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Tree Philodendron – Care Guide

Tree Philodendron, formerly known as Hope Philodendron or Philodendron selloum, is one of our favorite houseplants. This is a low-maintenance, tropical plant that makes a lot of visual impact. This is also a great option fiddle leaf fig,

Tree in the corner of the bedroom Philodendron Seloum

What is a tree philodendron?

Tree Philodendron (Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum) is a large tropical plant native to South America, primarily Brazil. However, it is not even technically a philodendron anymore! It was removed from the genus in 2018. Philodendron and in the genus thaumatophyllum Because of its size and DNA. However, it is still colloquially called Philodendron. You may still find it listed as Philodendron hope or Philodendron selloum, but tree philodendron is now the preferred name.

split leaf tree philodendron close up

It is known for its distinctive divided leaves and long stalks. Like all tropical plants, it enjoys warm and humid environments, and when used as an indoor plant, it will thrive in moderately bright areas of your home. It is an economical fast-growing plant sold in a variety of medium to large sizes. If you’re looking for a high-impact houseplant that’s less expensive and bushier than the fiddle leaf fig, this is a great choice. We’ve found that they’re easy to care for, too!

By what name is a tree Philodendron also known?

before tree philodendron Reclassified, popularly known as Philodendron Hope Seloum, The “Salom” part of this common name is derived from another older scientific classification. Philodendron Seloum It was once considered a separate plant species, but was later combined with Philodendron bipinnatifidium Before being completely reclassified Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum In 2018. Confusing, right?

Tree Philodendron vs Monstera

However the confusion doesn’t stop there! This plant is sometimes called a Split-Leaf Philodendron Or Lacy Leaf Philodendron, The name split-leaf philodendron is often confused with a Monstera Deliciosa, but these are not the same plants. We’ve even seen them mislabeled at our local garden center in the past! Both plants have divided leaves, but tree philodendron leaves are more twisted or “frilled” at the edges. You can see the difference below:

Split Leaf Tree Philodendron vs Monstera Side by Side Comparison

Tree philodendron is the current preferred name as it better reflects its ability to grow tall and tree-like in its natural environment. As a houseplant, it will probably remain compact and bushy like most species of Philodendron, which is why it still retains Philodendron in its common name. Bottom line: It’s best to call it tree philodendron, but keep in mind that its other names may also have older references.

How to Care for a Philodendron Tree

Tree philodendrons give your home a tropical look, but are less attractive than other tropical houseplants like the infamous fiddle leaf fig. Here’s what you need to know about caring for someone:

Tree Philodendron Placement

These plants look best in rooms medium to bright, indirect light, They thrive in sunny rooms, but we have also seen them survive in locations with moderate light. In this way they are less needy and fickle than other tropical plants. Just try to avoid too much direct sunlight as it can cause burnt spots on the leaves. Also, as it grows toward the light source, try to rotate your plant regularly to keep it a uniform shape.

Tree Philodendron Hope Saloum in the corner of the dining room

watering a tree philodendron

Tree Philodendron prefers slightly moist soil, so water it lightly once per week. It does not tolerate drought, so try not to allow the soil to dry out completely. Use your finger or a basic moisture meter To check the top 2 inches of soil. If it’s dry, give your Philodendron a drink. Just make sure your pot has proper drainage. Sitting in water can cause the roots to rot.


Because of its large broad leaves, you should regularly wipe your Tree Philodendron with a cloth or damp cloth. This not only keeps your plant looking its best, but also encourages the photosynthesis process to keep it healthy. you can also buy plant wipes Or spray them to really shine!

sorting out

Remove yellow or brown leaves by cutting them off near the base sharp pruning shears, This keeps your plant looking its best while also allowing it to focus energy on new growth. It is a tenacious plant that can also be pruned to maintain a certain shape or size.


Tree Philodendrons may need to be repotted after 12-24 months, depending on their size and your goals for the plant. If you want it to grow larger, repot it into a pot 2″ larger than its current pot. If you want it to keep the same shape, you can put it back in the same pot, but take the opportunity to cut off dead roots and provide fresh soil.

Other Trees Philodendron FAQ

How big does it get?

Philodendron, an indoor tree, can grow up to 6 feet tall and wide and have leaf stalks up to 3 feet long, depending on the size of its pot. It can be kept small by keeping it in a small vessel. When planted outside, they grow up to 15 feet tall!

Can I plant a Philodendron tree outside?

Yes, in certain climates. Tree philodendron can be grown outside in zones 9 – 11 (you can). Find your plant hardiness zone here, We live in zone 9a and have several philodendron trees in our yard on our porch, Note: The address number in the picture below has been changed for privacy reasons,

Oversized plants in large planters on the front porch

Our outdoor tree Philodendron has done very well, apart from the recent deep freeze which damaged some of the larger leaves. They all survived but would need to do some regrowth to regain their shape. Here are the steps we took protect our plants from the cold,

are they expensive?

For its size, tree philodendron is a good budget-friendly houseplant. For reference, a 2-gallon philodendron Currently $17 at home improvement stores. A similar sized fiddle leaf fig $25 and can be $99+ at some fancy garden centers. Tree philodendron prices generally depend on the age and size of the plant, but overall they are a great option for a larger plant that doesn’t drain your wallet.

What other types of Philodendron are there?

There are approximately 500 species of Philodendron and many are popular houseplants because they thrive in normal home temperatures and humidity levels. Philodendron usually translates to “tree lover” because many species climb trees in the wild. Here’s a good round-up various philodendrons You can recognize. Most are small to medium-sized tabletop plants with distinctive tropical leaves.

More Plant Guides

If you’re looking for more information about some of our favorite plants (real and fake!) check out some of the posts below:

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