Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword Care

More and more often, you can find Philodendron hastatum “Silver Sword” in nurseries and homes. However, if you are looking for complete care instructions, your search has yet to be successful – until now. 

Here you will find all the information you need to care for your Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword.

Close-up of a silver-grey leaf of a Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword in the article about Philodendron hastatum care.
(Image: © Firn –


Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword, also called Philodendron Silver Sword and Philodendron hastatum Silver Queen, is not the result of breeding. It originates from the Brazilian rainforests. Today it can also be found around Rio de Janeiro. There it grows liana-like on and in trees. 

It owes its name to its striking leaves. As Philodendron, it belongs to the family of arum plants.

Appearance and distinguishing features

The most striking identifying feature of the “Silver Sword” is its namesake leaves. They are arrow-shaped and shiny, almost as if polished. Young leaves are silvery-blue to silvery-gray in color. As they age, they turn blue-green.

They resemble the blade of a sword both in shape and color. They also resemble a sword in length. Leaf lengths of up to 3 feet are possible!

Since the shoots climb, I advise using a climbing aid or trellis. In the home, the Philodendron often reaches heights or lengths of about 10 feet. In its natural habitat, however, it can climb up to 20 feet. It reaches widths of up to 10 feet. The apartment, however, takes up a lot of space with a width of up to 5 feet.

The flower

Philodendron hastatum forms a typical flower of the arum family. In silhouette, it resembles an 8. It consists of a green bract, which wraps around the white cob. The upper part of the flower is usually male, and the lower is female. 

A flower occurs only rarely in the home and on older plants. You can find a picture of the flower here.


Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword is classified as toxic to humans and animals. It contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. If the plant is injured, for example, by a bite or cut, these are released. 

They irritate the mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract. Organs such as the kidneys can also be damaged.

Therefore, place the plant out of reach of children and pets.

The optimal location for Philodendron hastatum

A suitable location also lays an essential foundation in the care of Philodendron hastatum “Silver Sword”. It receives a lot of indirect or filtered light in its natural area. That should also be the goal for the location in your home. For example, a place at an east or west window is suitable. Morning and evening sun may also reach the leaves directly.

The blazing midday sun, however, can burn the leaves. You can recognize too much light by dull leaves. 

It is often said that the Philodendron “Silver Sword” grows in places with little light. It survives there, but you shouldn’t expect too much gain in size besides slow and elongated growth. 

By the way, elongated growth also indicates that the houseplant needs more light. It describes a stretched growth by which the plant tries to get light quickly. 

Optimal temperatures are between 64 °F and 81 °F. If the temperature drops below 57 °F, the leaves may fall off. If the temperatures allow it, you can also put your Philodendron outside in the warm months. 

Look for a sheltered place to start and gradually accustom the leaves to the more intense sunlight. However, they should not get the blazing sun. 

Hastatum does well with a humidity of 40%. However, cosmetic damage, such as brown leaf tips and leaf edges, can occur. Philodendron thrives at humidity levels of 55% and above. That can be seen not least by faster growth. 

There are several methods to increase humidity. My favorite is the humidifier. 

Overwintering Philodendron hastatum

Unless your houseplant is outside, in most cases, you can overwinter it in its current location. Try to provide it with adequate light during the winter as well.

Fertilizing and watering will be reduced during this time. Stretching a dose of fertilizer over a month will be sufficient.

Watering Philodendron hastatum “Silver Sword”

While Philodendron hastatum ‘Silver Sword’ loves moist substrate, root rot will develop quickly if waterlogged. Therefore, as with many houseplants, the motto is “less is more”. 

To avoid overwatering, I recommend letting the top inch of the substrate dry out. To check this, you can use a stick or your finger. If the substrate sticks to the stick or finger, it is still wet. If no substrate sticks, it is time to water. 

Fertilizing Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword

I prefer to use liquid fertilizer for fertilizing my philodendrons. It is more accessible to dose and can be adjusted in case of deficiency symptoms.

Here you can use a No products found. or a No products found..

In the beginning, I recommend using a slightly diluted dosage. After that, you can slowly approach the optimal amount of fertilizer. Over the winter, fertilizing is reduced but not completely stopped. Here you can stretch a regular dose to a month.

The perfect substrate

As mentioned earlier, the Philodendron hastatum “Silver Sword” loves moist substrate but does not tolerate waterlogging. Therefore, we needed a sufficient drainage substrate to prevent waterlogging while retaining some moisture. 

An airy structure supports root growth. Some structural stability is vital to maintain the structure. 

substrate mix for arum plants best meets this requirement. You can keep the Philodendron in Sphagnum moss if this does not suit you. However, this will dry out more quickly.

Repotting Philodendron hastatum

Since young plants grow faster out of their usually smaller pots, they sometimes must be repotted annually. That is always done by repotting into a larger pot size.

