Philodendron bipinnatifidum
Common Name: horsehead philodendron 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Araceae
Native Range: South America
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11 where plants may be grown outdoors year round in moist, fertile, well-drained soils in part shade. Avoid full direct sun which often causes the leaves to scorch. Best in sun dappled conditions or in part shade featuring morning sun and afternoon shade. Plants grown in pots may be brought indoors in fall when temperatures begin to drop below 60°F. Indoor plants generally prefer daytime temperatures above 70°F in summer and above 60°F in winter. Plants need consistent and regular moisture and are intolerant of drought.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Philodendron bipinnatifidum, commonly called tree philodendron or split leaf philodendron, is a large, non-climbing, semi-woody shrub with huge, glossy, wavy-margined, deeply-dissected evergreen leaves (to 3’ long) which rise up on long stalks (petioles) from the plant crown in a rosette-like configuration. Tiny apetalous white flowers bloom in an upright spadix which is enclosed by a purplish red spathe. Flowers rarely appear on indoor plants. Tree philodendron is native to tropical to subtropical areas of Paraguay and southeastern Brazil. In its native habitat, it will mature to 15’ tall with a trunk-like stem to 6” in diameter, but as an indoor container plant will typically grow much smaller.

Genus name comes from the Greek words phileo meaning "to love" and dendron meaning "tree" for the affinity of many species to climb trees.

Specific epithet bipinnatifidum is in reference to the pinnatifid leaves (having lobes with sinuses extending half way or more to the main leaf axis). The lobes of mature leaves will often have secondary, pinnatifid segements.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids, spider mites, mealybugs and scale. Leaf spots may occur. Root rot in overly moist soils.


Specimen for moist part shade areas in frost free climates. Popular indoor plant of relatively easy culture which is best in a sunny window slightly filtered by a thin curtain.