Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum: Cultivation Tips and Care Guide

Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum

Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum, colloquially known as the split-leaf philodendron or Swiss cheese plant, stands as a verdant symphony, captivating enthusiasts with its majestic size and distinctive allure. This comprehensive exploration aims to guide you through the intricacies of nurturing this botanical masterpiece, unveiling the secrets embedded in its origins, the poetry written in its distinctive features, and the meticulous care required to cultivate an indoor Eden.

210624 021 San Diego Botanic Gdn - Dickinson Family Conser… | Flickr

Botanical Background:

Provide a deeper understanding of the plant’s taxonomy. Delve into its classification within the Araceae family, exploring any noteworthy variations in species and subspecies. Discuss its native habitat, shedding light on the regions where it naturally thrives. Explain how Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum adapts to its surroundings, detailing growth patterns, and perhaps touching upon any seasonal variations in its appearance.

Distinctive Features:

Expand on the unique features of Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum. Dive into the anatomy of its split leaves, explaining how this adaptation serves the plant in terms of light absorption and water retention. Consider providing insights into the evolution of these distinctive features and their ecological significance. Use descriptive language to paint a vivid picture for readers, helping them appreciate the intricacies of this fascinating plant.

Ideal Growing Conditions:

Offer a nuanced discussion on the ideal conditions for Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum’s growth. Detail its sunlight preferences, considering the nuances of light intensity, duration, and potential adjustments needed for different environments. Discuss the importance of maintaining consistent temperature and humidity levels, drawing connections between these factors and the overall health and growth of the plant. Guide readers on selecting the right type of soil, emphasizing the importance of well-draining mixes.

Propagation Methods:

Break down each propagation method with meticulous instructions. Start with stem cuttings, explaining the best times for cutting, preparing the cutting, and facilitating root development. Move on to air layering and division, providing step-by-step guidance and addressing potential challenges. Share personal experiences or success stories related to propagation, creating a relatable and encouraging tone for readers attempting it for the first time.

File:Philodendron selloum1.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Common Pests and Diseases:

Provide an exhaustive list of potential pests and diseases that Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum may encounter. Accompany each with detailed descriptions and images for easy identification. Offer natural and organic remedies, going beyond the typical pest control advice to include preventative measures and strategies for maintaining a healthy plant ecosystem. Encourage readers to adopt an integrated pest management approach.

Indoor and Outdoor Care:

Explore the challenges and rewards of cultivating Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum in various settings. Discuss container gardening tips for indoor enthusiasts, addressing issues such as pot size, watering frequency, and pruning. Transition to outdoor care, covering considerations for planting in garden beds or landscapes. Share strategies for optimizing its growth in different contexts and environments.

Popular Varieties:

Feature a few standout varieties, providing in-depth information on each. Discuss their unique characteristics, growth habits, and any historical or cultural significance. Include anecdotes about how these varieties have gained popularity in different regions or among specific plant communities. Consider incorporating images or illustrations to showcase the visual distinctions between each variety.

Decorating with Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum:

Paint a detailed picture of how readers can integrate Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum into their living spaces. Discuss various decorative styles, from minimalist arrangements that highlight the plant’s architectural beauty to lush, jungle-inspired designs that emphasize its tropical nature. Provide tips on creating focal points, considering the plant’s size and growth patterns, and offer guidance on harmonizing Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum with other plants in a cohesive and visually appealing manner.

Philodendron bipinnatifidum Schott ex Endl, Philodendron bipinnatifidum does climb trees, Philodendron selloum, Exotic Rainforest rare tropical plants

Craft a compelling conclusion that not only summarizes the article but also inspires readers to embark on their journey of Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum cultivation. Reinforce the joy and satisfaction that comes from successfully nurturing this unique plant. Encourage readers to share their own experiences and discoveries, fostering a sense of community among plant enthusiasts.


Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum

Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum

This plant is a vascular epiphyte that can be found in the forests of southern Brazil. It is native to southeastern Brazil and can withstand both drought, high winds, and periods of flooding.

The thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum has stems that grow up to 20 centimeters long with flowers growing at the base that are 3 millimeters long. The leaves are ovate, pinnatisect or bifid, and range in color from light green to light yellow-green. They also can be up to 7 centimeters long.

This species has been used as a traditional cure for erythema, fever, and sores. It is also used to treat gonorrhea and as a tonic.

How to Grow and Care for Tree Philodendron Houseplants

Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum has had a limited amount of scientific investigation thus far. Studies have found that when this plant is ingested by humans it has little to no effect on the body, although it does have significant anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically.

