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An Indoor Gardener’s Complete Care Guide for Philodendron Tortum

Philodendron Tortum is a tropical and an easy to care for plant that will surely brighten up any indoor garden. Because of its unusual appearance and texture, this houseplant is popular among plant collectors.

In this essay, we’ll go over the most important tips and tricks for effectively raising a Philodendron Tortum!

If you intend to buy one for yourself, we have a few affordable alternatives for you to select. Continue reading to know more about this Philodendron’s exciting attributes.

What Is Philodendron Tortum?

Philodendron Tortum is a perennial from the Araceae family. Other sources call this plant Philodendron Bipinnatifidum’ Tortum’ and Philodendron Polypodioides Tortum, but further research does not suggest that this plant is a subspecies of either Bipinnatifidum or Polypodioides, so we’ll just leave its common name as Tortum. After all, this unique plant is more than its name.

This new species of Philodendron is a rare aroid, but it has quickly made its presence known with its spider-like leaves that are thin and long. Some would describe it as skeleton-looking, but we promise you that it is not creepy at all!

It is a Philodendron that thrives in hardiness zones 10 to 12. Consider placing it close to an east or west-facing window for it to grow its tropical lanceolate-shaped, glossy dark green-colored leaves.

Origin And Family

Tortum Philodendron is a member of the genus Philodendron and the family Araceae. It comes from the rainforests of Brazil.

This tropical plant, first described in 2012 by Soares & Mayo, has become a favorite among houseplant collectors in recent years.

Where To Buy

There are several ways to find a Philodendron Tortum for sale. You may purchase a cutting or seedling from a nursery, but you can also acquire fully grown plants online. One option is to purchase on Etsy.

You can buy a mature Philodendron Tortum for about $100- $170 for plants in 6-inch pots.

Philodendron Tortum Plant Size

The Tortum Philodendron is a Philodendron plant that grows to be approximately 4-6 feet tall indoors. It grows well near a window that’s east or west-facing because of its height capacity, light requirements, and high humidity needs.

Philodendron Tortum Care Needs

Though Philodendron Tortum is not a complex plant to care for, growing it to its maximum requires certain conditions. The Philodendron Tortum, with its unique leaves, loves humidity and needs relatively moist soil to thrive.

Water your Philodendron When the soil’s top inch is dry to touch. To properly hydrate the soil, make sure your pot has good drainage. Do not be afraid to thoroughly drench the soil during watering schedules. As for the light requirements, this lovely plant will do best in bright indirect light.

Discover more specific and in-depth care needs for your plant!

Care Difficulty

The Philodendron Tortum is easy-to-care-for in most situations, assuming you have the right amount of well-draining soil and light. With this Tortum Philodendron guide, you’ll be able to quickly grow this tropical plant.

Growth Rate

A quick grower, this plant measures 4-6 feet in height when grown indoors. The warmth of the early spring and summer months jumpstart this plant’s growth spurt.


This Tortum plant wants good drainage and large pots of terracotta or clay. It also likes to climb, so you can add a moss pole to support this growth habit.

With its need to be watered when the soil’s top inch is dry to touch, drainage holes are a must for Tortum Philodendron.


Moving your Philodendron Tortum into a bigger pot will allow more space for its roots to extend. You will know it’s time to repot if you see roots sticking out of the drainage holes.

Typically, you’d want to repot this tropical plant every 1-2 years. It is ideal for replacing old nutrient-deficient soil with a fresh batch of standard commercial potting soil when filling the new pot.


P. Tortum grows well in standard commercial potting soil, and you can also choose to make your own Philodendron Tortum soil by adding perlite, sphagnum moss, and pine bark. This plant likes its soil to stay quite moist.

Furthermore, appropriate drainage is essential to avoid fungal problems, root rot, and other risks.

We propose the following soil types:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.96 ($0.03 / Ounce)
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture 8-Quart Black Gold 1310102 Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.73 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $32.46
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quarts | The Hydroponic City Stake $23.99 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)


Your soil should be between 6.0-7.0 (or neutral to acidic) in terms of pH. If you’re using typical commercial potting soil, there’s no need to be concerned because the pH level is usually within the suitable level.

If you are concerned that the pH is excessively high for your Tortum plant, you can lower it with additives that contain sulfur or aluminum sulfate.

When the pH is too low, you can raise it using calcitic lime or dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda.

Try measuring the soil pH to see if you need to adjust your growing medium.


Tortum Philodendron is a humidity-loving plant that needs relatively moist soil throughout the year.

During the spring and summer, your plant should be watered when the soil’s top inch is dry to touch. Drench the soil in water until it drains out the bottom hole of the plastic, terracotta, or clay pot. Use a collecting tray and dispose of any excess water to avoid root rot and other problems.

In the winter season, you won’t need to water as much. Continue to deeply water your plants, but do so less frequently.


Tropical plants from the rainforests of Brazil are used to receiving bright indirect light. Indoors, 6-8 are the recommended hours of exposure for your Philodendron Tortum.

