Philodendron Selloum (Lacy Tree Philodendrons) Care Guide

Philodendron Selloum, also known as Lacy Tree Philodendrons or Split-Leaf Philodendron, is a fast-growing, easy-going plant that makes a powerful impression in any setting. The tree philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) is a big plant native to the tropical parts of South America, specifically Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay.

This tropical aroid grows naturally in the United States’ East and Gulf coasts and is popular as a houseplant.

The tree philodendron is easy to cultivate and lends a tropical atmosphere to any environment. It is mostly planted for its big and distinctive foliage.

If its common names are any hint, the Philodendron bipinnatifidum can reach enormous proportions depending on its surroundings. This tropical plant may grow up to 15 feet tall in its natural habitat, with leaves up to 5 feet long! When planted indoors, it typically grows to a height of 5 to 6 feet and has leaves that are 2 to 3 feet long.

Lacy Tree Philodendrons

Philodendrons, which are members of the Araceae family, prefer the intense humidity of Central America’s warm tropical rain forest. However, many kinds of the plant can be used as both outdoor and inside house plants. This plant is popular due to its size, texture, colors, leaf form, low maintenance, and growing tendencies.

Philodendron species, as well as a variety of hybrids and cultivars, are native to South America. The Philodendron genus is distinguished by its bigger leaves, aerial roots, and split leaves.

In this beginner guide of how to grow a Lacy Tree Philodendrons you will learn about this popular plant which has become a coveted houseplant for plant lovers, including;

  • Is Philodendron bipinnatifidum a kind of Philodendron?
  • Why is Dark Lord Philodendron so expensive?
  • How to care for a Split Leaf Philodendron?
  • How to propagate a Lacy Leaf Philodendron ?.
  • Common pests and diseases of the Lacy Tree Philodendrons?,
  • And a few Frequently asked questions.

Is Philodendron bipinnatifidum a kind of Philodendron? Recent DNA tests have revealed that this is not the case. Some botanists now classify it as a member of the Thaumatophyllum genus, alongside other large-leaved Philodendrons. Many gardeners, though, still refer to plant by its original popular name.

Lacy Tree Philodendrons


When given the proper quantity of light, water, humidity, and fertilizer, a Philodendron Selloum will grow to be a long-lasting member of your plant family.

These plants have a life span of 15 years and take a long time to mature. These plants will not produce dazzling white flowers if they are not properly cared for.


When compared to other plant families, the lobed leaves of a Tree Philodendron plant are unusually delicate. In fact, this individual will thrive in soil that is rich, moist, and alkaline in nature.

Consider utilizing a soil made entirely of Sphagnum peat moss.


Philodendron Selloum is a tough plant that can withstand a variety of light fluctuations. Although they can live in deep shade or low-light environments, you may notice indicators that they are unhappy.

Allow your Tree Philodendron to receive indirect, bright sunshine.

Not sure of the difference between direct and indirect light?

If you place your hand between your plant and the light and feel the sun’s heat on your skin, or if the shadow your hand casts has sharp, hard edges, your plant is in indirect light, which is too extreme for most indoor house plants.

If the shadow is soft, that placement has indirect light, and your houseplants will likely be happy there.

How much light do my plants need?


This plant prefers damp soil that is not soggy. You should try to water your Philodendron on a regular basis. To avoid overwatering, allow it to dry between sessions. The soil’s top two to three layers should be wet to the touch.


Some people prefer to grow their Tree Philodendron outside. They have a fairly high temperature tolerance but do not thrive when exposed to abrupt frosts.

Temperatures ranging from 16 to 24 degrees Celsius are preferred by these people. Anything below 10 degrees Celsius is dangerous.


This plant is native to South America, specifically Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia, and is adapted to warm tropical temperatures.

It should come as no surprise that they like high humidity levels. Misting your plants on a daily basis is an easy approach to keep them happy.

You can also place the Philodendron on a pebble tray filled with water. The water on the tray is supposed to evaporate and raise the humidity.


