Tree Philodendron, Cut-leaf Philodendron, Selloum

Philodendron bipinnatifidum

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Philodendron (fil-oh-DEN-dron) (Info)
Species: bipinnatifidum (by-pin-uh-TIFF-ih-dum) (Info)
Synonym:Philodendron pygmaeum
Synonym:Philodendron selloum
Synonym:Philodendron selloum var. lundii



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:



Anniston, Alabama

Fairhope, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama (2 reports)

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Brea, California

Brentwood, California

Canoga Park, California

Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California

Chico, California

Corte Madera, California

Encinitas, California

Encino, California

Fountain Valley, California

Fremont, California

Fresno, California

Hayward, California

Lakewood, California

Manhattan Beach, California

Merced, California

Mountain View, California

Oakley, California

Pasadena, California

Poway, California

Rancho Mirage, California

Reseda, California

Riverside, California

San Diego, California (3 reports)

San Francisco, California

San Jose, California (2 reports)

San Leandro, California

Santa Maria, California

Stockton, California

Union City, California

Upland, California

Van Nuys, California

Yosemite Lakes, California

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida (2 reports)

Boca Raton, Florida

Dade City, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Debary, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida

Hampton, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida (3 reports)

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lakeland, Florida (2 reports)

Lecanto, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Miami, Florida

Naples, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Niceville, Florida

Orlando, Florida (3 reports)

Osteen, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Palmetto, Florida

Pensacola, Florida (3 reports)

Rockledge, Florida

Ruskin, Florida

Saint Augustine, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida (2 reports)

Umatilla, Florida

Venice, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida (2 reports)

Savannah, Georgia

Ainaloa, Hawaii

Honomu, Hawaii

Chicago, Illinois

Somerset, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports)

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Franklin, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

Logansport, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Rockland, Michigan

Canton, Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Lees Summit, Missouri

Brevard, North Carolina

Waxhaw, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Beaufort, South Carolina

Bluffton, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Lafayette, Tennessee

Alvin, Texas

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Baytown, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

Canyon Lake, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

Groves, Texas

Houston, Texas (4 reports)

Humble, Texas

Katy, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Portland, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Spring, Texas

Sugar Land, Texas

Fairmont, West Virginia

Altoona, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 10, 2015, opal92nwf from Niceville, FL wrote:

This is regularly used as far north as zone 8b for it's luxuriant tropical look, but you can expect terrible damage almost each winter if they are not placed strategically and/or protected.

For the first couple years I was here, I thought philodendrons were cold hardy enough along the Northern Gulf Coast in the Panhandle of FL. However, these were mild winters with temps only in the low 20's. Below this, they cave.

During the winter in early 2010, we had a freeze down to 17 degrees where I witnessed mass damage. Large specimens as much as 5+ feet tall were gone.

Any lucky mature plants that were still around after that were finished off in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 winters where lowest temps were 17 and 18 degrees respectively.

Ho... read more


On Apr 20, 2015, auntijoan from Altamonte Springs, FL wrote:

The sap stains everything! They grow like weeds, and need to be trimmed every couple of weeks. You cannot over trim them; they grow back before you put your loppers away! If one does need to go, you might need a chainsaw to remove the trunk. And many roots to dig out. We thought they were attractive, airy, space-fillers. I would not plant them again.


On Oct 24, 2014, turtle4life from Somerset, KY wrote:

Need help. I inherited this plant when my mother passed 4 years ago. She had it since before I was born. I am now 39. When I brought it home I divided it and repotted it. They both have done great but the small one is ready for repotting. Sadly I can't remember what kind of soil to use. I know I had a mixture of 2-3 different types. Can you please help?


On Apr 30, 2014, juliacarlson85 wrote:

This is a very interesting plant. My mother has always loved them and I planted a couple in her honor. They look beautiful.


