Split Leaf Philodendron Care And Grow: The Ultimate Guide

Hey there, welcome to our super cool guide on how to look after and grow Split Leaf Philodendrons! You might have heard of the Split Leaf Philodendron as the Monstera Deliciosa. It’s a favorite indoor plant known for its big, funky leaves with deep cuts and holes. Being a tropical plant from the rainforests in Central and South America, these Philodendrons need some special attention to rock indoors.

In this all-in-one guide, we’ll run through everything about caring for a Split Leaf Philodendron, like what light they like, when to water them, what soil they dig, how to feed them right, and how to make more plants from one. Doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or if you’re already a plant whisperer, we’ve got all the tips you need to make sure your Split Leaf Philodendron grows up strong and healthy. So, ready to dive in and learn how to give this awesome plant the best care? Let’s get started!

What is a Split Leaf Philodendron?

A split-leaf philodendron is this chill tropical plant from the Araceae family, rocking big, green leaves with cool splits along the edges. Even though they’re totally different plants, people often mix ’em up with Monstera deliciosa, also known as the “Swiss cheese plant.” The Swiss cheese plant has leaves with these funky holes (or fenestrations) that don’t reach the leaf’s edges, not like the split-leaf philodendron’s standout gapped leaves.

Both plants are a breeze to look after and are superstars as indoor houseplants. They’re all about that humid life and need regular watering, but they’re cool with drying out between drinks. Split-leaf philodendrons and Monstera deliciosas can shoot up to 10 feet tall if they’ve got enough stuff to climb. These showstopper plants pack a serious punch in any home and are bound to bring some tropical flair.

Split Leaf Philodendron

Split Leaf Philodendron care overview

Botanical Name Philodendron bipinnatifidum
Common Name Lacy Tree Philodendron
Classification Tropical plant
Family Araceae
Genus Philodendron
Mature Size 6 feet high indoors
Soil Type Moisture-retentive and well-draining
Soil pH Alightly acidic
Flower Color Green to red-purple spathe
Native Area Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay
Temperature 65 to 75°F
Light Bright, indirect light indoors, Full to partial shade in outside
Watering Water every 5 to 7 days
Humidity 60-80%
Fertilizer Fertilize 1 times per month
Propagation Stem cuttings, division, seeds
Toxicity Toxic to humans and toxic to pets when ingested

How to care for Split Leaf Philodendron?

Your Split Leaf Philodendron (you might know it as Monstera deliciosa) is a cool houseplant and it’s pretty chill to take care of. The split leaves give the plant an interesting look, and it can grow to be quite large.

Now, here’s how you can take care of your Split Leaf Philodendron:

Light Requirements

Your Split Leaf Philodendron loves bright, indirect light to grow best. When they’re out in nature, these guys hang out on the forest floor, getting some light that’s kinda filtered through the tree tops. Inside, it’s a good idea to place your Split Leaf Philodendron near a window that’s either facing north or east, so it can get bright, but indirect light.

Too much direct sun can burn the leaves, so you gotta make sure you’re not putting your plant right in the sun. However, if your plant isn’t getting enough light, you might see its leaves going yellow, and that’s a sign it’s not getting enough light.

If you can’t give it enough natural light, no biggie, you can use artificial grow lights. Just put the lights about 6-12 inches over the plant and keep ’em on for like 12-14 hours each day. Get the light right, and your Split Leaf Philodendron will be good to go, growing big and healthy, with some nice looking leaves.

Split Leaf Philodendron in indirect light


One of the most important factors in growing healthy split leaf philodendron plants is the quality of the soil. Yeah, these plants aren’t too fussy about their soil, but they do like it to be loose and full of good stuff like compost. A simple way to nail this? Mix potting soil, perlite, and compost in equal amounts. This will pack your philodendron’s soil with everything it needs to grow big and strong.

Your soilshould be a bit damp but not soaking wet, plus it’s gotta drain well. Too much water can cause the roots to rot, and you don’t want that. Better to play it safe and let the top of the soil dry out before watering again. Not sure if it’s time for another drink? Just poke your finger in the soil. If it’s dry a few inches down, your plant’s thirsty.

Remember, split leaf philodendrons are tropical plants – they love the heat! If the soilgets too chilly, it could slow your plant down. So, it’s smart to put your philodendrons in pots. That way, when it gets cold outside, you can bring ’em indoors to stay cozy.


You gotta make sure your split leaf philodendron gets its water to stay in good shape. When the top inch of soil feels kinda dry, go ahead and water the guy. Give it a good soak until you see water sneaking out from those drainage holes under the pot. Let it drain out for a bit before you get rid of any leftover water in the saucer. Don’t ever let it sit in water, okay? Overwatering is one of the most common causes of problems with split leaf philodendrons. If you notice the leaves turning a bit yellow or kinda saggy, it means you’re overdoing it with the water. Ease up on the watering and let the soil dry out a smidge in between.

