How to transplant a philodendron?

We gardeners are a very romantic group. You’ll find this quite evident when you examine certain plant names, like the philodendron for example.

Its name literally means “love tree” in Greek. And that goes double for the most common variety of that group, the heartleaf philodendron or sweetheart plant. I sometimes imagine my own heart to be shaped like a large, glossy-green leaf like those of the heartleaf. I’ll be getting that checked by a doctor soon.

If you give this plant proper care and attention, you can train this vigorous vine to climb or hang picturesquely in your home, like Rapunzel letting down her hair for her prince. Read on and be prepared to fall in love with it forever.

Heartleaf Philodendron Overview

Heartleaf philodendron / Philodendron scandens. Source

Common Name(s) Heartleaf philodendron
Scientific Name Philodendron bipinnatifidum
Family Araceae
Origin South america
Height Up to 20 feet
Light Bright shade
Water Medium
Temperature 70-75°F
Humidity High
Soil Moist soils with high organic matter
Fertilizer Monthly in spring & summer, less in the winter.
Propagation Stem cuttings with at least two joints.
Pests Aphids, mealybugs, scales and spider mites.

There are approximately 489 species of philodendron accepted by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Native to the Caribbean (how romantic is that!) and Central America, this plant is so addicted to warmth that most of those 489 species must be grown as houseplants.

While the heartleaf may long for your close proximity to keep it growing well, make sure you keep it out of reach of your small children and pets. While it can hardly be used as a Romeo and Juliet-style exit, the leaves do contain calcium oxalate which can cause issues like inflammation and itching.

If ingested, it has been known to cause slurring, nausea, and vomiting (just how I felt the first time I fell in love, now that I think about it.) To be on the safe side, seek immediate medical attention if anyone tries to eat it.

Heartleaf Philodendron Care

Would that all romantic relationships were as easy to care for as this philodendron. All it needs is a little light, a little water, and a little love and it will grow and thrive as it basks in your affection. Here are the specifics for this particular vine.


While the heartleaf prefers indirect sunlight, it will do just dandy in almost any lighting condition. Even areas of low light can be fine, though the leaves will spread more and the colors won’t be as vibrant or glossy.


Hailing from the Caribbean as this plant does, it likes moist environments best. In the summertime, keep the soil moist but not soggy. In the wintertime, allow the top half-inch of soil to dry between waterings. You can spritz the leaves with water and wipe them down with a cloth to remove dust.

This plant won’t make you guess if you’re watering correctly, nor will it act melodramatically if you aren’t. Yellow leaves mean you’re showering too much liquid attention, brown leaves say, “Give me more!”


Any quality potting soil will do as long as it is well-draining. You can also mix Perlite, sterilized garden loam, or coarse sand with half the amount of peat moss for your own soil.


No fancy restaurants needed to court this beauty as it has very simple, easy-to-please tastes. A standard houseplant fertilizer of good quality will work. Just follow the directions of the type you choose and leave off the feedings during fall and winter.

Repotting and Pruning

If your darling is outgrowing its pot, it may be time to move to a slightly larger one (no more than two inches larger than the original.) You might need an extra pair of hands if your heartleaf has been growing long, trailing vines or crawling up the wall!

Make sure to water it thoroughly the day before you mean to repot it. This reduces stress and makes the transition easier. Though this philodendron usually doesn’t require much pruning, now is a good time to prune any stunted growths, trim to desired lengths, and check the root ball for rot. Gently work the roots apart to stimulate new growth.

After transferring to the new residence, saturate the soil until the water freely exits the bottom of the pot. I hope you remember to use well-draining soil so it doesn’t compact too much with each watering.


You can propagate the heartleaf two ways. Cutting a vine below a leaf nodule and placing the stem in water is one method. When roots appear, you can then move it to soil.

Another method is by dividing the root clump. Check that each section has good, healthy roots before planting to increase chance of survival.


One of the nicest things about this plant is that there are very few problems associated with it. The color of the leaves will tell you what to change about your watering habits. The well-draining soil will prevent root rot and mold, and adequate home conditions will keep aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and spider mites at bay.


