Small Philodendron Leaves? What Could Be Causing It and How to Fix It

Have you noticed that your philodendron leaves look smaller than before? If you are wondering why this is happening, then congratulations! Because you have just come across a resource that will answer all of your questions regarding this issue.

Philodendrons are a popular houseplant that has beautiful leaves and produces spectacular flowers. But their leaves can also become very small if the plant is not given proper care.

In this article, we’ll go over how humidity, light, temperature, and other factors affect the size of your philodendron leaves. We’ll also look into what you can do to stop this issue and prevent it from happening again.

Let’s get started!

Small Philodendron Leaves

Table of Contents

Reasons Why Philodendron Leaves Are Small and How to Fix It

If you notice that your philodendron’s leaves are smaller than they used to be, it could be due to a number of reasons. One reason could be that the plant is not getting enough sunlight. Another reason could be that the plant is growing under unstable temperatures. The soil could also be too dense, preventing the plant from getting the nutrients it needs.

If you are interested in growing a philodendron with giant leaves, follow the instructions from the following video:

How to grow large leaves philodendron

While it’s normal for leaves to shrink a bit as the plant matures, there are a few things that can cause them to stay small.

Here are some possible explanations for why your philodendron’s leaves might be small, and what you can do about it.

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The Plant Is Not Receiving Enough Light

If your philodendron does not receive enough light, the leaves will be small. This is because the plant is not able to produce enough chlorophyll, which is necessary for photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is the process that the plant uses to convert sunlight into energy, and without enough light, the plant cannot produce enough energy to grow big leaves.


To provide a philodendron plant with enough bright indirect sunlight, place it near a south- or west-facing window.

When sunlight is not available, you can use grow light to provide your philodendron with the light it needs.

Unstable Temperature

If the temperature is too hot or too cold, the leaves of your philodendron will tend to grow smaller. The reason for this is that the plant will not be able to photosynthesize properly if the temperature is not stable.

The leaves need to be able to expand in order to absorb more light, and if the temperature is constantly changing, the leaves will not be able to do this. As a result, the plant will not grow properly and the leaves will be small.

Additionally, when the temperature is below 15°C, philodendron leaves will grow smaller. The reason for this is that the plant is trying to conserve energy and protect itself from the cold weather. This is a natural response that helps the plant survive in colder climates.


To keep the temperature stable around your philodendron, you can use a variety of methods. One is to use a heat lamp. Another is to use a heating pad. You can also use soil heating cables.

Radiant heating is a more sophisticated yet effective way to increase the temperature around plants. This type of space heating warms up an area by heating objects in the room, rather than by heating the air directly. This can be beneficial in gardening because it can help to warm up the roots, which can encourage growth.

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Inadequate Humidity

When the air is dry, philodendron leaves will lose more water than the plant can replace. This causes the leaves to shrink and become smaller.

Generally, plants use moisture to absorb carbon dioxide, which gives them energy. When plants dry out, they stop absorbing carbon dioxide and begin to lose energy. As a result, plants grow smaller.

Philodendron plants are not too choosy about humidity but if you want this plant to thrive and grow big leaves try to keep the humidity levels between 40% and 60%.


There are several ways that can help you maintain the humidity at an optimal level for philodendron plants:

1. Use a Humidifier: to use a humidifier you will need to fill it with water and place it near the plants. The humidifier will release water vapor into the air, which will increase the humidity around the plants.

2. Place plants on a tray of pebbles and water to create a humid microclimate around the plants.

3. Group Plants Together: One way to group plants together to increase humidity is to create a mini greenhouse. To do this, choose a clear plastic storage container that is large enough to fit all of your plants. Cut several small holes in the lid of the container for ventilation. Place a layer of gravel at the bottom of the container, and then add a layer of moistened potting mix. Arrange your plants on top of the potting mix, and then cover the container with the lid. Place the mini greenhouse In a location that is well-ventilated, but where the humidity is high.

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Lack of Nutrients in The Soil

The soil is the foundation of a plant’s life, providing the essential nutrients for growth. When these nutrients are lacking, plants are unable to produce the chlorophyll needed for photosynthesis, and their leaves become small and pale. This can severely stunt a plant’s growth and lead to its death.

Lack of nutrients is often the result of poor soil quality, which can be improved through the addition of organic matter or fertilizers.


When nutrients are lacking in the soil you can add peat moss, vermiculite or perlite to increase organic matter in the soil.

Organic matter in soil helps philodendron plants to thrive by providing essential nutrients and improving drainage. Soil that is rich in organic matter is also more forgiving if you forget to water your plants regularly.

Here are the three best soil amendments that you can add to your philodendron for the seek of getting big leaves:

Sphagnum Peat Moss: Sphagnum peat moss is an excellent choice for philodendron plants because it has a number of advantages. Peat moss is very absorbent, so it helps to keep the soil moist and prevent the roots from drying out. Additionally, peat moss is also rich in nutrients, which helps to promote healthy growth. Finally, peat moss is lightweight, so it doesn’t compact the soil and suffocate the roots.

