How Long Does a Philodendron Live: Lifespan Facts

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Philodendrons are popular houseplants, known for their beautiful foliage and ability to adapt to various indoor environments. One question that often arises when it comes to these eye-catching plants is, “How long does a philodendron live?” Lifespan can vary significantly depending on the variety of philodendron and the care it receives. While it’s difficult to provide an exact lifespan for these lovely plants, it’s possible to offer some insight into their longevity.

In general, the average lifespan of a philodendron as a houseplant is around 10 years. However, with proper care and attention, some varieties can live even longer. In fact, some have been known to thrive for 20 to 40 years in indoor settings. It’s interesting to note that in their native tropical habitats, certain species of philodendrons can live well beyond 100 years. Care plays a significant role when it comes to the lifespan of these plants, and understanding their needs can help you cultivate a thriving, long-lasting philodendron.

Philodendron Overview

Philodendrons are popular houseplants that belong to a diverse group of climbing herbs native to tropical America. They are part of the Araceae family and consist of approximately 450 different species. Due to their attractive foliage and easy maintenance, these plants are widely favored by indoor gardeners.

Types of Philodendrons

There are numerous types of philodendrons, and they can be roughly categorized into two groups: vining and non-climbing. Examples of vining types include the heartleaf philodendron, the velvet leaf philodendron, and the silver stripe philodendron. Non-climbing varieties, also known as self-heading or upright philodendrons, consist of species like the lacy tree philodendron and the elephant ear philodendron.

When it comes to their lifespan, philodendrons don’t have a fixed or easily defined duration. As houseplants, some of them can thrive for around 20 years, while others may reach up to 40 years of age. In their natural habitat, certain species have been known to live for over 100 years.

Providing adequate care for philodendrons significantly impacts their life expectancy. Ensuring proper light, temperature, and humidity conditions, as well as using a well-drained potting medium and monitoring water requirements, contributes to the overall health and longevity of these plants.

Houseplant enthusiasts appreciate philodendrons for their adaptability, simple maintenance requirements, and the various species available to accommodate different preferences and interior spaces.

Lifespan Factors

Light Requirements

One of the primary factors influencing the lifespan of a philodendron is its light requirements. These plants thrive in bright, indirect light, which helps promote healthy growth and longevity. However, they can also tolerate low light conditions, making them versatile and adaptable as houseplants. Properly managing the light exposure will ensure that the philodendron remains healthy and has the potential to live for twenty years or more.

Watering and Humidity

Another essential aspect of maintaining a philodendron’s lifespan is proper watering and humidity. These plants prefer consistently moist soil, but it’s crucial to avoid overwatering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which will adversely affect the plant’s health and longevity. In addition to adequate watering, maintaining a humidity level of at least 40% can help keep the leaves lush and vibrant, contributing to the plant’s overall well-being.

Temperature and Climate

The temperature and climate play a significant role in the lifespan of philodendrons. They thrive in temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C). To ensure a long and healthy life, it’s important to keep the plant away from cold drafts and drastic temperature fluctuations. If exposed to temperatures below 55°F (13°C), the plant may suffer from slowed growth or potential damage. Providing a stable and suitable temperature range will help maximize the lifespan of the philodendron.

Potting and Soil

The choice of potting and soil is crucial for the health and longevity of a philodendron. These plants require a well-draining soil mix to prevent root rot and other issues associated with overwatering. A quality potting mix containing peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand can provide the necessary balance of aeration and moisture retention. Additionally, periodic repotting may be necessary to accommodate the plant’s growth and refresh the soil, contributing to the plant’s potential lifespan of up to 20 years or more.

Common Health Issues


Philodendron plants can face a range of pests that affect their health and longevity. Some common pests that attack philodendrons include mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. These pests can weaken the plant, causing yellowing or browning of leaves and stunted growth. To keep your philodendron healthy, it’s essential to regularly examine it for signs of pest infestations and take action promptly if necessary.


Philodendrons may also suffer from various diseases that significantly impact their lifespan. One such issue is the development of discolored and curled leaves, which may fall out as the disease advances. Stressed philodendrons are particularly susceptible to health issues that cause drooping of foliage and, ultimately, plant death.

To protect your philodendron from diseases, ensure it receives proper care, including:

  • Adequate water: Water your plant enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  • Appropriate temperature: Maintain indoor temperatures between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit, as the plant can die if temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Humidity: Maintain adequate humidity levels, as this plays a crucial role in the plant’s health and lifespan.

By addressing and promptly treating any pest or disease issues, you can help ensure that your philodendron enjoys a long, healthy life.

Increasing Lifespan

Pruning and Maintenance

To ensure a long and healthy life for your philodendron, proper pruning and maintenance are crucial. Regularly remove any dead or yellowing leaves to encourage new growth and prevent disease. It’s essential to keep the plant’s size manageable, especially in its indoor environment. Frequent pruning can also give the philodendron a bushier appearance and help it to maintain its shape.

Additionally, cleaning the leaves can help the plant breathe more efficiently. Gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt, ensuring that the plant can photosynthesize more effectively.


Another essential factor in increasing the lifespan of a philodendron is proper fertilization. To avoid over-fertilizing, use a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Applying too much fertilizer can lead to the buildup of salts in the soil, which can damage the plant’s roots and stunt its growth.

In the fall and winter months, reduce fertilization frequency to once every 6-8 weeks. This reduction allows the plant to focus on maintaining its overall health during its dormant period, as opposed to encouraging new growth.

By following these practices, you can help your philodendron live a long and healthy life as a houseplant, which can be anywhere from 20 to 40 years. In their natural habitat, some philodendron species have been known to live longer than 100 years.


Philodendrons are popular houseplants known for their versatility and adaptability. With proper care, these plants can have a lifespan of approximately 20 years. In some cases, healthy, well-maintained philodendrons may even live twice as long. It’s worth noting that in their natural tropical habitat, some philodendrons have lived up to 100 years.

A key factor in ensuring a long and healthy life for a philodendron is providing the right environment. Philodendrons thrive in an indirect light setting, which can often be found near windows, but out of direct sunlight. Plants with non-green leaves can handle a bit more indirect light than those with all-green leaves, according to Better Homes & Gardens.

In conclusion, the lifespan of a philodendron depends on several factors, including the specific type and the level of care it receives. By providing the appropriate environment and proper maintenance, philodendron owners can enjoy the beauty and benefits of these plants for many years to come.

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