Q. I’ve never seen my heartleaf bloom at all. Do they ever?

A. This particular philodendron does not generally boast blooms. A bit of a pity for the romantics whose hearts swell at the sight of flowers, but a little extra humidity can make up for it in larger, glossier leaves.

Q. The leaves of my plant are looking curled. Should I be worried?

A. This could be another indication of watering issues, possibly under-watering. Check the soil with your finger and see how dry it is and adjust accordingly. Also check the roots for rot.

Q. Are there any special benefits to having this type of philodendron in the house?

A. Nothing better than a plant with benefits, eh? As a matter of fact, this plant is listed as a clean air plant, for it removes formaldehyde from the air in your home. So you can do plenty of sighing with happiness around you heartleaf.

Such an easy-going plant as the heartleaf philodendron will have your heart thumping with love and joy. And the short care list will leave you plenty of time to read that romance novel you’ve been saving, or indulging in your secret bachelor TV show obsession. Just don’t spoil the latest episode for me, okay?

Please stop by the comments section and leave a little love note about your own heartleaf or any questions you may have. Spread the love and share this article with your fellow lovers of all things green and leafy. And as always, thanks for reading!

The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:
Kevin Espiritu
Clarisa Teodoro
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If you want a big, bold foliage plant for the garden, you can’t go past the tree philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum). It is often confused with its close relative monstera (Monstera deliciosa), but they are really easy to tell apart. Monstera is sometimes known as the cheese plant, because it has holes in its leaves like Swiss cheese, and it is a climber.The tree philodendron is an upright shrub with deeply divided, lobed leaves.

Philodendron Monstera

Plant details

Common name: Tree philodendron Botanic name: Philodendron bipinnatifidum (sold as P. selloum)

Description: Upright, evergreen shrub to 3m (10′) tall. It has a short fleshy, trunk which becomes more pronounced with age, and thick aerial roots. The dark, glossy green leaves are deeply divided and lobed, with prominent veins and long arching stems. The flower is a greenish white spathe and spadix, typical of members of the Arum family.

Best climate: In cool to cold climates grow philodendrons in a sheltered spot such as a greenhouse.

Best look:

Striking foliage plant Indoor/outdoor plant Shade gardens Tropical-look gardens


The flowers of Philodendron bipinnatifidum warm up to around 36°C (96°F) when they are ready for pollination. In Brazil, their country of origin, these plants are pollinated at night by a moth. The seeds then develop over several months in bubbly capsules, with about thirty seeds per capsule. In Australia tree philodendrons don’t have any insect pollinators, so they don’t set seed unless pollinated by hand.

They can also be propagated by stem cuttings in spring, or by tissue culture.


Philodendrons are easy to grow and almost pest and disease free. They like a sheltered, shady position with protection from frost, and adequate moisture in the warmer months. Maintenance simply involves removing dead leaves. Repot containerised plants occasionally.

Getting started:

Tree philodendrons are readily available at nurseries and garden centres, and are sold under the name Philodendron selloum. For a smaller philodendron look for ‘Xanadu’. Philodendrons in 200mm (8″) pots cost around $16.95 (smaller sizes are priced from $7.50). The amazing indoor philodendron shown in the photograph from Shepparton in Victoria is a heart-leaf philodendron (Philodendron scandens, often sold as Philodendron cordatum).

Transplanting Tree Philodendron: Tips On Repotting Tree Philodendron Plants

There is lots of confusion when it comes to tree and split leaf philodendrons – two different plants. That being said, the care of both, including repotting, is fairly similar. Keep reading for more information about how to repot a lacy tree philodendron.

Tree vs. Split Leaf Philodendron

Before getting into how to repot a lacy tree philodendron, we must first explain the confusion often associated with growing these and split leaf philodendrons. While they look alike and sometimes go by the same name, these are two totally different plants.

Split leaf philodendron plants (Monstera deliciosa), aka Swiss cheese plants, are characterized by the large holes and fissures that appear naturally in the leaves with exposure to the sun. The split leaf philodendron is not actually a true philodendron, but it is closely related and can be treated as such, particularly when it comes to repotting and is normally lumped into the same care regimen, though being of differing genera.