Vermiculite: vermiculite is a lightweight, airy growing medium that is perfect for philodendrons. It holds moisture well and drains excess water quickly, yet still allows roots to breathe. Vermiculite also has a high cation-exchange capacity, which means it can hold onto nutrients and make them available to plants. This makes it an ideal growing medium for philodendrons and other tropical plants.

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You Are Not Using Fertilizers

A lack of fertilizers can cause philodendron leaves to become small because the plants are not receiving the nutrients they need to grow. Without these nutrients, the plants cannot produce the energy they need to maintain their growth. This can cause the leaves to become smaller and weaker over time.


Fertilizing is crucial for philodendron plants because it helps them to absorb nutrients from the soil more effectively. Without adequate fertilization, philodendrons may become stunted or produce fewer leaves.

The best fertilizer for the philodendron plant is a well-balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20:20:20. This kind of fertilizer has many advantages. It provides the right amount of nutrients for plants, so they can grow healthy and strong. This type of fertilizer also helps to improve the quality of the soil, making it more fertile and able to retain moisture better.


Overwatering makes philodendron leaves small by depriving the roots of the oxygen and minerals they need from the soil.

In addition to small leaves, overwatering can cause other problems for your philodendron such as a lack of nutrients in the soil and reduced water flow from roots.

Overwatering can also cause your philodendron to lean downward. When the plant is exposed to too much water, it receives an excess of liquid through the roots. The excess water accumulates in the lower portion of the leaves, creating a suction force that pulls the plant downward. The higher the concentration of water, the more severe the effect.


The best way to avoid overwatering your philodendron plant is to allow the top inch or so of soil to dry out in between watering. Be sure to check the moisture level of the soil before watering and only water when necessary. It’s also a good idea to use a well-draining potting mix to help prevent overwatering.

The best way to check the soil before watering a plant is to use your finger to feel the moisture in the soil. If the soil is dry, then it is time to water the plant.

You can also use a moisture meter to check the soil before watering your philodendron. Just insert the moisture meter probe into the soil next to the plant. The moisture meter will display a number that corresponds to the percentage of moisture in the soil. If the number is below 50%, then the soil is too dry and the plant needs to be watered.

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Your Plant Is Root Bounded

Root Bound Philodendron

Rootbound is a condition that affects potted philodendrons. The roots of the plant become entangled and grow in a circular pattern. This constricts the root system and prevents it from absorbing nutrients and water properly. As a result, the leaves become small and unhealthy.

It is important to repot a root-bound philodendron because the roots may be constricted and unable to take up enough water and nutrients. This can lead to stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and eventually death.


To repot a root-bound philodendron you can follow the steps below:

1. Carefully remove the plant from its current pot, taking care not to damage the roots.

2. Place the plant in a new, slightly larger pot.

3. Fill the pot with fresh potting mix.

4. Water the plant well.

5. Place the plant in a bright, warm location.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How Do I Encourage My Philodendron to Grow?

To grow beautiful philodendron plants, the main factors to consider are soil, light, temperature, and humidity. The soil should be rich in organic matter and well-drained. The light must come from a west-facing window. The temperature must be between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, philodendron like high humidity but will also do well in average household humidity.

How To Make Your Philodendron Fuller?

To make your Philodendron plant fuller, you will need to pinch back the tips of the leaves. This will encourage the plant to produce more leaves and create a fuller appearance. You can do this every few weeks or as needed.

The main objective of pinching the leaves is to create a central point on the stem from which new branches can grow.

The best way to pinch the leaves is by using a scissor. To start the process, open the blades and place the tip of the scissors against the edge of the leaf. While keeping your thumb on the handle of the scissors, bring the blades together and pinch the leaf with the point of the scissors.

How Fast Does Philodendron Grow?

Philodendron plants are fast-growing, vining plants that are native to tropical rainforests. They can grow up to 3 feet per year and can reach a length of 20 feet or more.

How Do You Fertilize a Philodendron?

You should fertilize your philodendron every two weeks with a liquid fertilizer. Most people recommend a general-purpose fertilizer, but we’ve found that Philodendron actually benefits from something a bit more specific. A balanced fertilizer with a 20:20:20 NPK ratio is the best choice for this plant.

Be careful not to overdo it. While you should be careful not to overfeed your philodendron, you don’t want to underfeed it, either. If you’re not giving it enough food, it may go dormant instead of growing.

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Diana Cox

I'm Diana from I love to spend my free time in my garden. It's a place where I can be creative, feel calm and learn new things about life. I started gardening when I was in elementary school and it became a passion of mine. Now I love to share my love of gardening with others by teaching classes and giving advice.

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