how to get philodendron to climb

Encourage a Philodendron to Climb: Growth & Support

To successfully encourage a Philodendron to climb, you’ll need to follow a series of steps that involve providing the right support, proper care, and consistent maintenance. Here’s a detailed guide to help you achieve this:

Starting Steps:

  1. Choose a Climbing Variety: Not all Philodendrons are climbers. Select varieties like Philodendron Mayoi, Painted Lady, Micans, Brasil, or Red Emerald, which are known to be good climbers.
  2. Select a Support Structure: Common supports include moss poles, bamboo poles, trellises, or even natural branches. The texture of these supports helps the aerial roots of the Philodendron to latch on.
  3. Positioning: Plant your Philodendron in a pot that allows enough space for growth. The support structure should be placed in the center of the pot for optimal attachment.

Training Your Philodendron to Climb:

  1. Attaching to the Support: Gently wind the Philodendron’s stems around the support. Use soft ties like gardening wire or twine, ensuring they are loose enough to prevent stem damage.
  2. Guiding the Growth: As the Philodendron grows, continue attaching it to the support, allowing it to climb upwards naturally.
  3. Encouraging Aerial Roots: Regular misting of the Philodendron’s stem can stimulate the production of aerial roots. These roots help the plant adhere to the support structure.

Ongoing Care:

  1. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so ensure proper drainage.
  2. Lighting: Provide bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves.
  3. Fertilizing: During the growing season (spring and summer), use a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks, diluted to half strength.
  4. Pruning: Regular pruning helps maintain shape, remove dead or yellowing leaves, and encourages healthy growth.


  • Sparse Growth: Ensure adequate lighting and moisture. Check for pests like mealybugs, spider mites, or aphids.
  • Failure to Climb: Make sure the support structure is appropriate and the plant can detect it. Use plant ties or clips if needed.

Safety and Precautions:

Philodendrons are toxic when ingested and can cause skin irritation. Wear gloves while handling and keep them away from children and pets.

Choosing the Right Variety and Support:

Select a climbing Philodendron variety and pair it with a suitable support like moss poles or trellises. For a more natural approach, you can use a large tree branch, but ensure it’s free from pests and diseases before introducing it to your Philodendron


  1. Foliage Friend: How to Train Philodendron to Climb: Expert Guide
  2. Planted Shack: Philodendron Climbing Guide: Encourage Growth & Support
  3. Foliage Friend: How to Make Philodendron Climb: Expert Tips and Techniques
  4. The Healthy Houseplant: How to Stake a Philodendron Houseplant and Train it to Climb
  5. The Practical Planter: Do Philodendron Plants Climb? (How to Make It Happen)

Types of Philodendrons and their Growth Habits

Philodendrons are known for their diverse variety of types, each displaying unique characteristics and growth habits. Understanding these different types and their growth habits is essential for successfully cultivating and encouraging climbing in philodendrons. Let’s explore some of the commonly found types.

Heartleaf Philodendron

The heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) is a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. Its heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines make it an excellent option for hanging baskets or cascading down shelves. This vining philodendron is known for its adaptability and tolerance for lower light conditions, making it a suitable choice for indoor environments.

Monstera Deliciosa

The monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, is a stunning philodendron that features large, glossy leaves with unique natural holes. It has a vining growth habit and can climb up to significant heights if provided with proper support. The monstera deliciosa is a popular choice for indoor plant lovers due to its striking appearance.

Selloum Philodendron

The selloum philodendron (Philodendron selloum) is an upright philodendron variety that showcases large, deeply lobed, and glossy leaves. Unlike its vining counterparts, the selloum philodendron has a more compact growth habit, making it a great choice for adding a touch of tropical elegance to indoor spaces.

These are just a few examples of the diverse types of philodendrons you can choose from. Each type has its own growth habits and care requirements, so it’s essential to research and select the type that best suits your preferences and growing conditions.

Type Growth Habit
Heartleaf Philodendron Vining
Monstera Deliciosa Vining
Selloum Philodendron Upright

Creating Optimal Growing Conditions for Philodendrons

To encourage climbing and vertical growth in philodendrons, it is important to provide them with the right growing conditions. Philodendrons thrive in optimal environments that meet their specific needs for light, water, soil, and fertilization. By understanding and maintaining these factors, you can create the perfect conditions for your philodendrons to thrive and climb.

