by Anna Karsten

Philodendron Hastatum (Silver Sword) Care Guide

The Philodendron Hastatum is an amazing choice for those looking for a houseplant that goes beyond the normal, primary greens that we find everywhere else. The Silver Sword contains a mixture of gray, green, and blue leaves. When factoring in its elongated blade leaves, you’ll find that it’s a very unique houseplant.

The Silver Sword can thrive in a lot of different types of soils but the key is to provide moist, highly organic matter so that the plant reaches its full potential.

One little-known fact is that the Philodendron Hastatum is classified as an endangered species. That has greatly increased the appeal of owning this houseplant.

Philodendron Hastatum Facts

  • It can reach as high as nine feet when being grown in a domestic pot but in the wild, the Philodendron Hastatum grows much taller.
  • The Philodendron Hastatum has a thick stem and is a member of the short node species.
  • It grows much faster than the average houseplant.
  • This houseplant loves to climb so you can expand it by providing places for it to climb, making it a highly versatile decorative plant.
  • The Philodendron Hastatum is quite rare and defined by unique colors such as gray, blue, and silver. This is why it was given the nickname Silver Sword.
  • When mature, this houseplant can produce white flowers. But this maturity takes over a decade to achieve.
  • The Philodendron Hastatum is highly resistant to disease and pests. In fact, the only cause of either is not following the proper care routine.

Philodendron Hastatum Soil and Potting Guide

The Philodendron Hastatum prefers loose soil that drains well so keep that in mind when you are potting or repotting the plant. It also loves organic matter in soil but the problem with a lot of organic soil is that it holds water. So you need to mix in some perlite with organic soil to keep it from holding too much water.

Proper Lighting for Silver Sword

Like other plants in this species, the Philodendron Hastatum will rebel against direct sunlight with discolored foliage. Be sure you don’t place it in a window that gets direct sunlight. The best location for this amazing houseplant is the corner of a well-lit room.

Although the Philodendron Hastatum can deal with lower light levels, it isn’t healthy so you want to place it in a room that is well lit throughout the day. If it doesn’t get enough light, the stem will become saggy.

If you get the lighting right, the plant will repay you with thicker foliage and a much more aesthetically appealing look.


Watering Guide for the Philodendron Hastatum

Watering this houseplant isn’t too difficult. You just have to be sure that you don’t overwater it. The first step is ensuring the plant is growing in a soil that drains properly.

Check the top layer of soil every day. If the top layer is dry, then the plant needs water. Simply apply water slowly until it seeps from the bottom of the pot.

You’ll find that the Philodendron Hastatum needs watering about 2-3 times per week during the spring and summer months. During non-growing seasons like winter, you’ll apply less water.

Temperature and Humidity

The Philodendron Hastatum is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil so it’s accustomed to a warm and humid environment. So make sure your home stays between 65 and 80 degrees. While the plant can survive in temperatures as low as 60 degrees, I recommend you try to maintain temperatures above 65.

Keep it away from air conditioning and heating vents to prevent rapid temperature fluctuations.

For humidity, you’ll have to simulate a humid environment for the Philodendron Hastatum if you live in a dryer climate. This isn’t too difficult though. You can either mist the plant with water or place a tray of pebbles full of water directly under the plant.

If the plant is too dry, you will notice its leaves droop and turn yellow.


Feeding the Philodendron Hastatum

The first step to proper feeding is to make sure that the Philodendron Hastatum is planted in a soil rich in macro-nutrients. Don’t use cheap fertilizers either. They tend to contain far too much salt and will actually damage the plant. I recommend a liquid fertilizer.

It’s better to under-fertilize the plant than to feed it too much so always remain cautious. Under feeding won’t do a lot of damage but feeding it too much can actually kill it.

Therefore, feed it no more than once every month during the summer and spring season. During winter and fall, you only need to feed the Philodendron Hastatum once every two months.

Propagating of the Philodendron Hastatum

The Silver Sword can be propagated by replanting stem cuttings. It’s also possible to start the propagation process by placing the stem directly into distilled water.

Here is the propagation process:

1. Sterilize your hands and put on a pair of rubber gloves so that you don’t contaminate the plant. Also the plant contains some toxic components so you don’t want to come into contact with them.

2. Take a cutting from the plant.

3. Place the new cutting in water or directly into a new pot of soil. Water as needed.

Common Issues with the Philodendron Hastatum

The Silver Sword has two main issues that might pop up so it’s important that you know how to identify either of them.

Pest Infestation

The Philodendron Hastatum is highly resistant to pests but some environments so leave it vulnerable. Spider mites and mealybugs are the common pests that attack the Silver Sword. While neither pest is difficult to remove, prevention is your best bet.

Shower the plant with water and wipe it down using insecticidal soap every once in a while in order to prevent infestations.

With that in mind, Red Spider Mites are another possibility and probably the greatest threat to the Silver Sword. They are also difficult to notice. If you notice tiny webs on the leaves, immediately treat the plant using insecticidal soap. 

Foliage of Discoloration

The discoloration of foliage is another major issue that the Philodendron Hastatum can encounter. If the leaves become brown or yellow, then you are either overwatering the plant, over-fertilizing, or it’s getting too much direct sunlight.

If you notice discoloration, check all three of those factors and prevent them. The Philodendron Hastatum will heal as long as you correct the problem.


Warning: The Philodendron Hastatum is Toxic

Be absolutely sure to keep this plant away from children and pets because it is toxic. In fact, simply touching the Philodendron Hastatum runs the risk of passing on its toxins. The place it in a location that is not easily assessable by children or pets.

Final Tips

The Philodendron Hastatum isn’t a difficult plant to own and it comes with a wide range of benefits. The most common problems come from overwatering and incorrect placement of the plant. Avoiding those two mistakes is the most important part of owning this plant.

The real challenge comes from developing a routine and then following it consistently. When you are able to properly care for the Philodendron Hastatum, you’ll cash in on all of the benefits that this wonderful houseplant has to offer.

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