It’s no secret that indoor plants are incredibly popular on the internet right now, and it isn’t just a niche group of people sharing their love of being plant parents. One mystery plant that tends to pop up in interior design posts on social media really isn’t a mystery at all– the Split Leaf Philodendron is actually a very common houseplant, and it’s very easy to care for. Read on to learn more about how to grow, maintain, care for, and propagate your Split Leaf Philodendron!
Split Leaf Philodendron Details
AKA Swiss Cheese Plant, Cordatum, Panda Plant
Light: Direct and bright light, can tolerate medium light
Water: Damp, never soggy soil
Temperature: Above 50 degrees F (10 C)
Height: Up to 4 feet (can grow upwards of 30 feet in the wild)
Pests: Spider mites, aphids
Disease: Erwinia blight, Xanthomonas leaf spot, tip burns
Toxicity: Extremely toxic to cats, dogs, and humans if consumed
Split Leaf Philodendron Benefits
Aesthetic blogs and Instagram accounts are loaded with photos of indoor plants and show off just how much some greenery can pull a home’s look and vibe together. Not only are plants great for the air we breathe, but they make our interior design game a little bit better.
They clean the air we breathe.
Split Leaf Philodendrons (and Philodendrons in general) are excellent at purifying the air. In fact, the NASA Clean Air study found that these plants are particularly good at removing formaldehyde from the air. They make excellent houseplants because their wide, chunky leaves can help block EMF radio waves as well.
They’re very fashionable.
The jungle look of this plant makes it very aesthetically pleasing. With wide, brimming leaves and thin stalks that spill out of their pots, this plant lends an air of modern design to any room they might be in.
Split Leaf Philodendron Care
The Split Leaf Philodendron does best in bright light during the summertime and direct sunlight in the winter. While this plant can actually be grown under fluorescent lighting, they don’t grow very well and will not develop their fashionable leaf perforations. Be careful where you place your plant, though. Direct sunlight will keep it healthy, but keeping your plant on a hot windowsill could cause it to dry out and encourage spider mites, their notorious enemy.
The Split Leaf Philodendron isn’t needy when it comes to watering and can (depending on the environment or climate) go up to ten days without watering. You should water your Split Leaf Philodendron thoroughly and let the soil dry slightly between each time you water. Remember to water the moss support sunk (more on that later) in addition to the soil. A good way to tell if you are overwatering your plant is if the leaves begin to “sweat.” You don’t want to deal with root rot, so make sure you don’t overwater your Split Leaf Philodendron.
Temperature and Humidity
This type of Philodendron is native to the rainforests of Central America, so it enjoys some nice, warm, humid weather. Split-Leaf Philodendrons need a constant temperature during the day of about 75 to 85 degrees F. At night, temperatures should not drop below 65 degrees F. This can usually be achieved by placing your plant’s pot near a window facing the south. Interestingly enough, light-colored walls that reflect light can also help keep your Split Leaf Philodendron warm and well-lit. Humidity should be above 40%, or else your plant may experience brown leaf tips if it gets too dry. If you live in a dry climate, you can simply mist your plant regularly to simulate a higher humidity or incorporate a humidifier into the room.
Soil and Fertilizer
Use a rich soil that contains peat moss to plant your Split Leaf Philodendron. You should provide plenty of room to accommodate the growth of roots, which will in turn cause your plant to grow massive and beautiful leaves. Because these plants can grow quite large, their stems can be susceptible to breaking. We recommend using a sphagnum moss-covered support sunk into your plant’s pot to help the aerial roots that appear on the steam stay nice and moisturized, as well as supported. While this plant doesn’t usually need fertilizer, a water-soluble fertilizer can be used every three weeks or so to help the plant grow.
Split Leaf Philodendron Propagation
Use sanitized scissors to cut an approximately 6-inch offshoot from the plant’s base, cutting close to the soil. Fill a large pot with a 3:1:1 ratio of potting soil, shredded bark, and river sand. Use two cups of water to moisten the soil. From here, you only need to insert the bottom of the cutting into the pot. The soil should be pressed tightly against the stem and a few extra drops of water should be sprinkled on top. Once the pot is placed in a warm and bright area, continue to spray the soil with a mister a few times a day. Around 45 days later, you can then check for roots by (gently!) lifting the cutting from the soil. If there is some resistance, congratulations! Your Split Leaf Philodendron has rooted. Keep your baby plant in that same pot for about a year before transferring it.
