How Often To Water Philodendron (Effective Tips To Protect Your Plant)

Knowing how often to water philodendron plants is critical because they do not tolerate overwatering and can easily suffer from underwatering. The problem is, there is no golden rule for how often you should water a philodendron! It all depends on your climate and the plant’s growing conditions.

Philodendrons should be watered generously and then left until the top few inches of soil dry out before being watered again. The soil must stay evenly moist but should never be soggy. During spring and summer, philodendrons need water more often than during winter, when their growth slows down.

It is your job to learn how often your philodendron needs water. Keep a close eye on them, check the soil moisture regularly, and look out for signs of stress. You will find an appropriate watering schedule for your philodendron once you know how long it roughly takes for the soil to dry out just the right amount.

How Often Do Philodendrons Need To Be Watered?

Philodendrons are tropical plants that evolved in jungles and rainforests, so they are adapted to growing in warm, moist, humid environments. When we keep these plants in our homes, it is important to ensure that they get the right amount of water.

Philodendrons thrive when their soil stays evenly moist, so they require regular watering. However, if you water them too often, they are prone to fungal diseases, like root rot.

Philodendrons do not cope well if their soil dries out completely for long periods. Their leaves wilt and turn yellow or brown if they get too thirsty.

On average, philodendrons need watering about once a week during the active growing season. During winter, when they stop growing, they only require water every two or three weeks.

Different tropical houseplants like Philodendron

Factors That Influence How Often Philodendrons Need Water

It is difficult to give a general rule for how often you should water philodendrons because there are so many factors that influence their water needs:

  • The climate you live in – temperature and humidity.
  • The type of potting soil.
  • The size of the plant’s pot.
  • The plant’s proximity to sources of heat, air conditioners, and drafts.
  • The time of year.

In hotter, more arid climates, philodendrons need to be watered more often. Heat makes water evaporate from the soil surface before the plant gets a chance to absorb it through its roots.

The soil’s water holding capacity has a huge effect on how often philodendrons need to be watered. Philodendrons need a loose, aerated, free-draining potting mixture. The more organic content, like coco peat or sphagnum moss, the longer the soil will stay moist. Sandy soils dry much more quickly.

Philodendrons growing in larger pots will not need to be watered as frequently as those growing in small pots. Small pots have a greater surface area in relation to the amount of soil, so the soil dries out much faster.

If a philodendron is kept near a heater or an air conditioner, or there is a draft in the room, the soil will dry out faster, so the plant will need to be watered more often.

During the winter, philodendrons enter a state of dormancy, especially in cold climates. They stop growing, so their water requirements are much lower at this time of the year. During summer, when they are growing at their fastest, they need much more frequent watering.

Related: Philodendron White Wizard: #1 Plant Care Guide

How To Know When To Water A Philodendron

The best way to check if a philodendron needs to be watered is by checking the soil moisture. There are a few ways that one can do this:

  • Use a soil moisture probe
  • Stick a wooden dowel or chopstick into the soil
  • Feel how moist the soil is using your fingers
  • Pick the pot up to feel how heavy it is

Soil moisture meters are widely available from nurseries, garden centers, and online. They are not expensive, and they are a very handy tool to have if you are serious about caring for your houseplants.

If you push a wooden chopstick or dowel into the soil and pull it out again, you can gauge how damp the soil is by how much of it sticks to the wood. If no soil sticks to the wood, then the soil is dry enough to water. Damp soil sticks to the wood.

The simplest way to check the soil moisture is by digging your finger into the soil and feeling it for yourself. If the top 2-inch layer feels dry, you know it is time to water your philodendron. If it still feels moist, you can hold off on watering for another few days.

After giving your philodendron a generous soak, pick the pot up to feel how heavy it is. To check soil moisture, lift up the pot to see how light it feels relative to when the soil is wet. If the pot feels much lighter, it means it is time to water.

Types of Philodendron

What Does Un Underwatered Philodendron Look Like?

If you do not water your philodendron frequently enough, you will notice the foliage drooping, and the leaves will turn brown, especially around the edges. These are warning signs that you need to water your philodendron more often!

Luckily, philodendrons will bounce back from underwatering. Give the soil a very generous soak until water runs out of the pot’s drainage holes. The top 2 inches of soil must dry out before you water again. After watering 2 or 3 times, you should notice the plant looks healthier.

Philodendrons Suffer From Overwatering!

If you do not check the soil moisture prior to watering and just water your philodendron on a set schedule, you run a serious risk of overwatering your plant. Philodendrons are prone to disease if they are watered too frequently.

When the soil is completely soaked with water, oxygen cannot get to the philodendron’s roots. This causes them to develop root rot – a fungal infection that can kill the plant.

Signs of root rot are drooping, yellowing leaves, mold on the soil surface, and, in bad cases, soft, slimy, brown stems and stinky soil.

If you see early signs of root rot, you need to repot your philodendron. Once the soil has become infected, you must replace it. When the philodendron is out of its pot, snip off any brown, squishy parts of the root mass using a sterilized pair of scissors.

Also Check: Philodendron White Knight: Detailed Care Tips

What Is The Best Way To Water Philodendrons?

Philodendrons can be watered from the top, but the best way to give them a drink is by bottom watering them. This is a good way to ensure that all the soil in the pot is evenly wet. Sometimes when we top water plants, the water only infiltrates the top layer of soil, so the roots do not get enough moisture.

To bottom water a philodendron, fill a sink, bathtub, or a bucket with a few inches of water, and put the whole pot into the water. Leave the plant to soak up all the water it needs for half an hour.

Once you see that the soil surface is moist, take the pot out of the water and leave it in your shower or in an empty sink for another half an hour so that the excess water drains away. Then, place the pot back on its saucer.

The great thing about bottom watering is that you do not have to guess how much water to give your philodendron. The plant is able to soak up as much moisture as it needs, no more, no less.

If you wait until the top few inches of soil dry out before bottom watering again, the chances of overwatering or underwatering are very low.

How Much To Water Philodendrons?

Watering Plants

It is not effective to water a philodendron in small quantities on a more frequent basis. A small amount of water will only seep into the soil a few inches, leaving the roots dry.

Instead, you should give these plants a lot of water less often. When you topwater a philodendron, give it enough so that water flows out of the pot’s drainage holes.

Do not put it back on its saucer right away. Rather leave it in a place for half an hour where excess water can drain away. If the saucer fills with water, it will leave the soil waterlogged.

Conclusion: How Often To Water Philodendron

By monitoring your philodendron and seeing how long it takes for the top 2-inch layer of soil to dry out after watering, you will soon learn how often you need to water it. Generally, watering a philodendron once a week during spring and summer and once every 2- or 3-weeks during winter works well.

But there are many things that affect how quickly philodendrons use up the water in their pot. It is never a good idea to water on a rigid schedule. Always check in with your plant before watering. Bottom watering is highly beneficial for philodendrons, but generously top watering them is also good.

Resources

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/philodendron/caring-for-philodendrons.htm

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/testing-moisture-in-plants.htm

https://www.gardenerreport.com/how-often-and-how-much-to-water-philodendrons/

https://bloomsprouts.com/watering-philodendron/