Sometimes known as the Oak Leaf Philodendron, Philodendron pedatum is a striking aroid grown across the world as a coveted houseplant for its unusual leaves.
As the common name suggests, the leaves feature large lobes as they mature, though they start with oblong leaves, the foliage soon splits, creating a striking jungle vibe in any room.
Interested in growing your own Philodendron pedatum? Here’s everything you need to know.
Philodendron Pedatum At A Glance
Philodendron pedatum looks fairly unassuming as a young plant, and you might mistake it as a “generic” Philodendron until the foliage starts to split, resembling the leaves of an oak tree (see also How To Care For Philodendron Xanadu).
If you give this plant the right conditions, the leaves can reach more than a foot long, making this plant a great alternative to Monstera deliciosa, or any other jungle houseplant classic.
This is a climbing Philodendron, so it will need some support, like a bamboo post or a moss pole.
Sunlight And Position
As is typical of Philodendron species, Philodendron pedatum needs bright and indirect light for most of the day.
Some direct sunlight during the morning can be beneficial for this plant, sustaining its growth much easier without the risk of sun scorch, but any more than a few hours of morning sunlight can cause sun damage to the delicate leaves.
Try to ensure your plant is as close to the window as possible without touching the glass. If you can’t put the plant within a few feet of a window, it will still grow, but the growth will be slower, and the plant may turn leggy.
In this case, it’s a good idea to put this plant under a grow light to give it the energy it needs.
As for temperature needs, Philodendron pedatum requires warm and stable temperatures that consistently stay above 60°F.
Ideal Soil For Philodendron Pedatum
Philodendron pedatum is not fussy in most of its care needs, but one thing you need to get right from the get-go is the soil type.
A typical aroid potting mix will do well for this plant, but if you don’t want to buy ready-mixed aroid compost, you could achieve similar results using equal parts houseplant compost, perlite, and orchid bark.
You could also use houseplant compost with perlite, or grow it in sphagnum moss, or sphagnum moss with a layer of LECA at the bottom (using a container without holes).
Should You Give Philodendron Pedatum Higher Humidity?
While Philodendron pedatum will survive in areas of lower humidity, they will grow quickly and much better in humidity levels that are about 60% or higher, putting out huge leaves and lush growth.
If you don’t want to invest in a humidifier, and you don’t have a room that gets this humid, you could use the pebble tray trick, where you fill a tray (without holes) with pebbles, and fill it with water just under the top layer of the pebbles.
As it evaporates, the humidity will rise. This might not be the best method to use if you have pets, so you might want to consider growing this plant in a greenhouse cabinet, or grouping similar plants to create a microclimate.
When To Water And Feed Philodendron Pedatum
During the growing season, water your Philodendron pedatum when the top two inches of compost have dried out.
This will help keep most of the soil constantly moist without being wet, which will help prevent root rot.
Try not to water any plant little and often, as this creates a weaker root system. Instead, water deeply and infrequently, not allowing your plant to completely dry out.
This way of watering is superior as it forces the roots to search for the water that goes deeper into the soil, rather than staying near the top where water will accumulate, creating a more robust root system, leading to a healthier plant.
When light and temperature dip during fall and winter, scale back the watering regime, letting the top half of compost dry out between watering, but no more than this.
Don’t allow your Philodendron pedatum to dry out completely, as this can damage the plant.
As for feeding Philodendron pedatum, it’s a good idea to do it regularly, as this plant grows very quickly and needs a lot of nutrients.
Use an equally balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer, around every fourth watering or so. Reduce the frequency of feeds as fall rolls in, stopping completely in winter, and resuming when you see new growth in spring.
This will allow the plant to rest.
How To Propagate Philodendron Pedatum
Philodendron pedatum is easy to propagate through stem cuttings, or through dividing the plant if you have more than a few stems on the plant.
If you want to propagate the plant through stem cuttings, make sure that there is a node attached to the cutting and one or two leaves.
Put the cuttings into water immediately, somewhere warm and bright, and once they have roots, transfer them into compost.
Wait until the plant’s roots are emerging from the drainage holes before dividing the plant, and only do so in the growing season, using your hands to loosen up the root system before dividing it.
If the plant’s roots are very tightly packed together, you could use a knife or a saw to create your divisions. Pot them up separately, and treat them as separate plants.
Problems To Watch Out For
Among the most common problems are leaves that droop, turn yellow, or brown. This is usually moisture-related, so try to be consistent when it comes to watering.
If your watering schedule is fine, you might want to check the plant for pests along the stems and leaves, including the undersides.
Other Things To Consider When Growing Philodendron Pedatum
A Note On Toxicity
As an aroid, this plant is considered toxic to pets and humans.
Philodendron pedatum is a striking Philodendron with unusually-shaped leaves, and it’s also more tolerant of lower humidity than other kinds, making it a great species for beginners.