There are so many reasons to keep plants in your home, from helping with air quality to adding a vibrant and green aesthetic. But to get the most out of your houseplants, you need to take the best care of them. Plant care can be a challenge if you're not sure what to do, mainly because so many plants have varying needs. If you just picked up a new Philodendron selloum, then you need to know all the right ways to care for it, and we've got the best tips for you right here.

What Is a Philodendron Selloum?

A Little Background on Your New Plant


Philodendron selloum is part of the Philodendron genus. This genus is made up of stunning plants characterized by dark glean, glossy, and deeply lobed leaves and a tropical vibe. Philodendron selloum is native to South America but also grows outdoors in the east and gulf coasts of the USA. While this plant is accustomed to tropical climates for outdoor growth, it makes a great indoor house plant for any home. With the right tips and information, anyone can take great care of a Philodendron selloum.

A Word of Caution


While caring for your Philodendron plant is easy when you know what to do, if you have pets or young children, you must put in a little extra work. The Philodendron selloum plant contains a toxin called calcium oxalate in its leaves. When the leaves are ingested, this calcium oxalate can lead to inflammation of the mucous membranes in the ear and throat and irritation to the mouth and GI tract.

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It's good to practice extra caution when keeping a Philodendron selloum plant in a home with pets or young children, but it doesn't mean you can't do it. A severe reaction is unlikely, and those who are most vulnerable are small pets or children under three years of age.

For extra safety, it's best to keep this indoor plant in an area that isn't frequented by pets or small children. Also, tell children not to eat the plant and reprimand pets that get too close. It's also important to know what signs to look out for if a poisoning occurs. Cats and dogs may show signs of drooling, vomiting, pawing at the mouth, and decreased appetites. Humans may have symptoms such as burning mouth or throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling or blistering of mouth or tongue.

philodendron selloum leaf

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How to Care for Your Philodendron Selloum

Philodendron plants are considered low maintenance, but to keep them healthy and thriving, follow the pro tips we've listed below.

Supply the Right Soil


a person holding loose soil

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Philodendron plants like rich, loose, slightly alkaline, and well-draining soil.

Choose a Spacious Setting


We mentioned before that this plant takes up a decent amount of space, so it's best to keep it in a spacious room or setting. These plants can grow to five feet or high with leaves around 2 to 3 feet. Great setting options for this plant are living rooms, hallways, offices, or conference rooms, as long as other requirements like light are met.

This plant can grow outdoors, but only if you live in an area with a warm climate where temperatures don't drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or ideally 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area with these temperatures, like in Florida, you can keep your plant in your balcony, backyard, or terrace. Just remember to ensure there is enough shade.

Provide the Right Lighting


In their natural tropical habitats, these plants are used to light as it shines through a tropical canopy. These plants don't do well with direct sunlight on their leaves. The optimal condition for this plant involves bright and indirect light exposure. If your plant doesn't get even light all over in its spot in your home, it's best to rotate it every few days so it grows straight.

If you notice many leaves turning yellow at once, then it can be a sign that your plant is receiving too much direct light. If the plant looks leggy, then this can be a sign that it's not receiving enough light.

plant getting sunlight

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Treat With Tropical Temperatures


Philodendron plants are tropical, but that doesn't mean your home has to mimic the tropics. These plants grow best indoors at temperatures of 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. It's essential to keep your plant away from direct air conditioning, drafts, and heat vents.

Humidity Helps


These plants are accustomed to humid temperatures, which means putting in a little work when you keep them indoors. To keep your Philodendron selloum flourishing, keep it near a humidifier, place it on or near a water pebble tray, and mist it regularly using a spray bottle, especially during drier winter months.

Provide the Right Hydration


These plants like moist but not soggy soil, but exactly how much you should water yours varies based on multiple factors. First, all plants, like all humans, are unique and have specific needs. In addition to that, factors such as location, temperature, amount of AC/heating, and more can impact how much water your plant will need. During the winter, your plant will probably need less water.

You can start by watering your plant with 12 ounces of water once per week. Then on the same day each week, check the soil. If the soil is still moist, you can leave it be. If the soil is dry, then it's time to water it again. You can also use the rule of thumb of watering your Philodendron selloum when the soil becomes dry down to 1-2 inches. When this happens, you can water your plant until water flows into the saucer and then empty any remaining water to avoid root rot.

Feed Your Plant Well


You might not put much thought into feeding your house plants, but it can help keep them lush, vibrant, and healthy. Fertilize your Philodendron selloum monthly using water-soluble house plant fertilizer, but use half the recommended amount.

Re-Pot When the Time Is Right


When the roots of your plant have filled the existing pot, it's time to upgrade to one that is 1 to 2 inches deeper and wider.

Practice Pruning


For added care, you can prune your plant with sharp pruners or scissors to help control the size and shape. You can remove entire leaves by cutting at the base of the stem. If you want to show the plant's stem, you can remove the lower leaves. When pruning your plant, make sure to wear gloves and wash your hands after.


Getting More Out of Your Philodendron Selloum

If the pro tips above have your plant looking so good that you can't get enough, then you can spread the love either to other parts of your home or by sharing with friends and family. Heres how:

Propagate Your Plant

When you want more of the same plant without the added expense of going out and buying a new one, propagating your plant is the perfect solution. Plant propagation is an asexual means of reproduction, and it produces a new plant identical to the parent plant. There are many methods to use for plant propagation. You can propagate your Philodendron selloum by following these steps:

  1. 1
    Fill a jar, container, or large glass with water, leaving an inch of space beneath the rim. Allow the water to sit out uncovered overnight so that the chlorine evaporates.
  2. 2
    Cut a 6-inch stem off of your healthy plant using scissors, gardening clippers, or a sharp knife. Cut off a stem with multiple leaves.
philodendron selloum on a glass container

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  1. 3
    Remove three sets of leaves so there are at least two nodes left bare. Place the stem in your container of water with the bare nodes in the water and remaining leaves out of the water.
  2. 4
    Change the water every three days (always leave the water out overnight to remove chlorine).
  3. 5
    After roots form (about ten days), plant the roots in a pot with the proper soil and water regularly.

​Conclusion

Philodendron selloum

Image Source: Pixabay.com

The Philodendron selloum plant is a beautiful plant to keep in your home, and no matter what room you have it in, it will provide a burst of vibrant green and provide tropical energy. For the healthiest plant you can have, follow the tips above and you'll be caring for your Philodendron plant like a pro.

Featured Image: CC BY-SA 4.0, David J. Stang, via Wikimedia Commons


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