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Philodendron Selloum #1 Best Care Guide

Philodendron Selloum #1 Best Care Guide

Rarely a houseplant has fascinated me as much as the Philodendron selloum.

There is a prehistoric look to this plant that is striking.

Its leaves get humongous. I personally just love to look at it and I hope one day mine is going to fill up my whole apartment.

In this article, I am highlighting all aspects of its care.


Philodendron selloum Care

Philodendron selloum thrives best in 100% peat-based soil that is alkaline. Its roots need a well-draining potting mix that is airy. Provide this Philodendron with bright indirect sunlight. Water once a week as a general rule of thumb and keep the soil slightly moist. Provide temperatures between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit (16-24 degrees Celsius). Provide 70-90% humidity for best growth but provide at least 70% if you can. Fertilize with a liquid fertilizer at half-strength in spring and summer.


Philodendron Selloum Plant Care Tips

Philodendron Selloum Plant Care Tips



Philodendron selloum care guide

A Philodendron selloum that is given the right amount of light, water, humidity, and fertilizer will grow to be an enduring member of the family.

These plants have a life span extending over 15 years, taking a while to mature.

Without the necessary care, these plants will not produce brilliant white flowers and you won’t see the mature form of Philodendron selloum leaves.

Let’s look at how I care for Philodendron selloum.



The lobed leaves of a Tree Philodendron plant are surprisingly sensitive when compared to other members of this family.

In fact, this individual will thrive when placed in soil that is rich, moist, and alkaline-based.

Consider using a soil comprised entirely of Sphagnum peat moss.

I mean 100%.

Philodendron selloum is an aroid. 

Aroids are plants from the Araceae family that have air roots and grow on other trees and objects.

Therefore a well-draining potting soil that is airy is essential.

In soggy soil, these plants will develop root rot and die.

I made the mistake at the beginning of just using regular potting soil for my Philodendron plants.

This clearly does not work.

Watering becomes impossible and the potting mix will just stay soggy for days.

If that happens to you get the plant out, check the roots.

Any signs of root rot and you need to exchange all of the potting soil and the pot as well or at least disinfect it.

Since root rot is spreading to other healthy roots quickly.



Provide your Tree Philodendron with indirect, bright sunlight.

Philodendron selloum is a hardy plant, surviving a number of light changes and conditions.

Although they can live in deep shade or places with lower light, you may see signs that they aren’t all that happy.

An east-, west- or north-facing window is best as these window directions allow for sufficient indirect lighting.



This plant prefers to have soil that is moist, not soggy.

You should strive to give your Philodendron selloum frequent waterings about once a week

Allow it to almost dry out between sessions to avoid overwatering.

The top two to three layers of soil should be damp to the touch.



Philodendron selloum prefers temperatures between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit  (16-24 degrees Celsius).

Anything lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) is harmful.

Some plant owners choose to put their Tree Philodendron outside.

They have a rather large temperature that they can tolerate but do not thrive when exposed to sudden frosts.



Philodendron selloum grows best in high humidity of 70% and above.

It grows best in humidity levels between 70-90%.

Native to South America, namely Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia, this plant is used to the warm tropical climates.

It comes as no surprise that they like the humidity levels to be rather high.

Misting your plant daily is an easy way to make sure that they stay happy.

You can also choose to place the Philodendron on a pebble tray that has been filled with water.

The idea is that the water on the tray will evaporate and increase the humidity.

But hands down the best solution from my personal experience is to use a humidifier indoors or build some kind of terrarium or grow tent around your Philodendron selloum if possible.

Since they get huge, the humidifier is probably the best solution.

Everything else is a lot of work with not a lot of increased humidity in the end.



Depending on where you put your Tree Philodendron, you may need to supplement growth with fertilizers.

Overall, this type of plant does not need a lot of food.

Most Philodendron owners resort to adding a water-soluble fertilizer in the spring and summer.

If you do choose to add a fertilizer that is water-soluble, use it at half the recommended dose or strength.



Being rather large in size, propagating your Philodendron selloum can be a must.

The easiest and arguably best method of propagating a Philodendron plant is to do so through stem cuttings.



Liked for their appearance, these plants take up a lot of room.

As the name suggests, these individuals do act like a tree, growing a trunk once it matures.

The leaves themselves measure about 24-35 inches (60 to 90 cm)in length with a total surface area of about 60 inches (152-centimeter) width.

You can also expect this plant to grow quickly compared to your other houseplants.

This Philodendron is a climber.

This means that it sends out vines and will grow up to 16feet (5m) according to Flora&Fauna Web.



