Philodendron Splendid: Information and Care Guide

The deep velvety green color of these leaves will definitely be a standout in your house. Are you taking care of it correctly?

Many people think that philodendrons are a dime a dozen. A bunch of dark green vining plants with iconic heart-shaped leaves. In some regards, this is true. However! The philodendron family of plants has plenty of beautiful, unique cultivars, and the philodendron splendid (Philodendron verrucosum x melanochrysum) puts on a gorgeous show with massive, deep velvety green leaves. 

Philodendron Plants

A quick search on your go-to web browser will tell you that philodendrons are some of the easiest houseplants to care for. Many people often joke that they are harder to kill than keep them alive, hence why they are so popular with people who have struggled with plants or are just looking to start growing houseplants.

The philodendron splendid is native to the rainforests of Ecuador, where it grows in the forest understory and climbs trees. This origin allows them to grow in low-light conditions, so they grow well in homes that don’t have an abundance of bright, direct sunlight.

Is the Philodendron Splendid Rare?

The philodendron splendid is considered a rare plant. It has the characteristic heart-shaped leaves of a philodendron, but the leaves are big, bold, and velvety with beautiful cream-colored veins. It is a hybrid plant, a cross between the Philodendron verrucosum and the melanochrysum. Each leaf can grow up to a foot wide and two feet long. 

Plants grow four to six feet tall, but because of their large leaf size, they needed a more significant amount of space to spread out than some of the smaller philodendrons. 

Because of the rarity, it is challenging to find locally in stores and is often out of stock online through retailers like Etsy. Expect to pay a hundred dollars or more for a small to a medium-sized potted plant.

A healthy splendid philodendron houseplant potted on a terracotta clay pot.

Caring For a Philodendron Splendid

Philodendrons originate in tropical locations where the temperatures are consistently warm, and the humidity levels are relatively high, making them well-adapted to be houseplants. When caring for them indoors, the most critical aspect is ensuring they get sufficient indirect sunlight or have supplemental light. You also need to make sure they aren’t overwatered.

Light Requirements

This family of plants is native to the understory of tropical forests, so they thrive in bright yet indirect sunlight. They prefer six hours of diffuse sunlight at a minimum but will do even better when they get ten hours or more. When they have adequate light, they develop large leaves with beautiful veining. 

Plants can tolerate a maximum of two or three hours of direct light every day, but no more. Too much direct sunlight scorches the beautiful leaves. If your windows all have direct light, hang a curtain to diffuse the sun’s rays or set your plant three to six feet away from the window. Too much direct sun will scorch the leaves, but plants tolerate an hour or two. Too little light and the beautiful leaves stay small, and the stems will get leggy. 

On the flip side, too little sunlight causes the leaves to stay small in size, and the plant will grow spindly and leggy. Most homes don’t have enough sunlight, especially in the wintertime. If your plant isn’t doing well, invest in a supplemental grow light to give it an extra dose of sun every day.

Ambient Temperature 

Splendids do best when the air temperature is between 55°F and 80°F, especially when temps drop at night, mimicking natural changes found outdoors. To accomplish this, have the temperature lower at night through to the early morning and then climb during the day. Avoid rapid fluctuations in temperature by keeping plants away from exterior doors that frequently open and close.

Relative Humidity

Philodendrons also love high humidity levels since they are native to tropical forests. They’ll thrive in relative humidity up to 80-90%. If your home is drier than this, you can raise the humidity by grouping numerous plants, running a humidifier in the vicinity, or setting all containers in a pebble tray about half full of water.

A room humidifier placed on top of a chair beside a window.

Watering Needs

If you’ve ever struggled to keep a plant alive because you forget to water it, this philodendron is an excellent plant to try growing! The philodendron splendid and other philodendrons, pothos, and monstera prefer their soil dry. Let half of the potting soil dry before watering the container thoroughly until excess water runs out the bottom drainage holes. 

Never let your philodendron sit in a saucer full of excess water. These plants are prone to root rot from overwatering and can perish quickly once symptoms start showing in the foliage.

Fertilizer Schedule

When your houseplants are actively growing during the spring and summer, give them a dose of fertilizer once a month. A balanced liquid fertilizer or something formulated explicitly for houseplants are both fantastic options. Follow the mixing directions on the label or dilute to about half of the recommended strength. You don’t need to fertilize when it’s cooler during the fall and winter.

