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House Plants/Splitting up a tree philodendron.


Hello there!  My parents recently began spending their winters in Florida, and  a result I became the happy new owner of all my mothers house plants.  Among them was a large Tree Philodendron, which is now living happily in my dining room.  Upon more closely inspecting it, I discovered that in addition to the main stem, there are also at least two other smaller stems in the same pot.  Can I split these mini-stems off from the main plant and give them their own pots, and if so, how should I go about this?

Hi Jessie,

Your plant is known as a Philodendron selloum.

You could try to separate the smaller plants from the main plant, but I don't recommend it. There is a risk that you could damage the roots to both and lose everything. If you leave them alone, they will gradually grow and fill in the base of the existing pot and make it look more attractive. BTW, the plants do not compete with each other.

If you decide to do it, use a sharp knife to slice the smaller plants away from the main plant. Root the severed portion in water until you have roots at least an inch long. Then, transfer the rooted cutting to a very small pot filled with damp potting mix.

I have written an article on plant propagation that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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