If the light is overly bright for your plant’s preference, its leaves may get scorched. If this happens, move your plant away from the window. You can also install curtains or blinds to filter the light coming in.

On the other hand, if your Tortum is not getting as much light as it needs, its leaves may droop, and its growth may be stunted. You can transfer your plant closer to a window and supplement it with grow lights in this case. We recommend the artificial lighting items listed below:

Avoid putting your Philodendron Tortum in direct sunlight, as this could severely damage or even kill it.


Water, sunlight, and soil are all essential nutrients for houseplants. Soil can lose its nutritional content over time and must be supplied with plant food.

If you desire a flourishing P. Tortum, fertilize once a month during the spring and summer. You may use a water-soluble fertilizer, but if it’s very concentrated, dilute it first.

During the winter, you usually don’t need to fertilize.

Propagating Philodendron Tortum

Perhaps you’re impatient to see your Philodendron Tortum sprout new leaves. Pruning back the stem to stimulate new growth points is one planting approach. Usually, the cuttings you’ve pruned back can then be propagated, so you can produce a new baby plant!

Check out several other propagation options for you to choose from.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Stem cuttings placed directly in the soil are an easy technique to reproduce your Tortum Philodendron. It is advisable to propagate this plant during its growing season in spring and summer.

1. Cut. Find a healthy area of your plant with fresh growth and cut a 3-inch long cutting with visible nodes. To avoid bacterial infection, use only sanitized scissors.

2. Plant. Bury the nodes of the cutting in wet soil. Then, press the soil around the stem to keep it in place.

3. Maintain. Moisten the soil frequently to promote quicker roots. Keep the plant close to a window where it can receive bright, indirect sunlight.

4. Wait. New buds should emerge on the upper leaves of the Tortum in approximately 2-3 weeks. This signifies your cutting has rooted!

Stem Cuttings In Water

A P. Tortum can be propagated in water with six simple steps.

1. Cut. Take a portion of the stem with new growth and at least one node.

2. Submerge. Keep the cutting in a clear container or a glass of water to watch root development.

3. Maintain. The cutting should then be stored in a light, shaded environment with sufficient airflow.

4. Refill. To avoid bacterial growth, replace the water every 3-5 days.

5. Transplant. Check for progress after two weeks, and then put the cutting into a sterile potting mix if the roots are one inch or longer.

6. Wait. Your new plant may appear wilted at first, but this is natural while the roots adapt to the soil. Avoid adding fertilizer or treatments at this time until your plant has had a chance to settle.

Air Layering Technique

Air layering, also known as marcotting, is a method of propagation used for rare and expensive plants, as well as delicate types. This approach prevents the loss of lower leaves, which is common in fresh cuttings with active roots.

Follow these steps to air layer rare plants:

1. Determine the cutting. For a higher likelihood of success, look for a healthy portion of the plant with at least two nodes.

2. Wrap the stem. Sphagnum peat moss or coco coir is needed to wrap the appropriate section of the stem. Make sure the nodes are completely covered.

3. Fix the covering. Wrap the peat moss or coco coir with cling wrap to hold it in place. Twist ties can also be useful, but be sure not to overtighten them.

4. Control moisture. Keep the moss or coir layer moist at all times. If there is too much moisture escaping, punch holes in the cling wrap to enable ventilation.

5. Transplant after 3-5 weeks. Remove the cling wrap whenever you spot any aerial roots sprouting through the moss. For healthy plants, separate the propagated piece from the mother plant and transplant it into the soil.

Humidity And Aeration

Philodendron Tortum is a rare evergreen plant that prefers higher humidity environments, often between 60%-80%.

Consider the following strategies for boosting humidity if you notice browning edges on your plant’s leaves:

• Group your houseplants together to form a humidity bubble.

• Purchase a humidifier.

• Set your pots on a pebble tray filled with water to generate vapor around your plant.

• Mist your plant occasionally, but not too regularly, or you risk inviting fungal illnesses.


Like most Philodendron plants, your Tortum plant will do best in a warm location. Keep the temperature between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Houseplants can be sensitive to sudden temperature changes, so keep your Tortum plant away from heat sources such as vents, hand dryers, heaters, and other equipment. Similarly, avoid exposing your plant to chilly winds and frost periods during cold weather.


Unfortunately, P. Tortum is toxic to both pets (including cats and dogs) and humans as it contains calcium oxalate crystals. Expect the following symptoms if consumed: swelling and burning sensation in the mouth, tongue, and throat, and skin irritation. This plant is considered non-life-threatening in most cases.

Toxic To Pets? Care Specifics
Botanical Name Philodendron Tortum
Common Name Tortum Philodendron, P. Tortum, Tortum plant
Plant Family Araceae
Origin Brazil
Plant Type perennial
Leaf Shape lanceolate
Leaf Color emerald green
Recommended Home Placement near an east or west-facing window
Growth Rate fast
Light bright indirect light
Soil standard commercial potting soil
When To Water Water When the soil’s top inch is dry to touch.
When To Fertilize once a month during growing season
Preferred pH 6.0-7.0
Humidity Range 60%-80%
Toxic To Pets? Yes – symptoms include swelling and burning sensation in the mouth, tongue, and throat and skin irritation
Common Pests & Diseases spider mites, brown tips, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Is your Philodendron Tortum looking sick? Most people believe that this is a plant that is resistant to pests, illnesses, and other issues.