With a faster growth rate, these Philodendrons do need to be repotted when they don’t fit their environment.

This usually needs to happen every few years.

The Tree Philodendron is also capable of growing aerial roots. If you see this, take those roots and gently tuck them into the pot.


Philodendron selloum Toxicity

Philodendron selloum is toxic eaten in larger quantities according to the NC State University.

Ingested, it causes a lot of pain in the mouth.

It can also cause pain in the skin which is not that bad.


How to water Philodendron selloum

When taking on such a large houseplant, you may be wondering how and when to water them.

Overwatering can lead to rotting roots while too little water can make the leaves become yellow or withered.

If you’re concerned about the proper watering requirements, pay close attention to the next section of this article.


When to water and how much

Most Philodendrons are content if exposed to a little too much water.

They prefer to be moist rather than too dry.

The Tree Philodendron, in particular, strays from the rest of the family, wanting the soil to be moist but not soggy.

In fact, it wants a good balance of soil that is both moist and dry. Sound confusing? It’s easier to maintain than you think.

When you go to water your Philodendron selloum, add enough water to get the base of the plant moist. Leave your plant for a few hours to let it soak up the given nutrients.

Now that you’ve left it for a good while, use your finger to determine how moist the top half-inch of soil is.

If it does indeed feel damp, repeat this watering method in a few days. Soil that is dry should be watered again after checks.

Watering your Philodendron can be a daunting task, but there are a few tricks to make this process simple.

One tip is where you water your plant. Philodendrons have what is called a “root ball”.

This is where the main section of roots is held at the base of the plant.

To ensure that your Tree Philodendron does not dry out, water around the central portion of the plant.

Another trick is to poke holes into the gravel with a pencil.

Pour the water slowly over these new wells to let the water seep all the way down to the base of the plant.


How to prune your Philodendron selloum

Pruning your Philodendron can be necessary for a number of reasons. The most common being that it outgrows the current living space.

Routine cutting back can also prevent your Tree Philodendron from getting sick.

Worried about cutting away too much?

Don’t worry. This plant is hardy, handling the occasional prune.


How do you know when to prune your tree philodendron?

There are times when pruning is more beneficial to both you and your plant. Cutting back on the foliage is often a great way of shaping the plant to look the way that you desire.

If your Philodendron becomes large, taking up a good amount of space, cut it back. In these scenarios, the stems grow long and “leggy”.

Pruning is also a good way to ensure that your plant grows in a healthy manner. Plants that become cramped often don’t produce vibrant leaves or flowers.

Pruning of this plant is usually done in the spring or fall months.


How to prune a Philodendron?

If you notice that the aerial roots have become unruly, growing along your walls or other surfaces, you can opt to prune them back.

It is not uncommon for a Philodendron selloum to become overgrown. Use the following steps to properly care for and prune your tropical plant.

Step 1: Before you take out your trimmers, water your Philodendron. This will reduce the amount of shock it may experience due to a reduction in moisture.

Step 2: Using a sharp knife, you’ll want to attack the tips of the leaves first. Slowly trim the leaf tips back to the height that you want.

Step 3: Once you’ve got the leaves to your desired height, attack the branches. Trimming back the branches will ultimately affect the size of the plant so that new shoots can fill in empty spaces.

Step 4: Water your plant again. Thoroughly saturate it until the top six inches of soil is damp.

Step 5: Place your newly trimmed plant in a spot that has partial sunlight.

A useful tip when it comes to pruning Philodendron is to place them three feet apart.

This ensures that they won’t become overcrowded, thus decreasing the time between pruning sessions.


Propagate Philodendron selloum the right way

For most plants, there are a number of ways in which you can propagate. For this tropical individual, the best method is through stem cuttings.

Being extremely resilient, the Tree Philodendron is a great candidate for propagation.

You can easily manifest new plants from the original source. As with any propagating process, you’ll want to pick a plant that is happy, healthy, and free of disease.

We’ve provided a step-by-step manual for those who are unsure about propagating their Philodendron selloum.

It can be found below.

Step 1: Begin by prepping a new pot with at least two inches of peat moss and sand. Make sure that the organic matter is mixed together evenly.

Step 2: Water your newly crafted pot until water flows out of the bottom, ensuring that the drainage holes work correctly.

Step 3: Scan through your Philodendron individuals and find a stem that has at least two nodes.

Step 4: Cut the stem off of the Tree Philodendron, including both the stem and the two nodes.

Step 5: Take the propagated stem and place it into the new pot. The bottom node should be pushed underneath the soil’s surface.