You may need to boost development with fertilizers depending on where you plant your Tree Philodendron. Overall, this plant does not require a lot of feeding. To avoid overfertilization, most Philodendron owners use a water-soluble balanced liquid fertilizer in the spring, fall, and summer.

If you do decide to apply a water-soluble fertilizer, use half the suggested dose or strength.


Because Philodendron Selloum grows to be rather large, it is necessary to propagate it. Stem cuttings are the simplest and possibly best technique of propagating a Philodendron plant.


Because of their attractive appearance, these plants take up a lot of space. As the name implies, these individuals behave similarly to trees, eventually developing a trunk. The leaves themselves are 60 to 90 centimeters long and have a total surface area of roughly 152 cm.

You may also expect this plant to grow faster than your other houseplants.

Potting and Repotting

When should you repot?

Philodendron bipinnatifidum grows at a reasonably fast rate, which is typical of all plants in this genus. On average, it’s preferable to repot it within the first year of purchase, then every two years after that. Checking the bottom of the container will instantly inform you if your plant needs to be moved to a new pot. It’s time to repot if you observe roots sprouting out of the drainage hole.

The best time to repot Philodendron bipinnatifidum is in the spring and summer, when the plant is actively growing. Use a container that is 2 inches (5 cm) wider than the one before it. You can use a plastic pot, however terracotta is preferable for this plant. Clay is a porous material that provides for improved air and moisture flow. It’s also heavier, which provides a much-needed foundation for this top-heavy plant.

Choosing The Right Plant Pot

It is important to consider size.

When repotting Philodendron bipinnatifidum, use a container that is not too large. While it may be tempting to save time by not repotting as frequently, this can only lead to plant health issues. Overly large containers risk suffocating the roots with too much soil. They can hold more water than is necessary, causing root rot.

Last but not least, always use a container with a drainage hole at the bottom when repotting your Philodendron bipinnatifidum. This will keep the roots from resting in water and producing fungal problems later on.

Remember that the looser your roots are, the taller and healthier your plant will be.

When the plant’s growth slows due to root entanglement, it’s time to move it to a larger container.

EXTRA CREDIT: When aerial roots emerge, simply tuck them back into the pot. As the Lacy Tree Philodendron plant grows, careful re-potting every few years may be required; they have been known to explode their pots because of their adventitious roots if the current pot is too small. When new leaves emerge, they may be shielded by a sheath, which will eventually dry out and be removed. When older leaves fall off, their stalks leave leaf scars on the trunk; this is typical and gives the tree its distinct appearance.

Lacy Tree Philodendrons


When you take on such a large houseplant, you may question how and when to water it. Overwatering can cause rotting roots, whilst not enough water can cause the leaves to turn yellow or wither.

Pay great attention to the following portion of this article if you are concerned about the right watering requirements.

When and how much to water

Most Philodendrons are fine if they get a bit too much water. They prefer to be damp rather than dry. The Tree Philodendron, in particular, deviates from the rest of the family by preferring damp but not soggy soil.

In reality, it prefers a well-balanced soil that is both moist and dry. Does that make sense? It’s easier to keep than you think.

When watering your Philodendron Selloum, make sure the base of the plant is moist. Allow your plant to absorb the nutrients for a few hours. After you’ve given it some time, use your finger to feel how moist the top half-inch of soil is.

If it does feel damp, repeat the watering procedure in a few days. After checking, dry soil should be irrigated again.

Watering your Philodendron could be a difficult task, but there are a few techniques to make it easier. One suggestion is to water your plant in a certain location. Philodendrons have what is known as a “root ball.”

At the plant’s base, this is where the primary part of roots is held. Water around the middle section of your Tree Philodendron to keep it from drying out.

Bottom Watering

Bottom watering is another option for your Philodendron bipinnatifidum. This strategy promotes robust, healthy root development, which will aid in the plant’s support as it grows in height.

Bottom water your Philodendron by placing it in a container of water and allowing it to absorb as much water as it need. Large plants can even be grown in your bathtub. Allow the pot to drain before relocating it, and ensure that no water remains in the container tray.

