Philodendrons come in different sizes and striking variegated leaves. Maybe, you’ve taken a fancy to these plants and decided to put one inside your home.
Through time, you observe that something is off; “why are my philodendron leaves so small?” This situation takes place more often than you may think.
Philodendron leaves can grow smaller when the ideal growing conditions aren’t met. This includes insufficient sunlight, water, humidity, warmth, and nutrients. Moreover, check your plant care habits such as watering and fertilizing.
In this article, we’ll focus on seven reasons why philodendron leaves are so small. Plus, we’ll give you eight helpful tips to make them bigger.
Philodendrons have a distinct fascinating appearance that can add life to your indoor spaces. They’re easy to care for, especially with their ability to thrive in different conditions.
However, like all plants, growth can be hampered once they’re outside of the optimal environment. If you notice that your philodendron leaves are growing smaller, here are things you need to observe.
Philodendrons love bright, indirect sunlight. If your plant is located in a dimly lit room with little access to sunlight, then leaves will surely grow smaller. It may even have elongated stems and wider spaces between leaves.
Another thing to look into is the surrounding temperature and humidity. Philodendrons thrive best in temperatures between 60–80°F and humidity of 60% or higher.
Too cold conditions slow down plant growth. On the contrary, high heat and dry surroundings can wither your plant.
Check the edges of the leaves. If they’re crisp and dry, humidity should be increased. For larger Philodendron varieties, you may encounter unfurled leaves before they eventually die.
Water plays a significant role in photosynthesis and the transport of nutrients in plants. Therefore, not getting enough moisture can stunt growth.
On the other hand, overwatering can lead to faster draining of minerals leaving the soil less fertile. These minerals are essential to plant growth and the lack of them can manifest through small leaves.
In response, put careful thought into your watering habit. You can start by checking the top two inches of your plant’s soil. If it’s dry, then it’s time to sprinkle water. A moisture meter can also help you determine water levels.
Philodendrons, especially large species, are heavy feeders. They need various nutrients for healthy growth. Thus, make sure that your potting medium is rich in organic matter.
It should also be well-draining as too many nutrients can stress your plant. Changing the soil can help too.
Your plant’s pot size is also important for growth. A small pot will restrict the root system and cause root-bounding. When this happens, it can lead to other plant issues like having smaller leaves, lesser growth, and wilting.
This can’t be easily spotted. You may need to check underneath the pot if plant roots have come out. Lifting the plant out of the pot and seeing knotted roots can verify your suspicions.
Keeping your plant leaves shiny gives more than just aesthetic value. Take note that dull leaves due to dirt accumulation indoors can cause problems.
Pores in the leaves can get clogged and inhibit photosynthesis. In turn, your Philodendron’s growth is hindered.
Philodendrons can also get afflicted with diseases like Bacterial Leaf Spot Disease. These create dark spots with yellow or black edges. As the spots get larger, the leaves become smaller or get deformed.
This disease can easily jump from one leaf to another, and nearby plants as well. Therefore, it’s critical to treat this early on.
Philodendrons respond quickly to care. If you encounter small leaves, you can easily do the following things to boost bigger ones.
- Move your plant near a window that has access to bright, indirect sunlight. Expose it for six to eight hours daily.
- Adjust temperature and humidity levels. In dry and warmer conditions, you can sprinkle the leaves with water.
- Maintain correct water levels. The top two inches of soil should not dry out.
- Provide fertilizer, especially during the growing season.
- In case of root-bounding, transplant your Philodendron into another pot that’s one or two sizes bigger.
- Clean off dust and dirt on leaf surfaces using a soft, wet cloth. If there’s too much grime, you can mix a bit of soap in water and dampen the cloth with it.
- Treat diseases immediately.
- Prune your plant to encourage healthier growth.
Philodendrons enliven indoor spaces. They’re set apart for their interesting leaves that can vary in size and color.
Why are my Philodendron leaves so small?
If you notice that the leaves are abnormally smaller, then your plant may need more water, sunlight, warmth, and nutrients. Moreover, check the leaf surfaces for possible dirt accumulation and signs of disease.
Follow the eight tips on how to make your philodendron leaves bigger and in no time, see the difference.
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.