Propagating and growing a heartleaf philodendron in water (5-step guide)

The Heartleaf philodendron is one of the rare houseplants that you can propagate and grow in the water while still producing a magnificent bush. It tends to save you the trouble of potting and repotting or dealing with different types of soils, drainage, pH, aeration, and other troublesome issues that house plant owners worry about daily. Furthermore, if you need to pot it at a point in its life, the plant will continue thriving into its hallmark’s graceful trailers.

To propagate and grow a Heartleaf Philodendron in water, follow these simple steps:

  1. Snip a three or four-inch long vine with nodes from an existing healthy philodendron.
  2. Dip the vine in a vase filled with warm water
  3. Keep it under indirect bright light
  4. Change the water once a week to keep it fresh
  5. Periodically trim and prune to get a shape and size

Propagating and growing the philodendrons in water appears easy. However, it is one of the most delicate growing procedures. The water must maintain particular conditions like temperature, fertility, and chemical composition to guarantee a robust growing philodendron.

Here is a detailed guide on how to successfully grow philodendron in water.

Here we go!

What You Will Need

Propagating and growing philodendron in water is a doable task for a plant amateur like us. However, it requires adequate preparation. Having the right materials helps you set up a water garden that thrives without demanding too much attention.

Listed below are the elements you need:

A vase, glass, or water-holding container: The size of the container determines its positioning around the house, the size of a plant you can grow, and the frequency of monitoring your houseplant. Since plants are grown for their beauty, you must also look for a beautiful vase.

Water: philodendrons draw their nutrients from the water. It must be enough to sustain a vibrantly growing bush. It must also not contain chemicals that would poison your houseplant or hinder its growth. Since you will be changing the water regularly, it must also maintain consistent composition.

Sharp scalpel, scissors, or shears: these cutting tools will help you to make a clean cut when harvesting the vines. A clean-cut will protect the mother plant from damage through blunt cuts and provide a vine that can grow roots faster. The cutting tool must be sterilized to avoid contaminating the water or cut vine.

Training equipment or mechanism: heartleaf philodendron usually grows into a bushy plant. Since water does not provide support, it will easily fall off the container. Training tools like strings, poles, or hooks on walls provide training points to keep the plant in shape.

The other requirements are conditions that enable your heartleaf philodendron to thrive like light, humidity, and fertility. Some of these requirements may not be tangible, but they determine how your plant eventually appears.

How To Trim a Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf philodendrons are robust growers that will provide all the vines you need to extract a cutting. The long vines also allow you to cut a young or old vine when you want to place it on water. Even vines that are a few days old can be used to grow a future bush.

Therefore, it is the manner of getting the vine that determines how fast and vigorously your propagated plant will grow. How do you choose the best heartleaf philodendron cutting?

  1. Pick the healthiest heartleaf philodendron plant. A healthy plant is free of diseases, pests, rickety growth, and produces a vibrant bush. It grows faster and will not disappoint when you are trying to grow your desired bush.
  2. It should not be too young or too old. Young vines may fail to survive the shock of cutting from the mother plant. An old vine may take time to sprout. However, it offers the advantage of producing more sprouts than younger ones.
  3. clean-cut vine produces the best results. Since rooting happens at the point where the vine is cut, poor cutting techniques affect the speed and chances of rooting. Poor cutting may also introduce diseases like root rot. It may even cause the death of the entire plant. Thus, use a sharp tool to cut the vine to increase the speed and chances of root development.
  4. It is suggested to include a node in the cutting, as shown below.

The cutting does not require any extra preparation. It is taken directly into water and will begin rooting in a few days. This growth explains why philodendrons are common houseplants.

How to Grow the Heartleaf Philodendron in Water

Heartleaf philodendron is one of the easiest plants to grow in water. You only need to drop a vine in water, and it will grow into a beautiful bush. However, not any water can support the heartleaf philodendron’s robust growth: the water used determines the beauty of your philodendron bush.

So, what will the vine require to thrive into a beautiful heartleaf plant?

Water Quality

Use natural water to grow your heartleaf philodendron. Rainwater and distilled water are the perfect options for your heartleaf philodendron. The presence of chemicals like chlorine or fluoride in the water inhibits the growth of your plant. Boiled or distilled water could also lack the natural nutrients the plant needs to thrive. Hence, maintain the quality and composition of the water used to avoid shocking your plant during change.


Heartleaf philodendron requires an environment with a lot of humidity. Luckily, the fact that you have planted it in water will reduce the need for misting or too much attention to humidity.

However, the design you have chosen to grow your heartleaf philodendron determines misting needs. For instance, if it flows like a fountain from a container placed at the top, the evaporating water goes up and does not get to the leaves. 

You might need to mist your heartleaf philodendron. Where the vines move upwards from the container, the water acts like a pebble tray to sustain the required amount of humidity. Sufficient humidity will result in larger and vibrant leaves.


The heartleaf philodendron loves warm areas with temperatures between 65ºF(18.3ºC) and 85ºF(29.4ºC). However, it will still thrive in lower and higher temperatures as long as the change is not drastic. Heartleaf philodendron can survive in temperatures as low as 50ºF(10ºC) at night or in winter. It will also manage temperatures as high as 95ºF(35ºC) when light and humidity are right.

