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A philodendron selloum or tree philodendron is native to South America, but also grows outdoors on the East and Gulf coasts of the United States. Indoors, the easy-care, self-heading philodendron selloum takes up a lot of space, often spreading 5ft or more with 2ft.-3ft. leaves. The dark green, shiny leaves are large and deeply lobed. A selloum does grow a trunk as it matures, but the huge drooping leaves usually hide it.
A philodendron selloum grows well in bright indirect light. In lower light, the leaves turn a darker green; direct sun or too much light burns or fades the leaves.
Unlike other philodendrons, the selloum likes moist but not soggy soil. During the winter, water less often, keeping the soil barely moist.
Feed a monthly during the spring, summer, and fall with a water-soluble balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the recommended strength. Too much plant food causes excess salt build up in the soil and can cause leaf burn.
Philodendron selloums like warm temperatures above 55°F (12.8°C). Keep these plants away from drafts and open doors especially during the winter.
This philodendron selloum is a type of tree philodendron. It has thinner leaves than many of its relatives and requires a more humid environment to grow well. If your home or office is very dry in the winter, place your selloum near a humidifier or sit it on a wet pebble tray.
It takes about 15-20 years for a mature philodendron selloum to flower; and it rarely flowers indoors. The pedal-less flowers are enclosed in a spathe, a modified leaf, which is often mistaken for the flower itself.
Aphids, Mealy Bugs, scale, and spider mites can be a problem. If any of these Plant Pests infect your selloum, spray the entire plant with warm soapy water or the green solution (recipe in the Glossary). Scrape off scale with a child’s toothbrush. You can read more about these Plant Pests in the Glossary of the website.
Bacterial blight can cause small, very dark green blotches on the leaves that expand rapidly. Infected leaves eventually rot and die becoming quite smelly in the process. The best way to prevent bacterial blight is to keep the leaves dry at all times, avoid overhead watering, and immediately remove any infected leaves.
A philodendron selloum grows best in a rich, slightly alkaline soil that retains moisture. The leaf tips burn if there is too much salt in the soil usually due to over-feeding.
You can tell it's time to move your selloum to a larger pot when the roots have filled the existing pot. The new container should only be 1"-2" wider and deeper than the previous container.
Use a sharp pruners or scissors to control the size and shape of this philodendron. You can remove entire leaves be cutting them off at the base of the leaf stem; and you can remove the lower leaves if you want to reveal the plant's stem. Always wear gloves when pruning and wash your hands and tools when finished; you don't want to get the sap in your eyes or mouth.
Disclaimer: The image is for reference purposes only. The actual product may vary in shape or appearance based on climate, age, height, etc.