Philodendron Tenue: Most Complete Care Guide! (Healthy Growth)

The Philodendron Tenue is a beautiful and rare tropical plant. Its gorgeous green leaves make it a perfect choice for those wanting to fill their homes with greenery!

It’s also a very adaptable plant! Once you understand how to care for it, it will thrive fairly easily.

What Is a Philodendron Tenue? Quick Overview.

Pronunciation: Fill-O-Den-Drun Tan-oo

Appearance: The Philodendron Tenue appearance is highly variable and will not always look the same. It is a beautiful deep green, and its leaves have an undulating, rippled texture.  Leaves can grow very large, reaching 3 feet in length and a foot across.

The two leaf variations that are the most prevalent are narrow oval-like leaves and broad, oval, or triangular leaves.

Flowering? The Philodendron Tenue blooms with gorgeous white flowers.

Origin: Philodendron Tenue originated in Central and South America. They can be found in Nicaragua, down to Southern Peru and Venezuela.  

They prosper in various climates and can be found at many different elevations.

Rareness: The Philodendron Tenue is actually very rare and can be very difficult to find outside its natural habitat.

Other names: The Philodendron Tenue can also be called:

  • Philodendron ecuadorense
  • Philodendron tenum
  • Philodendron gracile
  • Philodendron sodiroanum

Your Complete Philodendron Tenue Care Guide

The Philodendron Tenue is an excellent houseplant for beginners! It is not only easy to grow, but its beautiful green color and air-purifying qualities make it a perfect addition to your home.

Follow this complete Philodendron Tenue care guide to learn how to help your plant thrive in your home.

  • Light: bright, yet indirect
  • Soil: damp, even soil
  • Watering: regularly
  • Humidity: 60-70%
  • Temperature: 64-90 F
  • Fertilizer: Once per month during the growing season

1. Light

Your Philodendron Tenue thrives when sitting in a brightly lit area without direct sunlight. Since the Philodendron Tenue flourishes in dense, rainforest-like environments, it is not used to receiving direct sunlight.

But, resist the urge to place your plant in a low-light area. The Philodendron Tenue still needs sunlight! Ideally, the Tenue needs 200-400 FC of light.

Too much sunlight indicator: The plant will start to lose its color

Too little sunlight indicator: Blacked stems or leaves

2. Soil

This species needs loose, fast-draining soil. Typical potting soil doesn’t work well because the Philodendron Tenue is vulnerable to root rot when water doesn’t drain correctly.

The best soil mixes will include:

  • Perlite,
  • Orchid bark
  • Coco Coir

DIY Tip: Make your own mixture by adding 3-parts Coco Coir, 1-part Perlite, and ½-part Orchid Bark. Find the ingredients at your local nursery or hardware store!

3. Water

Your tenue plant likes its soil to be evenly moist.

Watering during the growing season: Water regularly once the top 50% of the soil is dry.

Watering during the dormant season: Water sparingly

Since this plant originates in the rainforest, its roots are adept at collecting water in both rainy and dry seasons. Issues like root rot can arise if the Philodendron Tenue is overwatered. It’s best to let the top 50% of the soil dry before watering again!

Sign your Tenue needs watering: Wilting leaves

4. Temperature

Because your Tenue is a tropical plant, it prefers temperate to warm climates with a lot of moisture.  

Your tenue can survive in temperatures between 55- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit but does best between 64- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit.

Lowest temperature: 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius)

Highest temperature: 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.22 degrees Celsius)

5. Humidity

The Philodendron Tenue’s ideal humidity range is 60% or more, although it can survive in areas with less humidity.

Humidity is vital for tropical plants. A humidifier might be a good investment if you live in a typically drier place.

Signs your plant needs more humidity: Leaf tips will turn brown and yellow. Eventually, the flowers and leaves will dry out and shrivel up.

A pebble tray might be a good alternative if you’d rather create a natural humidifier.

Pebble tray instructions:

  1. Use a shallow tray or dish to hold the water and rocks. The larger the tray, the more humidity it will create!
  2. Fill the tray with your favorite rocks and pebbles.
  3. Slowly add water to the tray. You want the water level to remain lower than the tops of the pebbles, so your plant isn’t sitting in the water.
  4. Check your Tenue every few days! If it seems like the plant still needs more humidity, select a larger tray.

