Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Heart Leaf Philodendron
Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Philodendron (fil-oh-DEN-dron) (Info)
Species: hederaceum var. oxycardium

Synonym:Philodendron cordatum
Synonym:Philodendron scandens

47 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Vines and Climbers

over 40 ft. (12 m)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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16 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MsMarty On Jun 15, 2010, MsMarty from Houston, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love this plant. I usually leave my potted plants outside for the winter but the past winter (2009) Houston got snow and cold just like everyone else. I had my heart leaf hanging up high in the shade of the balcony upstairs so nothing fell on it's head but it was just too cold for it. I am looking to acquire another one. cuttings or a real plant... doesn't matter.

Positive trinawitch On Aug 31, 2009, trinawitch from Canton,IL &Dent County, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very profuse spreader, had to use a crow bar to get it "Unstuck" from between the boards on my deck. I have been growing these for a long time and just love them....very easy to multiply and give to for the "Poisonous" part, I had one that was mounded to almost a foot and trailers all over at least 6 feet long, we left for the weekend and my cat ate the entire thing....never did get sick or anything, in fact the little bigger seemed to walk around the house laughing at me over it, however my chiuahua ate just 2 leaves off of one recently and was sick for 3 days over I am guessing it depends on the size and type of animal ( cat weighed 32 pounds & dog only 3 pounds)

Neutral atm1 On Jul 20, 2009, atm1 from Detroit, MI wrote:

Has anyone else notice this plant will drop pieces of itself? It's not a big dea because the pieces will root, but it's something to keep an eye on, I guess.

Neutral lupa79 On Apr 11, 2009, lupa79 from Weymouth, MA wrote:

Would anyone happen to know just how poisonous this plant is to say, cats? Thanks

Positive ExoticRainforest On Apr 3, 2008, ExoticRainforest from Siloam Springs, AR wrote:

Scientifically, Philodendron scandens is simply Philodendron hederaceum. In fact this entire list of plants previously thought to be separate species are now considered synonyms of P. hederaceum: Philodendron acrocardium, Philodendron cuspidatum, Philodendron deviatum, Philodendron harlowii, Philodendron hoffmannii, Philodendron jacquinii, Philodendron microphyllum, Philodendron micans, Philodendron miduhoi,
Philodendron oxycardium, Philodendron pittieri, Philodendron scandens, and the cultivar sold as Philodendron 'Brazil'.

Dr. Tom Croat of the Missouri Botanical Garden exchanged that information with a large number of serious aroid collectors early last year. Dr. Croat is the leading authority on aroids in the United States. You can verify this information by going to either the International Plant Names Index, The Royal Botanical Garden Kew in London website, or the Missouri Botanical Garden website, TROPICOS. These plants do not remain small in the rain forest and may produce leaves up to 16 inches in length. They may also be velvet, glossy, or matte through a phenomenon known as variation. Several articles can be found on the internet explaining the details of why all the plants are truly only a single species. But Philodendron hederaceum is a species that has many "faces" and sizes. All of these species are found naturally only in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. None exist naturally in the Pacific or Asia.

Positive Kenotia On May 2, 2007, Kenotia from Bedford, TX wrote:

Very hardy, but doesn't like direct Texas sun too much. My plant has survived a lively wedding reception, 28 hours from Utah to Texas in a crammed car, hail storms, underwatering and too much sun without much of a complaint. It branches easily if you pinch off new growth, but this makes it tangle in on itself occasionally. Just trim the offending branches and plant those to make more!

As an interesting aside note, P. scandens can be used to help filter an aquarium, as it will help remove nitrate from the tank water. It seems to do worse submerged in freshwater aquariums than it's look-alike, the Pothos (E. aureum). Plants tend to rot quickly if submerged completely, but will happily dip it's trailing branches into the water and grow out long roots if a majority of the plant is kept above the water's surface. The roots make a good hideout for shy or newly hatched fish.

Positive additsch On Jun 19, 2006, additsch from Galesburg, IL wrote:

I recieved this beautiful plant when my husband's grandfather passed away 2 years ago and we've cut it back twice to give to other family members because it grows so well. I'm interested to know if I can place the plant outside on our deck? We just moved to Illinois from Kansas where the plant grew exceptionally well, but I can't tell if it will survive the move or not. I don't have an ideal spot for it to spread out like I had in my previous home, so I'm hoping I can find some help on here. Thanks!

Positive Upir On Feb 15, 2006, Upir from Jupiter, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

My sister got this tiny little viney plant in a gift basket last year, with three tendrils, each about eight inches long, then neglected it for several months. It didn't wilt, but, being the gardener in my family, I felt bad for the little thing, so I asked her for it. I relocated it into a small pot... WOAH. The thing took of like there was no tomorrow! Now inside a large basket, it is a very attractive hanging plant in my dining room, and shows no signs of slowing its growth. Absolutely the easiest thing I've ever taken care of, but it is such a rewarding plant! Cheap, hearty, and a beautiful attraction, I'm not surprised to see them all over libraries, classrooms, and offices.

