Whether you have a green thumb or not, the Split Leaf Philodendron is a perfect addition to your home decor. Also known as the split-leaf elephant ear, due to its large leaves, this plant requires minimal care and still manages to grow into a small tree with huge heart-shaped decorative leaves. Imagine having a bunch of hearts spread around your home in the form of this amazing indoor plant!
The glossy leaves of the Split Leaf Philodendron are almost 3 feet long and 2 feet wide, which split from the edges to the center, as the plant matures. Hence, the distinctive name, in case you were wondering! The plant itself is almost 10 feet tall and 14 feet wide, making it hard to ignore.
But, it doesn’t flower! So, if large elephant ear leaves are your thing, the Split Leaf Philodendron is an ideal choice. However, if you’re looking for blooming houseplants, you can check out our blog about the African Violet.
Characteristics of the Split Leaf Philodendron
|Botanical Name||Philodendron Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum|
|Light||Medium to High|
|Temperature||50F atleast, ideally 65-80F|
|Toxicity||If ingested by humans & animals|
|Propagation||Up to 6ft|
How to Care for the Split Leaf Philodendron?
Although Split Leaf Philodendron is a very low maintenance plant and requires little care, still there are certain factors that need to be considered for it to thrive. Also, the plant itself gives us indicators to let us know what it needs. No wonder plants are living things!
The Split Leaf Philodendron requires indirect sunlight to grow. This means that you should place it at a spot where there’s partial shade.
Now how does the plant tell us if it’s getting too much or too little sunlight? If the leaves are showing signs of burning, it means the sunlight is way more than required, while if the leaves give out a sickly or wilted look, it’s an indicator of insufficient sunlight.
The Split Leaf Philodendron requires regular watering, but you should wait for the top inch of the soil to dry out before the next watering session. This can be checked by inserting the first knuckle of your finger into the soil.
If the plant shows signs of perspiration (water droplets are formed on the leaves), it’s a clear sign of overwatering, while browning leaf edges mean underwatering. See, how the plant speaks for itself?
Being a low maintenance plant, a mature Split Leaf Philodendron requires water-soluble fertilizer with macronutrients only once a month. On the other hand, an actively growing young plant may require fertilizer every two weeks.
In summers, the Split Leaf Philodendron can easily grow in temperatures between 65-80°F/18-27°C and survive at a lower temperature of 60°F/16°C in winters.
The ideal humidity level for the Split Leaf Philodendron is 40%, however, it can adapt to average household humidity levels as well.
If the humidity level is too low and almost dry, the leaves will give you an indicator of turning brownish or yellowish. To avoid this, you can use an air humidifier to maintain healthy humidity levels.
The soil requirement for the Split Leaf Philodendron is rich and fresh peat moss-based soil that does not retain much water.
As the Split Leaf Philodendron grows up to be a large plant, it needs a large pot to be potted, so that the roots have ample space to grow and spread. The more the space, the bigger it will grow.
Regular cleaning of Split Leaf Philodendron leaves with a damp cloth helps keep them dust-free. Avoid using shiners or any other chemical-laden products for cleaning, as it may hinder the growth process by clogging pores.
Also pruning is essential to keep the plant thriving as it grows quite fast and large.
Now that you know how to care for your potted friend, let me give you some Split Leaf Philodendron decorating ideas.
Split Leaf Philodendron Decoration Ideas
Here’s the fun part!
Where to put your Split Leaf Philodendron and how to style it?
I’ve put together a few creative ways to decorate your home with these beautiful plants while keeping it stylish and chic.
If you want to give your home or patio an industrial look, pot the plant in a metal bucket.
To give a more outdoorsy look, get a cement planter.
If you really want your Split Leaf Philodendron to pop out, place it in a pastel room.
A mature Split Leaf Philodendron can be placed in room corners, where there is the perfect amount of indirect sunlight and shade for it to grow.
If your Split Leaf Philodendron is still in its growing stage, you can place it on your desk in a small pot to give it a fresh look.
Terra Cotta Pots
Bring out the artist in you! Paint those classic terra cotta pots in vibrant shades and add a splash of color to your interior.
If you’re looking for a more rustic yet trendy look, place your Split Leaf Philodendron pot in a jute basket.
If you have a hallway at the entrance or a console placed right next to the main door, it makes a perfect spot for your jungle plant.
Barstool or Small Table
A tall bar stool or a small table is an ideal way to elevate your Split Leaf Philodendron and keep it away from kids and pets.
Get a Friend for your Plant
Place other exotic houseplants with your Split Leaf Philodendron, like a snake plant or bamboo plant.
You can place your plant anywhere in the house to add positive vibes, but if not taken care of properly, it can turn into an unpleasant experience. Let me tell you about the common issues that come with Split Leaf Philodendron and how to overcome them.
Common Issues of the Split Leaf Philodendron
Pests and Bugs
Split Leaf Philodendrons are susceptible to Mealy Bugs, Spider Mites, Aphids, and Scale. To keep the plant bug-free, remove the bugs and clean the plant with natural neem oil to avoid future infestations.
Some common diseases in Split Leaf Philodendron are Erwinia Blight, Xanthomonas leaf spot, and leaf tip burn. These diseases are common but shearing off the infected part and using copper-based plant protection products can be effective in killing bacteria.
Overwatering can be a huge factor in the Split Leaf Philodendron dying out by damaging the roots. To avoid overwatering, keep a check on the moisture level of the soil and water only when it’s dry. Also, using soil that doesn’t retain water and pots with holes at the bottom to drain excess water are also effective techniques.
Now that we have gone through various ways to care for the Split Leaf Philodendron, style it, and the issues it is susceptible to, it’s time to answer the most common question that people ask. Why keep a houseplant?
Neither they give you company nor do they help you with house chores, in fact, you have to strive to keep them alive! So why do people invest in them? Here’s why!
Why do Split Leaf Philodendrons Make Good Houseplants?
I could honestly go on and on about the benefits of the Split Leaf Philodendrons, but I’ll stick to the common benefits only.
- They purify the air by removing harmful chemicals like formaldehyde from it.
- They adapt to the lighting and water conditions of their surroundings.
- They absorb the water, which evaporates from their leaves, and helps decrease dryness.
- The most common benefit, which we are all aware of, it absorbs carbon dioxide and gives out oxygen, helping us breathe better.
- And obviously, they add to the beauty of your home or office by adding a splash of green.
With benefits come risks. Although they are not dealbreakers, one should be aware of all the ins and outs before getting an indoor plant.
Risks Associated with Split Leaf Philodendrons
Split Leaf Philodendrons are low-maintenance plants that can be an attractive addition to your home or office, but there are certain risks that come with this plant.
Poisoning in Pets
Split Leaf Philodendrons contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that can be toxic for your pets if ingested. It’s wise to keep them in places that are not frequented by your pets or at a height, so they cannot reach it.
In case your pet chews on the plant, take them to a vet immediately to flush out the contents of the stomach to relieve the symptoms.
Poisoning in Humans
If you have babies or kids that like to fiddle around with stuff, it’s better to keep the plant at a height away from their reach. If they eat it, it may cause burning and swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat. Other symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.
Although these reactions can be relieved with medication, it’s always a good idea to take preventive measures and stay on the safe side.
I hope this information about the Split Leaf Philodendron will come in handy when you make up your mind to get one for your home or office. It is an ideal pick for gardening beginners and especially for people with lots of open space and natural light.
So, if you like large low maintenance tropical plants, this jungle plant is what you need.
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Is the split-leaf philodendron a good houseplant?
These plants are usually grown indoors as they do well in shade or indoors. The split-leaf philodendron is a very popular plant because of its beautiful leaves. These plants are known for their glossy leaves with a distinctive V shape.
How big will a split-leaf philodendron get?
A split-leaf philodendron is a dormancy-inducing, shrub-like plant that can eventually grow up to 4 feet tall in a bright, humid environment. However, this plant is slow-growing and may take two to five years to reach this size.
Is a split-leaf philodendron easy to care for?
The Split-leaf philodendron is a tropical plant grown as a houseplant, growing outdoors in frost-free climates. It is very easy to grow and the leaves can be split into two or more parts. You only need to place it in bright light and keep it moist. It likes high humidity so mist the leaves occasionally. In summer it can be placed outdoors in partial shade.