On Aug 5, 2011, dimplesten from Ettrick, VA wrote:

I bought two of these plants 2 weeks ago from home depot and they were just beautiful, lush and huge in their 10 gal pot. I transplanted and repotted with moisture control mix potting soil and placed them in my bay window that had curtains. After about two weeks, the leaves started to turn yellow, so I watered less, and now the tips of the leaves are turning brown all the way down the stem. I tried removing my curtain, and adding blinds, closing my vents...don't know what else to do. Can someone please help. When I first bought them, you could not see the middle of the plant there were so many they are still plenty branches and leaves, but they are not as dense. What ma I doing wrong. I live in VA, in zone 7, so replanting outside with our winters is not an option.


On Apr 29, 2011, td1026 from Groveland, FL wrote:

Beautifu, one of the most intriguing plants I've ever seen. Grows very well here in central Florida, but how many hours of sun a day does it require to bloom?


On Jan 26, 2011, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

We had two of these already planted by previous owners when we moved into our house seventeen years ago, so I know they are at least that old. A third one came up next to Mr. and Mrs. Phil about three years ago, so now I have a clump of three. I love the tropical look they give our yard. I plant shade loving plants under them. They produce a large white flower that smells heavenly in the late evening hours, the flower looks like a peeled banana. I have planted three more this past year because I love the tropical look. They are pretty freeze hardy suffering browning on the leaves from temperatures that go into the twenties, but mine are under oak trees and have that added protection. I notice if they are out in the open they will completely get zapped to the ground, but they always seem to... read more


On Jun 5, 2010, Kano296 from Dade City, FL wrote:

I love this plant! I was afraid I had lost mine this past winter in Central Florida because we had unusually cold temperatures (some were down to 16 degrees!). The leaves all died but thankfully, new ones emerged from the trunks in the spring! I just wanted to comment on the wonderful fragrance that the flowers on this plant produce because I haven't heard anyone else comment on it. It took me quite a while to figure out where that heavenly fragrance was coming from in the air at night time. For some reason, they only seem to produce fragrance at night and the fragrance is similar to magnolias but even better! I walk by them all day long and don't smell a thing but at night the fragrance is awesome!


On Jan 2, 2010, nancyburt from Birmingham, AL wrote:

I have a tree philodendron and would like to root another one from it. What is the easiest way to do this? I would like to keep the original plant looking pretty. Thanks for your help. Nancy


On Nov 28, 2009, nutz4plts from Stoystown, PA wrote:

I bought my tree philodendron back in 1975 at a department store. It was in a 4 inch plastic pot at the time with one or two, inch-long, heart shaped leaves sticking up, a nice small plant to start out my collection, so I thought. It lived in my room for the next 4 years and kept growing these huge leaves while I kept moving it from one larger pot to another. It stayed at my parents place for a few years after I married. They moved it downstairs into the living room where it grew a trunk and became a staked tree. My mother finally said she was tired of caring for it and would I please move it to my house. It made the trip okay in the bed of my husband's pickup truck but began to quickly die off at my house. It didn't like the well water at my place, so I repotted it and used rainwat... read more


On Nov 3, 2009, cf269 from Fort Pierce, FL wrote:

This plant was in our yard when we purchased our home. It was unattended for many years and totally blocked the front door. We have nicknamed it "devils blood" because the sap will stain your clothing. Be very careful ! Another poster said it produces a bloom that may be edible. It isn't !!! We cut down 12 and left 3 in our yard. we are in south Florida, so it loves the weather. I trimmed one back last spring and it is 8 feet tall now.


On Aug 17, 2009, saywhat12 from Houston, TX wrote:

I have two of these growing full sun in Houston and they're huge and constantly thriving!


