How to keep your philodendrons alive - gardenstead Skip to content
philodendron plant

How to keep your philodendrons alive

philodendron plant

Let us start by stating that there are LOTS of factors that would cause your philodendron to struggle, as well as various environment conditions that will affect the care for your philodendron.

The tips and advice that we are sharing with you are all based on what we’ve experienced with our own philodendrons as well as some information we have gathered through the plant community.

Here are some tips on identifying and caring for your philodendron when it comes to some common issues:

Yellowing leaves

Yellowing of leaves usually means that the plant is getting too much water. Philodendrons don’t respond well to constant wet feet when potted in soil. Allow the soil to dry between watering as too much moisture can cause root rot which will then affect the entire plant.

Root rot can occur for different reasons:

  • Sudden overwatering after leaving the plant dry for too long
  • Watering already moist soil
  • Improper transferring of a plant from water/leca to soil
Tips to avoid overwatering:
  • Check for dry soil by sticking your finger into the soil 2 inches in and feel if it’s dry
  • Check for dry soil by feel if the soil is dry when you lift the plant and it is lighter than when it has absorbed lots of water
  • Bottom-water to encourage the roots to grow downwards as well as allowing the plant to absorb only as much water as it needs rather than drowning it from the top
  • Make sure your pots have drainage holes to get rid of excess water
  • Keep your philodendrons in smaller pots to make it easier for the roots to absorb all the water from the soil
Browning tips

If your philodendron has turned yellow, but you are not overwatering it then maybe you are underwatering it instead. When the leaves turn yellow, start to wilt and the tips start to turn brown and crispy, you need to give your thirsty philodendron a good drink.

Philodendrons are forgiving, but don’t push it as they might get shocked if you fully water them after leaving them thirsty for too long. Try to create a watering routine. Typically once a week keeps them happy, but you might have to adjust the number of days based on how hot or cold it is in your philodendron’s environment.

If you have a watering-routine and you know for sure that you are not underwatering your plants, then you might want to check if the water you are using is high in chlorine. If it is high in chlorine, you can either use filtered water, rain water or diluted fish tank water.


The browning and dying of the plant tips for when the plant doesn’t get enough water means the plant does not have water flow from the roots to the stem and all the way to the tips of the leaves, the plant decides to conserve that water and closes it’s pores where the water is scarce. When the pores close the leaf dies and that is where our yellowing and brown crispy leaf tips show up!

Burnt leaves

Brown patches on the leaves are signs of too much sun. The poor philodendron got sunburned! We all want to provide our plants as much sun as we can and sometimes we only have that one window that gets sun and sadly it’s burning our plants.

Bleached looking leaves

When plants suddenly change their environment they can go into shock. If a plant was living in a shaded area for a few months then suddenly moved to a south facing window, those leaves will be overloaded with sunlight and lose their color.

If the leaves are a mix of yellow and white, then you might want to water the plant as it is probably dried up from too much sun. Move the plant a bit further from the sun. Don’t worry, philodendrons can tolerate lower light.

Tips on softening that harsh direct sunlight:
  • Add a nice sheer curtain to break up that hot sunlight
  • Move your plant a bit further from the window
  • Place a plant that is more sun friendly in front of you philodendron
Pest Damage leaves

If you’ve assessed your plant and ruled out the common issues above, then you might want to look at the stems and under the leaves. Your plant might have bugs.

For more details on fighting houseplant pests, check out this article.

We hope this article was able to help you and your philodendrons out! If there are any other questions or clarifications regarding your plant, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we will try our best to assist you with your plant problems :).

yellow petaled flower by elias sorey unsplash

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