If you’re looking for a houseplant that is easy to care for and is a prolific grower, look no further than the philodendron.
In fact, the philodendron’s growth rate is so impressive that it will need regular pruning to help control its growth.
Keep reading to learn more about how fast philodendrons grow – and how you can promote even more quick and healthy growth!
How much does a philodendron grow in a year?
Philodendrons are considered fairly fast growers. With the proper care and growing requirements, philodendrons can grow almost 4 inches (10cm) a week during spring and summer. They tend to continue this rapid growth for around five years before their growth slows.
That doesn’t mean, however, that all philodendrons will have this impressive growth rate. This is because there are a lot of things that can have a negative effect on the philodendron’s growth rate, including improper care and even the time of the year.
If you really want to improve the growth rate of your philodendron, you will need to ensure you are meeting, and hopefully exceeding, the needs of this tropical plant.
When is the philodendron’s growing season?
Like other tropical plants, the philodendron’s active growing season is during the spring and summer, which is when they do their most prolific growing and when you may need to prune them. The philodendron’s growth rate, however, slows down during the fall and winter.
Fortunately, during those two warmer seasons, you should see why your philodendron is considered a fast grower, producing stunning leaves that bring interest to any home.
How can I speed up my philodendron growth?
The best way to speed up your philodendron’s growth rate is to provide it with the optimal care. This includes growing it in well-drained soil, the right pot, with the right amount of light, water, and fertilizer.
1. Ensure you are growing the philodendron in the right region
In most cases, the philodendrons are grown indoors as a houseplant because this tropical plant cannot tolerate frost or cold. If, however, you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 to 11, you can grow the philodendron outdoors.
Trying to grow the plant in an area where it isn’t hardy will only slow down the philodendron’s growth rate and potentially kill it.
When grown indoors as a houseplant, the philodendron will need temperatures that are between 75 and 85 degrees during the day and 65 to 70 degrees at night.
Letting the philodendron to grow at lower temps will not only impact its growth rate, but it can also cause the plant to go into shock, which can be fatal.
2. Plant the philodendron in a growing medium that drains well
The best soil for philodendrons is one that lets water drain freely while still being able to retain enough moisture for the plant. If you grow the philodendron in soil that is compact and doesn’t drain properly, the philodendron’s growth rate will suffer.
Mixing 1 part each of peat moss, potting mix, and orchid bark with ¼ part Perlite is a good growing medium for philodendrons. This mixture gives the plant the right amount of water drainage while still retaining moisture.
3. Give the philodendron indirect sunlight for several hours
Philodendrons need indirect sunlight for 6 to 8 hours every day. While it may be tempting to place these plants in direct sunlight, doing so can cause the philodendron leaves to become brown, burned, and scorched, while also slowing down the plant’s growth rate.
Additionally, you shouldn’t let the philodendron stay in low light conditions for an extended period of time. When your philodendron’s light needs aren’t met, meaning that the plant doesn’t get enough sun, it won’t be able to grow properly.
If you find that your philodendron’s growth rate has slowed, consider increasing the amount of indirect sunlight the plant receives.
4. Don’t overwater or underwater the philodendron
Overwatering and underwatering will both impact the philodendron’s growth rate. Because of this, it is vital to ensure you are properly hydrating the plant.
This will, however, require regularly checking the soil to see how moist or dry it feels, and watering or not watering based on that info.
A good general rule of thumb, however, is to water the philodendron about once a week during the spring and summer months. In the fall and winter months, this frequency is reduced to about once every 10 days.
5. Increase the humidity level
When the air is dry, the philodendron can start to dry out as well. While this may not be enough to cause serious damage to the plant, it can reduce the philodendron’s growth rate.
For best growth, keep the humidity level at no less than 50 percent, although higher would be better.
You can increase humidity levels by utilizing a humidifier in the same room as the philodendron, or setting the philodendron on a drip tray. Another option to help combat dry conditions is to mist the philodendron’s leaves with water.
6. Avoid applying too much fertilizer.
Philodendrons are not heavy feeders, but regularly applying a liquid fertilizer can help increase their growth rate.
Use a balanced fertilizer on your philodendron, such as 10-10-10, applied at half of strength. The fertilizer should be given no more than once a month during the plant’s active growing season.
My top pick: My recommendation for the best fertilizer for your philodendron is EZ-Gro 20-20-20 All Purpose Liquid Fertilizer. It’s extremely easy to use and has the perfect balance of nutrients for philodendrons.
Make sure to reduce the frequency of when the fertilizer is given to the philodendron during its dormant period, which is in the fall and winter. During this time, feed the plant no more than once every 6 to 8 months.
7. Watch out for diseases.
Philodendrons are fairly hardy plants that are not prone to many diseases. The ones that can affect this plant, however, will have a negative impact on the philodendron’s growth rate.
Root rot in your philodendron as well as bacterial blight, for example, are two common diseases that can negatively impact how fast the philodendron grows.
The best defense against diseases is to keep your philodendron as healthy and strong as possible. Additionally, avoid overwatering the philodendron and, when you do water the plant, do so at the base and not from above.
8. Be mindful of sap-sucking pests
Pests, such as scale, spider mites, and mealybugs, are usually considered more of an annoyance, but that doesn’t mean they cannot slow down the growth rate of the plant they are infecting.
As the insects feast upon the philodendron, it will take the vital nutrients that the plant needs to grow. Giving your philodendron a good look over every so often will help you quickly spot the pests before they become a huge infestation.
If you do notice pests, remove the houseplant to a room away from other plants. Apply insecticidal soap liberally to the top and bottom of the philodendron’s leaves.