On Jun 19, 2009, krusty412 from Encinitas, CA wrote:

I love this plant. I have a beautiful specimen in my front yard that has grown to about 15 feet tall and has leaves the size of my 32 gallon yard waste trash cans. I am in coastal San Diego so it grows here in much the same way as you would expect in it's natural habitat. My 15 foot specimen has been able ot reach such heights by leaning on a couple of King Palms and wrapping it's aerial roots around the palm trunks. Without the support it would be laying on the ground. Keep this in mnid when planting. It is far more striking and unusual to see a specimen of such great height as they generally get cut down in San Diego once they fall over.


On Jan 29, 2009, Centaurea from Almere
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

A survivor.
I have had this plant for 12 years as a houseplant and it is near unkillable. This species started my love affair with plants.
I first rescued some roots from a winter outside in Virginia. They were discarded, tops completely killed, it was late winter. I cut off all rotten portions of the root to discover living tissue which I lovingly rinsed in the bathtub under warm water while talking encouragingly to it. I then planted it in a pot and that was that, I was hooked. This plant has been through an entire year in a garage without water or light at my mom's (she forgot it) and is now bouncing back beautifully. This is a great houseplant that can easily be cut back if it gets too large.


On Dec 16, 2008, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Very architectural but think about where you will plant as it can be a space hog, at least in warmer climates. Mine has been flowering for the last 3 yrs. I prune mine in spring and fall, otherwise it would be much, much bigger.


On May 24, 2008, nomosno from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I always loved this plant when I was living in my old abode on the North East. It was a tough house plant and nice looking to boot. I had an old friend who lived in upstate NY and had a greenhouse she dismantled every spring. In it lived one of these philodendrons and when I first saw it on a summer day I thought I had stepped into some tropical paradise. The plant was huge! It turned out that the lady had cut off, with a sawzall! because it was so big, the top of the entire plant with the leaves when late fall came, and she reassembled the greenhouse over her tropical plants. By the time she was ready to re-disassemble it, the plant already had regrown its first leaves and was ready to continue growing in the sunny part of the year. I believe it even had flowers. Here in San Diego were h... read more


On Apr 5, 2008, ronisroses from Columbus, OH wrote:

My family has had this plant for 33 years. It is in a container that probably 2 adults can fit in. It takes seven 40 lb. bags of dirt. It grew from a root. Now it is a big a two refrigerators side by side and is just as tall. One stalk grew then it just quit developing leaves. Then it like died off and this little shoot started growing. The stalk that died off, we had to take it out of its container and cut it off with a saw. The little shoot grew so huge to what I have now. The summer of "07" it looked like one more leaf was going to grow, but it never opened up. It was on the very top but it never opened up. I was so sad I thought it was dying. I live in Ohio, so I have cold winters. I was bringing it in for the winter (we have to move it with a dolly, and about 4 adult men to mov... read more


On Apr 15, 2007, fakecanadia from Brooklyn, NY wrote:

This was the first houseplant I got for my apartment's east facing window (see pics). After it settled in, it quickly started growing numerous huge leaves. Each one is larger than the previous, so I must be doing something right. It gets watered after the top inch or two of the soil dries out, and I have given it 1/4 strength miracle grow once since the start of spring. Also, I repotted it up from a 10in to 12in pot a few weeks ago and I've already got new aerial roots appearing.
If you have space and morning light, you'll find this is a great starter houseplant.


On Mar 26, 2007, plantladylin from (Zone 1) wrote:

We have a huge amount of this plant in our side yard and I love the Tropical Look it gives the Landscape. We have had hard freezes in the past which will knock this Philodendron right down, but it always comes back in the Spring. A beautiful, easy to grow Monster of a plant! We planted these in our yard 32 years ago, they've never been fertilized, get water twice a week when sprinklers are set and they have grown quite large!


On Mar 14, 2007, omegabook from La Mesa, CA wrote:

Boring! All it does is produce leaves. The previous owner of our house evidently liked it a lot because it is planted in a number of places. It takes every exposure from full sun to full shade and handles a wide variation of watering. Nothing seems to affect it adversely. I plan to rip them all out and replace them with plants with flowers.


