Philodendron Tripartitum : Big and Adorable

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It would be a complete lie if you say that Philodendron Tripartitum isn’t special at all, because the plant is definitely super special! With big and glossy leaves, having tri-lobed foliage, the plant definitely looks unique and different. The plant can deliver fresh and thrilling sensation, exuding strong tropical effect. Do you really know how to care for one?


  • Scientific Name: Philodendron Tripartitum
  • Family: Araceae
  • Genus: Philodendron
  • Origin: Central and South America
  • pH Level: 5.5 to 7

The History

People tend to mix up Philodendron Fenzlii and Philodendron Tripartitum. In reality, though, botanists acknowledge the Tripartitum as the ‘real deal’. It means that the Tripartitum is known as the official name for this plant.

The plant was identified the first time in 1829, gaining its name from the tri-lobed leaves shape. Then, British botanist tried to rename it as Fenzlii in 1878, but the first name was considered the official name in the botanical world.

This plant can be discovered and found from Mexico to Ecuador (going through the Central American areas), found at above the sea level of 400 feet (or around 1300 meters). In Central America, you can find it in Mexico (from Veracruz states to Tabasco), Jamaican island, and through South America. In Panama and Costa Rica, the plant can be found in the (tropical) rainforest to the pre-mountainous areas.


About Philodendron Tripartitum

This plant is considered an aggressive aroid. This Philodendron Tripartitum comes with 3 (shiny) loves to every leaf. Why is it considered aggressive? Because not only it grows fast, but it expands quickly too. if you happen to live in a semi-tropical area and you grow the plant outdoor, it’s imperative that you monitor it closely. Otherwise, it will cover your garden in no time; including your other plants.

The plant is basically a hemiepiphyte, which means that it can begin its life cycle on soil (and then climbs up the host tree) or directly on the tree branch (growing the roots eventually down the soil). In the wild, the mature plant is able to grow bigger than the one kept at home, especially as a houseplant. One thing you need to remember to keep it as a houseplant is that you need to imitate the natural condition in the wild. You need to provide a warm and humid environment so the plant will survive successfully.

Lighting Requirement

Philodendron Tripartitum would love it to be placed in a spot where it can get plentiful of bright sunlight, but it should be indirect. The plant can’t handle direct light because it may burn it. The area should be partially shaded so the plant can get the need light. In most cases, people will place the plant in windowsill. If you have sheer curtain, the plant can get filtered light.

If you live in warmer areas, consider yourself lucky because you can grow this plant outdoor. In the event you live in USDA areas 9 to 11, you are able to keep the plant outdoor all of the time. As a tropical plant, the plant exudes tropical vibe that is immediately felt or seen. If you this one outdoor, you should be able to combine it with other plants. If you grow this one indoor, the plant can be interesting focal point that charms up your interior look.

Read also : Philodendron Black Cardinal : A Dark Beauty

Watering Requirement

Philodendron Tripartitum needs proper watering proportion. It shouldn’t experience lack or water, but it shouldn’t get too much water either. This plant needs moist soil. It shouldn’t be soggy or flooded. You need to develop your own watering regime or habit to make sure that this plant gets just the right amount of moisture.

You only need to water the plant when it’s already dried up; not when it’s still moist. Touch the top soil. Insert your finger up to 2 inches to the soil. If the soil is moist, then don’t water the plant just yet. But if it is dry, then go ahead and water it. Your watering schedule can be adjusted on the location. If it is placed outdoor, then you may water it less than when it is indoor because it may get rain water. But if it is placed indoor (especially close to the window sill), you may have to water it once or even several times in a week.


Let’s not forget that Philodendron Tripartitum is a part of tropical family, meaning that it prefers medium up to high humidity level. Good airflow is crucial. It’s not advisable to place your Tripartitum in a room with AC or active furnace. This would dry up the whole place. Target at creating at least 50% of humidity level to ensure success.

There are several ways to increase the humidity level quite naturally and inexpensively:

  • Make use of the humidifier. If you want to, you can purchase the one designed for plants
  • Set up the pebble tray. Don’t use too much water. You don’t want the bottom side of the container to touch the water.
  • Place the plant inside the bathroom, which is quite ideal considering that it would get enough humidity and also enough sunlight exposure
  • Mist the leaves. This may be temporary, but it can increase the humidity level
  • Group several plants together. It would increase the level effectively.

Soil Requirement

Choosing the right (and good) potting mix is crucial because it would be a solid foundation in growing Philodendron Tripartitum successfully. The pot should be porous with good drainage holes. Make sure to choose bark mix (the high quality one). Add peat moss and also perlite to add the well-draining quality and slightly loose. The plant loves a bit acidic soil, ideally set between 5.5 and 7. Can you make your own mix? Feel free to do so, but make sure that the soil is rich, loose, organic, and has good drainage quality. 


Providing your plant with extra nutritious food is crucial, especially during the active growing season. It typically happens in springs and summers. You can use the organic fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, or the slow release type. If you choose the latter, the perfect application would be a minimum three times a year. Liquid fertilizer, designed for houseplants, is also ideal. But make sure to reduce the frequency during winter months.