In general, split leaf philodendrons do best with moderate watering. Water it when the top inch of soil feels dry. Water thoroughly, until you see water draining out of those holes at the bottom of the pot. Let it drain for a few before you toss any leftover water in the saucer. And remember, don’t let it sit in water, alright?

If you start seeing the leaves go yellow or saggy, that’s a sure sign you’re overwatering. Chill out on the watering and let the soil dry out a little between times. Stick to this, and your split leaf philodendron should do just fine.

Split Leaf Philodendron in Afternoon showers


Split Leaf Philodendrons are real heat-lovers, liking it cozy between 65-80°F (18-27°C). They’re a bit touchy when it comes to the cold. So, you gotta keep ’em away from the chilly breeze of air conditioning vents or places where the temp goes up and down.

These Philodendrons are also huge fans of moist air. In the wild, where they come from, they get to enjoy humidity up to 100%! At home, you can give ’em a similar vibe by keeping a humidifier nearby, spritzing the leaves with water now and then, or placing a water-filled tray close so the water can evaporate and humidify the air around.

If your home’s air is kinda dry, your Split Leaf Philodendron might show it by getting brown tips or edges on the leaves. That’s their way of saying they need more moisture. Keeping things warm and humid is the secret sauce to keep your plant feelin’ good and lookin’ great.


When it comes to humidity, the Split Leaf Philodendron likes things on the wet side. This plant is native to tropical rainforests, so it’s used to high humidity levels. If your split leaf philodendron is looking a bit wilted, it may be because the air around it is too dry. This rainforest native prefers relative humidity above 40%, so misting its foliage occasionally can help keep it healthy.

If your place feels super dry, you might wanna think about getting a cool-mist room humidifier to give the air a bit more moisture. If you notice your leaves turning brown at the tips, it could be ’cause of dry air, so boosting up the humidity might help fix that too.

The top-notch way to up the humidity is to grab a humidifier, or to pop your plant on a tray full of pebbles and water. Just make sure the pot’s not chilling in the water ’cause you don’t want root rot to ruin the day.

Another trick to up the humidity around your Split Leaf Philodendron is to group it with some other plant buddies. This way you’re creating a small humid hideaway that’ll be awesome for your plant. Just remember not to cram too many plants together ’cause you don’t want drainage problems on your hands.


To make sure your Split Leaf Philodendron grows up nice and strong, you gotta feed it right with some fertilizer. The best time to do this is when it’s on a growth spurt during spring and summer.

When picking your fertilizer, go for something balanced, like a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 mix. Try not to grab anything too high in nitrogen cause it’ll make the plant all leaves and no flowers.

While it’s growing, you can chuck on the fertilizer every two to four weeks, just like the packet says. But don’t go nuts with the stuff, you could end up burning the roots.

If you notice your plant’s not growing much or the leaves are going yellow, the soil might not have enough nutrients in the soil. If this happens, you can up the fertilizer action or switch to something with more nitrogen to give those leaves a boost.

Split Leaf Philodendron when fertilized


Remove your plant from its pot and check the roots. If they’re crowded or matted, it’s time to repot. Choose a pot that’s about 2 inches wider than the current one.

Tweak your soil with perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. It’s best to repot during spring, but hey, any time of the year works.

Water your green buddy a few hours before repotting, it’ll make the whole thing a lot easier. Be gentle when you’re loosening the roots, then plop them in the new pot. Sprinkle new soil around the roots and give it a good water. Stick your plant somewhere bright, but avoid spots with direct sunlight. Hold off on the plant food for a few weeks to let your plant get used to its new home.


Giving your Split Leaf Philodendron a trim is key to keeping it looking good and growing strong. Spring or summer is the best time to do this when your plant’s in growth mode.

To trim, grab some sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears and snip the stem just above a node or leaf. You can cut off any icky or yellowing leaves, and any growth that’s cramping the plant’s style.

If your Split Leaf Philodendron is starting to outgrow its space, don’t be scared to prune it back a bit. Just remember, don’t go too crazy with the cutting, you don’t want to shock your plant and stunt its growth.

You can even turn your trimmings into new plants! Just take some stem cuttings from the bits you’ve pruned. It’s a cool way to make new plants and share them with your buddies. Regular trims will keep your Split Leaf Philodendron looking slick and growing healthily.

Related: Philodendron Birkin Care And Grow: The Ultimate Guide

Philodendron Split Leaf Propagation

Stem cuttings are the best way to clone Split Leaf Philodendrons. Yeah, you can grow these plants from seeds, but not all of us get to see flowers on our indoor plants, so that’s not a sure bet.

