Philodendron Goeldii Care Guide aka Philodendron ‘Fun Bun’

The Philodendron Goeldii is an eye-catching tropical plant that’s great for beginner plant owners. Also known as the Finger Leaf, this plant is adaptable to indoor conditions and has the ability to thrive inside when cared for properly.

Follow this extensive Philodendron Goeldii fact file and care guide to learn how to make your new plant feel right at home!

What Is a Philodendron Goeldii?

Appearance: The P. Goeldii has lush, long leaves that are a deep green color. Its leaves have been called “star-shaped” or “hand-like,” and lead to its common name of Finger Leaf.

Its stems are slender and long, but it’s the unique leaf shape that makes it visually different than other Philodendron varieties.

Origin & Backstory: Native to the tropical regions of South America, here are a few of the countries the Philodendron Goeldii is found:

  • French Guinea
  • Venezuela
  • Suriname
  • Northern Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador

The Philodendron Goeldii, also referred to as the Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum or Philodendron ‘Fun Bun‘, is considered to be part of the Araceae family like other Philodendrons.

Heinrich Wilhelm Schott first identified the Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum plant in the mid-eighteenth century and placed it in the Thaumatophyllum genus. However, debates regarding this plant’s exact family remain ongoing.

Rareness: The Finger Leaf is a rare tropical houseplant.

Other names: The Philodendron Goeldii goes by several different names. Here are some of the most common ones you’ll see it sold as:

  • P. Goeldii
  • Finger Leaf
  • Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum
  • Philodendron “Fun Bun”
  • Philodendron “Green Wonder”

Your Complete Philodendron Goeldii Care Guide

While there are several interchangeable names for your Finger Leaf, there are specific non-negotiable conditions your houseplant needs to stay healthy. Stick to these basic P. Goeldii care practices for a happy and thriving houseplant.

  • Light: bright, indirect light
  • Soil: well-draining
  • Watering: when soil is dry
  • Humidity: 60% or higher
  • Temperature: 60-85 F
  • Fertilizer: regularly, during warmer months

1. Light

Like other Philodendrons, the Finger Leaf requires bright, indirect light.

The ideal place for your plant is in a north or east-facing windowsill, and never in a south or west-facing windowsill.

If you’re unsure of the amount of light your plant is receiving, there’s no need to worry. There are several light meters available to buy online or in stores that accurately measure the amount of light your Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum is exposed to and help you make sure it gets the light it needs.

Many light meters use a measurement of light called a foot-candle (FC). Here’s the ideal FC for your Finger Leaf:

Good growth FC: 400

Minimum FC for growth: 200

2. Soil

Since it’s a Philodendron, it needs a great well-draining soil mix. There are plenty of great options meant for aroids on the market.

Look for one with a pH between 5 and 8. Soils that contain Sphagnum peat moss tend to be a great option as they’re breathable and retain only the moisture they need.

If you want to mix your own well-draining soil, then try this combination:

  • 60% Coco coir
  • 10% Orchid bark
  • 30% Perlite

3. Water

In the warmer months, a Finger Leaf needs watering about twice a week. However, do not water your plant if the soil is still moist from the last time you watered it, but this also doesn’t mean waiting to water until the soil is bone-dry either.

Make sure to conduct the soil check daily, and before each time you water:

Step 1: With dry hands, feel the top layer of the soil with your fingers.

Step 2: If soil is moist or waterlogged, then do not add any more water. Only water when the soil feels as if it’s about to be dry. Meaning, there’s still some moisture, but not enough to last in the soil for another day.

Signs of underwatering: yellowing leaves

Signs of overwatering: crisp and browning leaves

4. Temperature

Your houseplant loves high temperatures.

To encourage growth in your Finger Leaf, make sure to keep the houseplant in an environment with temperatures between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

A P. Goeldii can survive in cooler temperatures, but try to avoid exposing your plant to temperatures below 60 degrees as this can be harmful.

If you live in a warmer climate and are growing your plant outdoors, then always keep an eye on the temperatures— especially at night—and bring your plant inside when it’s below 60 degrees.

5. Humidity

A Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum originates in tropical regions, so it only makes sense that it prefers hot and humid conditions.

Since the Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum is so adaptable, it can exist as a houseplant with humidity of 60% or above. Drooping leaves are a sign that your plant needs more moisture.

6. Fertilizer

Your P. Goeldii will benefit from being fertilized every one or two months during warmer seasons.

Use a nutrient-dense fertilizer with a nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium ratio of 10:10:10 to encourage healthy plant growth.

