Philodendron Selloum Care Guide (Tree Philodendron)

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The Philodendron Selloum (also commonly called the Tree Philodendron or Split Leaf Philodendron) is a common tropical houseplant that you will find in many stores where houseplants are sold. It is also a common landscape plant that is used in many areas in Florida. If you have come across one of these you might be wondering how do you care for a Philodendron Selloum? In this care guide, we go over everything you need to know on how to care for your Philodendron Selloum.


The Philodendron Selloum is a common sight to see in landscaping in Florida. But originally it is from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay. It was here that it was discovered in the early 1800s.

In its native environment it grows in tropical forests, often climbing up trees to reach the sun. While it is commonly thought not to be a climber, it does climb when given the right conditions.

Philodendron Selloum Scientific Name: Philodendron bipinnatifidum Schott ex Endl

Other Common Names for the Philodendron Selloum

  • Split Leaf Philodendron
  • Tree Philodendron
  • Lacy Tree Philodendron
  • Selloum
  • Elephant Ear Philodendron
  • Cut Leaf Philodendronron
  • Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum
Philodendron Selloum Care Guide

Quick Overview Of How to Care For a Philodendron Selloum (aka Tree Philodendron)

  1. Water evenly once the top few inches of soil has dried out.
  2. Keep temperatures above freezing. Optimal 50-90
  3. Bright indirect light is best but can grow even in direct sun.
  4. Well draining soil, but the plant is not picky about the type of soil.
  5. Can grow outdoors in the right conditions.
  6. Fertilize once a month with an organic liquid houseplant fertilizer.
  7. Is toxic to pets.

Is Philodendron Selloum Easy To Care For?

The Philodendron Selloum is one of the easier Philodendron Plants to take care of. They are more forgiving with watering, temperatures, and humidity levels. This makes them a great option for new plant collectors.

Philodendron Selloum Watering

Allow the top few inches of the soil to dry before watering. When you do water the plant, water the soil around it evenly.

Do not overwater or let it sit in soggy wet soil that doesn’t drain. This can lead to root rot.

These plants are drought-tolerant, so they can be a good option for those who tend to underwater their plants.

Light Requirements

The Selloum is one of the more sun-loving Philodendrons. Bright indirect or filtered light is best for optimal growth, with a few hours of the morning sun. But they can be acclimated to growing even in direct sun. You will often find them in Flordia yards as a landscape plant that is in full sun all day.

Philodendron Selloum Soil

The Philodendron Selloum is not too picky about the soil that you put it in. You can use whatever you would like for soil, just make sure that the soil is well-draining.

Philodendron Selloum Leaf


The best temperature range is 50 to 90, but try to keep it in an area where it will not drop below freezing.

Selloums can tolerate colder temperatures than most Philodendrons. They can even make it through short freezes, but the foliage will get some damage with this.

Long periods of temperatures being below freezing will cause the plant to get severe damage and increase the likelihood that it will not make it.


These Philodendrons grow best in humid environments (greater than 50% humidity) but they can grow accustomed to lower humidity levels such as 40%. If you are in an area where the air is dry then you will want to grow this plant indoors and control the humidity around it with a humidifier.

Philodendron Selloum Fertilizer

Fertilize your Tree Philodendron once a month with an organic liquid houseplant fertilizer. We recommend  Espoma Organic Indoor Plant Food or Fish Fertilizer.

If you have just repotted your Selloum with a medium that has plant food/fertilizer in it, then skip the fertilizer that month.

Philodendron Selloum Size and Growth


The Selloum can grow of up to 8 feet high and can easily be used as a landscaping piece to help obscure views when grown outside.

If given a tree to climb they can grow up the side of the tree to whatever height the tree is.

Philodendron Selloum Growth Rate

They are normally a fast grower when growing outdoors in a brightly lit area with humidity above 50%.

When grown indoors the growth rate slows down. To increase the growth rate indoors increase the light and humidity for the plant. Also, make sure to repot the plant in a bigger container as it gets bigger and becomes root bound. If it is not given a bigger container then the plant will not grow very fast.

Is the Philodendron Selloum a Climber?

While many sites will say that the Tree Philodendron is not a climber, it actually is in its natural habitat. When in the right conditions it will climb up large trees. But most often it is said not to be a climber because it is growing in areas where it has plenty of sunlight and no trees, or it is indoors in a container.

In its natural habitat, it will start out growing on the ground because as they mature they get heavier and the stem will fall over. But if given a tree turn they will use aerial roots and start to climb up the tree.

Is the Philodendron Selloum an Indoor Plant or an Outdoor Plant?

If you live in southern Florida or North Central Florida the Selloum is a common outdoor plant. However, if you live in an area where temperatures will drop below freezing for extended periods of time (more than an occasional night of a brief dip below freezing) then you will need to either grow it exclusively indoors or bring it inside for the periods of cold weather or seasons.


The Tree Philodendron (Philodendron Selloum) is poisonous to both cats and dogs. If ingested it can cause irritation of the mouth and GI tract. If your pet ingests or chews on the plant, call your vet.

Where to Find a Philodendron Selloum For Sale

The Philodendron Selloum is a very common houseplant to find in plant stores and big box stores. They are also available online in Marketplaces such as Etsy or Facebook Marketplace.

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