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Philodendron Care

The best soil mix for Philodendrons

by Plants for all Seasons 10 Jan 2022 0 Comments

A key factor in keeping a Philodendron plant healthy is to make sure that it is never under or overwatered. An under watered plant will begin to discolour and wilt whilst an overwatered one can more easily become diseased.

Keeping a constant and careful watering schedule goes a long way to keeping this balance, but having the right soil for your Philodendron goes a long way to help keep your plant alive and help to prevent these common problems.

In this guide, we will be talking about everything you need to know to get the best kind of soil mix for a Philodendron.

What kind of soil does a Philodendron need?

Having the right soil is an important part of Philodendron care, and many health problems with your plant can be traced back to issues with your soil mix. When preparing to repot a Philodendron or plant a new one you should consider these factors to help you make the best choices for your plant.

Is the soil well-draining?

Philodendrons prefer moist soil, but it should drain well enough that the soil doesn’t become too soggy. Too much water in your soil will risk giving your Philodendron root rot.

A heavy, tightly packed soil will also stop air from circulating in and out of the soil, which will eventually suffocate the roots. You can tell that soil is well-draining if it is made up of small, loose granules that don’t perfectly hold their shape if you squeeze it in your hand.

Is the soil rich in nutrients?

Indoor Philodendrons are amongst the fastest growing houseplants and need a lot of nutrients to support their growth. You should look for soil with lots of organic matter or fertiliser in it. A nutritional soil will help your plant a lot and if supported with a good fertiliser you will get consistent growth for a long time.

Is the soil slightly acidic?

Philodendrons prefer slightly acidic soil. The perfect PH for philodendrons is between 5.0 and 6.0.

How can I tell if I have the wrong soil for my Philodendron?

The Philodendron is a popular houseplant because of how easy to look after it is. Some of this is because it can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions and bounce back quickly if something is wrong, but it has a lot more to do with the fact that the philodendron will tell you when something isn’t right. Your plant will give you various signs to tell you when something is wrong with the soil such as:

Yellowing leaves

A Philodendron will start to display yellow leaves when it is overwatered, this can often be resolved by reducing or amending your watering schedule. If you have tried this with no changes in your plant then it is likely that your soil is too heavy and not draining well enough.

To correct this, first, make sure that you have put drainage holes in the bottom of your container and if there is still no change you will need to change your soil for a better draining one.

Falling leaves

Philodendron leaves will start to fall off if there is a problem with the roots, either they have begun to rot, are diseased or dying. Root issues are almost always caused by the soil and in this case, it is usually caused by soil that holds onto the roots too tight to let any air circulate.

Brown or dehydrated leaves

If you find that your leaves are becoming brown and papery it is a sign that your plant is not getting enough water. Your first action should be to adjust your watering schedule, but if that doesn’t work you have soil that is not retaining enough moisture. You can get over this by watering your plant through a saucer under the pot or by adding some soil retaining elements to the soil.

What is the best soil for my Philodendron?

Any good shop bought soil can work wonders for your Philodendron as long as you have the right amount of drainage and nutrition. However, whilst these soils can provide the basic needs of most plant species they can vary between bags and are not tailored to any particular species. The perfect soil mix for your philodendron can be hard to get right, but we have put together two recipes to make a soil mix that is ideal for your plant

Potting Mix 1

  1. ½ Potting soil
  2. ½ Coco coir

This simple mix can be made by combining equal amounts of shop bought potting soil with coco coir.

The potting soil will create the basic structure of the mix and the coir will provide a texture to the soil that stops it from becoming too dense and allows the roots to grow strong and sturdy.

Potting Mix 2

  1. ⅓ Potting soil
  2. ⅓ Peat moss
  3. ⅓ Perlite

This soil mix is a bit more complex but is well-tailored for all the needs of your Philodendron. The potting soil provides a good base for the mix that will give the plant all the right nutrients whilst the peat moss keeps the mix well-aerated and helps to retain moisture. The perlite provides a structure to the mix and allows any excess moisture to drain away.

If you'd like to purchase the perfect mix for your Philodendron, have a look at our own Philodendron Potting Mix.

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