Positive KiMFDiM On Aug 30, 2005, KiMFDiM from Alden, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Grows well in the northeast. I keep it outside in the shade all summer long, occasional misting. In fall, it comes inside where it can rest. This is a fast grower and very easy to care for. Will stand a little neglect.

Positive Sunshine_Queen On Jan 24, 2005, Sunshine_Queen from Bethlehem, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I absolutely love these "viney" plants. I have had great success with them. They are so easy to care for. I am a single mother with two very active children..Finding time to water plants is a low priority on my "to do" list..I have them located in different locations throughout the house..Some in Sunny locations, others in a lower light environment..they are all robust, thriving and hardy looking. I usually feed them a liquid fertilizer once a month along with a nice rinse off of the ole' leaves. I recommend this type of plant to just about anyone..Green Thumb or not Green Thumb..THUMBS UP!

Positive CharlesF On Jan 3, 2005, CharlesF from Houston, TX wrote:

These plants can get quite large. After seeing this plant (or something like it) growing wild in the forest on a hike in Venezuela, I thought to take some of the smaller houseplant variety (in a hanging pot, purchased years before at the supermarket) and plant it in the garden in Houston. I figured it wouldn't survive the occasional freezes we get, but the cutting took off climbing up the palm trees in the yard. Every year the leaves grew bigger and it now has climbed up about 15 feet, and the leaves are up to 18 inches long. We has a light snow over Christmas which nipped some of the other plants in the yard, but not the philodendron. I suspect now that it is the same large plant that I saw growing wild, it just needs to escape the confines of a container. Makes me wonder if it could be a problem if turned loose in a subtropical environment like Houston. Fortunately mine is a constrained area next to the swimming pool. Does anyone have any idea just how big it can get?

Positive neelo1600 On Nov 24, 2004, neelo1600 from Cleveland, OH wrote:

I've had the same plant for three years, and at one time had it growing from ceiling to floor and back up to the ceiling.

A very very interesting side note is that this plant will readily grow in an aquarium. If you take a fresh cutting that has at least 4 leaves on it, it will sprout several new areas of merstimatic tissue and begin growing more leaves. It then puts roots all the way down to the bottom of the tank. I have several cuttings in a large aquarium in my livingroom and they so far have not become waterlogged or rotted but have done amazingly well.

Positive Kim_M On Nov 14, 2004, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant lives forever. My mother has one she has for over 30 years. I've had mine for years too.

Positive slazik On Oct 21, 2003, slazik from Lahore
Pakistan wrote:

In Pakistan and India, Philodendron scandens is called "Money Plant". It like humidity; in hot areas it can't bear full sun. It also works well as an indoor plant.

Positive suncatcheracres On Sep 14, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I've been growing this plant for about five years. My cutting originally came from a pretty plant in a mortgage broker's office! It is a nice deep green, with absolutely no variegation.

When the vines get too long I cut them, strip all but the top leaves, and put them in water in pretty vases on my kitchen sink windowsill, where they get a lot of northern light and humidity. They set roots quickly, and I pot them up in big, fast-food, plastic drink cups, with holes punched in the bottom. That way the little new plants are easy to carry in the car in a drink holder when I bring them to give away to other people.

Positive blue5lovely On Sep 11, 2003, blue5lovely wrote:

I live in Washington state (U.S.); during the Fall months (only when temps are approximately 60*F ) I put mine out in the rain.

It really seems to thrive; during the summer months once every 2 weeks I put the plant in the shower and give it a cool 5- 10 minute soft spray.

I enjoy this plant because it is one that I can not seem to kill. That's a plus in my book!

Positive berrygirl On Aug 30, 2003, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have a Heart Leaf Philodendron, and it is my favorite houseplant. If I can make it thrive, it must be a tough plant. I have had it in sun and shade. If it gets too long, snip it off and repot the cuttings to make more plants. I water when the top inch of soil is dry, about every two weeks.

Positive roof57mi On Jul 3, 2003, roof57mi from columbia, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have a Philodendron that I recently purchased and it is very striking. The tag read Philodendron cordatum

It is one of the most unusal Philodendrons I have seen; the leaves are a much deeper green, and have a shiny, velvety look and feel to them, which makes the veins of the leaves much more prnonounced.

Neutral tiredwabbit On Aug 8, 2001, tiredwabbit from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Likes to be misted every once in a while.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mesa, Arizona
Ben Lomond, California
Merced, California
North Highlands, California
Pueblo, Colorado
Bartow, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Braselton, Georgia
Loganville, Georgia
Metter, Georgia
Canton, Illinois
Galesburg, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Richmond, Maine
Alden, New York
Asheville, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Lucasville, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ulysses, Pennsylvania
Clarksville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Bedford, Texas
Broaddus, Texas
Houston, Texas (3 reports)
Hurst, Texas
Portsmouth, Virginia
Spokane, Washington

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