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Philodendron Shangri La Care and Growing Tips

Scientifically known as Philodendron bipinnatifidum ‘Shangri La,’ the philodendron Shangri la is one of the most attractive houseplants you will ever see.

It presents a fantastic view and has a tropical origin. It is indeed an ideal houseplant for a beginner, as it needs the best care and attention possible.

Much like other philodendrons, the Shangri la thrives under sufficient indirect light and moderate watering.

Also, ensure you grow it in well-drained soil that does not retain much moisture and feed them at least once a month in the growing season.

This article is a detailed and complete philodendron Shangri la care and growing tips; you will learn everything you will ever need to grow a healthy and beautiful philodendron Shangri la.

Let’s start by understanding what the plant is and where it came from!

Philodendron Shangri La Origin: What is Philodendron Shangri La?

Common NamePhilodendron Shangri La
Botanical NamePhilodendron bipinnatifidum ‘Shangri La.’
Plant TypeSplit-leaf Philodendron
FamilyAroid, Araceae
Sun ExposureShade, Partial Sun
Soil pH AcidicNeutral
Mature SizeUp to 24-36″ (61-91cm) length, 36-48″ (91-122cm) width
Soil TypeWell-drained, substrate, peat moss, and perlite
Leaf ColorDark green with lime green veins
Native AreaU.S. climate zone 9 to 11, South America
TemperatureBetween 65 to 80ºF (18 to 27ºC)
ToxicityToxic to humans & animals
Cool HardinessWinter hardy only in U.S. climate zone 9 to 11

Native to the rainforests of South America, the philodendron Shangri la is a split-leaf philodendron from the aroid family of Araceae with an amazing, beautiful, and evergreen shrub cultivar.

What makes it unique and stand apart from other cultivars of the philodendron family is its compact size.

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It is an eye-catching houseplant that offers a tropical atmosphere to any home. It has big, deeply divided lacy leaves, which grow on tall, sturdy stems developing dense, bushy, compact forms.

The leaves feature very rough edges, which is why it is commonly called split-leaf philodendron.

Also, it has lime-green ribs veins in its leaves that add different foliage textures to the plant. Despite its non-native looks and tropical origin, the Shangri la is very easy to grow and maintain and will further reveal its decorative ability rather too early.

Is Philodendron Shangri La Easy To Care For?

As earlier mentioned, despite its exotic leaves and tropical origin, the philodendron Shangri la is easy to maintain and care for.

It is an attractive prospect for beginners, in as much as you can carry out its care routine, namely, watering moderately, avoiding extreme light, using well-drained soil, and feeding them at the right time and proportion, you’re good to go.

Philodendron Shangri La Care and Growing Tips

Philodendron Shangri La Care

Here’s how to grow and care for philodendron Shangri la. Following this guide will help you to master how to take care of this plant effortlessly.

Let’s get started!

Natural Habitat & Light Requirements

Like several other philodendrons, the philodendron Shangri la is native to the shady tropical forests of South America; hence it’s not used to direct sunlight, especially in the hottest period of the day. So, to enable your houseplant to grow well, you’ll need to pick a sunny location that’s devoid of direct sunlight.

The place you chose for the plant must be receiving lots of filtered and diffused lighting, which is why the perfect position to place it is just next to the east and west windows.

To make your plant happy, choose a bright spot nearer to the north window or a few meters away from the south window. Too much direct sunlight will discolor it and cause smaller leaves.


One of the most challenging care factors of the philodendron Shangri la is watering needs. In other words, you’ve to be mindful during watering, as the plant likes moist but not soggy.

We advise you follow the guideline of philodendrons by watering every once a week, from spring to fall.

However, it depends on its general growing conditions, such as temperature, light exposure, plant or pot size.

Therefore, from autumn to spring, you’ve to reduce watering to once in fifteen days. Going below that period affects the speed of the transpiration process; hence, it requires less water.

Unsure and confused on the next time to water? You’ve to use your finger to feel the surface of the substrate regularly, and once you find out that the top 2 inches of the soil are dry, then it’s time for the next watering.

