How to Care for Silver Sword Philodendron Hastatum?
Nicknamed the Silver Sword Philodendron, the Hastatum Philo features blue-tinged or silvery green, glossy and elongated leaves that have an upward vining growth pattern.
Like most philodendrons, this too is fairly adaptable and requires minimal maintenance. If you understand its requirements and apply the growing tips I describe below, you can keep this plant in your home without any issues.
In what follows, I’ll focus on the perfect environment for philodendron Hastatum including repotting and propagation tips.
Size & Growth
A trellis or a pole to support the upward vining growth of this philo is desirable to allow the plant to reach its full potential. Keeping it in a hanging basket can also work.
At its best, the Hastatum can achieve a height of up to 10 feet. Indoors, however, it will stay a bit smaller, especially if you do some pruning back when the size is no longer feasible to accommodate.
Because of the relatively sturdy stem, the plant can fall over if it becomes top heavy. Both a pole and a sturdy pot are needed to support a top heavy plant.
Keep this plant either in dappled light or a few feet back from a sunny window so that it still gets enough sunlight but it will not be burned by it.
If exposed to excess light, its glossy leaves will turn yellow. A leggy stem will signal too little light. Leaves will also be smaller.
If you want a fuller, thicker growth, you need to make sure it gets adequate light. The best way to do that is to monitor the lighting conditions in your home and make sure only gentle morning or afternoon sun touches your plant.
Watering is another area which can be problematic for philodendrons. The most important takeaway is to avoid overwatering. But how can you know if you’re watering too much or too little?
There’s a simple test you can do and you only need a finger for it. Simply stick your index finger into the soil up to your first knuckle.
Check if the soil is moist or dry. If it feels moist, skip watering for now. If it’s dry, water the plant thoroughly.
Always make sure that water drains properly from the pot. If your pot is not fitted with draining holes, do yourself a favor and drill some holes into the bottom of the pot.
This will ensure that excess water trickles out of the pot, allowing the soil to retain only a little moisture, without becoming soggy.
Potting mediums that contain perlite, vermiculite, peat are excellent additions to improve soil drainage. Most philodendrons can even be grown in 100% sphagnum moss too.
Whether you choose to mix or your own substrate or use commercially available ones, make sure the soil is rich in organic matter and offers good drainage.
If the soil is prone to compaction and prevents water from percolating easily, the roots will be exposed to rotting issues.
Temperature & Humidity
A frost-sensitive plant, the philodendron Hastatum enjoys a warm tropical environment with average humidity.
Keep the plant at temperatures between 65-80 F. If the air in your home feels dry, increase humidity levels artificially.
Yellow leaves that have no other explanation and a droopy plant signal that humidity levels may be too low in your home.
During the growing season, you can fertilize monthly with a balanced foliage fertilizer. In fall and winter, you should reduce the frequency to every 8 weeks.
Always dilute your fertilizer, so you don’t risk overfertilizing and destroying your plant. Fertilize after moistening the soil and periodically flush the soil to get rid of any potential mineral build-up.
Potting & Repotting
Always use a pot with draining holes on its bottom. Round pots work best, but hanging baskets are also acceptable.
When the plant grows too large, you can notice its roots coming out of the bottom of the pot. When this happens, get a bigger pot and transplant your Hastatum.
Transplanting should be easy. Simply water the soil the day before, gently remove the plant, check the root ball for any signs of rotting and remove diseased or unviable roots.
Use loose soil rich in organic matter to improve drainage, aeration and maintain a healthy root system.
How to Propagate Silver Sword Philodendron?
Like many other philodendron hybrids and varieties, the Hastatum is also easy to propagate. The easiest propagation method involves harvesting a stem cutting.
The stem cutting should have 1-2 leaf nodes and a few leaves on it. Place the stem cutting with the cut end into water or moist soil and keep in a warm, bright location, out of direct sunlight.
In a few weeks to a month, roots should already be formed. Transplant the new plant to a larger container minding the potting medium and watering instructions I described above.
Temperature recommendations and humidity recommendations are the same as for mature Hastatum plants.
The silver-leaved philodendron is a relatively fast-growing plant, but it’s easy to keep in your home and beautiful sight from every perspective.
Despite its elegance and beauty, this is a strong and resilient plant. It has fairly good resistance to pests and diseases.
It can also tolerate less than ideal light conditions and doesn’t mind too much if you skip a watering session here and there.
If you’re doing something that’s not suited for this plant, it will usually let you know. Look out for yellowing, pale or browning leaves, all of which signal deficiencies (lack of water, humidity, fertilizing, etc.) or saturation problems (too much light, water, fertilizer, etc.).