How to Prune a Large Philodendron Selloum

Good afternoon Judy,

My wife Karen and I are moving from Ohio to California (new job). We have several house plants that we are planning to move most are peace lilys but the biggest by far is our Philodendron Selloum (I just learned the name today from your site). It is huge (at least to me). It has been moved before and requires a small truck to do so.

Is there some way to reduce it’s size so that it can be moved in the car? I don’t want to kill it and she won’t let me give it away. My wife has had this plant for 30 years and doesn’t want to give it up. Appreciate any suggestions.


Hi Leon,

I don’t know how big your plant is, but Philodendron Selloums can be pruned aggressively and will grow back larger and better looking than before. You can cut off any leaves at the base of their stems to shape the plant however you wish. You can even cut off the entire plant several inches above the soil line, but be sure to leave at least two or three leaves on the plant so it can manufacture food.

When you trim a Philodendron Selloum be sure to use very sharp pruners or scissors. Always wear gloves when pruning a Philodendron Selloum and wash your hands and tools very well when finished. All Philodendrons are very poisonous and you don’t want to get the sap in your eyes or mouth.

As long as the roots are healthy and strong, a Philodendron Selloum will come back more beautiful than ever no matter how much you trim it.

Another option is that you can wrap the plant tightly in a sheet to hold the leaves close to the stem. This will make the plant a lot narrower. If it is too tall,  cut off the top part of the stem so it will fit into your car. Some moving companies takes plants on their trucks so you might want to talk to them about this option.

Good luck on you move!

Large green, loped leaves on Philodendron sellout
Philodendron Selloum