Care of Split-Leaf Plants


Split-leaf plants, also called split-leaf philodendrons or tree philodendrons, are large shrubs with huge, 3-foot-long, glossy, split-lobed leaves. The split-leaf philodendron is a tropical shrub used as a houseplant or grown outdoors in warm climates, growing as tall and wide as 15 feet with a 6-inch-diameter stem. Native to the rain-forest regions of Brazil and Paraguay, the split-leaf plant grows best outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 through 11, where average winter temperatures stay above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the split-leaf philodendron's warmth and humidity requirements, the plant is container-grown indoors in most regions.

Step 1

Fill a planter pot that has drainage holes in the bottom with rich, all-purpose potting soil. The planter pot should be about 1 1/2 times larger than the nursery container.

Step 2

Bury the split-leaf philodendron's roots into the potting soil. Place the split-leaf plant in bright, indirect sunlight, preferably within 8 feet of a sunny window.

Step 3

Water the split-leaf philodendron once every week to 10 days. Water the plant to moisten the soil evenly and thoroughly.

Step 4

Prune away any lower leaves that become discolored to keep the split-leaf philodendron tidy and healthy. Wear gloves when you're cutting into the plant, because its sap can irritate your skin.

Step 5

Spray a mixture of 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap and 1 pint of water onto the split-leaf plant if it becomes infested with spider mites, aphids, mealybugs or scales.

Step 6

Care for your split-leaf philodendron during winter by cutting back on watering the plant to keep the soil just barely moistened. Mist the plant with water when the indoor air is dry.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful if you're growing the split-leaf philodendron as a houseplant where there are children or pets. The split-leaf plant is poisonous if eaten.

Things You'll Need

  • Planter pot
  • All-purpose potting soil
  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves
  • Liquid dish soap (optional)
  • Water spray bottle


  • Houseplant Care Tips: Caring for a Split-Leafed Philodendron

Who Can Help

  • Floridata: Philodendron bipinnatifidum
Keywords: grow split-leaf philodendron, split-leaf plant, philodendron houseplants

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.