Philodendron Bipennifolium Horse Head Care Guide
Philodendron Bipennifolium varigated plant

Houseplants are a popular way to bring nature indoors and add life to any space. With so many varieties to choose from, it can be difficult to know which plant is right for you. If you’re looking for a foliage-rich houseplant with unique and gorgeous green leaves, you might want to consider the Philodendron Bipennifolium.

Philodendron Bipennifolium, also known as the Horsehead Philodendron or Philodendron Violin, is a beautiful houseplant with stunning foliage. Its unique leaf shape resembles a horsehead or violin at different stages of maturity.

Silver Bipennifolium philodendron

Philodendron bipennifolium “Silver Violin”

The Philodendron bipennifolium “Silver Violin” is a rare variation of this plant, with its muted blue-green colouration giving it a silvery sheen appearance. This climbing philodendron can grow up to 45cm in length, making it an attractive addition to any room. Its climbing ability makes it perfect for adding a touch of greenery to a wall or other vertical surface. The Silver Bipennifolium, in particular, is a great choice for those who want to add a touch of shine and elegance to their home decor. In this blog post, we’ll explore the care requirements for the Philodendron Bipennifolium, so you can ensure your plant stays healthy and happy for years to come.

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    History of the plant

    Philodendron Bipennifolium is a fascinating shade-loving plant that has a captivating history. This Philodendron is native to South America and is known by several names, including Fiddle Leaf Philodendron, Lacy Tree Philodendron, Selloum, and Horsehead Philodendron. Its unique name, bipennifolium, is derived from the Latin word bipennatus, meaning “two-wings”, and refers to the plant’s leaves’ unique shape. This plant species thrives in the rainforest, making it a tropical epiphytic plant. Due to its incredible adaptability, Philodendron Bipennifolium is now cultivated and found in different parts of the world, where it has managed to climb up trees, where it grows 8-10-feet tall or as a dense shrub on the ground, it has become a popular choice among gardeners and indoor plant enthusiasts.

    The Philodendron Bipennifolium has strikingly beautiful foliage that is uniquely shaped. Its leaves resemble the shape of a horse’s head or a violin, which makes it visually a masterpiece. It has a beautiful, deep green colour that is shiny and attractive. The Philodendron Bipennifolium’s unique shape of its leaves helps it collect maximum sunlight in dark shaded areas.

    The history of the Philodendron Bipennifolium goes back to centuries, this beautiful plant has become a significant part of many cultures, and it has found its mention in several legends and folklore. For example, The Native Americans used to name this plant “Sattigui” and believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. Also, this plant symbolizes longevity and prosperity in Chinese culture.

    Scientific NamePhilodendron Bipennifolium
    Common NameHorsehead Philodendron, Philodendron Fiddleleaf, Lacy Tree Philodendron, Selloum
    Originnot native to North America
    Height5 feet tall
    SoilWell drain soil
    WaterWhen the soil dries deep two inches
    SunlightDiffused bright light
    Humidity50 to 80%
    Toxic to Cats & DogsYes
    Hardiness zoneUSDA Zones 4b-11
    PestsAphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites
    DiseasesRoot rot

    Features of horsehead philodendron

    Basic care requirements for the Philodendron bipennifolium include indirect sunlight, average watering schedule, and well-draining loamy soil.

    This plant is known for its unique shiny silvery green and variegated leaves that come in interesting shapes like a horse head or a violin. It is a vine climber that wraps itself around mossy plant poles or anything within reach.

    The plant is native to rainforests in Brazil and Argentina where it grows by wrapping itself around trees. As a hemi-epiphyte plant, it has a long thin stem and aerial roots that aid in its growth and vine.

    You can grow it in a hanging basket or a normal plant pot, but it requires a moss pole if in a pot. Caring for this plant is easy and doesn’t need extensive knowledge of tropical or house plants.

    Why is Philodendron Bipennifolium so scarce?

    The rare Philodendron Violin variegated is actually a mutation of P. bippenifolium, which was previously misidentified as P. panduriforme. Obtaining stable gen for its variegation is quite difficult, which is part of the reason why this plant remains scarce. Some experts suggest that it requires repeated propagation and stressful conditions to encourage the variegated gene.

    However, once established, it is an excellent house plant that is both attractive and easy to maintain.Interestingly, the variegated Philodendron Violin is often paired with the Philodendron florida beauty and Philodendron domesticum variegated due to their similar yellow variegation, and they make for a striking display. Given its captivating coloration and unique metallic green hue, the demand for the Variegated Philodendron Violin remains high. Additionally, as it matures, its shape will transform, adding another layer to its charm

    How to care for Philodendron bipennifolium

    Caring for Philodendron Bipennifolium can be a bit tricky. These plants like bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. They prefer to be kept moist but not overly wet, as this can lead to root rot. Fertilize the plant during the growing season to keep it healthy and thriving. One particular challenge in caring for Philodendron Bipennifolium is managing its growth.

