Simple Guide To Split Leaf Philodendron Pruning

Whether you have a green thumb or a brown one, the Split Leaf Philodendron is an easy-to-grow houseplant.

Don’t be intimidated by the botanical name or because it’s a mouthful. In reality, Philodendron means ‘love trees,’ and nothing is intimidating about that.

The famous tropical plant grown for its lush foliage is known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, Windowleaf, and most commonly confused with the Monstera Deliciosa.

As an aside, the monstera and philodendron are part of the same family of plants that includes the pothos varieties.

Before you bring one home, remember that these plants are poisonous and should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.

If you are familiar with the split-leaf philodendron, you might know that the stems can grow extremely long.

Split leaf philodendron pruning isn’t involved much, being since you can’t just cut off the stems completely.

We’ll show you the proper steps for split-leaf philodendron pruning—from the right tools to use to the appropriate cutting methods for the pruning process.

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When is the Right Time for Split Leaf Philodendron Pruning?

The Split Leaf Philodendron is a rapidly growing plant. Therefore most owners are looking for ways to prune it safely without damage.

Before we begin, let’s see when is the best time to clip the Split Leaf Philodendron plant.

Since these plants proliferate, you might think they are taking up too much room. As long as they are grown outdoors in your garden, you shouldn’t be worried about them getting big.

If they are kept indoors in a small pot, however, the new growth could take up room.

You should give your plant a light trim to remove the yellow or damaged leaves at any time of the year.

On the other hand, pruning or cutting off the Philodendron is most beneficial in the growing season, i.e., Spring and Fall.

Pruning the leaves is the easiest way to shape up your philodendron plant. If it gets too big, however, the roots might need pruning too.

split leaf philodendron pruning in the right timePin

How to Prune Split Leaf Philodendron?

Pruning involves four basic cuts and each produces a different effect. Let’s see how you can use the correct technique.

Disinfect Pruning Shears

Before you begin to cut the philodendron leaf, it is essential to sterilize all the tools you intend to use.

You should use regular rubbing alcohol to wipe off your pruning shears, or scissors since it is easier to clean between uses.

Disinfecting is a simple step but it’s of utmost importance. Sterilization ensures the removal of unwanted bacteria that could damage the plants.

It is crucial to remove dirt or gunk and dip your tools in a sterile solution before pruning philodendron plants.

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Check the Extent of Plant Damage

It is also essential to see if your plant has suffered damage or has just grown too big for the place. Pruning philodendron plants might not be needed if there is no visible damage.

Access whether the whole plant is affected or if it is just a single part. Check the stems, roots, and soil in search of visible problems.

You won’t find a solution unless you determine the reason for lousy plant health. There might be various reasons causing the damage.

The Philodendron Plants love warm temperatures and do well indoors. These plants are frost tender and could face cold damage in low temperatures outdoors.

If there is cold damage, just provide it with warmth and basic care and it should recover.

Check Leggy Stems

The Philodendron plant sometimes suffers from long stems that are too weak and bring down the greenery look.

The plant begins to look healthy and the leaves get proper nourishment when the stem is pruned.


You, as the plant matures, can cut down the stems with the dead leaves, as these will not be producing foliage.

You should also cut down those oldest stems that have no leaves on them.

There’s no need to stress at all, since cutting the stem does not mean you are hurting your plant.

split leaf philodendron pruning to be healthier plantsPin

If you wish to propagate your philodendron plants, find the leaf node on your plant. It is where the leaves join the stem.

Make sure you use a 45-degree angle to cut right above the leaf node and dip the cut end in some rooting hormone. The hormone will help the side roots go through the re-sprouting process.

You can propagate if you replant the cuttings or stems in fresh soil for new plants to grow.

Pruned stems and cuttings will eventually sprout roots and create a new plant.

Related post: How Often Should You Water Monstera Plants?

Root Pruning

They are aggressively rooting plants and might have gotten too big with their large leaves to get proper nutrition.

First, remove the Philodendron from its planter and remove some of the soil to check the roots. Then use scissors or a sharp blade to cut damaged and aerial roots from the side.

Then, make two portions of the ball. Plant each root ball in a new bigger pot after you brush it up with your hand.

Planting each plant in fresh soil and a bigger space will help it grow better.

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Should I Trim my Split Leaf Philodendron?

Split Leaf Philodendron pruning is essential if you want better plant growth. Like all fast growers, your plant also needs regular trimming to prevent it from looking unkempt and unruly.

Simply put, if you want your plants to have new growth, regular trimming is important as they mature.

leaf philodendron resting on the tablePin

Pruning is essential to remove dead, decayed, or infested leaves and stems from your plant. If you delay it, the whole plant could get affected.

It improves the plant’s overall appearance and helps other leaves achieve an adequate supply of air and nutrition.

You will find it easy to manage your philodendron plant with a regular trim since it is known to get up to 40 feet high if left as it is.

Related post: 18 Best Indoor Vining Plants for Giving Your Home a Jungle Vibe

FAQ and Tips

Can You Cut Back A Split Leaf Philodendron?

Yes, cutting a philodendron plant is essential to promote healthy growth.

Where Can I Cut A Split Leaf Philodendron?

You should make a sharp, clean-cut right where the stem meets the trunk of the plant.

Or you could cut above the leaf node if you wish to use the stalk for propagation.

How Do I Prune A Leggy Philodendron?

Your Philodendron appears to have leggy stems mainly because of low light exposure.

Once the stems have grown too long, they need to be pruned.

To do that, you should cut the oldest leggy stems where they meet the plant’s trunk.


Split-leaf philodendron pruning is difficult because you can’t chop off the stems completely.

Ensure that you have the right tools to prune your plant or you could end up with prune damaged foliage.

Hopefully, we’ve given you enough tips on split-leaf philodendron pruning to help you.


  • Mahr, S. (n.d.) Jade Plant, Split-leaf philodendron. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Horticulture, Division of Extension. URL:
  • Warner, K. (2017). Fact sheet: Split-Leaf Philodendron. UF/IFAS Extension Nassau County, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gardening Solutions. URL:
  • About/mentions: pruning, philodendron, monstera, houseplant

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