Philodendron Selloum

Philodendron Selloum Description

A philodendron selloum (philodendron bipinnatifidum), is native to South America but also grows on the east and gulf coasts of the United States. It has many common names such as Hope Selloum, Horsehead Philodendron, Lacy Tree Philodendron, Philodendron Hope Selloum, and Tree Philodendron, and is often confused with the philodendron xanadu. This is a non-climbing, tree philodendron that spreads outward rather than growing upward. When grown as an indoor plant, the easy-care, self-heading philodendron selloum takes up a lot of space, often spreading out 5ft. or more with dark green, shiny, deeply lobed leaves that can be 2ft-3ft (60-90cm) long. This plant does grow a trunk as it matures; however, the leaves do a very good job of hiding it.

Quick Tips on How to Care for a Philodendron Selloum

Bright, indirect light but no direct sun

Moist soil at all times, drier in the winter

Minimum temperature 55°F (12.8°C)

Avoid over fertilizing, feed monthly in spring, summer, and fall

Prefers high humidity

Propagate using cuttings in summer

Use a light, airy peat based soil

Philodendron Selloum Problems

Leaves turning yellow – indicates root rot due to over watering

Leaves curling – the air is too dry, too cold, or both

Soft, discolored stems or mushy leaves – caused by over watering

Brown leaf tips- check the soil since this can be the result of over or under watering

Drooping leaves – again, check the soil since this can be the result of over or under watering

Dark patches on the leaves – usually a sign of a plant disease called Bacterial Blight


If you have a large area that gets bright, indirect light, this bold, dramatic looking plant is a beautiful addition to your home. You can easily control the shape and size of the plant by cutting off some of the leaves. However, If you’re looking for a flowering plant, this one is not a good choice. It takes approximately 15–20 years for an indoor selloum to produce flowers. A philodendron selloum is a poisonous plant and toxic to small children, dogs, cats, and other pets. Read more about common houseplants that can be dangerous in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.



Why Are the Leaf Tips on My Philodendron Selloum Turning Brown and Curling?

When a philodendron s has too much salt in the soil, usually from too much plant food or from using water that has passed through a water softener, the leaf tips turn brown and curl. Always dilute your plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength and never use water for any houseplants that has passed through a water softener. Drench the soil with some distilled water and feed your Philodendron Selloum less often.

What Are the Very Dark Green Spots Between the Veins on the Leaves of My Philodendron Selloum?

The very dark green spots between the veins on the leaves of your philodendron selloum are caused by low room temperature. These plants like to be warm and cozy so always keep the temperature above 55°F (12.8°C) and never place the plant near an air conditioner in the summer or a door during the winter.

Why Are the Leaves on My Philodendron Selloum Turning Pale Green?

The leaves on a philodendron selloum usually turn pale green when the plant needs more fertilizer or if the plant is getting too much bright light.