With its striking silver-green leaves, the Silver Sword Philodendron makes a stunning addition to any plant collection. This tropical plant is gaining popularity as a houseplant but requires some specific care to keep it healthy indoors. Follow these tips to successfully grow Silver Sword Philodendron.
Provide the Right Light Conditions for Silver Sword Philodendron
Silver Sword Philodendron thrives in bright, indirect light that keeps its foliage vibrant. Place it near an east or west facing window where it will receive gentle morning or afternoon sun. An unobstructed south window can work if you diffuse the direct rays with a sheer curtain. Insufficient light leads to dull, limp leaves.
Maintain Warm Temperatures
This tropical plant prefers consistent warm temperatures between 65-80°F. Keep it away from cold drafts from windows or air conditioning vents which can shock it. Move the plant to a warmer spot in colder months. Consider providing supplemental humidity and grouping houseplants together to prevent chill damage.
Use an Appropriate Potting Mix
Use a rich, well-draining potting mix for your Philodendron Silver Sword. A quality blend for tropicals with ingredients like peat moss, perlite, bark chips and compost is ideal. The mix should hold some moisture but also drain freely to prevent soggy roots. Re-pot into fresh soil annually to replenish nutrients.
Water Thoroughly When Soil Dries Out
Silver Sword Philodendron should be watered whenever the top few inches of soil become dry to the touch. Check by inserting your finger into the pot. Water thoroughly until excess drips from the drainage holes, then discard any water in the saucer. Allow the soil to partially dry out before watering again. Take care not to over-saturate the soil.
Increase Humidity Levels
Humidity is very important for this tropical plant. Ideal levels are 60-80%. Use a humidifier nearby, place on a pebble tray, or group with other plants to boost ambient humidity. Mist the leaves occasionally with a spray bottle. Low humidity causes crisp, browning leaf edges. Monitor moisture carefully in humid conditions to avoid fungal disease.
Fertilize Regularly During Growth
While actively growing in spring and summer, Silver Sword Philodendron benefits from monthly fertilizing. Use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted by half. Fertilize every two weeks if your plant is in a period of strong growth. Reduce feeding in fall and winter when plant growth naturally slows.
Prune Only When Necessary
Avoid over-pruning your Silver Sword Philodendron. These plants have a vining growth habit and pruning too much will result in sparse appearance. Only prune to remove dead or damaged leaves and stems. Prune back trailing stems that become overly long and leggy. Make cuts just above leaf nodes for the most attractive look.
Provide a Support for Optimal Growth
As a vining plant, Silver Sword Philodendron does best when provided with a support for its stems to climb. Use a moss pole, trellis or other structure and gently tie stems to it as they grow. This encourages upright, full growth rather than spindly, trailing stems. Just avoid over-crowding the support with too many stems.
Monitor for Pests
Check plant leaves and stems regularly for common houseplant pests like spider mites, mealybugs and scale. Treat infestations early by gently wiping off the bugs from leaves. For severe cases, use neem oil or insecticidal soap sprays. Isolate badly infested plants to prevent spread. Improving care conditions can also help prevent pests.
Propagate Via Stem Cuttings
Silver Sword Philodendron is easy to propagate from stem tip cuttings. Take 5-6 inch cuttings, dip in rooting hormone, and plant in moist potting mix. Enclose in a plastic bag to retain humidity. New roots and plantlets will emerge in 4-8 weeks for transplanting. Take skillful cuttings to prevent harming the mother plant.
Repot Annually in Spring
Repotting into fresh soil once a year keeps your Silver Sword Philodendron thriving. Gently remove from its pot and loosen old soil. Prune any congested roots. Repot into the next size up pot with drainage holes using new indoor potting mix. This provides fresh nutrients and room for growth. Take care not to damage the shallow roots.
Enjoy its Unique Foliage
One of the great joys of growing Silver Sword Philodendron is its stunning foliage. The elongated heart-shaped leaves emerge green but quickly develop irregular silver variegation. No two leaves look exactly the same! Appreciate each one’s unique beauty as you care for this wonderful houseplant.
With its tropical origins, Silver Sword Philodendron requires some attentive care to flourish as a houseplant. But following these tips will reward you with a gorgeous, eye-catching specimen. Its lush leaves brighten any space while helping purify indoor air.