Growing Philodendron Tortum Indoors will create a tropical vibe while keeping your indoor air free from harmful toxins!
Native to the rainforests of Brazil, Philodendron Tortum is highly sought after due to its unique pinnate foliage that resembles a palm tree. If you wish to bring this eye-catching specimen indoors, here’s an extensive care guide to help you out!
- Botanical Name: Philodendron bipinattifidum
- Popular as—Fernleaf Philodendron, Tortum Philodendron
- Attains a height of 4-6 feet indoors
- Loves bright, indirect sunlight
- Thrives in a temperature range of 60 to 85°F (15-29°C)
- Toxic to pets and humans
What is Philodendron Tortum?
Member of the Araceae family, Philodendron Tortum is a visually striking species with narrow, undulating leaves that twist and curl, creating an intriguing, sculptural effect. The leaves are dark green with a matte texture, often exhibiting reddish-purple undersides that contrast beautifully with the foliage. As the plant matures, the leaves become even more pronounced in their twisting pattern, adding to its overall visual appeal. Additionally, the plant also counts its name among medicinal plants due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
With an impressive height of 4-6 feet, the plant stands tall among its peers due to its upright, bushier growth habit. If you are looking for an indoor plant that looks like a palm tree and comes with the low demanding nature of philos, this houseplant perfectly ticks all the boxes.
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Philodendron Polypodioides vs. Tortum
- Appearance: Philodendron Polypodioides has finger-like, lance-shaped leaves, while Philodendron Tortum has narrow, undulating leaves that twist and curl. Polypodioides has glossy green leaves, while Tortum’s leaves are matte dark green with reddish-purple undersides.
- Growth Habit: Philodendron Polypodioides is a climbing or trailing species with fast growth, while Philodendron Tortum grows in a more compact, upright fashion and has slower growth.
- Care Requirements: Both species prefer bright, indirect light and high humidity levels. Polypodioides require regular watering with slightly drier soil, while Tortum needs consistent, evenly moist soil.
- Propagation: Polypodioides can be propagated through stem cuttings, while Tortum can be propagated by division or stem cuttings.
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Ideal Pot Size
The ideal pot size for a Philodendron Tortum depends on the size of the plant’s root ball. A pot that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant is recommended, as it allows enough space for root growth and prevents the soil from staying wet for too long.
For a young plant, a 4-6 inch pot with ample drainage holes would be a good size to start with. As the plant grows, you can gradually increase the pot size to 1-2 sizes larger as you see the roots coming out of the drainage holes.
Propagating Philodendron Tortum
The easiest way to propagate Philodendron Tortum is through stem cuttings. To propagate the plant, you will need a healthy, disease-free plant, a well-draining potting mix, and sharp clippers. Follow the steps below for successful propagation:
- Choose a healthy stem with several nodes and leaves.
- Cut the stem just below a node using sharp, sterile clippers.
- Leave the stem at a dry place to callous over and dip the cut end in a rooting hormone, shaking off the excess.
- Plant the cutting in a pot filled with well-draining medium, combining peat moss and perlite.
- Place it at a warm, bright location and mist it regularly until roots form.
You’ll notice new growth in a couple of weeks.
Philodendron Tortum Care
Philodendron Tortum thrives in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight will turn the leaf tips crispy and fade their gloss, so it is better to place the plant near a window with a sheer curtain or in a location where it receives dappled sunlight. A North or East facing window is ideal for plant growth.
In low light conditions, the plant’s growth will slow down, and its vibrant veins will fade. Rotate the plant periodically to ensure even exposure to light and balanced growth.
A well-draining soil mix with a pH of 5.5-6.5 will ensure the proper growth of Tortum Philodendron. Combine equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark in equal parts to provide proper aeration and drainage.
A loose, airy soil structure will prevent root rot and promote healthy root development. While a heavy, clayey medium will suffocate the plant roots. If that’s all you have, amend it well with sand or perlite.
Philodendron Tortum prefers consistently moist soil but is sensitive to overwatering. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Use room-temperature water to avoid shocking the plant’s roots.
Let the medium dry out in between watering sessions to avoid the chances of it pooling near the roots. Follow a weekly deep watering session, i.e., water the medium thoroughly until it drains out of the holes.
Temperature & Humidity
Philodendron bipinattifidum thrives indoors when provided with a consistent temperature range, ideally 65°F – 80°F (18°C to 27°C) for optimal growth. This tropical species is sensitive to temperature fluctuations and may suffer in temperatures below 50°F (10°C). To ensure a healthy plant, avoid placing it near drafts, air conditioning vents, or heating sources, as these can cause sudden temperature changes that may harm your plant.
This tropical plant prefers high humidity levels, ideally around 60% or higher. Mist the leaves regularly with distilled or filtered water or place the plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles. You may also use a humidifier to maintain a consistent humidity level around the plant.
Grouping your Philodendron Tortum with other humidity-loving plants will create a microclimate of higher humidity, so that’s something you must try.
Feed your Philodendron Tortum with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength every four to six weeks during spring and summer. A 20-20-20 blend is good enough for this plant.
Do not fertilize during the plant’s dormancy in the fall and winter to prevent excess nutrient buildup in the soil. Over-fertilization can lead to salt deposits in the soil, causing leaf burn and other health issues.
Pruning is important for maintaining Philodendron health and appearance. Regular pruning promotes bushier growth, removes dead leaves, and prevents legginess. Use clean, sharp tools to cut above leaf nodes, encouraging new growth. Remove damaged or diseased leaves to improve air circulation and prevent pest infestations. Ideally, prune during the active growing season in spring or early summer.
Major Troubleshooting Tips
Here’s something you need to take care of while Growing Philodendron Tortum Indoors:
- Yellowing Leaves: Majorly a symptom of over-watering or poor drainage. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, and ensure the pot has proper drainage holes to prevent root rot.
- Brown, Crispy Leaf Edges &: A sign of under-watering or low humidity. Maintain a consistent watering schedule, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. Additionally, try to maintain humidity levels of around 60-80% by using a humidifier, misting the plant regularly, or placing it on a pebble tray.
- Leggy Growth or Small Leaves: Insufficient light can lead to elongated stems and smaller leaves. Move the plant to a location with better light, but avoid direct sunlight to prevent scorching the leaves.
- Droopy Leaves: Either a sign of over- or under-watering. Check the soil moisture and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Overwatered plants will have soft, mushy roots, while under-watered plants will have dry, brittle roots.
- Pests: Spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs can attack the Philodendron tortum. Check for any signs such as webbing, tiny insects, or white cottony masses. If pests are detected, isolate the plant and treat it with insecticidal soap or neem oil, following the label instructions.
- Root Rot: If the plant is wilting, even with proper watering, it might have root rot. Remove the plant from its pot, trim away any mushy, discolored roots, and repot into fresh, well-draining soil.
- Nutrient Deficiency: Yellowing leaves with green veins could indicate a lack of nutrients, particularly nitrogen. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to half strength, every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
Where to Buy Philodendron Tortum?
Philodendron Tortum is a rare species and may not be available in all nurseries or garden centers. Exploring local nurseries, garden centers, or specialty plant shops that carry a diverse range of houseplants is a good starting point. You can also inquire with botanical gardens or plant societies in your area, as they may host plant sales or swaps where you can find rare or unique specimens.
Online retailers and plant enthusiasts often acquire Philodendron Tortum for Sale through various e-commerce platforms, plant forums, or social media groups. Do research on the seller and their reputation before making a purchase to ensure the quality of the plant.