Philodendrons are prolific growers that can brighten up a room and make it feel more like home. They are also readily available, easy to care for, and will quickly let you know where there is a problem.
One of the most common ways they alert you that they need help is when its growth starts to suffer. A philodendron not growing is a sign that something is wrong with the plant.
Let’s take a look at what causes a philodendron to stop growing and how you can fix the problem while also encouraging the plant to start growing once again.
Why is my philodendron not growing?
The main causes of a philodendron not growing are underwatering, overwatering, the container it is growing in is too small, low humidity, and poor lighting conditions. Other possible reasons include pest issues, improper fertilizer use, temperatures that are too cold, and poor growing medium.
Given how many possible reasons there are, you’re going to have to go through a process of elimination to figure out just which one is the culprit in your case.
A healthy philodendron is one that is properly watered, and if you want your philodendron to keep growing, you will need to ensure you’re not underwatering the plant.
Besides stunted growth, an underwatered philodendron will have yellowing leaves that are brown and crispy on the edge, wilted leaves and stems, and dry soil that pulls away from the pot.
Overwatering doesn’t just interfere with the philodendron’s ability to grow properly, it also opens the plant up to potentially deadly diseases, such as root rot.
The most common signs that your philodendron has been overwatered are yellowing, wilted leaves, soft and droopy stems, and soggy soil.
3. Outgrown its pot
Outgrowing its pot can also result in the philodendron not growing. When there is no more room for the roots to grow and stretch, the plant can start to suffocate and become rootbound.
Pro tip: Transplanting the plant in a new container that is about 3 inches larger than the old container will help encourage philodendron growth.
4. Low humidity levels
Philodendrons are tropical houseplants that need high levels of humidity to grow properly. If humidity levels are not around 60 percent or higher, the plant’s growth rate will suffer.
Thankfully, you can easily increase the humidity levels by using a humidifier or drip tray.
5. Poor lighting conditions
Philodendrons thrive in bright indirect light, and deviating from this ideal lighting condition can cause the plant to experience stunted growth.
To encourage philodendron growth, ensure the plant receives bright indirect light for several hours every day.
6. Pest problems
When a philodendron is dealing with a pest infestation, its growth can be greatly reduced. The good news is that the most common pests that attack philodendrons are sap-sucking insects, which are usually more of an annoyance than a serious threat. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a pest infestation seriously.
Treat pest infestations as soon as possible by applying insecticidal soap to the philodendron, making sure to coat the topside and underside of the foliage liberally with the liquid.
In most cases, the treatment will need to be reapplied every 7 to 14 days. Refer to the application instructions located on the bottle for exact instructions.
7. Skipping the fertilizer
Not fertilizing the philodendron is one of the quickest ways to ensure your plant just doesn’t grow. Applying 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer months will encourage philodendron growth.
Make sure to reduce the fertilization to once every 8 weeks during the fall and winter months. This is when the philodendron is in its dormant stage, and applying too much fertilizer at this time can interrupt the plant’s natural growth cycle.
8. The wrong temperature
Another potential cause of a philodendron not growing is incorrect temperature. Philodendrons do not do well in the cold, and temperatures as low as 55 degrees can negatively impact the plant’s ability to grow.
To encourage philodendron growth, place the plant in an area where the temperature falls between 65 and 85 degrees.
9. Planting the philodendron in the wrong soil
Planting the philodendron in the wrong type of soil can also be to blame for the philodendron not growing. Philodendrons need light, airy soil that isn’t compact and drains well. You want to strive to give the plant soil that closely resembles the soil from its native tropical habitat.
To create the ideal soil for the philodendron, mix equal parts potting soil, orchid bark, perlite, and peat moss. There are also various commercially available potting mixes that are designed specifically for philodendrons.
10. During the philodendron’s dormant period
Philodendrons, like many other houseplants, have a dormant period. During this time, the plant is essentially at rest, which means its growth rate will slow down and even come to a complete stop. This is completely natural and nothing to be worried about.
FYI: Philodendron’s dormant period is during the fall and winter months. So if your philodendron is not growing during this time, it is more than likely because it is simply in its dormant stage.
Are philodendrons slow growers?
Philodendrons are quick growers whose vines can grow up to 3 inches a week, with optimal growing conditions. Because they have the ability to grow so quickly, they can take over a small space in a short time frame so you may need to prune them from time to time.
Because these plants are such fast growers, you can quickly determine something isn’t right when your philodendron not growing.
How long does it take for a philodendron to grow?
During its growing season, the philodendron’s vines can grow about 3 inches every week. During this time, the foliage and aerial roots are also growing, so the plant will also get wider. At maturity, the philodendron can reach about 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
Keep in mind, however, that the actual size can vary from one philodendron cultivar to the next.
Why is my philodendron growing so slowly?
Slow growth is caused by a number of issues, one of which is the plant not getting enough fertilizer. This is especially true if the philodendron not growing is also accompanied by new leaves growing smaller than the older leaves.
If you notice the new leaves are much paler than the other leaves, the philodendron isn’t getting enough magnesium and calcium.
How can I make my philodendron grow faster?
To encourage philodendron growth, fertilize the plant properly, fulfill its growing requirements, and keep the plant away from locations where the temperature drastically fluctuates.
1. Fertilize the philodendron to encourage growth.
Feeding the philodendron with a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer will encourage philodendron growth. Make sure to only apply once a month during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing.
Once the plant hits its dormant stage, which is in the fall and winter, reduce the fertilization to once every 8 weeks.
2. Provide the philodendron with its ideal growing conditions.
How healthy the philodendron is has a direct effect on how well it grows. After all, an unhealthy philodendron just won’t be able to grow as well as a healthy plant, and one of the best ways to ensure your philodendron is healthy is to provide it with its ideal growing conditions.
This means keeping the temperature between 65 and 85 degrees, maintaining a humidity level of 60-percent or above, ensuring the philodendron has enough bright indirect light, watering when the first few inches of soil feels dry, and fertilizing the plant once a month during its active growing season.
3. Keep the philodendron away from areas with drastic temperature changes.
When asking yourself “why is my philodendron not growing?” make sure to look at the location where you have set the plant. Is it in a location where the temperature drastically fluctuates, such as under a heating and cooling vent? If so, then that is probably why your plant isn’t growing.
To encourage philodendron growth, move the plant to an area where the temperatures don’t drop and fail so rapidly. This means keeping the plant away from exterior doors and drafty windows.
Why is my philodendron cutting not growing?
When a philodendron cutting isn’t growing, the culprit is typically not enough light. Much like a more mature philodendron, cuttings need bright, indirect light in order to generate energy to produce roots. If they don’t get it, the cutting won’t grow.
The good news is that you can typically fix the problem by moving the philodendron cutting to an area where it will receive several hours of bright indirect light every day.
Make sure that the light is indirect and not direct. Direct sunlight is too harsh for the philodendron and will burn, scorch, and damage its leaves.
Do philodendrons go dormant?
Philodendrons go through their dormant period in the fall and winter months. At this time, the plant is not actively growing and the amount of water and fertilizer applied should be greatly reduced. That said, they still need some of each in order to survive.
For example, instead of fertilizing your philodendron every month, drop it back to every six to eight weeks during cooler periods. That way, even if your philodendron is not growing as much as it does in warmer times of the year, it will still be ticking along ready for its growth to explode when the temperatures go up.