Philodendron Atom

Philodendron Atom: All 16 Things About How To Care It

This is how to take care of a philodendron atom. We tell you everything you need to know about how to care for and grow plants.

Philodendron Atom Care Summary

Light needs:Bright indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:Check soil weekly, water when the top 40% is dry.
Fertilizer:Balanced feed, monthly in spring and summer.
Soil:Light, chunky, well draining.
Humidity:60% or more.
Temperature:21°C to 26°C (70-80°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum ‘Atom’.
Common issues:Overwatering and underwatering.


The Philodendron Atom is a great plant for people who are just starting out. It is a tough, low-maintenance philodendron that comes from Brazil and Paraguay in South America.

It’s a good choice, along with pothos and snake plants, if you want an easy houseplant. It also goes well with any home design and is very easy to use indoors. The Atom is one of the few Philodendrons that has leaves that are ruffled.

Philodendron Atom

Philodendron Atom Light Needs

Your Philodendron atom will grow the most leaves in bright, indirect light. Don’t put the plant in direct sunlight, which can make the leaves turn yellow and burn the plant. If you want to leave your Philodendron Atom outside all summer, choose a spot that gets some shade.

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The best windows will face south or west. Just put your philodendron a few feet away from the window for indirect light or right next to the window if you have a sheer curtain.

The only thing you want to avoid is giving the plants long periods of direct sunlight.

How Often To Water

Philodendrons, especially the Atom, don’t mind if you forget to water them. But if you make a mistake, the leaves will turn yellow or brown. Maintain a moist but not muddy soil. Most of the water should drain when you water it.

Philodendron Atom

Before evenly watering the soil again, let the top 1-2 inches (2.5–5 cm) dry out. In the spring and summer, when the plant is busy making new growth, water it more often.


This philodendron can grow well without a lot of fertilizer. The only thing you need to think about is how well-balanced the fertilizer is. Make sure that the amounts of all nutrients, like phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium, are about the same.

On the bottle, look for the number 20-20-20. Your Philodendron atom will get the nutrients it needs from a liquid fertilizer. Once a month in the summer is enough.

Philodendron Atom Soil

The right kind of soil for the atom is one that is light and has chunks. You could just use regular potting soil for houseplants and add more perlite or orchid bark to give the soil more air. You want a soil that is not too dense but still retains some water.

Other great things to add are coco coir, peat moss, sphagnum moss, vermiculite, worm castings, or another natural fertilizer. Chemical fertilizers will not be as good for this plant as natural ones.

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When to Repot

Don’t choose to repot your Philodendron until its roots have grown all the way to the bottom of the pot and can be seen coming out of the drainage holes.

If you have a big plant in a small pot, this is another great reason to think about getting a bigger pot. The next pot you choose should be just 1-2 inches (2.5–5 cm) bigger.


For this plant to grow and thrive, the humidity needs to be at least 50%. The best level, though, will be between 60 and 65%. You could put a humidifier nearby to make the air more moist, or you could use a cheap pebble tray.

This is basically a tray with stones and water in it where you keep your plants. The water evaporates and makes enough humidity around the plant that the whole area doesn’t have to look like a jungle.


Since the Philodendron Atom is a tropical plant, it does best in warmer temperatures and will grow much better there.

The best range is between 21°C and 26°C (70°F and 80°F). If you have your Philodendron Atom outside and the temperature starts to rise above this point, you should bring it back inside.

Philodendron Atom

If you keep your Philodendron Atom in too cold or too hot of a place, all the leaves could wilt and get damaged so much that they can’t be fixed. Don’t put this Philodendron near air vents, heaters, or fires.

How to Propagate Philodendron Atom

Like other Philodendrons, the Atom can be spread by stem cuttings. This is when you cut off a piece of the stem that has a node on it.

If you’ve never taken cuttings before, choose a branch with a few leaves and nodes that stand out. Then put the cutting in water, wet sphagnum moss, or wet perlite, and roots will soon grow!

Once the roots are longer than the length of your finger, you can move the cutting to its own pot. If you grew your cuttings using water, make sure to add more water to the soil to make the transition easier.

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Philodendron Atom Size

They might get about a meter tall.

Philodendron Atom

Is It Toxic To Cats?

If cats eat them, they can make them sick and make them feel numb. So talk to your vet right away if your pet eats any.

Philodendron Atom USDA Zone

In zones 9–11, they can grow outside all year.

Other Names

This plant is called Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum “Atom” by its full name. Since this is a lot to say, most people just call it the Philodendron atom.

Where To Buy

Try our list of shops that sell rare plants.

Philodendron Atom Common Pests, Issues, and Treatments

This philodendron doesn’t usually have many pests. But this green gem can still be taken over by common houseplant pests like aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites.

You can get rid of all of these pests by spraying the plant with neem oil, insecticidal soaps, or horticultural oil. You can also use a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to get rid of bigger bugs like aphids and mealybugs.

You can also put your Philodendron atom in the shower for a while. This will also make the bugs want to leave right away.

Philodendron Atom


The Greek word for Philodendron is “love tree.” Phileo is Greek for “love,” and “dendron” is Greek for “tree.”

There is evidence that the Philodendron atom can clean the air and get rid of formaldehyde. The plant not only looks great in your room, but it also cleans the air.

As of September 2015, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families included 489 species in the genus Philodendron.

See more articles in this category: Outdoor Plants

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