On Jan 7, 2007, locstress from Waldorf, MD wrote:

I bought this plant for in 1 gallon for $19.99 at a supermarket. I was so pretty all summer and then towards the end of the fall it started to look sad. As time went on, it just died but something told me not to throw it away. I recently just dumped to pot out to see what was going on, if anything and sure enough there were still some apparently healthy roots and even a tiny little leaf, completely white from being buried under the dirt!! I am glad that I repotted the tuber or crom or whatever it is. Cant wait for the spring time to see if it comes back!


On Nov 30, 2006, PrincessJasmine from Round Rock, TX wrote:

I love it! Grows great in zone 8b. I have to cut it back every winter and comes back with a vengeance in spring. I have never seen any of mine flower. My newest one was purchased as a 1G and is now about 4 ft tall and wide after one growing season.


On Sep 30, 2006, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

this is planted everywhere down here in hilton head and bluffton, sc. from what ive seen, it has little trouble in the winter here. the only thing i dont really like about it is that its flower stinks to high heavens when it gets old.


On Jun 16, 2006, Pashta from Moncks Corner, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this plant. I bought it relatively small, and had it for years that way. When I moved a year and a half ago, it got very badly damaged, and I lost most of the folige. I kept watering it anyway, kept it in smewhat low light most of the day, and it came back. I put it outside in the spring and leave it there all year. This "houseplant" is a monster. I HAVE to move it outside so I can have my living room back! This plant thrives with or without attention. I love the roots that pop over the soil...a friend of a friend had one with roots wrapped completely around the outside of the container it was in, and it looked happy that way! Fantastic plant!


On Jan 13, 2006, skaz421 from Wesley Chapel, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Grows fine in zone 9a, with total neglect. It's growing in a corner, getting little sun. I'm going to move it out to a more open area this year, and I hope it will really take off.


On Jan 8, 2006, GreenEyedGuru from SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant is _definitely_ hardy in 9b and maybe even 9a. I see mature specimens growing all over the place around here.


On Apr 23, 2005, KCBH from Lees Summit, MO wrote:

I have had this plant since 1973. I set it out on the deck in the spring and move it inside in winter. I water it every Sunday morning with a gallon of tap water. So far I havent killed it. Haha. Last year I gave it a shot or two of Miracle Grow and it didnt seem to do anything so I didnt do it again. This is the 1st year I can remember that it has a flower, it could be that I have never looked before. I know this sounds silly but I am a single guy and it's the best I can do.


On Nov 30, 2004, rh3708 from Westmoreland, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I got this plant as a house plant.
It got too big so i put it out side and it did well.
I have never seen it bloom and didn't know it would or could.
I cut it back in the winter and it comes back in spring.

I have had to dig this plant up and pot it for the move it is doing well,... digging it up didnt hurt it a bit.
it is happy in its little pot but will be finding a better home in the yard soon.


On Jul 15, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

We have several huge specimens that have been growing on the east side of our house in Zone 9a with no attention for over 40 years. Cold that has killed citrus trees only nipped the edges of the leaves. I'd say it is pretty tough.

They give a true tropical appearance to the landscape.


On Jul 14, 2004, Marybelle from Palm Harbor, FL wrote:

I was given one of these plants out of a friends yard about a year ago. Last summer it did really well but this year the leaves turn brown and dry up a few weeks after they come out. The plant is continuously blooming new leaves though so I don't think it is dying. It gets plenty of water. Does anyone know of any diseases it may have or what might be wrong? (I am in zone 9.)
Marybelle (e-mail,


On Jun 11, 2004, jperry21 from Altoona, WI wrote:

I recieved this plant from one of my friends who was moving and no idea what it was or even how to take care of it but it has been growing woderfully. It is huge though, takes up ALOT of space.


On May 4, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant can grow to huge jungle-like proportions here in Hawaii. Very hardy and almost impossible to get rid of...any little bit of the root system left, even just laying in the ground, will take off and grow.