Now, here’s a simple guide on how to grow stem cuttings from your Split Leaf Philodendron in soil or water.

Start by picking your cutting carefully. Look for a fit and happy-looking stem with two or three bumps (we call them nodes) and at least one leaf hanging on. Snip the cutting right below the lowest bump with a clean and sharp knife or a pair of scissors.

Philodendron Split Leaf Propagation

Propagate Split Leaf Philodendron In Soil

Growing a new Split Leaf Philodendron in soil pretty easy and nifty. Here’s a step-by-step on how to do it:

  1. Find a good, strong cutting from the parent plant. Make sure it’s got a few nodes, where the leaves pop out, and a couple of leaves on it.
  2. Snip the stem just under a node with clean, sharp scissors or clippers, so you end up with a cutting that’s about 6 inches long.
  3. Leave just one or two leaves at the top of the cutting, once you’ve taken off the lower leaves. That way, it won’t lose too much water and it’ll be better for growing roots.
  4. Dip the cut end of the stem into some rooting hormone powder. It’ll help the roots to grow.
  5. Fill a small pot with soil that drains well, like a mix of perlite and peat moss. Make a little hole in the soil with a pencil or your finger.
  6. Pop the cutting into the hole, and firm the soil around the stem to hold it in place.
  7. Water the spot where you put the cutting, making sure the soil is moist but not too wet. Stick the pot somewhere warm with a bit of indirect light.
  8. Don’t let the soil dry out completely – keep it damp but not waterlogged.
  9. After a couple of weeks, your cutting should start to grow roots. You can test this by giving the stem a gentle tug.
  10. Once the cutting’s grown roots, you can plant it in a bigger pot with regular potting soil and look after it just like a grown-up Split Leaf Philodendron.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon have a new Split Leaf Philodendron to add to your plant family, or to give to a friend.

Propagate Split Leaf Philodendron In Water

Pick up your sound stem cutting and put it in a propagation station or jar with clean water covering the nodes.

Every three to five days, the water should be changed. Position your cutting in a bright area but away from direct sunlight.

Be patient as you wait for new roots to emerge. This normally takes a bit more than four to six weeks. Your cutting is good to go into the soil once a bunch of roots start to grow.

The whole thing of new cuttings growing roots can take more time than you’d think, but if you can keep cool and keep them toasty, both will help.

Split Leaf Philodendron Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Some common pests and diseases that can affect your split leaf philodendron include:

  • Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or stem rot. No worries, though – you can zap them with fungicides.
  • Bacterial diseases like bacterial leaf spot or stem rot. You can tackle these with bactericides.
  • Viral diseases such as mosaic virus or tobacco rattle virus. There is no cure for viral infections, so affected plants must be destroyed.
  • Aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs can all cause problems for split leaf philodendrons. These pests can be controlled with insecticides.
  • Spider mites can also be a problem, especially in dry conditions. You can handle these little pests with pesticides or just by making the area around the plant a bit more humid.

So, yeah, there’s a bunch of things that can mess with your split leaf philodendrons. But if you’re on the lookout for these issues and ready to step in when needed, you can keep your plant happy, healthy, and looking top-notch.

Split Leaf Philodendron Care Common Problems

Problems are common in growing split leaf philodendron. Some of the most common problems include:

  • Leaves turning yellow and dropping off: This usually happens when there’s too much sunlight beaming down, or your plant’s not getting enough water. Just move your plant to a less sunny place and keep the soil nice and damp, but not soaking wet.
  • Leaves developing brown spots: Brown spots on leaves can pop up due to a few reasons like too much direct sun, nasty bugs, or diseases. If the spots are tiny and there aren’t too many, try to cut them off with a knife or scissors. If there’s too many or they’re big, you’ll probably have to get rid of the leaves.
  • Leaves curling or wilting: This is usually a telltale sign of not enough water. Be sure to keep the soil damp, but remember not to drown it.
  • Plant overall looks unhealthy: If your plant just doesn’t look right overall, it could be because of bad drainage, too much or too little sun, not watering it correctly, or disease. Take a close look at your plant and try to figure out what’s going wrong. If you can’t crack it, it’s time to call in a pro.

Taking care of a Split Leaf Philodendron isn’t rocket science, but there’s a few things you gotta keep in mind. These include how much light it needs, watering, temperature, humidity, and feeding it. Repotting and pruning are also key to your plant’s health. If you hit any snags with bugs or diseases, don’t forget to check out our guide on common Split Leaf Philodendron problems.

Ever tried growing a Split Leaf Philodendron at your place? Got any solid advice on looking after this plant? Please comment below to let FamiPlants know.

Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

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