Light Requirements for Philodendrons

Philodendrons prefer bright indirect sunlight, but they can tolerate lower light conditions as well. Placing your philodendron near a north or east-facing window is ideal, as it provides the right amount of filtered light. Avoid exposing your philodendron to direct sunlight, as it can burn the leaves. If you notice your philodendron reaching towards the light source, it may be an indication that it needs more light.

Watering Techniques for Philodendrons

Proper watering is crucial for philodendron growth. It is important to water your philodendron when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater your plant, as this can lead to root rot. Ensure that your philodendron’s pot has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. It is also beneficial to mist the leaves regularly to increase humidity, especially in drier indoor environments.

Fertilizing Philodendrons

Fertilizing your philodendron is essential to provide it with the nutrients it needs for healthy growth. During the growing season (spring and summer), use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength. Apply the fertilizer every four to six weeks to promote lush foliage and climbing potential. It is important to follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to fertilizer burn.

Soil Requirements for Philodendrons

The right soil composition is crucial for philodendron growth. Use a well-draining potting mix that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite is often recommended for philodendrons. This type of soil retains some moisture while allowing excess water to drain away, preventing root rot. Avoid using heavy or compacted soils that can cause waterlogging and hinder vertical growth.

By providing optimal growing conditions for your philodendrons, you can create an environment where they thrive and climb. Remember to consider their light requirements, watering techniques, fertilizing routine, and soil composition. With the right care and attention, your philodendron will reward you with vibrant growth and beautiful climbing foliage.

optimal growing conditions for philodendrons

Light Requirements Watering Techniques Fertilizing Soil Requirements
Prefer bright indirect sunlight Water when top inch of soil is dry Use balanced liquid fertilizer diluted in spring and summer Well-drained potting mix with peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite
Tolerate lower light conditions Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot Fertilize every 4-6 weeks Avoid heavy or compacted soils

Techniques for Training Philodendrons to Climb

In order to encourage your philodendrons to climb, it’s important to use proper training techniques. This will help them reach their full climbing potential and create an aesthetically pleasing display in your home or office. Let’s explore some effective methods for training philodendrons to climb.

Staking Philodendrons

One popular technique for training philodendrons to climb is staking. Stakes provide support for the plants to grow upright and promote larger leaf development. Simply place a sturdy stake near the base of the philodendron and gently secure the plant to it as it grows. This will help guide the philodendron’s growth and encourage it to climb in a controlled manner.

Trellising Philodendrons

Another effective training method is trellising. By providing a trellis for your philodendron to climb, you can create a beautiful vertical display. Trellises can be made of various materials such as bamboo, wire, or even decorative structures. Place the trellis near the philodendron and gently guide the plant along its structure. This will allow the philodendron to grow up and out, creating an impressive display of foliage.

Here is an example of a trellis that can be used for training philodendrons:

Trellis Image
Decorative Metal Trellis trellis for training philodendrons

Encouraging Aerial Roots

Aerial roots are natural structures that philodendrons use to cling and climb. By encouraging the formation of aerial roots along the stem, you can further support the climbing growth of your philodendron. To do this, mist the philodendron’s stem with water regularly. The humidity will stimulate the production of aerial roots, which can then be secured to stakes or trellises. This will provide additional support for the philodendron as it climbs.

Remember to be patient when training your philodendrons to climb. It may take some time for them to adjust and start climbing. With consistent training and support, your philodendrons will grow into stunning climbers that will enhance the beauty of any space.

Propagation Techniques for Philodendrons

Propagation is a valuable technique for multiplying your philodendron plants and controlling the quality of their offspring. There are several methods for propagating philodendrons, including air layering, stem cuttings, and division. Each technique offers its own advantages and can be used depending on your preferences and the specific characteristics of your plants.

Air Layering

Air layering is a popular method for propagating philodendrons and encouraging root growth on a stem before separating it from the parent plant. To begin, choose a healthy stem and make a small incision in the bark. Apply rooting hormone to the area and wrap it in damp sphagnum moss. Secure it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to create a moist environment. Over time, roots will form, and once they are well established, you can cut the stem below the air layer and plant it in a pot filled with well-draining soil.

Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings are another effective way to propagate philodendrons. Select a healthy stem, preferably with a few leaves, and make a clean cut just below a node. Remove any lower leaves to prevent rot and place the cutting in a glass of water or directly into a pot with well-draining soil. Keep the cutting in a warm and humid environment, and roots will begin to develop in a few weeks. Once the roots are established, you can transplant the cutting into its own pot.


