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Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum, often referred to as the Split-leaf Thaumatophyllum or Split-leaf Philodendron, is a beautiful glossy-leafed tropical houseplant that gets its name from the fact that it has characteristic slits in its leaves. It's often confused with the Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa), which is a similar-looking plant but they're both totally different.
Split-leaf Philodendrons are native to South America, namely Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.
In the wild, the plant can grow impressively large - up to 10 feet (3 m) tall and 15 feet (4.5 m) wide. In fact, each leaf can become as long as 3 feet (1 m) long. As a houseplant, it will typically stay smaller than this (not exceeding around 6 feet or 1.8 m tall), but can still make a striking corner plant due to its size.
These plants like bright, indirect light, so the ideal spot is somewhere a little ways away from a south- or east-facing window where the light is filtered by blinds or a sheer curtain. This will help protect your Split-leaf Philodendron from harsh, hot midday sunlight, which can burn the leaves. If you start to notice scorch marks appear on your plant, try moving it to a more shaded area.
In their native environment, Split-leaf Philodendrons enjoy warm, humid conditions. Average indoor house temperatures are generally suitable for this plant, but most homes naturally have dry air (whereas a humidity over 40% is preferable), so you'll likely need to help boost the humidity around your plant by regularly misting and / or using a pebble tray.
Split-leaf Philodendrons also love water! Try to keep the soil consistently moist, although make sure to avoid overwatering - no plant likes to sit in heavy, waterlogged soil. You can water again once the top layer of the soil feels dry.
Split-leaf Philodenrdons have been used by various South American cultures for many years. The berries they produce are used medicinally and as a food source, and the roots have been utilized to make a binding material.
Unlike Monstera deliciosas, Split-leaf Philodendrons are self-heading, meaning that they don't need support in order to grow upwards as they form their own support trunk. Their splits also run from the edges inward, whereas the holes in a Monstera deliciosa don't reach the edges.