Tree Philodendron Propagation: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Tree philodendron propagation is comprised of several different yet easy steps that you can do on your own. Given that the tree philodendron is a very popular ornamental that makes an excellent potting plant in a landscape garden or inside the house, it is not surprising that this philodendron genus beauty becomes a subject of propagation.Tree Philodendron Propagation PlantAmerica


In this complete guide, you will discover everything you should know when engaging in tree philodendron propagation. We will provide some care tips for your lovely plant as well.

Essentials of Tree Philodendron Propagation

Tree philodendron propagation is usually done by home growers or gardeners and merchants to manage a plant’s size, salvage a dying one, grow new plants, or make money out of it.

Below, you will uncover a step-by-step guide as we discuss this process in detail. Using just a single cutting from a healthy and mature plant, you can say hi to your new philodendron as early as three weeks!

To determine if your tree philodendron is ready to propagate, you have to check for four determining factors: maturity, growth condition, root bound condition, and root rot condition.

It is important that you ensure your tree philodendron plant is totally ready for this stage in its life cycle before you proceed to the actual steps of the propagation method to ensure a successful outcome.

– Maturity

Tree Philodendron or the Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum is also known as Philodendron selloum. Its other common names include Split leaf philodendron, Lacy tree philodendron, and Horsehead Philodendron. These stunning plants are native to South America and are widely cultivated in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates.

They are admired for their tall stature, distinctive large green foliage that is usually drooping, and relatively low care requirements. This ornamental plant is perfect as a potted specimen sitting in your own home while granting it a cozy and relaxing vibe.

One of the most significant indications that your split-leaf philodendron is ready for propagation is maturity. To ensure that your plant is mature enough, check for the roots, size of the leaves, and a developed tree philodendron node.

An overhanging healthy leaf with a size of about 3 feet is an early indication of maturity. Another thing is that if you notice that the pot size is becoming smaller for your plants, then there is also a need to propagate them.

– Growth Condition

You have to know if your philodendron plant is vigorous before you decide to let it undergo propagation. Observe the indications that your tree philodendron is in a suitable condition for propagation because its robustness will ensure that the stems that come from the mother plant will root successfully.

Check for stunted growth, which commonly occurs when your plant is having root problems. If you observe this symptom, then you first need to let your plants return to their optimum health before doing the propagation.

Philodendron Growth Condition PlantAmerica

Also, check for yellowing or browning foliage and brown spots on the leaves that are caused by watering and lighting problems. If your philodendron plant is suffering these health issues and is dying but you notice that there are still healthy stems, you can rescue it by beginning the propagation immediately.

To know if your tree philodendron is ready to be propagated, check whether your plant has lush, green foliage, a waxy texture, and is growing exponentially. Remember that the new plant that will grow from it will inherit these qualities.

– Root-bound

In line with maturity, the root bound condition usually arises. This is when your plants have grown too big for their pot, and there is no space left for further growth. See if the roots became dense and tangled; if yes, then this is the sign for you to propagate philodendron selloum.

However, sometimes, the plants may have been placed in a pot that is too small to begin with, without having anything to do with maturity. If this happens, the plant may start to die as these clustered roots are strangling it. You may have to re-pot it in a larger pot instead of propagating it to avoid some serious issues.

– Root Rot Condition

Just like any other plant, root rot occurs due to moist soil conditions. On the surface, the signs of root rot include the yellowing and browning of the leaves. If you dig its roots, you will see that they have turned brown and mushy. If this is the case, cut out the stems with healthy roots, clean them using a fungicide, and use them for propagation.

Tools and Materials You Need To Propagate Your Tree Philodendron

After a thorough examination of your plant and confirming it is ready for the procedure, here are the tools and materials you may need to prepare to execute the Philodendron selloum propagation hassle-free.

– New Pot

The new pot will be the new home for your new selloum plant. Keep it ready by your side to immediately plant the cut-out stem after cutting.

new baby philodendron plant PlantAmerica

Make sure that the new pot has enough drainage holes and is not too small or too large for your new baby philodendron plant.

