Lacy tree philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum or P. selloum) is a good choice for inexperienced houseplant keepers because this plant tells you exactly what it needs once you learn to read its messages. The Lacy tree philodendron reacts quickly when something is wrong, but the plant turns around just as quickly when you correct the situation. The plant grows to a height of about 3 feet, but it needs lots of elbow room because it can spread up to 6 feet wide. Although lacy tree philodendrons flower in their native habitat in Brazilian rain forests, blossoms are extremely rare for indoor plants.
Set the plant in bright light but out of direct sunlight. Large floor specimens look great and perform well near a large window or sliding glass doors. In summer, lacy tree philodendrons benefit from time outdoors in brighter light, but they should still be protected from direct sunlight. It’s normal for older leaves to occasionally turn yellow and drop off, but if this happens to several leaves at the same time, the plant is probably getting too much light. When exposed to direct sunlight, the margins of the leaves develop brown scorch marks. When it doesn’t get enough light, the plant becomes leggy with several inches of stem between the leaves.
When a plant has droopy leaves, it can mean that it is getting too little or too much water. The surface of the soil should be dry, but when you insert your index finger into the soil up to the first knuckle, you should find that the soil is slightly moist at this level. Check the holes in the bottom of the pot to make sure water is draining freely. There should be no bits of pottery or pebbles blocking the holes.
Feed lacy tree philodendrons with a balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month. The amount depends on the product you choose and the size of the pot, so follow the label instructions. Some houseplants go through a dormant period when they don’t need fertilizer, but lacy tree philodendrons benefit from year-round feeding. When the plant isn’t putting on new growth, or if new leaves are small or older leaves are pale, the plant probably isn’t getting enough fertilizer.
The best way to clean a lacy tree philodendron is with a soft, damp cloth, one leaf at a time. Support the leaf by placing your hand under it and wipe gently. Clean both the upper and lower sides of the leaves. As you clean the undersides, you will probably remove some light infestations of insects, such as spider mite. Feather dusters harbor insects, so never use them to clean plants. Lacy tree philodendrons have a naturally glossy appearance, and you don’t need to use leaf shine products, which often do more harm than good by blocking the pores.
Lacy tree philodendron is also called anchor philodendron because it produces long, ropelike aerial roots near the base. If the areal roots wander out of the pot, tuck them back in or wind them loosely around the soil in the top of the pot. Cutting them off doesn’t hurt the plant, but save them if you plan to repot the plant soon. At repotting time, shorten them as necessary and work them into the soil to get the plant off to a strong start.
$102.00 Regular Price