How to Propagate Philodendron Bipinnatifidum: Quick Guide

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Philodendron bipinnatifidum, also known as the split leaf philodendron, is a popular houseplant with visually appealing foliage. This majestic plant boasts large, deeply lobed leaves, making it a favorite among indoor plant enthusiasts. Propagating philodendron bipinnatifidum can be a rewarding and straightforward process, allowing plant lovers to expand their collection or share their prized specimens with others.

To propagate this captivating plant, one can use a variety of methods, including stem cuttings and division. Stem cuttings can be placed in a jar of water or potted directly in soil, while division involves separating the root ball into smaller sections. Each method has its own set of advantages, depending on the grower’s preferences and available resources. By understanding the basics of propagating philodendron bipinnatifidum and providing the right conditions, even amateurs can successfully multiply their beloved plant.

Understanding Philodendron Bipinnatifidum

Philodendron bipinnatifidum, also known as the split-leaf philodendron or selloum, is a popular houseplant due to its attractive foliage and easy-to-grow nature. This tropical plant is native to South America and thrives in warm, humid environments, making it well-suited for indoor gardens. Additionally, it is relatively low-maintenance, requiring only regular watering, indirect sunlight, and occasional pruning.

To propagate Philodendron bipinnatifidum, you must take stem cuttings during the spring season when the plant is actively growing. Choose sturdy stems with three or four leaves as potential candidates for propagation. Using a clean, sharp knife or garden snips, cut a 3 to 6-inch section of the stem just beneath a leaf node. This process will help the plant to develop new roots and grow.

When propagating philodendrons using stem cuttings, eliminate the leaves from the bottom half and place the cutting in a small container filled with potting soil or water. If you opt to root the cutting in water, monitor the water level and replace it frequently to prevent bacteria growth. Once the stem cutting has established a suitable root system, which typically takes a few weeks, it can be transplanted into a larger container with an appropriate potting mix. This process allows the plant to grow and thrive.

When preparing the ideal potting mix for your propagated Philodendron bipinnatifidum, create a blend that combines equal parts compost, perlite, and coir Philodendron Bipinnatifidum | The Ultimate Care Guide. This mix will ensure good drainage and aeration while also providing the necessary nutrients for optimal growth.

As your newly-propagated Philodendron bipinnatifidum plant begins to grow, monitor its progress and provide the appropriate care. This includes maintaining a consistent watering schedule and shielding it from direct sunlight. With a bit of patience and proper care techniques, your propagated Philodendron bipinnatifidum will thrive and grow into a beautiful houseplant.

Propagation Methods

Stem Cuttings

One effective way to propagate Philodendron Bipinnatifidum is through the use of stem cuttings. Begin by selecting a healthy, mature stem with at least two leaves, ensuring it is free of any disease or pests. To achieve the best results, follow these steps:

  1. With a clean, sharp knife or garden snips, trim a 3 to 6-inch segment from the stem just above another leaf.

  2. Remove any leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.
  3. Place the cutting in a small container of potting soil or a cup of water, ensuring the cut end is submerged.
  4. Keep the cutting in a warm, bright location, avoiding direct sunlight.

The roots should start developing within a few weeks, at which point the new plant can be transferred to a pot or directly into the soil outdoors.

Air Layering

Another method for propagating Philodendron Bipinnatifidum is air layering, which requires a slightly different approach but still yields successful results. Follow these steps to conduct air layering:

  1. Choose a healthy stem on the plant, preferably one with several leaves.
  2. Make a small upward-angled cut about halfway through the stem, approximately one inch below a leaf node.
  3. Insert a toothpick or small stick in the cut to keep it open, encouraging root growth.
  4. Wrap the cut area with moist sphagnum moss, ensuring it is fully covered.
  5. Secure the moss in place by wrapping it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, creating an airtight seal.
  6. Monitor the air-layered stem regularly, ensuring the moss remains moist at all times.
  7. Once roots have become visible through the moss, carefully remove the plastic wrap or foil, and sever the stem just below the new root system.
  8. Plant the newly rooted cutting in a suitable pot or directly in the ground, as desired.

Using these methods, propagating Philodendron Bipinnatifidum is simple and can help create thriving new plants for any garden or indoor space. Remember to be patient, as propagation can take several weeks or even months to produce visible results.

Preparing Materials and Tools

Cutting Tools

Before you start propagating your Philodendron Bipinnatifidum, it’s essential to gather the right materials and tools. First, you’ll need a sharp pair of scissors or a knife to make precise cuts on the stem. Make sure your cutting tools are clean and disinfected to prevent the spread of diseases.

Growing Media

Choosing the appropriate growing media is vital for successful propagation. There are a few options available to you, such as water and moist potting soil. If you choose water, make sure the cuttings receive ample light and have their water changed regularly. If you prefer moist potting soil, fill your container up to an inch below the rim with the soil and moisten it with water. Create holes a few inches deep in the soil where you intend to plant your cuttings.


Select suitable containers for your cuttings, which can be anything from plastic cups to small pots. Just ensure the containers have drainage holes to prevent excess water from accumulating in the root zone. If you are propagating in water, a clear cup or jar will do the trick, as it allows you to observe the root development easily.

In summary, having the right cutting tools, growing media, and containers will set you up for success in propagating your Philodendron Bipinnatifidum. All you need now is a healthy stem with a few leaves, and you’re good to go!

