Philodendron Cordatum Plant Care

Table of Contents

Philodendron Cordatum Introduction

The Philodendron Cordatum or heartleaf philodendron is a trailing houseplant with showy, green leaves. This plant is also known as “Sweetheart Vine”. Historically speaking, this ornamental has been known since the Victorian times, and it is still popularly known today.

The heart leaf philodendron should not be mistaken with the Philodendron hederaceum, although they look almost the same. Look closely and you’ll see that the Cordatum’s leaves are darker green resembling that of an emerald. On the other hand, the hederaceum leaves have a lighter green shade.

The Cordatum can be considered as a table centerpiece or a hanging plant because of its trailing nature. If you’re planning to have one, read ahead and learn everything you need to know about this rare philodendron species. The table below shows the basic information about the plant.

Scientific Name: Philodendron Cordatum

Plant Type: Houseplant

Exposure to Sunlight: Bright, indirect light

Soil Type: Well-drained, chunky soil with peat and bark

Color: Bright, emerald green

Water:  Medium Amount

Favorable Climate: Tropical Temperature

Preferable Fertilizer: Organic Fertilizers

Propagation: Cuttings from Stem

Toxicity Warning: Toxic to Humans and Pets

Status: Rare 

Height: 50 feet (maximum length)

Origin: The southeastern part of Brazil, the Caribbean, and Central America

Philodendron Cordatum Plant Care Basics

Philodendron Cordatum

Lucky for you, the Philodendron Cordatum is another easy-to-care-for houseplant. If you are a beginner at gardening, this houseplant is ideal for you. Of course, there are specific tips and care instructions that we need to follow to make sure it grows healthy.

Here are the plant care tips on how to effectively take care of this philodendron.

Best Potting Mix

A soil that’s humus-rich and chunky is what your Cordatum loves. The soil can be mixed with perlite, wood bark, peat, and sphagnum moss. Each of these amendments has a function in maintaining good soil texture and structure.

Perlite provides a well-draining instance for the plant’s soil. It helps decongest the excess water by providing good drainage. In return, no stagnant water will remain and the possibility of acquiring root rot is minimized.

Peat and sphagnum moss provide oxygenation and water retention. Their purpose is to absorb water during watering and hold that water for the root’s consumption sometime later. They also make the soil porous wherein more air packets are available. These packets are then occupied by oxygen molecules needed by the roots.

Wood bark helps drain the excess water, provides oxygenation, and maintains the hydration of the plant. This enables the plant to retain dampness.

Watering Needs

The water requirement of the Cordatum is of a liberal amount. Ensure that all of the plant’s root system is dampened and thoroughly moistened. Saturate the medium as much as possible but always drain anything in excess. You may use tap water on this philodendron. However, if you have the chance to get hold of rainwater, that would be the best.

Ideal Lighting

plant lighting requirement

Expose this plant under bright indirect light. Find a location with this light condition and place your Cordatum there. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight especially when the intensity is too strong. Those rays are gonna scorch the leaves of your philodendron baby.

Although the plant can tolerate a low light level, it is not still highly recommended for the Cordatum. This will slow down its growth. If possible, just add artificial sources of light such as bulbs and fluorescent.

Temperature Requirement

This sweetheart vine is a tropical dweller. It can best thrive in locations with a temperature of 18oC up to 30oCelsius. Temperatures at night should not be less than 10oC as it can negatively affect the plant’s growth. It’s essential for Cordatum not to experience freezing. The plant is not winter-resistant. Keep it away from sources of cold and hot drafts, too.

Humidity Requirement

A high level of humidity is required to keep Cordatum healthy and flourishing. It would be difficult to maintain this plant if your area is less humid most of the time.

One way to elevate the level of humidity is to use a humidifier in your home. However, this option is not practical to use for a prolonged period. Another technique is to do misting every morning. If you don’t have time for this, you can just set up a pebble tray where you can place your plant above.

It would also help to group all your tropical plants together. Since they naturally release moisture in the air, having a group of plants in one corner could increase the level of humidity in that area. You can experiment with these techniques and see what’s fitted for you and your Cordatum.