– Sharp Knife

Prepare a sharp knife to easily separate the stem cutting with a good number of roots. Using a sharp knife that can cut a certain part neatly will avoid doing damage to the plant. Make sure that the knife you use is sterilized before and after propagation. You can sterilize your tools by leaving them in a bleach with water solution before rinsing thoroughly.

– Potting Mix

The recommended potting mix for your philodendron selloum has a ratio of 1:1:1:1 of soil, coir, peat moss, and perlite. Mix them together properly before putting them in the pot together with your new philodendron plant.

– Watering Cane

It is best to keep the soil wet by watering your plant to facilitate the propagation procedure. Also, you will have to water your new plant once you finish planting it. Using a watering can will help you avoid pouring too much water on it.

– Good Environment

Even as early as having a newly cut baby plant, you need to ensure that you are doing the propagation procedure in a good and proper environment because these cuttings are susceptible to pest attacks, excessive sunlight, or disease-causing bacteria. Consider using gloves to avoid touching it directly and keep your philodendron plant far from nuisances.

Methods To Help Propagate Your Tree Philodendron

As we have mentioned above, there are two different methods that can help you propagate philodendron plants on your own: the stem-cutting method and the root-cutting method.

Methods To Help Propagate Your Tree Philodendron PlantAmerica

It is for you to decide which one to choose because both of these methods are proven to be easy and effective.

– Stem Cutting Method

The stem-cutting method can be conducted using two different mediums, in water and in soil. However, before you choose where to plant your new tree philodendron between these two mediums, you need to first understand which part of the plant you should cut.

It is important to identify the stem and the leaf to avoid creating damage to the plant when you are cutting and to ensure the success of this procedure.

The entire green part of a split-leaf philodendron that is broad and narrow is considered a single leaf, while the stem can be found near the ground from where the root breaks out.

You need to identify first where the node of your plant is located. Nodes can be found on the stem. Thus, keep in mind that as you cut, you should make sure you cut the part with good nodes.

Below is the step-by-step guide for the stem-cutting procedure.

  1. Select a philodendron stem that has several leaf nodules, a few leaves, and a small number of roots. You may also want to think about taking a few stems for numerous other propagations to have more chances for success.
  2. Using a sharp knife, separate the chosen stem. Cut to the area where you cannot damage the plant.
  3. Snip the leaves from the lower part of the stem cutting and just leave two to three leaves on the upper part.
  4. Set the stem cutting aside to allow the wound to form a callus.
  5. Repeat the same steps for other stem cuttings.

Stem Cutting Propagation in Soil

Stem-cutting propagation in the soil is considered to be the perfect way to propagate the Lacy tree philodendron. Here are the steps to do tree philodendron propagation in soil.

  1. Water the plant thoroughly to soften the soil but do not overwater.  
  2. After 20 minutes, execute the stem-cutting procedure mentioned above.
  3. Arrange the potting mix in the new pot you prepared for the new plant.
  4. Apply some rooting hormone at the ends of the plant to encourage the rooting process.
  5. Place the cut plant in the pot and fill it up with the potting soil.
  6. Water your newly planted philodendron selloum thoroughly.
  7. Situate the newly potted plant in a location with bright and indirect sunlight and a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Wait for two weeks and you will see some new growth. Let the plant rest for at least one to two weeks before it is ready to be moved to a larger pot.
  9. After two weeks, transplant the stem cuttings with fresh roots to a larger pot and keep the soil moist by watering properly.
  10. Execute the same normal philodendron selloum care you are giving the mother plant.

Stem Cutting Propagation in Water

Lacy tree philodendron propagation in water allows the stem cutting to root in water. This method is also called Hydroponics; the process of growing plants in a liquid . This procedure contains simple and easy steps. These are the steps for lacy tree philodendron propagation in water.

  1. After executing the above-mentioned stem-cutting method, clean the roots of your newly cut plant by removing the soil clinging around it.
  2. Fill up the pot with spring or well water.
  3. Place your new philodendron selloum in the pot with water.
  4. Put them in a place having bright indirect sunlight and warm surroundings.
  5. Expect the stem to root within ten days up to two weeks.
  6.  Once the roots have grown at least an inch, you can transplant them to a potting mix using the appropriate potting soil mix.
  7. Continue giving them normal care like you did before.

