How to Propagate Philodendrons

how-to-propagate-philodendrons

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Philodendrons are tropical plants. This means, among other things, they will NOT survive outside when it gets cold. If you live in a tropical area, I imagine you could plop these babies in your garden bed, and they’d be happy campers year-round. The rest of us have to treat them as indoor house plants or outdoor potted plants during the summer.

Philodendrons are among the easiest houseplants to grow, keep alive, and propagate. Even a forgetful or somewhat neglectful person can successfully keep a philodendron alive and well.

Let me put it this way: they don’t even need dirt! Dirt! They can live forever in a jar of water. Trust me on this one.

I LOVE to encourage discouraged newbie gardeners when/if they experience a gardening “failure.” You might see me reply to a comment with something like, “Take heart. That’s how you learn. Failures, if embraced and learned from, are really the seeds of what turns a failed gardener into a seasoned and experienced gardener.”

However, if you make even the slightest attempt to keep a philodendron alive, but you SOMEHOW manage to kill it … {sigh} you and me … we need to have a talk. :)

If you want to purchase a philodendron at your local home and garden store and propagate (create baby plants from it) it, here’s how you’d propagate the plant.

Follow These Simple Steps to Propagate Philodendrons:

  1. Cut about 6 inches off one of the plant stems (and about 1/4″ below a node – little bumps on the stem);
  2. Remove all but one or two end leaves;
  3. Place the cutting into a jar of water;
  4. Make sure AT LEAST 1, preferably more, node is immersed in the water; and
  5. Place in indirect sunlight in a warm room (not the garage in the winter time).

Within 4 to 6 weeks, if you look REAL closely, you’ll see roots growing from the nodes. After you have some good roots growing, you can plant it in potting soil, or just keep it in water. They can live for what seems like forever in just water, which is what I’m recommending for this post, a post for a gardener newbie. I’ve kept them in water so long that the roots just kept growing and growing … and growing … and growing.

philodendron-jars

While the cutting is in a water jar, periodically check the waterline. As the plant grows, the roots will consume water, and there’s also the evaporation factor. Make sure the roots are always immersed in water. When the water gets cloudy, dump and replenish with fresh water.

One problem I had was trying to keep my cutting from falling out of the container of water. I kept trying to prop the leaf up against another object to keep the heavy leaf from causing the cutting to topple out of the container. I was using a short glass drinking cup. When I moved the cutting to a tall spice jar with a small opening/mouth, the problem was solved. Everything was balanced and happy.

Here are similar – but different! – containers to what I have:

(affiliate link)

(affiliate links)

(affiliate links)

On February 1st, I cut the stem from the parent plant. The below images show the root growth over a period of a couple months.

philodendron-root-growth

A Few Notes:

  • I made my cut way too short, but I was mostly doing an experiment to see how long it would take for the roots to appear, etc., etc.
  • I ended up cutting the extra stem below the nodes. You only need to keep about 1/4″ below your last node.
  • Everyone says to place the cutting in INDIRECT light. I always place mine near my kitchen window where it gets a very short period of time, due to all the trees, direct sunlight.
  • In case you’re wondering, no, olive oil is not needed to propagate philodendrons. I was looking around the house for jars with narrow mouths/openings for the photo, and this one fit the bill. It already had oil in it.

If you’re reading this post via email, the affiliate link images for the containers may not appear in the email. Here are text links:

Ball Jar Heritage Collection Pint Jars with Lids and Bands. 1 jar per order (affiliate link)

Watering Can Mason Jar Holder (affiliate link)

Mason Jar Flower Frog Weathered (affiliate link)

RSVP Individual Clear Glass Spice Jars – Set of 12 (affiliate link)

Anchor Hocking 980R Presence Cruet With Stopper (affiliate link)

This was shared on the following blog hops and link-ups:
Homestead Barn Hop
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19 comments to How to Propagate Philodendrons

  • This is a well thought out post! So much information that even I feel like I can go and propagate the rhododendrons in my yard. thanks so much for sharing.

  • Sandra

    I’ve got a philodendron that really needs some thinning out, so this was a very timely and helpful post. Thanks!

  • Tina

    I bought one a couple of years ago that was beat almost to death with hail and propagated it. I wound up with philodendron everywhere! They are truly that easy to grow. I have been lazy and even still have one growing in the water like you show here. Great post to save a couple of dollars and still be able to have awesome plants around the house.

  • Robert

    The only problem with this is the plant that you propagated in the photographs is not a Philodendron. It’s in the same family(Araceae), but it’s an Epipremnum aureum. If you tried to propagate any climbing or self-heading Philodendron in water, 95% of them will rot and die after a few days to a week. Velvet types will be toast in a couple. There are quite a few true Philodendrons, like P. hederaceum sold as house plants that could be confused with an Epipremnum and will rot. THey are too easy to propagate doing a simple layer or taking cuttings. If you need an ID, try The International Aroid Society or an Aroid or Philodendron group on Facebook for a faster response.

    • BARBARA JONES

      Thank you, Robert. I was wondering why mine would never root and just rot. You are absolutely correct..,what’s pictured is NOT Philodendron. I hadn’t really looked at the pics. Will go back and search the correct way to propagate.

  • Hello Dear,
    Your webpage is way to wonderful to say the least. Thank you! I wonder if you have tried to start roots via potting soil? Person’s say how to do so but the amount to put the end in soil is not talked about. Thus, not knowing this I am forced to experiment with undesirable results. Thank you again and please contact me through my email. David

  • Gabrielle

    Should you put something in the center that they can grow up? Like they are sold? If so what could i use? I just potted mine after propagating in water

    • Holly

      It’s a matter of preference. A lot of people like to have them grow without any support, draped over the pot and growing along the top of a counter top or work desk.

      It’s hard to go wrong with philodendrons. :)

  • Vicki

    I recently trimmed my plans and now the stems are dripping water. IS there anything I can do to stop this?

  • Barbara Budde

    Love growing these plants in water but I am getting brown spots on some of the leaves. Do you have aNY ideas? Thanks

  • Keri

    Very helpful and useful information! Thank you for the post :)

  • Amber Riedy

    Hi Holly,
    I love this, thanks for all the help propagating my Philodendron. My mother gave me instructions over the phone but I forget them. One thing I did differently that may help you the next time was I take the cuttings, hold them in a vase and fill the vase halfway with those decorative glass beads, then fill with water. The beads hold the cuttings in place.

  • Kathy Moravec

    I think I overwatered my philodendron, plus it was root bound. I repotted it and have about 5 “trailers”-so I am thinking of trying to root them for new plants..any suggestions?

  • Kelly Heinz

    Aren’t your pictures Pothos plants?

  • Thank you for the great article as we are beginners that really love our plants. My question is : will it be possible to save a really long leg (7feet) that has grown away from the main plant/pot. The leg has about 2-4 feet unused stem and a ton of healthy leaves at the last 2 feet. We want to separate it from the pot and remove the dead/dry/unhealthy first 2-4 feet while saving the last 2 feet that are healthy and full of leaves. Is this possible? Any advice is welcome and appreciated as we are so happy that we saved this beauty from near peril a few years ago.

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