Philodendron tortum (Philodendron tortum)

Philodendron tortum Plant Features

Philodendron tortum, sometimes called Fernleaf Philodendron, is a beautiful and distinctive climbing houseplant that features finely divided foliage and an easy-care nature. It's not terribly fussy about growing conditions, so you can enjoy it as it thrives in your home or office. 

Before it matures enough to climb, it starts out with a bushy look that's perfect for display on a bright desk or tabletop. As it ages, its stem elongates into a vine. If you grow it up against a totem, moss pole, or other structure, it will root right into the structure to help it climb. (Note: This includes walls. If you let your Philodendron tortum climb a wall in your home, it could tear the paint off if you ever remove the plant.) 

Like many Philodendron varieties, the leaves become much larger if you allow it to climb and have warm, bright conditions. Mature leaves can get more than 12 inches long! 

Native to tropical rainforests across Brazil and Bolivia in South America, this climbing houseplant adapts well to average home conditions. 

Buy Philodendron tortum

Buy it online and have it shipped fresh from our farm, direct to your door from our online plant shop. Look for this Costa Farms Philodendron in the Trending Tropicals® collection at your favorite retailer. See a list of our in-store and online retailer partners.

Philodendron tortum Growing Instructions

Philodendron tortum Light Needs 

Give your Philodendron tortum medium to bright indirect light indoors to keep it happiest. If it doesn't get enough light, this climbing houseplant will get long and sparse, needing regular pruning to stay full and lush. 
Placing it within about 3 to 4 feet of a good-sized unobstructed east- or west-facing window is ideal in most homes. This is enough light that it casts a strong shadow throughout much of the day. Don't have a spot with good natural light? No worries: You can grow Philodendron tortum under plant lights or a mix of natural and artificial light. 
Tip: If you live in the South and there's a lot of direct afternoon sun coming through the window, it can potentially cause sunburn if your Philodendron tortum is within a foot or so of the window. In Northern areas, direct sun through the window is less of a problem because the sun isn't as strong.


Philodendron tortum Water Needs 

Like most of the other aroids in our Trending Tropicals collection, this climbing houseplant is sensitive to overwatering. It's best to allow the top few inches of the potting mix dry in between waterings. 
If you're in doubt about whether it needs water, it's usually best to wait. This plant would rather stay too dry than too wet.


Philodendron tortum Humidity Needs

Your Philodendron tortum prefers above-average relative humidity, but typically does well in average conditions, especially if it's watered adequately. If your home's air is particularly dry, it's helpful for the plant to boost the ambient moisture. You can do this by clustering your Philodendron with your other houseplants. A second option is to put a small humidifier nearby. 
If you grow it on a moss pole, keeping the moss moist can also help provide a small humidity boost. 


Philodendron tortum Fertilizing Needs

Fertilize this climbing aroid in spring and summer when it is actively growing. Use a fertilizer product formulated for use on houseplants (either synthetic or organic is fine for this plant). Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging. Never apply more fertilizer than the instructions recommend, as doing so could damage the Philodendron's roots.


Pruning Philodendron tortum

Pruning typically isn't necessary for this beautiful climbing vine. You can pinch back the new growth to encourage it to branch , rather than focusing its growth from one main stem. 
Tip: If you pinch off the new growth, you can use it to propagate new vines. You can grow new Philodendron tortum from the cuttings. 

Note: This Philodendron may have some natural degree of toxicity and may cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Additionally, exposure to the sap of this plant may cause discomfort to individuals with a sensitivity to it upon contact. Grown for ornamental purposes and not intended for human or animal consumption.

  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Light

    Indoors: High light

    Indoors: Medium light

  • Colors


  • Special Features

    Purifies the air

    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Philodendron tortum

Cobra Monstera
Cobra Monstera (Monstera standleyana Albo-Variegata) is also a climbing houseplant, but sports dark green leaves variegated with white that provide a nice contrast to the Philodendron's lacy texture.

Global Green Pothos
Global Green Pothos provides a textural counterpoint with its green-on-green variegated heart-shaped leaves.

Silver Streak Pothos
Silver Streak Pothos (Epipremnum amplissimum) is a lovely accent to Philodendron tortum with its long, narrow, silver-brushed foliage.