggy.
In 3-4 weeks, you can check the progress of your new plants’ roots by gently giving the stem a little tug. Roots poking out of the bottom drainage holes or the growth of new vegetation is also a great indicator of successful rooting.