If you’re looking for a plant with large, textured, dramatic leaves, then the Split Leaf Philodendron is the choice for you. This plant looks great in many settings and is simple to take care of, which explains why it’s been one of the most popular houseplants in the past few years.
Are you considering joining the club and getting one of these majestic plants for your home? Keep reading to learn more about Split Leaf Philodendron care and find out why this houseplant is as popular as it is.
Split Leaf Philodendron – The Basics
The Split Leaf Philodendron is a plant from the Arcacea family that is characterized by its split leaves. It can be described as a dark evergreen shrub, glossy leaves.
This plant is native to South America and is also found in some areas of Central America, including Belize. This tropical plant has been used by the indigenous people of these areas for nutritional and medicinal uses.
In its natural habitat, the Split Leaf Philodendron can grow up to 10 feet high and 15 feet wide. Luckily, there are more compact varieties that are more suitable to be houseplants, which reach a height of only about four-to-six feet.
The Split Leaf Philodendron is often confused with another similar-looking plant: the Monstera deliciosa. Let’s take a look at why these plants are actually quite different.
Split Leaf Philodendron vs Monstera Deliciosa
The Split Leaf Philodendron is often confused with the Monstera deliciosa, so much so that they’re both referred to as the Swiss-cheese plant. Admittedly, they do look similar, but in reality, they are completely different plants.
Although they’re both beautiful plants, Split Leaf Philodendron care differs from how you would care for a Monstera plant. It’s important to know exactly which plant you have in order to take proper care of it.
The main differences between the Split Leaf Philodendron and Monstera deliciosa mainly lie in their holes. The Split Leaf Philodendron has splits that run inward from the edge of the leaf, while the Monstera has actual holes throughout the leaf that don’t reach the edge.
Furthermore, the Split Leaf Philodendron grows upward and has the ability to support itself, while the Monstera needs support as it grows and will usually be found growing up a tree.
Now that you know the difference between a Split Leaf Philodendron and a Monstera deliciosa, let’s talk about how to take care of the former.
Split Leaf Philodendron Care
Once you’re certain that your plant is in fact a Split Leaf Philodendron, you’re ready to start taking care of it.
The Split Leaf Philodendron doesn’t mind a little neglect, making it a great house plant for beginners and forgetful plant parents. That being said, it is important that you pay enough attention to your Split Leaf Philodendron to ensure that all of its needs are met.
Here are some tips on Split Leaf Philodendron care to make sure that your plant grows to its maximum potential.
Split Leaf Philodendron plants like bright, indirect sunlight. This plant can handle a little bit of direct sunlight, but too much will scorch the leaves.
The best place to put your Split Leaf Philodendron is about three feet from a south-facing window to ensure your houseplant gets enough light without affecting its leaves.
Watering your Split Leaf Philodendron can be tricky at first, but you’ll eventually understand how much water your plant needs.
The Split Leaf Philodendron likes its soil to be kept moist but not overwatered. To test whether your plant needs more water, place your fingers two inches into the soil. If the soil is still moist beneath the surface, your Split Leaf Philodendron is good. However, if the soil is dry to the touch, your plant needs watering as soon as possible.
For the best results, plant your Split Leaf Philodendron in a pot with drainage holes. Water directly onto the soil and keep watering until you see the water begin to appear at the bottom of the pot.
If your Split Leaf Philodendron’s leaves begin to yellow, you may be overwatering it. Dark brown spots may also indicate overwatering and potential root rot. If this occurs, water your plant less frequently.
Since the Split Leaf Philodendron is native to South America, it’s used to warm, humid climates. In general, a normal house temperature of about 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit is adequate enough for the Split Leaf Philodendron, but your plant will not survive in anything under 60 Fahrenheit.
Likewise, if you live in a dry climate, or your Split Leaf Philodendron is in a dry room, you may want to increase the humidity in your home by using a humidifier. If your plant’s leaves turn brown and crispy, you may be underwatering it, so there might not be enough humidity in the environment.
You should prune your Split Leaf Philodendron just as you would your other plants, meaning whenever you see any dead or damaged parts of your plants that could put the entire plant at risk.
If you’re pruning your Split Leaf Philodendron to keep it at a certain size, you should aim to prune it in the late winter or early spring.
The Split Leaf Philodendron is a great indoor plant for both beginners and avid indoor garden enthusiasts. Even though it is commonly confused with the similar-looking Monstera deliciosa, both plants are very different, meaning they need to be cared for differently.
Nonetheless, Split Leaf Philodendron care is relatively simple as long as you pay attention to your plant’s need and place it in an environment where it will thrive.