Philodendron scandens – Sweetheart Vine

Philodendron scandens, the Sweetheart Vine, is a prolific climber when conditions are right. Usually it has dark green, glossy, heart-shaped leaves, but other variations are available. The plants are evergreen and are best trained up moss-covered supports as they produce aerial roots. They usually live quite happily in a living room and are seen at their best when mixed with other foliage plants.

Philodendron scandens - Sweetheart Vine


  • Growing season 15-22 °C (60-72 °F)
  • Minimum winter 13 °C (55 °F)

Soil: A well-drained soil-less compost. Where to position: It can manage on minimal light, but some sunlight is beneficial in winter. Always protect from hot summer sun.

Watering requirements: Soft or rainwater to keep the soil moist and springy to thumb pressure. Avoid water on leaves. It is a high humidity plant. Spray daily in hot dry weather, weekly at other times but never in cold weather.

General care: Being a fast growing climber, it needs something to climb on like string or trellis ; but cane rods wrapped in moss for the aerial roots to grip are much better and look more attractive. To restrain growth, pinch off top shoots, forcing it to branch. Plants are often sold under-potted, so a transfer to a larger pot and richer compost will be beneficial. After re-potting, maintain soil moisture with just tepid water for a couple of months, then give well-diluted liquid fertilizer weekly.

Rest: No marked rest period; no special routine.

When it looks sick:

  • Flagging and curling leaves and weak, soft stems : Check soil condition and if dry, water the plant. The same condition may result from over-watering or over-feeding. In each case cease to do either, resuming watering only when the soil condition has been corrected.
  • The same symptom may occur even though the watering has been corrected and the plant not overfed : This indicates that it needs re-potting in a larger pot.
  • A tired, dusty appearance : Insufficient spraying. Increase this and the plant will respond.

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