If you’re a person that loves to grow plants at home, there’s a pretty good chance that one of these plants is a philodendron. This popular houseplant and its thick, green foliage is a staple in many homes.
If you’ve never seen a philodendron in bloom, you may be wondering: do philodendrons flower?
Philodendrons are definitely flowering plants. However, they only flower once they have reached their maturity stage, and this can take them up to 16 years. Mature philodendrons will bloom once a year on average, producing an off-white spadix in a greenish spathe.
Read on to find out more about the flowering habits of philodendrons as well as how to make your philodendrons more likely to flower.
The term philodendron refers to a wide genus of plants. There are over 480 species of philodendrons. These plants are native to the tropical rainforests of South America as well as the West Indies.
The name itself actually originates from the Greek words “philo” and “dendron,” which mean “love” and “tree,” respectively.
Since their origins, philodendrons have been among the most popular of houseplants due to their extensive, vibrant foliage.
Due to the rarity of their blooms, many people are under the impression that philodendrons aren’t flowering plants. However, this isn’t the case.
Philodendrons are flowering plants, but they’re much more likely to bloom in their natural habitat than they are indoors.
Philodendron plants typically flower during the warmer months of the year. If your philodendron does bloom (it might not if it’s kept indoors), it’s likely to do so between the months of May and July.
However, since there are hundreds of species of this plant, the one you have may have a different blooming cycle.
The answer to this question depends on the stage of life your philodendron plant is currently in. Philodendrons only start to bloom when they’ve entered their maturity stage, and this takes time, a lot of time.
Philodendrons mature after up to 16 years. If you expect your philodendron to show even the slightest sign of blooming before then, you’re going to be disappointed.
Once your philodendron has matured, the frequency with which it will bloom depends on its specific species. Most species of philodendron bloom once a year.
On the other hand, other philodendron species may bloom more often than this, and others may bloom once every several years.
Considering how long it takes for philodendron plants to finally start blooming, you’d expect their flowers to last a long time. However, the reality is quite different.
Once in bloom, a philodendron’s flowers will only last for a couple of days.
So, what do the coveted and highly sought-after flowers of a philodendron look like?
When philodendrons bloom, they develop a green spathe that acts as an enclosure for the plant’s flower. This is referred to as the spadix, and this is a cylindrical protrusion with an off-white color.
The spadix is typically around 12 inches in length.
As we’ve mentioned before, the likelihood of philodendrons blooming is much higher when they’re in their natural habitat.
Therefore, if you want to increase the chances of your philodendron plants blooming, you should try to emulate that habitat to the fullest extent.
You also need to be mindful of your philodendron’s watering and lighting needs.
This will promote the health of your philodendrons, and in turn, it will make them more likely to bloom.
Here are the factors you need to consider:
Since philodendrons are native to tropical habitats, they prefer to be in relatively high temperatures.
The optimum temperature for philodendrons during the daytime is around 75℉. The plants’ daytime temperature should never be more than 80℉ or less than 65℉.
During the night, you should try to maintain an ambient temperature of 60℉ for your philodendrons.
Not only will failing to provide these temperature conditions for your philodendrons make them less likely to flower, but it can also lead to health issues in your plants.
Another way in which you should try to make your philodendrons feel right at home is by surrounding them with optimum humidity. These tropical plants will show the best growth in a humidity of 60–70%.
This level of humidity may not be achievable at home. If that’s the case, the very least you can do is make sure that your philodendron’s surrounding humidity never falls below 40%.
Despite being significantly lower than the optimum, philodendron’s growth is minimally affected, if at all. This holds true as long as the humidity is above the minimum threshold.
It’s tempting to think that philodendrons need to be watered every other day due to their voluminous foliage and large leaves. However, that isn’t the case.
If you want your philodendrons to remain healthy and be more likely to flower, you should water them once a week during the spring and summer.
During the colder months, your philodendrons will require less frequent watering. This is because the soil they’re in dries out at a slower pace in the winter.
Therefore, you need to accommodate this with less frequent watering if you want to avoid root rot in your philodendrons.
In their natural stomping grounds, philodendrons can usually be found underneath large canopies of tropical trees. As a result, philodendrons are accustomed to indirect sunlight.
These are the light conditions you should put your philodendrons in to promote maximum health:
You can do so by placing them either outside in a spot that you know gets indirect sunlight, or by a window that has these same conditions.
You’ll be able to tell if you’ve provided the right light conditions for your philodendron from the spacing of their leaves.
A philodendron plant that’s been exposed to improper lighting conditions will grow leaves that are far apart. Needless to say, a philodendron in this state is not likely to flower.
Another factor you need to keep in mind when you’re trying to encourage your philodendrons to bloom is whether they’re getting enough of the nutrients they need.
One particular nutrient you need to ensure that your philodendron is getting a sufficient dose of is phosphorus.
Sometimes, the soil you’re growing your philodendrons in can lack this essential nutrient. In this case, you’ll need to use a fertilizer that has a high level of phosphorus concentration.
You should also be mindful of the quality of the soil you’re growing your philodendrons in.
To ensure that the soil is up to par in terms of its drainage and nutrient content, you should buy a high-quality potting mix.
Here are the answers to some common questions surrounding the uses of philodendrons.
When your philodendron plant is in bloom, you should definitely not attempt to eat the flower.
Philodendron flowers are poisonous, and eating them can cause lip swelling, nausea, and diarrhea.
While philodendrons aren’t the best choice for a bouquet, they still make great gifts.
Many people opt to gift their significant others with a heartleaf philodendron pot plant on Valentine’s day.
Philodendrons are among the most popular houseplants out there. Their rich, emerald-green foliage makes them a beautiful addition to the aesthetic of any home.
Do philodendron flower, though? This is the question on a lot of philodendron owners’ minds.
The answer is that they do indeed. However, flowering will only occur once the plant has matured, and this doesn’t happen until a philodendron is 16 years old. Additionally, it’s much more likely to happen in these plants’ natural habitat than in an indoor environment.
Once they’ve matured, most species of philodendrons will bloom once a year, with each bloom lasting for only two days.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.