Step-By-Step Propagation Process

Stem Cutting Method

To propagate Philodendron bipinnatifidum through stem cutting, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a clean and sharp pair of scissors or knife.
  2. Identify a healthy stem to cut, ideally below leaf nodes and with a few leaves to support the new plant.
  3. Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle, just above a leaf node, to maximize the rooting area.
  4. Place the cutting in a small container of potting soil or a cup of water to root.
  5. Allow the cutting to develop roots that are at least 1 inch long, then plant it in a pot containing moistened potting soil. Make a hole in the soil for the cutting and ensure that all roots are below the soil surface.
  6. Water regularly and provide appropriate light and temperature conditions.

By following these steps, you can successfully propagate Philodendron bipinnatifidum using the stem cutting method.

Air Layering Method

Another method of propagating Philodendron bipinnatifidum is through air layering. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose a healthy stem and make a 45-degree upward cut about halfway through the stem, just below a leaf node.
  2. Insert a small object, like a toothpick, into the cut to keep it open.
  3. Moisten a handful of sphagnum moss and wrap it around the cut, ensuring that the moss is in contact with the cut area.
  4. To retain moisture, wrap the moss with plastic wrap, fastening the edges with twist ties, tape, or rubber bands.

  5. Monitor the wrapped area every few weeks for root development. Make sure the moss remains moist throughout the process.
  6. After the roots have developed, trim the stem beneath the newly formed roots and transfer the cutting to a pot filled with damp potting soil.

  7. Provide adequate water, light, and temperature conditions to help the new plant thrive.

By following the air layering method, you can successfully propagate Philodendron bipinnatifidum and enjoy a thriving new plant.

Post-Propagation Care

Once you have successfully propagated your Philodendron Bipinnatifidum, it’s essential to provide proper care to ensure the young plant thrives. This section will discuss the critical aspects of post-propagation care, including watering, light requirements, and fertilization.


Young Philodendron Bipinnatifidum cuttings need consistent moisture to establish roots and grow. Monitor the soil closely and water when the top inch feels dry. Be cautious not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Maintain a healthy balance by allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings.

Light Requirements

Philodendron Bipinnatifidum cuttings benefit from bright, indirect light. Position the young plant near a window with filtered light or in a space with dappled shade. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the delicate leaves. Adequate lighting helps the plant produce healthy foliage and promotes steady growth.


After your Philodendron Bipinnatifidum cutting has developed roots and displays new growth, it is time to introduce fertilization. Use a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength. Apply the fertilizer once a month during the growing season, which occurs in the spring and summer.

When fertilizing, follow these guidelines:

  • Water the plant thoroughly before applying the fertilizer to avoid root burn.
  • Drench the soil, making sure the fertilizer reaches the root zone.
  • Avoid fertilizing the plant during the dormant season (fall and winter).

By providing proper watering, light, and fertilization, your newly propagated Philodendron Bipinnatifidum will thrive and grow into a beautiful houseplant.

Common Propagation Issues and Solutions

When propagating Philodendron Bipinnatifidum, a few problems may arise. This section discusses common issues and offers solutions to ensure successful propagation.

1. Root Rot

When propagating in water, root rot can be a problem. Over time, bacteria can grow in the water, leading to unhealthy roots. The solution is to change the water regularly, about once a week, and keep the container clean.

2. No Roots Forming

Sometimes, cuttings may not develop roots, regardless of being placed in water or soil. To increase the chances of root formation, ensure the cutting has a node, or the bump on the stem where roots emerge. Cut just below the node, and remove leaves from the lower half of the cutting.

3. Drying or Yellowing Leaves

If leaves are drying out or turning yellow during propagation, the cutting may not be receiving enough humidity. Mist the leaves daily or cover the container with a clear plastic bag to maintain humidity. Ensure that it is placed in a well-lit area but avoid direct sunlight.

4. Cutting Disease or Pests

Before taking a cutting, choose a healthy and disease-free stem from the mother plant. If the cutting shows signs of disease or pests during propagation, remove the affected areas with clean, sharp tools, and treat the pest problem accordingly.

5. Slow Growth

Cuttings may root but not exhibit much growth. This issue may be due to insufficient nutrients. Once roots have formed, transplant the cutting into potting soil and ensure it receives proper care, including regular watering and fertilizer application.

By addressing these common propagation issues and applying the suggested solutions, you can successfully propagate Philodendron Bipinnatifidum and enjoy healthy, thriving plants.

Final Tips and Tricks

When propagating Philodendron Bipinnatifidum, there are a few key things to keep in mind for successful growth. First and foremost, select a healthy stem with a few leaves, ensuring it is cut just below the leaf nodes.

It is important to use clean and sanitized tools, such as scissors or knives, to prevent the spread of diseases. Furthermore, it is essential to eliminate the leaves from the bottom half of the stem, particularly if you are propagating in water. This step aids in the development of roots without any hindrances.

When choosing a location for your new cutting, place it in an area with bright, indirect sunlight. Make sure not to bury or submerge any leaves in the soil or water; doing so may cause rot or other complications.

To enhance the health of your propagated Philodendron Bipinnatifidum, consider utilizing the following practices:

  • Water quality: Use rain or distilled water if the tap water in your area is too hard or contains excessive salts and minerals. This can help prevent brown, curling leaf tips.
  • Soil flushing: Rinse the soil thoroughly once a month to remove salt and mineral build-up, and then allow the pot to drain.

By applying these tips and tricks, you’ll have a better chance at successful propagation and healthy growth of your Philodendron Bipinnatifidum.

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