Philodendron bipinnatifidum Care: Thriving with the Selloum Plant

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I’ve always found the Philodendron bipinnatifidum, or the Selloum, to be an exceptional houseplant. It’s not shy about making a bold statement with its grand, glossy leaves.

Native to South America, this plant has woven its way into the hearts of plant enthusiasts around the globe. Its lush greenery is the perfect tropical touch to any indoor space.

As part of the Araceae family, it’s reminiscent of warm and humid environments which it thrives in.

A lush Philodendron bipinnatifidum plant stands tall in a sunlit room, its large, deeply lobed leaves reaching out in all directions. The vibrant green foliage creates a striking and tropical atmosphere

Caring for a Philodendron Selloum is surprisingly straightforward given its impressive display. In my own experience, I’ve found it’s all about balancing the right amount of light and water to mimic its natural habitat.

The Selloum has a forgiving nature, making it an excellent companion for those just starting on their botanical journey.

It becomes a thriving tropical centerpiece in well-picked spots around the home.

An additional nugget of wisdom I’ve gathered is that while this plant is a durable indoor resident, it does require a bit of room to flourish. Its leaves can fan out quite a bit, so planning for space is crucial.

Affectionately known as a tree philodendron for its potential to grow large and tree-like, it can reach impressive sizes if given the right care and time. Witnessing its growth firsthand is a satisfying journey for any plant lover.

Selecting the Ideal Environment

A bright, airy room with dappled sunlight, lush green foliage, and a humid atmosphere. The Philodendron bipinnatifidum (Selloum) stands tall and vibrant, surrounded by other tropical plants

When I think of tending to my Philodendron bipinnatifidum, also known as Selloum, I focus on creating an environment that mirrors its native tropical habitat. This means ensuring it receives the right amount and quality of light, and that I’m maintaining appropriate levels of temperature and humidity.

Light Requirements

🔆 Light Requirements

My Selloum thrives under bright indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch its leaves, so I find a spot where the sunbeams tickle its foliage without overdoing it.

If I notice its leaves reaching out, I know it’s time to play musical chairs with its position to ensure even growth.

Temperature and Humidity Control

☔️ Humidity Requirements

Warm temperatures are the bread and butter for my Selloum’s comfort, ideally between 65°F and 85°F.

To boost the humidity around my plant, I employ a humidifier during drier months or set up a pebble tray with water underneath the pot.

It’s all about that tropical, balmy feel—keeping the air around it as moist as a morning dew.

💧 Keep humidity high, above 60%, to see your philodendron truly flourish. Occasionally, I’ll even mist its leaves to freshen them up, making sure they’re as perky as they’d be in their natural rainforest groove.

Watering and Feeding Your Philodendron

When it comes to keeping your Philodendron bipinnatifidum thriving, understanding the delicate balance of watering and fertilization is key. I’m going to walk you through just what your plant craves, so it can continue to unfurl those show-stopping leaves.

Understanding Water Needs

🚰 Water Requirements

You’ll want to maintain consistently moist soil, but remember, moist does not mean wet.

Before you grab that watering can, stick your finger in the soil about an inch deep. If it’s dry to the touch, it’s time to water.

This moisture balance is crucial—overwatering can lead to root rot, which is a quick way to a droopy, unhappy Philodendron.

Fertilization Schedule

💥 Fertilizer Tips

Philodendrons aren’t heavy feeders, but they do appreciate a boost during the growing season.

I fertilize mine every month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer. Be sure to follow the instructions on your fertilizer pack to avoid overfeeding.

Once autumn rolls in, I cut back to fertilizing just once every other month as growth slows down.

Remember, a little grub goes a long way for these green beauties!

Soil Composition and Potting

Crafting the perfect environment for Philodendron bipinnatifidum, also known as Selloum, is like being a master chef. It’s all about mixing the right ingredients for a Michelin-star worthy soil composition. We’re stirring up solid advice on choosing the best earthy mix and potting know-how to keep this glossy-leafed friend thriving.

Choosing the Right Soil Mix

💥 Essential Mix

Philodendron bipinnatifidum loves a peat-based and well-draining soil mix. The ideal pH should be between 5.0 and 6.0.