Is a Thaumatophyllum the same as a philodendron?

They are botanically different plants. Yes, they are two different species. A thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum is a tropical plant and a philodendron is from the temperate regions of the world. The difference is that thaumatophyllum are epiphytic and philodendron are terrestrial plants.

This plant has been used for treatments in the past for various ailments, but these treatments have not been proven to be effective or have had adverse effects on a person’s health so far.

It is recommended that this plant be handled with care and not consumed in large amounts. 

Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum can also cause skin rashes if it has been applied to the skin in the past.

This plant is a member of the Philodendron species family. The leaves and stems contain a chemical that can be used to treat gonorrhea but it is not safe for humans to ingest.

Tips to keep Philodendron bipinnatifidum problem-free

  1. The Philodendron bipinnatifidum should be kept in partial shade, with the soil being kept moist and fertilized regularly with a diluted fertilizer.
  2. Because it is an epiphyte, it needs to be supported so it won’t fall over and break off if the humidity is low in your home. This can be done by placing a stake or wire cage around the plant and attaching it to the branches of the plant (once they are established).
  3. Because of its slender habit, a Philodendron bipinnatifidum needs to be kept in medium-sized pots that are not too big or small.
  4. The Philodendron bipinnatifidum needs to be kept indoors and away from direct sunlight, as well as strong winds or high temperatures.
  5. This species also prefers to grow in bright or moderate indirect light.
  6. The plant requires high humidity, so it should be placed in a partly shaded area with air circulation and room temperature (70-75 degrees Fahrenheit).


Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum is well known for its medicinal values in a traditional medicine of Brazil and Uruguay. This plant has the ability to cure fever, pain, rashes, sores and have been used as Traditional cures for erythema.

How does Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum work?

It works as a diuretic, an astringent and antioxidant. This plant contains sarmentogenins, fumaric acid and ascorbic acid. Sarmentogenins are also known as antimicrobial agents which have the ability to kill certain germs in the body. It also has shown anti-inflammatory properties when used topically.

What are the toxic effects of Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum?

It contains sarmentogenins, a chemical that is shown to possess high cytotoxicity in human cancer cells.

How to Care For Your Philodendron Bipinnatifidum

Care should be taken when water is poured onto this plant. It can cause damage to the leaves of this plant by sending water into the stem, so it is recommended to only water it with a sprayer and if too much water splashes, then the plant can possibly break and cause a centimeter-sized cut on your hand. 

Watering this plant should be done in partial shade so that it does not dry out too quickly. Because of its slender habit, the Philodendron bipinnatifidum should be grown in a medium-sized pot that is not too big or small. This plant should be kept indoors away from direct sunlight, as well as strong winds or high temperatures.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature: Suitable for all areas of the country as far north as Massachusetts and Ontario as well as southern United States, The Philodendron bipinnatifidum can survive Temperatures from 62 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity: Should be kept between 70 and 80% where the plant is grown.

Lighting Needs

Philodendron bipinnatifidum does not require direct sunlight or high temperatures, so this plant is suitable for most areas in the United States.


Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum should be fertilized weekly with a diluted fertilizer or liquid fertilizer, or about every two to three weeks. The potting soil should be moist but it is not recommended to keep it too wet, because this plant likes to dry out between waterings. A solution of one tablespoon of fertilizer in one gallon of water should be used for regular fertilizer applications.


This species is propagated from seeds, which contain a seed embryo (a bulge) on the surface. The top of the bulge should be scraped off with a spoon to make a flat head and then planted into damp soil. It requires cold stratification for germination or it can be potted and grown in water so that the plant is able to absorb moisture through its roots.

Philodendron Selloum, Furniture & Home Living, Gardening, Plants & Seeds on Carousell

How do you propagate Thaumatophyllum?

When cultivation of a Philodendron bipinnatifidum is desired, it is best to divide a plant in late summer or early fall when the plant is dormant. The plant can be divided into smaller plants, just as the rootball will have dried out. It should be cut back to about 1/4th its normal size (then trimmed by about an inch), and then repotted into fresh potting soil and exposed to room temperature for about one week.

I hope You like this post. Stay connected to I Garden Plan for more exclusive articles, new plant and flower updates, gardening tips and techniques, etc. we are committed to serving you the best of Garden Plan. Share your valuable feedback with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and stay connected with us to get regular updates on new plants and flowers.