Stem cutting is often the most common way to propagate Philodendron Tripartitum. The method is quite direct and straightforward, but you need to follow the steps properly and correctly. Prepare sharp and clean cutting tool (shears, knife, or scissors). Sterilize it before each application so you won’t spread any disease or contaminants that may harm the plant.

Choose a healthy stem. Make a cut of several inches; make sure that the cut has several leaves and at least one node. You can go with water propagation or soil propagation. The steps are basically similar; it’s just the medium that is different. In water propagation, you want to place the cutting in a glass jar. Remove the leaves close to the cutting, keeping at least a leaf intact on the top side. Place the jar in a place where the plant can get abundant of bright (but indirect) sunlight. It should be placed on a spot where it is humid and has warm temperature. After several weeks, you should see roots coming out of the cutting. When the roots are long enough, remove the cutting to a new pot with fresh soil.

In soil propagation, you immediately place the cutting in the soil, instead of placing it in the water. The process is just the same. In several weeks, the roots should start appearing. Try pulling the plant a bit. When it gives a good resistance, it’s a good sign because the roots have appeared and they look strong. Then you can water the plant like usual. This propagation would be easier if you have a transparent pot, allowing you to see the root growth. Transparent pot may cost you more, but it’s a worthy investment to leave your Philodendron Tripartitum intact without disturbing it.


One of the most common issues related to Philodendron Tripartitum is the pests. Mealybugs can be annoying, but you can remove them with neem oil or special insecticides. Use cotton buds that have been dipped with neem oil. It’s also possible to use soft cloth dipped in alcohol or neem oil and then use it to wipe the leaves.

Spider mites are also another pest that may infest the plant, and so are aphids. If you want to know whether your plant has been infested with pests or not, check the underside of the leaves. If there are webs present, then spider mites are confirmed to be present. There are ways to deal with them:

  • Use soap and warm water. You can wipe them the plant with this mix to remove the pests.
  • Use neem oil spray. It takes several applications until you see fruitful result.
  • Use alcohol and cotton bud. This method can be used to remove these pesky pests
  • Use the insecticidal soap. This kind of soap can be sprayed or wiped on the plant


All Philodendrons have calcium oxalate crystals. They are irritants that can harm your skins and digestive tracks. That’s why all Philodendron owners are advised to keep their plants away from pets and kids, so they won’t be in the harm way. Make sure to wear gloves when you have to touch or hold the plants. Don’t bite or chew any part of the plant. Vomiting, upset stomach, and swelling on parts that have made contact with the sap are the common signs of the irritation. Get medical help right away when it happens.

Read also : Philodendron Orange Marmalade: The Bright and Vibrant Plant


Syngonium Auritum vs Philodendron Tripartitum

Because of their similar physical look, they are often thought to be one plant. Not to mention that they have the same (split) tripartite leaves. However, the leaves on Syngonium Auritum are shorter than the Tripartitum. And Tripartitum comes with slender leaves.

Tripartitum Philodendron vs Philodendron Sanctamartinense

If you take a look at both plants’ appearance at a glance, they may seem similar. But if you take a closer look, the Sanctamartinense comes with more ruffled leaves. The leaves of Tripartitum are more symmetrical and flatter.

Philodendron Tripartitum vs Barrosoanum Philodendron

The physical differences may be slightly difference. This is the main reason why people tend to mistake both of them. But take a closer look and you will see that the leaves on Barrosoanum are somewhat wider when compared to the Tripartitum. Every part of the leaf has the same proportion between the length and the width.

How big can it be?

The plant can grow up to 18 inches and also up to 24 inches, max. The general size is about 45 centimeters to 60 centimeters. In the wild, though, it can grow up to 6 feet of height.

Is the plant toxic?

The plant is considered toxic, especially when ingested. It has calcium oxalate crystals, which aren’t only causing digestion issue, but also allergic reaction and skin irritation.

Where can you grow the plant?

This is basically a flexible type of plant, meaning that you can grow it as a houseplant or an outdoor plant. It is perfect for containers. It is also ideal as an annual.

Is Philodendron Tripartitum a climber?

Yes, it is basically a climbing vines that can be found in most regions of the rainforests.

Is the plant a fast grower?

With the right climate and the right surroundings, this plant will definitely cover some space in your property, whether you grow it indoor or outdoor.

What does it mean when my Tripartitum has yellow leaves and it also loses leaves?

This can be caused by many reasons, including cold, underwatering, or root rot (which is usually caused by overwatering). You need to check the location of the plant and your watering habit. Once you are able to spot what’s wrong, then you should be able to fix the issue.



The Tripartitum is definitely a beautiful and natural plant that can deliver immediate tropical vibe. Since it is also a versatile plant, you have the freedom to plant it indoor as well as outdoor. Make sure that you control the plant and monitor its growth so your Philodendron Tripartitum will grow well and healthy.

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