Philodendrons are a fantastic addition to any garden, and will really improve the aesthetic appeal of the place. If you are growing philodendrons in your garden, you should know that they are going to need an appropriate amount of care. Philodendrons tend to grow very quickly, and they are going to require proper pruning and maintenance.
One of the biggest gripes that many people have with philodendrons is that they tend to spread really quickly. However, the way they spread often leaves gaps behind, so the plant does not seem fuller. It seems like a malnourished plant that has not been properly cared for.
These are tropical plants, and in the wild, they tend to grow lush green. So, why can’t you have that effect in your home? Thankfully, you should know that the way to do that is quite simple. The leaves of the philodendron plant are generally darker and are also considerably variegated.
Since this is a vine plant, you will want to make sure that you dictate the direction of the vine and the manner in which it spreads. If you want them to look fuller and better, here are some simple methods that you should use.
1 – Properly Prune the Plants
To get that bushy appearance that you so desire, this plant needs an adequate pruning routine. If you do not prune the plant, the stems are simply going to trail all around, and this is going to make the plant thinner the longer as it goes on. These plants are also going to grow into areas where they don’t get enough light.
Eventually, this reduces the growth of leaves, and the plant looks a bit messy and sparse. So, the first step is to properly prune the plants. You are going to need several tools for this, so a trip to the hardware store is definitely worth it. You should start by getting pruning shears and a hand trowel, along with a watering can and garden gloves.
If you want the plant to look fuller from the top, you should take your shears and then cut the stems that are growing out and falling downward. This is going to direct the new growth toward areas at the top, and you will notice a fuller, better looking plant. When you are pruning the philodendrons, it is important that you cut just below the lead node.
This is important, because you will not leave any bare stem without growth at its end. If you don’t want to throw away the pruned stems, you can use them for propagation as well.
2 – Fertilizing the Plant
One of the things that you should know about the philodendrons is that they are not exactly heavy feeders. However, if you want to encourage more growth, they are going to need a bit of a helping hand. If you have been growing the philodendron in the same container for several years, this method is actually quite important.
You can use compost or a solution made using liquid seaweed to fertilize the soil properly. Ideally, you should consider fertilizing the soil at least once a month. Sometimes, adding fertilizer twice is also recommended. You will notice a major change as soon as you start adding fertilizer to the plant; it is going to look healthier, and will take on a heavier appearance.
If you are going to use a solid fertilizer, the best thing to do is add the recommended amount on top of the soil, and then mix it gently using the hand trowel. To activate the fertilizer in the soil, you just have to water the plant!
On the other hand, if you are using a liquid fertilizer, the best way to go about it would be to mix the amount of fertilizer needed with water, and then pour it into a watering can. Just pour the water out of the can. The reason why diluting it is so important is because it prevents the plant from burning.
One of the key things that you should know here is that excessive use of fertilizer is likely to cause damage to the plant. If you think that fertilizer is building up in the soil, you might want to remove the plant from its pot, and then replant it using new soil. If you are looking for an alternative solution, you can also drench the soil over and over again, and then let the soil drain out.
3 – The Plant Needs Sun
If you haven’t noticed it already, you should know that philodendrons that grow in the sun are generally denser and healthier than the ones that don’t get any sunlight. This is simple because all plants need sunlight to thrive. Some need it more than others, but at the end of the day, they all require some of it.
If you have a philodendron placed in the dark corners, it’s obviously not going to look very good. You have to make sure that you give the plant as much sun as you can. Plants that are kept in the dark corners of the house are going to grow at a much slower rate, and they are also going to lose their variegation over time.
The reason for that is simple: they simply don’t get enough sunlight to generate chlorophyll. If you want to grow the plant and make it seem healthier and fuller, you should definitely keep them out in the sun.
However, it’s important that you do not keep it under direct sunlight. The plant does not need excessive sunlight, as that is going to cause sunburn. Instead, you need to create a balance. They should get sunlight for around four hours in a day, and that’s going to be enough for the plant to grow in a healthy manner.
Ideally, you should keep the plant in a window that faces toward the south or the east, as that is enough to provide it with adequate amounts of sunlight.