    Horse Head Philodendron

    Light requirement for philodendron horsehead

    The Philodendron bipennifolium requires sunlight to grow but not direct sunlight. Direct sunlight on the plant’s leaves can cause yellowing and scorch marks over time. Therefore, the plant thrives with indirect sunlight for photosynthesis.

    In the rainforest, other trees and plants create indirect sunlight for the Philodendron bipennifolium.

    Similarly, you can easily achieve this by placing your plant in a north or east-facing window. This way, your Philodendron will receive enough sunlight without the risk of damage from direct rays.

    Temperature requirement for bipennifolium

    It is a tropical plant and, therefore, requires warm temperatures to grow and thrive. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 75F (24C) and 85F (29C). When the temperature falls below this range, the plant may begin to suffer, and growth may slow down.

    At night, the temperature should drop slightly to between 65F (18C) and 70F (21C). This temperature range mimics the natural temperature fluctuations of the plant’s native environment, allowing it to thrive in your home.

    It is worth noting that Philodendron bipennifolium is sensitive to cold temperatures and cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. If the temperature drops below 50F (10C), the plant may suffer severe damage or even die. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your plant away from any drafts or cold windows during the winter months.

    Position for Philodendron Bipennifolium variegated

    Indoor Placement:

    The Philodendron Bipennifolium variegated thrives in indoor environments, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer to bring nature indoors. When it comes to positioning this plant, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind:

    Light: It prefers bright, indirect light. Place it near a window where it can receive filtered sunlight throughout the day. Avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves.

    Temperature: The temperature range between 60°F and 85°F (15°C – 29°C). Avoid placing it near drafts or in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations.

    Humidity: It enjoys a moderately humid environment. You can increase humidity levels by placing a tray of water near the plant or using a humidifier.

    Outdoor Placement:

    While Philodendron Bipennifolium is well-suited for indoor settings, it can also thrive in certain outdoor conditions. Here’s what you need to know:

    Climate: This plant is best suited for tropical and subtropical climates. It thrives in temperatures above 60°F (15°C) and enjoys high humidity.

    Shade: In outdoor spaces, it is important to provide partial shade to protect the Philodendron Bipennifolium from direct sunlight. Place it in areas with filtered or dappled light, such as under trees or on a covered patio.

    Soil and Drainage: Ensure that the soil is well-draining to prevent waterlogging. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and potting soil works well for outdoor planting.

    Protection from Extreme Weather: During periods of intense heat or cold, it’s advisable to provide additional protection for the plant. Move it to a sheltered spot or use protective coverings as needed.

    Watering requirement for Philodendron bipennifolium

    To keep your Silver Voilen plant healthy, it is important to water it properly. You want the soil to be moist, but not saturated with water. If the soil is too wet, your plant could suffer from root rot because the roots are deprived of oxygen.Over-watering can also lead to discoloration of the leaves or halt the plant’s growth. Because the Philodendron bipennifolium is sensitive to over-watering, you must pay attention to the soil’s moisture level.

    Allow the soil to dry out before watering your plant again, but don’t let it become completely dry for an extended period. You can test the soil’s moisture by putting your finger in it to feel how damp or dry it is.

    During winter, you won’t need to water your plant as frequently because the soil retains moisture for a longer time. By being mindful of your plant’s watering needs, you can help it thrive.

    Humidity requirement for Philodendron bipennifolium

    Being a rainforest plant, requires high humidity that most homes cannot naturally provide. However, there are easy ways to create the desired humidity for your plant.If you have a humidifier, place it in the same room as your Philodendron to conveniently create high humidity. Spraying the leaves of your plant with water from a bottle is another option, but it can be difficult to gauge how much humidity your plant is getting.

    The most effective way to create humidity is through the pebble tray method. Simply fill a tray with pebbles and add tap water to the top of the tray without covering the pebbles. This method cannot be used with a hanging basket for your Philodendron bipennifolium.

    To increase the humidity around your Voilen plant, simply place its pot on a pebble tray. As the water on the tray evaporates, it releases moisture into the air. This process encourages a high humidity level, which is crucial for the plant’s health. Once the water in the tray is fully evaporated, refill it to continue the cycle. By following this routine, you can rest assured that your plant won’t suffer from dry air.

