Split Leaf Philodendron Pruning Guide

Split Leaf Philodendron Pruning Guide | How to Prune Split Leaf Philodendron

Know all the dos and don’ts of Pruning Split Leaf Philodendron in this post! You’ll be able to Prune Split Leaf Philodendron correctly, leading to proper growth of the plant.

There is no other plant like Split Leaf Philodendron when it comes to adding tropical flair! The large leaves can grow to a whopping length of 3 feet and are deeply lobed. Growing Split Leaf Philodendron isn’t difficult because of its forgiving nature. Apart from the basic needs such as watering, soil, and fertilizing, it’s crucial to know about pruning. To make things easier for you, here is our Pruning Guide for Split leaf philodendron.

Scientific Name: Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum / Philodendron bipinnatifidum

Common Names: Tree Philodendron, Lacy Tree Philodendron, Selloum, Horsehead Philodendron

About Split Leaf Philodendron

Philodendron bipinnatifidum in a container

Botanically known as Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum split-leaf philodendron belongs to the family Araceae. It’s grown as an ornamental tropical plant in tropical and subtropical regions and is Native to South America. The leaves have splits and gaps from the edges towards the center hence the name Split Leaf Philodendron. It has a tree-like structure and doesn’t require support to grow as it’s a self-heading plant. It’s often confused with Monstera deliciosa, which also belongs to the family Araceae.

Also Read: Types of Philodendron

Is Pruning Split leaf Philodendron Necessary?

Split leaf philodendron has a tree-like trunk that can have a spread of 10-15 feet and a height of 15-20 feet when grown indoors. Keeping such a huge plant contained mainly in the indoor space is difficult and hence requires occasional pruning. Also, cutting back the dead and decaying parts redirects plants’ energy towards healthy growth. It can take more than a decade for the plant to start producing flowers, which grows on a spadix and is covered by a spathe.

Ideal Time to Prune Split Leaf Philodendron

Ideally, it would help if you pruned Split Leaf Philodendron in springs or summers as the plant is in a growing phase during this period. Avoid pruning in winters as the plant isn’t actively growing and is somewhat dormant during this period. Although when grown outdoors it can suffer cold damage in the winters due to frost and snow, cut back the damaged leaves and stems in such cases. Ideally you should protect the plant from cold 

Tools for Pruning

Before choosing the tools, the first and foremost thing to ensure is that the tool must sterile as it prevents the spread of bacteria from the tools to the plant. You can use sanitizers or other OTC alcohol-based solutions to sterilize the tools. Pruning shears or scissors are good tools for pruning; other tools will also do as long as they are sharp. 

How to Prune Split Leaf Philodendron?

Philodendron Bipinnatifidum close up

Pruning the Split philodendron might seem a pretty straightforward task, but there are a few things that’ll result in better growth and shape of the plant.

  • Start by pruning the dead, decaying, or yellowing leaves and stems of the plant; that way, you’ll know if there is still scope for pruning further.
  • A Haphazardous look can be an eyesore, so cut systematically by pruning almost equally from all sides. Think of it as giving your plant a haircut!
  • Ensure that while cutting the plant, the tool makes an incision at 45 degrees angle. Straight cut leads to stunted growth, which results in untidy growth as the plant grows. 
  • Steer clear of the main stem and cut back only parts of the side shoots. The main stem is the supply center of the plant damaging it can lead to irreversible negative impacts.
  • Before undertaking the pruning task, make sure you have enough time as you might have heard ‘haste makes waste. Pruning can be taken as the time to relax and concentrate, making it somewhat meditational therapy.
  • Don’t prune too often! While pruning is fun, be too much of it can lead to stunted growth, and the Split leaf philodendron might not ever recover from it. Remember, the plant requires time to heal.

Use Cuttings For Propagation

Kill two birds with a single stone by pruning Split Leaf Philodendron and use the cuttings to propagate new plants. While pruning, ensure that you take the cutting just below the leaf node, as this is where the roots will emerge. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting and sip the rooting end into the rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a container with a well-draining potting mix rich in organic matter. Water well and allow the excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot. Soon the roots will start to form, and you’ll be own the new Split leaf philodendron plants!

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