If you are looking for a philodendron plant that grows metallic leaves. Then you should choose Philodendron Silver Sword.
It grows sharp blades with silver hues that give a metallic look. Silver Sword is easy to grow and maintain.
The good news is this plant is perfect for less bright places.
Philodendron Hastatum is it’s another famous name in the botanical world.
About Philodendron Silver Sword?
Silver Sword philodendron is a photogenic houseplant. This fast-growing houseplant grows highly reflective leaves.
There are 2 to 3 varieties of silver sword plants. I have 2 of them one grows heart-shaped leaves and the second grows sword-like sharp blades.
Both have a silver sheen and metallic leaves.
The normal height of this plant is more than 10 feet when grown outdoors. You can control its height with pruning techniques.
When grown in plant pots it grows medium in height.
To grow it successfully, place it in dappled light and water it moderately. Fertilizers are required to keep it healthy and strong. Check grow room humidity once in 3 days. Frequent temperature changes directly affect the size and shape of its leaves.
How to Care for Philodendron Silver Sword?
To know about its light needs you need to look at its natural habitat. In tropical jungles, silver sword grows under the shade of large trees.
There it gets a limited amount of bright light to make its food.
The metallic leaves of the sliver sword cannot tolerate direct sunshine for a long time. They will burn out and your plant will die.
The best place will be a sunny window where it can get morning sunlight for 1 to 2 hours. Then bright filtered light for the rest of the day.
In case there is not enough light in your growing space. You can use a grow light, choose LED lights because they are more efficient.
How to Water Silver Sword Philodendron?
Spring and summer are the active seasons of the silver sword. It needs more water in the growing phase than in the winter season.
The problem is, a single extra cup can cause root rot.
To prevent root fungus, you should check the soil before watering your plant. Water only when the top layers of the soil become dry.
To check soil moisture, I poke my finger into the potting soil.
If you want a quick solution then use a soil moisture meter.
You should only use clean and filtered water that does not contain heavy minerals.
Let’s say you skip 1 to 2 watering sessions in the active season. Then water it by placing it in the water tub.
With this method roots quickly get enough moisture.
Philodendron Silver Sword needs a special type of soil that contains some special ingredients like perlite, peat Moss, vermiculite, and Coco coir.
Mix these ingredients in equal amounts to make perfect potting soil for philodendron.
Perlite in this formula holds enough water for a long time. Vermiculite contains organic matter and supplies essential nutrients to growing plants.
Coco Coir Increases aeration and helps to prevent root fungus.
If you’re not familiar with the different potting soil ingredients. Then the best option is to buy a commercial potting mix.
In my experience, Miracle Grow potting soil is best for growing philodendrons in containers. It contains all the essential ingredients and is specially designed for tropical plants.
Fertilizing is an important part of silver sword care and maintenance. Spring and Summer are the active seasons of Silver Sword.
In these seasons this plant grows its leaves and stems, so it needs a high amount of nutrients.
Fertilize it in these seasons to see excellent growth in a short time.
Choose General purpose liquid fertilizers. Dilute the nutrient solution as per the instructions on the bottle. Use filtered water for the dilution process.
Do not use more than the recommended dose. Overuse of fertilizers will only Harm your plant.
To prevent the overuse of nutrient supplements, stop feeding your plant in the winter season.
This philodendron is not a frost-resistant plant. It cannot handle cold weather for a long time. Because it is a plant that comes from tropical regions. We all know tropical regions are warm places.
So, it needs warm temperatures to grow healthy and thrive.
Keep the room temperature between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal range of temperature.
And below 55 degrees F is considered too cold for this philodendron.
In cold temperatures, the leaves of this plant start freezing. And as a result, you will see dark spots on your leaves.
Cold temperature and cold air flow push the plants toward the dormancy period.
Whereas above 85 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot. Hot weather increases the rate of Physiological functions. This demands a high amount of water. Which increases the workload and also increases the chances of dehydration.
Therefore, take the grow room temperature seriously and keep it in the recommended range.
