Philodendron Silver Sword, also known as Philodendron hastatum ‘Silver Sword’, is a stunning climbing Philodendron admired for its silvery-green leaves that give off an instant tropical feel in any room. As it grows and matures, its arrow-shaped leaves become elongated and tri-lobed, adding to its already impressive beauty.
Native to rainforests across South America, Philodendron Silver Sword has become increasingly popular as a houseplant. However, it is important to note that, like all Philodendrons, it is considered toxic to both pets and humans if ingested.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to care for Philodendron Silver Sword, including planting, propagating, and proper maintenance.
Philodendron Silver Sword thrives in bright, indirect light. Choose a spot directly next to a sunny window, but avoid prolonged exposure to harsh, direct sunlight if possible. A lack of light can result in lackluster-looking leaves and leggy, stunted growth.
Philodendron Silver Sword needs an airy soil mix that retains some moisture but drains well. You can find soil mixes designed for aroids online or at specialty plant shops, or you can easily make your own. Combine equal parts indoor potting soil, perlite, and orchid bark mix for a chunky, rich soil mix.
Keep the plant well-watered, especially during the spring and summer. The soil should stay evenly moist, but not soggy. Allow the top inch of soil to dry slightly between waterings and then water well. Always allow the excess water to drain from the pot’s drainage holes to avoid drowning the roots and causing root rot.
Temperature and Humidity
Philodendron Silver Sword appreciates warm temperatures and medium to high humidity. Standard household temperatures are usually ideal, but do not expose the plant to any extreme fluctuations or temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15 degrees Celsius) for an extended period of time. If you want to encourage lush, healthy growth, increasing the humidity around your plant is a great way to do so. Try grouping it with other houseplants, placing it on a pebble tray filled with water, or putting it near a humidifier to provide it with the humidity it needs.
During the active growing period in spring and summer, apply a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength once every two to four weeks during watering. Stop fertilizing in the fall and winter when the plant enters dormancy.
Philodendron Silver Sword is most easily propagated by stem cuttings. Compared to some houseplants, this Philodendron is relatively simple to propagate and you should begin to see results within just a couple of weeks. Here’s how to propagate Philodendron Silver Sword in a few simple steps:
- Using a pair of pruning shears or scissors, take one or more stem cuttings from a healthy and mature Philodendron Silver Sword. Each cutting should have at least one node along the stem, with between two to four being the ideal amount. Single-node cuttings tend to be riskier and have a greater failure rate than cuttings with multiple nodes.
- Remove the bottom one to two leaves from each cutting, ensuring there is at least one leaf left on the cutting (unless it’s a single node cutting, in which case it should have no leaves).
- Fill a small glass jar or container with room temperature water and place the cuttings in the water, ensuring the bottom nodes are submerged while the remaining leaves sit above the surface.
- Place the cuttings in a warm location that receives medium to bright indirect light. Refresh the water once every one to two weeks. You should see new roots starting to grow within two to three weeks. Once the roots are at least an inch long, the cuttings can be planted in soil.
- Fill a small plastic or terracotta pot with a chunky, well-draining soil mix and plant the freshly rooted cuttings. Water well.
- Return the newly potted cuttings to a warm, bright location. For the first one to two weeks, ensure that you keep the soil evenly moist without letting it dry out at all to help the roots acclimate from water to soil. Then, slowly begin to resume a regular watering schedule.
Potting & Repotting
Philodendron Silver Sword should be repotted once every one to two years or whenever it outgrows its previous potting container. Roots growing from the pot’s drainage holes or those circling the inside of the pot are both indications that the plant is ready to be repotted. Ideally, repotting should be done during the active growing period, i.e., the spring and summer months.
Pests & Diseases
Keep an eye out for pests like mealybugs, scale, thrips, and fungus gnats. If your plant is affected, treat it with neem oil or an insecticide as soon as possible to prevent as much damage as possible.
Philodendron Silver Sword is susceptible to bacterial leaf spot diseases, which present as small, brown, or rust-colored dots on the leaves of the plant that are persistent and difficult to get rid of. Fungal diseases can also spread easily, so be sure to isolate an affected plant from other houseplants as soon as possible. Treat bacterial leaf spot infections with a fungicidal spray.
Yellow Leaves: A lack of light, underwatering, overwatering, pests, or too much light can cause yellow leaves. Closely examine its growing environment to know for sure what is causing your plant’s leaves to yellow.
Brown Spots: Brown spots on a Philodendron Silver Sword are usually a result of fungal infections, a lack of humidity, or leaf burn. Keep the plant away from drafty air vents and direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn.
Philodendron Silver Sword is a stunning, easy-to-care-for plant but requires the right conditions to thrive, such as bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and consistent moisture. When properly maintained and cared for, this climbing Philodendron can add instant tropical vibes to any room it’s placed in!