Elegant Philodendron – Philodendron angustisectum

This plant has large and very decorative leaves and, as it can climb almost to ceiling height, it needs plenty of space to spread itself. Philodendrons cling to, and climb up, the bark of trees in the wild, so they look particularly good if these conditions are recreated in the home. A stake support covered in moss or rough cork bark is ideal, but the surface needs to be kept constantly moist to persuade the plant’s aerial roots to cling to it. Tie the plant in position at first until these roots cling naturally.


There are a great number of climbing Philodendrons. Among them are Blushing Philodendron, which has arrow-shaped leaves with coppery undersides; Velour Philodendron, a slow grower with velvety, dark green leaves and prominent paler veins; Split-leaf Philodendron with deeply lobed leaves; Satin Leaf Philodendron, with ivory-white veins; and Heartleaf Philodendron which, as its name suggests, has heart-shaped leaves.Elegant Philodendron - Philodendron angustisectum

Elegant Philodendron, P. angustisectum, is sometimes called P elegans. It can climb 1-2m (4-6ft) up a stake. The large leaves are roughly oval in shape, about 30cm (12in) wide and 38cm (15in) long. They are divided like fingers into deeply cut, narrow strips which can be as slim as 3cm (1 in).

Elegant Philodendron climbs and spreads to form a superb house plant, especially when trained up a pole.


Take a cutting from lust below a node and remove lower leaves to leave one or more leaves. Use a 10-13cm (4-5in) pot filled with a moistened mixture of equal parts peat moss and coarse sand or perlite.

Cover with a polythene bag and stand in bright, filtered light. Keep at normal room temperatures.

When new growth occurs, remove the cover and start to water sparingly. Start to feed once a month, and treat as a mature plant after another 4-6 weeks.


A moss- or bark-covered pole makes an excellent support for Elegant Philodendron. Fix the pole firmly in the container with bamboos lashed to its base, then mist spray the moss or bark. Tie stems loosely to the pole, and bind any aerial roots to the moss with twine or wire until they have taken a hold.

Pests And Diseases

Leaf ends brown and curl up. This is a sign of sun scorching the leaves. Treatment: Place this plant in a brightly lit position but out of direct sunshine.

What looks like pitting on the leaves is an attack of red spider mites, which thrive in hot and dry conditions indoors.

Treatment: Treat with insecticide. Mist spray the plant regularly. This will not only provide welcome humidity but will also discourage infestations.

Spindly growth is usually the result of poor light.

Treatment: This plant will grow fuller and more bushy if it is kept in a position with bright, filtered light.


This is an easy plant to look after. Choose a tall stake to train it up as this will be difficult to replace later.

  • Potting: Repot at any time during the active growing period but only when the roots of the plant completely fill the pot.
  • Use equal parts soil-based potting mixture and leaf-mould or coarse peat. Use large, squat containers for mature plants.
  • This plant needs moderate watering during the long active growth period. Allow the top of the mixture to dry out before rewatering. During the short winter rest period, water sparingly.
  • Feeding: Use a standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks except in winter.


  • Light: Elegant Philodendron needs bright, filtered light. Do not stand it in full sun. It will tolerate some shade but excessive shade will make it grow leggy.
  • Temperature: Normal summer temperatures are fine for this plant. Keep winter temperatures above 13°C (55°F).

Buying Tips

  • Elegant Philodendron is available throughout the year from garden centres and nurseries.
  • Choose a bushy plant with firm green leaves, and avoid any with brown tips or yellowing leaves.
  • This plant can live for many years.

This climbing Philodendron, with its divided, finger-like leaves, looks especially effective when given a moss- or bark-covered pole to cling to with its aerial roots.

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