As much as the Shangri la thrives in moistened soil, it thrives more on irregular watering, especially if you don’t over-water. 

After watering, at about ten or fifteen minutes, inspect the tray so that you’ll know if it’s time to drain any accumulated water. Like other philodendron varieties, the Shangri la is very sensitive to excess water around the root system, leading to its root rot.

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Humidity & Temperature

The philodendron Shangri la thrives in a bit of humidity and will benefit from frequent misting.

Keeping them in a bathroom or kitchen will go a long way towards solving the humidity challenge, as it is where it will likely get more moisture in the air. You can supplement it with the use of a humidifier.

As long as the temperature is concerned, the Shangri la thrives in over 55 degrees. Make sure you keep it away from drafts and open doors, mostly in the winter season. We require room temperatures of 16 to 24ºC, as that is its perfect temperature.

Philodendron Bipinnatifidum Soil Requirements

The philodendron ‘Shangri La’ likes aerated and light soils, rich in nutrients, and well-drained. In formal gardens, there are always the perfect mixtures for philodendrons or other non-nativity plants.

These substrates are produced based on the specific requirements of tropical plants and give optimal support for their cultivation.

If there’s no already made mixture, you can create yours by simply mixing equal parts of all-purpose substrate, peat moss, and perlite. The mixture offers the essential nutrients, high permeability, lightness, and aeration of the soil that your plant requires.

Fertilizing Needs

The best time to feed your philodendron Shangri la is once a month in the winter and summer season using a liquid fertilizer, especially since you’re growing indoors. The plant is a rapid grower; thus, it benefits from additional nutrients.

You can use water-soluble fertilizers with increased nitrogen content (NPK 3: 1: 2), as it will give the plant the required nutrients to produce large and gigantic leaves. Since it is an evergreen plant, the Shangri la doesn’t have a full dormant phase. 

Therefore, because of reduced lighting in autumn and winter, its metabolism slows down; hence, it doesn’t require any additional fertilizer feeding.

Planting (Potting & Repotting)

Since the upper part of the philodendron Shangri la grows faster than the roots, that means its transplanting should only be done when the root ball is compact and occupies the pot, often every second or third year.

It would be best if you endeavored to replace the initial pot with a 2 to 3 inches bigger one during repotting.

The plant belongs to the philodendron varieties that prefer to be root-bound; therefore, transplanting it into a bigger pot will turn the plant’s energy focus on root growth rather than leaf development. 

Again, the Shangri la prefers to be left alone; therefore, transplanting activities could be a form of disturbance and make it look stressed, thus making it stagnate until it adapts. The best time to transplant the plant is in early spring before it starts more severe seasonal growth.

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How to Prune Philodendron Shangri La

Philodendron Shangri La is a renowned herbaceous plant; hence, contrary to other vining/climbing philodendrons, it does not require pruning.

However, it is not entirely a bad idea to frequently remove every damaged or withered leaves, as getting rid of bad leaves helps to give the plant a more eye-catching appearance.

How to Propagate Philodendron Shangri La

Propagation of the philodendron Shangri la requires two methods, namely, division and stem tip cuttings. Let’s quickly dissect these methods one after another;

Propagation by Division Method

If you have an adult plant that has many stems, you should apply the division propagation method, as it is the best at this stage. You can propagate the Shangri la by division method through the following step:

  1. Gently take the plant out of the pot.
  2. Fill a container with water, and immerse the plant in it for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Then, remove the bull and allow it to drain water. Dispatch every soil that comes in contact with the root bale. Immediately the root is tidy, check it properly so that you can get rid of damaged, crushed, or unhealthy parts.
  4. Oftentimes, some stems of the plant grow from a similar part of the root. Disconnect these parts from the other parts of the bale. If the root veins are so joined that you find it strenuous to disconnect them with your hand, you can apply another effective option, which is a sharp, clean knife.
  5. Position each disjointed part in a bit of container that you have originally half-filled with perlite and a mixture of substrate.
  6. Cover the root and white part of the stems with the substrate
  7. Then, you can start applying the care factors as you would under normal situations, which is regular watering, putting it in a warm (70-80 degrees F) and bright area with partial sunlight. Significantly, the plant requires two or three weeks to fit in and commence new growth.

