Philodendron cordatum

Heart Leaf Philodendron Totem

My botanical name is Philodendron cordatum but I am also known as Heart Leaf Philodendron. I have deep green heart-shaped leaves and I happily growing up a six-foot wooden totem. I am native to Africa and Canary Islands but I was grown in Florida and am so happy to be going to my new home.  

As I grow on the totem I will add beautiful full, green look to your home. Here are some care instructions and tips that will be useful as I get acclimated to my new home and grow with you for many years to come.

Choosing the Right Location


My energy is romantic, tropical, lush and full. As a climbing Philodendron, I will grow full and strong so make sure to put me in a location with plenty of space. You can also place me on terraces, balconies as I am resistant to the wind. Where there is a neutral color scheme, I will bring a bright burst of color. You can place me in living rooms, hallways, bedrooms, offices, conference rooms, or anywhere with plenty of light. If you place me against walls such as room corners, rotate my container so all of the foliage gets even light.


I will be happiest indoors where I can get bright, indirect light such as near a south or north-facing window. Make sure that I receive bright light daily but that rays of sunlight do not hit my leaves. I tend to grow in the direction that I am receiving light. You can rotate my container every 2 or 3 days to make sure that I am getting even light and my stem doesn’t start to slant.


Indoors in a Floridian home, I will be happy in an environment that is controlled around 77° F (25° C). Make sure that I am not in direct line of contact to air conditioning or heating vents. I would not like to receive cold or hot air blown at me.


I am resistant to wind, so feel free to place me in my container on balconies, terraces or backyards as long as I have some shade. I will not be as happy in direct or  full sun.

How and When to Water

When it comes to watering me, below are some helpful suggestions for you to follow. Keep in mind that every plant, like every human, is unique and our needs change over time.

Depending on where you end up placing me, I may get more or less thirsty and would require watering with more or less frequency. The humidity in the room, the time of the year, and the amount of AC/Heating, among other factors will all affect my watering needs. Fortunately, it’s easy to figure out what to do as I will show you how I feel; you just need to check up on me once in a while.

Start by watering me once per week. Use a spray bottle, watering can, or measuring cup to water me with approximately 12 ounces (354 ml) of water per session. of water per session.

Pour water slowly all around the center of the plant so that it filters down the base. Watering is no good to me if the water runs down the outside of the root ball, leaving my central roots dry. This can happen if you water too quickly or apply too much water at once. Slower watering is usually more effective. The key is to ensure that water gets to my root zone. Sometimes it is helpful to prick little holes into the gravel and soil with a dull knife or the end of a pencil and pour water inside to assure it goes down well.

Check up on the same day each week by inserting your finger into the soil about half an inch and feel the moisture level. If it feels moist, try again in a couple of days. If the soil feels dry, you need to water me as instructed above. I like moist but not soggy soil.  Once we do this for a few weeks, you will get the hang of it and you can determine the best watering schedule for your light, temperature and moisture conditions.  

You should also make sure that only person is in charge of my care schedule. This way, we can form a loving relationship and I don’t get watered more or less often than I need to be.


You can use diluted regular houseplant fertilizer once a month or during the growing season of spring through early fall. Too much plant food causes excess salt build up in the soil that can result in leaf burn. If the leaves are turning brown and curling, I may have too much salt in the soil. Usually this from too much plant food or from using water that has passed through a water softener. You can make sure to dilute your plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength and never use water for any houseplants that has passed through a water softener. Drench the soil with some distilled water and feed less often.


  • If you want to control my size or shape, use pruners or scissors with a sharp, clean blade. You can remove entire leaves be cutting them off at the base of the leaf stem. You can remove the lower leaves if you want to reveal the plant’s stem. Wear gloves and wash your hands and tools when finished, you don’t want to get the sap in your eyes or mouth.
  • If you see dark green blotches, my leaves may be sick and eventually rot and die. The best way to prevent this sickness is to keep the leaves dry at all times, avoid overhead watering, and immediately remove any infected leaves.
  • If the leaves are turning pale green, I need more fertilizer or if the plant is getting too much bright light. You can try moving to an area where rays of sun will not hit the leaves directly.
  • The leaves tend to face towards the ray of light , so good idea to rotate the plant on a regular basis.
  • Make sure I am not being burned by harsh, direct sun.
  • Use distilled water rather than tap water to prevent the build-up of minerals.