How to Propagate a Philodendron 2 Ways

closeup of heartleaf philodendron in a red ceramic pot on white plate

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 10 mins
  • Total Time: 2 - 4 wks
  • Skill Level: Beginner

One of the most common varieties of trailing philodendron is also the easiest to propagate. Philodendron hederaceum, also called heart-leaf philodendron or sweetheart plant, is known for its elegant heart-shaped leaves and trailing growth habit. This low-maintenance houseplant thrives in a range of conditions indoors, and it's easy to propagate by rooting stem cuttings in water or soil. Here's how to propagate philodendron in just a few simple steps.

When to Propagate Philodendron

The best time to propagate philodendron is in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. If your plant is looking long and leggy, it may be time for pruning, which is also best done in spring or summer. You can use the portions you prune away to propagate new plants. It's possible to propagate philodendron in fall or winter, but it may take longer for your cuttings to grow roots. Only take cuttings from a healthy, mature plant to avoid harming the mother plant or spreading disease or pests.

Types of Philodendron

The genus Philodendron contains hundreds of different species. Many of them are trailing philodendrons with heart-shaped leaves that grow on long vines. The others are self-heading philodendrons, including Philodendron 'Birkin', Philodendron 'Congo Rojo', and Philodendron 'Pink Princess', which grow upright from a thick central stem rather than sending out vines.

You can use the propagation methods below on trailing philodendrons, including velvet leaf philodendron, Philodendron 'Brasil', and Philodendron brandtianum.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Propagating in Water:

  • Scissors or pruning shears
  • Glass or jar

Propagating in Soil:

  • Scissors or pruning shears


Propagating in Water:

  • Water
  • Potting mix
  • Small plant pot

Propagating in Soil:

  • Potting mix
  • Small plant pot
  • Rooting hormone (optional)


How to Propagate Philodendron in Water

  1. Take Cuttings

    Choose a few healthy stems with several leaves on the mother plant. Using clean, sharp pruners or scissors, take six-inch cuttings, cutting just below a leaf node. Remove the leaves from the bottom (cut) half of the stem.

  2. Put Cuttings in Water

    Place the cuttings in a glass or jar and add water so that all of the leaf nodes (the places where you removed the leaves) are submerged.

  3. Monitor the Cuttings

    Put the jar in a warm place with bright, indirect light. Change the water if it gets cloudy. Keep an eye out for small white roots growing from the nodes on the stem. Roots may appear in a week or so, but it may take three or four weeks until the cutting is ready to be planted.

  4. Plant the Cuttings

    When roots are at least one inch long, you can plant them in soil. Fill a small plant pot with potting soil so the top of the soil is about an inch from the rim of the pot, then moisten the soil.

    Use your finger to poke a hole in the pot for each cutting. Plant each cutting in the soil so that all roots are below the soil line, gently patting the soil around each stem to hold it in place. Keep the soil evenly moist for the first week or so, then care for the plant as usual.

How to Propagate Philodendron in Soil

  1. Take Cuttings

    Pick out a few healthy stems with several leaves growing from the mother plant. Take cuttings that are about six inches long. Remove the leaves on the lower half of the cuttings.

  2. Prepare the Pot

    Fill the pot up to an inch below the rim with potting mix. Moisten the potting mix with water. Poke holes a few inches deep in the soil for each cutting.

  3. Plant the Cuttings

    Plant each cutting in the soil so that each node (the spots where you removed the leaves) is below the soil surface. Use your fingers to gently pat down the soil around each cutting to hold it in place.

  4. Monitor the Cuttings

    Put the pot in a warm, humid place with bright, indirect light. Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. After a few weeks, give the cuttings a gentle tug. If there's resistance, that means the cutting has rooted. You can also watch for new leaf growth on the cuttings, which also indicates rooting. You should see new growth in anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month depending on conditions in your space and the time of year.