Published on August 13, 2020

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Photography by Rebecca deBarros

Along with every new leaf comes a surge of pride for plant parents—there are few things quite as satisfying as seeing the greenery you’ve tended to flourish. And lucky for beginners, there’s a plant that’s practically primed for growing long and strong, with not much care needed at all. The philodendron Brasil is low-maintenance and high satisfaction.

“It’s in the heartleaf philodendron family, which is notoriously one of the easiest types of plants to keep alive,” explains Kristin McLaughlin, founder of plant business Soft Opening (which offers design consulting and includes two plant shops in Brooklyn and Oregon, respectively). Like every plant, it needs its sun and water to thrive, but you don’t have to look over it that intensely. With just a few care tips, its stems (which have a pretty pink undertone) will grow nice and long as it sprouts more and more leaves. Here’s everything you need to know about caring for your philodendron Brasil.

How much light does it need?

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Photography by Keli Baldazo

It’s pretty happy in most situations, as long as it’s not getting hit by direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves. “This plant is great for any less-bright corner of your home,” says McLaughlin. 

How much water does it need?

It should be watered every seven to 10 days, depending on how much light it gets. If it’s in a sunnier spot, aim closer to seven, and if it’s in a shadier spot (or if it’s getting less light because it’s winter), closer to 10. “The only way to mess up this plant is to give it too much attention. It really thrives doing its own thing,” says McLaughlin. “It’s much better to let the soil sit dry for a few days than it would be to overwater this guy.”

If you overwater the plant, it will look a bit droopy and you’ll see a few yellow leaves. If it’s underwatered, you’re more likely to see some brown, crispy leaves. A good drink of water will easily recuperate an underwatered plant, but an overwatered one is much harder to revive. 

How can you propagate it?

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Photography by Botanic Witch

If you want to experiment with your plants a little, the philodendron Brasil is perfectly primed for propagating: All you have to do is cut off a piece with a few nodes ( “That’s wherever the leaf pops out along the vine,” explains McLaughlin), then snap off one or two leaves at the end of your cutting. Place that end in water, wait for roots to sprout out a few inches, and plant: You now have a totally new plant. 

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