MENU

AskIFAS Powered by EDIS

Philodendron bipennifolium Horsehead Philodendron

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen

Introduction

Large, 18 inch long, shiny, olive green, leathery leaves in the shape of a violin or a horse's head distinguish this vining philodendron. Whether growing up tree trunks or potted totem poles, fiddleleaf philodendron provides neat, evergreen, glossy foliage with a tropical appeal. The stems are an attractive light brown with long tendrils.

Leaf - Philodendron bipennifolium: Horsehead Philodendron
Figure 1. Leaf - Philodendron bipennifolium: Horsehead philodendron. 
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS 

 

Bark - Philodendron bipennifolium: Horsehead Philodendron
Figure 2. Bark - Philodendron bipennifolium: Horsehead philodendron. 
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS 

General Information

Scientific name: Philodendron bipennifolium

Pronunciation: fill-loe-DEN-drun bi-pen-niff-FOLE-lee-um

Common name(s): horsehead philodendron, fiddleleaf philodendron

Family: Araceae

Plant type: herbaceous

USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Figure 3)

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year-round

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: aggressive, spreading plant

Uses: suitable for growing indoors; cascading down a wall; hanging basket

Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Credit:

Description

Height: depends upon supporting structure

Spread: depends upon supporting structure

Plant habit: spreading

Plant density: open

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: coarse

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: undulate

Leaf shape: deltoid

Leaf venation: palmate

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: 12 to 18 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower

Flower color: green

Flower characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Fruit

Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: less than 0.5 inch

Fruit cover: fleshy

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable

Current year stem/twig color: gray/silver

Current year stem/twig thickness: very thick

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in the shade

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; acidic; loam

Drought tolerance: moderate

Soil salt tolerances: poor

Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches

Other

Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

Pest resistance: very sensitive to one or more pests or diseases which can affect plant health or aesthetics

Use and Management

Growing well in bright light or deep shade, fiddleleaf philodendron needs well-drained soil to avoid root rot. The plant is slightly salt tolerant.

Propagation is by cuttings or layering.

Pests and Diseases

Mites, scale, thrips, and mealy bugs are all known to bother fiddleleaf philodendron.

Bacterial soft rot and several leaf spotting diseases can cause problems for fiddleleaf philodendron.

Publication #FPS470

Release Date:January 16th, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS470, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contacts

  • Gail Hansen de Chapman
thumbnail for publication: Philodendron bipennifolium Horsehead Philodendron