Philodendrons are hardy, easy-to-care-for plants, and the Philodendron selloum is no exception. It will do great as an indoor or outdoor plant, provided you give it adequate light, the right amount of water, regular fertilization, and perhaps the most crucial factor of all, the right soil mix.
It can grow into a gorgeously lush plant that is a great focal point for your home or garden.
The Philodendron Selloum soil mix should be light, airy, well-draining, and rich in organic matter. It should effectively retain moisture for the roots without retaining excess water. The right soil mix should also provide the right amount of nutrients for your plant, so it grows healthy and lush.
We will talk about what the best soil mix for your Philodendron Selloum is made up of and the benefits you can expect from each component.
We will also briefly discuss some important facts about the Selloum, and then I will offer tips on properly caring for this gorgeous giant. Let’s start!
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You should use a well-draining soil mix for your Philodendron selloum. It should also have good aeration, contain lots of organic matter, and hold moisture in without retaining excess water. It is a good sign if your soil mix dries out within 1-2 weeks after watering.
- When shopping for the perfect soil mix for your Philodendron Selloum, it is best to go for chunky Aroid mixes. Philodendrons belong to the Aroid family, a group of plants known for their spiky, colorful flowers, and inflorescence.
- They are said to be among the best plants for beginners because they adapt well to various light conditions and aren’t fussy at all with watering, so long as they’re given the right potting mix.
- Here are some of the plants that belong to the Aroid family, too:
- You could also make your own soil mix for your Philodendron Selloum. Most experienced plant parents take this route to ensure their plants are always healthy and happy.
- The right soil mix can help you simplify plant care and avoid a host of plant problems.
Here is a go-to recipe for making your own organic Aroid mix:
- 3 parts orchid bark. Aids in proper air circulation and provides extra space for roots to grow.
- 3 parts perlite. Puffed volcanic gas that adds an airiness to the soil mix.
- 2 parts coco coir. Aids in moisture retention, helps improve air porosity, improves drainage, and is rich in potassium.
- 1 part horticultural charcoal. Removes toxins and impurities.
- 1 part worm castings. Rich in sulfur, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. It can also repel pests and fight soil-borne diseases.
- Simply mix everything, and you have the perfect potting mix for your Philodendron Selloum and other Aroids. This recipe provides excellent drainage for your plants, good moisture retention, and a great source of nutrients for the roots. Your Aroids will love it!
- Depending on your preferences, lighting conditions, and temperature, you can scale the recipe up or down. Remember that soil mixes dry up faster in hotter areas than in cooler zones.
- For instance, Texas plants will probably need more frequent watering compared to Montana plants.
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The Philodendron Selloum is an attractive plant you’ll likely spot in home gardens, parks, and even in malls and offices. It is among the easiest to care for and hardest to kill plants. It can practically thrive in neglect as long as you provide it with the ideal environment and the right soil mix.
- The Philodendron Selloum is known by many names. You will notice that most of these names allude to its physical traits.
- You may hear it referred to as any of the following:
- Split Leaf Philodendron
- Tree Philodendron
- Tree Selloum
- Lacy Tree Philodendron
- Horsehead Philodendron
- Philodendron Hope
- Philodendron bipinnatifidum
- Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum (scientific name)
- Selloums are known for their size and can grow up to 3.6 meters (12 ft) tall, especially when placed outdoors. It eventually grows a tree-like base to support its height and weight.
- However, being an epiphyte, if you provide it with something to climb on — a tree, pole, or wall — it will attach to it and start climbing.
- Its leaves can grow to an impressive 1.5 meters (5 ft) long. They’re dark green in color, lobed, and quite sturdy. Long, smooth petioles provide support for the huge leaves.
- These leaves are great accent pieces. You can cut some off, put them in a vase with water, and they’ll survive for months.
Philodendrons are easy-care, fuss-free plants. They require minimal care and can pretty much thrive without demanding too much attention. You can help your Philodendron Selloum grow into a huge and gorgeous plant if you provide it with the right conditions.