The disadvantage of bottom watering is that it can be difficult to determine soil moisture levels. As a result, it is easy to overwater your Philodendron. Our suggestion is to utilize a moisture meter, which will tell you whether or not your plant needs to be watered.

Selecting the Correct Water

Philodendron bipinnatifidum is particularly sensitive to soil salts and minerals, as well as pollutants such as fluoride. Depending on how hard your local tap water is, you may need to use rainwater or even distilled water instead. Hard water can harm the foliage, leaving yellow spots and brown borders.

HOW TO PRUNE YOUR Lacy Tree Philodendrons

Pruning your Philodendron may be required for a variety of reasons. The most typical reason is that it outgrows its present living quarters. Cutting back on a regular basis might also keep your Tree Philodendron from becoming ill.

Concerned about removing too much?

Don’t be concerned. This plant is resilient and can withstand the occasional pruning.

When should you prune your philodendron tree?

Pruning can be helpful to both you and your plant at times. Cutting back on the leaves is a terrific method to shape the plant to look the way you want it to.

If your Philodendron becomes overgrown and takes up a lot of room, prune it back. In certain cases, the stems become lengthy and “leggy.”

Pruning is another method for ensuring that your plant grows in a healthy manner. Plants that become overcrowded frequently do not produce vivid leaves or blooms.

This plant’s pruning is normally done in the spring or fall.

Where to cut when you prune back your Lacy Tree Philodendrons

If you discover that the aerial roots have grown out of control and are growing along your walls or other surfaces, you can cut them back. Overgrowth of a Philodendron Selloum is not rare. To properly care for and prune your tropical plant, follow the procedures below.

  • Step 1: Water your Philodendron before using your trimmers. This will limit the amount of shock it may experience as a result of the decrease in moisture.
  • Step 2: Using a sharp knife, begin by severing the tips of the leaves. Trim the leaf tips back to the desired height gradually.
  • Step 3: Once the leaves have reached the desired height, attack the branches. Trimming back the branches will eventually reduce the size of the plant, allowing new shoots to fill in empty spots.
  • Step 4: Re-water your plant. Saturate it thoroughly until the top six inches of soil is moist.
  • Step 5: Place your freshly clipped plant in a location that receives partial sunshine.

When pruning Philodendron, a good rule of thumb is to space them three feet apart. This prevents them from becoming overloaded, which shortens the time between trimming cycles.


For most plants, there are several ways to propagate them. The ideal strategy for this tropical person is stem cuttings. The Tree Philodendron is an excellent choice for propagation due to its remarkable toughness.

New plants can be simply manifested from the original source. As with any propagation technique, choose a plant that is happy, healthy, and disease-free.

For individuals who are unsure about propagating their Philodendron Selloum, we have offered a step-by-step guide. It is available for download below.

Step 1: Fill at least two inches of peat moss and sand into a new pot. Ensure that the organic matter is evenly distributed.

Step 2: Water your newly made pot until water flows out the bottom, checking that the drainage holes are working properly.

Step 3: Scan your Philodendron individuals for a stem with at least two nodes.

Step 4: Remove the Tree Philodendron’s stem, including both the stem and the two nodes.

Step 5: Insert the propagated stem into the new pot. The bottom node should be pushed beneath the surface of the soil.

Step 6: Water this freshly inserted cutting after it has been successfully planted.

Step 7: Wrap your stem in a clear plastic bag to provide a warm, wet environment for it to grow in. After the soil has been thoroughly saturated, the plastic should be placed over the stem.

Step 8: Place your new plant in a place of your home where it will receive indirect sunlight.

Step 9: Dig around the stem’s base lightly once a week to check for new growth.

Step 10: If you find the roots developing faster than usual, move it to a new container with 3-inches of potting mix.

Step 11: As needed, continue to relocate this individual to a larger pot.

The roots will take anywhere from three weeks to a month to fully form. Consider propagating your Philodendron during the spring and summer months for the best results.