9. Repot the philodendron when it becomes root bound.
When this space fills up, there is nowhere else for the roots to go except out of the drainage holes. This is a sign that you need to repot the philodendron.
When the plant is root bound, it cannot absorb the right amount of nutrients that it needs for healthy and fast growth.
Thankfully, philodendrons don’t require regular repotting, and you will probably only have to repot the plant once every 2 to 3 years. As the roots grow, they will take up space in the pot.
10. Give the philodendron room to grow upward or cascade downward.
Because philodendrons are vining, they naturally want to climb up surfaces or cascade down them. Not giving the plant this room can interfere with the philodendron’s growth rate.
Giving the plant a pole or trellis to climb up, or planting it in a hanging basket where its vines can grow downward will allow the philodendron to stretch its vines and promote fast growth.
Do philodendrons grow slow?
No, philodendrons are not slow growers, but are fast growing vining plants that can quickly take over an area. In fact, philodendrons can grow up to 4 inches a week during the plant’s active growing season, which is the spring and summer.
Additionally, philodendrons grow aerial roots and leaves along their vine stems.
Because this plant has a fast growth rate, you may find yourself trimming the philodendron more than other houseplants. Thankfully, you can use the pruned off vines as cuttings as long as the plant is healthy at the time of pruning.
How fast do philodendron roots grow?
Philodendron roots are also fast growers. When a cutting is taken from the philodendron, it can take anywhere from 10 to 30 days before roots start to form. Keep in mind, however, that how quickly the plant’s roots grow will depend on how healthy the philodendron is.
Roots of unhealthy plants grow at a much slower rate than that of healthy ones. This shows that if you want a plant to root quickly, it’s important to take care of all its growing needs.
Does philodendron grow faster in water or soil?
Even though philodendrons can successfully grow in both water and soil, they grow faster when planted in water. In light of this, plus the fact that it lets you see the root growth, most gardeners prefer to root their philodendron cuttings in water.
Once the roots reach about 4 to 5 inches long, however, the cutting can be transplanted into soil.
Whether the philodendron is growing in water or soil, the plant will still need the same growing requirements. This means bright indirect sunlight for about 6 to 8 hours a day, constantly warm temperatures, and high humidity levels.
Do philodendrons grow faster than pothos?
Even though philodendrons are fast growers, pothos can grow a bit faster. Additionally, pothos are also a little hardier than philodendrons. When grown in the right conditions, pothos have a growth rate of about 12 inches per month during its active growing season.
Remember that, no matter the species, the plant will need to be healthy and well cared for in order to reach its optimal growth rate.
A sickly or neglected plant just doesn’t have enough energy, nutrients, and resources to invest in growth. Instead, the plant is taking all its got to stay alive.
How long does it take for a philodendron to mature?
Plants reach maturity at different ages, depending on the species and health of the plant. When the plant does reach maturity, it is ready and able to produce flowers and fruits. Even with proper care, it can still take 15 or more years before the philodendron is mature.
For many indoor gardeners, their philodendron may never reach maturity, and that is okay. Some plants, such as philodendrons, have a difficult time receiving the care they need to get to the point of maturity when not grown outdoors.
This is typically because the plant is tropical and trying to bring every aspect of a tropical climate indoors can be impossible.
That doesn’t mean your philodendron cannot live a long and healthy life. It just means having flowers on your philodendron is pretty unlikely.
At the same time, since philodendrons are grown for their foliage and not their blooms, having the plant reach maturity isn’t typically a concern for indoor gardeners.
How do I get more leaves to grow on my philodendron?
Along with proper care, the best way to get more leaves on your philodendron is to prune the plant correctly. When a philodendron becomes “leggy”, it produces longer vines with little to no leaves. Pruning the plant can help encourage healthy foliage growth and reduce this leggy appearance.
Use only a sharp, clean pair of pruning shears and cut the vine just above a leaf node. Additionally, pruning should only be done during the philodendron’s active growing season, which is spring and summer.
Waiting until this time will help ensure the plant is strong enough to handle the pruning.
How do I prune the philodendron for faster growth?
When pruning a philodendron to encourage faster growth, use a pair of sharp pruning shears and make your cuts right above a leaf node. You should also look for any vines that are damaged, dead, or yellow and prune them off the plant. This will help make room for new growth by freeing up resources.
Before pruning the philodendron, make sure to take a step back and assess where you want to make your cuts. This will help ensure you get the right shape for your philodendron.
For example, if you want to keep the philodendron in a more compact shape, you may need to prune more aggressively than if you just want to get rid of dead growth.
Instead of throwing away the pruned vines, consider turning them into cuttings. Philodendrons are relatively easy to propagate and their cuttings can be rooted in water or soil. Philodendron cuttings also make a heartful and useful gift for friends and family members.
How can I make my philodendron look fuller?
Pruning helps to give your philodendron a fuller and bushier appearance. This will require pruning the stems that are growing outward from the central point of the plant. This will not only make the philodendron look more like a bush, but it will also direct new growth to the top of the plant.
It may sound counter intuitive to say you should cut back a plant to make it look thicker but trust me, it actually works here. Rather than a spindly philodendron that’s all over the place, you can cut it back to ensure the focus is on its thickest growing area.
What is the best time to prune the philodendron?
Unless it is an emergency, pruning should only be done during the philodendron’s active growing season and not when it’s dormant. If you wait to prune until spring, for example, the plant is more likely to snap back from the pruning and grow faster.
Do I need to prepare the philodendron before pruning?
Watering the philodendron deeply before pruning will help prevent the plant from becoming water stressed during and after the process. This is especially important because, even though pruning is a common part of gardening, it can cause stress and shock to the plant.