Step 6: Once successfully planted, water this newly added cutting.

Step 7: Create a warm, moist environment for your stem to grow by covering it in a clear plastic bag. The plastic should cover the stem after the soil has been completely moistened.

Step 8: Set your new plant in an area of the house where it can be exposed to indirect sunlight.

Step 9: Check for new growth weekly by gently digging around the stem’s base.

Step 10: If you notice the roots growing at a quicker rate, transplant it to a new pot with 3-inches of potting mix.

Step 11: Continue to move this individual to a bigger pot when need be.

It will take anywhere from three weeks to a month for you to see the roots fully form.

For the best results, you may want to consider propagating your Philodendron during the spring and summer months.


Propagate Philodendron Selloum in water

Did you know that some plants can be propagated in the water?

Members of the family Araceae, such as Philodendron make this alternative method somewhat easy.

These flowering plants all have fleshy aerial roots that quickly absorb water.

If you’d rather try this propagation process, here’s how you do it.

To propagate your Philodendron selloum, first identify which plant you want to make a new individual out of.

Once you’ve found your desired specimen, make a clean cut and remove a six-inch stem.

This stem should include at least two or three leaf nodes. Carefully continue to pinch off these nodes so that they are exposed.

You are now ready to take the leafless end of the newly cut stem and suspend it in water.

Check back frequently, looking for the roots to develop. This typically takes about three or four weeks, sometimes longer.

This newly formed plant is ready to be placed into a pot once the roots are one to two inches long.


5 Telling signs your tree philodendron is not doing well

There are several requirements that must be met in order for a Tree Philodendron to stay happy.

This tropical plant is among the hardiest that makes them easy to care for.

Despite this, they are susceptible to certain problems, all of which can be solved with the right added nurturing.

To help you and your Philodendron remain stress-free, we’ve highlighted the most common problems, as well as a way to solve them before it becomes worse.



Cause: Philodendron selloum is known for its distinctively dark and vibrant leaves. If you notice that they start to yellow, this may be due to the plant getting too much water.

Remedy: Modifying your watering schedule can solve yellowing leaves. Try letting your Philodendron dry out a bit before giving them more water. Remember that this plant prefers the soil to be moist, not soggy.



Cause: Overwatering can be a serious issue, but so can under-watering.

Philodendron who show brown colors in the tips of their leaves are often responding to an inadequate amount of water. Unfortunately, this sign can be a result of too much or too little water.

Remedy: Since it’s difficult to determine if the browning of the leaves is due to too much or too little water, try experimenting with your watering schedule.

Focus on providing more water. If that doesn’t help, stagger the duration between watering. Just be aware that older plants do tend to have a slightly brown hue in their leaves.



Cause: A Philodendron that has dark patches on its leaves can show signs of something more serious.

Watch the leaves carefully over time, as this may be an infection known as “bacterial blight”.

This disease attacks the leaves, forcing them to rot and die once fully infecting the plant.

Remedy: The unfortunate fact about this disease is that it isn’t curable. Plants infected with it need to be properly thrown away before infecting other individuals.

The best protection against this disease is to catch it before it starts.

Prevent this from happening by keeping your leaves relatively dry, especially while watering your Philodendron.


Five tricks to let your Philodendron selloum thrive

With such a hardy, fascinating plant, you’ll want to make sure that all of its needs are met.

We know that there might be a lot to remember, so we’ve compiled the most important bits into one list for you.

1. Choose soil that is high in organic matter and slightly alkaline rich. This will ensure that it retains the necessary nutrients and moisture.

2. Be careful not to overwater your Philodendron, keeping the soil moist yet not soggy.

3. This plant does best in a room that has bright, indirect sunlight and does not creep below 10 degrees Celsius.

4. Although not necessary, you may choose to give your plant fertilizer during the spring and summer months. Just be sure to dilute it to half the strength.

5. Given the fact that these plants grow quite large, trim back the leaves when needed.


Frequently Asked Questions About Philodendron Selloum


Why is my Philodendron selloum drooping?

Drooping leaves are usually caused by either too much or too little water. Adjust your watering routine to determine which problem your Philodendron is facing.


Do Philodendrons need sunlight?

These plants do indeed need sunlight to survive. In fact, they prefer to be placed in an area with bright, indirect sunlight, even though they can survive with lower light.


Should I repot my Philodendron?

This species of Philodendron is known to grow quite tall and large, hence the name “Tree” Philodendron. As such, they will occasionally need to be repotted before they break out themselves. Check on the spacing between your pot and the plant every year to ensure that they are not too cramped.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.