Philodendron Selloum - Growing and Care Guide
15-20 years. That’s how long it takes for a Philodendron Selloum to bloom. To help it live that long, make sure you keep the soil moist and the leaves dry.
Find out more about how to take care of this plant below.
Philodendron Selloum Overview
Philodendron Selloum Quick Facts
|Scientific Name:||Philodendron bipinnatifidum, synonym Philodendron Selloum|
|Common Names||Tree Philodendron, Philodendron Hope|
|Type||Evergreen herbaceous plant|
|Watering||Moist but not soggy soil|
|Light||Bright, indirect light|
|Toxicity||Poisonous to people and pets|
|Pests||Scale, spider mites, aphids, mealy bugs|
Varieties of Philodendron Selloum
Philodendron Selloum is one of around 450 varieties of Philodendron. The varieties of Philodendron are all herbaceous plants that are native to the tropical Americas, and they typically have thick leaves with sturdy stems. They grow primarily in rainforests, climbing up the trunks of trees and larger plants, and many make ideal houseplants. Some of the available varieties of Philodendron include the following.
Philodendron hederaceum, variety oxycardium
This common Philodendron features green heart-shaped leaves.
Commonly known as the fiddle-leaf, this plant has leaves up to 10 inches wide and 18 inches long. The foliage is glossy green.
The leaves of this variety are triangular and can grow up to 24 inches long (Brittanica). Their leave shape is like a spade; so it is also called Spade-leaf Philodendron
Philodendron Selloum Care Tips
This plant has moderate watering needs. It is not especially thirsty, but it is not drought tolerant and likes its soil to be kept lightly moist. You will need to strike a balance between moist but not wet soil, as moisture is needed to help the plant thrive, but wet soil will encourage root rot and be fatal for the plant.
In order to offer the correct watering practise, water the plant enough so that water runs through the drainage holes of the pot, ensuring that all of the soil has been moistened. Discard any water that drains out to prevent the plant from sitting in water, and then, wait until the plant’s soil surface is dry to the touch before watering again. Adding more water before the top layer of soil has had the opportunity to dry out will increase the likelihood of overwatering and root rot becoming a problem.
Philodendron Selloum as a houseplant likes to be in bright, indirect light or dappled light with some shade. It can be grown in the shade, but if kept in low light, the leaves will turn a darker shade of green and look somewhat unhealthy with stunted growth. The plant can become used to bright, direct light, but it will see a rapid increase in growth and will need frequent fertilization to sustain this growth and to prevent it from becoming unbalanced in terms of its requirements.
A plant kept in unusually bright conditions will also need more moisture than usual. In an ideal situation, the Philodendron Selloum would have the best of both worlds: a moderate climate that is bright without being too bright (North Carolina State University).
This plant requires a humid environment to truly thrive, but most homes are not typically areas of high humidity, so you will need to artificially increase the moisture content of the air to meet this need. The simplest though probably most labor-intensive solution is to mist the plant daily with a light water spray. This is an easy and low-cost solution, but it does require a little time every day, and it relies on you remembering this part of the plant’s schedule.
Another option is a pebble tray. Simply sit the plant on a tray of pebbles which have been filled with water, and the evaporation will raise humidity levels around the plant. Be sure to avoid the water level around the pebbles reaching the base of the pot. Otherwise, water could be absorbed by the soil and inadvertently result in overwatering. Another option is to position plants in groups, as this is known to increase humidity, or you could use a humidifier, which is probably the most reliable but also the costliest option.
As a native to South America, Philodendron Selloum is accustomed to warm temperatures. It grows best in temperatures typically found in homes, which is one of the reasons it makes such a good houseplant. It can be kept outdoors during the summer if you wish, but it will not tolerate temperatures lower than 55° F, and so, will need to be moved indoors for the remainder of the year in cooler climates.
This plant dislikes cold draufts, so keep it away from areas where this is likely, such as windows or entryways. It will also prefer to be kept away from heaters or stoves. A good rule of thumb with Philodendron Selloum is that as long as you are comfortable in your home, then your plant will be too.
Philodendron Selloum can be propagated from stem cuttings. A good way to do this is following a pruning session to ensure leaves you have pruned from the plant do not go to waste and can be used to create new plants for your collection or to gift to friends. Use a stem cutting with a leaf node intact, as this is where roots will emerge from. You can propagate the stem cutting in soil or water in just a few weeks. To propagate in water simply place the stem cutting in a jar of water, leave it in a warm, protected spot and watch as roots develop.
For propagation in soil, dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone, stand it in a pot of moist soil. and gently tuck it in so that it is supported and able to stand upright. Keep the soil moist and in a warm spot, and roots should form in a matter of weeks. Check for root growth by identifying new growth above soil level or by gently tugging on the stem to see if it offers any resistance. Resistance indicates that roots have formed and the plant is ready to be moved to a larger pot.
This plant can be pruned to control its size or to encourage a bushier look. Over time, leaves will occasionally brown, and these need to be removed by snapping them off or cutting them as close to the base as possible. As the plant ages, it’s the main stem will thicken to resemble a trunk, and you may wish to encourage the appearance of a tree by removing the lower leaves to reveal the trunk. This can be done with a pair of clean, sharp scissors or secateurs.
Other than these optional prunings, and the removal of dead or damaged leaves, Philodendron Selloum does not need to be routinely pruned. When pruning, always wear gloves as the plant contains toxic sap that can cause irritation if ingested or if it comes into contact with skin.
Flowers only appear on mature examples of this plant, with them typically taking several decades before they bloom. The average age of a Philodendron Selloum blooming is 15 to 20 years, and plants that have been kept as houseplants for their whole lives may never bloom. The flowers of this plant are housed inside a spathe, which is a variation of a leaf which can often get mistaken for being the flower itself.
Common Pests and Diseases
This plant can be affected by common houseplant pests, such as aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. Diseases that can infect the Philodendron Selloum include bacterial blight, which results in very dark patches on the leaves and eventually causes the leaves to rot and die. Prevention is the best method of protection against this disease and can be kept at bay by watering at soil level to keep the leaves dry.
Has your Philodendron Selloum bloomed? Have you had any problems with your plant? Let us know in the comments, and please do share this page with others who might find it useful!