Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum

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Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum
Group: Angiosperms
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Genus: Thaumatophyllum
Species: T. bipinnatifidum
Classified: (Schott ex Endl., 1837) Sakur., 2018
Propagation: From From seeds, cutting, layering
Adult size: over 30 m (90 ft); ~ 2 m indoors
Lighting: Medium
Watering: Let the soil dry slightly before watering
Fertilization: Monthly during active growth
Soil: Well drained
Humidity: High humidity preferred, low humidity tolerated
Other information
Toxicity: Toxic sap
Rarity: Common
See more Thaumatophyllum

Common names:

Split-leaf philodendron, Philodendron bipinnatifidum

Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum is a large epiphytic plant of the Araceae family. Native to Bolivia, it makes an excellent houseplant and will tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.


Thaumatophyllum comes from the greek 'thaumato' meaning "wonder" and 'phyllum' meaning "leaf".

Bipinnatifidum means double, feathery split-leaves.



T. bipinnatifidum has large, glossy green split leaves. Over time the leaves begin to form a trunk.


T. bipinnatifidum inflorescence

The T. bipinnatifidum inflorescence consists of an erect spadix enclosed in a green, boat-shaped spathe. The corn-like spadix is covered in small flowers.


T. bipinnatifidum wants bright, indirect light. It can tolerate some direct light but avoid hot midday sun or the leaves will scorch.

Use a well draining soil mix (see aroid soil) and water thoroughly, allowing excess to drain. A waterlogged soil will lead to yellow leaves.

Common issues

Yellowing/dropping leaves

Yellowing leaves are a sign of too much water. Ensure the pot has good drainage and allow the surface of the soil to dry between watering. Older leaves will naturally yellow and die eventually.

If the soil is staying moist for more than two weeks between watering, or the soil feels soggy or very wet after a week then consider repotting the plant into a smaller container: the roots staying wet for too long will lead to root rot and a quick decline in the plant's health. When repotting use a well drained mix (see aroid soil)

Sun damage

T. bipinnatifidum can take some direct sun without damage but requires acclimatisation first or leaves will become bleached, will turn brown and eventually die. When moving your plant into an area which gets direct sunlight build up the plant's tolerance first. Limit the amount of direct sun to an hour a day for a few days, then two hours, then three and continue to slowly increase the plant's light exposure until it is fully acclimated.

When moving the plant outdoors, choose a spot in shade or that gets dappled or screened sunlight. Let the plant slowly acclimate to being outdoors and never move the plant into direct sun without slowly building up a tolerance first. Some direct morning or evening sun is fine but hot midday light will scorch the leaves.


T. bipinnatifidum is relatively resistant to pests, however it can be affected by spider mites, mealybugs, scale, thrips and whitefly.