Houseplants 101: Taking Care of Aroids

Welcome back to our Houseplants 101 series, where we ask our plant experts to share their professional tips for keeping all our indoor greens thriving and lush—so you can fully realize your indoor jungle dreams. This time we’re chatting about aroids with Julie Czeck. Keep reading to learn what aroids are, how to keep them happy, and what to do when they aren’t happy!
Houseplantsterrain: Hi Julie! What are aroids? Let’s start there!

Julie: Sure! The aroid family is REALLY vast and if you don’t know what the aroid name means you might already know some of the plants that fall into this family: philodendrons, anthuriums, colocasia, and aglaonema are all aroids. The beloved Monstera and Hope Selloum are both aroids. Aroid is the common name for members of the Araceae family of plants, sometimes known as the Philodendron or Arum family.

terrain: What should you do to keep aroids healthy in your home?

Julie: Some aroids are more forgiving than others but in general these are sub-tropical plants and they need topical humidity to really thrive. I always suggest spraying the foliage with dechlorinated water and allowing the soil to go slightly dry between waterings to prevent root rot. Most municipalities have chlorinated tap water, so I always suggest letting it sit out overnight before watering plants with it!

terrain: Is there anything about aroids that makes them tricky to take care of?

Julie: Not really, they are the best houseplants! The key is not over watering (or under-watering!) and eliminating chlorine from your water source. Ideally they would like an eastern facing window and generally don’t like full southern or western exposure but some can handle it and will adapt.

terrain: What are some warning signs to look out for to know when an aroid is unhappy?

Julie: Usually yellowing leaves or underperforming leaf production means not enough water, humidity, or pure water. Try spraying the foliage and root base (and, yes, also dechlorinating your water!).

terrain: Do you have any other specific care instructions for aroids before we finish up?

Julie: Mainly, use a good well draining soil mix, let the soil dry out between waterings, spray foliage/increase humidity during dry months, and use dechlorinated water. I would also fertilize in the spring or summer when the days start getting longer.

Check out more of our Houseplants 101 series, as we chat with Julie about repotting your plants and caring for Citrus, Succulents, and Ferns. Need more inspiration for expanding your indoor garden? Shop our Houseplant Collection and pick up a copy of The Terrain Houseplant Book.

Photo credits: spurekar, Forest + Kim Starr