The philodendrons grown for indoors are evergreen, mainly climbing plants, which support themselves by means of aerial roots. They have glossy, leathery leaves which may be heart-, arrow-, or lance-shaped, and which change shape as the plant ages. Growing a philodendron against a moss pole will allow it to use its aerial roots to anchor it in the same way it would use a tree in its native habitat.
This treelike shrub from southeast Brazil is also known as tree philodendron. It usually has a single, sturdy, upright stem, which is inclined to fall over and lit horizontally as it ages, with only the tip pointing upward.
The downward-pointing leaves grow to 3 ft. (1 m) long, half of which is the stalk. They are heart-shaped, bright green, and deeply cut, with many narrow, wavy-edged lobes. The flower is a spathe 12 in. (30 cm) long and cream with a red margin. P.b. ‘German Selloum’ has finely cut leaves with wavy, graceful lobes. P.b. ‘Painted Lady’ has golden-colored new leaves, turning green. P.b. ‘Variegatum’ has leaves with light green to yellow blotches.
Size: Height eventually 15 ft. (5 m).
Light: Indirect sunlight or partial shade.
Temperature: Normal room.
Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply enough water to prevent the soil mix from drying out.
Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertilizer once a month from spring through to summer.
Propagation: Sow fresh seed m spring, or take tip cuttings from shoots at the base of the plant.
Special needs: Variegated plants always need more light than green forms, otherwise the plant compensates for the low light by converting the yellow leaf areas to green and any distinctive markings will fade oi be lost altogether.