Division involves separating a mature philodendron plant into two or more sections, each with its own root system. Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently divide the roots and stems. It’s important to ensure that each section has sufficient roots and foliage to support its growth. Replant the divided sections in separate pots with fresh soil and water them thoroughly. Division is an ideal technique for philodendrons that have grown too large or those that have naturally formed multiple stems.

Propagation Technique Advantages
Air Layering Allows for the production of larger, more established plants
Stem Cuttings Simple and accessible method, suitable for beginners
Division Provides an opportunity to control the size and appearance of your plants

Whichever propagation method you choose, it’s important to provide the appropriate care and attention to the newly propagated plants. Keep them in a warm and humid environment, provide adequate light, and monitor their watering needs. With time and patience, you can expand your philodendron collection and share the joy of these beautiful plants with others.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Philodendrons

While philodendrons are generally low-maintenance plants, they can still face common issues that may affect their growth and appearance. It’s essential to be aware of these issues and take appropriate measures to address them promptly. Here are some common problems you may encounter with your philodendrons:

Pests in Philodendrons

One of the potential challenges you may face with philodendrons is pest infestations. Common pests that can affect philodendrons include spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. These pests can cause damage to the foliage and weaken the overall health of the plant. Regularly inspect your philodendrons for signs of pests, such as webbing, tiny insects, or sticky residue. If you notice any signs of pests, you can use organic insecticidal soap or neem oil to control the infestation. Always follow the instructions on the product label and apply treatments as needed.

Yellowing Leaves in Philodendrons

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of various issues, including overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or root rot. To troubleshoot yellowing leaves, first, assess the watering routine for your philodendrons. Ensure that you are providing them with the right amount of water. Stick your finger into the soil to check for moisture levels before watering. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water, but if it’s still moist, hold off on watering. Additionally, consider adjusting the lighting conditions and fertilizing routine. If the problem persists, you may need to repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.

Pruning Philodendrons

Pruning is an important maintenance practice for philodendrons. It helps remove dead or yellowing leaves, improves airflow, and encourages bushier growth. If you notice any brown or wilted foliage, use clean pruning shears to trim them off. Make sure to sanitize the shears before and after each cut to prevent the spread of diseases. When pruning, aim to maintain a balanced shape and promote healthy growth. Regular pruning will keep your philodendron looking tidy and prevent overcrowding.

Troubleshooting Philodendron Growth

If your philodendron seems to be growing slowly or producing leggy and weak stems, there are a few factors to consider. First, check the lighting conditions. Philodendrons thrive in bright, indirect light. If they are not getting enough light, they may stretch towards the light source, resulting in elongated stems. Consider moving your plant to a brighter spot or providing supplemental grow lights. Additionally, ensure that you are fertilizing your philodendrons regularly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Proper feeding will provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

“Regularly inspect your philodendrons for signs of pests, such as webbing, tiny insects, or sticky residue.”

“To troubleshoot yellowing leaves, first, assess the watering routine for your philodendrons.”

“If you notice any brown or wilted foliage, use clean pruning shears to trim them off.”

“If your philodendron seems to be growing slowly or producing leggy and weak stems, there are a few factors to consider.”

By addressing these common issues and taking corrective actions, you can ensure the health and vitality of your philodendron plants. Regularly monitor your plants for any signs of problems, and be proactive in providing the necessary care to maintain thriving and climbing philodendrons.

troubleshooting common issues with philodendrons


With the right support, training, and growing conditions, you can successfully encourage your philodendron plants to climb and achieve lush, vertical growth. Understanding the different types and growth habits of philodendrons is essential for creating an environment conducive to climbing. By providing them with optimal growing conditions such as bright indirect sunlight, well-drained soil, and regular fertilizing, you can ensure their health and promote climbing.

Training techniques like staking and trellising help guide the philodendron vines as they climb, while encouraging the formation of aerial roots provides additional support. These techniques, combined with propagation methods like air layering and stem cuttings, offer opportunities to expand your philodendron collection while maintaining control over their offspring.

By following this philodendron climbing guide, you can create a thriving climbing environment for your philodendron plants. Watch as they gracefully ascend and beautify your home or office space with their lush vertical growth. With a little patience and care, your philodendrons will reward you with their stunning display of climbing mastery.

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