Philodendron Tortum Care Guide
Philodendron Tortum Care Guide

The Philodendron Tortum, also known as Philodendron Bipinattifidum, is a captivating plant that demands attention with its distinctive features. Its lancet-shaped leaves, reminiscent of a palm, are deeply pinnate and add a touch of elegance to any space. However, what truly sets this plant apart is its long, finger-like foliage that appears twisted, creating an untamed and extraordinary appearance. This evergreen beauty is sure to bring a sense of wild serenity to your home or garden.

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    Features of Philodendron Tortum

    The Philodendron Tortum, also known as Philodendron Bipinattifidum, is a fascinating plant that is best known for its lancet-shaped leaves. These leaves are deeply pinnate, resembling the shape of a palm. But what truly sets this plant apart is its long, finger-like foliage that appears twisted, giving it a wild and unwieldy look.

    Native land

    Originally from tropical parts of America, the Philodendron Tortum thrives in warm temperatures between 59 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit (15-30 degrees Celsius). It also requires a good amount of humidity, ideally between 60-80%. To keep this unique plant happy, it should be placed in bright indirect sunlight and grown in neutral soil. As for watering, it is recommended to water the plant just before the soil dries out, approximately once a week.

    Appearance

    The Philodendron Tortum is a multistemmed vine with a bushy appearance. It is considered an epiphyte, which means it can grow upon other plants or trees without causing harm. What makes the Tortum even more intriguing is the look of its leaves, which resemble a skeleton due to their thin and long appearance. This adds a touch of elegance and uniqueness to any space where it is displayed.

    Benefits of the plant

    Apart from its stunning appearance, the Philodendron Tortum also offers air-purifying benefits. It has the ability to neutralize indoor poisons such as benzene and formaldehyde, making it an excellent addition to any indoor environment. Not only does it bring a touch of natural beauty but also helps to improve the air quality by reducing air pollutants.

    Scientific NamePhilodendron tortum
    Common NameFernleaf Philodendron, philodendron bipinnatifidum tortum
    FamilyAraceae
    OriginBrazils
    Heightheight of 100 up to 120 cm
    SoilWell drain soil
    Waterlightly moist
    SunlightDiffusedBright indirect
    Temperature65°F- 80°F (18°C to 27°C)
    Humidity50 to 80%
    Toxic to Cats & DogsYes
    Hardiness zoneUSDA Zones 10-11
    PestsAphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites
    DiseasesRoot rot

    How to care for Philodendron Tortum?

    Light requirement

    The Light Philodendron Tortum thrives in medium sunlight and flourishes in bright indirect light. Direct sunlight can harm the plant and cause irreversible damage, leading to burnt leaves if exposure is too intense for extended periods. To provide the best conditions, Philodendron Tortum prefers bright and open spaces. It is advisable to keep the plant near a window, ensuring it is not too close to prevent direct sunlight.

    Temperature

    The Philodendron Tortum thrives in the Amazonian rainforest where it enjoys a warm and consistent climate. It is particularly fond of hot temperatures, preferring a range of 60-70 degrees F (16-29 degrees C). However, if the temperature drops below 55 degrees F (12.5 degrees C), the Philodendron Tortum’s growth will be stunted and its leaves may wilt. If this condition persists over time, the plant may ultimately die.

    Fortunately, the preferred temperatures for plants are typically the same as the average indoor temperatures. Therefore, you don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary for your plant in this regard. However, it is important to ensure that it is kept away from air vents and drafts.

    Pot

    For a Philodendron Tortum, it’s best to select a pot that provides sufficient room for the plant’s growth. However, avoid using an oversized pot as it may result in unused soil and excessive moisture retention. Choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom. Consider using a terracotta planter, as its porous material allows for quick evaporation of water and good airflow to the roots.

    Watering requirement for Philodendron Bipinattifidum

    The Philodendron Tortum requires thorough watering, ensuring that the soil does not become too dry. However, excess water should be promptly drained to prevent blockage. During the winter months, it is advisable to reduce watering frequency while extending the intervals between watering. The moisture in the soil tends to last longer in winter, so allowing the soil to dry out adequately between waterings is important.

    The Philodendron plant exhibits noticeable changes in response to overwatering or underwatering. Its leaves may droop and their color may fade.