Beautiful leaves and it can fill in bare spots anywhere needed. Fast growing. Sometimes can be seen taking support on a tree trunk and managing to grow up high on the tree.


On Jan 18, 2004, Felsap from (Zone 9b) wrote:

Phil was given to me 28 years ago by my best friend when she moved from Florida to California. We have been together ever since. He prefers a slightly acidic soil.When I made my last move he was just too big to bring in his pot; so we split him into 6 pieces.He hasn't fully recovered yet. But he is still hanging in there. About ten years ago I was sucessful at making seeds on him. Doing so is not for the faint hearted. It requires some amount of time and effort. If you have several plants blooming at once you need to: Cut the hood or shroud of the flower off about two or three inches down when it opens, Make sure you are going to have another open flower on another plant to put the pollen on. When the cut off shroud closes back up, it will produce pollen on the exposed part that you cut th... read more


On Oct 30, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

Grows fine in 9a.


On Aug 7, 2003, tsberg from Denham Springs, LA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have had tremendous success with this plant as a potted plant as well as in the yard. I moved from Melbourne, Forida, (where it was a common sight, looking very exotic on tall, bent stalks throughout the year) to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where the foliage died back during the winter and returned beautifully in the spring.

I am now living in Huntington, West Virginia and have one that I brought with me in a pot. I believe it would not be hardy here outside through the year, so I will move it inside for the winter. I had to sell a lot of my plants before I moved from Louisiana, but this one was just beginning to develop a stalk and I couldn't part with it. I cut all the leaves off so I could fit it in the back of my covered pickup, and so far one leaf has come back out. E... read more


On Jul 13, 2003, cocoanut from Cocoa, FL wrote:

Beware of the sap of this plant and also the pollen on the blossom. If the sap gets on you, it leaves a stain. Some people are allergic to it. I am, and I suffered with a rash (like poison ivy) at all the points of contact. It burned and itched for 3 weeks. I am now very careful when trimming this plant.


On Jul 13, 2003, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant grows well in Summerville, South Carolina (USDA Zone 8a). It dies when a hard frost hits and re-emerges in the Spring. We've had this plant over 20 years and it's never bloomed, probably because it's too far north. One of our favorites, deer have never nibbled it, and there's never been a problem with insect infestations.


On Jul 9, 2003, WoodrowStreet from New Orleans, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant brings back memories of my childhood. My dad had half a dozen in various places around our New Orleans yard. He even harvested seeds.


On Jun 6, 2003, laneybob from Lake Park, GA wrote:

I had one of these plants for many years. It started out as a houseplant, then I put it outside for some sunshine and rain. When I tried to take it back inside it had rooted through the bottom of the pot into the ground, where I left it. It was my baby and I really liked it. So when I moved I had someone dig it up for me (it was about 8 feet tall.) It survived the move and I enjoyed it many more years. I have moved again and I have some of the root and I'm hoping it will survive.

This plant has a mind of its own. I had it close to my last house and I had siding on it and shutters. The braces that this plant puts out for support started under my siding and into one of my shutters. I had to cut them. Every winter the first frost would do damage to it, even though I... read more


On Jun 5, 2003, leggman wrote:

I live in Maryland on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay. I just bought one of these at a garage sale. I transplanted it (my wife actually did it) to a larger pot and have it on the deck.


On May 26, 2003, ShadowStar wrote:

My mom has a few really good plants. Apparently all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested except the fruits for most types. I have a couple, but they've not bloomed even yet.


On Apr 30, 2003, misha wrote:

Region: This plant thrives along the gulf coast from Texas to Florida


On Nov 9, 2002, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I got this as a house plant, and I hate houseplants so I planted it outdoors and it really took off. It likes rich soil and is a heavy feeder. Mine is not staked, it does not seem to need it. I have also uploaded a photo of the flower of which it had three this year.