Split Leaf Philodendron Pruning
While these plants are gorgeous, they can get a little bit wild once they start to thrive and grow. Pruning your Split Leaf Philodendron is quite easy. Using sharp and sanitized scissors, cut off a few healthy stems right when the leaf node meets the stem. Try to aim to remove leaves from the bottom quarter of the plant near the soil. That’s all it really takes! Plus, you can use those pruned leaves to propagate and grow more Split Leaf Philodendrons.
Split Leaf Philodendron Varieties
This new variety of the Split Leaf Philodendron boasts smaller leaves and tends to only grow to a maximum width of three feet. The Hope variety is very similar to the Xanadu variety.
This version of the Split Leaf Philodendron has very finely-split leaves with waves, giving it a notably different look than conventional Split Leaf Philodendron varieties.
Split Leaf Philodendron Purchasing
Your friendly neighborhood nursery may carry some Split Leaf Philodendrons, especially if you live in a warm and humid climate where they grow easily. Usually, adult varieties tend to be a bit on the pricey side, but younger plants who just need a bit of care can grow fairly quickly.
You can easily find Split Leaf Philodendron available from various sellers on Amazon. This way of purchasing your plant is helpful because you can browse different sizes and prices before choosing a seller to purchase from, so you know you’ll get the best price. Keep in mind that due to the delicate nature of selling and shipping plants online, you may have to pay a shipping and handling fee.
JM BAMBOO Split Leaf Philodendron
The large split leaves develop with age. Great gift for the home, apartment, office, dorm or den. Prefers bright, indirect light or artificial light. Keep evenly moist, not wet or dry.
The Sill offers a fun pairing of a live potted split leaf philodendron with a silk faux counterpart. You get twice as many monsteras with half as much work. What’s not to love?
We’ve paired our live Monstera handpotted in a 7 planter with its faux counter-part, the Faux Monstera Leaves Trio (vase not included), so you can take your obsession to the next level as you decorate. The best of both worlds - a live plant to care for and a faux plant to enjoy.
If you want a mature plant that you can be certain will arrive in peak condition and a suitable “living room ready” planter, we can only recommend Bloomscape. The quality of their plants plus the outstanding customer service and detailed care instructions both in package and on the site are unmatched.
Large Monstera in Custom Ecopot
When placed in the right environment, Monsteras are easy to care for and fast-growing—so give it some space to spread out, make a statement, and thrive!
This massive online nursey has a ton of different plants, but what really sets it apart from other nurseries is the fact that it sells plants are different sizes and stages, so you know exactly what you’re getting when your plant arrives. The German Selloum variety of the Split Leaf Philodendron can also be difficult to find, but this nursery proudly sells them!
Split Leaf Philodendron
Split Leaf Philodendron has been a favorite of gardeners for years—as a garden plant, but also as a lovely, indoor houseplant. The heart-shaped leaves are huge (almost 3-feet long), with an appearance reminiscent of something you'd see in a rain forest. It's like bringing a bit of the tropics into your home!
Split Leaf Philodendron Common Questions
Can I own a Split Leaf Philodendron if I have pets?
Unfortunately, the Split Leaf Philodendron is extremely dangerous to have around cats and dogs. The leaves of this plant contain insoluble calcium oxalates, which can cause oral irritation, vomiting, and swelling. If you have furry friends, look elsewhere for a new potted plant, or be aware that any pet (or person) with a habit of chewing your houseplants’ leaves is in real danger.
If my Split Leaf Philodendron grows leaves that don’t split, is there a way to encourage them to split?
Younger Split Leaf Philodendron may only grow unsplit leaves. It’s mostly a matter of patience as the plant matures, as the split leaf characteristics will be more apparent as the plant gets older. Ensuring that the plant is well-lit, well-watered, and well-cared-for will encourage more leaf splits. If you’re growing your plant under florescent lighting instead of natural light, your plant will not develop perforations.
My Split Leaf Philodendron is never fully green and suffers from constant brown spots. What can I do?
Unfortunately, Split Leaf Philodendron plants are very susceptible to bacterial diseases. This is because they are high-humidity plants, and this sort of problem just comes with the territory. Just as well, a lack of proper humidity can cause brown leaf tips on this plant. The best way to prevent this is to check in on your plant regularly to make sure that the soil is dampened or dried out appropriately.
Ready to grow your own Split Leaf Philodendron? This plant will really tie a room together if you care for it properly and maintain the ideal environment to keep it growing large and green.
How was our guide to caring for Split Leaf Philodendrons? Drop us a comment below and tell us if we missed any care tips or tricks!