Split-leaf philodendron is not actually a philodendron but a woody, perennial, broadleaf evergreen, climbing vine in the Araceae (arum) family. It is native from Mexico to Panama and can grow to 70 feet tall, though it stays between 6 to 8 feet in most home environments. In North Carolina it is grown as a houseplant.
It prefers an average warm temperature of 60 to 85 degrees F, moderate brightness but not direct sunlight, and high humidity. Variegated cultivars will need more sunlight than darker green cultivars. Water this plant thoroughly, then allow the top quarter to one-third part to dry between watering. Misting leaves helps increase the humidity in dry interior settings. Sturdy support is necessary to prevent the stems from breaking. Prune or re-pot if needed in the spring and wipe dust off the leaves regularly. Propagate by layering or stem cutting.
In its native habitat it starts its life as a terrestrial plant, turning epiphytic once it comes into contact with a sturdy tree it can climb. While it typically does not produce flowers or fruits in interior landscapes, it can produce an edible fruit that is said to taste like a cross between a banana and pineapple.
Quick ID Hints:
- Gigantic pinnately lobed leaves with internal holes
- Leaves are broadly ovate to cordate.
- Junction between leaf blade and petiole is present on mature leaves.
Insects, Disease, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems.