Heartleaf philodendrons (Philodendron hederaceum) are native to Central and South America and the West Indies. Another name that many people call this plant is the “sweetheart plant” due to its heart-shaped leaves. While generally easy to care for, appropriate light conditions are crucial for these plants to thrive indoors. In this guide, we will take you through everything you need to know about Heartleaf Philodendron light requirements.
- How Much Light Do Heartleaf Philodendron Plants Need? – The Essentials
- A Brief Overview of the Role Light Plays in Plant Health, Growth, Why It’s Important.
- Typical Light Conditions Heartleaf Philodendron Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats.
- Signs Your Heartleaf Philodendron Is Receiving Too Much Light
- Signs Your Heartleaf Philodendron Isn’t Receiving Enough Light
- The Best Light Exposure for Heartleaf Philodendron Grown Indoors
- Heartleaf Philodendron Light Requirements FAQs:
- Wrapping Up
How Much Light Do Heartleaf Philodendron Plants Need? – The Essentials
Heartleaf philodendrons require medium to bright indirect sunlight. Ensure that no direct sunlight touches your plant, as this can cause yellowing or scorched leaves. Your plant will survive in low lighting conditions but will not grow as well. Too little light will result in leggy or long stems.
A Brief Overview of the Role Light Plays in Plant Health, Growth, Why It’s Important.
Sunlight plays a vital role in plants’ photosynthesis. Photosynthesis occurs when plants use water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide to create oxygen and energy stored in glucose molecules.
The tiny organelles inside your plant, called chloroplasts, store the sun’s energy during photosynthesis. Within chloroplasts, you find a light-absorbing pigment called chlorophyll, and these pigments are responsible for giving plants leaves their green color. They absorb energy from the blue and red light waves given off by the sun, and they reflect the green-light waves, which is why plants appear green.
Plants, therefore, need sunlight to photosynthesize, and they need to photosynthesize to produce the sugars they use as their food. Without sunlight, plants would not survive as they would be unable to grow.
Light Terminology Explained:
Depending on the plant, they will need differing amounts of sunlight. Here are some explanations of the different degrees of sunlight:
- Direct sunlight: full sunlight that is directly on the plant; to experience full sunlight, place your plant near a south-facing window
- Partial sunlight: this is when a plant receives direct sunlight for only a few hours a day, either in the evenings or mornings; the best position to achieve this kind of lighting is when you position a plant close to the west or east-facing windows
- Indirect sunlight: this is when you set your plant so that it is just out of direct sunlight, but it is still receiving bright light; the best place for your plant to receive this type of light is a few feet away from a south-facing window
- Filtered sunlight: this is when you place a plant behind a sheer or lace curtain or shade-cloth; this way, the plant receives the sunlight through a filter
- Low light: this is when the plant is entirely in the shade; it is best to place your plant in a north-facing window if you wish for low-lighting; although low-lighting conditions can often depend on the amount or size of windows in a particular room
Typical Light Conditions Heartleaf Philodendron Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats.
Heartleaf philodendron’s natural habitats are the tropical rainforests of Central and South America and the West Indies.
The light these plants would naturally receive in rainforests is primarily bright indirect sunlight, protected from the direct sunlight by the rainforest canopy’s foliage. In some cases, they might also grow in low-lighting conditions if the rainforest canopy gets too thick.
Signs Your Heartleaf Philodendron Is Receiving Too Much Light
If your Heartleaf philodendron receives too much sunlight, you will notice some distinguishing factors. These factors include your plant leaves looking scorched, browning or crisping at the edges, or beginning to yellow. Your plant’s leaves will also start to wilt.
Signs Your Heartleaf Philodendron Isn’t Receiving Enough Light
If your heartleaf philodendron is not receiving enough sunlight, you may notice your plant’s stems growing leggy or long with several inches between its leaves. It can also result in stunted growth. You may also need to repot your Heartleaf Philodendron if it has outgrown its current potting vessel or is starting to look a little leggy.
The Best Light Exposure for Heartleaf Philodendron Grown Indoors
Due to their easy-growing nature, Heartleaf philodendrons can be grown in a wide range of lighting conditions. The main thing you need to watch out for (alongside appropriate soil, and watering cycles) when taking care of your plant is that you do not place it in an area that receives too much direct sunlight. Heartleaf philodendrons cannot handle direct sunlight, with their leaves showing scorching and other adverse side effects.
Heartleaf philodendrons grow optimally in medium to bright indirect sunlight. You can place them a few feet away from a south-facing window, giving them perfect bright indirect sunlight.
You can also place them within a few feet from the east or west-facing window. This position will provide them with good indirect bright light in either the mornings or the afternoons, protecting them from the harshness of the midday sunlight.
Suppose you do not have the appropriate lighting for your Heartleaf philodendron. In that case, you could consider installing a mixture of descent fluorescent and incandescent light, which should give your plant a bit more of a lighting boost.
They will also survive in low lighting conditions, although their growth might be slightly stunted or slow. You might also find that their stems grow a bit leggy or long in these situations.
Further reading: see where I position my heartleaf philodendron for optimal care and feng shui benefits.
Heartleaf Philodendron Light Requirements FAQs:
Can Heartleaf Philodendron Live in Low Light?
Heartleaf philodendron can survive in low lighting conditions. However, you will probably find that your plant does not grow optimally in these lighting conditions. Your plant could become stunted, and the stem might become slightly leggy.
Can Heartleaf Philodendron Plants Take Full Sun?
You should avoid placing your Heartleaf philodendron in full sunlight. Direct sunlight can result in scorched leaves, leaves that have gone crisp and brown on the edges, or yellowing leaves.
What Kind of Light Do Heartleaf Philodendron Plants Need?
Heartleaf philodendron plants require medium to bright indirect sunlight. Placing them a few feet away from a south-facing window is the optimum position as long as you make sure that no direct sunlight touches their leaves.
They will also manage well placed a few feet away from the east or west-facing window. This way, they will receive good indirect sunlight either in the morning or evening.
Will Heartleaf Philodendron Live Happily Indoors?
Heartleaf philodendrons are perfect candidates for indoor growing. They are effortless to care for, grow well in most lighting conditions, and are suitable for incandescent or fluorescent lighting. Heartleaf philodendrons grow optimally in the same temperature range as most people do, and this is another reason these plants are so well suited to indoor growth.
How Do You Know if Your Heartleaf Philodendron Is Getting Enough Light?
You will know that your Heartleaf philodendron is getting enough light if it is growing well. A happy plant will produce leaves between 2 – 4 inches long, and you will be able to see it is thriving.
Heartleaf philodendrons require medium to bright indirect sunlight. The best places to place them in your home would be a few feet away from the west, east, or south-facing window, always ensuring no direct sunlight touches their leaves. They will also happily grow in low lighting conditions, but this might cause them to have stunted or leggy growth.
For more, see our in-depth guide to the best types of philodendron to grow as houseplants.