How to Propagate Philodendron Plants?
Philodendrons are the quintessential indoor plant — they’re easy to grow, aren’t fussy, and just about anyone can grow them. But here’s another advantage too — philodendrons are super easy to propagate.
Now, you may already be familiar with growing philodendrons, so in this article, I’m focusing on the different ways you can propagate a philodendron plant, so you can create a whole new plant for your home, office, or friend.
There are three easy ways to propagate a philodendron and I’m going to cover each method, so you can choose the one that you like best.
Philodendron Propagation with Stem Cuttings
Take a sharp knife or garden snips and choose a healthy stem that has a couple of leaves on. Your stem cuttings should be around 3-6 inches long.
Harvest a couple of stem cuttings in case some of the cuttings fail to produce roots or aren’t viable for some reason.
Your next objective is to root the stem cuttings. Here you have two options:
- Rooting in water
- Rooting in potting mix
Both methods work fine, they both lead to successful rooting, so it’s really a matter of preference. I will mention though that, for me, rooting directly in a pot is easier since you don’t need to bother with repotting.
The advantage of rooting in water is that you can actually see the roots breaking out, which helps you track your stem cuttings progress much more easily.
Regardless of whether you root in water or in a pot, you can dab the cut end of the stem cutting in some rooting hormone to speed up the rooting process. But this is optional. Your stem cuttings will root without the rooting powder too.
When rooting in water, make sure that bottom leaves are removed but leaf nodes are submerged in the water. Change the water every 2-3 days or as needed to prevent clouding.
For stem cuttings rooted in pots, keep the soil moist but not soggy. Keep your cup or pot in bright, indirect light in a warm place.
In just 2-3 weeks, roots should emerge, and new leaves should also break out on the stem cutting.
Propagate Philodendrons with Air Layering
Air layering is also a relatively easy way to propagate a philodendron, but without separating the cutting from the mother plant.
Ideally, choose a well-matured philodendron with healthy, thick stems for this method. I’ve tried propagating my Philodendron Hastatum with air layering and had great results.
The way to go about air layering is to locate a leaf node (those hardened bumps, where new growths would appear) and use moistened moss and cling film to wrap the leaf node.
The stem should have a couple of leaf nodes, not just the one you’re wrapping with moss, just to increase the chances of rooting.
Keep the moss moistened by spraying it with water and keep checking back to see any growths appearing. It can take weeks or a couple of months for roots to get large enough to replant.
Once roots are sizable enough, you should cut the stem below the roots but not very close to them. Transplant it in a pot and enjoy your new plant!
Philodendron Propagation with Plant Division
Some philodendron varieties like the Philodendron bipinnatifidum or the Philodendron Hope Selloum lend themselves to be easily propagated through division.
Division as a propagation method is just as easy as the other methods, but it’s best carried out when you’re otherwise repotting the philodendron.
Simply cut sections of the root with a clean, sharp knife, making sure that each section has a stem attached to it. Transplant the divided plants and keep on caring for them as you do for the parent plant.
Potting Mix for Philodendrons
Because philodendrons enjoy moist soil, they need a potting mix that does all of the following things:
- Drains easily
- Retains enough moisture for the plant
- It’s rich in nutrients
- It’s well-aerated
If you’re thinking of planting your philodendron plant simply in regular potting soil, you can forget about it. Regular potting soil is too heavy and retains too much water, leading to issues like root rot.
Instead, you want to choose or make a potting mix that’s peat-based, which will drain fast, but without getting too dry.
Philodendrons can grow in sphagnum peat moss as well, but in the absence of that, you can create a mix of coco peat or sand (50%), regular potting soil (30%), and compost (20%).
Alternatively, you can create a mix with one part perlite or coarse sand, one part regular potting soil, and one part coco peat.
Peat, perlite, sand, compost and even coco coir are excellent for improving drainage and aeration, both of which are essential to keep your philodendron happy.
Can You Propagate Philodendrons from Seeds?
Yes, technically you can propagate philodendrons from seeds as well, assuming you can harvest seeds or source them from a reputable source.
I don’t recommend buying seeds online, because they are unreliable, and most of the time will not germinate, or they are simply not the seeds you think you’re purchasing.
I’ve tried my hand germinating Philodendron Selloum seeds that I did not harvest myself and unfortunately, none of the seeds took on.
Philodendron seeds are difficult to source, especially given that it may take some philodendrons like the Selloum 15 years to bloom, and they rarely, if ever, bloom indoors.
Even with viable seeds, it can take as much as four weeks for the seeds to germinate. Therefore, propagating from seeds is neither an easy, nor a fast way to multiply your philodendron plant.
If you use one of the three philodendron propagation methods I described, you’ll be able to multiply any philodendron plant you like. The key is to harvest healthy, disease-free stem cuttings.
For me, rooting stem cuttings is probably the easiest of the three methods, just because it’s quick and has a high success rate, but the other two methods work well too.
Philodendrons are great plants to keep indoors, especially if you love foliage plants more than flowering plants.