    Water the plant when the soil is close to drying out, but avoid letting it become completely dry. In typical apartment conditions, aim to water the Philodendron Tortum approximately once a week.

    Repotting Philodendron Tortum

    Using large pots initially can minimize the need for frequent repotting. Still, if you’ve potted your Philodendron in a small pot, repotting becomes necessary due to its fast growth rate.

    Philodendron Tortum should ideally be repotted in early spring after it has completed its dormancy period.

    To begin, remove the Philodendron Tortum from its old pot and gently remove excess soil from the roots.
    Next, carefully transfer the plant to a new, larger pot.
    Finally, continue watering and fertilizing the plant as usual.
    Repotting provides your plant with the necessary space to grow, resulting in a larger and healthier plant in the end.

    Humidity requirement for Philo Tortum

    Ideally, maintaining humidity levels above 70% is beneficial for the optimal growth of your tropical Philodendron Tortum. Using a humidifier to increase moisture in the air greatly enhances its thriving. Higher humidity promotes faster growth and the development of more aerial roots, which facilitates easy propagation through soil or water.

    However, if you’re unable to purchase a humidifier at the moment, the plant can still tolerate average room humidity (40-50%). So, there’s no need to worry. This resilient plant will be just fine.

    Furthermore, If you would like to provide a natural humidity boost without committing to a humidifier right away, here are some alternative methods to consider.

    Fertilizing Philodendron Tortum

    Philodendron Tortum needs a balanced nutrient fertilizer for its survival. Liquid foliage fertilizer is preferred as it contains the necessary macro-nutrients for the Tortum.The plant is watered with the fertilizer once a month, preferably during the spring and summer seasons. During winter, fertilization is reduced to every 6-8 weeks.

    If your Philodendron Tortum has small leaves and is slow to grow, it means you are not providing enough fertilizer.

    Perfect Soil

    Using the appropriate growing medium is crucial for your Philodendron Tortum. This particular species dislike excessive watering, so avoid using dense and heavy soils. Such soils retain excessive moisture, suffocating your plant. We recommend enhancing ready-made mixes by incorporating perlite, orchid bark, and charcoal. This combination works wonders for your Philodendron.

    For the best results, mix together:

    • 2 parts indoor potting mix
    • 1 part perlite
    • 1 part orchid bark
    • a handful of horticultural charcoal

    This will create a well-aerated and well-draining growing medium that still retains the right amount of moisture required to satisfy your plant’s thirst.

    If necessary, you can substitute perlite with vermiculite or coconut coir, as they offer similar benefits in terms of aeration.

    Pruning philodendron Philodendron Tortum mature plant

    The Philodendron Tortum is a fast-growing plant with evergreen features. Trimming the leaves is necessary when they become overcrowded or take up too much space. Pruning gives the plant a tidy and well-maintained appearance. I personally choose to prune my Tortum in early spring after its dormant period, as this helps to prevent the yellowing of the leaves.

    Propagation Philodendron Tortum

    The Philodendron Tortum can be propagated through stem cutting and air layering methods.

    Propagation through stem

    • For stem cutting, begin by selecting a stem that is about 8 inches long, with intact leaf nodes, and prepare the appropriate potting mix.
    • Using a sterilized knife, make a clean cut on the stem.
    • If there are more than three leaves on the stem, then remove the excess.
    • To propagate in water, place the stem in a jar filled with water and keep it in a warm spot.
    • For propagation in soil, dip the clipped end of the stem in a rooting hormone and plant it in moist soil, providing support for it to stand tall.
    • Find a location with bright sunlight, but avoid direct light, and place the pot there.
    • Check for root growth by gently pulling the stem to test for resistance.
    • Allow 2-3 weeks for sprouting to occur.

    Propagation through air layering

    • Air layering is another effective method for encouraging the growth of new Philodendron Tortum while still attached to the parent plant.
    • Identify one or two nodes on the Tortum by looking for bulges on the stems.
    • Once identified, wrap these nodes with moist moss and secure it with cling film.
    • Continue to spray water on the Tortum during the root formation process.

    Is Philodendron Tortum Toxic to Pets?

    Your Philodendron Tortum is toxic to furry animals like cats, dogs, birds, and humans. Please ensure that it is kept out of reach of your pets and children.