Philodendrons are warm region plants. They enjoy high humidity in their natural habitat. The good news is these plants can easily live in moderate humidity.
So, the ideal humidity for silver swords is 45% to 65%.
In low humidity, the leaves will turn yellow followed by crispy brown. To check humidity, use a hygrometer.
In low humidity use a pebble tray and place your plant over it.
Group the plants in a small room, and make sure there is good airflow.
The next option is an electric humidifier designed for houseplants. These devices are less expensive than traditional home humidifiers.
It is a fast-growing plant so it needs frequent repotting. Repot it once a year in spring or summer.
It is best if you choose growing seasons for repotting. But you can repot it any time of the year if required.
Roots poking out of the top soil layer or circling inside the pot indicate immediate repotting.
Choose a 2 inches wide and deep plant pot. Also, buy a fresh bag of potting soil. Unpot your plant and remove soil from its roots.
Fill a new pot with soil and plant your plant in it. Add some water and you are done with repotting.
Give proper care for the first week to prevent repotting stress in plants.
Do not fertilize right after the repotting.
Pruning & Maintenance
You’ll not like to trim its metallic leaves because they are beautiful. But if it shows yellow leaves, use sharp shears to cut them.
Also, cut the brown and dead parts.
To control the size of your plant or to give it a particular shape you can trim it any time. Just make sure the tools are sterilized.
Once you finish trimming, use a damp cloth and clean your plant pot and leaves. Remove the dust to prevent common houseplant diseases.
Unhygienic plants are easy targets for houseplant pests.
Propagating Philodendron Silver Sword
There are many ways to propagate a silver sword philodendron. I have found stem propagation technique is easy and gives the best results.
In this process, we use a healthy stem cutting to multiply our plants.
- Identify a healthy stem with shining leaves. Look undersides of the leaves to catch any problems of pests and fungi.
- Make a cut under the leaf node.
- Remove the bottom leaves, we need the top 1 or 2 leaves in this propagation process.
- Dip it in the rooting hormone.
- Take a glass jar of water and put stem cutting in it.
- Place it in a warm place away from direct sunlight.
- Change the water once in 3 days.
- Transfer the stem to potting soil when the new white roots grow at least 1 inch long.
Troubleshooting Silver Sword Philodendron
Pests are a common problem with philodendrons. These nasty insects attack weak and dusty plants. To catch the problem on time regularly inspect your plant while watering.
Check the undersides of the leaves and near the leaf nodes.
If you find tiny insects immediately use rubbing alcohol and wipe each leaf manually. Rubbing alcohol can kill all types of plant pests.
In case they are present all over the plant. Take your plant outside and wash it with pest-killing soap.
Do not use hard commercial pest-killing sprays. They are designed for trees, not for houseplants.
After the treatment, keep your plant isolated until you see new growth. Spray neem oil after 24 hours of the treatment to help it heal soon.
Leaves Lose Metallic Touch
If the leaves of your plant lose a metallic look. Then low light is the main cause. For the treatment move your plant to bright light and give some nutrients in the form of fertilizer.
Dilute the nutrient solution to its half-strength.
To prevent this problem, make sure your plant is getting enough light above 250 FC.
Yellow Turning Leaves
Yellow leaves mean too much moisture in the potting soil. This leads to root rot (a root fungus).
To confirm the root rot, check the soil of the plant. If it is saturated with water then the cause behind the yellow turning leaves is root rot.
In these conditions unpot your plant and cut the infected roots. Then replant it in the new pot and new soil.
Follow the treatment only if half of the plant leaves are yellow.
Do not unpot your plant and check if only 1 to 2 leaves are yellow.
Dark spots indicate bacterial leaf spots. This is a fungal disease that attack on philodendron leaves. The fungal bacteria eat leaf cells and you see dark spots on infected areas.
Apply copper fungicide on your plant leaves to eliminate leaf fungal disease.
Also, cut those leaves that are dead and fully infected.
The Philodendron Silver sword is a beautiful plant with metallic leaves. It needs bright light, high humidity, and moderate water.
Keep it in a warm place to have glossy leaves.