Propagation by Stem Tip Cuttings Method

The propagation of the philodendron Shangri la by stem tip cutting method can be achieved during the spring or early summer through the following steps; 

  1. Take out a 6-inch stem from a healthy philodendron plant.
  2. Cut its stem cleanly using a pair of scissors, gardening clippers, or a sharp knife, just underneath each set of leaves.
  3. Prune off two or three sets of leaves to ensure that at least two leaf nodes on the stem are bare.

Wait till ten days, and you should see the stem beginning to germinate. After the germination of the stem, proceed to plant the cutting in the philodendron soil mix. Or arrange a mix with equal parts of all-purpose substrate, peat moss, and perlite.

The easiest way to properly inspect the root growth is by placing the cuttings inside a transparent glass filled with water.

During propagation, endeavor to maintain a similar water level in the glass. After the cutting has produced enough root veins, you are free to transplant it into a different container.

On the other hand, if you put the cutting directly in the substrate, it will be difficult for you to see the roots when it is developing. In other words, when you see new leaves grow, it is a sign that the process is complete and that the cutting has become a new independent plant.

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Essential Tips on Growing Philodendron Shangri La

The philodendron Shangri la is a split-leaf variety that can be a patio plant where it is hardy or as a houseplant elsewhere. Therefore, you should keep it away from the hot midday sun. Planting it indoors requires bright but indirect light, while outside needs a shady spot. 

Note that all philodendron varieties prefer frequent moisture, not soggy. A well-draining potting mix is required for the plant, and wait until it is dry to the touch before you re-water.

Water-soluble fertilizer application using the recommended dosages will help in its growth during the warmer months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do the Leaves of Philodendron Shangri La Turn Yellow?

The explanation for the yellowing of leaves is very straightforward. As with other philodendrons, yellow leaves of the philodendron Shangri la is mostly caused by excess water around the root system, and most times, these yellow leaves wither. 

Indeed, the Shangri la prefers moisture, but that doesn’t mean you should over-water, as the perfect growth of philodendrons starts with securing the best watering activities. Once you’ve noticed any yellow, floppy leaves, reduce watering.

Why Is My Philodendron Shangri La Leggy?

Your philodendron Shangri La will thrive when you keep it in a shady area, but rather than grow into a gorgeous, dense tropical shrub; it will grow as a scattered plant that lacks a patterned bushy form. In other words, insufficient light stunts the production of new leaves, and the leaf stalks elongate in a bid to sufficient light. 

It makes the plant leggy, distorted, and therefore, loses its partially regular domed shape. You can prevent this issue by moving the plant to an area where it will get enough light. Again, make sure you rotate the plant at least twice a month to prevent the plant from twisting towards the light source.

Why Do The Leave Edges of My Philodendron Shangri La Turn Brown?

If you notice that the edges or tips of your philodendron Shangri la have turned from their original color to brown, then it is a symptom of dry air or insufficient watering.

Philodendrons need enough air and soil moisture to help their proper growth and healthy looks. If any or both are lacking, the damage comes first on the peripheral parts of the leaves (tips/edges) before affecting other parts.

Is the Philodendron Shangri La Toxic?

Undoubtedly, the philodendron Shangri la is a toxic plant. Therefore, it would be best to keep it out of the reach of children, dogs, and even cats. Even if it is a botanical genus, it is made up of calcium oxalate. This substance causes skin irritation, and when consumed, can result in devastating health problems, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Why Is My Philodendron Shangri La Drooping?

Drooping leaves can either be a sign of too much water or under-watering, which is why watering care plays a significant role in the healthy growth of all philodendrons, including the Shangri la. However, once you correct the watering schedule quickly, the leaves will recover from this problem more quickly than imagined.

Note that pale new leaves are often a sign that the plant is not receiving enough calcium and magnesium, which are essential micro-nutrients that help in the healthy growth of philodendrons, not the least, the philodendron Shangri la variety. With critical care, you’ll get the most attractive houseplant you’ve ever desired.

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