The Q&A Archives: Philodendron

Question: Where would I cut a Philodendron if I wanted to give a piece of it to someone? It is such a long plant with so many leaves. How do I keep it from being all over the place?

Answer: Propagation is by stem cuttings, or air layering, or by offsets, depending on the type of philodendron grown.

Pieces of stem that contain at least two joints can be inserted as cuttings in pots of sandy soil or in a mixture of sand and peat moss. The pots should be kept at 70-75 degrees F., and shaded from direct sun until they are well rooted.
Trailing varieties will often root at any point where the stem comes in contact with the soil. Pin the stem securely onto the soil in a separate pot with a hairpin or bent wire. It will be rooted in 4-8 weeks, and you may then sever the new plant from the parent.

Offsets are new plants which emerge from the base of the plant or from the roots themselves. Once an offset has a sufficient root system to support itself, it can be removed from the parent, by cutting it off with a sharp clean knife.

You can prune your philodendron back to make it smaller, then simply stick the cuttings in a container of water and place them in a bright location. They usually root without problem. Begin by reducing its size by one-third. If you want to prune off more, wait a few weeks and then prune again. This will give your plant an opportunity to recover from the first pruning.

Best wishes with your philodendron!

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