About the genus:
Philodendron is a genus that can be found all throughout the lush rainforests of Central and South America, as well as parts of Caribbean Islands. There are nearly 1000 species belonging to the Philodendron genus, and it is believed there are still many yet to be discovered. Philodendrons have a wide variation in size, appearance, and growth pattern; some are terrestrial aroids growing in the ground and others are epiphytic that climb into tree canopies.
Philodendron are rewarding to grow as they are easy to propagate and grow new plants. The key to keeping your Philodendron happy is allowing them to climb (or crawl!), giving them a well-draining soil and a good source of bright indirect light.
A chunky soil mix is ideal for Philodendron. A balanced mix of coco coir, coco husk or orchid bark, charcoal, perlite, and worm castings is a great go-to. A good trick to confirm whether your soil is chunky enough: grab some in your hand, squeeze it tight. If it breaks apart easily and doesn’t turn into a solid mound, you’ve got a nice chunky mix.
Nailing your Philodendron’s watering regimen will be key to maintaining its overall health. How often will vary depending on the species, but generally, Philodendrons like their soil to dry out slightly, though not completely.
To test the medium for moisture levels, simply stick your finger in the medium or use a moisture meter to determine the dryness. During warm periods, keep a closer eye on your Philodendron to ensure they do not dry out too much. A good indication that it’s time to water is once the top of the medium has slightly dried and it’s not too wet underneath. When your Philodendron is actively growing, aim to keep the medium slightly moist but not damp (think of the difference between a fully saturated vs a wrung-out sponge), letting the top layer dry out slightly. During dormant periods, let more time pass between waterings.
In nature, Philodendrons are found on the rain forest floor in relatively low light conditions. In your home, this translates to bright indirect light. Certain Philodendrons can tolerate some dappled direct light, others will wilt when in the direct path of the afternoon sun.