The Best Way to Grow Split-Leaf Philodendron Indoors

by Jenny Harrington

The large, deep green foliage of a split-leaf philodendron (Monstera deliciosa) resembles Swiss cheese, providing a junglelike hint of tropical lushness to your home. Although the plant only grows outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, it can thrive indoors in any location when provided with the best care. This upright vine requires only the most basic care to remain healthy and attractive, making it an excellent choice for busy moms who are looking for low-maintenance indoor greenery.

1 Pot split-leaf philodendron in a peat- and soil-based potting medium inside a container with at least one bottom drainage hole. Use a container 3 inches larger in diameter than the root ball with a depth equal to or greater than the diameter.

2 Place the philodendron in an area that receives bright but indirect sunlight, and where temperatures remain between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Too little light prevents the leaves from developing ornamental perforations, so it's best to grow the plant in bright, diffused light.

3 Water the philodendron when the top 1/2 to 1 inch of soil begins to dry out. Water the soil surface until the excess drains from the bottom of the pot. Empty the collected water from the drip tray after watering.

4 Mist the foliage daily with water from a spray bottle to raise humidity, which encourages the best growth. Alternatively, group the philodendron with other plants to increase humidity in the area.

5 Water the philodendron with an all-purpose houseplant food every two weeks during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. For example, dilute 1/2 teaspoon of soluble 24-8-16 fertilizer in 1 gallon of water and fertilizer the plant with this solution.

6 Remove dead or damaged leaves at any time. Pinch off a damaged leaf at its base and remove it from the pot.

7 Monitor the philodendron for mites, thrips, aphids and other common houseplant pests. Rinse the pests from the foliage with a sharp spray of water or wipe them off with a damp cloth. For major infestations, spray the affected leaves with a ready-to-use insecticidal soap spray. Reapply the spray every five days until the pests are gone.

Items you will need

  • Planter
  • Potting soil
  • Spray bottle
  • All-purpose soluble fertilizer
  • Cloth
  • Insecticidal soap spray

Tip

  • Repot a split-leaf philodendron at any time if it becomes too large for its current container. Use the same type of potting soil that was in the original pot.

Warning

  • Split-leaf philodendron is toxic if ingested, and the sap may cause some skin irritation. Keep the plant away from children and pets.