This step is not necessary for adult specimens. With them, the substrate only needs to be renewed every three years.

You can tell that repotting is necessary when roots grow out of the drainage holes or the plant pushes itself out of the pot.

The best time for repotting is spring and the beginning of summer.


If your Philodendron hastatum Silver Queen gets too big, you can cut it back. Cut the shoot in the middle between two leaf nodes. This way, you can also temporarily create a bushier appearance. 

Always remove dead and diseased leaves. 

Use a clean and sharp blade for cutting. That will prevent bruising of the shoots and reduce the likelihood of infection of the cut. 

Propagating Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword

If you want to propagate your Philodendron hastatum Silver Queen, you have three ways to do it: Offshoots, mossing, and cuttings. In the following, I explain the three methods.

Propagation by offshoots

Propagation by offshoots is the easiest of the three methods. Older plants especially produce offshoots from time to time. You can separate them from the mother plant when repotting.

Then you plant them in their pot, water them, and you’re done! The small plants do not differ from the mother plant in care.

Propagation by mossing

As the Philodendron grows, it repeatedly forms aerial roots at leaf nodes. The idea of mossing is to develop roots already at these leaf nodes. This way, you skip the rooting process with cuttings and often have better chances of survival.

For mossing, fix some moist Sphagnum moss to the leaf nodes with air roots and keep the moss moist. That is best done with some plastic wrap.

As soon as new roots reach the foil, you can separate the shoot from the mother plant. Cut the shoot in the middle between two leaf nodes with a sharp and clean blade.

Then you can root the cutting further in Sphagnum moss or place it in a substrate. Wait with fertilizing until enough roots have formed.

Its care is no longer different from the care of the mother plant.

Propagation by cuttings

Cut the shoot with a sharp and clean blade between two leaf nodes. You can also do this by isolating individual leaf nodes instead of a tendril.

Allow the cut to dry for a few hours, then place the cuttings in water or damp Sphagnum moss. If you use water for propagation, you should only submerge the node and aerial roots. I recommend changing the water weekly.

Place the cuttings in a bright and warm place. The humidity should be around 60% or more.

Already after three weeks, you should be able to see young roots. Once 3 to 4 inches long, you can transfer the cuttings into a substrate of your choice.

Diseases, pests, and care mistakes


With good care, the Philodendron hastatum is rarely affected by diseases.



Aphids come in various colors, including black, white, green, and yellow. However, they all prefer to sit on young shoots and leaves. On leaves, they often hide on the underside of the leaf.

You can recognize an infestation by yellow or deformed leaves. But also sticky floors around the plant can be an indicator.

In many cases, spraying with a mixture of 1l water, 50g soft soap, and 20 ml spirit is sufficient to eliminate the pests.

Alternatively, you can use No products found. or natural enemies like ladybugs.

Spider mites

The tiny spider mites, also called red spiders, can be recognized by their web-like formations in leaf axils and under leaves. Yellow or spotted leaves are also identifying features. 

If the infestation is small, it is sufficient to rinse the plant several times. If the infestation is more significant, you can use a No products found. or natural enemies such as the No products found.


Due to their conspicuous white carapace, mealybugs and mealybugs are easily recognizable. They like to sidle on young shoots and under leaves.

You can easily remove mealybugs with a cloth soaked in alcohol. I also advise a No products found. if it is a large infestation.

Care Mistakes 

Often, care mistakes are the cause when your Philodendron degrades. You can find the most common care mistakes here:

Yellow leaves

Yellow leaves can have different causes. The most common is overwatering or underwatering. Just check if the substrate is dry or wet. I also recommend checking the roots for root rot if it is wet. 

Another trigger can be fertilizer residue. If you fertilize your plant, you should flush the substrate every six months to remove the built-up salts and other residues. 

A final reason can be too much light. Especially if the leaves are exposed to full sun for a longer time, a yellowish discoloration can be the cause. 

Brown leaf tips and leaf edges

If your Philodendron hastatum gets brown leaf tips and leaf edges, this is usually due to too little humidity. Although the Philodendron will do well with less humidity, it will thrive at 55% humidity or higher.

Here you will find suitable methods to increase your humidity

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword poisonous?

Yes, the Philodendron hastatum “Silver Sword” is classified as poisonous. The calcium oxalate crystals it contains can damage mucous membranes and organs. Therefore, you should place it out of reach of children and pets. 

Take advantage of this!


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About the author
Richard Schmidt
Hey, my name is Richard! In my spare time, I write about the care of indoor plants on this website. Indoor plants have long fascinated me. That's why there are many plants in my little urban jungle - from the mainstream Syngonium to true rarities. Besides my passion for houseplants, I'm a real sneakerhead.

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