Plant-o-Pedia: Lacy Tree Philodendron

Lacy Tree Philodendron DabitoAlea Joy and Anne Parker's Philodendron bipinnatifidum. Photo: Dabito (Outtake from The New Bohemians book)

If you're looking for a quick-growing, easy-going plant that makes a strong statement in any space- the Philodendron bipinnatifidum, aka Lacy Tree or Split Leaf Philodendron, is the plant for you. They've even been known to come back from the brink of death (we rescued ours from the clearance section at the hardware store and with a little love and proper care it's huge and happy). We love the lobed leaves that can grow to be several feet across (even larger when grown outdoors), and the wide spread of the plant- perfect to fill a space with jungalicious vibes!

Lacy Tree Philodendron Jungalow

Photo: Danae Horst for The Jungalow

GET THE GREEN:  Lacy Tree/Split Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

WATER: Keep soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Plant in pot with good drainage. Water when top 2-3 inches of soil is dry to the touch.

SUNLIGHT: Bright indirect light. A southern or eastern facing window is ideal. If the plant starts getting too leggy, it needs more light

PLACEMENT: Lacy Tree Philodendrons can grow to be quite large, and grow rather fast, so ensure you have space for a big plant. Rotate it regularly to maintain an even shape. While some of the leaves will grow upwards, many spread and grow outwards, so you may need more horizontal space than vertical.

EXTRA CREDIT: As aerial roots appear, simply tuck them back into the pot. A careful re-potting every few years may be necessary as the Lacy Tree Philodendron plant grows- they have been known to burst their pots if the pot is too small. When new leaves form, the may be protected by a sheath which will dry up and may be removed. As older leaves fall off, their stems will leave leaf scars on the trunk- this is normal and gives the trunk it's signature appearance.

WORD OF CAUTION: According to the ASPCA, Lacy Tree Philodendrons are toxic to cats and dogs.

Is there a plant you want to learn more about? Leave a comment and you may find it in a future Plant-o-Pedia!



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