Were you aware that some plants may be propagated in water? Members of the Araceae family, such as Philodendron, make this alternative method quite simple. These flowering plants all have thick aerial roots that absorb water quickly. If you’d prefer attempt this propagation method, here’s how.

To propagate your Philodendron Selloum, first identify the plant from which you wish to create a new individual. Make a clean cut and remove a six-inch stem once you’ve found your preferred specimen.

At least two or three leaf nodes should be present on this stem. Continue to pinch off these nodes with caution so that they are exposed. You are now ready to immerse the leafless end of the freshly cut stem in water.


There are various conditions that must be followed in order for a Tree Philodendron to thrive. This tropical plant is one among the hardiest, making it simple to care for.

Despite this, they are vulnerable to a variety of issues, all of which can be resolved with the correct additional nurture.

To keep you and your Philodendron stress-free, we’ve highlighted the most common issues and how to cure them before they grow worse.


Philodendron Selloum is distinguished by its exceptionally black and vivid leaves. If they begin to yellow, this could be due to the plant receiving too much water.

Yellowing leaves can be resolved by modifying your watering plan. Allow your Philodendron to dry out before watering it again. Remember that this plant prefers damp soil, not soggy soil


Cause: Overwatering is a big problem, but so is underwatering. Philodendrons that reveal brown colors at the tips of their leaves are frequently responding to a lack of water. Unfortunately, this symptom can be caused by either too much or too little water.

Remedy: Because it is difficult to tell if the browning of the leaves is caused by too much or too little water, experiment with your watering routine. Concentrate on supplying more water. If that doesn’t work, try staggering the time between waterings. Just keep in mind that older plants’ leaves tend to have a little dark tinge to them.


Cause: Dark patches on the leaves of a Philodendron can indicate something more serious. Keep an eye on the leaves over time, as this could be an ailment known as “bacterial blight.” Once infected, this disease damages the leaves, causing them to rot and die.

The unpleasant thing about this sickness is that it cannot be cured. Plants infected with it must be properly disposed of before infecting other people. The greatest way to avoid this condition is to detect it early on. Avoid this by keeping your leaves somewhat dry, especially while watering your Philodendron.

5 Ways to help your Lacy Tree Philodendron Plants Succeed

With such a resilient, intriguing plant, you’ll want to be certain that all of its requirements are satisfied. We understand that there may be a lot to remember, so we’ve produced a list of the most crucial points for you.

  1. Select soil with a high organic matter content and a slightly alkaline pH. This will guarantee that the vital nutrients and moisture are retained.
  2. Avoid overwatering your Philodendron by keeping the soil damp but not waterlogged.
  3. This plant thrives in a space with bright, indirect sunshine and temperatures that do not go below 10 degrees Celsius.
  4. Although it is not required, you may choose to fertilize your plants during the spring and summer months. Just make sure to dilute it to half its original strength.
  5. Because these plants grow rather large, clip back the leaves as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the deal with my Philodendron Selloum drooping?

Drooping leaves are typically caused by either an excess of or a deficiency of water. Adjust your watering schedule to ascertain which issue your Philodendron is experiencing.

Do Philodendrons require direct sunlight?

These plants do, in fact, require sunlight to survive. In fact, even though they can survive in low light, they prefer to be put in a location with bright indirect light.

Is it necessary to repot my Philodendron?

This species of philodendron is known to grow fairly tall and massive, hence the name “Tree” Philodendron. As a result, they will occasionally need to be repotted before they can break out on their own. Every year, check the gap between your pot and the plant to ensure that they are not too close together.

Common Pests and Diseases of the Lacy Tree Philodendrons

Spider mites, fungus gnats, aphids, and mealybugs are among the main pests that attack these tropical plants. Regularly checking the leaves for signs of pests is the greatest approach to detect and eradicate infestations early.

Tree philodendrons are also prone to root rot, which can arise as a result of insufficient hydration or compacted soil. Mushy stems and brown, decaying leaves are both symptoms of root rot, which can quickly kill a plant. You may be able to rescue the plant if you catch root rot early enough by cutting out the rotting areas and propagating the remaining stem to create new roots.

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