Nicknamed the Silver Sword Philodendron, the Hastatum Philo features blue-tinged or silvery green, glossy and elongated leaves that have an upward vining growth pattern.
A trellis or a pole to support the upward vining growth of this philo is desirable to allow the plant to reach its full potential. Keeping it in a hanging basket can also work.
At its best, the Hastatum can achieve a height of up to 10 feet. Indoors, however, it will stay a bit smaller, especially if you do some pruning back when the size is no longer feasible to accommodate.
Like other philodendrons, your Silver Sword variety also enjoys bright light, but adapts relatively well to low light conditions too. The silvery leaves don’t fare well if exposed to direct sunlight.
Keep this plant either in dappled light or a few feet back from a sunny window so that it still gets enough sunlight but it will not be burned by it.
If exposed to excess light, its glossy leaves will turn yellow. A leggy stem will signal too little light. Leaves will also be smaller.
If you want a fuller, thicker growth, you need to make sure it gets adequate light. The best way to do that is to monitor the lighting conditions in your home and make sure only gentle morning or afternoon sun touches your plant.
Watering is another area which can be problematic for philodendrons. The most important takeaway is to avoid overwatering. But how can you know if you’re watering too much or too little?
There’s a simple test you can do and you only need a finger for it. Simply stick your index finger into the soil up to your first knuckle.
Check if the soil is moist or dry. If it feels moist, skip watering for now. If it’s dry, water the plant thoroughly.
Always make sure that water drains properly from the pot. If your pot is not fitted with draining holes, do yourself a favor and drill some holes into the bottom of the pot.
This will ensure that excess water trickles out of the pot, allowing the soil to retain only a little moisture, without becoming soggy.
As an aroid plant, philodendron Hastatum enjoys a well-draining, loose soil that’s conducive to better aeration and less water retention.
Potting mediums that contain perlite, vermiculite, peat are excellent additions to improve soil drainage. Most philodendrons can even be grown in 100% sphagnum moss too.
A frost-sensitive plant, the philodendron Hastatum enjoys a warm tropical environment with average humidity.
Keep the plant at temperatures between 65-80 F. If the air in your home feels dry, increase humidity levels artificially.
Always use a pot with draining holes on its bottom. Round pots work best, but hanging baskets are also acceptable.
When the plant grows too large, you can notice its roots coming out of the bottom of the pot. When this happens, get a bigger pot and transplant your Hastatum.
Transplanting should be easy. Simply water the soil the day before, gently remove the plant, check the root ball for any signs of rotting and remove diseased or unviable roots.
Use loose soil rich in organic matter to improve drainage, aeration and maintain a healthy root system.