Philodendron Hederaceum: For People Who Want to Know More About the Heart Leaf Philodendron

Philodendron hederaceum is also called the Heart Leaf Philodendron because of its cute and nearly perfect heart-shaped leaves.

These plants are extremely easy to care for and create gorgeous trailing plants in a fairly short amount of time.

Today we will dig into the varieties available, where these plants are found in the wild, how to care for them, and more!

Table of Contents

What are the Varieties of Philodendron Hederaceum?

Philodendron hederaceum (green)

Classic, all green plant. A superfast grower that is very tolerant of low light levels.

Philodendron hederaceum

Philodendron hederaceum Brasil

A gorgeous variety that sports yellow and lighter green variegation on the leaves which typically run vertically from petiole to leaf tip. New leaves, when given sufficient light, emerge in tones of pink to red.

Philodendron hederaceum Brasil

Philodendron Micans (Philodendron hederaceum var. hederaceum)

Philodendron Micans has dark green, velvet leaves that trail prolifically.

Philodendron micans Philodendron hederaceum var hederaceum

Phildendron hederaceum Lemon Lime

Philodendron hederaceum Lemon Lime sports neon green leaves in the same texture as the original Philodendron hederaceum. The very bright color makes it eye-catching among darker green foliage.

Philodendron hederaceum Lemon Lime

Philodendron hederaceum Gabby, Rio, White Stripe, Cream Splash, and maybe more?

I believe all of the plants in this category are sports of Philodendron Brasil. Instead of having foliage with a combination of dark green and yellow-green, all of these sports have foliage with dark green and various combinations of white, cream, and light green.

Gabriella Plants, a popular online plant retailer, made a chart to show the difference between these sports. Even so, I have a pretty difficult time identifying cream splash from Rio. BUT I will do my best to include a photo of each variety below.

Photos of Each Variety

Philodendron Gabby

Philodendron Cream Splash

Philodendron Rio

Philodendron White Stripe

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Philodendron hederaceum Variegata (Currently the trendiest variety)

Philodendron hederaceum variegata has splashes of white variegation. It looks very similar to a Marble Queen pothos, but has the heart leaf Philodendron shape instead.

This plant is currently very popular and can be found at high prices. I am currently seeing single node cuttings that are selling for 50 USD or more.

Philodendron brandtianum (honorable mention)

Philodendron brandtianum has really pretty heart-shape leaves that sport sparkling splashes of silver. In 2020, it was an incredibly popular and pricey plant that was difficult to find for some time. Now I’m seeing this plant much more readily available online and in my local plant shop.

Philodendron brandtianum is not part of the P. hederaceum species. Despite this fact, it does have a nearly identical heart-shaped leaf, which made me want to add it to the group of trailing heart Philos and it also inspired me to want this plant to round out my trailing, heart leaf Philodendrons.

However, P. brandtianum is different. It has a thinner leaf texture, which makes this plant a spider mite magnet, and it seems to grow very tiny leaves if left to trail. The only way to get bigger leaves is to have it climb.

Since I’m much more into trailing plants than I am climbing plants, this fact was a bummer to me. Despite this, it’s just too pretty to not mention here.

Where is Philodendron hederaceum found in nature

Philodendron hederaceum is native to Mexico, Central & South America, growing prolifically in the tropical forests spread across these areas (Source: Plants of the World Online).

It is a hemi-epiphyte, meaning that it can grow both rooted in the soil and as a true epiphyte with no roots rooted in the soil at all.

This plant was discovered in the early 1800’s and has been in cultivation ever since.

Why does every care article include how the plant grows in the wild? (Click to read that blog post)


How do you differentiate between the Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) and common pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Heart Leaf Philodendron (P. hederaceum)Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Symmetrical, Heart-shaped leavesLeaf shape is asymmetrical and not a true heart
Leaves are matte in appearanceLeaves are glossy
Leaves emerge from lite-colored sheaths (cataphylls) that brown and crisp before falling offLeaves emerge without a sheath

To learn more about Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), click here to read that post.

Heart Leaf Philodendron

Philodendron hederaceum sq

Common Pothos

Pothos Epipremnum aureum sq

How to care for Philodendron hederaceum

Philodendron hederaceum Care Summary

In-depth care is below this chart

Humidity:Normal household humidity levels
Light:Low to bright indirect light
Pot:Any pot with a drainage hole
Potting Mix:A well-draining mix
Water:Water when dry or nearly dry
Fertilizer:Fertilize during active growth

What are Philodendron hederaceum’s common and old names?

Philodendron hederaceum is also known as:

  • Philodendron cordatum
  • Philodendron scandens
  • The heart leaf Philodendron
  • Sweetheart Philodendron

and many more.

What is Philodendron hederaceum’s Growth Habit?

Philodendron hederaceum can trail several feet or be allowed to climb. The leaves get bigger when allowed to climb.

The plant can be secured to a bamboo or plastic pole, moss pole, trellis, or even a wall.

How much Humidity does Philodendron hederaceum need?

While this plant will love high humidity, Philodendron hederaceum also does just fine in normal household humidity levels.

How much Light does Philodendron hederaceum need?

Philodendron hederaceum can grow pretty well placed a few feet from a window or much closer to a window in diffuse light.

If the plant isn’t getting enough light, you may notice that it begins to drop leaves, doesn’t grow, and stays wet for long periods of time.

If the plant is getting too much light, you may notice that the color of the leaves will fade, the leaves may curl from getting too dry too quickly, and the plant may stop growing.

What kind of Pot does Philodendron hederaceum prefer?

Philodendron hederaceum does best in a pot with drainage holes. This helps to prevent the Heart Leaf Philodendron from sitting in excess water, which is important since its roots are prone to root rot .

What are the Potting Mix Requirements of Philodendron hederaceum?

Philodendron hederaceum likes a potting mix with a decent amount of drainage.

While it can be okay in a store-bought potting mix, it will be even happier if some perlite or pumice is added to increase drainage a little.

How frequently does Philodendron hederaceum need Water?

Philodendron hederaceum likes to be watered when the first inch or two of potting mix is dry.

You can also allow the pot to completely dry out, but it will not appreciate being left dry for long.

You can check whether the plant is ready for water by:

  1. Inserting your finger into the potting mix and checking whether it feels dry
  2. Picking up the pot and seeing if it feels light, which means it is dry (this method is very effective with terracotta pots or plastic pots, not so much with ceramic pots)
  3. Using a moisture meter to determine how wet the potting mix is. Water when the plant reads a 2 or 3.

How to Fertilizer Philodendron hederaceum

Philodendron hederaceum can be regularly fertilized during active growth.

Use a well-balanced houseplant fertilizer at half strength every other watering.

Is Philodendron hederaceum toxic?

Yes, Philodendron hederaceum is toxic to humans and pets.

What is my favorite variety of Heart Leaf Philodendron?

My current favorite is Philodendron ‘Brasil.’ Each leaf emerges a little different than the others, making it super fun to watch and observe over time.

This plant also blushes a beautiful pink in high light (as does the Lemon Lime variety) and grows super fast.

I have a huge, full specimen that is happy and going strong, requiring very little from me.

Here’s some pictures of my beautiful plant:

Philodendron Brasil

Some foliage closeups. Notice the blush color in the last photo. This is blush born in Winter. It is even more spectacular in the higher light levels of Summer!

What is your favorite variety of Philodendron hederaceum? Did I miss a particular variety that you think should be included? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy growing!

1 Comment

  1. Plantipus

    beautiful plant,good article about Philodendron,i like it, thanks.



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