Can you tell me about split leaf philodendron? Someone told me that are horrible about tearing up your house in search of water. Is this true?
Answer: Hmmm… sounds like someone has been watching Little Shop of Horrors!
Monsteras deliciosa or split leaf philodendrons come in two varieties, climbers reaching upwards of 30 feet in their natural habitat, and tree or shrub-like with a mature size of 10 feet tall. As houseplants they want lots of room but I wouldn’t really call them destructive. They will produce aerial roots that you can direct into the potting medium to help support the plant as it grows. If the plant becomes too large it can be propagated by stem cuttings or air-layered and the aerial roots can be trimmed. When grown in pots and indoors, the rate of growth will be slower than in their natural habitat but they can still become quite large, so take this into consideration before adopting one.
They are fairly easy houseplants otherwise, wanting warm daytime temps and evening temperatures in the 60s. They will survive in lower temps for short periods. Medium to low light is acceptable. If new leaves are developing smaller and farther apart, it wants some more light; too much light and the leaves will burn. Keep the soil evenly moist, allowing it to dry out between waterings, and keep the leaves clean and dust free. As a houseplant Monsteras can be susceptible to spider mites, scale and a fungal condition called Leaf Spot.
All members of the Monsteras and Araceae family are poisonous. This includes leaf, stem, root and sap, so be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling one.
Hope this helps your decision. Karen