ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Easy Houseplants - Tree Philodendron

Updated on August 2, 2017
Dolores Monet profile image

An avid gardener for over 40 years, Dolores has landscaped for private clients and maintained one client's small orchid collection.

Tree Philodendron


Tree philodendron is a wonderful houseplant with large, deeply lobed leaves. On some forms, the notched leaves show a ruffled edge that produce a very showy effect. Bright, medium green leaves can grow as large as 3 feet long. The plant is excellent for filling in empty spaces and creating a natural focal point in a room.

Often called by one of its Latin names, the main difference between forms such as Philodendron bipinnatifidum and Philodendron selloum is leaf size, how deeply the leaves are notched, and how ruffled the edges of the lobes appear.

Young plants do not show these deep notches but are heart shaped. As the plant ages and new leaves appear, slight differences show up. The change is gradual as the plant matures.

A native of south America, Tree Philodendrons also make attractive patio plants and may enjoy a summer vacation out of doors. Never allow them to suffer temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit as they are tropical plants. Grow as an outdoor specimen in US Zone 9 - 11.

Tree Philodendron is occasionally called Lacey Tree Philodendron. It is not actually a tree but grows up a tree in the wild. It is called a tree because of its trunk like stem.

Tree Philodendron Care

Tolerant of low light in winter, Tree Philodendron prefers bright to medium light indoors and warm temperatures of 70 - 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Bright light does not mean you should set the plant in a window that faces south but several feet away from the window. Direct sun through glass can scorch a houseplant.

  • Plant in a large container with drainage holes in the bottom. Place plant over a saucer or something to catch drained water so as not to ruin the floor.
  • Plant in loose, well drained potting mix.
  • Water enough to keep soil slightly moist, but not soggy.
  • Do not allow drained water to accumulate in catch pot.
  • Fertilize once a month spring through autumn. Some experts suggest fertilizing twice a month, but this sounds a bit heavy handed to me. If fertilizing every other week, offer the plant a weakened dose of liquid fertilizer.
  • Dust off the large leaves occasionally. Mist to provide adequate humidity.

Tree Philodendron
Tree Philodendron | Source

Tree Philodendron Problems

Poison Like many houseplants, Tree Philodendron can be toxic to children or pets if ingested, though how toxic they really are is questionable.

Brown Leaves usually indicate over fertilizing. Cut back on fertilizer. Remove damaged leaves.

Yellow leaves are often a sign of over watering, the main killer of indoor plants. Cut back on water and remove yellowed leaves; they will not revive.

Leggy plant or sprawling and droopy leaves mean that the plant is not getting enough light. Move to a brighter location, preferably an east facing window.

Moving the Plant Outdoors

You can move the plant outdoors in warm weather. Make sure to allow for some afternoon shade as the sun can become quite intense at that time of day. An area that gets morning sun is best.

Water every other day. Containers dry out quickly in hot summer weather.

Rain is so much better for plants than tap water!

Do not take the plant outside until your local frost date. One cold night can kill a tropical plant. Tropicals do best in temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the plant matures it may become too large to move.

Confusing 2 Large Houseplants

Some people confuse Tree Philodendron and Monstera Deliciosa which is often called Split Leaf Philodendron. In fact, some refer to both plants as Split Leaf Philodendron. They are not the same and are not related.

Monstera Deliciosa or Swiss Cheese Plant is not a Philodendron at all. It's leaves, though deeply notched, are flatter and darker green than the leaves of Tree Philodendrons.

Leaves of Monstera have holes while Tree Philodendron does not.

Tree Philodendron grows from a single "trunk" and loses its leaves, exposing the trunk. Monstera does not.

© 2013 Dolores Monet


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Peggy - I have seen some very huge specimens at botanical gardens and in conservatories. Of course the environment of a typical house (as well as the container) is not tropical. I guess if they got that big indoors nobody would have them, haha. Though a giant one would be pretty. Thank you!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      These Philodendrons grow outside in Houston, Texas and can get quite large. We had them growing at our former home and they made for a terrific specimen plant. I would never have thought to grow them inside. Perhaps the size of the pot keeps them from growing so large? They certainly are a pretty tropical plant. UUI votes and tweeting.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi sgbrown - yes! You are certainly right about that. I think that's why I started this series in late winter - just missing the gardening! Thank you!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      7 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I love to have indoor plants. It brings nature inside with you, even in the winter. Most of my indoor plants are fairly small as I live in a smaller house. These are beautiful plants and I would love to have one, but they get a little too big for me. Great information and pictures! Voted up and more! :)

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Plantrees - thank you!

      Hi Kittythedreamer - I had so many plants when we lived in an apartment. But when we moved into a house, and started having kids, I totally forgot about houseplants. And so many of them are poisonous! Thanks for stopping in!

      Hi drbj - I remember those Swiss Cheese plants were popular in the 70's (that's the 1970s btw) . I had the Tree Philodendron and used to tote it outside in summer for a little holiday. Seems like nobody had both. Thanks!

      Hi Fossillady - you know some of these plants look so exotic, then when you go to the plant shop, there they are. Tree Philodendrons are widely available and relatively inexpensive. A friend of mine just got one at Loew's. Thank you!

    • Fossillady profile image


      7 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hello Delores, What a beautiful plant, I have a perfect place for one that is now occupied by a fake fig tree. Are they hard to come by?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for this interesting info, Dolores. Now I no longer feel as philodendron-challenged. So there IS a big difference between these two plants? Who knew?

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Kitty Fields 

      7 years ago from Summerland

      I love philodendrons but don't have them in my house because of pets and children. Awesome article though! Great information on a wonderful house plant. :)

    • Plantrees profile image


      7 years ago

      Highly nformative, contemporary and factual plant information.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)