Pruning Your Philodendron Splendid

This type of philodendron rarely needs pruning, but you can always prune your plant to control its shape or size. When pruning, it’s best to use sharp, disinfected scissors to remove leaves or cut vines back. You can pinch the stems with your fingernails, but the sap could irritate your skin. 

You can remove dead leaves, but the plant will naturally shed them as new ones grow. Always remove any foliage that appears unhealthy or diseased. Regular pruning will help encourage your plant to grow fuller and busy instead of taller.

Pest & Disease Problems

When grown indoors, philodendrons are prone to infestations of aphids, spider mites, scale, fungus gnats, and mealybugs. Regularly scout your plant for signs of pests, and spray the entire plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap as soon as an infestation is noted. The only common disease problem to worry about is root rot, prevented through proper watering.

Propagating Your Philodendron Splendid

Philodendrons might be one of the easiest plants to propagate, which is one of the reasons why people love growing them as houseplants. Cuttings are known to root quickly in potting soil or water with a high success rate. You can propagate multiple clones after buying the first one at little to no cost.

A woman's hand showing the healthy roots of a plant from water propagation.


  • Philodendron Splendid
  • Sterilized scissors
  • Fresh water
  • Clean drinking glass, mug, or jar
  • Planter with drainage holes
  • Potting soil, coconut coir, or other well-draining growing media

Prepping Stem Cuttings

  1. Choose a stem section on your philodendron splendid with a couple of healthy leaves and a few leaf nodes. 
  2. Cut the stem cleanly from the plant below a leaf node using scissors. 
A man holding a plant cutter cutting the stem of a philodendron plant.
  1. Remove all but the top leaf from the stem, exposing leaf nodes. 
  2. Place the stem cutting on a paper towel or a clean counter for a day or two to let the cut ends callous over.

Rooting Stem Cuttings

Once the cut end of the stem has been calloused, you can plant the cutting directly in potting soil or set it in water until roots start to grow. Any existing roots will grow in length, and new roots will generate from the leaf nodes on the cutting within a couple of weeks.

Growing Media Method

  1. Fill your planter with slightly wetted potting soil or coconut coir. 
  2. Create a depression in the growing media center and plant the cutting, so some leaf nodes are covered.
  3. Set the pot in bright, indirect, or diffuse light.
  4. Water regularly to keep the potting soil slightly damp, but don’t let it sit waterlogged.

Water Method

  1. Fill your glass container with fresh tap water. You can also use filtered water or distilled water.
  2. Set the stem in the water, so the nodes are submerged.
  3. Put the cutting and jar in bright, indirect light. 
  4. Keep the water level high enough the nodes stay submerged.
  5. Replace the water every three or four days.
  6. Plant the rooted cutting into a pot with premoistened growing media once the roots start growing. 
Growing a splendid philodendron in water.

Philodendron Toxicity

Philodendrons are listed as toxic plants because their sap contains calcium oxalates that cause discomfort and irritation when ingested. If the plant tissue is eaten, it causes the lips, inner cheeks, tongue, and throat swell. It can also trigger drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. When consumed in large amounts, the leaves can be toxic to pets. 

The sap also irritates when it comes in contact with skin. Try to keep your plant out of the reach of any small children and pets, if possible, just to be safe.

Growing Tips

  • If your plant’s leaves are yellowing, let the potting soil dry out considerably before watering your plant again. Yellow leaves usually signal overwatering.
A plant with its leaves yellowing.
  • If your plant’s leaf edges are brown and crispy, increase the humidity around your plant. These symptoms are usually associated with low humidity levels.
A plant having crispy and brown leaves.
  • Every couple of years, take the time to move your plant into a slightly bigger planter to avoid the plant from becoming rootbound.
A plant with its grown roots ,removed form its pot

Design Ideas

  • With its gorgeous large leaves and towering stature, place a moss pole in the center of the container and allow a highly variegated philodendron or pothos to intertwine through the middle.
  • Plant your philodendron splendid in a stunning bronze or gold-colored container to show off the iridescent sheen of the leaves.
Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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