Aside from providing the right soil mix, here are some other important factors that can help your Philodendron Selloum thrive:
- Your Philodendron Selloum does exceptionally well in full sun but will tolerate lower light levels, too. When indoors, place your plant right beside a window that gets bright, indirect light.
- When outdoors, put it in an area with direct morning sunlight and bright, indirect light for the rest of the day.
- Rotate your plant every few weeks to ensure even growth. The Philodendron Selloum tends to grow toward the light source.
- Rotating it will make it grow more evenly. This also helps ensure that the plant is able to photosynthesize more efficiently since it converts sunlight into energy needed for it to grow.
- Your Philodendron Selloum will give you signs that it needs water. The key is to familiarize yourself with your plant so you’ll instantly recognize changes. Sometimes, the clues are so subtle, and you might miss them if you do not know your plant well.
- Here are some signs that your Philodendron Selloum needs watering:
- Drooping stems
- Soft leaves
- Dry topsoil (soil amendments change colors when they’re dry)
- Water your plant thoroughly to allow the roots to absorb as much water as they need. Spray the whole plant with water — stems, leaves, and petioles — to give it a good drink and to get rid of dust and insects that may be attached to it.
- Wait for excess water to pour out from the drainage holes. However, be careful not to overwater.
- Here are some signs that you’re overwatering your plant:
- Mold in the soil
- Topsoil is never dry
- Brown spots bordered by yellowish circles on the leaves
- Mushy, brown leaves or stems at the bottom part near the soil
- Leaf drop (dropped leaves tend to be yellow and limp)
- Your Philodendron Selloum prefers moist soil. However, make sure that the potting mix is never soggy. The secret is to water only when your plant needs it. One way to check this is by doing the finger test.
- Simply stick your index finger into the potting mix and go all the way to the bottom of the pot. Use a skewer or long wooden stick if the pot is too big. Wet soil will stick to your finger or the stick.
- If the soil is dry at the top but wet at the bottom, your plant is ready to be watered. If the soil is moist from top to bottom, hold off on watering.
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- Philodendrons are not finicky when it comes to fertilization. They don’t need as much as other plants and do not require specific types of fertilizers to grow. In fact, some Philodendrons can thrive even without any form of fertilization, except for the nutrients found in their potting mix.
- However, if you want your Philodendron Selloum to grow lusher and push out new leaves faster, then regular fertilization is the way to go. There are various fertilizers available in the market but go for balanced plant food that contains sufficient amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
- You can use diluted liquid fertilizers monthly while watering your plant or sprinkle some slow-release Osmocote over the soil every 3 months.
- Regularly dust the leaves, especially since the Philodendron Selloum’s large, lobed leaves tend to gather dust rather quickly. Dust hinders the plant from absorbing as much sunlight as possible, thereby hindering photosynthesis as well.
- Take this opportunity to inspect your plant for potential pest infestations. Pay particular attention to the undersides of leaves since most pests love hiding and nesting there, especially aphids and mealybugs.
- It may seem counterintuitive, but pruning your Philodendron Selloum will help make it lusher. In fact, pruning will encourage it to grow more new leaves. It will also let you mold your plant into your desired shape and bushiness. Remember always to use clean pruning shears or scissors.
- Make smooth, neat cuts just above a node to encourage new growth. Your Philodendron Selloum will grow fresh leaves and stems from that node.
- If your goal is to propagate, cut just below a node. You can stick the cutting back into the soil or leave it in a propagation jar filled with water where it can grow new roots from the node.
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The Philodendron Selloum has always been a crowd favorite, thanks to its dramatic foliage. It instantly spruces up a space with its large, lobed, and green leaves. Place it in an empty corner of your living room or a bare spot in your garden.
One of the best weapons you can give your Philodendron Selloum is the right soil mix. Make sure it is airy, well-draining, and packed with nutrients. The right potting mix also helps avoid the Philodendron’s worst enemy — overwatering.
With the proper soil amendments, you can enjoy a lush and happy Philodendron Selloum for years to come.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.