Philodendron bipinnatifidum (syn. Philodendron selloum) is known as the tree philodendron and may occasionally be found under such names as lacy tree philodendron, cut-leaf philodendron and split-leaf philodendron (which

is incorrect and the cause for confusion). This tropical “tree-like” Philodendron species also has leaves which are “split” or “lacy” looking and grows easily as a houseplant or suitable areas outdoors in warm climates.

Transplanting a Lacy Tree Philodendron

Philodendron is a tropical plant that grows vigorously and requires frequent repotting if grown in a container. It actually responds very well to slight crowding, however, so with each repotting you should move it to a container that is only a little bit larger. If you can, choose a pot that is 2 inches wider in diameter and 2 inches deeper than your current pot.

As tree philodendrons can get quite large, you may want to consider choosing a pot size that is easy to manage, like with a 12-inch pot for easier lifting. Of course, larger options are available and if you have a larger specimen, this might be more favorable but for more ease of care, opt for something with wheels or coasters to keep its movement in and outdoors simpler.

How and When to Repot Tree Philodendrons

You should be repotting your tree philodendron, as with all repottings, in early spring just as the plant is emerging from its winter dormancy. Ideally, daytime temperatures should be reaching 70 F. (21 C).

Fill the bottom third of the new container with potting soil. Gently slide your plant out of its current container, your palm flat against the soil and the stem resting firmly between two fingers. Over the pot, delicately shake out as much of the soil from the roots as possible, then set the plant inside the container, spreading out the roots. Fill the container with potting soil up to its previous level on the plant.

Water your plant until water trickles out of the drainage holes. Place the plant back in its old spot and don’t water it again until the top layer of soil is dry. You should notice new growth in 4-6 weeks.

If transplanting a lacy tree philodendron is simply impossible because it’s too big, remove the top 2-3 inches of soil and replace it with fresh potting soil every two years.

Repotting Philodendron Plant Is Easy

Repotting philodendron is good for your plant

Regularly repotting philodendron will keep them from becoming root bound, and will encourage vigorous the growth. Besides that you can divide a crowded philodendron into several smaller plants when repot it.

Like other houseplants, philodendron benefit from repotting to a larger container when they become root bound.

Philodendrons (Philodendron spp. and hybrid) are vining plants prized for their shade tolerance and broad, attractive leaves

Vining philodendrons like the popular heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron scandens) and the red leaf philodendron (Philodendron erubescens) produce attractive foliage along long slender vines

Philodendrons known for their ability to thrive in low-light conditions hence it become a homes and offices plants. Vining philodendron plants are often grown in hanging baskets for their lush foliage.

Repotting philodendron(step by step)

  1. Water thoroughly the philodendron a day before you plan to repot it. This will minimize stress to the plant, and make it easier to repot.
  2. Select a new pot for the philodendron. Choose a pot that 1 to 2 inches larger than the current pot and make sure that pot has holes for drainage.
  3. Cut back philodendron to the desired length with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Severe pruning back to a height of 4 inches is needed for Philodendron that shows signs of stunted growth. However, healthy philodendrons do not require pruning before repotting
  4. Place about an inch of high-quality, well-drained potting soil in the bottom of the new pot
  5. Turn the plant on edge, with one hand cradling the soil surface while you use your other hand to slide the container off. To encourage the root mass to slide out, you need to hold the plant nearly upside-down and tap the lip of the container against the edge of a counter or other structure.
  6. Examine the roots for any signs of disease or discoloration. Healthy philodendron roots are white or light tan and pliable. Trims off brittle or mushy roots and discard.
  7. If the plant is root-bound, make several vertical cuts from the top to the bottom around the perimeter of the root ball. This opens the root ball and encourages new root growth.
  8. In order to prepare your philodendron for repotting, shake excess soil gently from the plant.
  9. Set the philodendron root mass in the prepared container.
  10. Fill the new pot one-half to three-fourths way with fresh soil. Remember commercial potting soil is often too dense for container plants and compacts easily with watering. A mixture of one part peat moss, one part potting soil and one part perlite works well for philodendron plant.
  11. Water thoroughly the plant until water runs freely through the bottom of the pot

Caution: wear gardening gloves with long forearm to protect your skin from contact with philodendron sap. Frequent contact with the poisonous sap can cause skin rash.