    Potting and Repotting Philodendron bipennifolium

    To ensure the health of your Philodendron bipennifolium plant, it should be re-potted every 2-3 years, especially if it resides in a hanging basket. This time frame is essential to prevent the plant’s roots from becoming too compacted, which can cause stress and make the plant vulnerable to disease and pests.

    When re-potting, be sure to only increase the pot’s size by one inch – giving the roots too much space could cause additional stress. Refrain from moving the plant into a significantly larger pot.

    Fertilizing Philodendron bipennifolium

    As a writing assistant, I can offer some advice on plant care. For your Philodendron bipennifolium, you won’t need to fertilize it as often as other plants.

    In fact, fertilizing the plant about three times a year is enough, depending on its current health. To optimize your fertilization efforts, try using a slow-release fertilizer.As its name suggests, the nutrients are released slowly throughout the soil, which is why constant fertilization is not necessary.

    When you do fertilize, ensure that you are spraying around five or six inches away from the base of the plant. However, before applying fertilizer, water your plant to ensure it has enough moisture.

    If the fertilizer is applied on dry soil, it can burn and damage the roots. Be cautious of fertilizers that have high-salt content. The buildup of salt in the soil can lead to harm to your Philodendron bipennifolium.

    Perfect Soil for Philodendron bipennifolium

    Horse head philodendron care requires soil that drains well. This ensures that any excess water flows through, preventing soil saturation.

    Over-watering can cause root rot, which can be fatal for your plant as the roots lose access to oxygen and begin to deteriorate.

    However, well-draining soil not only drains water, but it also retains the right amount of moisture. Dehydration can cause the plant to wither or even die, so it’s crucial that soil doesn’t drain too quickly.

    A loamy soil is the go-to option for your Philodendron bipennifolium, as it is the perfect balance of several types of soil, including clay, sand, and silt.

    To create the ideal loamy soil mixture for this plant, the sand should comprise over half of the soil, while the silt type should make up 40%. The remaining fraction should be clay soil.

    This combination ensures proper drainage of excess water while retaining enough moisture for the plant to thrive. It’s also essential to maintain slightly acidic soil, with a pH range between 5 pH to 6 pH, for optimum growth.

    Pruning Philodendron bipennifolium mature plant

    To maintain the health of your Philodendron Bipennifolium, it’s necessary to prune it periodically. Since this plant grows quite vigorously and takes up a lot of space, regular pruning will help manage its growth. The ideal time to prune is during early spring, prior to active growth. Because it is poisonous to humans, it is advisable to wear gloves while pruning.

    Propagation of Philodendron bipennifolium

    Propagation of Philodendron bipennifolium can be an enjoyable process whether you want to duplicate the plant or gift it to someone. There are two popular methods of propagating this plant; stem cuttings and air layering.March is a favorable month to propagate this plant.

    Stem Cuttings Method:

    Firstly, get a perfect cutting of the Philodendron bipennifolium stem before you proceed. Cut directly below a leaf node and ensure the cutting is between 2-4 inches in size, with at least two leaves still attached. Sterilize the pruning shears using 70% isopropyl alcohol for a clean cut.

    Allow the cutting to cure by leaving it in a warm room for a week or two for the cut end to callous before planting. Use a pot with proper drainage and fill it with loamy soil and a mossy pole structure that the plant can vine on.

    When the stem cutting has formed a calloused end, plant it in the soil by creating a hole with your finger and placing the cutting inside it, then pack the soil around the cutting. If needed, tie the stem cutting to a mossy pole or use a straw to support it. Ensure the stem cutting receives indirect sunlight and water it when the soil dries out.

    Air Layering Method:

    Start by wounding the Philodendron bipennifolium plant using a sterilized knife to cut a 2-inch long and 2-inch deep wound. Make sure the wound stays open either by sticking a toothpick through it or spreading moist peat-moss around it. Additionally, you can cover the wound with hormone rooting compound and use a string to wrap it around the wound and stem.

    Next, wrap plastic around the wound and stem tightly enough to hold the peat-moss onto it, but not too tight to allow it to breathe. Wait until roots start appearing, which usually takes about a month, then cut the stem with the roots of 3-4 inches in length.

    Be cautious when removing the wound from the original plant and planting the roots. Ensure the roots are under the soil to allow for expansion and proper growth. Lastly, treat the new plant appropriately with the necessary care for the original plant.

    Is Philo Bipennifolium Toxic?

    Yes, it is toxic to pets and children.

    Common Issues with

    Philodendron bipennifolium plants are generally not susceptible to plant pests and diseases. However, there is a possibility of pest infestation.