NOTE: Do not fertilize your houseplant in the winter months.

Growth – What to Expect

Q. How Big Does a Philodendron Goeldii Get?

A P. Goeldii can reach heights of 3 or 4 feet as a houseplant, but in the wild, it can grow as tall as 8 feet! As an indoor plant, its leaves can range from 7 to 15 inches in length.

Q. Does the Finger Leaf Produce Flowers?

The Finger Leaf produces a type of flower known as inflorescence when mature.

How to Propagate a Philodendron Goeldii

There are a few different ways to propagate a philodendron plant, but the stem cuttings in soil method is by far the best.

Follow these 3 easy steps to start propagating your Finger Leaf today:

Step 1: Sanitize your clippers with isopropyl alcohol. After sanitation, cut 2-3 inches of stem with a minimum of 4 leaves, but no more than 4. Cut at the node.

Step 2: Add a well-draining soil mix for Philodendrons to a cup or small pot.

Place the end of the cutting in the soil and compress. NOTE: Don’t bury the leaves.

Step 3: Water, place near bright, indirect sunlight, and take care of it like a mature Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum. It should start sprouting new roots in about 2-3 weeks!

Q. When Should I Repot My Philodendron Goeldii?

Philodendrons rarely like to be repotted. However, there are times when it’s essential to find your Philodendron Goeldii a new home:

  • If the plant looks like it’s too large for its pot or is losing too many leaves at once
  • If the roots are growing out of the draining hole at the bottom of its pot

These symptoms of repotting occur about every 2-3 years of your plant’s life, and shouldn’t be ignored.

Give your plant the space it needs to grow by transplanting your plant into a pot 2-3 inches larger than its old pot.

Q. Does My Philodendron Goeldii Need Pruned?

Pruning your Finger Leaf regularly is not necessary. Only prune when there are crisp or infected leaves, and always make sure that you use sanitized clippers to cut the bad leaf off at the node.

Plant Toxicity

Human: highly toxic

Animals: highly toxic

While Philodendrons are great houseplants, they do have one downside: their toxicity.

Luckily, it’s perfectly safe to keep them as houseplants as long as they aren’t ingested by pets or humans (think small children).

The key to eliminating this danger is to keep them in a space where susceptible groups can’t access or reach the Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum.

Common Pests, Diseases & Issues

Unfortunately, your Thaumatophyllum Spruceanum isn’t invincible. Even if you think you’re doing everything perfect, there are still opportunities for your Philodendron to have pests or diseases.

However, most these pests and diseases are identifiable and even curable.

1.  Leaf Drop

This disease is quite common, but highly preventable. Leaf drop tends to occur if it’s getting too little humidity, so make sure to give your plant the moisture it needs.

2. Root Rot

Root rot is often caused by overwatering. If you’re watering when the soil is already moist, then stop. Waterlogging your plant is harmful to your plant’s roots.

3. Mosaic Virus

The Mosaic Virus is deadly for your plant. As of now, botanists have no known cure to rid a plant of this virus. Unfortunately, you must distance your infected houseplant from your other houseplants and safely discard it.

4. Pests (spider mites, aphids, etc.)

Pests are annoying and harmful to your plant, but easy to get rid of. Fill a spray bottle with neem oil and gently mist the infected areas to kill these unsightly pests.

Philodendron Goeldii Care Guide FAQ

Q. Can Philodendron Goeldii handle direct, full sun?

Never exposure your P. Goeldii to harsh, direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to these conditions can cause irreversible damage to your plant. Always place your Philodendron in bright yet indirect light.

Q. Why does my Philodendron Goeldii have yellow leaves?

Yellow leaves can be a sign of a variety of issues : overwatering, too little humidity, too much sunlight, and pests.

It could be experiencing only one of these issues or several. Make sure to follow the care practices outlined in this guide to ensure your P. Goeldii stays healthy and keeps its green leaves.

photo of Charlotte Bailey founder of Oh So Garden


Charlotte Bailey

Charlotte is a Qualified Royal Horticultural Society Horticulturist, plant conservationist, and founder of Oh So Garden. Armed with a background in Plant Science (BSc Hons, MSc) and 5 years of hands-on experience in the field, her in-depth guides are read by over 100,000 people every month.

For her work, she's been awarded the title of Yale Young Global Scholar, and been featured as a garden and houseplant expert across major networks and national publications such as Homes and Garden, Best Life, Gardeningetc,, BHG, Real Homes, and Country Living. You can find her on Linkedin.

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