Remember, low temperatures reduce the rate of growth and will cause your plant to stunt. When the temperatures are high, the leaves appear lusty and dull. High temperatures will also increase the frequency of changing water because of increased evaporation.


This plant thrives in a lot of indirect bright light. It is also known to bend in the direction of light. The plant will, therefore, require regular rotation so that leaves on all sides get sufficient light. While you provide light to your philodendron, keep it away from direct sun. The sun will scorch the leaves, causing them to lose their brilliance. In bright light, the leaves begin to turn yellow, and the entire plant may eventually die.


The heartleaf philodendron is a light feeder that can survive on the few nutrients found in water. The nutrients in the water will determine how well your plant grows. Liquid fertilizer is suitable for enriching the water used to grow heartleaf philodendron. However, overfeeding will scorch the roots and affect your plant’s growth—nutrient-rich soil results in deep-green, brilliant, and healthy leaves. You will have to add a drop of fertilizer every time you change the water.

Pruning and Training

The vibrant, growing vines are always looking for a place to attach. The vigorously growing wines will soon colonize the entire space. Pruning helps to keep the plant in shape and maintain the desired size. It will also become the source of vines used in propagation.

Pruning can be done at any time of the year because the plant grows vigorously throughout the year. Training is done using strings, wires, or poles. Hooks on walls may also be used to train the vines and create a vegetational spectacle indoor.


Philodendrons grown in water might never require repotting because roots will rarely outgrow the container. Changing the water every week and pruning control and reduce the growth rate of your philodendron. Repotting may only be necessary when you want to improve the aesthetics of the container used. You can change the container any time when draining the old water.

It is easier to grow the heartleaf philodendron than to kill it. This is a rare plant that can survive with neglect, whether on soil or in water. It makes the care and growing of heartleaf philodendron easy for beginners and extremely rewarding for seasoned houseplant owners.

To sum up, here are the key tips that will help you produce a gorgeous, heartleaf philodendron in water.

  • Check the water level in your container regularly. The water serves as a humidifier and a source of food. When grown in water, it consumes more water than normal, meaning that the level will soon fall. If the water level falls below the roots, they are exposed and will lead to the eventual damage of your plant.
  • Train the vines of your heartleaf philodendron to keep it in shape and healthy. Do not use tight strings because they will squeeze the stalks.
  • Add some fertilizer into the water to boost its fertility. Plain or distilled water may lack the necessary nutrients, leading to stunted growth or a colorless plant. Liquid fertilizer will result in a robustly growing plant that will produce vibrant leaves.

Potential Issues and Troubleshooting

You may encounter the following issues while propagating your heartleaf philodendron in water and here’s how to solve them:

  • Leaves turning yellow: this could be a sign that your heartleaf philodendron needs more light, so try moving it to a spot or room that gets more light.
  • Excessive mold in the vase: to prevent mold from forming in your vase, make sure to change the water regularly and clean the vase with a mild bleach solution to kill any lingering mold spores.
  • Not rooting: similar to leaves turning yellow, your heartleaf philodendron may not be getting enough light, so adjust its position in your home or move it to a brighter spot.

Moving a Heartleaf Philodendron Cutting from Water to Soil

Heartleaf philodendron loves comfort. When it begins to grow in water, it prefers to remain there. However, you can still transfer a fully grown heartleaf from water to the soil using simple steps.

  • The best time to transfer is during spring or summer when the weather is warm. Prepare a potting mix made of well-drained moist soil.
  • Place the root-filled stalk in an empty container and gently pour the soil so that the roots are spread.
  • Place the newly potted plant in a brightly lit spot but away from direct sunlight. It will appear to wilt for a week but will eventually regain its vibrance within days.

Frequently Asked Questions

For any other quick question go to our Philodendron Most Frequently Asked Questions Guide.

Is it better to propagate philodendron in soil or water?

Most people find it easier and faster to propagate philodendrons in water. However, in soil, the philodendron will be able to uptake more nutrients from the soil and will become stronger plants.

How long does it take philodendron to grow roots in the water?

You will begin to see roots within a week or two. However, give it a few more days for the roots to become stronger, especially if you are transferring the cutting into the soil.

How can I make my philodendron grow faster?

Add foliar into the water to boost nutrient quantity. You may also move the plant to a warm and brightly lit place. Changing the stale water also produces the same effect.

Can you put cuttings straight into the soil?

Yes. Ensure that the soil is moist and warm. The cutting will produce roots within two weeks and begin to sprout by the third week.

By now, you should have a better understanding of how to propagate and grow heartleaf philodendrons in water.It is worth the effort for these beautiful plants which make excellent houseplants with their distinctive leaves and interesting vines.

We hope that we can help you get your new plant off on the right foot by giving a few quick tips about caring for them in general as well as some specific ideas for propagating and growing them in hanging pots or containers where they will be easier to care for! Spread the word (or maybe just show your friends) so that more people are aware of this information resource.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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