  • Two parts peat moss for moisture retention
  • One part perlite to keep those roots breathing

Potting and Repotting Tips

Love me, repot me – this should be your mantra for the Philo family. While they don’t mind getting snug in their pots, I do make sure to repot every couple of years to refresh the soil.

I also remind myself “big dreams need room to grow,” much like my Selloum’s sprawling roots. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose a pot with drainage holes. We want that excess water to say “sayonara” as it waves goodbye to the pot.
  2. When repotting, gently tease the roots if they are bound and give them a pep talk to encourage new growth.
  3. Position the plant at the same depth it was in the previous pot – no deep dives or mountainous peaks necessary.
⚠️ Warning

Don’t play it by ear with the pot size. Upsize gradually – moving from a cozy studio to a cavernous mansion can leave your Philodendron feeling lost.

Propagation Techniques

When I think about propagating my Philodendron bipinnatifidum, or Philodendron Selloum, I always consider the two most reliable methods: stem cuttings and air layering. Both methods are efficient and rewarding, especially when you see new growth sprouting. Let’s break down each technique into easy-to-follow steps.

Stem Cuttings Method

First, I select a healthy stem with at least two nodes. Nodes are the little bumps on the stem where leaves and roots grow from. Make sure your cutting tools are sharp and clean to avoid any infection.


  1. Cut a 6-inch piece just below a node using sterilized shears.
  2. Remove lower leaves, leaving only two or so at the top.
  3. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone. This helps to stimulate root growth.
  4. Plant the cutting in moist potting soil.
  5. Keep the soil consistently moist and place the pot in bright, indirect light.
  6. Support the cutting, if necessary, with a stake.
  7. Wait patiently! It can take several weeks to months for roots to establish.

Air Layering Method

The air layering method takes advantage of aerial roots and is a more involved technique, but I find it particularly fascinating and effective.

It’s a great way to propagate larger sections of a plant.


  1. Identify a section on a stem with aerial roots close to a node.
  2. Make a small upward slanting cut about one-third into the stem just below that node.
  3. Insert a toothpick into the cut to keep it open and apply rooting hormone.
  4. Surround the area with moist sphagnum moss and wrap it with plastic to retain moisture.
  5. Secure the plastic with ties above and below the cut to keep the moss in place.
  6. Check regularly to ensure the moss stays moist, and watch for root growth within a few weeks.
  7. Once a good network of roots has developed, cut the stem below the new roots and plant your newly propagated piece in soil.

Health and Maintenance

Maintaining the health of your Philodendron bipinnatifidum, commonly known as Selloum, largely involves preventing pests and diseases and keeping those majestic leaves looking their best through pruning and cleaning.

I’ll share some of my top tips to keep these plants thriving.

Remember, a well-cared-for Philodendron Selloum can become a spectacular, long-lasting housemate.

Preventing Common Pests and Diseases

I’ve noticed that mealybugs and aphids seem to fancy the luscious leaves of Selloums as much as I do. ⚠️

A simple but effective way to keep these critters at bay is to regularly inspect the leaves — both tops and undersides — and promptly deal with any unwelcome guests.

Here’s how I handle these pests:

Mealybugs: Wipe them off with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Aphids: A strong stream of water or a soap solution usually does the trick.

Just mix a few drops of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle filled with water and spritz away.


Unfortunately, root rot can also spell trouble if the soil remains too wet.

My solution? Ensure the soil has good drainage and I only water the plant when the top inch of soil is dry.

Pruning and Cleaning Leaves

Practical care aside, pruning your Selloum not only keeps it looking tidy but also encourages healthier growth and shapes the plant.

You’ll want to snip off any yellow or dead leaves at their base using sharp, clean shears. Trust me, it’s as satisfying as it sounds.

Cleaning: Dusty leaves aren’t just unsightly; they hinder your plant’s ability to soak up that sweet, sweet sunlight.

I gently wipe the leaves with a soft, damp cloth every few weeks, and it keeps those green beauties gleaming.

Combine these maintenance steps with proper lighting and watering, and you’ve got a recipe for a Selloum that’s bound to thrive under your care.

Remember, those leaves are not just for show; they signal their needs, so keep an eye out, and you’ll become a Philodendron whisperer in no time.

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