With its large, tropical leaves and robust growth, Tree Philodendron makes an impressive statement in any indoor or outdoor space. We will cover everything you need to know about growing and caring for Philodendron bipinnatifidum, also known as Philodendron selloum, so your plant can thrive for years to come.
in this article:
About Tree Philodendron
Tree Philodendron is a popular ornamental plant native to South America, particularly Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. This evergreen, perennial plant is known for its distinctive, deeply lobed, dark green leaves that can reach up to 3 feet in length. Tree Philodendron has a self-heading growth habit, meaning it grows upward rather than as a trailing vine. As the plant matures, it can reach heights of 5 to 8 feet, making it an impressive statement piece in any home or garden.
|Common Name||Tree Philodendron|
|Botanical Name||Philodendron bipinnatifidum, Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum, Philodendron selloum|
|Light||Bright, Indirect Light|
|Bloom season||Spring, Summer|
|Water needs||Low, Moderate|
Tree Philodendron Care
Tree Philodendron is relatively low maintenance and adaptable to various conditions. Providing the right care, including appropriate light, water, and nutrients, will ensure your Tree Philodendron thrives.
Tree Philodendron prefers bright, indirect light but can also tolerate medium light conditions. Direct light can scorch the leaves, so it’s essential to provide filtered or diffused light. If you notice leggy growth or yellowing leaves, it may be a sign that your plant is not receiving enough light.
Well-draining soil is essential for this Philodendron to prevent root rot. Use a high-quality potting mix with added perlite or coarse sand to improve drainage. A mix designed for indoor tropical plants is ideal for this purpose.
Philodendrons prefer evenly moist soil, so it’s crucial to water the plant regularly. However, it’s essential not to overwater. Allow the top couple of inches of soil to dry out between waterings. In winter, reduce watering frequency as the plant’s growth slows.
This plant enjoys moderate to warm temperatures, with the ideal range between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposing your plant to temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, as it may cause damage to the foliage.
As a tropical native, this plant appreciates higher humidity levels. Aim to maintain humidity levels of 50% or lower.
Fertilize your plant during the growing season, from spring to early autumn. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at half the recommended strength once a month. Avoid overfertilizing, as it may cause the leaves to become discolored or burned.
Regularly remove any yellowing, damaged, or dead leaves to encourage healthy growth. You can also prune back leggy or overgrown branches to promote a bushier appearance. The best time to prune your plant is during the spring or summer months when it is actively growing.
Potting and Repotting Tree Philodendron
Tree Philodendron has a robust root system, so it’s essential to choose a sturdy pot with drainage holes. Repot the plant every few years or when you notice the roots outgrowing the current container. Spring or early summer is the best time to repot your Tree Philodendron, as this allows to adjust to its new home before the colder months.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Gently remove the Tree Philodendron from its current container by carefully loosening the soil around the edges and lifting the plant out.
- Examine the root system for any signs of root rot or damage. Trim away any unhealthy or dead roots with clean pruning shears.
- Place a layer of fresh potting medium in the bottom of the new pot and place your plant inside. Ensure the Philodendron is sitting at the same soil depth as it was in its previous container.
- Fill the pot with the remaining mix, tamping it down gently around the roots to eliminate air pockets.
- Water your Tree Philodendron thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out of the pot.
Propagating Tree Philodendron (Step-by-Step)
Propagating Tree Philodendron is best done through stem cuttings.
- Choose a healthy, mature stem with at least two leaves, and make a clean cut just below a leaf node using sterilized pruning shears.
- Remove the lower leaves, leaving only the top two or three on the cutting.
- Dip in rooting hormone to encourage faster root development.
- Plant the cutting in a pot filled with well-draining potting mix, burying the leaf node beneath the soil surface.
- Place the pot in a well-lit spot with indirect light.
- Keep the soil slightly moist, and within a few weeks, the cutting should develop roots.
Tree Philodendron produces small, inconspicuous flowers that are not particularly showy. The plant’s primary appeal is its lush, tropical foliage rather than its blooms.
Tree Philodendron is toxic to pets and humans if ingested. The plant contains oxalate, which can some issues if taken orally.
NOTE: This page is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. The toxicity of an ingested substance varies depending on the amount ingested, the animal’s weight, and its sensitivity to specific allergens. Contact your veterinarian or local animal poison control center immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance.
Spider mites are small, sap-sucking pests that can cause the leaves of your Tree Philodendron to develop yellow spots or stippling. To control spider mites, use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Mealybugs are small, white insects that produce a cottony residue on leaves and stems. They can weaken your Tree Philodendron by sucking its sap. Treat infestations with insecticidal soap, rubbing alcohol, or neem oil.
Scale insects are small, brown, or black pests that attach to the plant’s stems and leaves. They can cause damage by sucking sap from your Tree Philodendron. To control scale insects, scrape them off with a soft brush or cloth, or treat the infestation with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Aphids are small, green, or black pests that cluster on new growth and the undersides of leaves. They can cause damage by sucking sap from your Tree Philodendron, leading to curled or distorted foliage. To control aphids, wash them off with water, or use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
Yellowing leaves can indicate overwatering, underwatering, or insufficient light. Check your watering schedule and ensure the soil is draining properly. Adjust your plant’s location if it’s not receiving enough light.
Drooping leaves may indicate underwatering, overwatering, or a sudden change in temperature. Check the soil moisture levels and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Ensure your Tree Philodendron is not exposed to cold drafts or extreme temperature fluctuations.
Brown Leaf Tips
Brown leaf tips can result from low humidity, underwatering, or excessive fertilizer. Increase humidity around your plant, check your watering schedule, and reduce the frequency or strength of fertilization.