    A few plant pests that might infest Philodendron bipennifolium are aphids – small, soft-bodied insects that can cause significant damage to your plant or even kill it. If you detect an aphid infestation, it’s important to treat your plant right away.

    These pests feed on the sap inside your plant which carries water and nutrients necessary for its growth and photosynthesis. Another pest that commonly infests Philodendron is scales, specifically brown ones. These are also soft-bodied and feed on the sap from your plant, robbing it of essential hydration and nutrients.

    Neem oil is a natural and effective way to get rid of plant pests. By filling a clean spray bottle with neem oil and spraying it on your Philodendron bipennifolium, you can suffocate and eliminate the pests. However, it’s important to test the oil on a small part of your plant before applying it all over.

    Discover Other Varieties of Philodendrons

    Here are some amazing options you can nurture with care.

    Philodendron Domesticum

    This plant boasts long, glossy, arrow-shaped leaves, and its variegated version features white or yellow hues blended with glossy green.

    Philodendron Imbe

    With arrow-shaped leaves similar to those of the Philodendron domesticum, the Philodendron Imbe produces larger foliage.

    Philodendron Scandens x Oxycardium

    As a hybrid Philodendron, this plant showcases heart-shaped leaves like those of the Philodendron scandens, but grows like ivy.

    Philodendron Xanadu

    Featuring finger-shaped leaves, this plant can grow quite big in the right environment.

    Philodendron Melanochrysum

    The Philodendron melanochrysum catches the attention with its velvety heart-shaped foliage that can grow as long as three feet and feels soft to the touch.


    How do I care for Philodendron Bipennifolium Horse Head?

    To care for Philodendron Bipennifolium Horse Head, place it in a well-draining pot, provide bright indirect light, water when the top inch of soil is dry, and maintain moderate humidity.

    What is the best position for Philodendron Bipennifolium indoors?

    The best position for Philodendron Bipennifolium indoors is near a window where it can receive bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves.

    Can Philodendron Bipennifolium tolerate low light conditions?

    It can tolerate low light conditions, but it thrives in bright, indirect light. If placed in low light, its growth may slow down, and the leaves may become smaller.

    How often should I water Philodendron Bipennifolium?

    Water Philodendron Bipennifolium when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Ensure thorough watering, allowing excess water to drain away. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.

    Does Philodendron Bipennifolium require high humidity?

    Philodendron Bipennifolium prefers moderate to high humidity levels. You can increase humidity by misting the leaves, using a humidifier, or placing the plant on a tray with water and pebbles.

    What type of soil is best for Philodendron Bipennifolium?

    Use a well-draining soil mix for Philodendron Bipennifolium, such as a combination of peat moss, perlite, and organic matter. It requires good aeration and moisture retention without becoming waterlogged.

    Can I place Philodendron Bipennifolium in direct sunlight?

    While Philodendron Bipennifolium can tolerate some direct sunlight, it is best to avoid placing it in direct sunlight for extended periods as it can cause leaf burn.

    How fast does Philodendron Bipennifolium grow?

    Philodendron Bipennifolium has a moderate growth rate. With proper care, it can produce new leaves regularly and gradually expand in size.

    How do I propagate Philodendron Bipennifolium?

    Philodendron Bipennifolium can be propagated through stem cuttings. Take a cutting with a node, remove the lower leaves, and place it in a moist soil or water until roots develop.

    Are there any common pests or diseases that affect Philodendron Bipennifolium?

    Common pests that can affect Philodendron Bipennifolium include spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Diseases such as root rot can occur if the plant is overwatered or the soil is not well-draining.

    Is Philodendron Bipennifolium toxic to pets?

    Yes, Philodendron Bipennifolium is toxic to pets if ingested. It contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, drooling, and digestive issues. Keep it out of reach of pets.

    When should I repot my Philodendron Bipennifolium?

    Repot Philodendron Bipennifolium when it becomes root-bound, usually every 1-2 years. Choose a slightly larger pot and use fresh potting soil during the repotting process.

    How can I encourage bushier growth in Philodendron Bipennifolium?

    To encourage bushier growth in Philodendron Bipennifolium, prune the long stems to promote branching. This will result in a fuller and more compact plant.

    Does Philodendron Bipennifolium require any specific fertilization?

    Fertilize Philodendron Bipennifolium every 2-4 weeks during the growing season using a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Follow the package instructions for the correct dosage.

    What temperature range is ideal for Philodendron Bipennifolium?

    Philodendron Bipennifolium thrives in temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C). Avoid exposing it to cold drafts or temperatures below 55°F (13°C) as it can damage the plant.