If your Philodendron leaves are small and your plant is weak. This indicates wrong plant care techniques.
Philodendrons need proper light, water, temperature, and humidity to grow bigger leaves.
There are many things that you can do to make small philodendron leaves big in size.
First of all, you should identify the causes of small philodendron leaves. Then according to the problem follow the solutions.
Below is the complete guide on Philodendron small leaves.
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Causes of Philodendron Small Leaves
For large philodendron leaves, you need to expose your plant to indirect bright sunlight. An adequate amount of sunlight is required for complete photosynthesis.
In the absence of bright light, philodendrons produce less glucose (plant food).
Low glucose production means smaller leaves and weak plants.
A high amount of glucose is required to grow large size leaves. Low light also results in leggy philodendron and stunted growth.
Learn about Philodendron Light needs and grow a beautiful Thriving plant.
Lack of Nutrients
The philodendron plant needs lots of nutrients to grow large size glossy leaves. If you do not fertilize your plant on time. Your Philo will struggle to thrive.
Philodendron plants need a good amount of fertilizer to grow healthy large-size leaves.
Without sufficient nutrients, your philodendron grows small size leaves. In some cases, the leaves turn pale and less bright.
Nutrient-deficient philodendron plants stop growing new leaves and their current leaves turn yellow and pale.
Therefore, use general houseplant fertilizer to give a nutritional boost to your weak philodendrons.
Pest infestation is another reason for small philodendron leaves. Pests like Aphids, Mealybugs, and Scales suck the sap of the plant.
As a result, your plants become nutrient deficient and we all know nutrient deficient plants never grow bigger.
These pests also lay their eggs in the leaf tissues. Leaves with damaged internal tissues stop growing and become weak and turn yellow.
Wrong Watering Techniques
The wrong watering technique directly affects the health of philodendrons.
Once the roots get damaged due to overwatering, they stop absorbing essential nutrients from the water.
Plants with damaged roots also stop their growth. This results in small philodendron leaves.
Secondly, the use of hard water also causes smaller leaves in philodendron plants. Because the unwanted minerals in hard water get collected at the base of the plant.
They stick to the plant roots and disrupt the normal functioning of roots. This result in small philodendron leaves.
Wrong Size Pot
Using small containers for philodendrons inhibits the regular supply of essential nutrients.
The roots become tightly packed due to less free space in the pot and small pots also hold a small amount of soil.
Less soil means fewer nutrients for plants to absorb.
Therefore, you should use the correct size of plant pot for growing philodendron plants.
Philodendrons do not grow large size leaves once they get infected by bacterial leaf spot. There are other leaf diseases but the bacterial spot is common in philodendrons.
It only affects those plants that grow in a high humid and too warm environment.
By placing your plant in a neat and clean place you can prevent bacterial leaf spot. Also, you need to expose your plant to indirect bright light.
These diseases attack the leaves and you will see small spots on them. Use copper fungicides to treat bacterial leaf spots.
Use neem oil spray once in 15 days to prevent any leaf fungal disease.
Low humidity is a common cause of the weak growth of philodendron plants.
To keep your plant healthy, you must maintain a good humidity level in your grow room.
In low humidity, plants start using the stored water for respiration. Because it does not get proper moisture from the air.
The leaves lose the stored water and this shrinks the leaf surface.
You will also face brown crispy leaf edges and yellow leaves.
Philodendrons stop growing in cold temperatures. If the grow room temperature is below the ideal temperature range.
Then your plant will not grow large size leaves.
On the other hand, high temperature also causes leaf problems. In high heat, plants start losing more water than normal.
This increases the chances of dehydration and brown crispy leaves along with small size philodendron leaves.
This is a root fungus disease that eats the root ball. It is a result of overwatering and unhygienic plant surroundings.
You need to learn the proper watering technique to avoid overwatering problems.
In root rot disease, you can save your plant by repotting it in new fresh soil. The good news is you can cut the infected and damaged parts of the root ball.
How do Encourage large philodendron leaves?
As I mentioned above, philodendron plants are heavy feeders. They need a good amount of fertilizer to grow healthy.
Glossy and big leaves need a high amount of nitrogen. It is essential for growing green parts of the plant.
Fertilize your philodendron, especially in spring and summer.
This is the growing season for plants. Buy a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer and dilute it in the water before use.
Do not use fertilizers in the winter season. It is the dormancy period and plants do not grow in cold months. Fertilizing in winter results in leaf burn.
Philodendrons need a good amount of moisture in the soil for their good health. It is only possible when you supply a good amount of water to the plant.
You should follow the Philodendron watering technique.
Before watering your philodendron plants allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry. Then grab the water can and pour water directly into the potting soil.
Keep in mind that if you will not allow the potting soil to dry out between watering sessions. This will result in root rot.
Once your plants get infected by root rot. Then they will not show proper growth of leaves. Repotting is the only technique to save overwatered philodendron plants.
Expose your philodendrons to indirect bright light. Because they need a good amount of light energy to make their food.
In the absence of adequate light, your philodendrons will stop growing and their leaves turn yellow.
They need 6 to 7 hours of light per day for the proper growth of stems and leaves.
The ideal place is a south-facing window or you can place it a few feet away from the sunny window.
Temperature & Humidity
The ideal temperature range for philodendron houseplants is between 70 to 85 degrees F. Below or above the ideal range will cause many problems for your plants.
To keep eye on the room temperature you can install a room thermometer in the grow room.
I am using a temperature monitor device with an alarm. It triggers an alarm when the temperature in my grow room goes above or below my set value.
As long as humidity is concerned you do not need to do anything. Because the general home humidity is enough for growing and maintaining philodendrons.
Generally, we have home humidity between 40 to 55 %. Use a hygrometer to measure your home humidity.
If you find it lower than the suggested range then use a plant humidifier to increase it.
You can also adapt traditional methods like pebble trays but do not spray water on plant leaves.
Because your philodendron leaves are already small and by misting water the problem will get worst.
For an instant humidity boost, you can place your plant in the bathroom for 24 to 48 hours maximum.
Keep the Leaves Clean
Large leaves of philodendrons attract a huge amount of dust. These dust particles clog the pores and reduce the absorption of light.
This results in weak photosynthesis and weak plant growth.
Keep your plant dust-free for its optimum health. For cleaning the leaves use a damp cotton cloth, do not use a water jet for rinsing the plant.
This will damage the soft stem tissues and leaves.
Prevent Root Bound
You should repot your philodendron once in 2 to 3 years depending on its growth. Crowded roots are prone to many root ball diseases.
While repotting your plant make sure you handle it gently. Do not touch the roots, prevent root damage.
Use well-draining potting soil that has perlite in its ingredient list.
Compact roots cannot absorb an adequate amount of water and nutrients from the soil. Healthy roots are required for the good health of plants.
Even if 10% of the root ball gets damaged your entire plant will suffer.