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SummaryArticle Name Repotting Philodendron Plant Is Easy Description Water thoroughly the philodendron a day before you plan to repot it. This will minimize stress to the plant, and make it easier to repot Author Philodendron Lover Publisher Name philodendron plant Publisher Logo

Lacy-Tree Philodendron Care

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Also commonly called split leaf philodendron or tree philodendron, Lacy-tree (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) is a large tropical shrub commonly grown as a house plant or tropical landscape plant that can reach heights of up to 15 feet, with a similar spread. The plant produces deeply cut leaves that are up to 3 feet long with ruffled edges. Plants grown outdoors may produce a foot-long, purplish inflorescence.


A native of the tropical rainforests of southern Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia, Lacy-tree thrives in warm conditions. The plant may be grown outdoors in USDA zones 9 to 11. Lacy-tree can handle temperatures as low as 30 degrees. Winter frosts may kill the plant to the ground, although established plants often return in the spring. Indoor plants do best with a temperature that consistently stays above 55 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.


Like other philodendrons, Lacy-tree dislikes full sunlight. The plant prefers dappled or partial shade. Indoor plants do best in bright, indirect sunlight, such as sunlight diluted from a curtain. Variegated varieties are more tolerant of sunlight. Place indoor plants near an electric air humidifier during the winter if possible to increase humidity. Misting can also increase humidity. When planting Lacy-tree outdoors, ensure that there will be plenty of room lest the tree outgrow its location.


Lacy-tree prefers organic soil that has a slightly acidic pH. The plant is sensitive to salt and therefore not appropriate for salty coastal gardens. The plant is tolerant of some soil alkalinity, although it may develop unsightly yellow leaves. The plant is not tolerant of drought and must be watered regularly. Soil should be moderately moist throughout the growing season. Reduce watering in the winter, keeping the soil just barely moist to the touch.


Lacy-tree may be propagated with little effort: Simply remove shoots from the base of the plant’s thick stem and place in a well draining, moist potting mixture. The plant may also be cultivated from seed. Several cultivars are available commercially, including the yellow leafed Gold Satin and the variegated Lime Fiddle. Those looking for a smaller house plant or garden plant can try a dwarf variety. Dwarf varieties include the thick-leafed Little Crunchy and the shade-loving Xanadu.

When it comes to watering me, below are some helpful suggestions for you to follow. Keep in mind that every plant, like every human, is unique and our needs change over time.

Depending on where you end up placing me, I may get more or less thirsty and would require watering with more or less frequency. The humidity in the room, the time of the year, and the amount of AC/Heating, among other factors will all affect my watering needs. Fortunately, it’s easy to figure out what to do as I will show you how I feel; you just need to check up on me once in a while.

Start by watering me once per week. Use a spray bottle, watering can, or measuring cup to water me with approximately 12 ounces (354 ml) of water per session. of water per session.

Pour water slowly all around the center of the plant so that it filters down the base. Watering is no good to me if the water runs down the outside of the root ball, leaving my central roots dry. This can happen if you water too quickly or apply too much water at once. Slower watering is usually more effective. The key is to ensure that water gets to my root zone. Sometimes it is helpful to prick little holes into the gravel and soil with a dull knife or the end of a pencil and pour water inside to assure it goes down well.

Check up on the same day each week by inserting your finger into the soil about half an inch and feel the moisture level. If it feels moist, try again in a couple of days. If the soil feels dry, you need to water me as instructed above. I like moist but not soggy soil. Once we do this for a few weeks, you will get the hang of it and you can determine the best watering schedule for your light, temperature and moisture conditions.

You should also make sure that only person is in charge of my care schedule. This way, we can form a loving relationship and I don’t get watered more or less often than I need to be.

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