In the next sections, I’ve provided the common problems that affect this rare plant. Use these suggestions to help diagnose and treat your Philodendron.

Spider Mites

Indoor plants can often attract unwanted visitors in the form of pests. The spider mite is one such example. Even though the larvae are not visible, adult mites can be seen scampering around when disturbed.

Spraying diluted neem oil on the leaves of your plants can help eliminate spider mites in their larval stage. Organic Pyrethrin sprays are also excellent at killing adult mites. When spraying pesticides inside, pick products that are not dangerous to people if inhaled.

Scale Insects

Scale insects might seem like lumps on the stems or leaves of the plant. These small bugs, which may be green, gray, brown, or black in color, usually remain sedentary once they’ve latched onto a plant.

If the infestation isn’t too terrible, you can dissuade scale insects from attacking your plant by putting together a teaspoon of neem oil in four glasses of water. Spray the plant aggressively with a spray bottle.

Neem oil and horticultural oils may not kill the bugs, but they will surely harm them. Numerous insecticide sprays against scales are considered safe to use indoors.


Aphids are often spotted as a cluster of bugs on the leaves of your Philodendron Tortum, and they might be green, black, red, brown, yellow, orange, or white. They proliferate quite quickly and can damage your plant in a couple of days!

If you see these awful crawlers, segregate your affected plant from the others right away. Apply a powerful spray of water to your plant to remove the aphids, and remember to cover the soil with plastic. This is for collecting any falling bugs and their eggs. Make sure you throw the plastic somewhere away from your garden.

This problem can be solved with a spray of insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil. However, you may need to repeat this numerous times until the aphid population is totally destroyed.


Mealybug infestations are somewhat common on Tortum the plant. If you spot these little parasites (often identified with white puffs on the leaves) on any of your houseplants, act promptly.

Apply isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball and massage it over your plant’s leaves and stem. Neem oil can also be used as a preventative spray.

Brown Leaf Tips

Browning edges on the leaves of your Tortum Philodendron can be triggered by many components. Lack of humidity, extensive exposure to intense light, salt and mineral buildup from chemically treated tap water, and fertilizer burn are all possible causes.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves on your Philodendron Tortum indicate that your plant is thirsty. In this instance, once hydrated, your plant will normally perk back up. It may also assist with raising the humidity.

Be careful! Plants infested with pests may start developing droopy and curled leaves, but they may gradually acquire additional symptoms such as spots, stunted growth, and a general drop in health. If you suspect pests, always inspect the underside of the leaves.

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves on P. Tortum can be caused by a multitude of factors. For starters, a lack of light might deplete your plant of nutrients and cause its leaves to become yellow. Alternatively, there might be a problem with underwatering, overwatering, or an uneven watering schedule.

Remove fading leaves to allow the plant to concentrate its efforts on developing new green leaves.

Root Rot

Root rot in the Tortum plant is usually a result of overwatering. Too much moisture could either drown your plant or expose it to fungal infections that will damage its roots.

Understanding the right amount of hydration will keep your Philodendron healthy. Instead of limiting the amount of water you pour on your plant out of fear that the roots will drown, you can use a base that drains and dries quickly. Mix in some chunky yet light components like perlite, pumice, bark, river sand, coco cubes, coal, and a lot more to your standard potting soil.

Needless to say, you must also ensure that your planter contains holes for water drainage. Using porous pots made of terracotta or unglazed earthenware might also help the soil dry faster.

Similar Plants

Love Tortum Philodendron? Here are some other similar unique-looking Philodendrons you should try:

Philodendron Minima: This plant is also called Mini Monstera for its large and split leaves that resemble Monstera Deliciosa, but its vines grow like a Philodendron. It’s a perfect mix of these plants.

Philodendron Jungle Boogie: Unique, and groovy, the name “Jungle Boogie” is believed to be given due to the plant’s zig-zag growing habit, adding to this plant’s exotic appeal. Add to it the dark green serrated leaves, and you have another peculiar-looking plant to add to your collection.

Philodendron Xanadu: If you are in the market for funky-looking Philos, add Xanadu to your list. This fair lady has shiny, leathery, and deeply split leaves that add sophistication to indoor gardens.

Philodendron Mayoi: With fronds that resemble a palm, this spectacular-looking plant is another must-have if you have a corner for unique-looking plants in your garden. It’s easy to grow, so it’s also ideal if you are only starting off with your indoor collection.


With its unique leaves, Philodendron Tortum is a great ornamental plant that looks extraordinary indoors. You’ll have no issue cultivating this low-maintenance plant if you follow our care guidelines!

Have you got a Tortum Philodendron? We want to see it! Please submit photos to [email protected] so we can share them on our blog.

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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