AskIFAS Powered by EDIS

Philodendron scandens Heart Leaf Philodendron

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


Heart leaf philodendron is probably most often seen as a houseplant, its 2 to 3 inch wide, solid green, heart shaped leaves and long, thin stems trailing out of a hanging basket. Although well-suited to indoor use due to its ease of growth and very high tolerance of low light conditions, when allowed to grow outside heart leaf philodendron takes on a whole new appearance. Grown as a ground cover, it quickly covers a shady area with its lush, dark green growth. As the strong stems climb up a tree trunk or other vertical support, the leaves become larger, eventually reaching 12 inches or more in length. If desired, it may also be grown in a container or on a totem pole or other moisture-retentive support column.

Full Form - Philodendron scandens: Heart Leaf Philodendron
Figure 1. Full Form - Philodendron scandens: Heart leaf philodendron.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Philodendron scandens

Pronunciation: fill-loe-DEN-drun SCAN-denz

Common name(s): heart leaf philodendron

Family: Araceae

Plant type: herbaceous

USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Figure 2)

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year-round

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: suitable for growing indoors; hanging basket; cascading down a wall

Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: depends upon supporting structure

Spread: depends upon supporting structure

Plant habit: spreading

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: cordate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: 4 to 8 inches; 8 to 12 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: green

Flower characteristic: flowers periodically throughout the year


Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit length: unknown

Fruit cover: fleshy

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable

Current year stem/twig color: green

Current year stem/twig thickness: medium


Light requirement: plant grows in the shade

Soil tolerances: slightly alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loam

Drought tolerance: moderate

Soil salt tolerances: poor

Plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Heart leaf philodendron should be located in partial to deep shade on fertile, moist soils. It should be planted outside only in frost-free areas. Direct sun often discolors the foliage.

Propagation is by cuttings.

Pests and Diseases

No pests are of major concern, but occasionally bothered by scales.

No diseases are of major concern, but occasionally bothered by leaf spots.

Publication #FPS472

Release Date:January 16, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS472, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman
thumbnail for publication: Philodendron scandens Heart Leaf Philodendron