– Root Cutting Method

As opposed to stem cutting method, the root-cutting method can only be done in soil. This method ensures a vast amount of new plants because of the philodendron roots themselves. However, it is impossible to get a good root without damaging the mother plant, which is why it is advisable to cut the philodendron roots during winter while the plant is dormant.

Alternatively, you can also choose to get a root cutting from the plant that will soon be disposed of, especially for those suffering from a disease or root rot problem. Here are the steps in propagating the philodendron selloum plant from a root cutting.

  1. Take the mature plant and examine the root system. Remember that you are looking for a productive one. You should select the pencil-thick roots for propagation.
  2. Using a sharp and sterile knife, make a perfect cut to separate the leaves and nodes from the root. Discard any damaged or decayed section from the roots as well as the feeder roots. Feeder roots appeared to be thin, small roots in plants that absorb the nutrients and water from the soil.
  3. Cut below the root and completely detach the root cutting from the mother plant.
  4. Put the root cutting in a new pot and fill it up with the recommended soil mix.
  5. Water the pot lightly and place it where it can receive indirect sunlight.
  6. Expect that new leaves will come out from those roots in as early as 30 days.
  7. You can now give your new tree philodendron the same plant care you are giving the mother plant.

Taking Care of Your Newly Propagated Tree Philodendron

Ensure the healthy growth of your new philodendron plant using this simple care guide that will teach you how to take good care of them since they are prone to transplant stress.

– Light Requirements

Since tree philodendron is a tropical plant, mimicking its required growing conditions is essential to help them reach their optimum health. Philodendron selloum prefers indirect sunlight, making them a perfect plant for an east-facing window that has diffused light.

– Water Requirements

It is recommended to water your tree philodendron plant every week when it is the growing season and reduce the watering frequency in the winter season. They grow best in slightly moist soil that is not waterlogged.

Taking Care of Your Newly Propagated Tree Philodendron PlantAmerica

To avoid issues brought about by overwatering, check if the upper two inches of the soil are completely dried out before watering again.

– Temperature and Humidity Requirements

Tree philodendron care requires warm temperatures. Since they are susceptible to cold stress, you can prevent it by keeping the temperature range between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity range of 60 to 65 percent.

You can use an air humidifier, especially during the growing season. On the other hand, you can mist the leaves regularly or use the pebble tray method to maintain the required humidity range.

– Fertilizer Requirements

Philodendron Selloum is not a heavy feeder, however, giving adequate fertilizer regularly can result in excellent growth. Feed them at least a few times a year. During the growing season, fertilize them once every three to four weeks using a liquid fertilizer to quickly estimate the amount you are giving them and avoid overfertilization.

– Manage Pests

Just like any other plant, Philodendron selloum is also susceptible to pests. The common pests you will encounter are mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, and scale.

Using a diluted dishwashing liquid in a cup of water is the best way to kill the pests. You can also use the product Neem oil to treat your plant with pests or use insecticides that might be harmful to you and your plant.

You can also manage pest infestation by avoiding bringing your garden cuttings into your house and maintaining the cleanliness of your pruning materials. It is best to sterilize all your tools before and after use.

– Control Diseases

The common diseases that your tree philodendron may be vulnerable to are bacterial leaf spots, leaf blight, and root rot, all caused by overwatering. You can manage these diseases by avoiding giving too much water.

Control bacterial leaf spots Disease PlantAmerica

If slight root rot occurs, you can treat it by soaking the soil in a mixture of one part of hydrogen peroxide and two parts of water. For leaf spots and blights, you can purchase and apply Patch Pro fungicide to easily treat these diseases.

Final Note:

– Is Air Layering Propagation Possible for the Tree Philodendron?

Yes, the air layering propagation method is recommended for Philodendron Cordatum, a trailing variant of philodendrons. However, the best method for split leaf philodendron propagation is stem cutting and root cutting.

5/5 - (18 votes)