    Common Issues with Philodendron Tortum

    Aphids

    These are soft-bodied insects that suck the nutrients out of the plants, weakening them and causing leaves to lose their shape, curl, and yellow. They can multiply quickly, resulting in further issues like fungal growth. Controlling aphids can be relatively easy by spraying cold water or using natural insecticides like Neem oil.

    Mealybugs

    They are tiny soft-bodied pests with fringes that damage Philodendron Tortum by sucking the plant’s juice, leading to yellowing and dropping leaves. Keeping the Tortum stress-free can help avoid mealybug infestations. Washing them off with water or using insecticidal soaps can be effective.

    Spider mites

    Lack of humidity can attract spider mites, causing yellow leaves with tiny spots. Hosing down the plant and making a web between the stem and leaves. They can easily be removed by applying Neem oil or insecticidal soap.

    Scales

    They are oddly shaped pests that can go unnoticed on Philodendrons. Large populations can result in poor growth. Pruning infected leaves and stems, manually removing scales, or using natural predators like ladybugs and lacewings can help control scales. Neem oil can provide a long-lasting effect.

    Thrips

    These damage plants by feeding on their juices. They cause pale and silvery leaves. Removing them by disturbing the leaves or reducing breeding areas can help manage thrips. Ensuring healthy plants before purchase can prevent their spread.

    Stress

    Apart from pests and insects, plant stress can occur due to lack of moisture, exposure to direct sunlight, cold weather, or excessive fertilization. Maintaining proper moisture levels, avoiding direct sunlight, protecting plants from cold weather, and following instructions on fertilizer labels can prevent plant stress.

    Moreover, Magnesium deficiency can occur in Philodendron Tortum if the soil is not properly fertilized. This can result in yellowing leaves and visible veins. Using magnesium leaf spray or calcium-magnesium soil treatments can prevent magnesium deficiency.

    FAQ

    Where can I buy Philodendron Tortum plants?

    If you are interested in buying a Philodendron Tortum plant, then you can check out popular online marketplaces like Etsy.com and eBay. These platforms offer a wide range of options and often have unbeatable prices. They have vendors from all over the world, including the USA, and some may even offer shipping to most locations.

    How much sunlight does the Philodendron Tortum plant need?

    Philodendron Tortum plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. They prefer areas with bright but filtered light, where they can receive some direct morning or evening sun, but are protected from intense midday sunlight.

    What is the ideal temperature range for Philodendron Tortum plants?

    Philodendron Tortum plants prefer a warm and humid environment. Ideally, they should be kept at temperatures between 65°F and 80°F (18°C to 27°C). Avoid exposing them to drafts or temperature extremes.

    How often should I water my Philodendron Tortum plant?

    Philodendron Tortum plants should be watered thoroughly whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. It is best to water them deeply, allowing excess water to drain out of the pot. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.

    How do I fertilize my Philodendron Tortum plant?

    During the growing season, which is typically spring and summer, you can fertilize your Philodendron Tortum plant once a month using a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for the correct dosage.

    Does the Philodendron Tortum plant require any special humidity levels?

    Philodendron Tortum plants appreciate high humidity levels. You can increase humidity by misting the leaves regularly or by using a humidifier in the room where the plant is kept. Placing the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water can also help create a humid microclimate.

    How often should I repot my Philodendron Tortum plant?

    Philodendron Tortum plants generally do not require frequent repotting. Repot only when necessary, such as when the plant is root-bound or outgrowing its current pot. It is best to repot during the spring using a well-draining potting mix.

    How fast does a Philodendron Tortum plant grow?

    They are known for their vigorous growth rate. Under optimal conditions, they can grow several feet each year. Regular care and proper environmental conditions can encourage faster growth.

    Can I grow a Philodendron Tortum plant indoors?

    Yes, Philodendron Tortum plants can be grown indoors as long as they receive sufficient bright, indirect light. They make beautiful additions to home or office spaces.

    How often should I repot my Philodendron Tortum plant?

    Plants generally do not require frequent repotting. Repot only when necessary, such as when the plant is root-bound or outgrowing its current pot. It is best to repot during the spring using a well-draining potting mix.

    How do I propagate Philodendron Tortum plants?

    Philodendron Tortum plants can be propagated through stem cuttings. Select a healthy stem with a few nodes and remove any lower leaves. Place the cutting in a glass of water or directly in moist soil, ensuring that at least one node is submerged. Keep the cutting in a warm and humid environment, and it will begin to develop roots within a few weeks.