Natural Environment of the Philodendron Tortum
This aroid species is a relatively recent player in the world of indoor plants and actually in the world of plants in general. But it has swept everything up. With its thin, spidery leaves, it is a wonderfully attractive species to look at. In terms of appearance, it somewhat resembles a palm, although having no relation to real palms.
It wasn’t until 2012 when Philodendron tortum was first described (by authors Soares & Mayo). They mentioned that the plant was discovered in a forest reserve in the Brazilian Amazonas town of Manaus.
As expected from the species Philodendron, the authors report that the tortums they discovered in the jungle grew on trees like lianas. It’s important to keep in mind that in forests like this, the plants would get little light and benefit from high humidity levels.
A Word About Naming Philodendron Tortums
I’ve heard this plant called Philodendron bipinnatifidum ‘Tortum’ and Philodendron ‘Polypodioides Tortum,’ but the article that first described it doesn’t say that it’s a subspecies of either of those, so it seems incorrect! It appears to be nothing more than Philodendron tortum in its pure form.
It’s not unexpected that there has been some confusion because many Philodendrons, such as bipinnatifidum and polypodioides (as well as mayoi, distantilobum, and more), seem quite similar to this species.
Philodendron tortum leaves, a common aroid houseplant.
Light, temperature, and humidity for the Philodendron tortum
Philodendron tortum isn’t used to really intense light because the taller trees in the rainforest in Brazil would normally screen off the sweltering sun. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t still like lots of light, though!
Locate your plant in an area that receives strong, indirect light or only brief periods of sun, such as early in the morning or late in the day. In order to support the growth of your Philodendron tortum, you may also add some artificial illumination.
In Manaus, Brazil, the species’ native land, the annual average temperature never falls below 24 °C/75 °F. This indicates that, with the possible exception of the hottest summer months, this species is unquestionably an indoor plant unless you reside in a tropical environment.
Your Philodendron tortum should be fine if you feel comfortable in your home’s temperature. Just make sure to keep this one away from air conditioning systems and draughty windows. It most likely won’t tolerate cold temperatures of 15 °C/59 °F.
Plants in rainforests enjoy some humidity! I’ve found that my Philodendron tortum doesn’t require too much care, and the 50–70% humidity levels in my house are ideal. However, if your house tends to be dry, you may want to think about running a humidifier for this plant and your other tropical plants.
This plant is definitely a good option for growing in a glass cabinet to help retain some humidity if the humidifier isn’t enough.
Philodendron Tortum Planting & Soil Care
Think light and airy when choosing soil for a climbing, nearly epiphytic aroid like a Philodendron tortum. They aren’t accustomed to being buried in thick, heavy potting soil! For many houseplants, a particular aroid mix is usually the best option.
For this species, pre-mixed aroid soil should work, but you may also make your own. The 5:1:1 soil composition, as I explained in the piece on Monstera care, is definitely a suitable choice for this plant as well.
Perlite and pine bark help the mixture stay very light and guarantee that any surplus water drains fast. The roots of the plant receive plenty of oxygen. Sphagnum moss acts as a water-retentive component to slow down the rate of soil evaporation.
Your houseplants shouldn’t be kept in a container that doesn’t have a drainage hole because they don’t appreciate standing water. Rot might result from soggy feet.
This is a plant that grows fairly quickly in my experience. You’ll most likely need to repot yours every one to two years. It may be time for a repot in the spring if the roots are poking through the drainage openings.
Philodendron Tortum watering
Like other plants in the rainforest, Philodendron tortum enjoys a beverage. If you use an aroid soil mixture, keep the soil mildly moist by watering as frequently as every other day.
You should initially stick your finger into the dirt if your specimen is planted in thicker soil. Before you water it again, it should be roughly halfway dry, which can take a few days in the summer or more than a week in the winter.
Philodendron tortum fertilised
My Philodendron tortum is a really prolific grower, as I have indicated. This means that during the growing season, when it is busily producing new foliage, it welcomes some fertiliser to help it along.
Once or twice a month, you might use a diluted liquid houseplant fertiliser. To avoid harming your plant, stop fertiliser applications throughout the winter or if it isn’t doing well.
Philodendron Tortum propagation
This philodendron is no exception to the rule that philodendrons are simple to grow. A mature Philodendron tortum specimen should have a stem that is easily visible and from which cuttings can be taken. You just need to make sure that each area has one node or more, and you’re good to go!
Although the majority of growers prefer giving the cuttings a dip in rooting hormone and putting them in a mini-greenhouse, the cuttings can be rooted in soil or water. Sphagnum moss and a plastic cup can be used as a straightforward solution for this.
Using this technique makes rooting cuttings simple. Once your young Philodendron has a strong root system, you can move it to a pot with standard aroid soil.
You can read morea about philodendron tortum on purple heart plant
Are both dogs and cats safe to eat philodendron tortum?
This particular philodendron’s calcium oxalate level makes it poisonous to humans, dogs, and cats.
Your pet won’t die if it eats a piece of your Philodendron tortum, but it can become irritated since calcium oxalate can cause swelling and a burning feeling in the mouth and throat.
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any more queries about Philodendron tortum care or if you’d want to discuss your own experiences with this unique houseplant.