If you want a big, tropical, low maintenance plant, the split-leaf philodendron is your plant! Split-leaf philodendrons are large vines that get their name from their fenestrated leaves thought to be formed to make them hurricane proof in the forests of Hawaii and South and Central America. In the right conditions these plants can get big fast, so make sure you have adequate space to accommodate this beauty.
LIGHT: Split leaf philodendrons thrive in bright indirect or filtered light. More light will promote bigger leaves and more vigorous growth. They can also do well in medium light, but may not grow as quickly.
HUMIDITY: This plant prefers relative humidity above 40%, but
household humidity is usually fine. You can increase humidity by using a humidifier near your plant, placing on a pebble tray with water careful that the water doesn’t touch the water in the tray, or misting occasionally. Be aware that misting too often can encourage fungus and bacteria to grow on your plant.
WATERING: Water when the top 2-2.5” of soil are dry. Split-leafs are pretty drought tolerant. It’s safer to err on the side of too dry and too wet. If left to dry out too long, brown spots may appear on the edges of the leaves.
PROPAGATION: Split-leaves are easy to propagate with stem cuttings or division. To divide, separate individual plants from the root ball and plant in individual containers with a light, well-draining soil. For stem cuttings, make sure the cutting has a leaf node (located where the leaf grows on the stem); there will likely be a visible aerial root. Put the cutting in water that is changed weekly, moist soil or moss.
- Fertilize split-leaf philodendrons regularly during their growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer that is diluted to 1⁄4 strength. Fish emulsion and Superthrive work well.
- These plants tend to take up a great deal of room as they mature and need constant pruning to keep them manageable. You can cut off some stems from the existing plant and use them to start new plants.
- Staking up split-leafs will encourage larger leaves and more fenestrations (splits or holes in the leaves). Typically, the leaves will start the fenestrate on the 5th to 7th leaf on the vine. Staking the plant can also make its size more manageable.
- Does well in a rich soil that contains a good amount of peat moss. The soil needs to drain quickly to prevent root rot.
- Split-leaf philodendrons are toxic to animals, so keep out of reach of pets and children.
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