6. Fertilizer

The best fertilizer for your Tenue will contain nitrogen. Diluted or pellet fertilizers can be used in the spring and summer months.

Spring and Summer: Fertilize once per month

Winter: No fertilizer

Overfertilization can cause the sides of the Tenue leaf to turn brown.

Growth—What to expect

Q. How big does a Philodendron Tenue get?

Your Tenue can get quite large! The stems can reach 11-42 inches in length, and matured Tenue leaves can reach 36 inches.

Q. Is Philodendron Tenue fast-growing?

No, the Philodendron Tenue grows at a moderate pace.  

Q. Is Philodendron Tenue a crawler or climber?

The Philodendron Tenue is a climber. People tend to place them in baskets, wet walls, or against structures they can grow with. In nature, they typically grow alongside a host tree.

Q. Does Tenue produce flowers or blooms?

Yes, they do! They produce three or four greenish-white blooms on each axil. These flowers typically bloom during the dry season into the start of the rainy season, which is usually during the months of April and May.

Q. Is pruning needed?

As Philodendron Tenue climbs, it may overtake an area where it’s not welcome, making pruning necessary. Your Tenue will allow you to prune it, but only so much. Too much pruning can stunt the growth of a Tenue.

Q. How often should I repot my Philodendron Tenue?

Fortunately, repotting is usually only needed every 2-3 years! Every spring, check the roots on your Philodendron Tenue to make sure they have enough room to expand.

How to repot your Tenue:

  • Carefully remove the Philodendron Tenue while protecting its roots.
  • Gently place the Tenue in its new pot and fill the remaining area with soil.  
  • Fertilize and water your plant as usual.

How Do I Propagate a Philodendron Tenue?

The Philodendron Tenue grows well after propagation. The best methods are stem cutting and air layering.

Stem-cutting – Method #1

  1. Make sure to sterilize all your equipment, if possible. Without sterilization, your plant can absorb germs during this process.
  2. Cut about 8 inches off the Tenue stem. Make sure a leaf node is present in the stem you are propagating. A leaf node is the area of the stem where leaves begin their growth. There might not be a whole leaf attached yet. Tip: The best stem will have more than one leaf but less than three.
  3. Soil Propagation: Place your Tenue in wet soil. If possible, add a rooting hormone, as well.
  4. Water Propagation: Place the stem in water. Make sure the room you place it in is warm and somewhat humid to help the Tenue grow.
  5. For both methods, ensure the plant is in a bright, warm, humid area, removed from direct sunlight.
  6. Be patient: You will start to see progress in roughly 2-3 weeks.

Air-Layering – Method #2: This technique allows you to propagate your plant without removing it from your original plant.

  1. Select the perfect stem. The perfect stem will be healthy and have 2-3 nodes on it.
  2. Then, wrap moist moss around the stem like a tight burrito. Secure it using thread or Saran Wrap.
  3. Then make sure your chosen stem stays incredibly moist by spraying it with water whenever it begins to dry out.  
  4. After 2-3 weeks, you should see root forming. Now you can remove your new Philodendron Tenue from your original!

Plant Toxicity

Humans: Is toxic to humans, if ingested.

Animals: Is toxic to dogs, cats, horses & other animals, if ingested.

When ingested, it can cause irritation, swelling, and burning. Try to avoid touching your face and eyes when handling a Philodendron Tenue due to the Calcium Oxalate in the plant’s sap.

Common Pests, Diseases & Issues

Common pests include:

  • Aphids
  • Mealybugs
  • Thrips
  • Fungus gnats

Soaking a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and running it over the insects will kill them. Afterward, wipe the plant with cold water to remove all pests and alcohol.

Make sure the alcohol is less than 70% isopropyl alcohol, and be sure to test the solution on a small area of the Tenue before applying it to the whole plant.

Overwatering your Tenue or not allowing water to drain from the soil will cause root rot. If the soil becomes too moist, bacteria and fungi will form.

If your Tenue leaves begin to turn yellow or brown and begin to wilt, check the stems and roots to see if they have become mushy, blacked, or musty. You may need to remove infected areas and repot your plant depending on the damage.


Q. Philodendron Tenue vs Philodendron Sharoniae – What’s the Difference?

These plants are very close relatives and frequently get confused with each other. How can you tell them apart? The Philodendron Sharoniae has longer, more narrow leaves compared to the Tenue.  The plants are very similar otherwise.

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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