Fertilizer Requirement

plant fertilizer

Fertilize your Cordatum with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Remember to dilute it to half the strength of its original concentration. Feed your philodendrons every two weeks.

The spring and summer seasons are suitable seasons where you could fertilize the plant. During this period, Cordatum is showing a fast-growing habit. Fertilizing during fall and winter should be limited to once or twice only.


Cutting stems is the easiest way to propagate the Cordatum. It will give you a higher chance of success. Here is the process on how to successfully propagate the plant through stem cuttings:

  • Find a mature and healthy branch.
  • Cut the stem to a desirable length you needed. It is important to note that we need at least a leaf and a node to be intact within the branch. 
  • After cutting, place the bottom part of the stem in the rooting medium. This can either be soil, dampened sphagnum moss, or water (water propagation method). The purpose of this is to initiate root formation in the cut stem.
  • Place the cuttings in a warm place. You may also cover the upper portion of the plant with plastic to help trap the moisture being transpired out of the leaves. This will prevent the cuttings from wilting.
  • When the roots start developing for about two weeks, you may transfer the cuttings to the regular-sized pot. Water regularly and place under a partial shade with indirect light coming in.
  • By now, you have new baby philodendron plants to add to your collection.


Pruning and propagating your sweetheart vine can go hand in hand. Since it has a trailing growth habit and is a real fast-grower, regular pruning is necessary. Pruning would help maintain the shape and the density of your indoor plants. You wouldn’t want them invading your entire space at home, would you?

Using a sharp pruning shear or scissor, trim the old branches off, the dead or diseased leaves, or any portion that seemed unpleasant. Save the stems that are in good condition and use them later to propagate new philodendrons.


When the plant started to outgrow its pot, you need to re-pot the plant. Keeping the plant pot-bound would limit water and nutrient uptake resulting in stunted growth.

Make sure to change the former pot with one that’s bigger and has enough drainage holes. Always inspect the roots and remove the diseased and dead portions as well before you transfer them. Provide a fresh batch of potting medium and settle your sweetheart vine in its new container.

After repotting, water the plant thoroughly ensuring that the potting medium is well-saturated. Don’t forget to drain the pot.

Philodendron Species and Other Similar Plants

There are other species of philodendrons that you could add to your indoor plants. They’re classified into two: vine and non-vine types. Following are the examples:

Philodendron Hederaceum

This plant is known for having heartleaf. Thus, gaining the nickname “sweetheart.” This philodendron variety is easy to care for. 

Philodendron Brasil

Another philodendron variety with green, white, or even cream colors. The plant also has a heartleaf.

Philodendron Xanadu

Another philodendron variety is eye-appealing to gardeners. The plant can grow as blooming and big whenever it was carefully grown.

Philodendron Moonlight

The philodendron variety with a bold, gorgeous green color and was also considered a hybrid variety. This philodendron variety can be suitable as an outdoor plant rather than placing it indoors.

Philodendron White Knight

This philodendron variety has variegated leaves with a mixture of colors of spotless white and brilliant green. This exceptional plant is lovely and ideally the best plant to be placed in every walkway.

Philodendron Cordatum Diseases & Pests

Pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are the common enemies of philodendrons. They are sap-sucking organisms who want to mulch on those heart-shaped leaves. Normally, these pests aren’t much of a serious concern. Just make sure to keep their population in check.

You can get rid of these pests by spraying diluted neem oil or insecticidal soap on the foliage of your philodendrons.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!


Frequently Asked Questions

Similar to its philodendron relatives, the Philodendron Cordatum is not safe for both humans and pets. This plant is poisonous to your pets, like dogs.

The plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates within its leaves. This could poison your pets upon ingesting it. That’s why you have to strategically place this foliage in an area where your pets couldn’t reach.

Yes, the Philodendron Cordatum is a climbing plant. However, it does not trail too much due to its size.

Yes, the Philodendron Cordatum is rare compared to its relatives. Although philodendrons are known since the Victorian era, this variety was introduced in the latter years of the plant’s spotlight. This species has limited distribution, maintaining its rareness.

The Philodendron Cordatum can only be purchased in trusted or reliable online stores. Lucky for you here at Plantly, we offer high-quality plants that you would like to bring home such as the Cordatum.

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